The Myth of the Impossibility of Peace: A Mytho-Historical Hybridized Discourse


This paper presents the hypothesis that the widespread, and mostly unchallenged, belief that war is inevitable is based on the emergence of a second-order hybrid discourse, which constructs this reality and imposes it as a necessary fact. This hypothesis is supported by an analysis of the constitution of the discourses of Myth and History, from which this hybrid emerges. This analysis shows that: 1. The Discourse of Myth is characterized by: A. Thematic Necessity constituting myths’ formal structure – mythological themes follow necessary fixed patterns. B. Iterative Material Content allowing variability in re-tellings and re-interpretations within fixed thematic structures. 2. The Discourse of History is characterized by: A. Recorded Evidence constituting its formal structure, and necessary for distinguishing history from fiction. B. Contingent Facts constituting history’s material content. The emergence of the myth of the impossibility of Peace is the result of a subtle hybridization of the two first-order-discourses whereby a new Mytho-Historical discourse emerges. The hybrid discourse is characterized by the Thematic Necessity of Myth as its formal structure, and the Factual Contingency of History as its material content. In Mytho-Historical discourse, contingent facts are attributed with the force of necessity. Furthermore, in the hybridization process the requirement of Recorded Evidence (Historical Discourse), and Iterative Possibility (Mythology) are discarded. The paper will conclude with examples of historically contingent facts, which have been appropriated by Mytho-Historical discourse and established as the foundations of the myth of the impossibility of peace.

Author Information
Clive Zammit, University of Malta, Malta

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2015
Stream: Philosophy - Philosophy and Peace Studies

This paper is part of the ACERP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon