The Hijacking of the Nobel Prize

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October 15, 2007

When the multi-billionaire industrialist and inventor of dynamite Alfred Nobel died, he left a will dedicating all of his fortune to supporting great science. He wanted to see an annual prize in his name to the greatest innovators and scientists--the ones "who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind" according to the will.

It is generally concluded that Alfred Nobel wanted to award great scientists in the four main sciences and human creations known at the time of his death in 1895: physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and "the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction." The fifth prize, the Peace Prize, was supposedly established as a way for Alfred Nobel to distance himself from the destructive uses of his invention in war. Nobel was a pacifist, and thus he did not like the idea of his great invention dynamite being used in the slaughter of human beings. Hence, a prize for the person "who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

The winner of the latter, the last of the five original prizes, was not to be chosen by Swedish organizations as the other prizes were. Instead, by some claimed as a result of it being a "less important" prize (through not being scientific) to the great industrialist, those awarding the peace prize were to be from Norway and appointed by the Norwegian parliament. (One has to bear in mind that Norway at the time was a part of the Swedish kingdom and more or less a vassal state to the Swedish crown. It remained so until 1905.)

The Peace Prize, thus, was a gift from Alfred Nobel to the Norwegian people, and, one could say, a final gesture of fraternity.

Unfortunately, Alfred Nobel has become a victim of politics after his death. He did not realize politics is the reason for wars and destruction--not dynamite--and that only political and state powers, not individuals, engage in and wage wars. This ignorance of the meaning of state power is obvious: The prize was, according to the will, to be awarded by a committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament. As is not the case, at least not in a direct sense, with the other Nobel Prizes, the Peace Price is a prize that is awarded and, presumably, used, by political powers. It is reasonable to assume the appointment of members of the committee is a process that is heavily politicized and influenced, directly or indirectly, by special interests.

It is important also not to forget that such interests necessarily play a vital role in the politics of the Norwegian parliament, as in any parliament. Thus, the appointment of the committee by the parliament itself should in reality never be free from political bias. This fact about the Nobel Peace Prize explains the fact that most of the laureates are political leaders and organizations, not activists in the peace movement. Quite a few of the laureates are extraordinary from the perspective of peace. After all, "peace" is not the first word that comes to mind thinking of, for instance, Yasser Arafat or Henry Kissinger.

The 2007 Peace Prize further shows how the prize is used to advance certain political interests. The laureates presented on October 12--the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC ) and former American vice president Al Gore--don't really have anything to do with peace. Rather, the best way of describing the former is as a politically corrupt organization and the latter as a political scumbag. Both spend most of their time campaigning in order to force society in a certain direction. They distort, lie, and use every trick possible to get what they want.

The IPCC is a politically constructed committee that has assimilated a collection of renowned scientists to make a statement using the scientists' reputation as basis. Before being made public, the statement is edited and approved by political interests. Scientists who find their names on the report claim they don't recognize much from the version they actually approved (i.e., before the political editing of content and conclusions). Also, some scientists claim it isn't even possible to demand to have one's name removed from the report, making the claimed scientific nature of the IPCC report at best laughable.

Al Gore, on the other hand, failed miserably to create the all-encompassing nanny state as vice president. When politics obviously wasn't his recipe for success, he has reverted to alarmism and climate change prophesying. An interesting point is that Al Gore in his crusade for more state power (or, in his words: against inevitable destruction through humanly caused climate change) consciously leaves out certain parts of the highly politicized IPCC report that simply aren't sufficiently threatening. The IPCC and Al Gore simply show very different effects of global warming--the IPCC shows an exaggerated picture to aid governments in their quest to secure and increase powers, and Al Gore exaggerates the IPCC forecast in order to really, really scare people to subjection.

It is interesting to note the motivation the Norwegian committee has for awarding the Peace Prize to the IPCC and Al Gore. How do you make politically conditioned climate change alarmism an issue of peace? Easy, simply ignore whatever scientific proofs there are and accept whatever Al Gore says as were it The Truth. In the press release, the committee writes:

"Indications of changes in the earth's future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds. Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states."

Aren't there a bit too many "mays" in the statement? After all, the prize should be awarded to an organization or person who for the past year has "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." The best candidates for the prize obviously must be supported by a chain of statements beginning with "indications," continuing with claims that in the worst case such indications may alter living conditions, which in turn may lead to migration and competition, which may mean "increased danger" for conflicts? Wow, that is really convincing!

Is there really no one in the world who has done a better job for peace during the last year? How about the people behind or any anti-war activist of your choice? I would say most of humankind has done a better job than the IPCC and Al Gore. Actually, they could give Average Joe the Nobel Peace Prize without having to resort to even half as ridiculous a motivation.

This should prove the Peace Prize is nothing but a preposterous tool for statist propaganda despite Alfred Nobel's noble attempt to actually do something for peace. It also shows the importance of true understanding for the State and power--without such understanding anything good can be turned on its head and be a tool for evil. As is the sad case for Mr. Nobel.

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Per Bylund's picture
Columns on STR: 63

Has a passion for justice.