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Collective Security
(Opportunities and Problems from the Perspective of Catholic Social Teaching)

Autor:Palaver Wolfgang
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Kategorieartikel
Abstrakt:This article discusses collective security from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching. Since the end of the First World War collective security has been seen as a concept to overcome a Hobbesian state of war in the international system. The Catholic Church has supported these developments without, however, overlooking the inherent dangers of this concept following from its attempt to form a coalition of all against one if an aggressor tries to destabilize the international system. Due to this dangers the Church has to remain a critical supporter of collective security focusing therefore first of all on its biblical message of nonviolence.
Publiziert in:Peace in Europe - Peace in the World: Reconciliation, Creation and International Institutions. Hrsg. von Iustitia et Pax - Österreichische Kommission (Iustitia et Pax Dokumentation 4). Wien: Südwind-Verlag, 2003, 86-102.
Datum:2003-09-11

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The following article will introduce the concept of collective security as it was developed in the 20th century to overcome the evil of war. The Catholic Church supported this concept since it was proposed at the end of World War I. It was mainly due to the outbreak of the Cold War that collective security never functioned in the way it was designed. As soon as it became, however, a real possibility after the end of the Cold War it also showed its dark sides. The system of Collective security tends towards the demonization of the enemy and seems to rely so much on political power that it only leads to an imperfect form of the rule of law. These problems might cause us to reject this concept. But Catholic Social Teaching neither recommends a sectarian avoidance of power politics nor a Hobbesian legitimation of it. The first task of the Church is to give true testimony to the biblical message on non-violence. But at the same time it should also support political efforts to strengthen the United Nations to become a functioning system of collective security. Trying to avoid the tensions easily caused by these two different tasks may increase the problems in our world.

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1. Collective Security: Overcoming the State of War

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After World War I many people began to hope that collective security will enable humankind to overcome the problem of war and establish a peaceful world. What the modern nation state has achieved on a local level--overcoming feudal war through the monopolization of all the rights and means to use violence in the hands of the state--should now also become true on the global level. War was outlawed and an international institution--The League of Nations--was established to create a lasting and world-wide peace.

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The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes stands for the establishment of the modern nation state, which transformed the warlike state of nature--the war of all against all--into the peaceful nation state. This peace, however, remained a partial peace because it only meant a peaceful harmony inside the state, whereas the relationships between the states remained in a state of war. At the beginning of the 20th century, however, wars between states became so destructive that humankind was forced to find new ways to create peace.

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Instead of Hobbes, Immanuel Kant became one of the philosophers who were supposed to advance that goal another step. Kant did not believe that the traditional concept of the balance of powers was a reliable tool for peace:

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"Nowhere does human nature appear less admirable than in the relationships which exist between peoples. No state is for a moment secure from the others in its independence and its possessions. The will to subjugate the others or to grow at their expense is always present, and the production of armaments for defence, which often makes peace more oppressive and more destructive of internal welfare than war itself, can never be relaxed. And there is no possible way of counteracting this except a state of international right, based upon enforceable public laws to which each state must submit (by analogy with a state of civil or political right among individual men). For a permanent universal peace by means of a so-called European balance of power is a pure illusion, like Swift's story of the house which the builder had constructed in such perfect harmony with all the laws of equilibrium that it collapsed as soon as a sparrow alighted on it." (I. Kant 91f [On the Common Saying: 'This May be True in Theory, but it does not Apply in Practice])

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Kant emphasized the necessity to establish international order so as to guarantee a lasting peace on the global level. The development of the idea of the nation state led him, by analogy, to the rational conclusion that only the establishment of a world republic could overcome the state of war in international relations:

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"There is only one rational way in which states coexisting with other states can emerge from the lawless condition of pure warfare. Just like individual men, they must renounce their savage and lawless freedom, adapt themselves to public coercive laws, and thus form an international state (civitas gentium), which would necessarily continue to grow until it embraces all peoples of the earth." (I. Kant 105 [Perpetual Peace, Second Definitive Article])

