(Questions directed to the Hungarian participant, Dr. Janos Drabik, on behalf of the Secretariat of the Tehran GAATJP Conference, 2011.)
Dear Mr. Drabik Janos
As you know, “The International Conference on Global Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace” (www.peacetribune.com) is to be held on May 14 and 15 in Tehran.
Regarding your participation at the Conference and according to expediencies regarded by the honorable President of the Conference, you are requested to have an interview with publications of this Conference. In this regard, the main questions to be answered are hereby submitted to this E-mail address. With respect to few time available to publish the magazine, we request you to submit your answers, in case you are determined to do so, within the following 5 days to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send us your photo too.
We will be so pleased to receive your answers.
Secretariat of the Conference
1- Experiencing the successful endeavors conducted by the NGOs’ in such fields as the living environment, which is turned to an international preoccupation today through attempts made by the living environment advocates and NGOs, has made the clear sighted scholars to think that such a success can be experienced in the significant and fundamental subject called realization of peace in the world. Do you think such an ambition and ideal is achievable and what foregrounds and facilities are required to do so?
Dr. Janos Drábik (hereafter JD) — An enduring world peace would require the establishment of such a natural economic order in which the fruits of labor would remain with those who produced or worked for them. This in turn would require the establishment of such a system of property ownership wherein the property would be limited to a natural person or an association of natural persons; moreover, the extent of the owner’s property would depend on the output of the natural person’s labor. Such a system of property ownership would preclude the prevailing wide range of differences in the size of ownership between the haves and the have-nots. Such a wide-range in property distribution between the haves and the have-nots makes the abuse of power possible. On the other hand, when property is equitably and fairly distributed based on the output, which forms the basis of interest protection and power, then, every man, or community of men, is in possession of sufficient power effectively to protect one’s interest against the selfish interest of others. The just defense of one’s own interest can thus prevent the unbridled selfishness of the strong, thus effectively precluding situations in which groups with too much property and power can abuse the freedom of others with less property and power. Therefore, the precondition of world peace based on justice is the dismantling and abolition of the too centralized and concentrated global finance power, the restoration of the goods producing economy and the diminution of the role of money. Money’s primary role should be to serve as a medium of economic life, but with the exclusion of interest mechanism or usury. In countries as well as in international life, the number of legal entities unable or unwilling to abide by moral standards should be reduced and their excessive power in economic life curtailed.
2- Some theoreticians believe that the governments are incapable of founding a pervasive and just peace in the world, due to their latent and explicit interests and entities, and this is the duty of nations, institutions and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to provide the grounds for realization of just peace in the world through regional and international coalitions. How much do you agree with this opinion and what tasks do you think the NGOs should undertake?
JD — In the contemporary financial world, a network of private power of global reach – the international finance cartel and its structures – has grown over the nation states that represent the common good and public interests. This network of private power, with its banks, multinational companies and their divisions of legal entities has occupied and keeps under its control the economically weaker and vulnerable countries. Its task is to transfer via the profit and interest schemes to the money cartels the assets and resources of the indebted countries under their control. This global finance network considers as its primary adversary the nation state that represents and upholds the common good and public interest. Within each nation state, the organized private finance capital regards as its primary adversary the middle class, which by virtue of its knowledge base and material independence has retained the ability for independent political activity. A middle class that possesses the means to protect its own interest is also capable to defend the nation state and to determine its political system and orientation, thus reinforcing the nation state against organized private power, and providing it assistance to effectively represent the common good and public interest.
JD — When the supra-national money cartel, with its financial and economic structures operating within states, is stronger than the state representing the common good and public interest, then, the non-state civil organizations and NGOs can play a positive role only if they are not funded and controlled by the organized private power. If in a given society, the resources needed to enforce its interest are taken over by organized private power through various monetary schemes, then, civil society, now stripped of its assets, is unable to organize and operate efficient NGOs in a sustained fashion as independent institutions of interest protection. If the organized private power finances – whether directly or indirectly – then the NGO by default end up enforcing the interests of the private power. On the other hand, if it is the organized public power, i.e., the state, that ensures the material viability of well functioning civil organizations, then, the NGOS must either directly or indirectly serve the interests of the state.
