Best 109 of Pacifism quotes - MyQuotes
If there were any justice," said Shale, "one ought to be allowed to use ardent militarists for experiments in peacetime, if one uses pacifists in war. But I suppose they wouldn't volunteer.
Writers haven't got any rockets to blast off. We don't even trundle the most insignificant auxiliary vehicle. We haven't got any military might. So what can literature do in the face of the merciless onslaught of open violence? One word of truth outweighs the whole world.
Surely there is nothing so ungracious, nor nothing so cruel, but men will hold therewith, if it be once approved by custom.
Because most of us recognize that we will fight to protect our children, we cannot be absolute pacifists.
The conflict between pacifism and socialism ultimately reflects a greater quandary of how one engages with such a system.
But you invite ...” “I invite a bit of military nonsense.” “That’s what I ...” “Duncan, I am a teacher. Remember that. By repetition, I impress the lesson.” “What lesson?” “The ultimately suicidal nature of military foolishness.
Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accept the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay-and claims a halo for his dishonesty.
It is night at the front, a shadow, a shot. The Jew who has just fired hears a moan... "And then, mother, the hair stands up on his head, for only a few feet from him in the darkness the enemy voice is reciting in Hebrew the prayer of the dying. Ai, God, the soldier has cut down a Jewish brother! Ai, misery! He drops his rifle and runs into no man's land, insane with shame and grief. Insane, you understand? The enemy fires at him, his comrades shout at him to come back. But he refuses; he stays in no man's land and dies. Ai, misery, ai...!
War is to some people the solution to peace.
As regards pacifism, the belief that it is always wrong to kill a human being, again, anyone is free to hold this position, as immoral as it may be. And what other word than ‘immoral’ can one use to describe forbidding the killing of someone who is in the process of murdering innocent men, women and children, in, let's say, a movie theater or a school? But it is dishonest to cite the commandment against murder to justify pacifism. There is moral killing — most obviously when done in self-defense against an aggressor — and there is immoral killing. And the word for that is ‘murder.
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 …
Being a pacifist to save your own life is normal, being a pacifist for the lives of others is true pacifism.
The statement by Paul McCartney that, although he was a pacifist, he couldn’t be at this time of war. Which is as daft as being a vegetarian between meals.
When you get right down to it, militaries are essentially legalized mafias.
Pacifists have usually regarded the use of violence as absolutely wrong, irrespective of its consequences. This, like other ‘no matter what’ prohibitions, assumes the validity of the distinction between acts and omissions. Without this distinction, pacifists who refuse to use violence when it is the only means of preventing greater violence would be responsible for the greater violence they fail to prevent.
Having been to war myself, I do not understand why so many people are so in love with it.
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)
[Nicholson] Baker can't seem to get enough of the wisdom of Gandhi and cites at length an open letter he wrote to the British people on 3 July 1940. "Your soldiers are doing the same work of destruction as the Germans," wrote the Mahatma. "I want you to fight Nazism without arms." He went on to say: "Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them." I must say that everything in me declines to be addressed in that tone of voice
Taking into consideration all your loveliness why can't you burn your bootsoles and your draft card? How can you sit there saying yes to war? You'll be a pauper when you die, sore boy. Dead, while I still live at our addresss. Oh my brother, why do you keep making plans when 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 his scholar's robes, black licorice - that metamorphosis with it's crimson blood. "The Papa and Mama Dance
G. K. Chesterton
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
There was a time in my life when I did a fair bit of work for the tempestuous Lucretia Stewart, then editor of the American Express travel magazine, Departures. Together, we evolved a harmless satire of the slightly driveling style employed by the journalists of tourism. 'Land of Contrasts' was our shorthand for it. ('Jerusalem: an enthralling blend of old and new.' 'South Africa: a harmony in black and white.' 'Belfast, where ancient meets modern.') It was as you can see, no difficult task. I began to notice a few weeks ago that my enemies in the 'peace' movement had decided to borrow from this tattered style book. The mantra, especially in the letters to this newspaper, was: 'Afghanistan, where the world's richest country rains bombs on the world's poorest country.' Poor fools. They should never have tried to beat me at this game. What about, 'Afghanistan, where the world's most open society confronts the world's most closed one'? 'Where American women pilots kill the men who enslave women.' 'Where the world's most indiscriminate bombers are bombed by the world's most accurate ones.' 'Where the largest number of poor people applaud the bombing of their own regime.' I could go on. (I think number four may need a little work.) But there are some suggested contrasts for the 'doves' to paste into their scrapbook. Incidentally, when they look at their scrapbooks they will be able to re-read themselves saying things like, 'The bombing of Kosovo is driving the Serbs into the arms of Milosevic.