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But fearing the despotism of such a huge state on the one hand and realizing also how difficult it would be to create such a global institution on the other, caused him to come up with only a "negative substitute" of what rationality would request:

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Since the establishment of an international state "is not the will of the nations, according to their present conception of international right (so that they reject in hypothesi what is true in thesi), the positive idea of a world republic cannot be realised. If all is not to be lost, this can at best find a negative substitute in the shape of an enduring and gradually expanding federation likely to prevent war. The latter may check the current of man's inclination to defy the law and antagonise his fellows, although there will always be a risk of it bursting forth anew." (I. Kant 105 [Perpetual Peace, Second Definitive Article])

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Kant recommended the establishment of a permanent conference of states--an alliance of independent states--to keep peace. With this proposal Kant became a forerunner of the concept of collective security (cf. G. Beestermöller 19-83).

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Taking Kant's work as a starting point, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proposed his idea of a League of Nations after World War I leading to its establishment in 1920. It was dissolved, however, after World War II, a war that showed that the concept of collective security had not yet become a functioning institution to prevent war. The establishment of the United Nations in 1945 marks the beginning of our current attempt to create peace by relying on the concept of collective security. This concept consists in the outlawing of war as a means of politics supported by the establishment of an international order that will use the collective forces of all member states against any violator of this order.

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Charles and Clifford Kupchan, two experts on collective security, provide us with a rough definition of this peace concept that helps us to focus on its chances and problems:

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"The case for collective security rests on the claim that regulated, institutionalized balancing on the notion of all against one provides more stability than unregulated, self-help balancing predicated on the notion of each for his own. Under collective security, states agree to abide by certain norms and rules to maintain stability and, when necessary, band together to stop aggression. Stability--the absence of major war--is the product of cooperation." (C. Kupchan/C. Kupchan, Promise 52f)

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Since the beginning of the 20th century the Catholic Church has been clearly in favor of the concept of collective security (cf. H. F. Köck; W. Palaver 1993, 21-31). Leo XIII., who already used the term "League of Nations" ("societas civitatum"), and Pius X., who supported the "Carnegie Endowment for International Peace" paved the way for Benedict XV. (1914-1922), whose Peace Message of August 1, 1917 came very close to Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points Speech of 1918. Benedict supported international arbitration and collective sanctions against aggressors. In his peace encyclical Pacem, Dei munus pulcherrimum from May 23, 1920 Benedict XV. fully supported idea and goal of the League of Nations:

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"It is much to be desired ... that all States, putting aside mutual suspicion, should unite in one league, or rather a sort of family of peoples, calculated both to maintain their own independence and safeguard the order of human society. What specially, amongst other reasons, calls for such an association of nations, is the need generally recognized of making every effort to abolish or reduce the enormous burden of the military expenditure which States can no longer bear, in order to prevent these disastrous wars or at least to remove the danger of them as far as possible." (Pacem, Dei munus pulcherrimum n. 17)

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Although the Catholic Church--mainly because of its problems with Italy--remained outside the League and contributed to its downfall by partly supporting Italy in the war against Ethiopia (cf. M. Knox), it made important contributions to the establishment of collective security at the beginning of this century. Later, Pius XII. raised the question of collective security and an international authority again in 1939 and in 1944. In 1963 this question of an international authority was treated systematically and thoroughly by Pope John XXIII in his encyclical letter Pacem in terris:

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"Today the universal common good poses problems of worldwide dimensions, which cannot be adequately tackled or solved except by the efforts of public authority endowed with a wideness of powers, structure and means of the same proportions: that is, of public authority which is in a position to operate in an effective manner on a worldwide basis. The moral order itself, therefore, demands that such a form of public authority be established." (Pacem in terris n. 137)

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The encyclical contemplates no "world state" which would completely deprive all nations of their sovereignty; instead, the principle of subsidiarity would also apply to the world authority.

