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Peter Maurin: Disarmament of the heart


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war


Peter Maurin

Moral Disarmament (1936)

  1. Theodore Roosevelt used to say:
    “If you want peace
    prepare for war.”
  2. So everybody prepared for war
    but war preparations
    did not bring peace;
    they brought war.
  3. Since war preparations
    brought war
    why not quit preparing for war?
  4. If nations prepared for peace
    instead of preparing for war,
    they might have peace.
  5. Aristide Briand used to say:
    “The best kind of disarmament
    is the disarmament of the heart.”
  6. The disarmament of Germany
    by the Allies
    was not the product
    of a change of heart
    on the part of the Allies
    toward Germany.


Disarmament of the Heart

  1. The Pope Benedict XV
    and Aristide Briand spoke
    about the disarmament of the heart.
  2. France and England
    who refused to follow Wilson
    refused also to follow
    the Pope Benedict XV and Aristide Briand.
  3. They are increasing armaments
    in the fallacious hope
    that they will preserve peace
    by preparing for war.
  4. Before 1914 they prepared for war
    and got it.
  5. Nations have too long
    prepared for war;
    it is about time
    they prepared for peace.
  • ***

Room Could Be Found

  1. There is too much wheat
    in the United States.
    2. There is too much cattle
    in Argentina.
    3. There are too many sheep
    in Australia.
    4. There are too many Germans
    in Germany,
    too many Italians
    in Italy,
    too many Japanese in Japan.
    5. Room could be found
    in the United States
    for the Germans,
    in Argentina
    for the Italians,
    in Australia
    for the Japanese.
    6. To make room
    for the Germans, Italians, Japanese
    is a better way to establish peace
    than to build more battle ships,
    more submarines, and more aeroplanes.


From Soldiers and Scholars

  1. Soldiers rely
    on the power
    of the sword.
  2. Scholars rely
    on the power of the word.
  3. Soldiers think
    in terms of Empire,
  4. Scholars think
    in terms of culture.
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