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NATO’s Incremental But Inexorable Absorption of Ukraine

April 25, 2014 3 comments

Stop NATO articles

Apirl 25, 2014

NATO’s Incremental But Inexorable Absorption of Ukraine
Rick Rozoff

A version of this feature will appear in the forthcoming volume Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks Global War, edited by Stephen Lendman and to be issued by Clarity Press.
As more information becomes available it will be posted at Stephen Lendman’s website.

With almost 1,500 miles of land and sea connecting the two nations, the border with Ukraine is the longest along the western frontier of Russia, with that of Finland next in length.

Until the end of the Cold War only one member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization directly adjoined Russia: Norway, and that for only 135 miles, land and sea. (Though Turkey bordered other Soviet republics.)

The decade of NATO expansion beginning in 1999 brought four new members of the U.S.-dominated military bloc directly up to Russia territory: Estonia and Latvia to northwestern Russia proper and Poland and Lithuania to the non-contiguous Kaliningrad Oblast.

The acquisition of Ukraine as a full NATO member or even as it now is, a partner lending its territory, troops and general military assets to the alliance, would, with the likely prospect of Finland being enlisted in tow, cover the entire western flank of Russia from the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south with NATO air bases, naval docking facilities, firing ranges and training grounds, airfields, radar installations, storage compounds, cyber warfare centers, interceptor missile batteries, armored vehicles, troops and tactical nuclear weapons.

Ukraine is and for decades has been seen as the decisive linchpin in plans by the U.S. and its NATO allies to effect a military cordon sanitaire severing Russia from Europe.

In 1995, just four years after the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Ukraine became the first member of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States to join NATO’s mechanism for the eventual absorption of all of Europe and the rest of former Soviet space not already in the bloc, the Partnership for Peace. The twelve Eastern European nations that joined NATO in 1999, 2004 and 2009 are all graduates of that program. (Waiting in the wings are 22 more members of the transitional program for military integration and full NATO membership; all fourteen European countries not already members, except for Russia, the three former Soviet republics in the South Caucasus and the five in Central Asia.)

Two years later the military alliance established the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, out of which was created the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which is active to this day; in fact more so than ever before since the violent coup d’état in Ukraine in February of this year.

In December of 2008, four months after the Georgian government of Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia and thereby triggered a five-day war with Russia, Ukraine and Georgia were both made the recipients of the first-ever Annual National Programs crafted by NATO. Earlier in the year, at the alliance summit in Bucharest, Romania, it was announced that, although the last stage before full NATO accession – the Membership Action Plan – would not immediately be granted to the two former Soviet republics, NATO was nevertheless committed to their eventual membership. One of the Ukrainian public officials pushing for a Membership Action Plan was then-chairman of the nation’s parliament, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, now the U.S.-selected (indeed, the U.S.-imposed) prime minister and effective head of the ruling junta.

In fact, the parliamentary opposition blocked the functioning of the Verkhovna Rada from January to March of 2008 – ahead of the NATO summit in early April of that year – in protest against the nation being dragged into the bloc. The main effort domestically to expedite the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO emanated from the duarchy emerging from the 2004-2005 “Orange Revolution,” President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Indeed, Washington and its European allies supported and directed the second so-called color revolution (after that in Georgia the preceding year) with just that intended effect in mind.

Ahead of the Bucharest summit President George W. Bush, fellow Republican and at the time candidate for his party’s presidential nomination (which he later secured) John McCain, and Democratic rivals for their party’s nomination, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, all fulsomely endorsed full NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia.

A year ahead of the “Orange Revolution,” Yushchenko’s predecessor, Leonid Kuchma, had attempted to appease the U.S. and NATO by providing 1,650 troops for the NATO-supported Multi-National Force – Iraq. A nominal contingent of Ukrainian troops has also been assigned to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, part of an over 50-nation integrated command. But as not only Kuchma has learned, total subservience, abject submission alone are accepted by NATO “partners” in Washington and Brussels.

Georgia would later supply 2,000 (the third largest deployment after those of the U.S. and Britain at the time), which were airlifted home by American aircraft during the August 2008 war with Russia. The “orange” regime of Viktor Yushchenko was accused of surreptitiously shipping weapons and allowing if not organizing the deployment of military and extremist nationalist paramilitary forces to Georgia during the fighting.

Immediately after the South Caucasus war ended, Yushchenko flew into the Georgian capital to join a rally with (and for) President Saakashvili and immediately upon returning to Kiev signed a decree demanding Russia notify his government of – in essence seek its authorization for – naval and air deployments from the Black Sea Fleet base in Sebastopol. He reserved the right to prevent Russian vessels from departing and returning to the complex; that is, a de facto selective blockade.

Starting no later than 2006, at first covertly and then quite flagrantly, directors and other officials of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency visited Ukraine to discuss the stationing of interceptor missile components in the country, part of an initiative that has subsequently been embraced by all 28 members of NATO under the Barack Obama administration’s European Phased Adaptive Approach land- and sea-based missile shield being deployed along Russia’s western (and later southern) border.

Annual U.S.-led NATO Partnership for Peace military exercises code-named Sea Breeze have been held in Ukraine every year since 1996 – in the Crimea, near the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet – except in 2006 when they were cancelled because of local protests.

Led by U.S. European Command, yearly Rapid Trident military exercises are also held in Ukraine with U.S., NATO and Partnership for Peace forces. In the words of U.S. Army Europe’s account of last year’s iteration, Rapid Trident “helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support…designed to enhance joint combined interoperability with allied and partner nations” as well as “support[ing] Ukraine’s Annual National Program to achieve interoperability with NATO and commitments made in the annual NATO-Ukraine work plan.”

In the same month as NATO initiated its Annual National Program with Ukraine, December of 2008, Washington launched the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, the founding document of which asserts and identifies among other objectives:

“Deepening Ukraine’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions is a mutual priority. We plan to undertake a program of enhanced security cooperation intended to increase Ukrainian capabilities and to strengthen Ukraine’s candidacy for NATO membership.

“Guided by the April 3, 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration of the NATO North Atlantic Council and the April 4, 2008 Joint Statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which affirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO.

“Recognizing the persistence of threats to global peace and stability, the United States and Ukraine intend to expand the scope of their ongoing programs of cooperation and assistance on defense and security issues to defeat these threats and to promote peace and stability. A defense and security cooperation partnership between the United States and Ukraine is of benefit to both nations and the region.

“Working within the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, our goal is to gain agreement on a structured plan to increase interoperability and coordination of capabilities between NATO and Ukraine, including via enhanced training and equipment for Ukrainian armed forces.”

In 2010 Ukraine became the first NATO partner state to provide a warship for the alliance’s Operation Active Endeavor, a permanent naval surveillance and interdiction campaign throughout the entire Mediterranean Sea inaugurated in 2001 with the activation of NATO’s Article 5 mutual military assistance provision.

In 2013 Ukraine complemented the above contribution by becoming the first NATO partner to assign a warship to the bloc’s Operation Ocean Shield, a now five-year-old (and also intended to be indefinite) maritime mission off the Horn of Africa in the Arabian Sea and further into the Indian Ocean.

Before the onset of civil unrest in the country last November, NATO was already touting Ukraine as one of four partners to join the global NATO Response Force. (The other three being Georgia, Finland and Sweden.)

Now with a U.S.-NATO proxy regime in place in Kiev, the prospects for Ukraine being turned into a veritable gargantuan forward base for the Pentagon’s and NATO’s inexorable, now generation-long, drive to the east, overrun with Western military advisers and intelligence agents and hosting warplanes, warships, armor, troops and missiles, are being entertained by Western leaders with a degree of ambitiousness and recklessness surpassing anything hitherto contemplated.

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Johann Gottlieb Fichte: The inexorable law of universal peace


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

German writers on peace and war


Johann Gottlieb Fichte
From The Vocation of Man (1800)
Translated by William Smith


By the establishment of this only true State, this firm foundation of internal peace, the possibility of foreign war…is cut off.

The law concerning the security of neighbours is necessarily a law in every state that is not a robber-state; and by its operation the possibility of any just complaint of one state against another, and consequently every case of self-defence among nations, is entirely prevented.

Between such states as these, there is no rank which can be insulted, no ambition which can be offended. No officer of one state is authorised to intermeddle in the internal affairs of another, nor is there any temptation for him to do so, since he could not derive the slightest personal advantage from any such influence. That a whole nation should determine, for the sake of plunder, to make war on a neighbouring country, is impossible…

Only where the advantage falls to the few oppressors, and the injury, the toil, the expense, to the countless herd of slaves, is a war of spoliation possible and conceivable.

Thus, from the establishment of a just internal organization, and of peace between individuals, there will necessarily result integrity in the external relations of nations towards each other, and universal peace among them.


Our race still laboriously extorts the means of its subsistence and preservation from an opposing Nature. The larger portion of mankind is still condemned through life to severe toil, in order to supply nourishment for itself and for the smaller portion which thinks for it; immortal spirits are compelled to fix their whole thoughts and endeavours on the earth that brings forth their food. It still frequently happens that, when the labourer has finished his toil and has promised himself in return a lasting endurance both for himself and for his work, a hostile element will destroy in a moment that which it has cost him years of patient industry and deliberation to accomplish, and the assiduous and careful man is undeservedly made the prey of hunger and misery; often do floods, storms, volcanoes, desolate whole countries, and works which bear the impress of a rational soul are mingled with their authors in the wild chaos of death and destruction. Disease sweeps into an untimely grave men in the pride of their strength, and children whose existence has as yet borne no fruit; pestilence stalks through blooming lands, leaves the few who escape its ravages like lonely orphans bereaved of the accustomed support of their fellows, and does all that it can do to give back to the desert regions which the labour of man has won from thence as a possession to himself. Thus it is now, but thus it cannot remain for ever.

But it is not Nature, it is Freedom itself, by which the greatest and most terrible disorders incident to our race are produced; man is the crudest enemy of man. Lawless hordes of savages still wander over vast wildernesses; they meet, and the victor devours his foe at the triumphal feast: or where culture has at length united these wild hordes under some social bond, they attack each other, as nations, with the power which law and union have given them. Defying toil and privation, their armies traverse peaceful plains and forests; they meet each other, and the sight of their brethren is the signal for slaughter. Equipt with the mightiest inventions of the human intellect, hostile fleets plough their way through the ocean; through storm and tempest man rushes to meet his fellow men upon the lonely inhospitable sea; they meet, and defy the fury of the elements that they may destroy each other with their own hands. Even in the interior of states, where men seem to be united in equality under the law, it is still for the most part only force and fraud which rule under that venerable name; and here the warfare is so much the more shameful that it is not openly declared to be war, and the party attacked is even deprived of the privilege of defending himself against unjust oppression. Combinations of the few rejoice aloud in the ignorance, the folly, the vice, and the misery in which the greater number of their fellow-men are sunk, avowedly seek to retain them in this state of degradation, and even to plunge them deeper in it in order to perpetuate their slavery; nay, would destroy any one who should venture to enlighten or improve them. No attempt at amelioration can anywhere be made without rousing up from slumber a host of selfish interests to war against it, and uniting even the most varied and opposite in a common hostility. The good cause is ever the weaker, for it is simple, and can be loved only for itself; the bad attracts each individual by the promise which is most seductive to him; and its adherents, always at war among themselves, so soon as the good makes its appearance, conclude a truce that they may unite the whole powers of their wickedness against it. Scarcely, indeed, is such an opposition needed, for even the good themselves are but too often divided by misunderstanding, error, distrust, and secret self-love, and that so much the more violently, the more earnestly each strives to propagate that which he recognizes as best; and thus internal discord dissipates a power, which, even when united, could scarcely hold the balance with evil. One blames the other for rushing onwards with stormy impetuosity to his object, without waiting until the good result shall have been prepared; whilst he in turn is blamed that, through hesitation and cowardice, he accomplishes nothing, but allows all things to remain as they are, contrary to his better conviction, because for him the hour of action never arrives: and only the Omniscient can determine whether either of the parties in the dispute is in the right. Every one regards the undertaking, the necessity of which is most apparent to him, and in the prosecution of which he has acquired the greatest skill, as most important and needful, as the point from which all improvement must proceed; he requires all good men to unite their efforts with his, and to subject themselves to him for the accomplishment of his particular purpose, holding it to be treason to the good cause if they hold back; while they on the other hand make the same demands upon him, and accuse him of similar treason for a similar refusal. Thus do all good intentions among men appear to be lost in vain disputations, which leave behind them no trace of their existence; while in the meantime the world goes on as well, or as ill, as it can without human effort, by the blind mechanism of Nature, and so will go on for ever.

And so go on for ever? No; not so, unless the whole existence of humanity is to be an idle game, without significance and without end. It cannot be intended that those savage tribes should always remain savage; no race can be born with all the capacities of perfect humanity, and yet be destined never to develop these capacities, never to become more than that which a sagacious animal by its own proper nature might become. Those savages must be destined to be the progenitors of more powerful, cultivated, and virtuous generations; otherwise it is impossible to conceive of a purpose in their existence, or even of the possibility of their existence in a world ordered and arranged by reason. Savage races may become civilized, for this has already occurred; the most cultivated nations of modern times are the descendants of savages. Whether civilization is a direct and natural development of human society, or is invariably brought about through instruction and example from without, and the primary source of human culture must be sought in a superhuman guidance, by the same way in which nations which once were savage have emerged into civilization, will those who are yet uncivilized gradually attain it. They must, no doubt, at first pass through the same dangers and corruptions of a merely sensual civilization, by which the civilized nations are still oppressed, but they will thereby be brought into union with the great whole of humanity and be made capable of taking part in its further progress.

