11.29.2016 Doc of the Day

tibet“Nonviolence Speaks to Power without discussing human rights. They belong inseparably
together. We do not want a peace that suppresses! We welcome
the Five-Point Peace Plan suggested by the Dalai Lama
including the idea of Tibet becoming a zone of peace and
nonviolence between India and China.
India has often expressed anguish over the increasing
violations of human rights and fundamental freedom all over the
world and has called for urgent measures to stem this trend.
Unfortunately, I am told, India has rebuffed an Australian
attempt to establish a UN agency for monitoring human rights
violations in Asia and the Pacific. I hope that human rights is
also a domestic issue in India when it comes to the human rights
of the Sikhs. Amnesty International has written an alarming
report on this subject, of which the Indian government should
take note.rect3336 space
As Martin Luther King, Jr., a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi,
stated, we are all caught in a network of mutuality. We are tied
in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly,
affects us all indirectly. I would like to quote Mahatma Gandhi–
someone who has deeply influenced the philosophy and political
work of the German Green Party—someone whose life and
writing has deeply moved me. “I do not believe in the doctrine
of the greatest good for the greatest number. The only real,
dignified, human doctrine is the greatest good for all.” Gandhi
considered his most important work not so much the political
struggle he was involved in, but his efforts nonviolently to truly
transform Indian society itself. Gandhi insisted that India could
become healthy only through a revitalization of its villages,
where over four-fifths of its people lived, a figure that still
applies today. He envisioned a society of strong villages, each
one politically autonomous and economically self-reliant. I
strongly believe that we must work toward transforming all of
our societies if we want to reach a nonviolent world order.

rect3336 space
Mahatma Gandhi often referred to the charkha (spinning
wheel)–which he suggested should be used for the national flag-
-with its connotation of humility, the development of spiritual
resources, and self- sufficiency. Exactly these three elements are
necessary for the nonviolent transformation of our militarized,
patriarchal, and often aggressive and violent societies and
societal orders.rect3336 space
But what must we do in order to sustain a nuclear-weapon-
free (let me also add nuclear-free) and nonviolent world order?
What can we in Western and Eastern Europe do? What can India
do as a leading voice in the community of nonaligned nations?
Robert Muller, the chancellor of the UN University for
Peace in Costa Rica, has stated it very well:rect3336 space
Education for all remains a first priority on this planet.
We must manage our globe, so as to permit the endless
stream of humans admitted to the miracle of life to
fulfill their lives physically, mentally, morally and
spiritually as has never before been possible in our
entire evolution.rect3336 space
The most important among the elements of learning are
values and establishing human dignity and human
survival as fundamental values.rect3336 space
There is one simple sentence that I want to add here which, as
Robert Muller advises in quoting Norman Cousins, should be
displayed in every classroom on this planet. He quotes, “The
tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside us while
we live.”rect3336 space
It was James W. Douglass who stated that the greatest
power which nuclear weapons have is their power to kill us
spiritually. “Nuclear weapons have the power of spiritual death
so long as we despair at overcoming their physical and political
power.” Albert Einstein was correct, when he wrote that “the
problem is not the atom-bomb, but the heart of the people.”rect3336 space
Nuclear weapons, if I take one category of weapons, are
killing people long before they are exploded. They are killing us
through radiation poisoning and through the entire weapons
production cycle from the mining of uranium in Australia to the
testing of the weapons in the Pacific, in Nevada, or in the Soviet
Union. Another way the weapons are killing people right now,
right this very minute, is through misplaced resources. While
hundreds of billions of dollars are still going towards preparation
for war, people are starving by the millions. We know that
fifteen to seventeen million children under five years of age from
the poorest countries die every single year. That is comparable
to the Second World War “Holocaust” happening over and over
again every four and one-half months. As I state this a child is
dying every two seconds. As Robert Aldridge stated in his book
First Strike: “Something has to be dead within us to allow the
gross injustices on this planet to continue.”rect3336 space
The Green Party in the Federal Republic of Germany, the
many ecological, antinuclear, and peace and pacifist groups all
over the globe, also here in India (for example, the inspiring
Chipko Movement or the Movement against the National Testing
Range in Orissa), have begun to think globally and act locally.
