Peacemaking & Justicemaking

 Δρόμοι Ειρήνης - Ελληνικό κείμενο εδώ

I have always regarded war as the ultimate expression of humankind's most fearful, murderous and destructive tendencies. I am of the opinion that these tendencies are based (but do not arise deterministically) from the death drive we all posess. In recent years a good description of this death drive has been given by the great psychoanalyst Hannah Segal. Personally I observed violence among my peers ever since my childhood. In teenage years this was mostly psychological violence, bullying, efforts to humiliate the other person. Violence stretches from these 'everyday' forms up tto the threat of nuclear holocaust. The most extreme form of institutionalised violence are the 'armed forces', people trained to kill massively whom I could never possibly support. I am proud to be a pacifist, that is to make it my life's work to sturggle for justice and peace through non-violent means.

The pusuit of security and freedom through armaments and killing is extremely expensive and dangerous (as well as, in my view, deeply immoral). It is the duty of each citizen to work hard to implement the much better alternatives that exist (e.g.  Conflict Transformation by Peaceful MeansStruggle by Nonviolent Means ). Each citizen must work in the areas and ways that are closest to her/his experience and expertise. I joined the Association for Cypriot, Greek and Turkish Affairs, a UK based group offering academic seminars and analyses to help with the conflict between these three countries. As an example of my involvement, I gave a seminar entitled "National Identity and the Media: Psychological Mechanisms Involved".

In 1984, at the age of 18, I went to England to study but also to avoid the 4-year-long imprisonment which was then the punishment for refusing to serve the army in Greece. I soon joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the  Peace Pledge Union, PPU . As a medic however I found MEDACT, the UK affiliate of International Physicians Against Nuclear War, IPPNW one of the most appropriate NGOs to support and work for. I have been assistant to the Editor of the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival and I have written several articles for it (see below).

In the year 2000 I returned to Greece for family reasons. I presented myself and applied for Conscientious Objector status. I was briefly arrested and released, but it took them 8 months to process my application and 10 months to call me up for service. During that period of 'in limbo' I helped out other Greek COs. The terms of the despicable Greek law 2510/97 on Conscientious Objection are so punitive that I was forced to compromise - i.e. to serve in a Naval hospital as a CO. This was still serving the military and still under the Ministry of Defense: the most humiliating time of my life. When I finished I continued my peace work. I helped to set up the Greek COs web site ( English page here but a few are still in Greek only), and I supported Greeks who were brought to trial because of refusing to serve the military.

I have also given presentations such as -

In the long term I intend to continue this work to the best of my abilities. A list of my relevant publications is here.

There can be no true peace without Justice - Some groups working for justice

Peace and Conflict Resolution publications :

  1. M Moutoussis, "The Background to the New Balkan Wars" Medicine and War, Vol. 9, 317 - 325 (1993)
  2. M Moutoussis, "On the Barbaric Nature of Boxing: Thoughts Following the Panorama Debate on Banning Boxing after Yet Another Death", Medicine, Conflict & Survival, Vol.12, 62-64 (1996)
  3. M Moutoussis, "The United Nations and its Teeth", Medicine, Conflict & Survival, Vol.12, 126-130 (1996)
  4. Moutoussis M. Inter-group aggression: the multi-individual organism and the survival instinct. [Letter] Medicine, Conflict & Survival. 16(4):473, 2000 Oct-Dec.
  5. Anonymous, "War, A Crime Against Humanity (and Conscientious Objection, Right and Duty of the Citizen)" Manifesto, June 2001 [in Greek]
  6. Μ Μoutoussis, Psychiatric Aspects of Victims and Perpetrators of Torture, Eleftherotypia 138:10-11, 2001 Nov. [in Greek]
  7. K Geling, PJ Klasse, M Moutoussis, JJ Patterson, J Piachaud & R Stott "Preventing War through Non-Violent Direct Involvement in Conflict - I. Principles and Background" Full text here Medicine, Conflict and Survival 17(4):309-22, 2001 Oct-Dec.
  8. K Geling, PJ Klasse, M Moutoussis, JJ Patterson, J Piachaud & R Stott "Preventing War through Non-Violent Direct Involvement in Conflict - II. Proposal for the Role of IPPNW" Full text here  ] Medicine, Conflict and Survival 17(4):323-36, 2001 Oct-Dec.
  9. M. Moutoussis, [Letter-Comment] Adolescents and Political Conflict in Northen Ireland. Medicine, Conflict and Survival 18(1):101-102.
  10. M. Moutoussis, "Prevenative War and Our Role as Allies of the US and UK" Epohi, Jan 26, 2003 [in Greek]

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