IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Being Fran(c)k about opposites

I was reading an interesting article the other day and came across some of the ideas of Sebastian Franck about peace. Who, you may ask, is/was this Mr. Franck? Actually it was Herr Franck. He was, according to Wikipedia, “… a 16th century German freethinker, humanist, and radical reformer” (you can find the complete article here). He got into all sorts of trouble for being suspected of heresy (many were in those days).

But in the article, I found the following: “Franck…disputes impressively the usual argument that war can lead to peace. Nothing can be achieved by its own contrast: poverty would never lead to riches, neither would dishonesty create honesty. War brings about more damages than profits, even if this does not always become obvious as the damages suffered by souls…are less visible” (from Istvan Kende, “The History of Peace: Concept and Organizations from the Late Middle Ages to the 1870s”: Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 26, No. 3, Aug. 1989, p. 236).

First of all, Herr Franck seems to have been way ahead of his times, since these arguments are certainly part of much contemporary writing about peace. Second, what do you think of his argument about “contrasts”. I found myself thinking about it for some time. I have always believed, for instance that the end rarely justifies the means. Rather, if you want a peaceful, beautiful, just…etc..end, your means must have those same qualities.

Anyhow, hats off to Sebastian!


August 25, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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