JD — Therefore, it is very important that the fruit of labor producing it remains with those that produced it, thus providing them the financial and economic means needed for the organization and functioning of viable and independent civil societies. If the power of the state making use of the tools of direct democracy is truly under the democratic control of the electorate, then, the NGOs created in such a state may serve public interest and common good. These non-state entities differ from those of the state in that they would not be controlled directly by the state bureaucracy but by the citizens selected directly through a variety of techniques. Thus it would be possible to enroll in the service of common good and interest that would not depend on the state bureaucracy. Naturally, they also would not depend from the organized private power structure either, that is from the entities of finance capital and its institutions of global reach, or from the multinational corporations of the global power elite. It is the nation states that must first be strengthened so that – under the direct public supervision from below — they may vigorously represent the common good and public interest. The highly autonomous NGOs that have been established with public funds – and operating independently from the governing interest groups – may serve the public interest and common good both in nation states and the international arena.
3- Terrorism is a main pestilence to the just peace realization in the world. One of the most fundamental reasons of this nefarious phenomenon may be the widespread injustice all over the world. How much can implementation of justice provide human the pervasive peace?
JD — In order to bring about a society based on social justice requires as a basic condition the absence of extreme differences in terms of property and power among individuals, groups and nations. Wealth is power. Extreme differences in wealth lead to extreme differences in power. This, in turn, leads to the possibility, even the compulsion, for the stronger to abuse its position of power. This not only hinders but actually precludes the realization of a society based on social justice. Wealth and property constitute the basis of validating and protecting one’s interest, but the two are not identical. Man’s ability to protect his interest can be rendered proportionate only provided the morally upright natural persons possess wealth and/or property, whose extent is the result entirely of his own labor. All other (excess?) wealth constitutes mankind’s common inheritance.
JD — If there is a conflict between the self-interests of two people of approximately equal strength, then, it could result in a behavior based on fairness and social justice. In such a case, one of the persons driven by excessive self-interest is checked by the legitimate interest of the other party. This relative balance of power relationship needs to be created not only among persons and groups, but also among individual countries as well as regions. This requires the break up of the currently highly centralized and concentrated global financial power. For this it would be necessary to separate the finance capital/money power on a global scale from the value-producing real economy, as well as political and military power. This vertical division of power needs to be extended to include the balanced horizontal power-division of the regions of the world. The geopolitical world regions thus created could become such power centers that would both balance as well as check one another. This regional power equilibrium would prevent any one of the regional centers from becoming so powerful as to abuse its power position with impunity. This abuse of power hinders the realization of social justice on the global scene.
JD — So long as money, the transmission belt of economic life, remains a monopoly of a narrow global power group, and so long as this group can enforce the functioning of the money system based on the usurious interest mechanism, it will not be possible to prevent the fruits of man’s labor not become the private monopoly of a small power group and their continued flow to the global power elite. For the realization of a society based on justice requires the restoration of the public money system, one that does not function on the usurious interest mechanism. Money, the transmission belt of economic life, needs to serve the common good within nations and on the international level. It is necessary, therefore, to abolish the global monopoly of the private money system, along with its interest mechanism. For a just and effective functioning of the money system, the current interest mechanisms that have been imposed on mankind are verifiably unnecessary.
4- One of the most important problems in pathology of terrorism and just peace in the world may be the lack of common understanding on this issue in the world. How do you define terrorism and the just peace and what are the ways to make that common understanding pervasive in the world?
JD — The right to wage war has been ensconced in various international agreements, and there is full understanding on the most important issues – at least in theory. The war making actors, however, can only be states that have been recognized in international law. Acts of force akin to war, however, have been routinely perpetrated also by non-state actors and groups. The question of who employs armed force does not in and of itself determines whether the war-like act qualifies as terrorism or not. The distinguishing characteristic is whether the violent act accompanied by innocent collateral casualties was committed consciously or without due regard for the lives of civilians not involved in the conflict. Therefore, a violent act of a state may also qualify as terrorism. (One example is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.) Even in a just war, the taking or endangering the life of civilians is wrong. Even a just war must be waged by means and in manner that do not qualify as terrorism.
JD — Under conditions of asymmetrical warfare – when one party has no army or state – the weaker party may believe that its use of force without regard to the life and security of innocent civilians is permitted due to its weaker status. This position is unacceptable. The weaker party in pursuit of a just cause must have regard also for the lives of uninvolved innocent civilians because the highest value a person may possess is his own life. No one has the right to take or threaten the life of innocent persons, not even in the case of a just war. Even in case of asymmetrical balance of forces, proportionality and respect for the lives of third party persons outside the conflict must be maintained.
