A Workable Moral Strategy for Achieving and Preserving World Peace

Raymond G. Wilson*, Illinois Wesleyan University, rwilson@iwu.edu

Assumption: The reader thoroughly understands what happened within seconds to more than 210,000 people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945.

It has become clear that nuclear weapons are only a symptom of an all-pervasive malignancy of the spirit of the world and of adult humankind. Some Japanese have an expression for this period of human history; they call it “the era of nuclear madness.” It is the purpose of this essay to show one way that era can be brought to a remarkably peaceful end. Einstein, Oppenheimer, and others have suggested means to that end.

Since 1945 there have been no conflicts which could have justified using nuclear weapons. International business conflicts seem to regularly arise with major trading partner China, and with Russia, usually a U.S. trading partner. Some politicos speak of possible war with North Korea or Iran or other Middle Eastern nations. We doubt there exist any American politicians, any “deciders,” or “dividers,” qualified to order the use of nuclear weapons to remedy international conflicts. Likewise there probably is no single person in the world, nor any cabal, qualified to make such a decision to indiscriminately murder hundreds of thousands within seconds; it would be morally unjustifiable.

But some people have considered nuclear explosives to be useable weapons of war; after all, in 1945 the Allies actually used two which many believe ended that war. Then, during the 1946 Bikini “Able” and “Baker” nuclear tests, U.S. congressmen, invited to witness the tests, were located so far away (for their safety) that many came away naively expressive. “Like a giant firecracker,” said one. Another, “In the next war I hope we don't have to throw atomic baseballs.” The Bikini “Charlie” was cancelled. More recently from the White House, “If we have them, why can’t we use them?” “My button is bigger than theirs.”

Apparently members of the U.S. Congress and policy creators of many nations pay little heed to wiser minds. For example, early on, Albert Einstein in 1947, “We scientists believe that a clear and widespread understanding of the facts and implications of the atomic discoveries is indispensable to a reasonable public stand on questions of international politics. Given this understanding, men and women will recognize that only international cooperation through effective institutions can ensure security against humanity’s destruction.” [1]

Carroll Quigley (former Professor at Princeton, Harvard, and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown) ― “The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching [plan], nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.” [2] Obviously they did not seek creation of a peaceful world, a world free from wars; they sought a different goal.

Albert Einstein, 1949 ― “The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. . . since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature.” Einstein again, “…unless by common struggle we are capable of new ways of thinking, mankind is doomed.” “At present we are bound by political thinking, much of which seems dictated by private financial interests, not human or necessarily moral interests.” [3]

In the 20th century the annual average of war-killing was more than one million people. [4] We believe a great deal of it was brought about by political thinking dictated by private financial interests or at least supported by them. Unless there are changes we can expect such slaughter to continue. But the admonition of Albert Einstein was, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Until the war problem is solved this world will continue training our youngest adults, men and women, to be mass murderers, to continue bloody wars until financial control of the economy of the world is in private hands, undoubtedly not yours. The stupidity of people, not of policies, continues the wholesale killing.

Let us attempt some “new ways of thinking,” based upon human and moral interests. Consider the following: It must be true that in an ideal peaceful world, a world without the conventional weapons of war, without tanks, missiles, bombers, warships, drones and cyber-threats, there would be no need for nuclear weapons. In contrast to the treaty negotiated by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, (ICAN, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize), the inverse of the above proposition is not true. For example, year 1941 and the absence of nuclear weapons, conventional armaments were abundant and in use.

We believe a world without conventional weapons of war, a world without need for nuclear weapons, can be achieved.

World initiatives for action need to be taken away from the military-industrial establishment and from the war mongers of the world with their insidious subversions, their mythological belief in their superiority and cause, and their assumed destiny to dominate nations, to rule the world, or their part of the world. World initiatives need to be directed not toward war, dominance, and conquest, but toward peace, for all those nations which are ready for peace, ready for the promised advances of the 20th and 21st centuries. At present U.S. and many nations foreign and military policies are subverted and corrupted by events abroad, corrupted often by private financial interests that seek great personal and private gain. National and international discourse needs redirection toward peace and away from war.

