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International Peace and Security

  • B. Vivekanandan

Abstract

An important strand in the basic ideology of the Social Democrats of Europe is their belief in peace. They have, over the years, presented themselves by and large as the natural opponents of war and militarism. Many important Socialist thinkers, including Karl Marx, have viewed war as an instrument of imperialism. They hold that the major reason for armed conflict is the incessant competition between the capitalist countries either for capturing new markets or for ensuring guaranteed access to raw materials. However, prior to the establishment of the Second International all wars were either national wars or wars between two nations. That pattern changed drastically in the period after the establishment of the Second International, when war began to be viewed and pursued in a much wider context. It may be mentioned in this context that militarism was an important issue discussed at the Socialist Congress held in Paris in 1889. The programme the Socialist International adopted at this Congress said that peace was the foremost and indispensable prerequisite for the liberation of the working class.1

Keywords

Nuclear Weapon Mass Destruction Chemical Weapon Military Expenditure Labour Party 
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Notes

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    The issue of war and peace first came up for discussion before the First International at its Brussels Congress in 1868 — in the context of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, which sowed the seeds of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. The First International considered what attitude the working class should take in the event of a war breaking out between two or more great powers — in particular, the policy to be adopted towards ‘the originator [of the war]’. For more details, see Julius Braunthal, History of the International (London, 1966), pp. 320–5.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© B. Vivekanandan 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Vivekanandan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of International StudiesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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