Monday, September 28, 2015

Making Peace In A Time Of Neo-Tribal Wars

Making Peace In A Time Of Neo-Tribal Wars


Study History, Study Wars…Now, Make Peace! [I call you to this vow/service]

This will be brief.  I’ll bring in Creveld, Nisbet, Barzun and Berman. I number 17 statements.
One wise teacher writes that to best study American (U. S.) history, study the wars. 1
Another wise one has organized a course on American Social History around the re-integration of the veteran into peacetime society. 2
In one way, both of these are threatened by the statement of the second that ‘we will lose the ability to speak in America’. By that he means ‘true speech,’ in which one’s life is put behind one’s words. [I see this as a vow, such as a marriage vow of ‘ ‘til death us do part’. 3
For instance, the Congress of the United States of America has not formally declared war since World War Two, and yet there are various wars—against drugs, terror, cancer, etc. 4
Is this progress? Nisbet writes of ‘The History of the Idea of Progress’. I think it can be recovered. 5
Is this ‘The Rise and Decline of the State,’ this not declaring wars? Creveld writes that it is lack of justice and lack of sound money for retirees. 6
Is this decadence? Barzun’s ‘From Dawn to Decadence,’ in the epilog, if I remember correctly, sees regional ethno-linguistic organizations bridged by corporations. Later, again if I remember correctly, he sees the re-learning of reading from monuments (?). 7
Berman, who we will mention again below, fears, in ‘Law and Revolution,’ that administrative law will be the end of that of which he writes. 8
Remember, we are aiming at making peace. Peace is the explicit reconciliation of opposites. Does it require a vow, in a way that peace treaties ended declared wars? 9
Let us move to Bledsoe’s ‘Metropolitan Manifesto’. This wonderful book proposes a way for ambassadors of peace (Christians) to attain the position of advisor to the decision-makers, mayors of cities, and other powerful persons.  It proposes other things also, and gives examples. 10
We take a detour from the writing above about ‘the state,’ which Creveld defines as the organization without the person (king, etc.?). Why? We do this because Bledsoe indicates that cities may be the economic movers of the future. Many in city governments are disenchanted with being controlled by polities of larger areas. 11
Now, toward peace we go, Lord willing. Can we study the establishment of peace in a previous era, and adapt that to our time? I say, ‘Yes!,’ and I will proceed. 12
We return to the second teacher mentioned above. He is the one of ‘the re-integration of the veteran,’ and of ‘losing the ability to speak’. 13 He tells the story of the establishment of peace after the Fall of Rome. Rome had kept the warring tribes from warring. After Rome fell, forests, for example, kept tribes apart.  But then came hermits into these impenetrable forests.  After hermits came monasteries, and monks who cleared the forests and drained the swamps.  After this was done, peasant farmers could move in. The monasteries provided wisdom such as when to plant, and became rich on rents, so that when the now-penetrable forests allowed tribes to war, the monasteries could say ‘No fighting during Lent!’. They got the imperative to say, ‘No fighting from Saturday evening to Monday morning!’ [I may have some details wrong]. The second teacher, first of the two chronologically, then relates how, after the land was organized, skills were organized around equipping the knight, guardian of the greater traffic allowed by the invention of the horse collar.  Then markets were organized, and I would say, missionary efforts.  I attempt at this time to respond to this narrative, though I will be changed. I pray to be able to help organized peace. Land. Skills. Markets. Missionaries. Peace. 13
To do this organizing, I return to the themes of cities and true speech.  Again, if I recall correctly, Berman mentions the Truce of God.  This was an oath-taking peace, and it was an advance from the command of the monasteries for there to be no fighting during certain periods of time. 14
This Truce of God, and the mutual oath-taking, again, if I recall correctly, became the basis for the formation of cities in the 12th century (?). Cities were formed by oaths. 15
Why can we not have a type of oath--if not explicit yet-- at least in the background for the use of the advisor about which Bledsoe writes in ‘Metropolitan Manifesto’? This could follow well the narrative of the establishment of peace between warring tribes that we saw during the almost a century from the time Rome fell. Remember, early on, there were natural boundaries to keep warring tribes apart, and at the end, it was true speech, oaths. 16

Of what would that oath consist, that vow? I propose that it would resonate with the service of the church. As a third great teacher, to remain unnamed for the present also, writes: We are Called, we are Cleansed in authoritative forgiveness after confession, we are Consecrated (by readings and preaching), we are Communed (eating and drinking), and we are Commissioned (sent out to tell the good news). The whole here has been a Call that showed how the Cleansing of peace was attained at one time, that pointed to readings and applications of them, that pointed to something Communing that we should ‘read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest,’ and that now you have been Called to this vow/service (‘liturgy’ is from a word for ‘service’ in Greek). There are many 5-point examples of which I have written, but since this follows the second teacher above, one might do it in the form of Imperative-Subjective-Narrative-Objective-Planetary Service.  This would be godparenting the next era.  In that vein, one might see the ceremony for godparents for eldsters, it’s in a blogspot. You can figure it out! What oath should these advisors have in mind that, at some appropriate time, could explicitly reconcile opposites, making peace? Tell us! 17


  1. Get are the peacemakers.

  2. Add: Death wish is the daughter of guilt.

  3. Oops! In a way, we are already 'all' living in one big city, planet-wide, since we are much connected electronically. Geographical cities would them be 'nodes,' and interest groups/tribes could be...what?