World Peace and world wine

When I first read Tom Friedman’s ‘golden arches theory’ it just struck me how beneficial trade relationships and liberal democracy are to international relations. If two countries, no matter what their differences, are doing trade with one another, and benefiting from the relationship then there’s really a huge disincentive to go to war. We’ve already explored the fact that wine reduces your carbon footprint – but imagine a world where wine made the world more peaceful…

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Peace Oil is certainly a product that takes this notion of creating peace through consumerism on. The project is a collaborative effort at the foot of the Carmel Moutains, and sees Arabs, Jews, Druze and Bedouin all working together to create the product. The profits are then used toward peace and reconciliation efforts within the region.

This is cultural capital realized in full, and for those unfamiliar with Marxist thought, cultural capital is a term that denotes the value held within a group of people; their values, work ethic, ethos, cultural habits and the strength within the community.

Vineyards are yet another entity where cultural capital can be promoted as they speak so much for the land, geography, people, lifestyle and culture of a region. If we are going to reform the world and promote peace, the only alternative to ineffectual militarism is to do it through promoting trade, and if we promote cultural capital in the same breath then there can be no fears of a backlash against globalizing at the risk of losing one’s culture. Instead one will be entering a global market to preserve their culture.

Let’s face it – an army is ineffective when you’re not fighting another army. The US are chasing ghosts in Iraq – the enemy is not one particular faction; the enemy is a mindset. And the mindset is one of hopelessness and fear. If you send soldiers into a country gripped by fear, you’re just going to fan the flames of destruction and put yourself in harms way. The Iraqi people are already dealing with their own militias; and for the US to come into it all is just to add guns to a situation where there are too many guns in the first place. Guns will not create a disincentive to resorting to violence – and instead they’ll cause more violence.

An incentive is money. An incentive is a better life. An incentive is the chance to raise children in a world where you can be sure they’ll live a long and happy life. War accomplished nothing. Trade uplifts societies.

We’re beginning to see the process of peace-talks and in Israel/ Palestine the prospect of forming a Palestinian state is back on the global agenda. If this goes through we’ll see something positive come out of 2007 in the region, which has thus far been pretty bleak.

Two weeks ago I declared that the Greek wine market is alive and well; and rather upliftingly, Apartment Therapy announced the come back of the Israeli wine industry. So perhaps there’s hope for similar initiatives to Peace Oil and we can start seeing a wine to toast to world peace with.

Cheerz!

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