By Anonymous (not verified) on October 16, 2012

Alfred Nobel was a visionary who believed in a demilitarized peaceful world. In his will he left his Nobel peace prize to those who would work for “fraternity among nations,” “abolition or reduction of standing armies,” and “holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

In Nobel’s will the award for peace was to go to champions of peace, those working to replace militarism with international order based on law, and the abolition of national military forces. Nobel’s vision was to replace the power of militarism and war, with the power of law.

I believe the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union does not meet the criteria that Alfred Nobel laid out.

In many ways the European Union has done much in the past sixty years for peace and reconciliation amongst nations, but it has sadly done little for the demilitarization of Europe.

Whilst the EU imposes severe austerity measures upon many EU countries, it simultaneously supports the growing militarization of Europe by its support for the US military and for NATO ( which are guilty of war crimes against Iraq and Afghanistan). The EU continues to support the nuclear weapons policies of the United States. It supports arms sales from European states (UK, Germany, etc.,) to countries all around the world. T Instead of upholding human rights for countries such as Palestine, the EU has rewarded Israel with special trading status and huge grants (EU taxpayer money) for its military research and weapons, thus enabling it to continue its illegal policies of occupation and apartheid.

I cannot support this decision to give the peace prize to the EU.

I appeal to the Swedish Foundation Authority to hold the Nobel Committee accountable for giving, yet again, a political award instead of supporting people taking courageous, and often dangerous, stands to help move the human family away from military relations to ones based on peaceful resolution of conflict.

I believe that the reform of the Nobel Peace Committee is now necessary. As is the case of all other Nobel Prize committees that are made up of experts in their particular field, perhaps it is time too for the Nobel Peace Committee to be comprised of people experienced in the field of Peacemaking and International Law.

Mairead Corrigan Maguire won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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