Banning nuclear weapons, prohibiting the use of poison gases, or outlawing germ warfare will not remove the root causes of war. However important such practical measures obviously are as elements of the peace process, they are in themselves too superficial to exert enduring influence.
Racism, one of the most baneful and persistent evils, is a major barrier to peace. Recognition of the oneness of mankind, implemented by appropriate legal measures, must be universally upheld if this problem is to be overcome.
The extremes of Poverty and Wealth
The inordinate disparity between rich and poor, a source of acute suffering, keeps the world in a state of instability, virtually on the brink of war. It is an issue that is bound up not only with the necessity for eliminating extremes of wealth and poverty but also with those spiritual verities and understanding of which can produce a new universal attitude. Fostering such an attitude is itself a major part of the solution.
Unbridled Nationalism, must give way to a wider loyalty, to a love of humanity as a whole “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens”. Love of all the world’s peoples does not exclude love of one’s country.
Religious strife, throughout history, has been the cause of innumerable wars and conflicts, a major blight to progress. Followers of all religions must be willing to face the basic questions which this strife raises, and to arrive at clear answers. How are the differences between them to be resolved, both in theory and in practice? The challenge facing the religious leaders of mankind is to contemplate, and to ask themselves whether they cannot, in humility before their Almighty Creator, submerge their theological differences that will enable them to work together for the advancement of human understanding and peace.
The Role of Women
The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes, is one of the most important, though less acknowledged prerequisites of peace. The denial of such equality perpetrates an injustice against one half of the world’s population and promotes in men harmful attitudes and habits that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political life, and ultimately to international relations.
Ignorance is indisputably the principal reason for the decline and fall of peoples and the perpetuation of prejudice. No nation can achieve success unless education is accorded all its citizens. The world would do well to consider giving first priority to the education of women and girls, since it is through educated mothers that the benefits of knowledge can be most effectively and rapidly diffused throughout society.
An international Auxiliary Language
A fundamental lack of communication between peoples seriously undermines efforts towards world peace. Adopting an international auxiliary language would go far to resolving this problem and necessitates the most urgent attention.
Spiritual Solutions for Social Problems
The abolition of war is not simply a matter of signing treaties and protocols; it is a complex task requiring a new level of commitment to resolving issues not customarily associated with the pursuit of peace. Peace stems from an inner state supported by a spiritual or moral attitude, and it is this attitude that the possibility of enduring solutions can be found. Leaders of governments and all in authority would be well served in their efforts to solve problems if they would first seek to identify the principles involved and then be guided by them.