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Naruto Discussions: The Path to Peace

naruto-retro1Post Author: Bob

Hi Shannarolites, this is a new series of posts I’m trying out with some help from the authors to allow more platforms for discussion and debates on our blog — something our community excels at. My idea is to present a topic for debate every now and again (especially during boring weeks like this one) to allow people to join in and share their points of view. I’ll try my best to pick open-ended topics that are presented in such a way to present both sides in equal portions so as to promote fair discussions from the start.

This week’s topic involves the contrasting philosophies towards achieving peace between Jiraiya and Pein (Nagato).

We all know about Jiraiya’s path to peace, it’s the same one passed down to Naruto, and similar to the philosophy of the Third Hokage (hence passed down to Minato, Tsunade, etc.). Basically it’s a type of pacifism where you seek to empathize, understand and ultimately forgive your enemies, thereby breaking the cycle of hatred and death. I think Naruto demonstrated this best when he chose not to kill Pein and instead talk to him despite his urge to avenge Jiraiya and everyone Pein ‘killed’ in Konoha. The Third Hokage, being Jiraiya’s mentor, preached the ideal of pacifism, and actively sought out diplomatic solutions as well as championed demilitarization amongst the rival hidden villages. Even after Konoha was the target of a secret attack by forces of Suna (who were decieved by Orochimaru), they did not seek revenge or reparations but instead formed an alliance with Suna which has only strengthened over time.

Now, let’s look at the opposing philosophy towards peace of Pein and those who share similar ideals. This path to peace is achieved through force and subjegation – it’s the idea that peace can only be maintained if you destroy all those who are a threat to your people or dominate your opponents to the point where they are too weak and fearful to even retaliate. Pein followed this type of ideal to justify his destruction of a large part of Konoha because he deemed them a threat to peace; they were too powerful and would only cause more pain to those around them in the future. From his childhood experiences, Pein learned that those who dominate through power can only be brought down with power — action, not words, is what really brings about change. Danzo, although not at all connected to Pein, shares a similar ideal. Danzo was a selfish SOB, but his goal was still to maintain the peace Konoha enjoys… and that means eliminating any threats within or without by any means necessary. It is a dark side to their peaceful existence most villagers will never realize, but it is a necessary sin.

So the question is: which philosophy towards peace do you support? Before you answer, think about it realistically, even use real-world events if it will help. Try to avoid voting for one or the other simply because your favorite character shares that ideal. Here’s some questions to ask for both sides of the argument:

Has long term peace been achieved by letting the enemies have their way?

Has long term peace been achieved by pre-emptive strikes or subjugating an entire nation through military force?

Is pacifism effective in a world that is entrenched in warfare or does it just make you a vulnerable target?

Is one people’s peace ever justified by taking away the peace of another people (through occupation, collective punishment, economic blockades, etc.)?

Please post your comments to this discussion topic. If you enjoy this type of post, please click the like button  just above the comment section. If you would like to suggest a topic for discussion in the future, please send me an email: b0buchiha (at) yahoo.com, that’s bob with a ‘zero’

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27 Responses

  1. I think Pain’s peace is the best choice for the Naruniverse. In our world (which has far less wars), whenever a war takes place there is always a period where people are fearful of war and live in peace. Just look at the period after World War 2. Even look at the world today. Countries are afraid to resort to nuclear warfare because it guarantees mutual destruction. Now imagine if we actually went to war with theses…the fear and pain would prevent us from going to war again for quite some time.

    I don’t like Jiraiya’s ideals because in our world they barely work, so imagine a world where killing for money is something that kid’s actually want to grow up to do. It just isnt realistic in our world, even worse in the Naruniverse.

  2. I agree with Kizu. Everyone know of the phrase, “Nice guys finish last.” Well, that phrase exists for a reason. It’s true. You can’t have peace if people could just walk up to you and punk you all the type. “Hey, I want your muffin!”-bully country. “Oh, no. I want peace, so here it is.”-pacifist country. “Now I want your Woman!” “But Ilove her, but I want peace. You could have her.” No! You kick their ass, and make sure they get the message. “Hey, I want your muffin.” “Fuck you!! Get your own!” “What did you say?!” “You heard me.” Then you kick the Bully’s ass. And he/she’ll never mess with you again.