It is the vocation of our race to unite itself into one single body, all the parts of which shall be thoroughly known to each other, and all possessed of similar culture. Nature, and even the passions and vices of men, have from the beginning tended towards this end; a great part of the way towards it is already passed, and we may surely calculate that this end, which is the condition of all farther social progress, will in time be attained! Let us not ask of history if man, on the whole, have yet become purely moral.

To a more extended, comprehensive, energetic freedom he has certainly attained; but hitherto it has been an almost necessary result of his position, that this freedom has been applied chiefly to evil purposes. Neither let us ask whether the aesthetic and intellectual culture of the ancient world, concentrated on a few points, may not have excelled in degree that of modern times! It might happen that we should receive a humiliating answer, and that in this respect the human race has not advanced, but rather seemed to retrograde, in its riper years. But let us ask of history at what period the existing culture has been most widely diffused, and distributed among the greatest number of individuals; and we shall doubtless find that from the beginning of history down to our own day, the few light-points of civilization have spread themselves abroad from their centre, that one individual after another, and one nation after another, has been embraced within their circle, and that this wider outspread of culture is proceeding under our own eyes. And this is the first point to be attained in the endless path on which humanity must advance. Until this shall have been attained, until the existing culture of every age shall have been diffused over the whole inhabited globe, and our race becomes capable of the most unlimited inter-communication with itself, one nation or one continent must pause on the great common path of progress, and wait for the advance of the others; and each must bring as an offering to the universal commonwealth, for the sake of which alone it exists, its ages of apparent immobility or retrogression. When that first point shall have been attained, when every useful discovery made at one end of the earth shall be at once made known and communicated to all the rest, then, without farther interruption, without halt or regress, with united strength and equal step, humanity shall move onward to a higher culture, of which we can at present form no conception.

Within those singular associations, thrown together by unreasoning accident, which we call States, after they have subsisted for a time in peace, when the resistance excited by yet new oppression has been lulled to sleep, and the fermentation of contending forces appeased, abuse, by its continuance, and by general sufferance, assumes a sort of established form; and the ruling classes, in the uncontested enjoyment of their extorted privileges, have nothing more to do but to extend them further, and to give to this extension also the same established form. Urged by their insatiable desires, they will continue from generation to generation their efforts to acquire wider and yet wider privileges, and never say “It is enough!” until at last oppression shall reach its limit, and become wholly insupportable, and despair give back to the oppressed that power which their courage, extinguished by centuries of tyranny, could not procure for them. They will then no longer endure any among them who cannot be satisfied to be on an equality with others, and so to remain. In order to protect themselves against internal violence or new oppression, all will take on themselves the same obligations. Their deliberations, in which every man shall decide, whatever he decides, for himself, and not for one subject to him whose sufferings will never affect him, and in whose fate he takes no concern; deliberations, according to which no one can hope that it shall be he who is to practise a permitted injustice, but every one must fear that he may have to suffer it; deliberations that alone deserve the name of legislation, which is something wholly different from the ordinances of combined lords to the countless herds of their slaves; these deliberations will necessarily be guided by justice, and will lay the foundation of a true State, in which each individual, from a regard for his own security, will be irresistibly compelled to respect the security of every other without exception; since, under the supposed legislation, every injury which he should attempt to do to another, would not fall upon its object, but would infallibly recoil upon himself.

By the establishment of this only true State, this firm foundation of internal peace, the possibility of foreign war, at least with other true States, is cut off. Even for its own advantage, even to prevent the thought of injustice, plunder and violence entering the minds of its own citizens, and to leave them no possibility of gain, except by means of industry and diligence within their legitimate sphere of activity, every true state must forbid as strictly, prevent as carefully, compensate as exactly, or punish as severely, any injury to the citizen of a neighbouring state, as to one of its own. The law concerning the security of neighbours is necessarily a law in every state that is not a robber-state; and by its operation the possibility of any just complaint of one state against another, and consequently every case of self-defence among nations, is entirely prevented. There are no necessary, permanent, and immediate relations of states, as such, with each other, which should be productive of strife; there are, properly speaking, only relations of the individual citizens of one state to the individual citizens of another; a state can be injured only in the person of one of its citizens; but such injury will be immediately compensated and the aggrieved state satisfied. Between such states as these, there is no rank which can be insulted, no ambition which can be offended. No officer of one state is authorised to intermeddle in the internal affairs of another, nor is there any temptation for him to do so, since he could not derive the slightest personal advantage from any such influence. That a whole nation should determine, for the sake of plunder, to make war on a neighbouring country, is impossible; for in a state where all are equal, the plunder could not become the booty of a few, but must be equally divided amongst all, and the share of no one individual could ever recompense him for the trouble of the war. Only where the advantage falls to the few oppressors, and the injury, the toil, the expense, to the countless herd of slaves, is a war of spoliation possible and conceivable. Not from states like themselves could such states as these entertain any fear of war; only from savages, or barbarians whose lack of skill to enrich themselves by industry impels them to plunder; or from enslaved nations, driven by their masters to a war from which they themselves will reap no advantage. In the former case, each individual civilized state must already be the stronger through the arts of civilization; against the latter danger, the common advantage of all demands that they should strengthen themselves by union. No free state can reasonably suffer in its vicinity associations governed by rulers whose interests would be promoted by the subjugation of adjacent nations, and whose very existence is therefore a constant source of danger to their neighbours; a regard for their own security compels all free states to transform all around them into free states like themselves; and thus, for the sake of their own welfare, to extend the empire of culture over barbarism, of freedom over slavery. Soon will the nations, civilized or enfranchised by them, find themselves placed in the same relation towards others still enthralled by barbarism or slavery, in which the earlier free nations previously stood towards them, and be compelled to do the same things for these which were previously done for themselves; and thus, of necessity, by reason of the existence of some few really free states, will the empire of civilization, freedom, and with it universal peace, gradually embrace the whole world.

Thus, from the establishment of a just internal organization, and of peace between individuals, there will necessarily result integrity in the external relations of nations towards each other, and universal peace among them. But the establishment of this just internal organization, and the emancipation of the first nation that shall be truly free, arises as a necessary consequence from the ever-growing oppression exercised by the ruling classes towards their subjects, which gradually becomes insupportable, a progress which may be safely left to the passions and the blindness of those classes, even although warned of the result.

In these only true states all temptation to evil, nay, even the possibility of a man resolving upon a bad action with any reasonable hope of benefit to himself, will be entirely taken away; and the strongest possible motives will be offered to every man to make virtue the sole object of his will.

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Margaret Sackville: Sacrament


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

British writers on peace and war

Women writers on peace and war

Margaret Sackville: Selections on peace and war


Margaret Sackville

Before the Altar of the world in flower,
Upon whose steps thy creatures kneel in line,
We do beseech Thee in this wild Spring hour,
Grant us, O Lord, thy wine. But not this wine.

Helpless, we, praying by Thy shimmering seas,
Beside Thy fields, whence all the world is fed,
Thy little children clinging about Thy knees,
Cry: ‘Grant us, Lord, Thy bread!’ But not this bread.

This wine of awful sacrifice outpoured;
This bread of life – of human lives. The Press
Is overflowing, the Wine-Press of the Lord!
Yet doth he tread the foamings no less.

These stricken lands! The green time of the year
Has found them wasted by a purple flood,
Sodden and wasted everywhere, everywhere; –
Not all our tears may cleanse them from that blood.


Ora Pro Nobis

Not these bright feet
Which tread their chosen road of death, deplore;
But ours which walk the customary street,
Barren and dull and anxious as before.
These million dead
Need not your tears: but let them flow
For us to whom is given our daily bread
And are content as long as this is so.

Who sleep at ease
In a safe corner of a world in flame.
Pray for us then, but not for these
Who have no portion in our shame.



Not these I pity
Who in the swing and surge of battle die
With passion in their hearts – but these
The wreck and ruin of the city,
These myriad souls outcast, they know not why,
Torn, tortured, exiled, driven over-seas.

For these what price
Shall the inexorable laws demand
Upon their heads what heavy toll is set?

Theirs is the unforgotten sacrifice;
Their blood has watered the waste lands:
When God remembers, who shall pay the debt?

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Virgil: The War-god pitiless moves wrathful through the world

April 24, 2020 Leave a comment


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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

Virgil: On war and on peace


From Georgic I
Translated by Theodore Chickering Williams

So many wars
Vex the whole world, so many monstrous shapes
Of wickedness appear; no honor due
Is given the sacred plough; our fields and farms,
Their masters taken, rankly lie untilled;
Our pruning-hooks are beaten in hot flames
To tempered swords. Euphrates yonder stirs,
There wild Germania, to impious war;
Close-neighbored cities their firm leagues forswear
And rush to arms. The War-god pitiless
Moves wrathful through the world.
With not less rage Swift chariot-horses through the circus bound
With ever-quickening pace; the driver pale
Is vanquished by his team and waves on high
His helpless reins; no curb the chariot heeds.


From Georgic II

Blest was that man whose vision could explore
The world’s prime causes, conquering for man
His horde of fears, his certain doom of death
Inexorable, and the menace loud
Of hungry Acheron! Yet happy he
Who knows a shepherd’s gods, protecting Pan,
Sylvan of hoary head, and sisterhoods
Of nymphs in wave and tree. He lives unmoved
By public honors or the purple pall
Of kingly power, or impious strife that stirs
‘Twixt brothers breaking faith, or barbarous host
Of Dacian raiders from the rebel shores
Of Danube, or by Rome’s imperial care
And kingdoms doomed to die; he need not weep
For pity of the poor, nor lustful-eyed
View great possessions. He plucks mellow fruit
From his own orchard trees and gathers in
The proffered harvest of obedient fields.
Of ruthless laws, the forum’s frenzied will,
Of public scrolls of deed and archive sealed,
He nothing knows. Let strangers to such peace
Trouble with oars the boundless seas or fly
To wars, and plunder palaces of kings;
Make desolate whole cities, casting down
Their harmless gods and altars, that one’s wine
May from carved rubies gush, and slumbering head
On Tyrian pillow lie. A man here hoards
His riches, dreaming of his buried gold;
Another on the rostrum’s flattered pride
Stares awe-struck. Him th’ applause of multitudes,.
People and senators, when echoed shouts
Ring through the house approving, quite enslaves.
With civil slaughter and fraternal blood
One day such reek exultant, on the next
Lose evermore the long-loved hearth and home.

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Isabella Lickbarrow: Invocation To Peace

December 10, 2019 Leave a comment


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

British writers on peace and war

Women writers on peace and war


Isabella Lickbarrow
Invocation To Peace

O gentle Peace! celestial visitant!
Thou friend to virtue, charity, and love,
Whose smile can make a paradise on earth,
Without whose presence heav’n could not be blest,
How long has thy inexorable foe,
That fiend unblest, Ambition, banish’d thee,
Chas’d thee a fugitive from clime to clime,
And made thee roam a pilgrim o’er the world?
Say, beauteous wand’rer, in what distant spot,
What lonely isle amid the unbounded main,
Hast thou a temporary shelter found?
Where, like the fabled goddess sung of old,
To wand’ring nations and to savage tribes
Thou teachest how to till th’ uncultur’d soil,
And all the useful arts of polish’d life;
Or still remembering Europe’s fairer realms,
Upon some rocky promontory’s brow
Pensive thou sit’st, bending a list’ning ear
Towards the distant shores, and only hear’st
Unwelcome sounds, discordant din of arms,
Like murmuring thunder, wafted o’er the waves;
While in thy swelling bosom heaves the sigh,
And from thy glist’ning eye descends the tear,
In pity for the ills her sons endure.
Return, fair stranger, to those realms again,
Return to heal the wounds which war has made;
Come, and on Europe’s plains the olive plant;
Beneath its friendly shade, the purple vine
Shall brighter bloom, the harvest richer glow,
And greater plenty crown the rolling year.
Oh come! on Albion’s plains for ever dwell,
Thy sacred temple let our island be,
Then arts and manufactures would revive,
And happy Industry rejoice again;
Then friendly Commerce would unfurl her sails,
No hostile natives, arm’d with bolts of death,
Would meet in dreadful conflict on the deep,
But freighted vessels, laden with the fruits
Of ev’ry varied clime, would crowd our ports,
And flags of ev’ry land wave round our shores
In social harmony, a glorious sight –
To generous minds, yielding more genuine joy,
Than dearly purchas’d trophies won by war
From ev’ry different region of the globe.

