Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

“Is the U.S. Political Discourse Adequate to the Task of Peace?,” Dr. Johan Galtung

Seventh Annual Ava Helen Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace

October 14, 1988


Johan Galtung
Johan Galtung (University of Oslo)

“Is the U.S. Political Discourse Adequate to the Task of Peace?”  Watch Video

Professor Galtung, a strong worldwide promoter of peace, discusses the U.S. political discourse in the late 1980s in terms of its effects on international relations. He outlines three categories of violence and describes the ways in which - fueled by sentiments of American exceptionalism - they have been perpetuated as a result of U.S. government and military policy.

Galtung stresses the importance of "non-provocative" defense, and calls for the United States to follow the example set by other countries in this regard. Galtung also considers the historical and geographic uniqueness of the United States, discusses the ways in which these factors have impacted the nation's ability to maintain peaceful interactions with the rest of the world.

Seymour Melman Johan Galtung
Seymour Melman (Columbia University), Johan Galtung (University of Oslo)

Response by Seymour Melman and Audience Question and Answer Session  Watch Video

Following the conclusion of Galtung's speech, Seymour Melman, a Columbia University professor of engineering and chairman of the National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament, gives a short response. He echoes some of Galtung's points, but argues against the concept of non-provocative defense. Galtung briefly responds to the Melman's remarks, then fields questions from the audience for approximately fifteen minutes.

Related Names: Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling, Seymour Melman