J. Robert Oppenheimer, “father” of atomic bombs, told us 73 years ago in 1946, that “…wars might be avoided by: universal disarmament; limited national sovereignties; provision for all people of the world: of a rising standard of living, better education, more contact with and better understanding of others, and equal access to the technical and raw materials which are needed for improving life…” [5] For the avoidance of war we will show how this could be managed.

In the following, a plan or strategy is proposed that, if adopted: would put “everyone” back to work; bring peace and stability; end war-sacrificed lives; and ensure corporate profits, growth, and cooperation; and would allow people to return to peaceful opportunity-laden homelands.

This workable moral strategy seems the only approach, for decades or centuries to come, by which people of the Less Developed world, in peace, without war, can become masters of their own nation, can create a sensible path to their own peaceful destinies, as so many other nations have done. This workable moral strategy exports no United States’ or other nation’s money**. It fosters the expressed desires of all people and nations seeking: peace, justice, opportunity, and a better life. This strategy has been referred to by one as “brilliant.” Well, certainly; the strategy incorporates ideas advocated by J. Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, Philip Morrison & Kostas Tsipis [6], and James C. Warf [7], some very bright fellows. We describe and recommended a workable moral strategy that might well be referred to as the “incentivization” of world peace. (You may wish to compare it with the world peace plan of the United States, or that of Russia or China or the United Nations.) Incentivization is an element lacking in the ICAN treaty.

Niels Bohr remarked to colleagues who were stumbling over a particularly onerous mathematical problem, “No, no, you’re not thinking, you’re just being logical.” He was suggesting new ways of thinking.

A Workable Moral Strategy for World Peace

Since the United States is the world’s major arms supplier it makes moral sense that the U.S. should have the privilege of leading the way. Thus the United States would announce a strategy, that starting one year from now it will revise the manner by which it provides aid to all other nations and particularly to those of the Less Developed world, provides aid using tax-wealth created by American and other taxpayers. It will no longer be direct aid. All other Developed nations are encouraged to similarly participate so that they would also obtain the benefits that will accrue to them just as benefits will accrue to the United States.

Henceforth, rather than direct aid, the United States will provide the United Nations with 165 billion per year in “credit chits” (promissory notes) for use by Less Developed nations. Other Developed nations are invited to contribute *in total* an additional 165 billion in “credit chits” to the UN; more if they wish. No actual money leaves any nation. The credit chits originating in the U.S. will only be redeemable in cash by American businesses and industries from the United States Treasury. With cooperation from other nations it means $330 billion or more per year of development aid to the Less Developed world, much more than what is now provided by the U.S. alone, a great deal of which we know under the current system is wasted, corrupted, or spent on tools of war.

It seems affordable. On April 10, 2009 the small nation of Japan, not at war with anyone, announced a $150 billion government stimulus package. In 2009 Japan thought it could afford to do this. You can hear a conservative United States Congress complaining that we cannot afford to do something like that. But financial resources are always found for wars. We can be smart enough to find them for a peace which eliminates wars and the costs of wars. We will show reference that the workable strategy we are proposing will lead to more than 500,000 U.S. peacetime manufacturing jobs in the first year – with more to come, and greatly more than 500,000 other peacetime jobs throughout the world.

The United Nations makes the “credit chits” available to peaceful democratic nations of the Less Developed world. Additionally, chits will also be very cautiously offered to those nations which are verifiably peacefully evolving toward equitable nondiscriminatory constitutional democracy. The chits are made available to Less Developed nations based on solicited application of: development proposals from them, verifiable need, and guarantees against misuse or corruption.

