Best 109 of Pacifism quotes - MyQuotes
By being uninvolved we almost participate in the most outrageous practices.
This side of the Kingdom of God upon Earth, it is a melancholy human fact that those who beat their swords into plowshares end up doing the plowing for those who kept their swords.
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...!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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".
In foreign politics many intellectuals follow the principle that any faction backed by Britain must be in the wrong. As a result, ‘enlightened’ opinion is quite largely a mirror-image of Conservative policy. Anglophobia is always liable to reversal, hence that fairly common spectacle, the pacifist of one war who is a bellicist in the next.
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.
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.
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?
J. Adam Snyder
To be a pacifist in the face of evil is to be complicit with evil.
There is no such thing as a "just" war. It's just war. And it's antithetical to the Gospel.
We shall denounce political trials, whether they are held in Washington or Warsaw. When a government puts a man in jail for his political opinions, we do not ask the nationality of that government. We are always on the side of the victim of State tyranny. We hate war and have consistently fought against and for that reason we fight State oppression wherever it occurs.
We being satiate with continual wars, let the desire of peace a little move us.
On 11 September 2001, a bunch of Saudis killed almost 3000 US civilians, which led to the construction of a monument in New York City. My question is: Are we also going to build monuments in Kabul, Baghdad, and Tripoli to commemorate the thousands of civilians the US has killed since then? By the way, I should mention that neither Kabul, Baghdad, nor Tripoli is in Saudi Arabia; supposedly, the Saudis are our “friends”, and if you'll forgive the old cliché, with friends like these, who needs enemies?
I think it's good to smile at everybody so that everyone knows you love everyone. It's good for human pacifism.
War is to some people the solution to peace.
[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
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.
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)
Is it morally acceptable to murder one hundred innocent people in the process of catching a serial killer who has murdered ten people? If you think World War II was justified, your answer should be yes.
I absolutely hate the way the United States glorifies its military and its wars. Real heroes fight for peace.
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?
The very thought that war can ever be justified, let alone desirable or even noble, is quite honestly the greatest deception that mankind has ever forced upon himself.
We cannot afford the luxury known as conscience. The enemy we are up against certainly doesn't have one, so we are obliged to be absolutely rational. Cruel, if you like. People of good will, tolerant, liberal, whatever term you care to use, have always labored under a disadvantage. Those in power, those who want to hold on to power whatever the cost, have one ultimate recourse. If all else fails, they are prepared to kill. This is not available to pacifists.
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 have a great admiration for pacifism, but I'm not a pacifist, mainly because I would defend myself if I were attacked.
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.
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.
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.
No one won the last war, and no one will win the next war.
G. K. Chesterton
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
I find it significant that most of the people who believe in just war have never fought in one; examples: Barack W. Bush and George H. Obama.
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.
The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle [World War II], while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security.
John Howard Griffin
DESEGREGATE THE BUSES WITH THIS 7 POINT PROGRAM: 1. Pray for guidance. 2. Be courteous and friendly. 3. Be neat and clean. 4. Avoid loud talk. 5. Do not argue. 6. Report incidents immediately. 7. Overcome evil with good. Sponsored by Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance Rev. A. L. Davis, Pres. Rev. J. E. Poindexter, Secretary
The conflict between pacifism and socialism ultimately reflects a greater quandary of how one engages with such a system.
Erich Maria Remarque
Because we were duped, I tell you, duped as even yet we hardly realize; because we were misused, hideously misused. They told us it was for the Fatherland, and meant the schemes of annexation of a greedy industry. They told us it was for Honour, and meant the quarrels and the will to power of a handful of ambitious diplomats and princes. They told us it was for the Nation, and meant the need for activity on the part of out-of-work generals!... Can't you see? They stuffed out the word Patriotism with all the twaddle of their fine phrases, and their desire for glory, their will to power, their false romanticism, their stupidity, their greed of business, and then paraded it before us a shining ideal! And we thought they were sounding a bugle summoning us to a new, a more strenuous, a larger life. Can't you see man? But we were making war against ourselves without knowing it! Every shot that struck home, struck one of us! Can't you see? Then listen and I will bawl it into your ears. The youth of the world rose up in every land, believing that it was fighting for freedom! And in every land they were duped and misused; in every land they have been shot down, they have exterminated each other! Don't you see now? There is only one fight, the fight against the lie, the half-truth, compromise, against the old order. But we let ourselves be taken in by their phrases; and instead of fighting against them, we fought for them. We thought it was for the Future. It was against the Future. Our future is dead; for the youth is dead that carried it. We are merely the survivors the ruins. But the other is alive still - the fat, the full, the well content, that lies on, fatter and fuller, more contented than ever! And why? Because the dissatisfied, the eager, the storm troops have died for it. But think of it! A generation annihilated! A generation of hope, of faith, of will, of strength, ability, so hypnotised that they have shot down one another, though over the whole world they all had the same purpose!
The real trouble with war is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people.
The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs. As it is, they succumbed anyway in their millions.
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.
Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it.
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.
It's not that he's choosing me, a girl he met less than a month ago--he's choosing a world in which no one has to die.
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.
The idea that war can ever bring freedom is quite possibly the greatest deception that mankind has ever forced upon himself.
Pacifism is a virtue indisguishable from cowardice.