My idea for a World Peace Foundation grew out of my previous idea for Dancer’s For Peace and from listening to a radio debate about the United Nations. On the radio some people supported the UN, some thought it a waste of time. Others said well it’s the best we’ve got, which is true, but it needn’t be.
The UN is a club of governments, which means political self interest, even if there are some very good people there. Furthermore, it’s a club without equality, as the select governments in the ‘Security Council’ will never relinquish their advantageous position. What about CND then? Surely real power rests with the people? In the end I believe it does. However, in recent years, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament seems to have ground to a halt. One still sees the famous logo sometimes, most frequently in graffiti, but that’s about all. However, nuclear arms proliferate in many countries around the globe. More than this, conventional weapons now have terrible power too.
What is needed is not just an end to nuclear weapons, but an end to war. When I was young it was still politically correct to hold beauty contests such as Miss UK and Miss World. It became part of the formula for the compére to interview the girls at the end and ask them what they wanted. World peace was a common answer and the grown ups chuckled to see such naiveté. Yet what more honourable goal is there? Given world peace, how much easier will it be to feed everyone, educate everyone and find ways to protect the planet.
When Tony Blair announced his intention to take the British nation to war in Iraq there was a huge demonstration against the proposed action, probably by over a million people, certainly the biggest demonstration London had ever seen. It was not enough. What would happen though if eighty or ninety percent of a nation’s population openly expressed anti war feelings. What leader, be they democratically elected, religious or even a dictator could lead their country to war with those numbers ranged against. What if recruitment to the armed services simply dried up. Everywhere.
I can understand a young man’s thirst for adventure and the armed forces offer that, I applied myself as a teenager and fortunately failed to get in. Since then I’ve discovered lots of ways to have adventure and excitement, without being a marine, without shooting anyone. I’ve also discovered what a wonderful world we share and how good the majority of people are, the variety of interests and activities we indulge in. Peaceful activities. Most of the World’s businesses are also involved in peaceful pursuits. The arms manufacturers may be rich and powerful but compared with all the world’s other manufacturers and all the world’s peace loving people they’re a small minority, we could and should compel them to turn swords into ploughshares.
Tomorrows’ politicians haven’t been born yet. How they are raised is crucial to the world’s future. I know that world peace is not going to happen in my generation, or my daughter’s, but might it be possible in her children’s, children’s generation. Maybe we can start the snowball rolling down the hill, getting bigger and faster until it’s unstoppable. To create a world where children are taught in school about their ancestors, who started by throwing spears at one another, then stuck swords in each other and fired bows and arrows, they developed gunpowder, musket balls, cannon balls, artillery, rockets, fighter planes, nuclear bombs and inter continental delivery systems, they even took war into space and came so close to destroying the world that supports us all. How those children will laugh at their forebears’ stupidity.
To make this vision a reality I want to employ the marketing techniques that have made the Coca Cola and McDonalds logos and others like them, recognisable around the globe. I want to harness the power of marketing and ally it to people’s love of peaceful pursuits, to make the open proclamation of pacifism the norm rather than the exception in every country, to create the culture shift that will educate and inform future generations, prevent leaders from undertaking ego or greed driven acts of violence and make weapons a thing for the history books.
Let us accept the borders we were born with, but open the world up to freedom to travel, equal opportunities and free speech. Let people pursue their own religions or none as they see fit. There is no reason to kill.
The World Peace Foundation will have its own logo which will be seen on t-shirts, ties, lapel badges and all manner of clothing, casual and formal, it can be worn discreetly on the office suit, or tie, or proclaimed loudly on the most extrovert outfit. Yet The World Peace Foundation is an umbrella organisation. Its website will link to a thousand others, starting with Dancers For Peace and including, Motorcyclists For Peace, Skiers For Peace, Divers For Peace, Parachutists For Peace, Chess Players For Peace, Ten Pin Bowlers For Peace, Anglers For Peace, Athletes For Peace, Musicians For Peace, Book Clubs For Peace, Drama Clubs For Peace and so it goes on and on.
And if future demonstrations are called for, can you imagine the impact of a thousand banners, from a thousand ‘For Peace’ organisations representing a thousand peaceful pursuits, everyone’s against it will be the unmistakable message, everyone!
The World Peace Foundation will aim to launch many such organisations itself, starting with the highly visual Dancers For Peace and Dance For Peace Day, but will happily embrace those organisations started by other people who understand the concept and also want to embrace it. To make it a reality. Before long, dance outfits, ski suits, motorcycle leathers, waterproofs for a whole variety of sports, even the sails of yachts and dinghies and a million different T-shirts will proclaim the love of peace, in every corner of the globe, to change the face of the globe forever.
WHAT IS NEEDED
One can’t have the effect of a Coca Cola or a McDonalds, without the kind of budgets employed by those kinds of corporations. Indeed the World Peace Foundation must become a multi national corporation itself. Just to start the snowball rolling we need staff, offices, design, advertising, computers, warehousing, clothing and other stock, distribution, legal, accounting and human resources. We need qualified, multi lingual representatives to go and recruit volunteers in every country of the world, we need information technology specialists and much more.
Currently I am travelling the world on a small boat and writing a book or two. I thought about producing a few Dancers For Peace T shirts and selling them as I go to try and start something happening, but that would be just to play at it and would change nothing. If I can obtain the big money backing needed to create the kind of organisation spoken of above, I will give up my travels and devote the rest of my active years to this cause. I will happily sit down and discuss, costs, staffing levels and all other aspects with any serious backer.