  3. i think th best way would b a middle ground actually. i feel violence needs to met w/ violence, but Nagato and Danzo will meet pacifism and nuetrality w/ violence as well. i feel the best way to go about peace is by treating countries w/ their own philosophy. treat peaceful civilizations kindly, treat violent civilizations violently. my best example would b WW2, if the Allied forces left Germany alone after the WW1 (they already suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats of the modern world, all the shit Britain and France was doing was to much), then Hitler would’ve never rose to power; but in contrast, AFTER Hitler rose to power, Germany was attacking and conquering countries unprovoked and placating Hitler was impossible, so military intervention was needed (much earlier than the Allies thought, imo) to keep Germany from consuming so many countries.
    my arguement probably isn’t going to b the best one around. i’m a little rusty from my lack of comments in recent weeks

  4. @ zep, just a fyi, but in that context, i agree w/ u. but Nagato and Danzo often play the role of the “i want your muffin” character, which is y i don’t think we should side w/ their particular ideals

  5. I like the reciporocating approach, except that it comes down to a prisoner’s dilema type situation where if you specialize you get destroyed when you choose “nice” and they choose “not nice”

  6. Take it from somebody that went to a Quaker school and learned the ideals behind pacifism– it only works for so long. That’s why I like the philosophy behind Jiraiya, because it doesn’t FORBID you to fight back. (Trust me, a person can only be so forgiving). Yes, I agree that one needs to be able to let go, but there are people in life that won’t stop trolling no matter how you try to reason with them. The key components to addressing conflict are rationality and objectivity, which many people seem to lack.

    I’d have to argue the claim that the Naruverse is more violent than our reality. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. There are only a dozen nations in the Naruverse, tops. With such little variation in ethnicity and nationality, there are very few viable triggers for national combat. Another reason for violence in any scenario is a conflict over resources, but we haven’t really seen any battles fought over water sources or ideally placed shoreline. That said, the Naruverse has little to fight over (other than the usual “I TAYK OVUR WURLDLOL1!!).

    The problem with the proposed query is that each situation requires different levels of hostility and finesse, tact or belligerence. There is never a guaranteed route to peace.

  7. Power is influence. Pretty words are nice and all, but if you don’t have the power to back it up, who’s going to listen to you squeal about your ideals that are never going to come into fruition?

    Peace is tranquility and serenity. In both mind and body. So if by all means necessary to meet the ends of peace, is it really true peace for everyone in the end?

    People need guidance. With some direction, we can do a whole lot of good, or a whole bunch of nasty. And the two most common forms of leadership derive from influence through fear, or influence through hope.

    True peace comes from a movement from the leaders of the world who believe in the hope, and inspire everyone to believe that violence and revenge is not the answer to strife. Kindness and forgiveness is.

    Now, Pein had good intentions; he truly wanted peace, but lost hope through world corruption and Madara’s influence. So, after losing faith in true peace, he resorted to a secondhanded version of peace: an illusion of peace, outlined by fear. So his actions illustrated this philosophy. But after some fancy words thrown out by Naruto, Pein regained hope, and made a final stand for the good, old philosophy of true peace without any shortcuts.

    Even though Naruto has a natural presence of influence, he still needs political status to spread his philosophy, as well as the power to protect and defend his ideals from any threat. Not many will respect and follow someone who’s ranked merely genin, when they themselves are ranked with higher authority. And no one will follow someone who will crumble in the face of people like Madara or Sasuke. Naruto needs to be powerful and unyielding. And when that time comes for our main character to assume leadership, he will lead the world alongside others, such as Gaara and other future visionaries, in a revolution that will hopefully advocate true peace.

    High fives all around for Jiraiya’s philosophy and the dreamers who still believe in world peace

  8. this is a hard question to answer. if you go with a wholely pacifist approach there is always going to be the people who take advantage of the fact. on the flip side however if you go with a strictly militaristic approach for starters you bread animosity which will give rise to hate and vengence, and you also risk uniting those of a weaker stance against you.

    there are always going to be people you cant reason with, for instance kim jong il, in N Korea. there is a person who you will not be able to ever talk to and resolve the problems. no matter what country you may hail from.

    there needs to be some degree of violence in order to keep the peace, ironic as it may sound. the only other option in my mind is with a system of laws make the rules so strict that people wont dare to break them. the issue with stoning and infidelity comes to mind in iran (though a bit hazy when it comes to laws)

    if you make people fear for themselves should they break a law, they would be far less likely to break the rules. ofr instance if the punishment for speeding was the loss of your right foot, everyone would be driving like a turtle. though subjegation is a poor substitute for peace.

