Wise men are not pacifists, they are merely less likely to jump up and retaliate against their antagonizers. They know that needless antagonizers are virtually already insecure enough.
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.
There are perhaps many causes worth dying for, but to me, certainly, there are none worth killing for.
Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me'.
The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States …
The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.
Despotic governments can stand 'moral force' till the cows come home, what they fear is physical force.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
It was strange to us that none of these three victims made any attempt to resist the attack. Indeed, not one inhabitant in any of these worlds considered for a moment the possibility of resistance. In every case the attitude to disaster seemed to express itself in such terms as these:To retaliate would be to wound our communal spirit beyond cure. We choose rather to die. The theme of spirit that we have created must inevitably be broken short, whether by the ruthlessness of the invader or by our own resort to arms. It is better to be destroyed than to triumph in slaying the spirit. Such as it is, the spirit that we have achieved is fair; and it is indestructibly woven into the tissue of the cosmos. We die praising the universe in which at least such an achievement as ours can be. We die knowing that the promise of further glory outlives us in other galaxies. We die praising the Star Maker, the Star Destroyer.
I am not a committed pacifist. I would not hold that it is under all imaginable circumstances wrong to use violence, even though use of violence is in some sense unjust. I believe that one has to estimate relative justices. But the use of violence and the creation of some degree of injustice can only be justified on the basis of the claim and the assessment-which always ought to be undertaken very, very seriously and with a good deal of scepticism that this violence is being exercised because a more just result is going to be achieved.
I think about something I once heard on the radio. About Abraham and Isaac.I was afraid you'd say something like that. You asked.So what about them? I don't really know much about that kind of stuff.There was a pastor on the radio who said nobody should ever preach that story. Do you remember how it goes? God tells Abraham that he has to sacrifice his son to prove his faith.I agree with the pastor. It sounds like a sick story. Ban that shit.But isn't that exactly what we do? Send young men off to a war in the desert and ask them to sacrifice themselves for a belief?
That war [Bosnian war] in the early 1990s changed a lot for me. I never thought I would see, in Europe, a full-dress reprise of internment camps, the mass murder of civilians, the reinstiutution of torture and rape as acts of policy. And I didn't expect so many of my comrades to be indifferent - or even take the side of the fascists. It was a time when many people on the left were saying 'Don't intervene, we'll only make things worse' or, 'Don't intervene, it might destabilise the region. And I thought - destabilisation of fascist regimes is a good thing. Why should the left care about the stability of undemocratic regimes? Wasn't it a good thing to destabilise the regime of General Franco? It was a time when the left was mostly taking the conservative, status quo position - leave the Balkans alone, leave Milosevic alone, do nothing. And that kind of conservatism can easily mutate into actual support for the aggressors. Weimar-style conservatism can easily mutate into National Socialism. So you had people like Noam Chomsky's co-author Ed Herman go from saying 'Do nothing in the Balkans', to actually supporting Milosevic, the most reactionary force in the region. That's when I began to first find myself on the same side as the neocons. I was signing petitions in favour of action in Bosnia, and I would look down the list of names and I kept finding, there's Richard Perle. There's Paul Wolfowitz. That seemed interesting to me. These people were saying that we had to act. Before, I had avoided them like the plague, especially because of what they said about General Sharon and about Nicaragua. But nobody could say they were interested in oil in the Balkans, or in strategic needs, and the people who tried to say that - like Chomsky - looked ridiculous. So now I was interested.
As a Nobel Peace laureate, I, like most people, agonize over the use of force. But when it comes to rescuing an innocent people from tyranny or genocide, I've never questioned the justification for resorting to force. That's why I supported Vietnam's 1978 invasion of Cambodia, which ended Pol Pot's regime, and Tanzania's invasion of Uganda in 1979, to oust Idi Amin. In both cases, those countries acted without U.N. or international approval—and in both cases they were right to do so.
Saddam's politics was the politics of the thug, of violence from the outset of his reign. Realism suggests that some people are not going to be tractable in response to purely peaceable overtures. Indeed, it certainly appears that some individuals, including notably Saddam Hussein, will cheerfully help themselves to a yard for every inch offered by well-meaning peacemakers. When we are dealing with customers as tough as that, there is no alternative to being tough ourselves.
