Sunday, April 15, 2007

Most Peaceful Time In History

According to the New Republic we are living in the most peaceful time in history. I have my doubts about that. Sure attitudes about violence and death have changed dramatically over time, yet there were periods in the not too distant past when people were much more optimistic about the possibilities of living in a truly peaceful world. Think about the international peace conferences at The Hague in 1899 and then again 1907.

I guess the real question is what makes for a more peaceful world? The growing abhorrence of violence or a genuine belief that world peace is attainable?


Tim Lacy said...

Dr. History: One of the things that's discouraging about the New Republic's assessment is the state of the United Nations. I'm a firm believer in the idea that peace means good government (not just the absence of violence), and the U.N.'s position in the world has not changed substantially in the past 60 years. Although we do have a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, those rights are continually violated - even by prominent and important world-leading countries. We need a federal international body, not a confederation (which the U.N. is). Until then there will be no enforcement of declarations that could do the world some good.

In sum, I disagree with NR, like you. - TL

Marc said...

I know this may be a little far-fetched, but what about the Hellenistic period? I mean after all, it was a time of peace and prosperity with different cultures spreading new ideas.