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An Essay on the Power of 
Reciprocal Survival to Produce Lasting Peace on Earth
"Our most urgent task, if we wish to survive, is to emerge a global community with a culture that works for all life." 
Foundation for Global Community, Palo Alto

Wars, by their nature, bring about destruction, death, and distrust. Yet, across the centuries, humanity has yet to fully subscribe to the idea of "War is obsolete." This thought, though noble and utopian, often collides with the grim realities of geopolitical conflict and deeply ingrained sentiments. Curiously, the concept of "Reciprocal survival" – a principle that champions mutual resolution and non-violence – offers a path, a strategy on how we can facilitate conflict resolution, and move a step closer to a future with no more wars.

"Reciprocal survival," at its core, is the idea that an entity's existence and progress are mutually dependent on another. It encapsulates the understanding that in a deeply interconnected global society, the survival, prosperity, and continued evolution of one nation or group depends on the survival and progress of others.

The relevance of the concept stems from its emphasis on collaboration, mutual respect, understanding, and symbiotic growth – all of which are necessary for peaceful coexistence. Reciprocal survival is a concept that goes beyond mere survival. It includes the progress and sustainable development of all parties involved.

On a macro level, it promotes a world where nations understand that their preservation and advancement depend not on the weakening or destruction of others, but on their strength and growth. War in such a setting doesn't just become obsolete, it becomes counterproductive, even self-destructive. The philosophy of reciprocal survival is therefore a vision where nations see the growth of others not as a threat, but as a boon to their own survival and prosperity.

Using the principles of reciprocal survival, we can carve out resolutions to conflicts such as the ongoing hostilities in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, or the power struggle between Russia and Ukraine. What it demands is a paradigm shift – shifting from a zero-sum game mentality to a mutual win-win philosophy.

Let's consider the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The hostility has wreaked havoc on both fronts, causing loss of life, property and stunting economic growth. Now, imagine an alternative: if they upheld the philosophy of reciprocal survival, it would necessitate understanding that their survival and progress depend on maintaining peace for cooperative rather than destructive endeavors.

Israel, in this perspective, would recognize that a thriving Palestinian state does not pose a threat to its existence, but offers a chance at long-term peace and shared prosperity. Similarly, Hamas must realize that the same holds true for a strong and secure Israel.

This understanding won’t exclusively benefit the parties in conflict. Local stability will also positively impact surrounding nations and trickle down to the global level, reinforcing the symbiosis inherent in the concept of reciprocal survival.

To journey towards this understanding, investment in platforms facilitating dialogue and reconciliation is necessary. Such avenues serve to quash mistrust, enable mutual understanding, and restore the human connection sometimes lost in the heat of conflict.

Longstanding disputes, like that of Israel and Hamas, have generated deep-seated sentiments and apprehensions. However, through patience, persistence, and open dialogue, these barriers can be broken down to foster peace.

The principle of reciprocal survival is not just a reactive measure, responding to conflicts once they arise. It must be proactively embedded in governance and foreign policy. It must guide conversations and actions in global forums like the United Nations, and be embraced by national leaders, peace activists, globally concerned citizens, and not least, President Biden.

President Biden, with his promise of 'Diplomacy is back', could leverage reciprocal survival to reshape USA's foreign policy, making it less about dominance and more about collaboration. The inclusion of this principle would systematically shift the approach from "us versus them" to "us with them", transforming international relations.

Achieving Reciprocal survival on a global scale doesn’t happen overnight. In the interim, it's crucial that we prioritize reducing and resolving conflict without violence. The immediate goal is to promote peace and stability, demonstrating to all parties that peace bears more fruit than hostility ever could.

Former enemies can become the most faithful allies, and the concept of reciprocal survival underpins this reality. Take the case of France and Germany, once at loggerheads for centuries, their mutual understanding and cooperation now form the backbone of the European Union. This is a prime example of how enemies can become partners, only if they comprehend the value of reciprocal survival.

Now imagine such cooperative relationships building upon each other, eventually culminating in a network of nations bound by a shared understanding of mutual survival. Such an international community would realize that war is a relic of the past, an obsolete tool that yields no real winners.

Humanity has disastrously proven that war isn’t a viable solution. This, more than ever, is a critical juncture where we must loudly echo: "We need an immediate end to all war, forever!" We can no longer afford to solve issues with bombs and bullets. It’s high time to wield dialogue, cooperation, understanding, and the power of reciprocal survival.

Humanity’s survival depends on our collective actions and decisions. Reciprocal survival is the solution to end wars and bring about peace. It should become a guiding doctrine for our foreign policies, and a mantra that leads us away from a destructive, competitive past and towards a better, cooperative future.

The principle of reciprocal survival counteracts the sense of fear and mistrust that war invariably perpetuates. It reframes competitiveness and hostility as negative forces that jeopardize mutual survival and progress. In the larger context, it could also form the basis of an antidote to issues not limited to war but extending to racism, inequality, and even climate change.

For example, reciprocal survival, if accepted and exercised, would necessitate nations to cooperate tackling global challenges like climate change, realizing that the adverse reactions of the environment also respect no borders or nationalities. By doing so, reciprocal survival reinforces the interdependence of nations and peoples.

Through the lens of reciprocal survival, one can perceive that national security goes beyond military power and territorial boundaries. It includes the well-being of global citizens, economic stability, climate action, and beyond. Thence, any attempts for peace would necessitate and benefit from a holistic, multi-faceted approach.

In conclusion, the principle of reciprocal survival offers a strategy, paving the way towards lasting peace and rendering war obsolete. Through collective investment and commitment to this understanding, the world can shift from being a battleground to a platform for shared prosperity and cooperation. It serves as a reminder of our interconnectedness and mutual dependency on each other for progress and survival.

It is time to embrace reciprocal survival, not merely as an ideal, but as a practical philosophy to guide diplomatic endeavors, national policies, international relations, and individual mindsets. Only then can we foster a world where peace isn't just a desired ending, but an ever-present reality – a world where war has no place.

Reciprocal Survival - An Essay about Lasting Peace

Reciprocal Survival