I tell you that what has changed is the whole conception of human life- that men of every race on this earth may have the same opportunity to live beautifully- to live in purity without fear or hunger or hatred- as brothers, not as brutes tearing through these hideous swamps of ignorance and war. Men speak of a belief in God. I am beginning to understand what every Christ- and their skins have been every color- what every Christ has taught: That love of God is love of mankind. That no one can profess to love God while he hates the least of his fellows. Jesus, if He were on earth right now, would fight to free men from oppression and evil and war; and you who have made a pious mockery of his every commandment- you would kill Him.
...if only the comfortable prosperity of the Victorian age hadn't lulled us into a false conviction of individual security and made us believe that what was going on outside our homes didn't matter to us, the Great War might never have happened.
The speaker calls for a careful examination of Christ's principle of turning the other cheek before we use it as a demand or excuse for total personal pacifism. After all, when literally struck on the cheek, Jesus did question the legitimacy of the authority by which this was done.
Those who attempt to conquer hatred by hatred are like warriors who take weapons to overcome others who bear arms. This does not end hatred, but gives it room to grow. But, ancient wisdom has advocated a different timeless strategy to overcome hatred. This eternal wisdom is to meet hatred with non-hatred. The method of trying to conquer hatred through hatred never succeeds in overcoming hatred. But, the method of overcoming hatred through non-hatred is eternally effective. That is why that method is described as eternal wisdom.
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway.True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love.A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
If you want peace, prepare for ideological war with those who want others to prepare for physical war.
Taking into consideration all your lovelinesswhy can't you burn your bootsoles and yourdraft card? How can you sit there saying yesto war? You'll be a pauper when you die, soreboy. Dead, while I still live at our addresss.Oh my brother, why do you keep making planswhen I am at seizures of hearts and hands?Come dance the dance, the Papa-Mama dance;bring costumes from the suitcase pasted Ille de France, the S.S. Gripsholm. Papa's London Harness case he took abroad and kept i our attic laced with old leather straps for storage and hisscholar's robes, black licorice - that metamorphosiswith it's crimson blood. The Papa and Mama Dance
She wanted to tell him so much, on the tarmac, the day he left. The world is run by brutal men and the surest proof is their armies. If they ask you to stand still, you should dance. If they ask you to burn the flag, wave it. If they ask you to murder, re-create. Theorem, anti-theorem, corollary, anti-corollary. Underline it twice. It’s all there in the numbers. Listen to your mother. Listen to me, Joshua. Look me in the eyes. I have something to tell you.
Because most of us recognize that we will fight to protect our children, we cannot be absolute pacifists.
Magistrate: What do you propose to do then, pray?Lysistrata: You ask me that! Why, we propose to administer the treasury ourselvesMagistrate: You do?Lysistrata: What is there in that a surprise to you? Do we not administer the budget of household expenses?Magistrate: But that is not the same thing.Lysistrata: How so – not the same thing?Magistrate: It is the treasury supplies the expenses of the War.Lysistrata: That's our first principle – no War!
Magistrate: May I die a thousand deaths ere I obey one who wears a veil!Lysistrata: If that's all that troubles you, here take my veil, wrap it round your head, and hold your tounge. Then take this basket; put on a girdle, card wool, munch beans. The War shall be women's business.
The common depiction of Jesus as an inveterate peacemaker who loved his enemies and turned the other cheek has been built mostly on his portrayal as an apolitical preacher with no interest in or, for that matter, knowledge of politically turbulent world in which he lived. That picture of Jesus has already been shown to be complete fabrication. The Jesus of history had a far more complex attitude toward violence. There is no evidence that Jesus himself openly advocated violent actions. But he was certainly no pacifist. Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but sword (Matthew 10:34 / Luke 12:51)
We have to accept that any action we take might promote an equal and opposite reaction that we do not want. We have to realize that even the most noble actions or most obviously correct course can have its dark side that we cannot control or reason our way out of. The fighter of the just war must understand that her actions will result in the deaths of other humans; many of whom may be innocent. The pacifist who refuses all war must realize that his inaction might likewise result in the deaths of the innocent. There are no actions without contradiction—and yet we must act, for not to act is also a contradictory action with both positive and negative effects.
If I went on a killing spree that left thousands of people dead, I'd be branded as the worst kind of criminal. So why it is okay for the government to do exactly that?
Absolute hospitality would in no way amount to the absence of violence. To the contrary, it would enthrone violence precisely under the guise of nonviolence because it would leave the violators unchanged and the consequences of violence unremedied.