It’s war or peace?

Actually, neither.

The opposite of peace is not-peace. War is one type of not-peace. There are also contraries and contradictories, like “both peace and not-peace” and “neither peace nor not-peace.” If these semiotics were not enough, ordinary language has its own categories. Other people don’t think in twos, but in threes or more, e.g., Virginia Woolf talks about Peace, Love and Hate as the biggies.

Once you’ve got more than a dualism, the contradistinctions go any which way. If Peace is the freedom from extreme love and hate, the Woolf’s threesome become Love, Hate and Freedom from extreme versions of both. And by talking about Peace being “a freedom from,” you eventually stumble into “freedom to,” as in: Why not freedom-to as its own kind of Peace?

–For my part, the better question is: What is neither peace nor not-peace? One answer would be a world so complex that the determination of what is “peace” versus “not-peace” is not possible. Why? Because right now nothing has been concluded, yet. It’s as if when reading World War II entries in John Colville’s Downing Street Diaries, you were also experiencing real time today.

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