(The Knights’ Inn of the Tongue of England) at the Museum Square in the Medieval Town of Rhodes
A celebration of peace, unity, joy, reconciliation of individuals and peoples. A protest against war and a worldwide system which sacrifices people and squanders natural resources on weapons, upon which economies are based, while, tragically, the basic necessities such as access to food, housing, education, healthcare, energy are not met.
Giavris Aris, The Organisation of Speech, Gutenberg publ., Athens 1990
“Είρω” –the Greek origin of the word “Ειρήνη” which stands for peace– means “unite”. That is, peace expresses unity, the reconciliation of people and their will for the prevalence of a way of life free of conflicts among nations and free of competition on everyday life level.
Peace is the reconciliation of people; a reconciliation whose character is neither typical nor does it have a clearly defined legal content. It is not about a short- or long-term convention. If this were natural, it would be more than enough to say that people are “united” or “reconciled”, since they are social beings. Peace, however, is not a prerequisite of sociability but its purpose; it is the cohesive force of societies. Therefore, peace is not the natural condition of man (in nature, conflict between species is the rule) but his moral victory as a social being, ensured by his pursuit of a better quality of life.
Cohesion is not easy to ensure by law and fear of punishment only. It presupposes the citizens’ consent, as well as their realization of the necessity of friendship, trust, solidarity, amity. Those are the cohesive forces which permit man to feel safe and certain of society.
War is not merely armed conflict. A clash is the result of a series of causes which methodically lead peoples to opt for weapons and trenches as a field of resolving their differences. It is an inevitable result, a “mass stupidity” as societies are compelled to act blindly and get disoriented in order to reap questionable benefits. Especially in our times, as strategic weapons are more flexible, a world war (despite not being to anyone’s advantage) is a constant threat. Deterrence tactics have only succeeded in creating a balance of fear. Consequently, the problem is not to avert the final conflagration but to shape the conditions that will foster the prevalence of peace.