Finland Should Not Ally with NATO if Peace Is Our Goal

Throughout history to present day, societies rely on killing or threats to kill to maintain or change their ways of living. Wars (e.g., World Wars), revolutions (e.g., October Revolution, French Revolution), and terrorism are great examples of how people took arms to maintain (e.g., defending independence) or change (e.g., ousting the elite, amass more land) their living conditions. However, killing does not solve anything; on the contrary, it worsens lives like an epidemic.

In his book, Nonkilling Global Political Science, Glenn Paige (2003) directs attention beyond ‘peace’ and even ‘nonviolence’, and focus sharply upon the taking of human life, nonkilling. Therein he invites everyone to imagine a nonkilling society. He defines a ‘nonkilling society’ as:

A human community, smallest to largest, local to global, characterised by (1) no killing of humans and no threats to kill; (2) no weapons designed to kill humans and no justifications for using them; (3) and no conditions of society dependent upon threat or use of killing force for maintenance or change.

Therefore, to ally with NATO is to depend upon a military alliance whose main purpose is to use threat of killing or actual killing force to maintain or change the society. Still, one may argue as I argued in my previous blog post that Finland has all the risks of NATO membership without, however, the supplied deterrence provided by Article 5, and therefore should ally.

Allying with NATO is to agree that war and killing is acceptable. Still, one may argue that killing is an inevitable human nature and social life; this is how it is and will be. Better side with the ones who share same values.

Allying with NATO is to agree to the logic of war, the only thing that Russia understands, and the very thing that Russia currently wants. Still, one may argue that Finland has no choice on the matter; these are the cards we have been dealt, and now we have to play them. Better not repeat the mistakes from history.

But let us not forget that our end goal is peace. Mahatma Gandhi, Hannah Arendt, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King Jr. emphasise the importance of means and ends.

Mahatma Gandhi placed greater emphasis on means than on ends. He concluded that if ultimate truths are unknowable then ultimate ends are also uncertain. The ends of human action are unpredictable, but the means employed are concrete and certain.

Political philosopher Hannah Arendt came to a similar conclusion. Since the end of human action can never be reliably predicted, the means used to achieve political goals are more often than not of greater relevance to the future world than the intended goals.

Cesar Chavez had a similar view: There is no such thing as means and ends. Everything that we do is an end, in itself, that we can never erase.

Martin Luther King Jr. likewise argued that the end is inherent in the means, and that truth and justice can only be achieved through moral means.

Therefore, I argue that military alliance as the means to achieve peace is not the right path, because it tries to solve a problem with the same mindset that created it in the first place. Relying on the threat to kill to maintain or change society is not the path to peace.

#essay #peace