HANS KOECHLER POLITICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
October 18, 2003, Manila, Philippines
ecent international events have posed a challenge to traditional notions of political independence and territoriality, the primacy of the United Nations in the resolution of international conflicts, the conditions for a just and legitimate war, the ethics of warfare, and many other rules which have provided till then, some semblance of order in international relations.
The chaos which preceded the US/UK war on Iraq marked the virtual collapse of the UN organs tasked to enforce these rules. The blatant and unsanctioned disregard of these rules by the two most powerful nations casts serious doubt about the future of the United Nations and its capacity to ensure world peace. However, we find in the thoughts and writings of University Prof. Dr. Hans Koechler, Head of the Department of Philosophy, Innsbruck University, Austria, and President of the International Progress Organization based in Vienna, a logical analysis and explanation behind the disturbing global phenomena. In so knowing, we could, hopefully, find ways to stabilize the situation and contribute to the restoration of order.
He is well known to many of us having visited the Philippines last March, 2002, to deliver the Fourteenth Centenary Lecture before the Philippine Supreme Court on “The United Nations, the International Rule of Law and Terrorism,” and again last September 2002, when he spoke at the International Ecumenical Conference on Terrorism in a Globalized World.
Prof. Koechler is the foremost exponent of the theory that power politics is the underlying reason for the behavior of powerful and of weak nations as they interact with one another. He is the leading authority on United Nations reform. Dr. Koechler espouses the cause of international justice and of United Nations reform but in so doing, he is entirely devoid of personal injudicious bias for either side of the issue. Clearly, he is not an apologist for any one.
The Hans Koechler Political and Philosophical Society is composed of respected scholars who find in Dr. Koechler undisputed intellectual leadership. They share the vision of Dr. Koechler of a truly just and lasting world order. They all see the need for continuing analysis of the philosophical foundations of a just international order in a volatile world. Like him, the members are as strongly committed to contribute to its realization.
The members of the Society are expected to participate in the attainment of this objective mainly through intellectually stimulating activities such as attendance at the Society’s occasional discussion groups, writing a scholarly paper at least once a year, participation in a round table conference on topics of the Society’s concerns, and the dissemination and sharing of ideas in the universities with other intellectuals, and upon request, before national policymakers. Membership is by invitation based on the unanimous vote of the general membership. The qualities of a scholar and commitment to the Koechlerian vision, ideals and philosophical approach, are implicit in membership in the Society. Needless to state, a member must also be imbued with an activist spirit.