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The Second Vatican Council also recognized that the goal of outlawing war is connected with the establishment of a world authority. In its pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes it looks toward to a time "when all war will be completely outlawed by international agreement":

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"This goal, of course, requires the establishment of a universally acknowledged public authority vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for law." (Gaudium et spes n. 82)

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The Catholic Church's support of collective security is still visible in Pope John Paul II's most recent social encyclical Centesimus annus from 1991, where he insists on the necessity to establish the rule of law on a global level:

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"Just as the time has finally come when in individual states a system of private vendetta and reprisal has given way to the rule of law, so too a similar step forward is now urgently needed in the international community." (Centesimus annus n. 52)

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Compared to former documents, however, John Paul II is less explicit about a concrete way to establish collective security. He no longer directly calls for a "universally acknowledged public authority". Partly that is due to the problems the concept of collective security is facing today. It also reflects the fact that the United Nations have not yet been effective enough to overcome war:

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"The United Nations ... has not yet succeeded in establishing, as alternatives to war, effective means for the resolution of international conflicts. This seems to be the most urgent problem which the international community has yet to resolve." (Centesimus annus n. 21)

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2. Collective Security: Problems and Dangers

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Pope John Paul II's reluctance to emphasize the concept of collective security as strongly as his predecessors is related to how our world has developed since the end of the Cold War in 1989. The concept of collective security as it was intended by the founders of the United Nations after World War II did never function the way it should. The Cold War caused a separation of the world into two military blocs and completely neutralized the United Nations until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Collective security became, however, a possibility after the end of the Cold War. It was the Gulf War of 1991 that was treated as a perfect example of collective security embedded in a new world order by then U.S. President George Bush. John Paul II did not share this point of view. In Centesimus annus he celebrated the non-violent revolution in Central and Eastern Europe that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and clearly distanced himself from the Gulf War of Bush and his allies in 1991:

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"It seemed that the European order resulting from the Second World War and sanctioned by the Yalta Agreements could only be overturned by another war. Instead, it has been overcome by the non-violent commitment of people who, while always refusing to yield to the force of power, succeeded time after time in finding effective ways of bearing witness to the truth. This disarmed the adversary, since violence always needs to justify itself through deceit, and to appear, however falsely, to be defending a right or responding to a threat posed by others. Once again I thank God for having sustained people's hearts amid difficult trials, and I pray that this example will prevail in other places and other circumstances. May people learn to fight for justice without violence, renouncing class struggle in their internal disputes, and war in international ones." (Centesimus annus n. 23)

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"I myself, on the occasion of the recent tragic war in the Persian Gulf, repeated the cry: 'War--never again!' No, never again war, which destroys the lives of innocent people, teaches how to kill, throws into upheaval even the lives of those who do the killing and leaves behind a trail of resentment and hatred, thus making it all the more difficult to find a just solution of the very problems which provoked the war." (Centesimus annus n. 52)

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John Paul II's distance to the Gulf War in 1991 may help us to think about possible dangers connected with the concept of collective security. In recent documents on war and peace the Catholic Church has more and more emphasized a preferential option for non-violence rooted in the biblical tradition. Last year Bishop Franz Kamphaus's important paper introduced us into the biblical tradition of non-violence (cf. F. Kamphaus).

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The work of René Girard, a French thinker teaching literature and anthropology in the United States, has made clear that the biblical tradition of non-violence is closely connected to its overcoming of the scapegoat mechanism typical of all pagan cultures (cf. R. Girard 2001). Archaic cultures and religions are results of a process in which a crisis of all against all is violently overcome by the expulsion of a single victim. In the biblical tradition we also can find many texts which tell us how a single victim became the scapegoat of his community. Whereas pagan culture sided with the violent mob, the Judeo-Christian tradition on the contrary is characterized by its special concern for all those victims that were violently expelled by their communities.