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Stefan Zweig: The army of the spirit, not the army of force

December 29, 2018 Leave a comment


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

Stefan Zweig: Selections on peace and war

Romain Rolland: Selections on war


Stefan Zweig
From Romain Rolland: The Man and His Work
Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul

For Olivier there is but one true freedom, that which comes from within, the freedom which a man must win for himself. The illusion of the crowd, its eternal class struggles and national struggles for power, distress him, but do not arouse his sympathy. Standing quite alone, he maintains his mental poise when war between Germany and France is imminent, when all are shaken in their convictions, and when even Jean Christophe feels that he must return home to fight for his fatherland. “I love my country,” says the Frenchman to his German brother. “I love it just as you love yours. But am I for this reason to betray my conscience, to kill my soul? This would signify the betrayal of my country. I belong to the army of the spirit, not to the army of force.” But brute force takes its revenge upon the man who despises force, and he is killed in a chance medley…

Jean Christophe’s goodness is that of instinct; it is elemental, therefore, and liable to be interrupted by passionate relapses into hate. Olivier’s goodness, on the other hand, is intellectual and wise, and is tinged merely at times by ironical skepticism. But it is this contrast between them, it is the fact that their aspirations towards goodness are complementary, which draws them together. Christophe’s robust faith revives joy in life for the lonely Olivier. Christophe, in turn, learns justice from Olivier. The sage is uplifted by the strong, who is himself enlightened by the sage’s clarity. This mutual exchange of benefits symbolizes the relationship between their nations. The friendship between the two individuals is designed to be the prototype of a spiritual alliance between the brother peoples. France and Germany are “the two pinions of the west.” The European spirit is to soar freely above the blood-drenched fields of the past.


The defeat which had spiritualized French idealism, had, from the German side, as a victory, materialized German idealism. “What has victorious Germany given to the world?” asks Jean Christophe. He answers his own question by saying: “The flashing of bayonets; vigor without magnanimity; brutal realism; force conjoined with greed for profit; Mars as commercial traveler.” He is grieved to recognize that Germany has been harmed by victory. He suffers; for “one expects more of one’s own country than of another, and is hurt more by the faults of one’s own land.” Ever the revolutionist, Christophe detests noisy self-assertion, militarist arrogance, the churlishness of caste feeling.


“The fire which had been smouldering in the European forest was now breaking forth into flame. Extinguished in one place, it promptly began to rage in another. Amid whirlwinds of smoke and a rain of sparks, it leaped from point to point, while the parched undergrowth kindled. Outpost skirmishes in the east had already begun, as preludes to the great war of the nations. The whole of Europe, that Europe which was still skeptical and apathetic like a dead forest, was fuel for the conflagration. The fighting spirit was universal. From moment to moment, war seemed imminent. Stifled, it was continually reborn. The most trifling pretext served to feed its strength. The world felt itself to be at the mercy of chance, which would initiate the terrible struggle. It was waiting. A feeling of inexorable necessity weighed upon all, even upon the most pacific. The ideologues, sheltering in the shade of Proudhon the titan, hailed war as man’s most splendid claim to nobility.

“It was for this, then, that there had been effected a physical and moral resurrection of the races of the west! It was towards these butcheries that the streams of action and passionate faith had been hastening!”


Christophe recalls those earlier days when he and Olivier had been concerned about the prospect of war. At that time there were but distant rumblings of the storm. Now the storm clouds covered all the skies of Europe. Fruitless had been the call to unity; vain had been the pointing out of the path through the darkness. Mournfully the seer contemplates in the distance the horsemen of the Apocalypse, the heralds of fratricidal strife.

But beside the dying man is the Child, smiling and full of knowledge; the Child who is Eternal Life.


“Display everyday life to everyday people – the life that is deeper and wider than the ocean. The least among us bears infinity within him…Describe the simple life of one of these simple men; …describe it simply, as it actually happens. Do not trouble about phrasing; do not dissipate your energies, as do so many contemporary writers, in straining for artistic effects. You wish to speak to the many, and you must therefore speak their language…Throw yourself into what you create; think your own thoughts; feel your own feelings. Let your heart set the rhythm to the words. Style is soul.”

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Stefan Zweig: Propaganda is as much war matériel as arms and planes

December 27, 2018 Leave a comment


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

Stefan Zweig: Selections on peace and war


Stefan Zweig
From The World of Yesterday
Translated by Benjamin W. Huebsch and Helmut Ripperger

It had only been a second, but one that showed me how easily people anywhere could be aroused in a time of a crisis, despite all attempts at understanding, despite all efforts. My whole evening was spoiled. I could not sleep. If this had occurred in Paris, it would have made me uneasy, but I would not have been so shocked. I shuddered at the thought that this hatred had eaten its way deep into the provinces, deep into the hearts of the simple, naive people. A few days later I told my friends about the episode. Most of them did not take it seriously: ‘‘How we Frenchmen laughed at fat Queen Victoria, and yet two years later we formed an alliance with England. You don’t know the French, politics do not enter into them too deeply.” Only Rolland saw things in a different light. “The more naive a people are, the easier it is to get around them. Things are bad since Poincaré was elected. His trip to Petersburg will not be a pleasure jaunt.” We spoke at length about the socialist congress which had been called for that summer in Vienna, but here too Rolland was more sceptical than the others. “Who knows how many will remain steadfast once the mobilization order has been nailed up? We live in a time of mass emotion, mass hysteria, whose power in the case of war cannot be estimated.”


A great wave crashed over mankind so suddenly, with so much violence, that as its foam covered the surface it brought from the depths the dark and subconscious primeval promptings and instincts of the human animal – what was insightfully described by Feud as the rejection of civilization, a yearning to escape from the middle-class world of laws and their wisdom for once and indulge in the ancient bloodlust of man. And maybe these dark forces also played a part in the savage intoxication that combined alcohol with the joy of self-sacrifice, a wish for adventure and simple gullibility, the old superstition of flags and patriotic declamations, a grotesque frenzy, one that for a time unleashed mad and virtually inexorable momentum to the gravest crime of our era.


Who in the villages and the cities of Austria remembered “real” war? A few ancients at best, who, in 1866, had fought against Prussia, which was now their ally. But what a quick, bloodless, far-off war that had been, a campaign that had ended in three weeks with few victims and before it had well started! A rapid excursion into the romantic, a wild, manly adventure – that is how the war of 1914 was painted in the imagination of the simple man, and the young people were honestly afraid that they might miss this most wonderful and exciting experience of their lives; that is why they hurried and thronged to the colours, and that is why they shouted and sang in the trains that carried them to the slaughter; wildly and feverishly the red wave of blood coursed through the veins of the entire nation.

But the generation of 1939 knew war. It no longer deceived itself. It knew that it was not romantic but barbaric. It knew that it would last for years and years, an irretrievable span of time. It knew that the men did not storm the enemy, decorated with oak leaves and ribbons, but hung about for weeks at a time in trenches or quarters covered with vermin and mad with thirst, and that men were crushed and mutilated from afar without ever coming face to face with the foe. The newspapers and cinemas had already made the new and devilish techniques of destruction familiar; people knew how the giant tanks ground the wounded under them in their path, and how aeroplanes destroyed women and children in their beds. They knew that a World War of 1939, because of its soulless mechanization, would be a thousand times more cruel, more bestial, more inhuman than all of the former wars of mankind. Not a single individual of the generation of 1939 believed any longer in the God-decreed justice of war : and what was worse, they no longer believed in the justice and permanence of die peace it was to achieve.


[T]he tales of gouged-out eyes and severed hands which appear on the third or fourth day of every war filled the newspapers. They did not know, those innocents who spread such lies, that the accusation of every possible cruelty against the enemy is as much war matériel as are munitions and planes, and that they are systematically taken out of storage at the beginning of every war. War does not permit itself to be co-ordinated with reason and righteousness. It needs stimulated emotions, enthusiasm for its own cause and hatred for the adversary.

It lies in human nature that deep emotion cannot be prolonged indefinitely, either in the individual or in a people, a fact that is known to all military organizations. Therefore it requires an artificial stimulation, a constant ‘‘doping” of excitement; and this whipping-up was to be performed by the intellectuals, the poets, the writers, and the journalists, scrupulously or otherwise, honestly or as a matter of professional routine. They were to beat the drums of hatred and beat them they did, until the ears of the unprejudiced hummed and their hearts quaked. In Germany, in France, in Italy, in Russia, and in Belgium, they all obediently served the war propaganda and thus mass delusion and mass hatred, instead of fighting against it.

The results were disastrous. At that time, propaganda not yet having worn itself thin in peace time, the nations believed everything that they saw in print in spite of thousands of disillusionments. And so the pure, beautiful, sacrificial enthusiasm of the opening days became gradually transformed into an orgy of the worst and most stupid impulses.

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William Cullen Bryant: Christmas 1875

December 24, 2015 Leave a comment


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

American writers on peace and against war

William Cullen Bryant: Emblem of the peace that yet shall be, noise of war shall cease from sea to sea


William Cullen Bryant
Christmas 1875

(Supposed to be written by a Spaniard)

No trumpet-blast profaned
The hour in which the Prince of Peace was born;
No bloody streamlet stained
Earth’s silver rivers on that sacred morn;
But, o’er the peaceful plain,
The war-horse drew the peasant’s loaded wain.

The soldier had laid by
The sword and stripped the corselet from his breast,
And hung his helm on high –
The sparrow’s winter home and summer nest;
And, with the same strong hand
That flung the barbed spear, he tilled the land.

Oh, time for which we yearn;
Oh, sabbath of the nations long foretold!
Season of peace, return,
Like a late summer when the year grows old,
When the sweet sunny days
Steeped mead and mountain-side in golden haze.

For now two rival kings
Flaunt, o’er our bleeding land, their hostile flags,
And every sunrise brings
The hovering vulture from his mountain-crags
To where the battle-plain
Is strewn with dead, the youth and flower of Spain.

Christ is not come, while yet
O’er half the earth the threat of battle lowers,
And our own fields are wet,
Beneath the battle-cloud, with crimson showers –
The life-blood of the slain,
Poured out where thousands die that one may reign.

Soon, over half the earth,
In every temple crowds shall kneel again
To celebrate His birth
Who brought the message of good-will to men,
And bursts of joyous song
Shall shake the roof above the prostrate throng.

Christ is not come, while there
The men of blood whose crimes affront the skies
Kneel down in act of prayer,
Amid the joyous strains, and when they rise
Go forth, with sword and flame,
To waste the land in His most holy name.

Oh, when the day shall break
O’er realms unlearned in warfare’s cruel arts,
And all their millions wake
To peaceful tasks performed with loving hearts,
On such a blessed morn,
Well may the nations say that Christ is born.


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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace


Eclogue IV
Translated by A. S. Kline


Muses of Sicily, let me sing a little more grandly.
Orchards and humble tamarisks don’t please everyone:
if I sing of the woods, let the woods be fit for a Consul.

Now the last age of the Cumaean prophecy begins:
the great roll-call of the centuries is born anew:
now Virgin Justice returns, and Saturn’s reign:
now a new race descends from the heavens above.
Only favour the child who’s born, pure Lucina, under whom
the first race of iron shall end, and a golden race
rise up throughout the world: now your Apollo reigns.
For, Pollio, in your consulship, this noble age begins,
and the noble months begin their advance:
any traces of our evils that remain will be cancelled,
while you lead, and leave the earth free from perpetual fear.
He will take on divine life, and he will see gods
mingled with heroes, and be seen by them,
and rule a peaceful world with his father’s powers.
And for you, boy, the uncultivated earth will pour out
her first little gifts, straggling ivy and cyclamen everywhere
and the bean flower with the smiling acanthus.
The goats will come home themselves, their udders swollen
with milk, and the cattle will have no fear of fierce lions:
Your cradle itself will pour out delightful flowers:
And the snakes will die, and deceitful poisonous herbs
will wither: Assyrian spice plants will spring up everywhere.
And you will read both of heroic glories, and your father’s deeds,
and will soon know what virtue can be.
The plain will slowly turn golden with tender wheat,
and the ripe clusters hang on the wild briar,
and the tough oak drip with dew-wet honey.
Some small traces of ancient error will lurk,
that will command men to take to the sea in ships,
encircle towns with walls, plough the earth with furrows.
Another Argo will arise to carry chosen heroes, a second
Tiphys as helmsman: there will be another War,
and great Achilles will be sent once more to Troy.
Then when the strength of age has made you a man,
the merchant himself will quit the sea, nor will the pine ship
trade its goods: every land will produce everything.
The soil will not feel the hoe: nor the vine the pruning hook:
the strong ploughman too will free his oxen from the yoke:
wool will no longer be taught to counterfeit varied colours,
the ram in the meadow will change his fleece of himself,
now to a sweet blushing purple, now to a saffron yellow:
scarlet will clothe the browsing lambs of its own accord.
‘Let such ages roll on’ the Fates said, in harmony,
to the spindle, with the power of inexorable destiny.
O dear child of the gods, take up your high honours
(the time is near), great son of Jupiter!
See the world, with its weighty dome, bowing,
earth and wide sea and deep heavens:
see how everything delights in the future age!
O let the last days of a long life remain to me,
and the inspiration to tell how great your deeds will be:
Thracian Orpheus and Linus will not overcome me in song,
though his mother helps the one, his father the other,
Calliope Orpheus, and lovely Apollo Linus.
Even Pan if he competed with me, with Arcady as judge,
even Pan, with Arcady as judge, would account himself beaten.
Little child, begin to recognise your mother with a smile:
ten months have brought a mother’s long labour.
Little child, begin: he on whom his parents do not smile
no god honours at his banquets, no goddess in her bed.

