Peace is built by avoiding concentrating strategic power and resources in the hands of a few. But also by promoting the art of relationships, the model of civil economy
Irina and Albina, two friends, one Russian and one Ukrainian, were the most beautiful sign and highest gesture of civilization in the days of Easter at a time when the conquest of Ukraine pushed Europe back into a war of conflict by exposing the abyss of man. It was not a political or diplomatic gesture but a cry for peace and the fact that many did not understand it makes us understand how war, in addition to bringing grief and destruction, slowly degrades us. War is not only heart failure and values but also rationality. It is a huge paradox that we now take for granted and end up not realizing it. If a “war referendum” were held, perhaps not even 1% of citizens would vote for it (even knowing the personal risks and costs that would entail). Yet insanity (for a man, from a few men, from a very small elite?) keeps two peoples in check and an entire planet afloat.
Structural factors that can reduce the risk of interstate conflicts.
It is for this reason that we must rethink and commit to something we now take for granted, at least on our continent. We are accustomed in economics and social sciences to evaluate our views by considering various risk factors (financial risk, poverty risk, etc.) that present unseen problems and threats at the moment. In the same way, to help us understand that it is useful to characterize a true war risk or conflict risk index. The first decisive factor is the concentration of power in the hands of a few or a few. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a person to decide to carry out behaviors that are destructive to society. The problem is when it has the ability to lead armies or launch nuclear weapons, and in a political system there are no checks and balances capable of “disrupting” it when it loses its balance. So true democracy with a balance of power is the first essential antidote to this risk factor.
The second critical factor is the concentration of strategic resources in the hands of a few. We have realized in recent weeks how powerful the control over the energy resources that underpin Putin’s work and his bargaining power are, and how difficult it is to go from words to deeds when we announce that we want to dispense with his gas. No one can threaten the world by fortifying themselves around a photovoltaic panel or a wind turbine when they can do so by threatening to turn off the gas tap or by acting recklessly around a nuclear power plant. Therefore, transitioning to, and participating in, a world where energy production is widespread (as in the model of production from renewable sources through energy communities) is an essential strategy to reduce this war risk factor even before it is the best way to reduce problems . Health and climate emergencies arising from the management of energy resources.
It is our responsibility to put choices and policies into practice
Able to make us tangible operators and peacebuilders
If we think about it, precisely the sharing of strategic resources (which gave birth to the Czech Republic, the European Coal and Steel Community at the end of the Second World War), we should start a virtuous path is nothing but this fact that made the risks of war in Western Europe to a minimum among the countries that Only a few years ago and for centuries they were fighting each other bloodily. This means that any additional resource sharing (think Eurobonds, the NRP and greater ability to collaborate after the pandemic) takes us away from that risk. And that the extension of the European Union to the countries of Eastern Europe and the path started by Ukraine is another step in the right direction despite all its limitations and difficulties. Returning to the strategic topic of energy, if the coal and steel community from the ashes of World War II is the key to building a path we should be proud of, society can and must be born from the ashes of this war. , the widespread and shared use of renewable sources that would take us a step forward on one of the critical fundamental factors for conflict prevention and peacebuilding. In concrete terms, the renewables community means a reinforced, high-voltage international electricity grid that improves energy exchange between member states by reducing intermittent risks in individual countries.
Finally (the third factor) it is essential to consider that the dangers of war are reduced daily at the micro level by the art of relations which the civil economics model teaches to be essential to social and economic fertility. Through gift-exchange mechanisms that elicit gratitude, reciprocity, quality relationships, trust, and social capital, the foundations of solidarity societies are built that defuse the risks of conflict and war. These virtuous mechanisms allow us to implement the “one with one” principle which is three or greater than two anyway. The opposite principle to the one for one that destroys social and economic value and is always less than two. Unlike cooperation, conflict sucks energy and still destroys value, even when it’s low in intensity and doesn’t destroy cities with bombing. All processes of active participation and citizenship (from responsible consumption and savings, to the management of common common goods, to joint programming and joint planning processes, to the development of energy communities in the regions) are precious and essential from this point of view.
The lesson of this tragedy is that we cannot neglect the dangers of war and must implement choices and policies that make us concrete actors and builders of peace. A military alliance like NATO is a necessary deterrent and defense against the dangers of external war, but it does not build peace in and of itself or reduce the risks of external war or the dangers of internal forces of gravity. It is democratic systems with checks and balances, the expansion and strengthening of unions of states such as the European Union, the sharing of strategic resources, the art of relationships capable of building pathways to participation and active citizenship in areas that reduce the risk of war that build the minimum foundations of peace.