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The biblical critique of the scapegoat mechanism and its cultural offspring make it highly questionable, if the concept of collective security can ever be supported without reserving some doubts. As Charles and Clifford Kupchan have pointed out, "collective security rests on the notion of all against one", a principle so close to the structure of the scapegoat mechanism that one cannot overlook its inherent dangers. (1) One is immediately reminded of an old Talmudic principle according to which "any accused person whose judges combine unanimity against him ought to be released straight away. Unanimity in accusation is in itself a cause for suspicion! It suggests that the accused is innocent." (R. Girard 1987, 444)

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We have seen traces of scapegoating in recent military actions that were at least partly legitimized as acts of collective security. (2) Military actions against Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic or Osama bin Laden relied strongly on the demonization of the enemy. (3) Only the conviction that we have to fight another Hitler or even evil itself seems to mobilize enough political support for military action in our Western world. George W. Bush's recent battle cry to fight a war against an "axis of evil" follows this dangerous pattern of demonization.

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In the case of Slobodan Milosevic's extradition to the war court in The Hague, one was immediately reminded of Friedrich Dürrenmatts famous play The Visit--Der Besuch der alten Dame. Only financial pressure by the United States convinced Serbian politicians to hand Milosevic over to the United Nations. Dürrenmatt's tragic comedy criticizes a dangerous liaison of the search for absolute justice with the lust for economic profit leading to the scapegoating of a single victim (cf. D. Price; W. Braungart). By doing this, The Visit can make us sensible for some serious dangers coming along with our attempts to apply collective security.

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In our search for global justice we have to be very careful. Any attempt to seek absolute justice in this world is always in danger to legitimize the limitless use of violence. Our moral wars of today easily become boundless, often turning into scapegoating. (4) In 1983 the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in the U.S. mentioned in its pastoral letter on war and peace "comparative justice" as an important criterion that has to be met if military violence is used:

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"The category of comparative justice is destined to emphasize the presumption against war which stands at the beginning of just-war teaching. In a world of sovereign states recognizing neither a common moral authority nor a central political authority, comparative justice stresses that no state should act on the basis that it has 'absolute justice' on its side. Every party to a conflict should acknowledge the limits of its 'just cause' and the consequent requirement to use only limited means in pursuit of its objectives. Far from legitimizing a crusade mentality, comparative justice is designed to relativize absolute claims and to restrain the use of force even in a 'justified' conflict." (The Challenge of Peace n. 93)

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The criterion of comparative justice remains valid for collective security, too, because it helps to prevent the outbreak of a crusade mentality with its demonization of the political enemy (cf. E. J. Nagel 343).

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Let me now turn to a second problem connected with the concept of collective security. Most of the time we discuss collective security as a question about the establishment of the global rule of law. But this way of thinking excludes the question of political power. The French thinker Blaise Pascal reflected in the 17th century on the relationship between right and might showing us that human beings always were in need of a combination of both of them:

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"It is right that what is just should be obeyed; it is necessary that what is strongest should be obeyed. Justice without might is helpless; might without justice is tyrannical. Justice without might is gainsaid, because there are always offenders; might without justice is condemned. We must then combine justice and might and, for this end, make what is just strong, or what is strong just." (Pascal, Pensées n. 298)

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Pascal's pessimistic view of politics even led him to the conclusion that usually justice is the name given to the rule of force, not to the rule of law. (5) Ethically engaged Christians don't like to hear such reflections. Nevertheless, we have to deal with this problem if we want to understand the reason why it is so difficult to establish collective security in our world.

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Going back to the beginnings of human culture one has to conclude with thinkers like Sigmund Freud or René Girard, that right is most likely an offspring of might or brutal force (S. Freud 225, 276f; cf. J. B. Elshtain 59; R. Girard 1977, 120, 299-306; R. Girard 1987, 51-57). The same is true--to a certain extent--for the emergence of the modern nation state. It was not the result of a social contract performed as a non-violent discourse but the successful attempt of one of the contending powers to become the center of the emerging state. Hobbes, therefore, did not hesitate to remark, that "there is scarce a Commonwealth in the world whose beginnings can in conscience be justified" (T. Hobbes 486; cf. S. Tönnies 36, 53, 69). Hobbes's famous book Leviathan concludes with the recommendation to accept a ruling power as long as it is able to protect the life of the people. He wanted to teach his readers, who were living in a time of civil war, that there exists a "mutuall Relation between Protection and Obedience" (T. Hobbes 491; cf. S. Tönnies 70-73).