Categories: Uncategorized

German writers on peace and war

November 5, 2015 Leave a comment

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

German and other German-language writers on peace and war

Berthold Auerbach: Practicing for mutual manslaughter

Walter Benjamin: Self-alienated mankind experiences its own destruction as aesthetic pleasure

Friedrich Martin von Bodenstedt: Christianity and War

Heinrich Böll: Every death in war is a murder – a murder for which someone is responsible

Heinrich Böll: I’m going to die soon and before the war is over. I shall never know peace again.

Wolfgang Borchert: It was war; stories from a primer

Wolfgang Borchert: Only one thing to do, say No!

Bertolt Brecht: Selections on war

Bertolt Brecht: For its material and moral beneficiaries, war can look forward to a prosperous future

Bertolt Brecht: German Miserere

Bertolt Brecht: I won’t let you spoil my war for me

Bertolt Brecht: In war the attacker always has an alibi

Bertolt Brecht: Maimed soldiers are anti-war demonstrators

Bertolt Brecht: One’s only got to make a war to become a millionaire. It’s amazing!

Bertolt Brecht: Picture-book generals more dangerous, less brave, than serial killers

Bertolt Brecht: To hear the big fellows talk, they wage war from fear of God and for all things bright and beautiful

Bertolt Brecht: The upper classes sacrifice for the soldiers

Bertolt Brecht: War Song

Bertolt Brecht: Wherein a holy war differs from other wars

Alfred Döblin: The law and the police are at the service of the war state and its slavery

Alfred Döblin: The old grim cry for war

Alfred Döblin: War is not ineluctable fate

Alfred Döblin: We march to war, Death folds his cloak singing: Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes.

Georg Ebers: Each one must bring a victim to the war

Lion Feuchtwanger: Selections on war

Lion Feuchtwanger: The demand for perpetual peace must be raised again and again

Lion Feuchtwanger: The future national state: A military power beyond conception

Lion Feuchtwanger: The privilege, the courage of fighting for peace

Lion Feuchtwanger: Service at the front gave him a burning hatred for militarism

Lion Feuchtwanger: There is no greater crime than an unnecessary war

Lion Feuchtwanger: War to make the world safe for democracy

Johann Gottlieb Fichte: The inexorable law of universal peace

Bruno Frank: Mercenaries lay coffinless in their thousands; terribly easy for princes to carry on their wars

Stefan George: Monsters of lead and iron, tubes and rods escape their maker’s hand and rage unruly

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: I have not a warlike nature nor warlike tastes

Goethe: “O wisdom, thou speakest as a dove!”

Goethe: Withdraw hands from your swords

Peter Handke: The horror unleashed by NATO’s first war

Gerhart Hauptmann: American politics and warships

Johann Gottfried von Herder: Selections on war

Johann Gottfried von Herder: Disturbing the peace of the world for domestic benefits

Johann Gottfried von Herder: Divine law ordains more doves and sheep than lions and tigers

Johann Gottfried Herder: Hardly dare name or write the terrible word “war”

Johann Gottfried Herder: Peace, not war, is the natural state of mankind

Johann Gottfried von Herder: War springs from war and gives rise to another in turn

Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen: Soldiers and peasants

Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen: Study and let war alone

Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen: The war-god Mars sat over all Europe

Stefan Heym: Sure it’s a vicious circle, it’s war

Stefan Heym: The whole scene was immersed in the silence of absolute death

Stefan Heym: The world market…making new wars

Friedrich Hölderlin: Celebration of Peace

Immanuel Kant: Prescription for perpetual peace

Hans Hellmut Kirst: Goose-Stepping for NATO

Karl Kraus: Selections on war

Karl Kraus: Aphorisms and obloquies on war

Karl Kraus: This is world war. This is my manifesto to mankind.

Karl Kraus: The evolution of humanitarian bombing

Karl Kraus: The Last Days of Mankind

Karl Kraus: The Warmakers

Karl Kraus: War renders unto Caesar that which is God’s

Karl Kraus: In war, business is business

Karl Kraus: Wire dispatches are instruments of war

Karl Kraus: The vampire generation; prayer in wartime

Wilhelm Lamszus: The Human Slaughter-House

Emil Ludwig: Dialogue on “humanitarian war”

Heinrich Mann: Mission of letters in a world in rubble with 10 million corpses underground

Heinrich Mann: Nietzsche, war and the butchery of ten to twenty million souls

Heinrich Mann: Nowadays the real power is peace

Thomas Mann: Selections on war

Thomas Mann: By nature evil and harmful, war is destructive even to the victor

Thomas Mann: Dirge for a homeland wasted by war

Thomas Mann: Parallel, oracle and warning

Thomas Mann: Tolstoy, a force that could have stopped war

Thomas Mann: War is a blood-orgy of egotism, corruption, and vileness

Thomas Mann: William Faulkner’s love for man, protest against militarism and war

Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Arnold Schoenberg: Peace on Earth

Luise Mühlbach: Battle-field writes names of its heroes in blood

Alfred Neumann: Selections on war

Alfred Neumann: Debunking the glory of twenty murderous years, the greatest mass-murderer in history

Alfred Neumann: Empire destroys peace, converts liberalism into harvest of blood

Alfred Neumann: European hegemony emerges from piled-up corpses, out of recent graves

Alfred Neumann: Four thousand miles of fratricidal murder

Alfred Neumann: Modern war, the murderous happiness of the greatest number

Alfred Neumann: The morals and manners of the War God

Alfred Neumann: Sacred recalcitrance toward the black hatred of war

Alfred Neumann: Scandalous was the idea of winning happiness through war, of making profit out of war

Alfred Neumann: The stench of burning flesh. That happens sometimes.

Alfred Neumann: Ten million lives for one man’s glory; the emperor changes his hat

Alfred Neumann: This is how it happens in history. Soldiers become thieves, thieves become murderers.

Alfred Neumann: Twilight of a conqueror

Alfred Neumann: The ultima ratio of all dictatorships: war

Alfred Neumann: War and the stock market

Alfred Neumann: War, the Great Incendiary, the everlasting prototype of annihilation

Alfred Neumann: War is not ambiguous after all, but a horribly intelligent affair

Alfred Neumann: The War Minister

Alfred Neumann: War nights were never silent

Alfred Neumann: War: Sad, hate-filled, hopeless and God-forsaken

Alfred Neumann: War’s arena, a monstrous distortion, a blasphemous coupling of life and death

Novalis: Celebrating a great banquet of love as a festival of peace

Samuel von Pufendorf: Perverted animals wage wars for superfluities

Erich Maria Remarque: Selections on war

Erich Maria Remarque: After the war: The day of great dreams for the future of mankind was past

Erich Maria Remarque: All learning, all culture, all science is nothing but hideous mockery so long as mankind makes war

Erich Maria Remarque: The front begins and we become on the instant human animals

Erich Maria Remarque: It is the moaning of the world, it is the martyred creation

Erich Maria Remarque: Like a dove, a lonely white dove of assurance and peace

Erich Maria Remarque: Now, for the first time, I feel it; I see it; I comprehend it fully: Peace.

Erich Maria Remarque: On every yard there lies a dead man

Erich Maria Remarque: Peace?

Erich Maria Remarque: Their fighting and their dying have been coupled with murder and injustice and lies and might; they have been defrauded

Erich Maria Remarque: War dreams

Erich Maria Remarque: The war has ruined us for everything

Erich Maria Remarque: War, mass production of corpses

Erich Maria Remarque: War turns us into thugs, into murderers, into God only knows what devils

Erich Maria Remarque: A war veteran’s indictment

Erich Maria Remarque: War was everywhere. Everywhere, even in the brain and the heart.

Erich Maria Remarque: War’s conqueror worms

Erich Maria Remarque: We want to be men again, not war machines!

Erich Maria Remarque: We were making war against ourselves without knowing it

Erich Maria Remarque: What do they expect of us if a time ever comes when the war is over?

Erich Maria Remarque: With the melting came the dead

Erich Maria Remarque: Worse than a slaughterhouse

Jean Paul Richter: The arch of peace

Jean Paul Richter: The fathers of war

Jean Paul Richter: The Goddess of Peace

Rainer Maria Rilke: War is always a prison

Joseph Victor von Scheffel: The Muses heal what Mars has wrought

Joseph Victor von Scheffel: The wood of peace

Friedrich Schiller: Beauty, peace and reconciliation

Friedrich Schiller: The citizen is naught, the soldier all; rude hordes, lawless grown in lengthy war

Friedrich Schiller: Oh, blessed peace, may the day of grim War’s ruthless crew never dawn

August Wilhelm Schlegel: Aristophanes, tragedian of peace

Arthur Schnitzler: Cannot praise war in general and oppose individual wars

Arthur Schnitzler: Political reaction is the consequence of victorious wars; revolution the consequence of lost ones

Arthur Schnitzler: Remold the structure of government so that war becomes impossible

Arthur Schnitzler: War, making fathers pay wages to their sons whom we sent to their deaths

Arthur Schopenhauer: Beasts of prey in the human race

Albert Schweitzer: On nuclear weapons in NATO’s hands

Anna Seghers: War enthusiasm, brewed from equal parts of age-old memories and total oblivion

Hermann Sudermann: Militarism and its terminus

Hermann Sudermann: War irrigates the soil with blood, fertilizes it with corpses

Bertha von Suttner: Selections on peace and war

Bertha von Suttner: Among these ills the most dreadful of all – War

Bertha von Suttner: Education hardens children against natural horror which terrors of war awaken

Bertha von Suttner: Mounting doubts about war

Bertha von Suttner: Outgrowing the old idolatry for war

Bertha von Suttner: The Protocol of Peace

Bertha von Suttner: Vengeance! War breeds more war.

Ernst Toller: Corpses In The Woods

Georg Trakl: Night beckons to dying soldiers, the ghosts of the killed are sighing

Kurt Tucholsky: Murder in disguise

Kurt Tucholsky: The Trench

Kurt Tucholsky: The White Spots

Jakob Wassermann: Was there ever since the world began a just cause for war?

Franz Werfel: Selections on war

Franz Werfel: Advent of air war and apocalyptic visions

Franz Werfel: Cities disintegrated within seconds in the Last War

Franz Werfel: Don’t you hear the roar of the bombers, the clatter of heavy machine guns that envelop the globe?

Franz Werfel: How describe in a few words a world war?

Franz Werfel: Leaders’ fear of their people drives them to war

Franz Werfel: To a Lark in War-Time

Franz Werfel: Twenty thousand well-preserved human skulls of the Last War

Franz Werfel: Waging currish, cowardly war to plunder the poor

Franz Werfel: War behind and in front, outside and inside

Franz Werfel: War is the cause and not the result of all conflicts

Arnold Zweig: Selections on war

Arnold Zweig: Conducting the business of murder with embittered reluctance

Arnold Zweig: The costs of war are spiritual and moral desolation, economic catastrophes and political reaction

Arnold Zweig: Education Before Verdun

Arnold Zweig: The final trump in the struggle for world markets: the Gun

Arnold Zweig: From the joy of the slayer to being dimly aware of the man on the other side

Arnold Zweig: In the war you’ve lost all the personality you’ve ever had

Arnold Zweig: Keep the war going to the last drop of – other – people’s blood

Arnold Zweig: The meaning, or rather the meaninglessness, of war

Arnold Zweig: Mere existence of armies imposes upon mankind the mentality of the Stone Age

Arnold Zweig: Military strips nation of all that is worthy of defense

Arnold Zweig: Never again! On reading Barbusse

Arnold Zweig: No joy to be born into world of war

Arnold Zweig: Of course, one had to shoot at crowds of civilians, men, women and children

Arnold Zweig: Only the wrong people are killed in a war

Arnold Zweig: The plague has always played a part in war

Arnold Zweig: Pro-war clerks and clerics are Herod’s mercenaries

Arnold Zweig: Reason is the highest patriotism and militarism is evil its very essence

Arnold Zweig: They won no more ground than they could cover with their corpses

Arnold Zweig: War a deliberate act, not an unavoidable natural catastrophe

Arnold Zweig: War, a gigantic undertaking on the part of the destruction industry

Arnold Zweig: War of all against all, jaded multitudes of death

Arnold Zweig: War transforms rescue parties into murder parties

Arnold Zweig: War was in the world, and war prevailed

Arnold Zweig: War’s brutality, folly and tyranny practiced even on its own

Arnold Zweig: War’s communion, hideous multiplication of human disasters

Arnold Zweig: War’s hecatomb from the air, on land and at sea

Arnold Zweig: Whole generation shed man’s blood, whole generation to be poured forth in vats of blood

Stefan Zweig: Selections on peace and war

Stefan Zweig: The army of the spirit, not the army of force

Stefan Zweig: The bloody cloud-bank of war will give way to a new dawn

Stefan Zweig: The fear of opposing military hysteria

Stefan Zweig: The fruits of peace, the drive toward war

Stefan Zweig: “How much rottenness there is in war”

Stefan Zweig: I would never have believed such a crime on the part of humanity possible

Stefan Zweig: Idea of human brotherhood buried by the grave-diggers of war

Stefan Zweig: The idealism which sees beyond blood-drenched battlefields

Stefan Zweig: Opposition to war, a higher heroism still

Stefan Zweig: Origin of the Nobel Peace Prize

Stefan Zweig: Propaganda is as much war matériel as arms and planes

Stefan Zweig: Romain Rolland and the campaign against hatred

Stefan Zweig: A single conscience defies the madness of war

Stefan Zweig: Stendhal, in war but not of it

Stefan Zweig: War, the ultimate betrayal of the intellectuals

Stefan Zweig: The whole world of feeling, the whole world of thought, became militarized

Stefan Zweig: World war and Romain Rolland, the conscience of the world

Categories: Uncategorized

Octave Mirbeau: An orgy of destruction, criminal and foolish. What was this country, in whose name so many crimes were being committed?