    @kisu
    what are you talking about when it comes to far less wars? though large scale wars and nuclear wars may not be prolific it seems like almost everyone is at war with somebody, or at the very least a standoff. and the day will come when nuclear weapons are used again. they just havent fallen into the wrong hands yet. iran has all ready stated in a public forum that should the day come they get there hands on one there going to blow up israel.

    and for that matter, we could almost look at the nukes that amercia dropped on japan as the ultimate weapon pein was trying to build. if you think about it logicly, the fear caused by that weapon ended the war. yes the allies were going to win at that point anyways, but the end result was still as thus. japan quickly surrendered, and for some time after that we had relative peace. all be it for only a brief time.

  9. I also agree with Kisu, as much as I would like to say in our world peace can be bought with just petty words it’s just not realistic! Obama and other leaders have been on television countless of times speaking on peace and understanding one another but things haven’t changed they seem like they have gotten worse.

    I also don’t agree with Peins philosophy either because I don’t believe blowing everything up is going to solve our problems. What has always been done through peacetimes in the real world and in the Narutoverse is the different countries fighting to become the strongest the superpower! Which also starts wars because of they competition they feel like they have to squash their opponents before they can surpass them and that’s also no the right way to go which is why Pein came up with his plan!

    I just think and someone has said this before in the Narutoverse that while the great nations in our world and the Narutoverse are divided there can be no peace so maybe the only way bring true peace is to combine all the nations so that we all fight for common purpose because obviously this way isn’t working!

  10. I have to agree w/ Nemo P. Nemo brings up a solid point that there should be a “middle man” on peace and force because throughout American history this is how we’ve conquered and it relatively works. The League of Nation aka UN was about peace between nations but ultimately failed because of their lack in military power (correct if I’m wrong) and still have a relatively weak military. Abe Lincoln even provoked the South by freeing slaves IN the South and the only reason he did that was because it fit his OWN agenda. If thats not a direct connection to the Yahikos early Akatsuki (UN) and Danzo (Lincoln sort of) then what is?! Im all for peace but there should be a force behind that. I think a Konoha is that “middle man” they preach peace but wont mind getting blood on their hands to maintain that vision.

  11. well when you compare Tobi’s path to Jiraiya’s, you’ll see that Pain WAS the middle man lol. Strange how that works ain’t it?

  12. @ kisu, actually, i now feel Jiraiya’s the middle man between Nagato and, uhm, i dunno, maybe Hinata? (the only pacifist in the series i could come up w/). to explain: i thought it over, and Bob oversimplified Jiraiya’s ideology. remember, Jiraiya has no problem useing deadly force when necessary (which relates to Nagato’s and Danzo’s ideologies), but unlike them, won’t use violence so quickly if it is unecessary
    and to answer your upcoming question, kisu, here’s an example of Pein being unreasonably violent:
    Tsunade – u killed my best friend/boyfriend!!
    Pein – well, u don’t have to b so rude about it!!! *nukes Konoha*
    i feel like i need to say more, but forgot what else i was going to put, oh well

  13. If you look at the 3rd Hokage’s philosophy, Konoha still had ninjas, in fact they fought and killed many Sunagakure ninjas during the attack during the chuunin exams. So, the violence they employed was a defensive variety, a protective violence. Konoha didn’t then go on the offensive and ream out Sunagakure (although both countries did not have a Hokage at the end of the conflict), although Danzo might have if he had been in control.

    When choosing between the two philosophies, you have to choose what you are trying to protect. The first philosophy allows for the protection of everyone at the potential sacrifice of yourself. The second philosophy puts the protection of yourself first at the risk of the lives of others.

    I believe that Pein’s philosophy provides for a quicker peace that has a high potential to be short lived, but also a high potential to be restored. Jiraiya’s philosophy would produce a peace with much less probabilitiy, so it would take longer to form, but that peace would be more stable. You could argue that by choosing Jiraiya’s philosophy that Sarutobi put Konoha at risk, but I believe that he was putting the Shinobi at risk, not Konoha. He used them as a shield against the other villages, and Konoha did survive.

  14. Also, in the might makes right idea, there is a high chance that a tyrant could gain enough power to rule. This is true throughout Africa where dictators abuse the people, spend aid money and supplies on whatever they choose, because they have the strongest army.