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Following Hobbes one might come to the conclusion that the establishment of collective security today means the establishment of a world state dominated by the United States. (6) Sibylle Tönnies, a German law scholar and sociologist, makes that very claim in her recently published book Cosmopolis Now. She finds support in the writings of Kant, too, who spoke in his famous book Perpetual Peace about the possibility that a major republic once might become the nucleus of an emergent "pacific federation":

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"If by good fortune one powerful and enlightened nation can form a republic (which is by its nature inclined to seek perpetual peace), this will provide a focal point for federal association among other states. These will join up with the first one, thus securing the freedom of each state in accordance with the idea of international right, and the whole will gradually spread further and further by alliances of this kind." (I. Kant 104 [Perpetual Peace, Second Definitive Article]; cf. S. Tönnies 12, 35)

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Tönnies, however, does not side with Kant, when he warns of a world state which might "lead to the most fearful despotism" and when he therefore does not recommend a "cosmopolitan commonwealth under a single ruler, but a lawful federation under a commonly acceptedinternational right" (I. Kant 90). According to Tönnies, Kant's concept has to be improved by a continuation of Hobbes's philosophy leading from the nation state to a world state. Tönnies claims that a world state has become possible today. It is now up to the United States to accept the role of the world-police and to establish its pax americana.

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Most of my readers are certainly unwilling to side with Tönnies. And there are good reasons for being suspicious of an American imperialism often only superficially justified by the claim to be the global defender of human rights (cf. W. Rasch). But I think the problem we are dealing with here is even more complex. We Europeans have more and more become Kantians in recent decades, whereas Hobbes's philosophy of power only finds some acceptance today in the United States. Europeans talk about the need to establish the rule of law on a global level, whereas Americans are the only nation that is sometimes willing and able to act globally. This division of labor hides the fact that we have to bring right and might together. It may even be a sign for the European attempt to shy away from serious and difficult political questions (cf. M. Walzer). A polemical comment on the current relations between Europe and the U.S. by Robert Kagan, an American expert on international politics working at the moment in Brussels, suggests that many Europeans are no longer willing to think about power politics:

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"The United States, in short, solved the Kantian paradox for the Europeans. Kant had argued that the only solution to the immoral horrors of the Hobbesian world was the creation of a world government. But he also feared that the 'state of universal peace' made possible by world government would be an even greater threat to human freedom than the Hobbesian international order, inasmuch as such a government, with its monopoly of power, would become 'the most horrible despotism.' How nations could achieve perpetual peace without destroying human freedom was a problem Kant could not solve. But for Europe the problem was solved by the United States. By providing security from outside, the United States has rendered it unnecessary for Europe's supranational government to provide it. Europeans did not need power to achieve peace and they do not need power to preserve it. The current situation abounds in ironies. Europe's rejection of power politics, its devaluing of military force as a tool of international relations, have depended on the presence of American military forces on European soil. Europe's new Kantian order could flourish only under the umbrella of American power exercised according to the rules of the old Hobbesian order. American power made it possible for Europeans to believe that power was no longer important. And now, in the final irony, the fact that United States military power has solved the European problem, especially the 'German problem,' allows Europeans today to believe that American military power, and the 'strategic culture' that has created and sustained it, are outmoded and dangerous." (R. Kagan 23f)

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I myself have no simple answers to all these difficult questions and I am certainly not recommending Sibylle Tönnies's U.S.-ruled world state. Neither am I willing, however, to neglect the question of power politics. We need to strengthen our efforts to make collective security possible and we have to do that inside the framework of the United Nations. But we also need the cooperation of the United States, which as the sole military super-power in the world should use its power only under the umbrella of the United Nations. The Catholic bishops of America made a step in that direction in their pastoral letter on war and peace in 1983:

