On her blog, Cindy Sheehan confirms that the International People’s
Declaration of Peace (see
The Picket Line
for ) is a work-in-progress
that is just about but not quite ready for final release. They plan to do the
roll-out in time for the upcoming demonstrations at the White House.
If only we the people could finally realize that it is not up to our
governments to end war. Our governments and the War Machine are locked in a
violently greedy mutual stranglehold and could not care less about our
opinions or our children.
In my opinion, our struggles are in vain when we try to organize each other
and ourselves to go begging the Robber Class to reform itself. It’s not ever
going to happen. Throughout history we have repeatedly and to no avail
begged for our few crumbs of prosperity and peace and look where it has
gotten us… in the midst of an economic depression that is further fueled by
the blood of our troops and the blood of strangers thousands of miles away.
The Capitalist system of military conquest to perpetuate itself will never
go without a fight. So, we need to forget about our governments and their
masters, we need to reach out to each other to make firm promises that we
will never allow our governments to use us as weapons of mass destruction to
kill or oppress each other again.
That is why I am working so hard on the International People’s Declaration
of Peace (IPDoP). It proclaims our essential and intrinsic
values as human beings and our basic human right to not be subjected to
state sanctioned violence.
We can pour our hearts out in marches, elections, and petitions to beg for
what is right and rightfully ours, but it won’t be effective if we avoid the
real struggle: the revolution of values and the paradigm shift of peace
through rejecting the status quo.
For one thing, virtue is the main topic of politics, at least according to
Aristotle, who must read different news feeds than I do.
Virtue seems to have both a rational and an irrational component. For
instance, you can have a virtuous will and a virtuous wisdom, which are
conscious and deliberative and rational. But you can also have virtues
like tolerance and liberality that seem more like subconscious character
traits that are less under rational control.
This brings us to the end of Book One, in which we tried to figure out what
the good is. The good is the ultimate end of our activities, what we’re
aiming at in all of our day-to-day actions with their subordinate ends. That
good is eudaimonia, within which is mixed virtue and a purposefulness that is based
on our natures as uniquely rational beings. Politics is the pinnacle of
human activity, as its proper aim is to maximize this purposeful, virtuous
eudaimonia in society.
He had me up to that last bit. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone taking
seriously the idea that politics is the science of promoting virtue and
well-being. Maybe Aristotle had an idealized idea of politics in mind, or
maybe politics were much better-conducted back then at the small scale of
B.C. Athens, or maybe he was just hoping
to exercise a positive influence over the policies of folks like his student
Great by asserting as true what he hoped would come to pass.