Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Peace Activism Through Media and the Arts

Peace is the ultimate hope of men. Without peace, happiness and wealth become futile. Peace is also a prized possession of individuals who live as normal beings. Hence, those who seek chaos and disharmony do not care about living a normal life.

When wars and rumors of wars, poverty, and natural calamities are ahead of us, our primary concern is the safety of our family and loved ones. Different reactions of the people will come into the surface if harmful activities are done by others depending upon its potential impact of the society. In this case, people tend to react through channels of effective communication tools that available in the society. Despite the presence of people who display apathy and inaction to these harmful issues, many activists were able to do something to react and prepare for anything detrimental to the society.

There are people who are called peace activists who are trying hard to improve the society in terms of peace and harmony. These people are involved with peace movements organized by intellectual and concerned citizens. Peace movement is composed of people and organizations that share a collective attitude that peace must be achieved through non-violent means-preferably through cooperation, not competition, among nations. Shaping public opinion in order to oppose endorsement of violence by political leaders is the primary vehicle of peace activists in promoting peace in the society.

There are two types of peace activists that exist in the societal mainstream. These are conventional and unconventional activists. Conventional activists function within the system. They seek out to modify its policies, perhaps by influencing the choice of candidates for political office, modifying the platforms of the major political parties, or promoting campaigns to adjust government policy. Since they are within the system, they are more likely than unconventional peace activists to have admittance to the media, appearing on TV talk shows and op-ed pages in newspapers. Some are in tactical positions to influence the public, as in the case of Senator Wayne Morse, the first Congressperson to call for an end to the war in Vietnam. Unconventional peace activists function outside the system. They generate and maintain peace organizations and seek to inform and influence the public through a diversity of means including literature, the Internet, letters to editors, music, demonstrations, vigils, and picketing weapons sites. Unconventional activists differ from the conventional type in being disaffected with the established order or with the policies of a government in power, as studies in Germany and the United States have revealed. They see little hope for change by working within the system.

Blogging in the Internet is the latest trend of unconventional activism. Topics about peace and economic progress are tackled by bloggers in order to inform the whole world about issues that should be dealt with. Blogging also shapes public opinion about political, cultural, and economic issues that would cultivate a better channel for peace activism. Blogging also includes music reviews, product reviews, sports commentaries, website reviews, summaries, personal opinions about political, economic, and cultural topics. Bloggers must be responsible for this activity though. Music is also one of the most influential venue for peace activism. Due to its widespread exposure in the society as an art, its lyrics could influence people to do good. If the people are informed about the latest events of countries and the world, policies of the government, foreign policy, and economic conditions, they can be prepared in everything and peace is attainable. Hence, peace activism through media and the arts is the safest way to make this world a better place to live.


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