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"It is entirely necessary to examine the United Nations carefully, to recognize its limitations and propose changes where needed. Nevertheless, in light of the continuing endorsement found in papal teaching, we urge that the United States adopt a stronger supportive leadership role with respect to the United Nations. The growing interdependence of the nations and peoples of the world, coupled with the extra-governmental presence of multinational corporations, requires new structures of cooperation. As one of the founders of and major financial contributors to the United Nations, the United States can, and should, assume a more positive and creative role in its life today." (The Challenge of Peace n. 268)

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3. The Role of the Church: A Post-Constantinian View on Power Politics

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This article concludes with a theological and ethical reflection on the problem of power politics. There is clearly a tension between political power on the one hand and the biblical tradition of non-violence on the other. John Paul II's cautious support of collective security is partly due to that fact. Christians can never completely be in agreement with the use of force and military power. But that does not mean that the Church should avoid any contacts with power politics.

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In the Bible we can find an important concept that may help us to understand the role of collective security from a theological point of view (cf. W. Palaver 1995; W. Palaver 2002a, 74-79). In his second letter to the Thessalonians (2 Thess 2:6-7) (7) Paul mentions a katechon, a "restrainer", which is a force of order preventing the outbreak of destructive chaos but--and that shows us the ambivalence of this concept--also delays the second coming of Christ, the coming of the Kingdom. Throughout Christian history, the katechon was identified with different political powers that created order in the world. The first katechon in this tradition, of course, was the Roman Empire. Today, one could call the United States or a future system of collective security a katechon, a restrainer of chaos.

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The German Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer used the term katechon in his Ethics to understand the role of the state and other forces of order that--besides the Church--have to prevent the destruction of the world: "The 'restrainer' is the force which takes effect within history through God's governance of the world, and which sets due limits to evil. The 'restrainer' itself is not God; it is not without guilt; but God makes use of it in order to preserve the world from destruction." (D. Bonhoeffer 44) How should the Church deal with the katechon? According to Bonhoeffer, first it should be aware, that it has a completely different task. It should prove to the world that Christ is the living Lord. "The more central the message of the Church, the greater now will be her effectiveness. Her suffering presents an infinitely greater danger to the spirit of destruction than does any political power which may still remain." (D. Bonhoeffer 45) But this difference between the Church and the forces of order does not prevent a close alliance between them in the face of imminent chaos. By preaching the risen Jesus Christ the Church compels the "forces of order to listen and to turn back", without, however, rejecting them arrogantly by claiming a moral superiority. According to Bonhoeffer, the Church preserves the "essential distinction between herself and these forces, even though she unreservedly allies herself with them".

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In order to explain this difficult approach of a distinction between the Church and political order on the one hand and an alliance on the other in practical terms I will refer to John Paul II's understanding of the political work of the Church. He seems to be in favor of such a dual strategy. In his article on "Papacy and Power", George Weigel, who recently wrote a biography of John Paul II, shows that the current pope was dealing with the regimes in Central and Eastern Europe before the end of the Cold War in two ways. On the one hand he was continuing traditional diplomacy between the Holy See and these states as it was developed by pope Paul VI and Cardinal Casaroli. On the other hand he favored a strategy of political change through moral revolution. George Weigel summarizes his insights as follows:

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"The more plausible explanation of the relationship between Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Casaroli ... is that, in appointing this loyal and skilled churchman, the architect of Paul VI's Ostpolitik, as his own Secretary of State, John Paul was deliberately adopting a dual strategy. Remnants of a "Constantinian" approach to playing the rules of the game would be deployed for whatever they might achieve; the diplomatic dialogues initiated by Casaroli over the previous fourteen years would continue, and the Communist in question could not charge the Vatican with 'reversing course' or reneging on formal agreements. Meanwhile, the Pope himself would pursue a 'post-Constantinian' strategy of appealing directly to peoples who could be aroused to new, non-violent forms of resistance--and thence to self-liberation--through a call to moral arms and a revival of Christian humanism." (G. Weigel)

