Imagine peace never existed. What would do, and how would you feel about it? There are a lot of people who have different perspectives on the meaning of peace. Ideas regarding peace have changed since the 17th century. When Alfred Nobel passed away he left his will. Other people like Nordlinger and Heffermehl gave their interpretation of his will. In the chapters “The Testator” by Jay Nordlinger and “Interpreting Nobel’s Will” by Fredrick S. Heffermehl they are clearly trying to interpret Nobel’s will. The will was complex.
Both Jay Nordlinger and Fredrick S. Heffermehl argue it is not enough for recipients to speak or write about peace, but they must act to bring peace. Nordlinger stated, “This is a sparse document, with ample leeway, for better or worse. One can interpret liberally”.
The difference between the authors is that Nordlinger uses the word “or” in his writing. Nordlinger uses the words “ample lee way” as an interpretation towards him using “or” in his will. As you can see Heffermehl point of view is different from Nordlingers. Heffermehl stated, “He chose the words “and” and “plus,” writing, “worked the most and best for (A, confraternization) and (B, disarmament) plus (C, peace congresses)”.
Heffermehl said the word “and” meaning that they would have to work for brotherhood, disarmament, and peace congresses. In Heffermehl analysis, he believes that Mr. Nobel’s award process for the Nobel Peace Prize was not being followed accordingly. Heffermehl felt that awards were presented to individuals without a good review or the proper scrutiny required based on the various subjects or topics. Both the “The Testator” and “Interpreting Nobel’s Will”, Heffermehl and Nordlinger made their strong points of view but, it was still hard to comprehend.
Furthermore, Nordlinger’s analysis, explains how Mr. Nobel’s peace prize process was created and how it works. I believed his intent was to emphasize Nobel’s thought on world peace. As a result, those with these intentions should be recognized with an award or accolade known as the Nobel Peace Prize. Both Heffermehl and Nordlinger argue that Nobel felt standing armies play a role in the achievement of peace. Nordlinger says, “He was proud of his inventions, believing that they were of great use to people and their societies, and he said that, “there is nothing in the world which cannot be misunderstood or abused”.
Following that he also said, “he was a very strong believer in deterrence: in power of overwhelming force, or terrible weapons, to deter war”. In Nordlingers point of view he believed that the standing armies were a necessity for having our own self-defense but that the countries would not have used actual force. Heffermehl states, “But the prize Nobel established was not for peace in general, it was a prize for people who do determined work in certain ways and certain fields to end war”.
He also said, “Armies” refers to military forces and weapons of all kinds, military, and supporting activities in general, military industry, and arms trade. With one exception: a military force intended to protect and defend a confraternization of nations”. Heffermehl believed Nobel’s only way to peace was by abolishing the standing armies. Both Heffermehl and Nordlinger were making their points on the standing armies but, it was still hard to interpret his will.
Both Nordlinger and Heffermehl concede Nobel’s ideas of peace position varied over the course of his life. In Nordlingers story it states, “Nobel and Bertha-Baroness von Suttner- would remain friends, and she would be an influence in his life: for she would become an energetic “peace worker” or “peace professional”, as she dubbed herself”.
Also, Nordlinger said, “Some people say that she, through her campaigning and pestering, is responsible for the peace prize”. Nordlinger is trying to say that Bertha von Suttner has been a good influence on Nobel and she was the one who made him make a change to the peace and that was the peace movement.
Heffermehl states,” On the contrary, Nobel had had to relate to dilemmas of war and peace since childhood, when his father was arms constructor to the Russian czar…”. Also, Heffermehl referenced how Suttner placed pressure on Nobel to advocate more for peace . Heffermehl’s point of view is somewhat different than Nordlingers and he said Bertha-Baroness von Suttner was indeed a great supporter for peace towards Nobel concepts of peacefulness for the great of good. In both chapters they strongly show their position on Nobel’s ideas and how they changed over his life.
In summary, in the writing both authors express their perspectives on Nobel’s will and his ideas of peace, however understanding the will has been interpreted by Jay Nordlinger
and Fredrick S. Heffermehl. Heffermehl and Nordlinger acknowledge Nobel’s evolution of ideas regarding peace, including methods to achieve it. Nordlinger referenced the use of standing armies for self-defense, whereas Heffermehl interpreted Nobel’s advocacy to abolish standing armies.
Nobel’s ideas varied over time due to perhaps the politics of the Norwegian Parliaments and may be because people do evolve in our ideologies on the criteria of what a peace process really is. How to achieve peace will forever be debated. Nevertheless, it is a valuable to discussion to have and a critical ideal to achieve.