  15. One last thing about might makes right gone wrong:

    The drug lords have control over regions of Mexico, killiing politicians and other people, the government is having trouble dealing with them. Because the drug lords have more might, does that make it right?

    Ghandi got independance for India through peace, Martin Luther King got rights for blacks through peace, clearly that works without perversion, but in might makes right, how do you know the might is right? Peace is always right.

  16. Violence only brings more violence, but there is a line witch can be tolerated, it all depends on the situation in witch you or some character is are…… peace is ultimate goal that sometimes needs a use of violence ONLY to defend it self…. so that means if you have someone or something to protect (and if diplomatic don’t work) well use that violence inside of yourself and protect, but don’t cross the line……. ;0

  17. well that how naruto is

  18. and that’s why i love this manga and it’s main character 😉

  19. @NarutoPAIN
    I think your right but there isnt a line. Think about it this way, the Uchihas were gonna coup Konoha and peace was trying to be made between but they wouldn’t budge. So violence was used to protect Konoha, Itachi killed Uchiha and left a permanent scar on Sasuke. Do you see what I mean, there is no limit to violence, whether good/bad intentions are behind that violence, it is still violence. Danzo had Itachi kill Uchiha and even though he massacred them, he prevented another massacre and possibly war so what it really comes down to is violence necessary and I think a lot will agree it is. “So long as humans live in this world hate will be born thus producing violence thus breeding the cycle of hatred” Pain says. Using Madaras plan ensures “peace” breaking a cycle of hatred. Thats a middle man, using violence to bring ETERNAL peace 😛

  20. @bloodsasuke

    Danzo’s peace may have occured, but in the end it appears to have been a temporary peace, since Sasuke survived and Tobi is using Sasuke and that massacre as an excuse to start another war.

    Also, we can’t judge what would have happened, perhaps Sarutobi would have been able to make a truce after all, it is said that the truce failed but how do we know? We don’t know the Uchiha were right about to attack the leaf, they were planning on it, but that’s all we know.

  21. @ripcord, Danzo’s peace involved ALL the Uchiha dying. Sasuke surviving is Itachi’s fault. He didn’t do his job, he deserves the disgrace on his name for all the crap Sasugay’s been doing

  22. Peace can only be settled with violence.. Example A: The Middle East. How many peace talks have been held? How many diplomatic treaties have failed? All because one asshole wants more power or thinks its a sin for someone else to have a different religion from him? fuck that. Smash anyone who causes harm to others are what are you left with? No one harming

  23. Nice thinking Bob. This makes (or will make) the site more interesting and with a whole level of maturity as a group of individuals having a common concept but with different areas of perspective.

    Here’s my side.
    From our world today, war is inevitable so to speak Pein’s belief and thinking is far more feasible. Yet, as human beings which we all do believe (I hope so) that we have been created with the likeness of our God. Our own God that simply gives a concrete example of Jiraiya’s concept. He gave his only son, to save mankind and allow us to change for the better good for the second chance.

    God allowed men to change for the better, influence others by showing and feeling the love from each other. God gave us “a heart” to be used, not a mind to manipulate others to gain “power”

  24. Another point..

    If one will try to seize power and promote fear and suffering to those beyond fighting back, this could only mean one thing. You also promote a long time stretch of hate. This hate can dwell and snag different positive beliefs to a negative ones which will enable a person to call for help and do his revenge for his love ones.

    Again.. because of love (one that the heart can only understand) – Think of Sasuke as a primary character to achieve this goal. REVENGE for his family and brother bacause of the love that was deserved by him.

    Why not promote and show love by forgiveness and understanding? Talk to those people involve and let them realize the life that can be attained through it?

    Finally, look at those people who walked the path of pein in the real world. (Adolf Hitler, Ferdinand Marcos, etc.) just to name a few. Already dead, yet people still condemn them for promoting fear and suffering. On the other hand, look at what our God promoted, sacrifice. Until today, faith from Him our God almighty is strong and expanding.

  25. well for some of you guys who dont no but i almost no for a fact that madara is not who he claims to be in truth madara is obito kakashi’s old friend who gave him his sharingan notice that madara has his left eye showing from under his mask and kakashi has the other eye i am the best up top

  26. XcD

  27. @Bob, can I please get your personal e-mail, had wanted to send you something.

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