Friday, November 05, 2004

What We Call Peace is Little Better Than Capitulation To a Corporate Coup by Arundhati Roy

What We Call Peace is Little Better Than Capitulation To a Corporate Coup This is an edited extract from the 2004 Sydney Peace Prize lecture delivered by Arundhati Roy at the Seymour Center November 3rd.

Sometimes there's truth in old cliches. There can be no real peace without justice. And without resistance there will be no justice. Today, it is not merely justice itself, but the idea of justice that is under attack.

The assault on vulnerable, fragile sections of society is so complete, so cruel and so clever that its sheer audacity has eroded our definition of justice. It has forced us to lower our sights, and curtail our expectations. Even among the well-intentioned, the magnificent concept of justice is gradually being substituted with the reduced, far more fragile discourse of "human rights".

This is an alarming shift. The difference is that notions of equality, of parity, have been pried loose and eased out of the equation. It's a process of attrition. Almost unconsciously, we begin to think of justice for the rich and human rights for the poor. Justice for the corporate world, human rights for its victims. Justice for Americans, human rights for Afghans and Iraqis. Justice for the Indian upper castes, human rights for Dalits and Adivasis (if that.) Justice for white Australians, human rights for Aborigines and immigrants (most times, not even that.)

It is becoming more than clear that violating human rights is an inherent and necessary part of the process of implementing a coercive and unjust political and economic structure on the world. Increasingly, human rights violations are being portrayed as the unfortunate, almost accidental, fallout of an otherwise acceptable political and economic system. As though they are a small problem that can be mopped up with a little extra attention from some non-government organisation.

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Full Transcript - Thanks helios (LiveJournal/Antiwar)

Lecture to be broadcast on Radio National
The 2004 City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture delivered by Arundhati Roy at the Seymour Theatre Centre, University of Sydney

Peace & The New Corporate Liberation Theology

will be broadcast on Big Ideas, ABC Radio National, just after the 5.00pm news Sunday 7 November and again on Tuesday 9 November just after the 1.00 pm news.

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