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When the Peace of Westphalia was signed, every state had an official religion. The King provided security and the religion provided the cultural value system. Then, following the American and French Revolutions, to be an American or French national, regardless of race, religion, or origin, required allegiance to a secular state agreeing to speak the national language and live peacefully with others on the territory. In 19th century Europe, there had been a large-scale industrial revolution created with capital investment that produced massive amounts of goods.

Heavy industry produced steel for railroads, ships, and other products that dramatically transformed traditional societies rooted in agriculture, family, and local communities.

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This social transformation affected businesses, jobs, and lifestyles as much as the internet and smartphones have transformed society and the economy today. Many people believed that industrial production could lead to a higher standard of living for all and end problems of poverty and war. However, industrial monopolies led to price gouging, surplus labor competing for a limited number of jobs led to unlivable wages, and taxes on profits went to political elites.

There was great anxiety and resentment among those who were displaced or underpaid by this new industrial economy. In the second half of the nineteenth century, many socialist ideas developed seeking ways to distribute the fruits of this new economy for the good of all. The larger question behind this is whether democracy is the most desirable form of government for the Middle East, or for anywhere else in the world. In the March issue, Professor Gafurov argued that democracy is a stage in social development that is higher than rule by dictatorship, the most common form of government in the Middle East.

In the mathematical model of social and political development that he described, societies require large segments of the population that are morally constructive M and economically self-sufficient E , and that democracies require a large number of middle-class owners and a vibrant civil society. Democracies require people who largely do not rely on government for anything except freedom and security.

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The Middle East countries whose economies are based on the sale of oil, whose oil proceeds are distributed through the state, do not have large numbers of citizens who are economically independent from the state—an E deficit. The religion of Islam, to the extent it promotes ritual and obedience, rather than creative inquiry, would mean an M deficit. These factors argue against the possibility of achieving democracy in the Middle East any time soon.

Many people in the West would like to see democracy bloom in the Middle East, and the Arab Spring movements there that the West supported reveal that many individuals aspire to democracy, or at least the moral and economic independence they see in the West. However, if the Arab Spring taught the world one lesson, it was that giving a democratic vote to people unprepared for democracy is likely to make conditions worse than the dictatorship they experienced before a democratic revolution.

Democratic evolution, as opposed to revolution, might be a more possible path to democracy, as evidenced by the developments in Tunisia that preceded the revolutionary Arab Spring fervor that resulted in disaster. This issue of IJWP contains two articles that examine this question. The application of systems theory to social development has not been popular in political science for decades.

Strategic thinking and conflict resolution have dominated, perhaps because they are employed to achieve immediate goals. Religion involves belief, and belief has been the cause of so many wars. People have gone to war and killed people, believing that they were doing something right and noble. Also at the first sign of trouble, belief crumbles. I want to support people in their search for the truth. The truth and knowing is solid like a rock. I want people to experience the truth about life.

Yes religion can provide a sense of comfort, something like holding on to a cushion or blanket from your childhood that brought you comfort. The search for truth can be filled with uncertainty as you detach from those beliefs that brought you comfort.

The Secret to World Peace

All I can say, as somebody who has embarked upon a long search for truth and meaning, I wont sugar coat it and say it is easy, but I can say it is one of the best things I have ever done in my life. The truth is not cold or depressing, it is something that brings with it, the most valuable of all things, a sense of peace. If people are happy in life, then by all means continue, I do not try and convince people to change, but to those who are lost or disillusioned or troubled, I encourage them to search for the truth.

This involves dropping every thing you have been taught and starting from a clean slate without any prejudice or bias. I also tell people not to believe anything I say or anybody else says, to listen and explore for themselves. To listen and see what resonates with them as the truth, and then to actually experience this truth for themselves.

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Minor graphic customisation. This is something I have not yet done but over the next couple of weeks I plan to tweak some of the graphics and colours from the standard theme. First let me preface this by saying I am a big fan of the work being done by Steve Killelea, a fellow Australian, who is the person behind the Global Peace Index, seriously the work he has financed should have been funded by governments, but I am glad that somebody has seen the merit of this in depth study. But I have briefly skimmed through it.

Ever since President Trump has been elected, I have often woken to read some disturbing arrogant tweet by the president of the worlds largest military superpower. The report mentions that 93 countries have become more peaceful and 68 countries have become less peaceful. But seriously you could have countries become more peaceful, and only 3 countries become less peaceful, but if those three less peaceful countries were nuclear superpowers like the USA, China and Russia, then in my opinion the world is a vastly more dangerous place.

For me the real threat is nuclear, the magnitude of destruction is just so much greater, not just in the actual destruction, but even more so from the nuclear fallout which winds would inevitably spread across many other countries. So in order for the index to be more accurate, I think each country needs to be weighted based on their nuclear capability for destruction.

The Secret to World Peace - The Atlantic

It also fails to explain that yes it may lead to economic prosperity for a country as a whole to be more peaceful, there is absolutely no doubt in that, but it does not address the issue that war is infinitely more profitable for a very small sector of the population who are yielding incredible profits and wealth from the defence industry. And these corporations do fund and have strong political influence over politicians. Politicians, most of them seem motivated in their own self interest and glorification, not all, but most.

I would definitely consider Bernie Sanders as an exception to that statement and I am sure there are other good men in politics, but I would say the majority are just playing some game to get in power and serve their own self interests. Change will come from the people, not from governments. If one is serious about peace, I think rather than producing some sterile report that appeals to governments and the elite intellectuals, I think the gloves need to be taken off and the problem needs to be exposed for what it is. Countries are continuing to fight just through sheer ignorance and delusion.

People live their lives thinking they will live forever. If they were not completely brainwashed since birth, they would be able to see the complete insanity of war and killing each other. Religion for the most part is rubbish. Like Voltaire said, if you can convince somebody to believe an absurdity, you can convince them to commit an atrocity. Three of the five Scandinavian countries are amongst the largest weapons exporters when measured as a percentage of GDP. This figure is equivalent to The economic impact of violence increased by 2 per cent during due to increases in the cost of conflict and internal security expenditures, with the largest increases being in security spending occurring in China, Russia and South Africa.

This year??? Killelea, commented :??? The long-term economic benefits that flow from peace are of particular interest in this year??? Countries with the highest levels of peace averaged an additional two percentage points on their GDP growth rates over the last sixy years compared to the least peaceful countries. If we review the economic benefits of peace over the past decade, countries that improved in peace had GDP growth rates almost seven times higher than countries that decreased in peace.

These are truly remarkable figures and underscore the economic benefits of peace.??? The US score continued to decline, driven by increased political instability, despite reductions in the impact from terrorism and militarisation. Six of the nine regions of the world deteriorated in peacefulness with the four most peaceful regions, Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and South America, all deteriorating too.

Alongside maps and global indices, we present fresh perspectives on current affairs reflecting our editorial philosophy. Close Menu. The world is less peaceful today than at any time in the last decade. Measuring peace in a complex world: The Global Peace Index Over the last decade, the GDP growth of countries that improved in peace was seven times higher than that of countries that deteriorated in peace.

Military expenditure as a portion of GDP has been falling in more countries than increasing The number of battle deaths each year has trended upward over the last decade, increasing by per cent over that time. Both Europe and North America became less peaceful over the last year, along with another four regions. For the first time in modern history, refugees made up almost 1 per cent of the global population in — greater than the population of the UK or nearly half the population of Russia. Qatar experienced the single largest deterioration in peacefulness, as the political and economic boycott placed on it by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain led to deteriorations in relations with neighbouring countries, and political instability.