October 7, 2015 Leave a comment


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

French writers on war and peace

Octave Mirbeau: Selections on war


Octave Mirbeau
From Calvary (1886)
Translated by Louis Rich


While one company of chasseurs was detailed to the crossroads to establish an “impregnable barrier” there, my company went in the woods to “fell as many trees as possible.” All the axes, bill-hooks and hatchets of the village were speedily requisitioned. Almost everything was used as a tool. For a whole day the blows of the axes were resounding and trees were falling. To spur us on to greater efforts, the general himself wanted to assist us in the vandalism.

“Come on, you scamps!” he would cry out at every occasion, clapping his hands. “Come on boys, let’s get this one!…”

He himself pointed out the most stalwart among the trees, those which grew up straight and spread out like the columns of a temple. It was an orgy of destruction, criminal and foolish; a shout of brutal joy went up every time a tree fell on top of another with a great noise. The old trees became less dense, one could say they were mowed down by some gigantic and supernatural scythe. Two men were killed by the fall of an oak tree.

And the few trees which remained standing, austere in the midst of ruined trunks lying on the ground, and the twisted branches which rose up towards them like arms outstretched in supplication, were showing open wounds, deep and red gashes from which the sap was oozing, weeping as it were.

The supervisor of the forest section, warned by a guard, came running from Senonches, and with a broken heart witnessed this useless devastation. I was near the general when the forester approached him respectfully, kepi in hand.

“Beg pardon, general,” said he. “I can understand the felling of trees on the edge of the road, the barricading of lines of approach…. But your destruction of the heart of the old forest seems to me a little…”

But the general interrupted:

“Eh? What? It seems to you what?…What are you butting in here for?…I do as I please…Who is commander here, you or I?…”

“But…” stammered the forester.

“There are no buts about it, Monsieur…You make me tired, that’s one thing sure!…You had better hurry back to Senonches or I’ll have you strung up on a tree…Come on, boys!…”


Worn out with fatigue, always occupied with something or other and never alone, I had no time to reflect on anything from the moment we started out. But still confronted by the strange and cruel sights constantly before my eyes, I felt within me the awakening of the idea of human life which until now had lain slumbering in the sluggishness of my childhood and the torpor of my youth. Yes…the idea awoke confusedly, as if emerging from a long and painful nightmare. And reality appeared to me more frightful than the nightmare. Transposing the instincts, the desires and passions which agitated us from the small group of errant men that we were to society as a whole, recalling the impressions so fleeting and wholly external which I had received in Paris, the rude crowds, the pushing and jostling of pedestrians, I understood that the law of the world was strife; an inexorable, murderous law, which was not content with arming nation against nation but which hurled against one another the children of the same race, the same family, the same womb. I found none of the lofty abstractions of honor, justice, charity, patriotism of which our standard books are so full, on which we are brought up, with which we are lulled to sleep, through which they hypnotize us in order the better to deceive the kind little folk, to enslave them the more easily, to butcher them the more foully.

What was this country, in whose name so many crimes were being committed, which had torn us — formerly so full of love — from the motherly bosom of nature, which had thrown us, now so full of hatred, famished and naked, upon this cruel land?… What was this country, personified to us by this rabid and pillaging general who gave vent to his madness on old people and trees, and by this surgeon who kicked the sick with his feet and maltreated poor old mothers bereaved of their sons?…What was this country every step on whose soil was marked by a grave, which had but to look at the tranquil waters of its streams to change them into blood, which was always frittering away its man power, digging here and there deep charnel vaults where the best children of men were rotting?…And I was astounded, when for the first time it dawned upon me that only those were the most glorious, the most acclaimed heroes of mankind who had pillaged the most, killed the most, burned the most.

They condemn to death the stealthy murderer who kills the passerby with a knife, on the corner of the street at night, and they throw his beheaded body into a grave of infamy. But the conqueror who has burned cities and decimated human beings, all the folly and human cowardice unite in raising to the throne of the most marvelous; in his honor triumphal arches are built, giddy columns of bronze are erected, and in the cathedrals multitudes reverently kneel before his tomb of hallowed marble guarded by saints and angels under the delighted gaze of God!…With what remorse did I repent of the fact that until now I had remained blind and deaf to this life so full of inexplicable riddles! Never had I opposed this mysterious book, never had I stopped even for a single moment to consider the question marks which are represented by things and beings; I did not know anything. And now, suddenly, a desire to know, a yearning to wrest from life some of its enigmas tormented me; I wanted to know the human reason for creeds which stupefy, for governments which oppress, for society which kills; I longed to be through with this war so that I might consecrate myself to some ardent cause, to some magnificent and absurd apostleship.

My thought traveled toward impossible philosophies of love, toward utopias of undying brotherhood…I saw all men bent down beneath some crushing heels; they all resembled the little soldier of the reserves at Saint-Michel, whose eyes were running, who was coughing and spitting blood, and as I knew nothing of the necessity of higher laws of nature, a feeling of compassion rose within me, clogging my throat with suppressed sobs. I have noticed that a man has no real compassion for anyone except when he himself is unhappy. Was this not, after all, but a form of self-pity? And if on this cold night, close to the enemy who would perhaps come out of the fogs of the morrow, I loved humanity so much — was it not myself only that I loved, myself only that I wanted to save from suffering? These regrets of the past, these plans for the future, this sudden passion for study, this ardor which I employed in picturing myself in the future in my room on the Rue Oudinot, in the midst of books and papers, my eyes burning with the fever of work — was this not after all only a means to ward off the perils of the present, to dispel other horrible visions, visions of death which, blurred and blunted, incessantly followed one another in the terror of darkness?

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Alexander Kuprin: The human race has had its childhood – a time of incessant and bloody war


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

Russian writers on war

Alexander Kuprin: Selections on war


Alexander Kuprin
From The Duel (1905)
Translator unknown


“Yes, they are all alike, even the best and most tender-hearted among them. At home they are splendid fathers of families and excellent husbands; but as soon as they approach the barracks they become low-minded, cowardly, and idiotic barbarians. You ask me why this is, and I answer: Because nobody can find a grain of sense in what is called military service. You know how all children like to play at war. Well, the human race has had its childhood – a time of incessant and bloody war; but war was not then one of the scourges of mankind, but a continued, savage, exultant national feast to which daring bands of youths marched forth, meeting victory or death with joy and pleasure. The bravest, strongest, and most cunning was chosen as leader, and so long as success attended his banner, he was almost accorded divine worship, until at last he was killed by his subjects, in order to make room for a luckier and more powerful rival. Mankind, however, grew in age and wisdom; people got weary of the former rowdy, bloody games, and became more serious, thoughtful, and cautious. The old Vikings of song and saga were designated and treated as pirates. The soldier no longer regarded war as a bloody but enjoyable occupation, and he had often to be dragged to the enemy with a noose round his neck.


“But other times are coming, indeed have come. Yes, tremendous surprises and changes are about to take place. You remember my saying on one occasion that for a thousand years there has existed a genius of humanity that seldom reveals itself, but whose laws are as inexorable as they are ruthless; but the wiser men become, so much more deeply do they penetrate the spirit of those laws. And I am convinced that, sooner or later, everything in this world must be brought into equilibrium in accordance with these immutable laws. Justice will then be dispensed. The longer and more cruel the slavery has been, so much more terrible will be the day of reckoning for tyrants. The greater the violence, injustice, and brutality, so much more bloody will be the retribution. Oh, I am firmly convinced that the day will dawn when we ‘superior officers,’ we ‘almighty swells,’ darlings of the women, drones and brainless swaggerers, will have our ears boxed with impunity in streets and lanes, in vestibules and corridors, when women will turn their backs on us in contempt, and when our own affectionate soldiers will cease to obey us. And all this will happen, not because we have brutally ill-treated men deprived of every possibility of self-defence; not because we have, for the ‘honour’ of the uniform, insulted women; not because we have committed, when in a state of intoxication, scandalous acts in public-houses and public places; and not even because we, the privileged lick-spittles of the State, have, in innumerable battlefields and in pretty nearly every country, covered our standards with shame, and been driven by our own soldiers out of the maize-fields in which we had taken shelter…”

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Juan Valera: Thou art the God of peace

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

Juan Valera
From Pepita Jiménez (1874)
Translator unidentified


“It was anger – the terrible counselor – that at times persuaded them that it was necessary for the people to shed blood at the Divine command, and that brought before their sanguinary eyes the vision of Isaiah; they have then seen, and caused their fanatic followers to see, the meek Lamb converted into an inexorable avenger, descending from the summit of Edom, proud in the multitude of his strength, trampling the nations under foot, as the treader tramples the grapes in the wine-press, their garments raised, and covered with blood to the thighs. Ah, no. My God! I am about to become Thy minister. Thou art the God of peace, and my first duty should be meekness. Thou makest the sun to shine on the just and the unjust, and pourest down upon all alike the fertilizing rain of inexhaustible goodness. Thou art our Father, who dwellest in the heavens, and we should be perfect, even as Thou art perfect, pardoning those who have offended us, and asking Thee to pardon them, because they know not what they do. I should recall to mind the beatitudes of the Scripture: Blessed are ye when they revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil things against you. The minister of God, or he who is about to become His minister, must be humble, peaceable, lowly of heart; not like the oak that lifts itself up proudly until the thunderbolt strike it, but like the fragrant herbs of the woods and the modest flowers of the fields, that give sweeter and more graceful perfume after the rustic has trodden them under foot.”


Men, as a rule, allow themselves to be the playthings of circumstances; they let themselves be carried along by the current of events, instead of devoting all their energies to one single aim. We do not choose our part in life, but accept and play the part allotted us, that which blind fortune assigns to us. The profession, the political faith, the entire life of many men, depend on chance circumstances, on what is fortuitous, on the caprice and the unexpected turns of fate.

Against all this the pride of Don Luis vigorously rebelled. What would be thought of him, and, above all, what would he think of himself, if the ideal of his life, the new man that he had created in his soul, if all his plans of virtue, of honor, and even of holy ambition, should vanish in an instant…?

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George Bernard Shaw: Gadarene swine running violently into a hell of high explosives


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

British writers on peace and war

George Bernard Shaw: Selections on war


George Bernard Shaw
From Preface to Saint Joan (1924)

George Bernard Shaw

The legal and conventional superiority of Herod and Pilate, and of Annas and Caiaphas, inspires fear; but the fear, being a reasonable fear of measurable and avoidable consequences which seem salutary and protective, is bearable; whilst the strange superiority of Christ and the fear it inspires elicit a shriek of Crucify Him from all who cannot divine its benevolence. Socrates has to drink the hemlock, Christ to hang on the cross, and Joan to burn at the stake, whilst Napoleon, though he ends in St Helena, at least dies in his bed there; and many terrifying but quite comprehensible official scoundrels die natural deaths in all the glory of the kingdoms of this world, proving that it is far more dangerous to be a saint than to be a conqueror.


Does not the present cry of Back to the Middle Ages, which has been incubating ever since the pre-Raphaelite movement began, mean that it is no longer our Academy pictures that are intolerable, but our credulities that have not the excuse of being superstitions, our cruelties that have not the excuse of barbarism, our persecutions that have not the excuse of religious faith, our shameless substitution of successful swindlers and scoundrels and quacks for saints as objects of worship, and our deafness and blindness to the calls and visions of the inexorable power that made us, and will destroy us if we disregard it? To Joan and her contemporaries we should appear as a drove of Gadarene swine, possessed by all the unclean spirits cast out by the faith and civilization of the Middle Ages, running violently down a steep place into a hell of high explosives. For us to set up our condition as a standard of sanity, and declare Joan mad because she never condescended to it, is to prove that we are not only lost but irredeemable. Let us then once for all drop all nonsense about Joan being cracked, and accept her as at least as sane as Florence Nightingale, who also combined a very simple iconography of religious belief with a mind so exceptionally powerful that it kept her in continual trouble with the medical and military panjandrums of her time.


