Boulding’s First Law

 A term coined by Kenneth E. Boulding in his 1972 classic, Stable Peace. Boulding was an economist, poet, peace research pioneer and husband of Elise Boulding the peace sociologist and revered author. The slightly ironic law states:

“If something exists, then it must be possible.”

The intention is to point up the casual dismissal of peace possibilities even when they have already occurred.  For example, many routinely argue that nonviolence “would never have worked against the Nazis,” even though it did work brilliantly the one time it is known to have been tried on a fairly large scale, namely in the Rosenstrasse Prison Demonstration of 1943.