Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | November 19, 2009

Weekly Read-Along—November 20, 2009: The Imperatives of Survival

Material for the Stout-Hearted Reader to Ruminate

♦ Essays, Lectures & Speeches ♦

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Seán MacBride (1904 –1988) was an Irish statesman and head of various international agencies, including Chairman of Amnesty International, President of the International Peace Bureau, Geneva, Switzerland and President of the Commission of Namibia, United Nations, New York. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974 with Eisaku Sato, the Prime Minister of Japan.

This week’s text is his Nobel Peace lecture, “The Imperatives of Survival”, delivered on December 12, 1974. MacBride’s lecture speaks of the consequences of some of the technological advancements made in the twentieth century.

“This stupendous scientific and material revolution has changed practically every factor in our ecology and society…

Peace then has to be the DESPERATE IMPERATIVE of humanity. Many imperatives flow from this only too obvious conclusion. These imperatives would be comparatively easier of achievement if those in authority throughout the world were imbued with an ethic that made world peace the primary objective and if they were inspired by a moral sense of social responsibility. It should be the primary role of the Churches to build this new morality.

The practical imperatives for peace are many and far-reaching. But there is no shortcut and each must be tackled energetically. They are: 

  1. General and Complete Disarmament – including nuclear weapons.
  2. The glorification of peace and not of war.
  3. The effective protection of human rights and minorities at national and international levels.
  4. Automatic and de-politicized mechanism for the settlement of international and non-international disputes that may endanger peace or that are causing injustices.
  5. An international order that will ensure a fair distribution of all essential products.
  6. An International Court of Justice and legal system with full automatic jurisdiction to rectify injustice or abuse of power.
  7. An international peace-keeping force and police force with limited function.
  8. Ultimately, a world parliament and government.”

Join others from around the world in this weekly reading event! You can find MacBride’s text at this website:

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