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<nettime> mailradek no. 13 (V.S. on the new pacifism)
Oleg Kireev on Sat, 3 Apr 1999 23:14:55 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> mailradek no. 13 (V.S. on the new pacifism)


The "mailradek" project is a non-regular posting of subjective commentaries 
on political themes. The information about the project is available on the 
Website (in Russian):
         	http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Coffeehouse/1457.
Everybody who doesn't receive it can send a "subscribe english mailradek" or 
"subscribe russian mailradek" (a more often and full version) e-mail to 
kireev {AT} glasnet.ru, and I'll include him into the mailing list.
	Address: Russia 117333 Moscow, Vavilova 48-237, tel.: (095) 137 71 31, 
e-mail: kireev {AT} glasnet.ru

						Text no. 75
    			Written: 25.03.1999
A few remarks on what happened in the evening on March, 24 and
proceeded through that night - remarks not of a journalist or a political
scientist or an observer, but of those events' contemporary, who doesn't
want to be fooled by the media. There is a contradiction in this conflict as
in all military conflicts. On the one side, there are those who understand
there can't be any military solution to any problems, that an army isn't a
police of the XIX century with its punishing expeditions and colonial wars,
that if something can be solved by military means then it can be solved by
the non-military, they just have to be competent - such is a position of the
true pacifists. 

This is one position, and there is another one which is oppositional to 
it now: the one of those who consider the military means possible to reach 
some goals, maybe even the high-minded anti-rasist goals: against
the ethnic genocide which is for sure used in Kosovo by both participating
sides. The supporters of the military solution turn out to be those who
find themselves in a difficult situation in the West. These are the
uncomfortably feeling British leader, the uncomfortably feeling
non-competent American leader and for sure the army officials for whom 
a war is a profession, who need to test new weapons and to search for new
allocations for military orders. But the Belgrade bureaucracy joins
this group too for it sees its positions are cracking all around, it sees
the Belgrade leader to be hated all across the country and thus he has
provoked this horrouble provocation. No one has benefited so much but him 
from this conflict.

It turns out that many of Moscow bureaucrats are benefiting from this
conflict as well for it resolves some of their mundane problems by
reinforcing a traditional anti-West hysteria, which has been around during
the last 100-150 years. They want to get more dividents from crimes and
mistakes of today's West, to some extent by forcing it to such crimes as
this one! And surely, those Moscow pro-Western politicians who justify what
is happening just because the West is "always right". No, they are wrong
indeed, - those politicians who are for this military solution!

The West's behaviour is incompetent, not serious and ahistorical. And the
task of intellectuals in Russia is to support the positions which
decisively withstand the Western solutions of March, 24. Such positions
surely exist, we can hear them and we can define them as a radical
pacifism. In spite of my all deep respect for the American
professor-the-peacemaker who did so much to stop the Bosnian conflict
[Holbrook], we can say: now Mr. Professor turned out to be incompetent, all
what has happened is his personal failure. Yes, the Belgrade leader is
stubborn, stupid and cynical but this was his task - to beat the dictator
somehow! The professor couldn't do that.

Isn't it a failure of the whole Western intellectual culture of the 90s?
West just lacks an intellect to solve the question: it's all the Western
intellectual civilization of the 90s' virus, it necessarily needs a new
wave. The contemporary political youth, like British or American leaders,
can't avoid the barbarian methods such as bombing. They don't know how to avoid!

But do they want to know? That's a question. And what the voters
want, who gave a majority of voices to London and Washington leaders? To
the Berlin-Bonn leader who has agreed with them? Isn't it a tragedy of the
whole contemporary reality, all the mankind which considers wars to be possible?
And isn't it a crisis of the TV Weltanshauung? For the most voters don't see
the war from their windows but from TV. The most voters watch the
horror-movies on TV first, and then the news where the same is showed. And
if a contemporary Western voter would see the difference between the
horror-movies and the news, if it would reject the TV Weltanshauung, if it
would realize it was TV that adviced him to elect such leaders, things
like these would not happen. But TV's guilt will never be justified. It 
influenced people to be tolerant towards military-police
actions, towards the use of weapons. TV doesn't tell the people the enemies
are to be beaten by the intellectual force only, there's only one force - a
force of the intellect. And there's only one force which is ever not 
right - a military force. Military force is always guilty, it always hits the 
innocent victims, it always assists the adventurers, whatever they will declare 
as slogans, whatever their behaviour before cameras is.

And there's only question that has become clear to the society now: there's
a need to create new waves of contemporary international global pacifism
- an intellectual and scientific pacifism instead of emotional pacifism,
for the emotions can't be a ground for the true pacifism. Pacifism is to
create its contemporary Weltanschauung, a grounded and systematic one, for 
to withstand the contemporary theories that justify bombings
wherever they take place. Such pacifism'99 must face every single
voter, because there is also their guilt in what has happened on March, 24.
They were those who forgot the thesis of John Donne and Ernest Hemingway after 
overwatching TV: "For whom the bell tolls? - It tolls for thee! For
thee!". If there're bombings somewhere in Europe it means that a bomb can fall 
near your own house, a terrorist bomb, for example, near the house of the 
bomber-leaders' voter. Pacifism must take a main task of practical political 
science, a creation of a universal theory of the preventive anti-agression 
struggle and then a creation of a universal practice.

Theoretical and practical pacifism'99 must be based on a serious scientific
tradition. For example, I recollect the great English thinker of the XX
century Jacob Bronowski, who made a new science,  science of the military
destructions and showed that military destructions are of no advantage to
anyone - opposite to the theoreticians who consider the military destructions
are of use for military economy and the firms which would rebuild the
destroyed regions. It's not so! And the books of the great pacifist 
Jacob Bronowski showed it. 

Pacifism'99 is to write its own manifesto and it has to appeal directly to
the mass-media. So well advertised electronic nets shouldn't repeat the
mistakes or the crimes of TV which is guilty of the creation of an
incompetent and not serious voter. TV thinks there can be any reasons for 
anyone to bomb. The new, the newest pacifism of the knowledge and aim must 
replace the emotional pacifism which didn't manage to adopt the late XXth 
century realities. 

V.S.
Translation: Irina Aristarkhova

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