War and Peace: The Lost Principles of Science and Value

War and Peace: The Lost Principles of Science and Value

Peace Activists Blame the Enemy without Science or Life-Value Compass

  • By Prof. John McMurtry Global Research, June 17, 2015
  • In recent months we have seen one ‘peace activist’ organization after another framing global conflicts in US war-propaganda terms.
  • There is no criterion of peace, no evidence base, no life ground or compass governing judgement.

The official enemy is assumed as first premise, and slogans substitute for understanding. Avaaz, Amnesty International, and Physicians for Human Rights, for example, have all called for a version of ‘humanitarian bombing’ to ‘save lives’ in Syria. The war criminal attacks on Iraq and Libya under the same pretexts are erased from view.

In this way, blame-the-enemy justifications for mass murder run free with no grounding principle to tell peace from war, or of truth from propaganda. Even the legendary Science for Peace held a conference in March this year organized as if it was the US National Endowment on Democracy in Ukraine Yet oppositions are skeptical of any ‘moral compass’ because it is a concept typically invoked by the very people demanding wars. So we remain adrift in a world heading for cumulative catastrophe without any principled life-value bearings.

Again and again the same pattern unfolds with another designated enemy to justify another US-led aerial bombing of another poor society with resources for the US-led corporate-money maw – already far advanced in Ukraine without press decoding. Accusing the enemy to justify war-criminal aggression is now normalized so pervasively that progressive organizations succumb too without any principled life-value compass. Organized amnesia allows it. Indoctrinated thinking governs it. Stupefied group-egoism motivates it. Today the new propagandists of war are dressed in peace costumes as they assume the official narratives of war as their own.

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Systemic Ignorance as the Medium of Mind Control

But how could members of organizations which have stood for good causes go along with the big lies of a global war mechanism bringing eco-genocides to the deprived and profits to the few? Systemic ignorance is the medium of mind control. In a world of totalizing diversions from our common life ground, one orchestrated war after another is reverse-projected onto a designated enemy to attack instead. A billion-dollar-a-day US-led weapons industry advances private corporatization across borders as prime time conflict entertainment and global panacea at once. Wherever people do not mind being complicit in their own comfort zone, a growing global war against life organization itself advances in one despoiling invasion after another.

We know the symptoms in those who go along. Refusal to see, denial, diversion, and favors of the system collaborate to mask the deep war. Once set into motion by the US-led war machine driving even barbaric ISIS, the recourse must be public exposure all the way down. People do not really prefer mass dispossession and death to life. Yet the comfort zone of collaboration has entered into the centers of the peace movement itself. I never fully realized how far until I met it inside an organization I have belonged to for 30 years. Science for Peace has long been the most eminently led organization for peace in Canada, featuring such leading minds as C.B. MacPherson, John Polanyi, Ursula Franklin, Anatol Rapoport, Nancy Olivieri, and the list could go on across disciplines and fields of critical inquiry.

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How could such an organization become led into a propagandist framework of war in the name of “science” and “peace”? The story is a kind of allegory of our age. It shows how a dominant culture of denial, personal diversions, and forgetting can fatuate even an organization in scientific cause against war, propaganda and crimes against humanity. As so often elsewhere, it shows how a central administration can reverse constitutional goals by rubber-stamped steps of executive privilege which exactly fit to the surrounding public ignorance and indoctrination.

Just as our universities themselves have been hijacked by a collaborator class to serve business ideology and profits, so too can its public-affairs leadership and concepts of war and peace be hijacked the same way. Our deepest values of how to live as human can collapse into manipulating slogans and complicity unless we know what science, war and peace stand for in principle against push-button assumptions of surrounding propaganda fields.

  • The Background War of Higher Education:

Corporate Money and Propaganda vs. Standing for Life Value and Truth

The reframing of ‘science for peace’ into US-style blame-the-enemy propaganda occurred after the lead article of the October 2014 Science for Peace Bulletin was published – “Corporate Globalization and Society Destruction: Joining the Dots of War and Peace in Ukraine” for (Vol. 34: No. 2). Then even more then than now, Western media were reporting the causes of the civil war in Ukraine on the bases of sweeping falsehoods and accuse-Putin hysteria. Canadians were kept as ignorant as Americans with Harper and the corporate press out front and even the NDP foreign-affairs critic Paul Dewar repeating the official lies.

