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Moving from Reason of Force to Force of Reason

ARTICLE | | BY Federico Mayor


Federico Mayor

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Faced with global threats that are today looming over mankind—some of them possessing an irreversible nature—and looking into the eyes of our descendants and the forthcoming generations, it is inevitably up to “Us, the Peoples” to fulfil our essential duties, now that we are aware of the seriousness of the situation and we know, at last, that we are equal in dignity and able to express ourselves freely. Joining our voices in a big popular clamour we shall firmly promote the following to achieve Human Security For All: 

  • An immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and other ongoing conflicts, with corresponding peace processes being started immediately thereafter,
  • An immediate change in the supremacist plutocratic governance (G6, G7, G8, G20...)—that has led the world as a whole to an extremely risky situation (environmentally, socially and security-wise...)—by a democratic, multilateral governance, with a broadly extended United Nations willing to adopt a Universal Declaration of Democracy, aimed at redirecting the gloomy trends we are facing now and making possible the transition from a culture of imposition, domination and war to a culture of encounter, dialogue, conciliation, alliance and peace,
  • The total elimination of nuclear warheads, because it is unbearable from all points of view that the Sword of Damocles of total extermination should cast a shadow over the destiny of human species,
  • the immediate review of justice institutions, in order to put an end to the ruling of “conservative” or “progressive” judges, whose sentences are dictated by virtue of their own ideology instead of administering impartially law such as what is required by the quality of “fair” justice.
  • eradicate without contemplation the “tax havens”, which are a big obstacle to reducing the social gap that is constantly growing,
  • also on the scale of other local, regional and worldwide institutions, the obstacles that have always for the same reasons of absolute power hindered the democratic function would be removed: the most clear and urgent example is represented by the European Union, which cannot continue to accept that specially relevant decisions are adopted unanimously, which is the antithesis of democracy,
  • Taking also into account that summer fires may be prevented with adequate action during winter (firewalls, space limitations...), and with the availability of devices and technical media of all types that allow swift and adequate action when a fire occurs. Yes: the world citizenship is looking for less bombs and more firemen, less war planes and more media to look after the Earth, less soldiers in the garrisons and more military emergency units... and more health workers...
  • The new concept of security* shall take very much into account the quality of the environment and the adequate conservation of the sea, the earth and the air. The unacceptable recycling of waste, with accumulations and dumps designed to satisfy disproportionate economic ambitions instead of preserving the quality of the earth and its aquifers as well as the seabed—let us never forget that the water of the sea occupies 2/3rds of the earth’s skin—that slowly fills itself with toxic substances, thus reducing the carbon dioxide recapture capacity of phytoplankton,
"“We the peoples” can invent the future. We cannot remain silent any longer. Let us raise our voice so that hope and joy of living are possible again."

Everything mentioned above has been a part of multiple projects whose aim was to move from the reason of force to the force of reason. But it could not be put into practice—I must insist on this—because the “peoples” did not exist: 90% of mankind was born, lived and died in a few square kilometres and a radical discrimination was made based on gender, sexual sensibility, beliefs, ideology, ethnicity... In only a few years, the progressive equality in dignity has opened a new scale of future perspectives and what is important for human beings—now fully equal!—may be freely said. Now it has become possible to participate and, “We, the peoples” can and must raise our voices to face those menaces that could otherwise reach points of no return. Now we can finally leave war (“bellum”) and choose word (“verbum”). Now we can fulfil our unavoidable intergenerational responsibilities.

My mother—I have never forgotten it—always told me: “Never accept what you find unacceptable”.  Well, it is unacceptable that due to power structures, international organizations cannot fulfil the important role they should be playing in order to open a new era in which the culture of peace and non-violence could finally supersede confrontation and force, in which democratic multilateralism would allow the agreements that are not possible in the context of a supremacist plutocracy.

Today, the citizenship who has become aware, equal in dignity and capable of expressing  themselves freely, could allow humanity—“the eyes of the universe”—to start a new period of grandeur making use of the unlimited distinctive creative capacities of the human species. Today, the time has come: “We the peoples” can invent the future. We cannot remain silent any longer. Let us raise our voice so that hope and joy of living are possible again.

* Mayor Zaragoza, Federico (2021): Inventar el futuro, Córdoba, Ánfora Nova.

About the Author(s)

Federico Mayor

Founder and Chairman, Foundation for a Culture of Peace; Former Director General of UNESCO