There was something else amusing about the house: the irony that the most important battle of the American Revolution--the shoot-out at the Old North Bridge--had taken place just outside the residence of the pacifist Ralph Waldo Emerson. True, Emerson was born after the battle in 1803, but his grandfather had been living in the house at the time of the Revolution, and the juxtaposition of such pacifism against such violence struck Paul as a symbol of an eternal truth about American history: Nixon, that goofy Vietnam War mortician, was right: the silent majority ruled (not the rebellious, pacifist fringe); the majority killed for their property; and there was nothing really revolutionary about the minutemen , who won a war and took over the entire country to ultimately build fast-food restaurants and Disneyland while abolitionists, pacifists, hippies, and environmentalists were left to make well-intended flatulent noises--to write poems such as Ginsberg's "Howl"--in books for other defeated noisemakers.
I know that these things will never come back. I may see the rocks again, and smell the flowers, and watch the dawn sunshine chase the shadows from the old sulphuric-colored walls, but the light that sprang from the heightened consciousness of wartime, the glory seen by the enraptured ingenious eyes of twenty-two, will be upon them no more. I am a girl no longer, and the world, for all its excitements of chosen work and individualistic play, has grown tame in comparison with Malta during those years of our anguish. It is, I think, this glamour, this magic, this incomparable keying up of the spirit in a time of mortal conflict, which constitute the pacifist’s real problem — a problem still incompletely imagined, and still quite unresolved. The causes of war are always falsely represented; its honour is dishonest and its glory meretricious, but the challenge to spiritual endurance, the intense sharpening of all the senses, the vitalising consciousness of common peril for a common end, remain to allure those boys and girls who have just reached the age when love and friendship and adventure call more persistently than at any later time. The glamour may be the mere delirium of fever, which as soon as war is over dies out and shows itself for the will-o’-the-wisp that it is, but while it lasts no emotion known to man seems as yet to have quite the compelling power of this enlarged vitality.
We being satiate with continual wars, let the desire of peace a little move us.
Love is the most dangerous and uncertain element in life; and because we do not want to be uncertain, because we do not want to be in danger, we live in the mind. A man who loves is dangerous, and we do not want to live dangerously; we want to live efficiently, we want to live merely in the framework of organization because we think organizations are going to bring order and peace in the world. Organizations have never brought order and peace. Only love, only goodwill, only mercy can bring order and peace, ultimately and therefore now.
If the counsel of the peaceniks had been followed, Kuwait would today be the nineteenth province of Iraq. Bosnia would be a trampled and cleansed province of Greater Serbia, Kosovo would have been emptied of most of its inhabitants, and the Taliban would still be in power in Afghanistan. Yet nothing seems to disturb the contented air of moral superiority of those that intone the "peace movement".
Why is it acceptable to do such horrible things in the name of staying alive? Would it not have been better had I died with my innocence intact?
Any mode of thought that lays out complete and final answers to great existential questions is liable to dogmatism. A great attraction of care ethics, I think, is its refusal to encode or construct a catalog of principles and rules. One who cares must meet the cared-for just as he or she is, as a whole human being with individual needs and interests. [...] At most, it directs us to attend, to listen, and to respond as positively as possible. [...] it recognizes that virtually all human beings desire not to be hurt, and this gives us something close to an absolute: We should not inflict deliberate hurt or pain. Even when we must fight to save our children, we must not inflict unnecessary or deliberate pain.