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Discussing George Weigel's article, Paul J. Griffith, a Catholic theologian, reflects further on this paradoxical strategy of Pope John Paul II. He thinks a Christian way of dealing with politics has to avoid both, the sectarian rejection of all politics and a Hobbesian merging with power politics at the same time:

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"The world (even the political world) is the theater of God's glory, and it is a theater in which the pope and the church of which he is pastor are actors. The pope's power-in-weakness can and must be exercised for particular political ends, while at the same time realizing that these ends may not be attained or attainable short of the coming of the kingdom. Diplomacy (like politeness) is ruled out only by a thoroughgoing contempt for its objects and goals, and such contempt is impossible for Christians. Those who have contempt for the political world will ignore it by turning their backs on it, or they will treat it as a field in which the libido dominandi has unrestricted play. The first option is sectarian; the second Hobbesian. Previous popes have been subject to the latter error more often than the former, but neither, finally, is a defensible possibility for Christians, and neither is represented by the present pope." (P. J. Griffiths)

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According to Griffiths, the current pope exhibits a "lack of contempt for the political":

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"He does not withdraw from it by ending diplomatic engagements: that would be sectarianism. But neither does he place unrestricted confidence in their efficacy: that would be Hobbesianism. No. He acts politically, but at the same time throws the politics of his acts into question. This is the judicious use of weakness in which the power of the papacy actually consists. My hope for the future of the papacy (and of the world) is that present and future popes continue to act politically in just this way."

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Let us take Griffith's words as a guiding line how Christians should deal with the problem of collective security. Avoiding sectarianism means to continue our efforts to strengthen the United Nations, so that they become a functioning system of collective security. Trying to do this also means to find a way as to how the United States can be an essential part of this system. But at the same time we should not forget that no political concept whatsoever should be supported uncritically and without a certain distance. Such an uncritical support would mean to fall into the trap of Hobbesianism. Our first task as members of the Church is to bear true witness of the biblical message on non-violence. This, however, should not prevent us from supporting political efforts to establish collective security on a global level. An efficient system of collective security will not create the non-violent peace of the kingdom but it will hopefully make our world less prone to war.

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Bibliography

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Bonhoeffer, Dietrich: Ethics. Edited by E. Bethge. Translated by N. Horton Smith. London: SCM Press LTD, 1955.

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Braungart, Wolfgang: Ills Krankheit, Ills Opfer. Einige Thesen zu Friedrich Dürrenmatts 'Der Besuch der alten Dame' (1956) im Ausgang von René Girards Theorie des Sündenbocks. In: Die Macht der Differenzen. Beiträge zur Hermeneutik der Kultur. Hrsg. von R. Düssel, G. Edel und U. Schödlbauer. Heidelberg: SYNCHRON, Wiss.-Verl. der Autoren, 2001, 213-224.

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Day, Dorothy: Selected Writings. Edited and with an Introduction by R. Ellsberg. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 21993.

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Dürrenmatt, Friedrich: Der Besuch der alten Dame. Ein tragische Komödie. Neufassung 1980. Zürich: Diogenes, 1998.

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Anmerkungen:  

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 1.Cf. C. Kupchan/C. Kupchan, Concerts 118: "Collective security rests on the notion of all against one. While states retain considerable autonomy over the conduct of their foreign policy, participation in a collective security organization entails a commitment by each member to join a coalition to confront any aggressor with opposing preponderant strenght. ... At least in theory, collective security makes for more robust deterrence by ensuring that aggressors will be met with an opposing coalition that has preponderant rather than merely equivalent power."

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2.Cf. K. O. Hondrich 120-122, 138-158. – 138: "Das serbische Volk und sein Führer: Sie haben sich als Europas Sündenbock angeboten. Wir haben das Angebot dankend angenommen. Wir sind dankbar, daß wir nicht sind wie jene dort." – 138: Milosevic als "Sündenbock im Sündenbock".

