What can we oppose to the law, that turns people into murderers? Literally, without any exaggeration… Perhaps, the best choice would be the the law of humility and love: “Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved”. But, studying humility, there is no way to put up with killings and mutilation of people. It is just impossible.
It is the time to share results of our initiative, which would be interesting for anyone, who finds murders and maim to provide safety for yourself or others unacceptable.
The results are interim, but they could benefit from attention.
In short, the raw data is this.
On the one hand, article 59 of Russian Constitution guarantees the right of each of us to non-participation in armed violence and bloodshed, and Federal Act FZ-113 regulates “repayment of the debt to the Motherland” in a form of alternative service — without weapon in the hand.
On the other hand, there is such a thing as the State budget, that is traditionally modelled on the principle of a pool of money. It means, when we receive any service or buy any product, we automatically pay a tax included in it’s price — which goes, among other things, to maintain governmental security forces (not to mention all other taxes, excise duties and fees, charged separately).
As the result:
- Each of us supports army, police and other security forces daily — from every loaf of bread, litre of petrol and kilowatt of electricity.
- Army, police and other security forces — are institutes, which use death threats, as well as violence, torture, injure, and killing of people as a main working tool.
What does it mean?
Yes, we kill and mutilate people. And, first of all, we threat them with it. Not by ourselves, not with our own hands, but with the hands of others — which is twice as bad. And we finance it daily, and involve more and more people in it — heads and executives of security forces, yesterday’s boys and girls.
We pay for it throughout all our lives. Day after day, month after month, year after year. Like it is how it should be. Like we want it to never stop.
What to do?
Change the situation.
It is possible by a known method — “small good deeds”, growing the seeds of peacefulness, so that, years later, the flowers of peace would bloom. But in the same time, we would have to murder and maim people every day.
But it is also possible to stop killing people. This is how we participate in it today:
- by our citizenship, making us stakeholders of the violence, which is institutionalized in the country;
- by direct funding of security forces.
And if it is complicated with the first paragraph, we can follow the dictates of our conscience about backing military and police. Namely, redirect our investment from lethal protection of life to purely peaceful purposes — raising of mercy and compassion among children and adults, development of non-lethal and non-traumatic means of individual and collective protection, establishing awards for peacefulness and peace-making instead of punishment and retribution for evil. Or, at least, to purely humanitarian goals: supplying hospitals, construction of schools, road repairs, etc.
It is logical to call it “civil peace tax”.
Is it enough to waive military-police tax?
Unfortunately, the custom to impose the blood “debt to the Motherland” on the own people will not leave the society overnight. That why, any military-police service or tax demands an alternative — and better if it will be peacekeeping, than any other. Or, at least, just peaceful, like civil service.
Why is it still not realized?
Indeed, such mechanism still does not exist in any country of the world, including the most developed democracies, like Switzerland. However, the movement in this direction has already started. And in some countries, it comes to consideration of draft legislations by highest authorities.
Why we began with the most important.
First of all, it is vital to face the state and the society to uphold our right not to kill people — not by our hands, nor by others. To be more precise, to take it back, being given (or, rather, taken) at birth.
We started, as the situation requires, — from the Government of the Russian Federation (excluding President, Commander-in-Chief, to whom it makes sense to appeal at last). First, we drawn the officials’ attention to the horrible contradiction, where one law guarantees people the right not to commit large-scale executions, and the other forces to finance murders and mutilations of people in the same time.
Who are “we”?
We are authors and editors of electronic magazine Nonviolence Russia and electronic library Antimilitary.ru. We are not experts in public financial management, so we did not offer to the Government our solution for re-crediting of taxes. But we are confident, that, due to the extreme importance of the topic, the officials are bound to pay maximum attention to this question and professionally (unlike us) address the implementation of peace tax mechanism. Same as tax reduction legislation and civil service was realized before.
Now the most interesting. What did we get in return?
Take a look.
This is the summary of our dialog with the State. More precisely, with the Administration presented by the stuff of Government Office, Ministry of Finance and Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. With people, who proved NOT TO CARE.
Russian Government and Ministry of Finance
State Duma. The lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia
Federation Council. The upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia
So what is the result?
Now we have all grounds to recourse to court. Which we, however, were not going to do, because modern court is not very far apart of security forces (since it is based not on trust and respect, but on punishment for disobedience).
What are we going to do next?
It is needed, that, instead of cynical inaction, which we witness for the last half a year, legislative machinery started moving in the right direction. If you have ideas how to launch the process without involvement of court — we will be glad to hear them: firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustrations by M.U.Lermontov