Yet not one counter fact or argument was communicated to the Bulletin lead article exposing the causal pattern and repressed facts. But then without notice and covertly, a major conference was unilaterally planned that silenced all the evidence against the official story. Acting president Metta Spencer, the long-time editor-proprietor of Peace Magazine, orchestrated a conference that erased the US-led war crimes in Ukraine and shifted all attention to the official enemy, Vladmir Putin. Many Science of Peace members went along not scrupling to notice that what had been erased that included the documented US orchestration of a war-criminal coup d’etat and the massive one-way bombing of civilians and life infrastructures in Eastern Ukraine and over a million refugees from the covered-up ethnic cleansing (now two million).

Put into the context of University of Toronto’s much more powerful Munk School for Global Affairs, this white-wash of the US-led Kiev overthrow of an elected government and continual mass murder of civilians in the Donbass region fitted very well. Global affairs has been taken over by pro-US/anti-Putin/Israel personnel and organization backed by big corporate money and providing media events. Why not Science for Peace too?

The Munk School was opposed by several active Science for Peace members, Professors of Chemistry and Physics John Valleau and Paul Hamel. They did their best to make the instant corporate propaganda arm accountable to academic disciplines and procedures. But kiss-money academic administrators with little serious research commitment imitate their richer corporate masters. At U of T, they kept negotiations secret until the academic coup was finalized to avoid any academic accountability. Then the announced $35 million received from notorious gold-baron Peter Munk was leveraged to get almost twice as much from Ontario and Canadian taxpayers with no independent academic appraisal, standards or accountability required. If all this could be engineered by a transnationally rapacious global mines owner whose operations kill and terrorize indigenous people in Tanzania and Papua against UN Convention – a man who effusively praised the mass-murderer Pinochet before receiving his doctorate from U of T – Science for Peace is hardly safe next door.

The Monk Institute is also accused of being an academic front for a pro-Israel lobby while being richly funded by a Saudi war merchant, Adnan Khashoggi, as well as by the Harper regime dependent on Israel lobby support. Harper gave $9 million of Canadian citizens money for transnational digital channels to conduct cyber uprising in Iran. When the academic surroundings have become so corrupted, Science for Peace hoping to keep an office on King’s Circle is perhaps only a gulp away. In such executive circles, critically informed scholarship and exposure of ongoing US-led international war crimes is not welcome, and Metta Spencer has already taken steps to silence it.

Fortunately, others in Science for Peace prefer factual truth and critical integrity in an organization worth saving. They can agree across differences and without past associations on the principles at stake of science, peace and war. And so they have against the corruption of these goals by blame-the enemy propaganda towards war in Ukraine and elsewhere. Yet the core modus operandi of the wider corporate state and media and collaborating organizations is not well understood: control of perception by total exclusion of internationally criminal facts and their US-led causation. Behind slogans of ‘freedom’ and ‘peace’ any life reality that does not fit the ruling narrative is erased by being screened out of view. To know the evidence or cause of things is effectively out of bounds.

Yet silencing the facts is not just a matter of memory-holing serial crimes against humanity and starting wars. The rationalizing justifications must reverse life reality itself to impose the master goal across domains – ever more money-sequence predation of human and planetary life supports with no limit or regulation by life standards. The system’s demands of profit and sale multiply exponentially and ever faster than world population. The destruction of societies’ very collective life capital bases is thus normalized in peace as well as war.

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What Few See or Connect:


  • The Global War on Life Support Systems
  • The Ruling Laws of the System
  • Knowing the Real War and the Real Enemy
  • The Global Market God at War
  • The Truth is What Sells, and the Enemy Sells the War
  • Beyond Amnesia: Paradigm Tracking of the Propaganda Framework of Aggression
  • The Ad Adversarium Fallacy: Behind the Wars Masked as Peace Seeking
    1. issues of fact and truth are erased from view,
    2. focus is directed on the unsubstantiated Enemy standing the way of US
    3. nasty insinuations or droning are launched at critics
    4. lies build on lies as virtue and truth.
  • War is Peace and Ignorance is Strength: The Case of Ukraine
    The Ukraine conference and aftermath unfolded as the directing propagandist frame had structured it. It crossed political parties, corporate media, collaborating activist organizations, and the occupied minds of citizens.
  • Re-Grounding in Life Reason against the Corporate Occupation
  • ‘Science’ and ‘Peace’ Are Defined by What They Are Not
  • Principles of Science and Peace against War Propaganda

Professor John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. whose work is published and translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author and editor of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his most recent book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/ from Crisis to Cure.

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