By being uninvolved we almost participate in the most outrageous practices.
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?
Twenty two year old Connie Jones, who had boarded in the home of charismatic Methodist and pacifist Ormond Burton, was a member of the No More War movement and the Christian Pacifist Society. She first attended the Friday night public meetings at which the pacifists argued their case in 1941. She stepped onto the podium, stating, "the Lord Jesus Christ tells us to love one another," and was promptly arrested by Wellington's chief inspector of police. Charged with obstruction under the Emergency Regulations, she was sentenced to three months' hard labour with harsh conditions at the Point Halswell Reformatory - an experience that did nothing to dampen her commitment to pacifism.
I didn't know what exhausted me emotionally until that moment, and I realized that the experience of being a soldier, with unlimited license for excess, excessive violence, excessive sex, was a blueprint for self-destruction. Because then I began to wake up to the idea that manhood, as passed onto me by my father, my scoutmaster, my gym instructor, my army sergeant, that vision of manhood was a blueprint for self-destruction and a lie, and that was a burden that I was no longer able to carry. It was too difficult for me to be that hard. I said, "OK, Ammon, I will try that." He said, "You came into the world armed to the teeth. With an arsenal of weapons, weapons of privilege, economic privilege, sexual privilege, racial privilege. You want to be a pacifist, you're not just going to have to give up guns, knives, clubs, hard, angry words, you are going to have lay down the weapons of privilege and go into the world completely disarmed.
There are lots of idealists around who will say, 'Have we got so low that nothing is more precious than life? Surely there are ideals worth fighting for - even dying for. If not, we are worse than the beasts of the field - and have sunk into barbarity.' Then you say, 'That's all right. Let's be barbarous - just as long as we don't have war.
The friends of Galtieri, Saddam Hussein, Mullah Omar and Milosevic make unconvincing defenders of humanitarian values, and it can be seen that their inept and sometimes inane arguments lack either the principles or the seriousness that are required in such debates.
For,” the outsider will say, “in fact, as a woman, I have no country. As a woman I want no country.
We'd be the safest country in the world if the world knew we didn't have a gun. Men are not killed because they get mad at each other. They're killed because one has a gun.
A pacifist has a lot of difficulty reconciling pacifism with scripture.
Generally speaking, by the way, that is the moral of the opponents of violence in politics: they renounce violence when it comes to introducing changes in what already exists, but in defense of the existing order they will not stop at the most ruthless acts.
There is a point when a structure fire is raging out of control that you simply have to give it the distance to burn itself out. So you move back to safety, to a hill out of the wind, and you watch the building eat itself alive.
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.
In answer to 'But violence hasn't solved anything!' The hell it hasn't. The application of violence - of killing and a willingness to be killed - on a massive scale is responsible for a lot of solutions. The most recent mass application of violence liberated Kuwait. The most recent mass application of violence on a global scale alone cleansed the world of the Third Reich. Nonviolence and passive resistance did less than nothing to stop Hitler and his henchmen. The Atlantic slave trade wasn't stopped by 'dialogue' or 'passive resistance' or conferences, but by the opened gunports of the Royal Navy; Dachau and Chang-I weren't liberated with pamphlets.
Nothing doth worse become a man (I will not say a Christian man) than war.
If there were no war, We could construct a bridge between Earth and Mars Melting weapons in an open-hearth furnace.
Nothing will end war unless the peoples themselves refuse to go to war.
Pacifism is a virtue indistinguishable from cowardice.
Als je eenmaal van de bergtop omlaag hebt gekeken, is het moeilijk om tevreden in de vallei te blijven...
...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.
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.
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.
Whether love last but one brief span of time or for eternity, it is the only creative, inspiring, elevating basis for a new race, a new world.