Peace is hard work. It is great to say you want peace but what does it take? There are naturally discussions among countries and disputes over resources, territory, religion, economic systems that make it hard to have peace.
The Internal Struggle
It is often not the external part of diplomacy that is the hardest but the internal struggle. The ability of each country to sell caring about the world, vulnerability and effort, to its own people and against those that would try to usurp them internally using “us first” and “winning” type language. The art of diplomacy, having frank discussions and maintaining respect is an art that is somewhat well understood, but can fall apart from internal pressure.
Value Diplomacy or Tribal (Us vs Them)?
Value diplomacy is creating a culture of agreed upon values upon which the players or tribes agree to. Combating aggression, helping those that need help, global sustainability are some of the values countries come together on.
Tribal diplomacy is about the pride of the tribe. You want to protect the pride of your tribe from any insecurity or shame and you want to win for your tribe by imperialism, winning every deal, and creating a need for spite around every disagreement. In any resource disagreement the other side is on its own.
There is a temptation to use nationalism, racism, religion, economic system etc. to divide and make another tribe the enemy. To ascend the hierarchy in your tribe by putting your identity in vilifying the different and unfamiliar. You unite your tribe around the enemy.
Value diplomacy is central to peace but it requires brainwork and courage. Other countries might call you a hypocrite and point out wrongs in your history. You might get trolled from the insecure.
Globalism / Protectionism
We are all part of groups or tribes from your family, to your work, to your community, to sports teams you cheer for. In politics we can visualize our political reality as groups within groups.
#1 >>> Family >>> Community >>> Region >>> Country (where armies are) >>> Earth / Humanity
Protectionism – doing whatever is self-serving for your group and ignoring the at large collective. A culture of self-serving doesn’t stop at the smaller group, it stops at everyone looking out for #1.
Globalism / Collectivism – each smaller group is a supporter of the larger group. The larger group is expected to both help the smaller groups when they are in need as well as ask of the smaller group when the larger group or others are in need.
What kind of world does each mentality lead to? Do we want to create a culture of coming together in the face of fear or splintering? What kind of unity is it really to bond with another group over a common enemy but if there is any resource dispute with that group you go for each other’s heads?
Some use the term globalist as slander, but in truth most of those willing to give for earth / humanity are of the same mind as those willing to give for country or community.
In moral conflicts globalists are the aggressor. Standing up to aggression, environmental causes, human rights, refugees. In pride, tribal, or resource conflicts protectionists are the aggressor such as wars over religious/economic beliefs, oil, or revenge. The American protectionists during WWII were strictly isolationists (no desire to save the world from aggression) until the United States was attacked at pearl harbor.
In a true hour of need we should not look to the allies we have made that push up our pride and play to our fears with us. It is those countries telling us to behave ourselves and that stand for hard values that may be there.
This is not to say a country shouldn’t stand for its own interests, just like in your family you stand for yourself of course, but it is a culture of mental engagement and goodwill.
Countries with transparency into their decision making with active debates and elections will be trusted more than those with a concentration of power, a one-party system, a dictatorship that doesn’t expose itself to the vulnerability of public discourse.