IT’S quite ironic – or so it is. While UN’s International Day of Peace was celebrated last Tuesday (September 21) – with a rather rhetorical theme, “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world” – the more inescapable it seems to be easily engulfed by the dumbing din of ‘unpeace’.
Gone are the old hegemonic glories of the Roman Empire, the regal exploits of Spanish and Portuguese conquistadores, the purportedly benign pursuits of English and American colonialism, the horror of Hitler’s Germany, and in the local scene, the despotic 14 years of martial rule in our country – but, ostensibly as it were, their similar repressive, exploitative, or oppressive upshots are invariably reverberated even more to our day.
Simply put, with the perennial cycle of ‘unpeace’, resonant to the truism that “history repeats itself”, the subject of peace has likely become trite even as we have become patently desensitized to the despicable “protocols of the new world (dis)order”.
I remember quite well some years ago when I interviewed a prominent Catholic bishop on the subject, and he retorted: “Really, it’s but quite exasperating, if not futile, to be talking about peace when year in and year out, the victims of oppression, aggression and exploitation continue to suffer their lot and whereas the high and mighty hold on to the status quo of conflict, violence, aggression, or oppression to perpetuate their dominance.
I am certainly for peace, but perhaps it is high time to stop talking or cut short on rhetoric and rather delve on concrete action or tangible results for peace.”
Exactly indeed, Most Reverend Bishop! The marks of ‘unpeace’ in our declining world order are inescapably telling: polarization of world powers (governments, institutions, and individuals) for global hegemony, intra- and international repressive schemes, oppressive upshots of globalization, vicious violence of terrorism and counter-terrorism, assault on civil liberties and human rights, religious and ethnic strifes, etc. – and yes, the most telling of which is the present ‘unpeace’ of COVID-19 which, as of 14 September 2021, has already caused over 35,000 deaths in the Philippines.
Yes, every day humans kill other humans – out of uncontrolled passion or personal grievance, or out of misguided ideology or as instruments of the machinery of the State.
But what makes COVID-19 the most despicable agent of ‘unpeace’ or inhumanity is if – resonant to persisting claims – it has been purposely contrived (allegedly by the high and mighty “deep state”, big business, and Big Pharma) to advance world depopulation as well as global economic hegemony.
Have the affairs of this one civilized, or so it is, world helplessly pushed us to acquiesce both the egregious impossibility, seemingly so, of collective human solidarity and the inevitability of ‘unpeace’, conflict, violence, or aggression?
Has ‘unpeace’, because of hatred and greed, become a sine qua non to humanity?
Inarguably, the roots of ‘unpeace’, conflict, or violence can be traced to the human heart – where hatred, greed, and other capital sins germinate.
Hence, to bring about positive change is to start from the heart of the person – and a “changed heart” may just as well pave the way for a “changed world”.
And, whilst admittedly, death is a part of life that we must accept, but not death at the hands of another – particularly from COVID-19, if indeed it stemmed from evil human hands.