This gives me much hope for our future work.rect3336 space
Democratically and without violence we must change and
transform society from its very foundation and throughout its
entire structure and pattern of motivation. That means first of all
changing ourselves, our behavior, and our consumer habits
within Western economic growth societies.rect3336 space
We can begin by reducing our consumption of goods in the
West to such an extent that we do not provide a market for big
business. We can reduce our consumption of goods to where we
will use only our share of the world’s resources and not take what
belongs to someone else. This is just one small aspect of
nonviolence in everyday life and the ultimate personal
noncooperation with corrupt practices. I believe that those who
have the faith to take these steps will find new dimensions to
living. The actual danger as well as the potential solutions are
not “out there.” Both lie within us and taking responsibility for
our personal behavior is just about the only thing in this world
over which we have one hundred percent control.-Gandhi_at_Darwen_with_women
In one particular area of our political work we have been
greatly inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. That is in our belief that a
lifestyle and methods of production which rely on an endless
supply of raw materials and use those raw materials lavishly,
also furnish the motive for the violent appropriation of raw
materials from other countries. In contrast, a responsible use of
raw materials, as part of an ecologically-oriented lifestyle and
economy, reduces the risk that policies of violence will be
pursued in our name. The pursuit of ecologically responsible
policies within a society provides preconditions for a reduction
of tensions and increases our ability to achieve peace in the
world.rect3336 space
We have an uphill struggle facing the continuing
militarization on earth, in space, in the oceans, and in the skies.
But we are also facing an uphill struggle in the ecological sphere.
As Aldo Leopold has stated, “We abuse land because we regard
it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a
community to which to belong, we may begin to use it with love
and respect.” It is saddening not only to hear about and witness
ecological catastrophes in the North Sea and the Black Forest,
and to think about the implications of the Chernobyl nuclear
reactor disaster, but also to read about the ecological crisis facing
India and the Himalayan region. Only one-third of the soil here
in India is in good condition. The loss of top soil is dramatic.
The earth, soil, water, plants, and animals also need a radical
lobby if we are to make the transition to a truly nonviolent
society.rect3336 space
The spiritual dimensions of nonviolence as lived by Gandhi
are to me most important. Gandhi firmly believed that
nonviolence is more natural to men and women than violence.
His doctrines were built upon his confidence in humankind’s
natural disposition to love. He stated:rect3336 space
Democracy can only be saved through non-violence,
because democracy, so long as it is sustained by
violence, cannot provide for or protect the weak. My
notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should
have the same opportunity as the strongest. This can
never happen except through non-violence. . . . Non-
violence cannot be preached. I t has to be practiced.rect3336 space
This leads me to the most important question posed to us in
the letter of invitation from the Indian Foreign Minister. We
were asked to address the question of “non-violence as a means
for building a new structure of international relations.” The
thought of Mahatma Gandhi that relates so directly to our
nuclear age and which provides an answer is the following: “In
this age of the atom-bomb unadulterated non-violence is the only
force that can confound all the tricks of violence put together.”
Gandhi never envisaged a tactical nonviolence confined to
one area of life or to an isolated movement. His nonviolence is a
creed which embraces all of life in a consistent and logical
network of obligations. For example, one cannot be nonviolent
in interpersonal relations and violent with regard to conscription
and war. Furthermore, the means and the ends must be
consistent. One cannot achieve a just end with unjust means; or,
one cannot achieve peace through violent means. The road to
peace is peace!

Anti-war and protest posters: the Political Poster Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley: Peace now (circa 1970) Penn State Special Collection
Anti-war and protest posters: the Political Poster Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley: Peace now (circa 1970)
Penn State Special Collection

In conclusion, let me try to state what this means for the
Green Party when it comes to security and disarmament policies.