These chits to be offered by the United Nations may be utilized only for social and economic development, six specific self-sufficiency goals:

1) modern appropriate agriculture, food, and fresh pure water production;
2) good sheltering and its basic amenities, including electricity, plumbing, sewage;
3) health care, with hospitals, clinics, electronic communication, and well-trained doctors;
4) national wealth creation and infrastructure from their own natural and human resources;
5) civilian security, and;
6) education and training at all levels to support goals 1-5.

The solicited development proposals submitted to the United Nations will be carefully evaluated, in terms of the proposed societal, cultural, economic, and environmental impact, and in terms of protection against abuse and corruption. The UN will aid revisions of unacceptable proposals until they are in line with this UN sanctioned strategy.

Administering this program, the United Nations will not grant chits to nations where war exists or is likely, or where violations of rights: gender, religious, human, or ethnic, are active or not being remediated. Repressive and military governments and martial law governments will not qualify for participation in this program, nor will any nation, chit donor or receiver, regardless of its size, power and influence, which is not fully and actively transparently participating and cooperating in the worldwide elimination of: armaments of war, nuclear weapons, terrorism, and the illicit drug trade. Chits may pass through other nations on their way back to their origin nation, that is, pass through nations which also must be in abidance with the conditions of this paragraph. In democracies seeking peace and advancement the people will not choose continued corruption and wars.

All the above are the essential specifications to this workable moral strategy for achieving and preserving world peace. There are three additional “recommendations” in Chapter 5 of the author’s book* from which this document has been extracted and abridged. Chapter 5 also responds to reader’s other possible concerns.

There will be great advantages to all nations that make chit deposits into this program, and considerable disadvantages to those who can, but do not. The more chits deposited, the greater productive economic value accrues to the depositor nation.

Each year this workable and moral program will see returned to the nonmilitary economies of the Developed nations, in total, some US$330 billion or more, to be used solely for deliverance of peacetime goods and services! Hence, this proposed program should greatly reduce unemployment in any nation participating, supplier or receiver. This program will put workers, the original creators of wealth, back on the job. We estimate that the first year could create in the U.S. alone some 500,000 or more jobs, and at least that many outside the U.S. Here is a source of an estimate of the number of jobs to be created or restored: David Swanson in Roots Action, Sept. 9, 2011; Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). (http://rootsaction.org/news-a-views/232-i-just-found-29-million-jobs)

Flow Chart

When this plan is activated individual citizens of participating Developed nations would come to understand that they are active participants, creating tools, equipment, materials, and know-how, making possible peace and justice onto all regions of the world, and doing it without guns, bombs, and missiles, without destruction and killing thousands. Citizens of the Less Developed world will finally begin to see their hopes and dreams of a peaceful homeland coming true. Their long sought homes, employment opportunities, health care, utilities, schools, society, foods and water, etc., all coming into being, and by their own work and efforts, with the tools, equipment, materials and know-how provided by all the participating UN Developed nations who committed themselves to such obligation with their UN Charter signature. [8] When the “chits” are allocated the field is leveled; Less Developed nations can then negotiate with all participating Developed nations to gain the best advantage for themselves. Political and financial obligations to “powerful” nations become unnecessary.

Consider what 3,500,000,000 people of the Less Developed world do not have, and who is capable of supplying it! There are abundant opportunities for all! Chit donors and receivers. This proposal has the potential of bringing together the people of possibly 190 nations for the purpose of ending wars and creating a peaceful, cooperative world. This plan is “*The Incentivization of World Peace.*” Billions of people worldwide would be able to have jobs and greatly improved lives. If you think that this approach to world peace could become quite costly, compare it to the cost of “attempting” to recover from a war that could involve the United States (and Allies) and Russia, China, and stateless terrorists. Such a war could result in hundreds of millions of deaths as well as physical destruction of the major cities on the surface of a radioactive earth.