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3.This tendency towards a demonization of the enemy is already visible in Kant's concept of the "unjust enemy", which means "someone whose publicly expressed will, whether expressed in word or in deed, displays a maxim which would make peace among nations impossible and would lead to a perpetual state of nature if it were made into a general rule" (I. Kant 170; The Metaphysics of Morals § 60). According to Kant, "the rights of a state against an unjust enemy are unlimited in quantity or degree, although they do have limits in relation to quality." Cf. C. Schmitt 140-143; S. Tönnies 99-103; 26: "Die im zwanzigsten Jahrhundert eingetretene Verwischung der Grenzen zwischen Militär- und Weltpolizei-Einsatz ist für die Menschheit tatsächlich kein Dauerzustand. Sie führte dazu, dass der Reihe nach Saddam Hussein, Miloševiƒ und zuletzt Bin Laden zu Hitlers Größe hochstilisiert werden mussten, damit eine Verbrechensbekämpfung mittels Flächenbombardement am Platze schien." According to Charles Taylor, the international community fought a crusade against Milosevic's Serbia (C. Taylor 66).

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4.Cf. K. O. Hondrich 121: "Der moralische Krieg braucht seinen Sündenbock." – C. Taylor: "Das Gute, das unsere Zielsetzungen inspiriert, wird zunichte, sobald wir beginnen, es zu verwirklichen. Das Paradox liegt darin, dass dieses Gute uns, seine Verfechter und Hüter, als gut definiert, indem es unsere Selbstintegrität auf einen Kontrastfall gründet, der ebenso böse ist, wie wir gut. Je höher dabei die Moral, desto größer der Hass und die Gewalt. Die Idee des Kreuzzugs findet ihren Höhepunkt im Moralismus einer modernen Welt, aus welcher der letzte Funke von ritterlichem Respekt vor dem Feind, wie ihn Saladin oder Richard Löwenherz noch verkörperten, verschwunden ist." According to Taylor, we have to forgive each other to overcome this dangerous tendency of modern crusades. In order to do that we have to understand Dostoevski's insight that we are all guilty. As a concrete and practical example Taylor refers to Nelson Mandela's truth-commissions ins South Africa. Also Dorothy Day, an American pacifist and founder of Pax Christi USA, quoted Dostoevski in 1942—when she was fighting against the decision of the United States to enter war against Hitler and Japan—in order to remind her pacifist friends to overcome the temptation of moral superiority: "I quote this because that accusation 'holier than thou' is also made against us. And we must all admit our guilt, our participation in the social order which has resulted in this monstrous crime of war." (D. Day 266). Cf. W. Palaver 2002b, 170-173.

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5.B. Pascal, Pensées n. 298: "Justice is subject to dispute; might is easily recognized and is not disputed. So we cannot give might to justice, because might has gainsaid justice and has declared that it is she herself who is just. And thus, being unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just." Cf. A. McKenna 60f. After Pascal, also Rousseau reflected on the paradoxical problem connected with the establishment of the rule of law. Cf. J.-P. Dupuy 141f: "If it is impossible to put law above man, he [Rousseau] writes in his famous letter to Mirabeau, then we must go to the other extreme and put man above law: 'and therefore establish arbitrary despotism, as arbitrary as can be: I wish the despot could be God.' And he concludes: 'In a word, I see no acceptable middle course between the most austere democracy and the most perfect Hobbesianism: for the conflict between men and laws, which throws the state into continuous internecine warfare, is the worst of all political states.' In other words, hierarchy is the essential thing, and its direction is of little significance."

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6. Cf. K. O. Hondrich 112: "Dem Weltstaat nähern wir uns weniger durch freie Verträge unter Gleichen als durch hegemonialen Oktroi. Die Nato ist der kollektive Hegemon, Amerika der Hegemon innerhalb der Nato. Die Kriege gegen Hitler-Deutschland, den Irak und Serbien liegen, vom Westen aus gesehen, auf einer weltgeschichtlichen Linie. In dieser Perspektive erscheinen Moral und Gewalt nicht mehr als Gegensätze, sondern verschränken sich. Die Theorie der moralischen Entwicklung hat ihren Frieden gemacht – mit dem Krieg."

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7.2 Thess 2:6-7: "And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed."

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