A trial by Joan’s French partisans would have been as unfair as the trial by her French opponents; and an equally mixed tribunal would have produced a deadlock. Such recent trials as those of Edith Cavell by a German tribunal and Roger Casement by an English one were open to the same objection; but they went forward to the death nevertheless, because neutral tribunals were not available. Edith, like Joan, was an arch heretic: in the middle of the war she declared before the world that ‘Patriotism is not enough.’ She nursed enemies back to health, and assisted their prisoners to escape, making it abundantly clear that she would help any fugitive or distressed person without asking whose side he was on, and acknowledging no distinction before Christ between Tommy and Jerry and Pitou the poilu. Well might Edith have wished that she could bring the Middle Ages back, and have fifty civilians, learned in the law or vowed to the service of God, to support two skilled judges in trying her case according to the Catholic law of Christendom, and to argue it out with her at sitting after sitting for many weeks. The modern military Inquisition was not so squeamish. It shot her out of hand; and her countrymen, seeing in this a good opportunity for lecturing the enemy on his intolerance, put up a statue to her, but took particular care not to inscribe on the pedestal ‘Patriotism is not enough’, for which omission, and the lie it implies, they will need Edith’s intercession when they are themselves brought to judgment, if any heavenly power thinks such moral cowards capable of pleading to an intelligible indictment.

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Arnold Zweig: Pro-war clerks and clerics are Herod’s mercenaries

February 8, 2014 Leave a comment


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

German writers on peace and war

Arnold Zweig: Selections on war


Arnold Zweig
From The Crowning of a King (1937)
Translated by Eric Sutton


He had endured the war for three years without a break, but under the counterfeit presentment of a natural force, as it might have been a moral earthquake or the eruption of a social volcano. Thus had it been put before him by his teachers, all of them the best intellects of the best schools in Germany. Immersed in such ideas from the educational kitchens of middle-class society millions, like himself, had gone forth to war. For more than one thousand days he had piled up his impressions, seen and suffered many horrors, of which he strove to make some sense; to endow them with a meaning seemed to him an exalted task. Since the onset every magazine and every paper, every verse and every work of German literature, had enforced the spirit of war. The authors whose works he had loved before the war, before whom he had bowed down in admiration for their conception of art and the beauty of their style, these, the finest and most independent spirits, now increased the confusion. Not one of them before the war had spared the Kaiser, the Princes, the military caste, the arrogance of the great ages, nor palliated the repression of the lower classes. The whole of literature, so far as it meant anything, stood in conflict with public life in politics and in the great cities…But since the beginning of the war the whole world of literature had swung over like one company, with the single exception of one man, who had thenceforward been silent. Even the poet who stood most sternly aloof had put forth a few pages in which he solemnly exalted fame and death in battle as an escape from the abominations of every day.

A locksmith learns only from his fellow-craftsmen, and a housewife learns best from another housewife. To a young writer the word must come from other writers, that is, to interpret what his subconscious self has long since known, and draw through word channels his dim horror into consciousness. Within Bertin for three days past a blank dark wall of terror had been revolving over what he had lived through, but never understood, like a funnel of raging waters. The vortex of the maelstrom had leapt forward within him out of his former mental world, and surged into what was henceforward to fill his consciousness: the true designation of war as a whole and in its details. Here for the first time was the beginning written down, so far as ascertainable. Even in free Switzerland people had to keep their eyes open – there were hangers-on of every belligerent embassy always ready to threaten, flatter, and blackmail; and caution, fear of giving offence, and the true bourgeois leaning to moderation induced a tendency to extenuate or say nothing at all. But a number of documents had appeared, in the shape of diaries and the like, that dealt with the origin and conduct of the war, and indicting the Central Powers; also certain works of imagination, more especially a novel and several volumes of short stories, in which the horror is laid bare without any deification of natural law or heroism, but under the inexorable obligation to serve truth and clear the conscience: to unmask the fearful fraud that the military interests are able to practice through the backing of the churches and the intellectuals.

Oh, those writers! Bertin sat before them and looked towards them like a man in a dark church when the dawn is breaking and the light filters through the stained-glass windows in a confusion of dim colour that slowly brightens into clear outlines and the rich interplay of figure and design. All his life long he would never forget those hours; for him these men would be symbols, emblems of freedom, who had saved themselves by exile. The fame and greatness of many literatures and languages preserved them from the hideous degradation of exploiting the agony of millions as a death dance round the abyss into which the enemy is to fall…You were the first – all blessings upon him who comes first! You loosened the world’s tongue – all hail to him who did so! And since they would not listen to you at home in your own lands, happy he that goes into exile. For banishment is often the only means of saving the nobler possessions of the world…For what are we here? Herod’s mercenaries, slaves that carry his train, scribes charged to set down his annals and falsify his deeds for posterity.

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Only US/NATO success in Afghanistan: 40 fold opium increase

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Voice of Russia
January 10, 2014

Only US/NATO success in Afghanistan: 40 fold opium increase – Rick Rozoff

John Robles

(Recorded in late December)

Only US/NATO success in Afghanistan: 40 fold opium increase – Rick Rozoff


Photo: EPA


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In a review of NATO and US military activity for the year 2013, Voice of Russia regular Rick Rozoff stated that 2013 saw a slowing of, if not the beginning of a reversal of a 22 year US/NATO/Western drive to assert global dominance economically, politically, culturally and militarily. Among the most important events of the last year, if not the last 20, was the stopping of the invasion of Syria by Russia. According to Mr. Rozoff as US/NATO “slinks away with its tail between its legs” from Afghanistan, the only accomplishment they can claim after 13 years of occupation is that opium cultivation has increased by 40 fold. The military monolith of NATO is having a bad time of late and no matter what they say, the fact of the matter is, they have failed. This is part one of a much longer year end interview with Mr. Rozoff.


 Rick Rozoff

 Hello, this is John Robles, I am speaking with Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.

 Robles: Hello, Rick.

 Rozoff: Hello, John.

 Robles: End of another year, things seem to have gone kind of in the opposite direction as they seemed to have been going at the end of last year and the previous year. We of course would like to do a year end summary and get your views on where things are going. So, take it away.

 Rozoff: You are correct. I mean, there has been, if you will, a countercyclical or countervailing tendency dynamic over the past year and even though those who are superstitious about numbers might have thought 2013 would be an inauspicious one. I think that history will record even, you know, in the short term, that it has been momentous year in a number of ways.

 And in particular what we have seen is (for the first time) a slowing up of, if not the beginning of a reversal of, what has been just an inexorable, unstoppable momentum by the West, the US primarily of course, in the entire post-Cold-War period (and we are now talking about 22 years) to assert global dominance economically, politically, culturally, but militarily in the first place.

 More than in any other manner of course through the expansion of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, throughout the European continent but ultimately to transform it into a global military force. This is what we talked about a year ago if your listeners will recollect. And of course last year was the year of the NATO summit in Chicago here in May of 2012 and the US and its NATO allies set some fairly ambitious objectives, amongst which were the formal launching of the so called launching of the interceptor missiles system in Europe, the expansion of NATO….

 Robles: I’m sorry, if I could interrupt you, just to remind our listeners: this was the first ever (in history) debate, an open debate with NATO, it was supposed to be with officials and you were one of the spokespeople there, speaking for the other side, right?

 Rozoff: That is correct, John, thanks for reminding me as well as your listeners of that. That was in May of 2012, so roughly a year and a half ago. And there was a nationally and through Youtube, of course, internationally televised debate, the first of its kind.

 Robles: And you did quite well. Anyway, please, go ahead.

 Rozoff: Well, the fact was that we were looking at this a year ago, we saw, you know, signs that the uncontested role of the US as the “world’s sole military superpower” and pardon me again for quoting the president of the US Barack Obama whose term that is. He used it, well it will be now 4 years ago, when he received the Nobel Peace Prize and boasted of being the Commander in Chief of the world’s sole military superpower.

 But what we’ve seen is that the military monolith has been having a bad time of it lately. And these past years signified, I think, on three or four different scores at least an indication there is a shift in the winds. And the most important by a long shot, the most strategically important is the fact that through Russian intervention, through many instances also, the heroic activities of a small group of individuals, I know you’ve interviewed the British Member of Parliament George Galloway recently, and in one of the segments of the interview you conducted with him which has been posted on voiceofrussia recently. The two of you discussed his role in NATO and maybe as few as three colleagues in the British House of Commons, in putting a spoke in the wheel of the Cameron Administration’s plans, to enter into war against Syria with the US and other NATO allies.

 So, we saw that occur in the British Parliament, but we saw the intervention of Russia in the first instance around the question of dismantling the chemical weapons arsenal of the Syrian government as a way of really calling the US’ bluff (that of Secretary of State John Kerry in the first instance) and diffusing a situation were just few days earlier US president Obama had a press conference where he was openly laying the ground work for a Libyan style military intervention in Syria.

 So, we saw that stopped. I know, amongst other people myself, drew the parallel between Syria this year and Spain in the 1930s in that, in both cases, in the case of Spain you had the emerging Axis Powers: Nazi’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy (Fascist Italy), supporting the armed insurrection of the Generalissimo Franco and his Moroccan mercenaries and others against the legally elected Republic the Government of Spain. And that battle in Spain in so many ways portended what was to happen in the entire European continent shortly thereafter, in other words, had the legitimate government of Spain unable to defend itself effectively and fend off an armed insurrection backed by foreign powers, WWII may not have occurred, and 50 million human lives that were lost may not have been lost.

 And I think that Syria represented something comparable/analogues to that. But you had in these case Russia, Iran and China stepping in and saying that foreign military powers are not going to intervene and touch off either cataclysm strictly within Syria, but more likely a conflagration that would quickly pull into its vortex almost every country in the Middle East and perhaps even provoke an international crisis. So, we saw that occur.

 Robles: I’d like to underline that point you just said about the possible (and people were saying) escalation of a Syrian war into a regional conflict and then into an actual world war. This all begun and caused by NATO, so what does that tell us about their role in the world as far as being an instrument for security and safety?

 Rozoff: Your tone seems straightforward but I’m sure it is meant to imply irony and not only irony I think that almost demonical diabolical inversion of the truth, of course. But NATO itself is directly involved in sending batteries of interceptor missiles Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptor missiles to Turkey within the last year and a half which is something NATO has done twice in the past, which is to send the same sort (actually they were not quite as advanced a model of the Patriot the current one is even more long ranged and more sophisticated), but in 1991 and again in 2003 that is on the eves immediately of the wars against Iraq in those years 1991-2003 NATO also sent Patriot batteries as well as AWACS aircraft to Turkey for much the same purpose.

 So, when US, German and Dutch Patriot batteries were sent to Turkey under NATO command a sensible person would have seen the analogy and reckoned that a war was imminent against Syria and it would include, because Turkey borders Syria and Turkey is a member of NATO, that NATO would have been involved its Article 5 mutual military assistance clause, and the full force of a military alliance comprised of 28 countries accounting for some 70% of world military spending ($1 trillion a year collectively in military spending) arraigned against a very weak and isolated Syrian government.

 This is what was in the offing just a few months ago we do have to remember. And that but for heroic efforts in the British Parliament as I mentioned but much more; the direct role of the Russian Government in a fairly sophisticated manner intervening diplomatically… This is what diplomacy is about: it is to prevent wars, not to give cover for wars, not to create the pretense for wars but to stop them.

 And I believe history will record the Russian diplomatic intervention around Syria, defusing that crisis is both something likely (as Mr. Galloway, parliamentarian Galloway, said on your show) something that really ought to get somebody in the Russian government for Nobel Peace Prize. As opposed to the person who got it 4 years ago and then immediately went to work waging military aggression around the globe.

 So that we had that occur. We had the Edward Snowden affair which is also something that cannot be…

 Robles: I’m sorry, as a force for stability, peace and security, you as one of the eminent (I would say) NATO experts in the world, did NATO do anything in the past year that lent to any sort of peace or stability or security for any of the people in the world?

 Rozoff: No, of course it didn’t, nor has it ever been designed to do that. So it shouldn’t be surprising.

 Another factor though which is not quite as salient or clear-cut, but I think just as important, is the fact that NATO is licking its wounds in Afghanistan, is getting ready to continue the metaphor I suppose, to slink away with its tail between its legs. And this into the 13th year of not only the longest war in the history of the US, but the first ground war ever waged by NATO, the first military campaign launched and conducted by NATO in Asia, that is outside of Europe. It was followed of course by a war in Africa, the war against Libya two years ago.

 Robles: To call that a war, I don’t know if you could call an onslaught of airstrikes and missile shot from hundreds of miles away a war, but basically just shooting fish in barrel, if I could use that expression.

 Rozoff: You are correct about that, I should retract the use of the term “war” and just call it unilateral military aggression, overwhelming unilateral military aggression, the difference is (to use a historical analogy I suppose) between the Battle of Okinawa and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

 So we do see the debacle, I think at this point it is irrefutable no matter how much Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen or any of his underlings, or his deputy –Alexander Vershbow former US ambassador to Russia (who is Deputy Secretary General of NATO), no matter how much these people try to put the best face on it, try to save face in fact, by claiming they have achieved anything in Afghanistan, as we know from the head of the Anti-Drug Agency in Russia, the only unarguable accomplishment if you want to call it that of NATO’s military assault in Afghanistan, is the fact that opium production has increased by a factor of 40.

 Robles: I just want to underline, he is not just the head of the Anti-Drug establishment here in Russia – YuriyFedotov he is also the head of the United Nations Agency on Drugs and Crime that issued the 2013 opium report. And he himself was quite shocked at the level of heroine production. And Global Research published an expose of photographs of US soldiers guarding and protecting opium fields in Afghanistan. I mean, if you could comment on that, I’d really love to hear what you have to say about what NATO and the US were “really” doing in Afghanistan for 13 years.