One of the basic contentions in Europe at present within the
peace movement is that the goal of arms control–the
development of a so-called “stable deterrence”– cannot be
achieved! If we begin to accept a “deterrence” perspective, we
simply allow the military complexes to modernize their weapons
and redefine nuclear warfare. So-called modernization, the
continual search for new weapons that are both “usable” and
“stabilizing,” prevents stability from ever being achieved! We
see this clearly now after the successful Intermediate Nuclear
Force Agreement. Already NATO plans to fill the gap left
behind, to modernize shorter-range nuclear weapons; that is to
say, to compensate for what has been removed!europe nato wwii WWII
A provision in the INF-Treaty allows nuclear warheads and
missile guidance mechanisms to be reused. Thus the Pershing II
nuclear warhead will come back to Europe on the new,
modernized version of the Lance missile. Soon NATO will
deploy sea-launched cruise missiles on submarines and there are
plans for new air-launched cruise missiles. As U.S. General John
R. Galvin (Supreme Allied Commander in Europe) described it,
there will be “a new nuclear arsenal of short-range weapons.”
If we accept deterrence thinking, there will never be a time
when both sides will say, “Things are stable–our forces are
equal–let’s stop!” The military-industrial complexes and the
secret services continue to put pressure on governments as long
as the deterrence philosophy functions and is accepted by our
leadership and the various arms control negotiators. The present
arms control community accepts the view that a stable nuclear
balance and effective deterrence is an achievable goal. But I feel
that this is not so! This is still part of the “old thinking,” as
Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev would say! We must get
rid of the entire notion of “thinking the other side to death” in our
mind, in our heads! We must stop believing in deterrence, stop
believing in the lie that more refined and accurate weapons of all
types can give us more security.rect3336 space
We spend more and more on military hardware every day–
militarizing the oceans, the skies, the space above and around us.
Yet, we are less secure than ever in history! Defense spending
generates fewer jobs than other areas of spending. “It produces,”
Jesse Jackson reminds us, “nothing of utility to our society–no
food, no clothes, no housing, no medical supplies or equipment!
In short, nothing of social value!” As the Brandt North-South
Report pointed out, the cost of one new jet fighter- bomber could
pay for inoculating three million children against the major
childhood diseases.rect3336 space
We the Greens have made unilateral disarmament the
cornerstone of our political approach to peace. This is perceived
not merely as a series of unilateral steps to induce arms control
and disarmament negotiations, but as a new principle of foreign
policy and of peace movement strategy. By breaking with
multilateralism, which implies the logic of balance of power and
the built-in limits of diplomatic exchange, governments can start
to pursue truly internationalistic policies which refrain from
potentially threatening definitions of national interest. It is a
way to enter into a deescalation process that can mobilize deeply
rooted feelings of “making the first step,” reduce threat images,
and open the field for popular debate about new policies.
If I may state the following here as a guest, I truly hope that
India, as a member of the “Five Continent Initiative” and as a
“crusader against nuclear proliferation,” will also pursue policies
of taking the first step out of the vicious cycle of nuclear
deterrence-thinking rather than following hardliners (both in
India and Pakistan) who argue for a nuclear-weapons option.
Pakistan is reported to have acquired equipment for designing
and efficiently detonating a nuclear device, and they also have
tested the nonnuclear triggering component of a bomb assembly.
We realize that U.S. policies toward Pakistan and the clandestine
illegal technical assistance from industry within the Federal
Republic of Germany have made that development possible in
Pakistan. I sincerely hope that the “pronuclear bomb lobbies” in
both India and Pakistan do not grow any stronger!rect3336 space
The idea and concept of a South Asian Nuclear-Free Zone,
for example, is something that gives all of us hope. Discussions
about it have gone on in the UN since 1978. I realize that India
often has opposed such resolutions, on the ground that they
could detract from the perspective for general and complete
disarmament. But are such Regional Nuclear-Free Zones not a
positive psychological first step? It is one that we want to take
as well in Europe with our neutral Northern neighbours showing
us the way. The Green Party strives for a nonaligned, nuclear-
free, demilitarized Europe, a Europe of the Regions, a Europe
that does not stop at WEU, EEC, and NATO borders, even
though then we will not have reached the perspective of
complete disarmament!rect3336 space
I have heard some Indian policy-makers state: “We do not
really want to make nuclear weapons, but might have to do so in
order to deter Pakistan, a power that is not as ‘responsible’ as we
are!” And there are those who see a possible “European” or even
an “Indian” bomb as a guarantee against superpower blackmail
and as a means of reducing national dependence on
superpowers! We also hear these same arguments in Western
Europe in discussion of a possible future “European nuclear
deterrent” that should, according to some conservative
politicians, reduce military dependence on the U.S.A. Those
who believe so here in India cite particularly the relationship
between the United States and Pakistan that has developed since
the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and see the new U.S.-
Pakistan equation and the 3.1 billion dollar aid package as
signifying the active presence of a nuclear superpower in South
Asia. But I do not believe that an Indian atomic bomb could
ever be the answer to this problem.rect3336 space
To argue that Indian military supremacy is needed on the
subcontinent for stability is no answer in these times of new
thinking. We should never confuse nuclear weapons with some
notion of defence. One cannot defend anything with nuclear
weapons!rect3336 space
Browsing through documents before I came here, I realized
that India’s principle nuclear scientist, H. J. Brabha, suggested
keeping the nuclear option for India open after the first Chinese
nuclear test. It was Nehru who said in 1961: “How can we,
without showing the utter insincerity of what we have always
said, go in for doing the very thing, which we have asked other
powers not to do?” I think that is a very good answer!