Adoption of this strategy would result in an exchange being made:

  • With self-sufficiency and self-defined but true democracy growing in a protected Less Developed world and the elimination there of poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, disease, neocolonialism, rights deprivation, indebtedness, exploitation, and slavery;
  • The entire world could have full economic recovery, elimination of the possibility for international nuclear catastrophe, and the practical elimination of war.
  • In a world at peace the refugee problem is solved. The killing stops and solutions to global problems can be found. The basic tool is cooperation and proper incentives, not sanctions, boycotts, deadly threats, regime changes, and wars; but instead, justified benefits, not penalties; advantages for all. As promised, no money would leave any nation or pass through the UN, and the credit chits never pass through the World Bank, or any bank, or the International Monetary Fund.

A world at peace as described above would aid solution of present day social problems, in particular the immigration problems in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, and Latin America.

We believe the workers of the world, of the Americas, of Russia, of China, would approve of this plan; unless someone throws a wrench into the works, for some reason.

For the Developed World to reject this type of plan implies that the oligarchy of private capital influencing legislative bodies would much prefer to continue structuring a world system of financial control in private hands, through wars, financial obligations, and regime changes.

Justification: A Moral World View

We believe the Developed World and its people have some responsibility for centuries of: exploitation, poverty, starvation, slavery, disease, displaced refugees, rights deprivation, war-killing and destruction, and illiteracy, etc., as they have existed in the former colonial and Less Developed world, in Africa, in Asia and the Middle East, in Latin America. It is likely that your nation in some manner has taken selfish advantage of people of the Less Developed world. We believe the Developed World has some unfulfilled moral obligations to the former colonial and Less Developed World.

Chapter 5 of Wilson’s book* also suggests specific solutions to the Palestine/Israel problem as well as the Senkaku Islands problem between Japan and China. Similar problems exist elsewhere.

Adoption of this Incentivization of World Peace would go down in history as the turning point which saved the earth and its people from return to a darkest and post-nuclear age. For all nations’ Congresses, Parliaments, and people it would symbolize the wisdom of finally coming to their senses. Otherwise, the world must endure many more centuries of “nuclear madness” and annual mass murders.

But here is a prediction of “Constant Conflict”: “There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.” — Major Ralph Peters of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, 1997, where he was responsible for future warfare. [9]

To such ends any amount of killing would be morally unjustifiable. There are other choices, other options. "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." — Often attributed to Bertrand Russell, but no sources exist.

*Raymond G. Wilson is an emeritus Associate Professor of Physics, Illinois Wesleyan University, who has taught about nuclear war for over 58 years and has spent most of 17 summers of study and exploration in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This essay is adapted and greatly abridged from Wilson’s 2014 book, where the strategy is developed more completely in Chapter 5. Nuclear War: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and A Workable Moral Strategy for Achieving and Preserving World Peace, Author House, is available in print from Amazon or ebook from the publisher. The book is not for profit and can be downloaded at no cost here, http://sun.iwu.edu/~rwilson/PNDclass.html. There is a “Caution” on the cover.


[1] In a solicitation letter from the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, Nov. 29, 1947. Some of the other Committee Trustees were: Hans Bethe, Harold Urey, Linus Pauling, Leo Szilard, Frederick Seitz, and Victor Weisskopf.

[2] Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, (Chapter 20), Macmillan, 1966.

[3] Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, Bonanza Books, NY, 1954; also Albert Einstein, Why Socialism?, Monthly Review, May, 1949 and republished, May 1998. https://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism/

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/06/books/chapters/what-every-person-should-know-about-war.html

[5] J. Robert Oppenheimer, “The International Control of Atomic Energy,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 1, June, p. 1-5, 1946. Reprinted in The Atomic Bomb, H. W. Wilson Co., New York, 1946.

[6] Philip Morrison and Kostas Tsipis, Reason Enough to Hope, MIT Press, 1998.

[7] James C. Warf, All Things Nuclear, Figueroa Press, 2005.

[8] The Purposes of the United Nations are:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

[9] “Constant Conflict,” Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters

These contributions have not been peer-refereed. They represent solely the view(s) of the author(s) and not necessarily the view of APS.