 Rozoff: On the question of the explosion of opium cultivation and the expansion of heroine abuse and the human tragedy thereof about which I hope I can speak in a second, being the only provable accomplishment or achievement of NATO in Afghanistan, that is simple beyond questioning, that is it, Nothing else has been accomplished.

 Taliban is still active, other groups, which by the way, like the Haqqani network or Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin which are led by people the US supported. Supported primarily in the Mujahedeen war in the 1980s, these forces are still active both in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan.

 There has been no consolidation of a viable representative or even reputable government in Kabul. So this has been an unequivocal debacle first of all for the Afghan people who have suffered immeasurably by 12 more years of dislocation, of night raids, of bombing raids, of other catastrophes, destruction effectively of their infrastructure and their agricultural economy.

 And in its place we get again as we talked about a second ago, a 40 fold increase in the opium cultivation. This means, and we have to look at this in human terms, this means hundreds of thousands if not millions of Afghans themselves have become addicted to heroin.

 This means that millions in Russia, in Iran, in Central Asia and elsewhere in the general region have become dependent on heroine.

 This means tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of deaths through overdose, through HIV, through criminal activity, as a result of this epidemic of heroine.

 And this is done under the watch of, at peak strength, 150,000 troops serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.

 Certainly the least that the world community could have asked for a military occupation force, which legally incidentally the US and NATO are in Afghanistan, is they would have provided some modicum of a civilian infrastructure, of extermination of the opium cultivation in the country and such like, but clearly evidences the fact that the West had no intention whatsoever in doing anything of the sort.

 I don’t have the exact figures at my fingertips, John, but something in the neighborhood of 80% to 90% of total funds that have gone into Afghanistan since the US/British invasion of October 2001 have gone for military and security purposes, that money has not gone into civilian infrastructure, has not gone into building a viable economy and so forth, notwithstanding comments by certain western foreign ministers that they’ve gone in there for alleged humanitarian reasons.

 That was the end of part 1 of an interview with Rick Rozoff, the Owner and Manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at

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Interview: Military Buildup Around Syria Points To Another Invasion

July 23, 2013 3 comments

Voice of Russia
July 23, 2013

Military buildup around Syria points to another invasion – Rozoff


The dressing down and attempted humiliation of General Martin Dempsey, the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by superannuated life-time bureaucrat John McCain, was another in a long series of attempts to push the U.S. military into another act of aggressive war by those controlling Washington. With the amassed U.S. and NATO military forces and hardware around Syria and the advancements made by the Syria Army, the likelihood that the U.S. will invade and commit another act of aggressive war against yet another country they have helped to destabilize and tear apart seems very likely. Regular Voice of Russia contributor Rick Rozoff spoke to the VOR about these matters and more.


This is John Robles I’m speaking to Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.

Robles: Hello Rick. How are you this evening?

Rozoff: Very good John.

Robles: What is going on with all the saber rattling surrounding Syria? Do you think there is a chance that the U.S. may be up to something, or that they are planning an invasion in the near future?

Rozoff: They certainly intend direct military action against the government of Syria, and you characterized it correctly by using the term saber rattling. Gunboat diplomacy and brinkmanship and other similar terms from the colonial era I think also are apropos in this context.

What is most disturbing, and it’s something that many of your listeners may be aware of by now, but just today the Senate confirmation, actually reconfirmation, hearings for the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and his second-in-command, General Martin Dempsey, was dressed down rather rudely and even brusquely by Senator John McCain, who in recent years with his colleagues, Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, and until recently, until he retired, Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut formed a triumvirate of U.S. Senators, almost like the imperial Roman proconsuls that would travel around the world inciting hostilities against other countries. We’ve talked about this on your show before. A traveling war circus is how I characterized it, but you know, McCain and Graham being the two survivors of that trio.

McCain, in so many words humiliated, this is really pretty stark. I’ve just seen the transcripts of it and accounts of it but I can imagine what this looks like, to see a superannuated, life-time bureaucrat like McCain, dress down and attempt to humiliate the head of the U.S. armed forces and essentially accusing him of being cowardly and indecisive and irresolute because he won’t go to war against Syria – there is no other way of interpreting McCain’s comments – and then finally browbeating Dempsey, the same Dempsey who had warned earlier this year, in February, that enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria ipso facto constituted war, an act of war, which in fact it would be. Finally, coaxing out of Dempsey the statement that no options were off the table and that “kinetic strikes”, meaning air strikes and strikes on the warships in Mediterranean, were something the U.S. military has considered, so I can’t think of any other way of describing or characterizing or interpreting the comments both by McCain and by the U.S. military chief Dempsey except an avid and almost passionate desire to have some sort of military action taken against Syria.

Now we have to remember, this occurs immediately after joint massive military exercises in two countries bordering Syria led by the United States. That is, in both Jordan and Turkey, almost simultaneously. They overlapped towards the end of June, Eager Lion as it was called in Jordan, where there are 8,000 troops from 19 nations. These are NATO nations, the U.S. and its allies, and their Arab allies, through the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.

The reports came out, and they were picked up by the Voice of Russia, as a matter of fact, from other press-wires, that the US intended during the course of those exercises, to retain 700 troops in Jordan along with Patriot Interceptor missiles of the sort that NATO has now deployed in Turkey and military aircraft, I believe F-16s. And in Turkey you had similar large-scale multinational exercises between NATO members and their Arab allies, involving NATO AWACS surveillance aircraft and 50 fighter jets.

So, you see the potential for military buildup. Some of these are annual exercises, like the Eager Lion one in Jordan, but the fact they’re being held in countries bordering Syria, with just the cast of characters you would expect to participate in an attack on Syria, something comparable, perhaps even on a larger scale perhaps, comparable to what was used against Libya two years ago and were used in the invasions and occupation of Iraq both in 1991 and in 2003.

So, we have all this going on at the same time. Incidentally increasing encroachment around Syria, and incidentally one step removed, around Iran, with the U.S. son-of-Star-Wars missile shield system, Patriot missiles and eventually Standard Missile 3 and other interceptors and radars, is a pretty ominous development. It suggests that again they’re preparing for war.

And we have to recall that NATO has only twice before deployed AWACS and interceptor missiles, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, and that was in 1991 for the attack against Iraq, and in 2003 for the invasion of Iraq.

One would be hard-pressed to miss the analogy in the fact that the military buildup, and this is all compounded by, and this came across in the Senate hearings today, it is compounded by the fact that Martin Dempsey, the head of the US military, acknowledged, what everyone now knows, is that the tide has turned inside Syria, where government forces and their allies have scored fairly decisive, and I think at this point irreversible gains against internal rebel forces and their foreign mercenary allies, or backbone, and the more desperate the situation becomes for the U.S. and its NATO partners’ proxies inside the country, I think the more apt the hotheads like McCain and company are going to be in terms of pushing a direct U.S. military aggression.

Robles: How far along would you say is the political buildup compared to before the invasion of Libya, before the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan? Do you see the same mechanisms and strings being pulled? Or was McCain kind of on his own here? What’s going on there?

Rozoff: I am glad you asked that question, particularly about Libya. This is maybe a study on two different scenarios, opposing scenarios, with Iraq which eventually culminated in the U.S.-British attack on and invasion of the country in March of 2003, there’d been a build-up, I think in a lot of people’s minds for a year and a half since events of 9-11 2001. It was clear that the U.S. was going to use those attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. as a pretext for invading Iraq.

So there was plenty of time to anticipate and to organize against what was maybe not an imminent, but was certainly an unavoidable, inexorable threat to Iraq, whereas with Libya it was a matter of only some six weeks between the first protest that erupted in Benghazi, and the first U.S. and British cruise missiles that landed inside the country.

So, the turnaround time was appreciably abbreviated, in relation to previous wars such as that eight years earlier in Iraq in 2003.

I fear, then, that the Libya precedent is more likely to be at work with Syria, that with the turn of a dime, if you will, that the U.S. and company, which has amphibious assault ships right in the Eastern Mediterranean now, which participated for example, in the Jordanian exercises and in the official U.S. Armed Forces publication Stars and Stripes, they had an article four-five days ago the actual quote was “U.S. amphibious assault navy vessels are parked off the coast of Syria”, or words to that effect.

It is clear that the U.S., through the Sixth Fleet in Mediterranean and NATO through Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean, the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf, that they have the military assets, particularly the naval ones, to put in place very quickly.

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Henri Barbusse: Blood-stained priest of the God of War


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

Nobel prize in literature recipients on peace and war

French writers on war and peace

Henri Barbusse: Selections on war


Henri Barbusse
From Light (1918)
Translated by Fitzwater Wray


An inexorable religion has fallen from them upon us all, upholding what exists, preserving what is.

Suddenly I hear beside me, as if I were in a file of the executed, a stammering death-agony; and I think I see him who struggled like a stricken vulture, on the earth that was bloated with dead. And his words enter my heart more distinctly than when they were still alive; and they wound me like blows at once of darkness and of light.

“Men must not open their eyes!”

“Faith comes at will, like the rest!” said Adjutant Marcassin, as he fluttered in his red trousers about the ranks, like a blood-stained priest of the God of War.

He was right! He had grasped the chains of bondage when he hurled that true cry against the truth. Every man is something of account, but ignorance isolates and resignation scatters. Every poor man carries within him centuries of indifference and servility. He is a defenseless prey for hatred and dazzlement.


And the great voices, the poets, the singers — what have the great voices said? They have sung the praises of the victor’s laurels without knowing what they are. You, old Homer, bard of the lisping tribes of the coasts, with your serene and venerable face sculptured in the likeness of your great childlike genius, with your three times millennial lyre and your empty eyes — you who led us to Poetry! And you, herd of poets enslaved, who did not understand, who lived before you could understand, in an age when great men were only the domestics of great lords — and you, too, servants of the resounding and opulent pride of to-day, eloquent flatterers and magnificent dunces, you unwitting enemies of mankind! You have all sung the laurel wreath without knowing what it is.

There are dazzlings, and solemnities and ceremonies, to amuse and excite the common people, to dim their sight with bright colors, with the glitter of the badges and stars that are crumbs of royalty, to inflame them with the jingle of bayonets and medals, with trumpets and trombones and the big drum, and to inspire the demon of war in the excitable feelings of women and the inflammable credulity of the young. I see the triumphal arches, the military displays in the vast amphitheaters of public places, and the march past of those who go to die, who walk in step to hell by reason of their strength and youth, and the hurrahs for war, and the real pride which the lowly feel in bending the knee before their masters and saying, as their cavalcade tops the hill, “It’s fine! They might be galloping over us!” “It’s magnificent, how warlike we are!” says the woman, always dazzled, as she convulsively squeezes the arm of him who is going away.

And another kind of excitement takes form and seizes me by the throat in the pestilential pits of hell — “They’re on fire, they’re on fire!” stammers that soldier, breathless as his empty rifle, as the flood of the exalted German divisions advances, linked elbow to elbow under a godlike halo of ether, to drown the deeps with their single lives.

Ah, the intemperate shapes and unities that float in morsels above the peopled precipices! When two overlords, jewel-set with glittering General Staffs, proclaim at the same time on either side of their throbbing mobilized frontiers, “We will save our country!” there is one immensity deceived and two victimized. There are two deceived immensities!

There is nothing else. That these cries can be uttered together in the face of heaven, in the face of truth, proves at a stroke the monstrosity of the laws which rule us, and the madness of the gods.

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Randolph Bourne: Twilight of Idols

February 15, 2013 Leave a comment


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

American writers on peace and against war

Randolph Bourne: Selections on war


Randolph Bourne
Twilight of Idols (1917)



If you have willed the situation, however, or accepted it as inevitable, it is fatuous to protest against the gay debauch of hatred and fear and swagger that must mount and mount, until the heady and virulent poison of war shall have created its own anti-toxin of ruin and disillusionment.

I should prefer some philosophy of War as the grim and terrible cleanser to this optimism-haunted mood that continues unweariedly to suggest that all can yet be made to work for good in a mad and half-destroyed world. I wonder if James, in the face of such disaster, would not have abandoned his “moral equivalent of war” for an “immoral equivalent” which, in swift and periodic saturnalia, would have acted as vaccination against the sure pestilence of war.

[The nation] fretted for three years and then let war, not education, be chosen, at the almost unanimous behest of our intellectual class, from motives alien to our cultural needs, and for political ends alien to the happiness of the individual. But nations, of course, are not rational entities, and they act within their most irrational rights when they accept war as the most important thing the nation can do in the face of metaphysical menaces of imperial prestige.

[A]s we skate toward the bankruptcy of war-billions, there will be resources available for educational enterprise that does not contribute directly to the war-technique. Neither is any passion for growth, for creative mastery, going to flourish among the host of militaristic values and new tastes for power that are springing up like poisonous mushrooms on every hand.

If the war is too strong for you to prevent, how is it going to be weak enough for you to control and mould to your liberal purposes?

[W]ith the other prophets of instrumentalism who accompany Dewey into the war, democracy remains an unanalyzed term, useful as a call to battle, but not an intellectual tool, turning up fresh sod for the changing future. Is it the political democracy of a plutocratic America that we are fighting for…?