The French political weekly,
Le Nouvel Observateur
quoted the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, as stating
that India may be “forced to change its stand (against making
nuclear weapons) . . . if a nuclear bomb appears on our frontiers”
(quoted in the
Times of India
, June 8, 1985). In November 1985,
the Prime Minister told reporters: “We have not decided that (to
go nuclear) yet.” Perhaps the news reports were incorrect. I
hope so! I sincerely hope that India will never opt for the nuclear
bomb, but I also sincerely hope that the two nuclear superpowers
and France and Great Britain and China will soon lead the way
out of the atomic spiral of destruction, out of the perverse arms
race and the cycle of producing and exporting weapons. If they
do not, their appeals to others who are on the verge of creating
nuclear weapons through the production, sale, and import of so-
called civilian nuclear power plants are meaningless! Already
some twenty countries could possibly become members of the
Nuclear Club
The Green Party considers civilian and military
applications of nuclear power to be Siamese twins. It will come
as no surprise when I state that we support fully the antinuclear
movement here in India because there is a clear link between the
so-called atoms for peace and atoms for weapons programmes.
Of course we also reject nuclear power on many other grounds
which I am sure are known to all here. Many countries that are
developing nuclear power lack efforts to develop appropriate
technologies for energy utilization and soft energy forms such as
solar, wind, waves, hydro power, and biomass conversion. Such
efforts are also part of nonviolently transforming society.rect3336 space
Let me add that we are also in full solidarity with the
nonviolent resistance movement against the proposed national
missile testing range in the Balasore district of the State of
Orissa. In 1985 it was announced that the Baliapal National Test
Range is needed, where missiles with a range of one thousand to
five thousand kilometers will be tested, and maybe one day
launched. Missiles with such ranges usually carry nuclear
weapons. This missile test area, I am told, will also be used for
launching space vehicles in the future and in due course even
intercontinental ballistic missiles. I sincerely hope that this does
not mean the introduction of sophisticated nuclear weaponry
onto India’s coast. A missile test area is one stage of
development. Is a missile launching center the next inevitable
step?rect3336 space
Photographs and articles have reached us of women and
young children from surrounding villages nonviolently blocking
the road leading to the barricaded site of the proposed national
missile test range at Baliapal. Many local farmers and fishermen
also have joined this opposition.rect3336 space
We ourselves have put questions in the German Parliament
to our government about the involvement of the German
Research Agency for Air and Space Travel (Deutsche
Forschungs und Versuchsanstalt fur Luft und Raumfahrt) in
delivering certain materials and software to the missile industry
here. We do so because we believe that we must see our
interconnectedness to these problems here in India and see our
local responsibility in global peacemaking efforts. We need to
take the first step before asking others to do so!
More and more military hardware such as atomic
submarines, new missiles, and more production and export of
weapons cannot be the answer for Europe and cannot be the
answer for India.rect3336 space
The road to peace is peace!”  Petra Kelly, “For a Nuclear-Weapon Free and Non-Violent World;” in Nonviolence Speaks to Power