Why our leaders urgently need to ditch the Machiavelli and read some peace philosophers

John Gittings - 28 January 2019

The League of Nations, inspired by centuries of thinking on peace and justice, was born a hundred years ago this February, and later came the UN. But the promised post-Cold War 'Peace Dividend' never arrived...

It is the "new abnormal", says the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, announcing that the Doomsday Clock for 2019 will stay at two minutes to midnight. World leaders have not only failed to deal adequately with nuclear and climate threats but they have allowed them to increase, while their citizens are lulled into "a dangerous sense of anomie and political paralysis". CNN puts it bluntly: "It's almost the end of the world as we know it". Meanwhile at Davos, the World Economic Forum has been warned (if it was listening) about the new abnormal in global inequality and poverty and worsening human rights as well as climate change. Are we sleepwalking into another world disaster, this time perhaps terminal, and do we have the imagination and energy with which to confront it? Three times in the last century the world has had to deal with the consequences of catastrophe, and lessons should be learnt from how far it succeeded or failed... See more