1: Perspective And Summary
Democratic Peace page
Let freedom ring.
----Samuel Francis Smith, America
From the beginning of these volumes two basic questions have focused my efforts. Are violence and war inevitable? If not, what can be done about them? I can now give my answers.
What each of us wants and can and will pursue will change in time. Corresponding social adjustments must thereby be made with others. And unavoidably, some necessary adjustments will be dammed up by conflicts over vital interests and antagonistic views of truth, morality, and justice. Violence is then the inevitable recourse, the ultimate means, of conflict resolution and social adaptation.
This does not mean that a particular type of violence is certain. Nor is widely destructive, collective violence necessary. And especially, war between or within states is not inevitable. Rather, the violence that is used and its intensity is a matter of society's structure and culture.
Particularly, minimizing the intensity of violence and eliminating war requires promoting and protecting a free society--an exchange society--at the national and international levels. For a lasting and just peace, restrict and limit government.
In total, some violence is inevitable; extreme violence and war are not. To eliminate war, to restrain violence, to nurture universal peace and justice, is to foster freedom.
* Scanned from Chapter 13 in R.J. Rummel, The Just Peace, 1981. For full reference to the book and the list of its contents in hypertext, click book. Typographical errors have been corrected, clarifications added, and style updated.