5- The distinguished experts believe that many components of a better life for man can be formed through more awareness of man and societies. What relationship is there between the awareness level and the phenomenon called terrorism?
JD — Public authority, the state, too, may use its law enforcement power monopoly only in a lawful manner and in the defense of common good and public interest. If interest groups seek to use the power at their disposal for the enforcement of their varied interests and against the public interest, then, the state will have abused its monopoly of law enforcement authority. If it is the state that first resorts to violence, then, it will have committed an offensive act of aggression. The attacked (usually weaker) secondary party responds in a defensive mode against the primary offensive party. The two variants of the use of violence differs from one another in that one abuses its power position, while the other defends itself against the power-abusing party. The support by a third-party (which may also be a state) extended to the defensive-responsive, i.e., weaker, party – usually a non-state organization – cannot in and of itself be regarded as an act of terrorism. Correspondingly, a state, by merely providing defensive support for a weaker non-state defensive actor, cannot be declared a terrorist state.
JD — The offensive and defensive force or its support morphs into an act of terrorism only if the force-deploying actors consciously or carelessly also endanger the lives and security of innocent bystanders outside the conflict. If the parties employing offensive and/or defensive force assume responsibility for the killing of innocent persons, then, this struggle is already conducted with terrorist means. An ever greater part of humanity should promote the right that one’s own life is the right of every person, and that no one has the right to deprive anyone of life. Neither the struggle fought for a just cause, nor the perceived use of just force provides exemption from taking the lives of innocents. The requirement of proportionally applied force must always be upheld against a vs. the third party persons outside the conflict. This imperative applies also to those fighting for a just cause – including those fighting under asymmetrical conditions. A party under attack — in defense of his life – theoretically may resort to the use of all available and necessary means for survival.
6- Considering the existing atmosphere in the world, what do you imagine for the future of the peace trend in the world and what duties do you deem for the elites in realizing this ideal?
JD — It is necessary to transition from the current money-based world order to one based on harmony operating on the basis of universal moral precepts. To be sure, this transition will be accompanied by conflicts stemming from disparate interests, but they can be reconciled through mutual advantages and interests as well as through the mobilization of man’s transcendental abilities. Instead of the clash of civilizations, a dialogue and cooperation of civilizations is needed. Notwithstanding of our world’s multicolor and multifaceted nature, it constitutes an organic whole. Therefore, the transition to a new world order of harmony can only be accomplished through the cooperation of all mankind. On our finite globe there is no room for the unlimited growth of any subsystem. For this reason, it is necessary for human condition to return to the golden mean: love your neighbors as you love yourself, and do onto others what you want them do onto you. This rule can only be realized if only those enjoy the fruit of their labor that produce it, and no one can take it away from them either by the force of a police state, monetary manipulation, indebtedness, or usurious interest schemes. I believe that in this struggle every man that feels responsibility for the fate of mankind belongs to the elite – the chosen ones.
7- How much do you believe the Meeting of the Peace Elites, to be attended at “The International Conference on Global Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace”, is important for establishing the international unity to counteract terrorism?
JD — In an age of seemingly limitless growth of electronics, the flow of information is expanding constantly. The global power elite, arguably for the first time in world history, is now confronted by the fact that the great majority of mankind is aware of the power elite’s designs and is able to mount a coordinated resistance. Today, it is necessary to cope not only with the lack of information, but also with that of its abundance. From a boundless flow of information, it is necessary quickly to identify the few important nuggets that are necessary for effective action. An indispensable prerequisite for success is that cadres of knowledgeable and committed experts develop the strategies and tactics necessary for reaching a common goal. This can be accomplished only through organized and effective work done in a timely fashion. There is also need for a well functioning network that ensures that the relevant information reaches the regional centers, actions groups, and organizations in a timely fashion. For the sake of the common goal and just peace, the world wide network needs to be expanded with a global network of cooperating cadre of activists. For this today there is not only a demand, but also the possibility. The gathering scheduled to take place in Tehran in mid-May 2011 could well contribute to the realization of the legitimate expansion of cooperative activists worldwide.