Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Peace-Inner and Outer

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Peace-Inner and Outer

Article excerpt

"Peace" is a big word. It appears on signs in demonstrations. It gets JL used in political speeches. It appears in sermons. Yet it often means an absence of war. "Peace" often means we are not fighting. We define this important concept by what is not happening.

I call "peace" a personal metaphor, a big word that we fill with our own meanings. When I think of "peace," I recall the Peace Movement during the Vietnam War, which was sometimes far from peaceful itself. All the controversies and upsets of the time come back to me. "Peace" was quite personal, as I could have been drafted into the military. It was not always clear what we should be doing to promote "Peace." But the word described the goal: stopping a war.

As I write this, the United States is engaged in war in Afghanistan, partly in Libya, and partly in Iraq. And there is also the "War on Terror" which overshadows everything. But since there is no compulsory draft (yet), the calls for "Peace" are much quieter, more abstract. No giant demonstrations, no marches. The personal metaphor of "Peace" is different for today's college students than it was in the late sixties and early seventies.

But the goal of "Peace" still seems heavily negative. Just stop fighting--between nations, between neighbors, between spouses, between family members. Isn't there a more positive aspect to "Peace?"

Most of these uses of "Peace" come from considering actions out in the world. …

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