This burrowing into war-technique hides the void where a democratic philosophy should be…Similarly the blaze of patriotism on the part of the radicals serves the purpose of concealing the feebleness of their intellectual light.

It is now becoming plain that unless you start with the vividest kind of poetic vision, your instrumentalism is likely to land you just where it has landed this younger intelligentsia which is so happily and busily engaged in the national enterprise of war. You must have your vision and you must have your technique.


Where are the seeds of American promise? Man cannot live by politics alone, and it is small cheer that our best intellects are caught in the political current and see only the hope that America will find her soul in the remaking of the world. If William James were alive would he be accepting the war-situation so easily and complacently? Would he be chiding the over-stimulated intelligence of peace-loving idealists, and excommunicating from the ranks of liberal progress the pitiful remnant of those who struggle “above the battle”? I like to think that his gallant spirit would have called for a war to be gallantly played, with insistent care for democratic values at home, and unequivocal alliance with democratic elements abroad for a peace that should promise more than a mere union of benevolent imperialisms. I think of James now because the recent articles of John Dewey’s on the war suggest a slackening in his thought for our guidance and stir, and the inadequacy of his pragmatism as a philosophy of life in this emergency. Whether James would have given us just that note of spiritual adventure which would make the national enterprise seem creative for an American future, – this we can never know. But surely that philosophy of Dewey’s which we had been following so uncritically for so long, breaks down almost noisily when it is used to grind out interpretation for the present crisis. These articles on “Conscience and Compulsion,” “The Future of Pacifism,” “What America Will Fight For,” “Conscription of Thought,” which The New Republic has been printing, seem to me to be a little off-color. A philosopher who senses so little the sinister forces of war, who is so much more concerned over the excesses of the pacifists than over the excesses of military policy, who can feel only amusement at the idea that any one should try to conscript thought, who assumes that the war technique can be used without trailing along with it the mob-fanaticisms, the injustices and hatreds, that are organically bound up with it, is speaking to another element of the younger intelligentsia than that to which I belong. Evidently the attitudes which war calls out are fiercer and more incalculable than Professor Dewey is accustomed to take into his hopeful and intelligent imagination, and the pragmatist mind, in trying to adjust itself to them, gives the air of grappling, like the pioneer who challenges the arid plains, with a power too big for it. It is not an arena of creative intelligence our country’s mind is now, but of mob psychology. The soldiers who tried to lynch Max Eastman showed that current patriotism is not a product of the will to remake the world. The luxuriant releases of explosive hatred for which peace apparently gives far too little scope cannot be wooed by sweet reasonableness, nor can they be the raw material for the creation of rare liberal political structures. All that can be done is to try to keep your country out of situations where such expressive releases occur. If you have willed the situation, however, or accepted it as inevitable, it is fatuous to protest against the gay debauch of hatred and fear and swagger that must mount and mount, until the heady and virulent poison of war shall have created its own anti-toxin of ruin and disillusionment. To talk as if war were anything else than such a poison is to show that your philosophy has never been confronted with the pathless and the inexorable, and that only dimly feeling the change, it goes ahead acting as if it had not got out of its depth. Only a lack of practice with a world of human nature so raw-nerved, irrational, uncreative, as an America at war was bound to show itself to be, can account for the singular unsatisfactoriness of these later utterances of Dewey. He did have one moment of hesitation just before the war began, when the war and its external purposes and unifying power seemed the small thing beside that internal adventure which should find our American promise. But that perspective has now disappeared, and one finds Dewey now untainted by skepticism as to our being about a business to which all our idealism should rally. That failure to get guaranties that this country’s efforts would obligate the Allies to a democratic world-order Dewey blames on the defection of the pacifists, and then somehow manages to get himself into a “we” who “romantically,” as he says, forewent this crucial link of our strategy. Does this easy identification of himself with undemocratically-controlled foreign policy mean that a country is democratic when it accepts what its government does, or that war has a narcotic effect on the pragmatic mind? For Dewey somehow retains his sense of being in the controlling class, and ignores those anxious questions of democrats who have been his disciples but are now resenters of the war.

What I come to is a sense of suddenly being left in the lurch, of suddenly finding that a philosophy upon which I had relied to carry us through no longer works. I find the contrast between the idea that creative intelligence has free functioning in wartime, and the facts of the inexorable situation, too glaring. The contrast between what liberals ought to be doing and saying if democratic values are to be conserved, and what the real forces are imposing upon them, strikes too sternly on my intellectual senses. I should prefer some philosophy of War as the grim and terrible cleanser to this optimism-haunted mood that continues unweariedly to suggest that all can yet be made to work for good in a mad and half-destroyed world. I wonder if James, in the face of such disaster, would not have abandoned his “moral equivalent of war” for an “immoral equivalent” which, in swift and periodic saturnalia, would have acted as vaccination against the sure pestilence of war.


Dewey’s philosophy is inspiring enough for a society at peace, prosperous and with a fund of progressive good-will. It is a philosophy of hope, of clear-sighted comprehension of materials and means. Where institutions are at all malleable, it is the only clue for improvement. It is scientific method applied to “uplift.” But this careful adaptation of means to desired ends, this experimental working out of control over brute forces and dead matter in the interests of communal life, depends on a store of rationality, and is effective only where there is strong desire for progress. It is precisely the school, the institution to which Dewey’s philosophy was first applied, that is of all our institutions the most malleable. And it is the will to educate that has seemed, in these days, among all our social attitudes the most rationally motivated. It was education, and almost education alone, that seemed susceptible to the steady pressure of an “instrumental” philosophy. Intelligence really seemed about to come into conscious control of an institution, and that one the most potent in molding the attitudes needed for a civilized society and the aptitudes needed for the happiness of the individual.

For both our revolutionary conceptions of what education means, and for the intellectual strategy of its approach, this country is immeasurably indebted to the influence of Professor Dewey’s philosophy. With these ideas sincerely felt, a rational nation would have chosen education as its national enterprise. Into this it would have thrown its energy though the heavens fell and the earth rocked around it. But the nation did not use its isolation from the conflict to educate itself. It fretted for three years and then let war, not education, be chosen, at the almost unanimous behest of our intellectual class, from motives alien to our cultural needs, and for political ends alien to the happiness of the individual. But nations, of course, are not rational entities, and they act within their most irrational rights when they accept war as the most important thing the nation can do in the face of metaphysical menaces of imperial prestige. What concerns us here is the relative ease with which the pragmatist intellectuals, with Professor Dewey at the head, have moved out their philosophy, bag and baggage, from education to war. So abrupt a change in the direction of the national enterprise, one would have expected to cause more emotion, to demand more apologetics. His optimism may have told Professor Dewey that war would not materially demoralize our growth would, perhaps, after all, be but an incident in the nation’s life, but it is not easy to see how, as we skate toward the bankruptcy of war-billions, there will be resources available for educational enterprise that does not contribute directly to the war-technique. Neither is any passion for growth, for creative mastery, going to flourish among the host of militaristic values and new tastes for power that are springing up like poisonous mushrooms on every hand.

How could the pragmatist mind accept war without more violent protest, without a greater wrench? Either Professor Dewey and his friends find that the forces were too strong for them, that the war had to be, and it was better to take it up intelligently than to drift blindly in; or else they really expected a gallant war, conducted with jealous regard for democratic values at home and a captivating vision of international democracy as the end of all the toil and pain. If their motive was the first, they would seem to have reduced the scope of possible control of events to the vanishing point. If the war is too strong for you to prevent, how is it going to be weak enough for you to control and mould to your liberal purposes? And if their motive was to shape the war firmly for good, they seem to have seriously miscalculated the fierce urgencies of it. Are they to be content, as the materialization of their hopes, with a doubtful League of Nations and the suppression of the I. W. W.? Yet the numbing power of the war-situation seems to have kept them from realizing what has happened to their philosophy. The betrayal of their first hopes has certainly not discouraged them. But neither has it roused them to a more energetic expression of the forces through which they intend to realize them. I search Professor Dewey’s articles in vain for clues as to the specific working-out of our democratic desires, either nationally or internationally, either in the present or in the reconstruction after the war. No program is suggested, nor is there feeling for present vague popular movements and revolts. Rather are the latter chided, for their own vagueness and impracticalities. Similarly, with the other prophets of instrumentalism who accompany Dewey into the war, democracy remains an unanalyzed term, useful as a call to battle, but not an intellectual tool, turning up fresh sod for the changing future. Is it the political democracy of a plutocratic America that we are fighting for, or is it the social democracy of the new Russia? Which do our rulers really fear more, the menace of Imperial Germany, or the liberating influence of a socialist Russia? In the application of their philosophy to politics, our pragmatists are sliding over this crucial question of ends. Dewey says our ends must be intelligently international rather than chauvinistic. But this gets us little distance along our way.

In this difficult time the light that has been in liberals and radicals has become darkness. If radicals spend their time holding conventions to attest their loyalty and stamp out the “enemies within,” they do not spend it in breaking intellectual paths, or giving us shining ideas to which we can attach our faith and conscience. The spiritual apathy from which the more naive of us suffer, and which the others are so busy fighting, arises largely from sheer default of a clear vision that would melt it away. Let the motley crew of ex-socialists, and labor radicals, and liberals, and pragmatist philosophers, who have united for the prosecution of the war, present a coherent and convincing democratic programme, and they will no longer be confronted with the skepticism of the conscientious and the impossibilist. But when the emphasis is on technical organization, rather than organization of ideas, on strategy rather than desires, one begins to suspect that no programme is presented because they have none to present. This burrowing into war-technique hides the void where a democratic philosophy should be. Our intellectuals consort with war-boards in order to keep their minds off the question what the slow masses of the people are really desiring, or toward what the best hope of the country really drives. Similarly the blaze of patriotism on the part of the radicals serves the purpose of concealing the feebleness of their intellectual light.

Is the answer that clear formulation of democratic ends must be postponed until victory in the war is attained? But to make this answer is to surrender the entire case. For the support of the war by radicals, realists, pragmatists, is due – or so they say – to the fact that the war is not only saving the cause of democracy, but is immensely accelerating its progress. Well, what are those gains? How are they to be conserved? What do they lead to? How can we further them? Into what large idea of society do they group? To ignore these questions, and think only of the war-technique and its accompanying devotions, is to undermine the foundations of these people’s own faith.

A policy of “win the war first” must be, for the radical, a policy of intellectual suicide. Their support of the war throws upon them the responsibility of showing inch by inch the democratic gains, and of laying out a charter of specific hopes. Otherwise they confess that they are impotent and that the war is submerging their expectations, or that they are not genuinely imaginative and offer little promise for future leadership.


It may seem unfair to group Professor Dewey with Mr. Spargo and Mr. Gompers, Mr. A. M. Simons, and the Vigilantes. I do so only because in their acceptance of the war, they are all living out that popular American “instrumental” philosophy which Professor Dewey has formulated in such convincing and fascinating terms. On an infinitely more intelligent plane, he is yet one with them in his confidence that the war is motivated by democratic ends and is being made to serve them. A high mood of confidence and self-righteousness moves them all, a keen sense of control over events that makes them eligible to discipleship under Professor Dewey’s philosophy. They are all hostile to impossibilism, to apathy, to any attitude that is not a cheerful and brisk setting to work to use the emergency to consolidate the gains of democracy. Not, Is it being used? but, Let us make a flutter about using it! This unanimity of mood puts the resenter of war out of the arena. But he can still seek to explain why this philosophy which has no place for the inexorable should have adjusted itself so easily to the inexorable of war, and why, although a philosophy of the creative intelligence in using means toward ends, it should show itself so singularly impoverished in its present supply of democratic values.

What is the matter with the philosophy? One has a sense of having come to a sudden, short stop at the end of an intellectual era. In the crisis, this philosophy of intelligent control just does not measure up to our needs. What is the root of this inadequacy that is felt so keenly by our restless minds? Van Wyck Brooks has pointed out searchingly the lack of poetic vision in our pragmatist “awakeners.” Is there something in these realistic attitudes that works actually against poetic vision, against concern for the quality of life as above machinery of life? Apparently there is. The war has revealed a younger intelligentsia, trained up in the pragmatic dispensation, immensely ready for the executive ordering of events, pitifully unprepared for the intellectual interpretation or the idealistic focussing of ends. The young men in Belgium, the officers’ training corps, the young men being sucked into the councils at Washington and into war-organization everywhere, have among them a definite element, upon whom Dewey, as veteran philosopher, might well bestow a papal blessing. They have absorbed the secret of scientific method as applied to political administration. They are liberal, enlightened, aware. They are touched with creative intelligence toward the solution of political and industrial problems. They are a wholly new force in American life, the product of the swing in the colleges from a training that emphasized classical studies to one that emphasized political and economic values. Practically all this element, one would say, is lined up in service of the war-technique. There seems to have been a peculiar congeniality between the war and these men. It is as if the war and they had been waiting for each other. One wonders what scope they would have had for their intelligence without it. Probably most of them would have gone into industry and devoted themselves to sane reorganization schemes. What is significant is that it is the technical side of the war that appeals to them, not the interpretative or political side. The formulation of values and ideals, the production of articulate and suggestive thinking, had not, in their education, kept pace, to any extent whatever, with their technical aptitude. The result is that the field of intellectual formulation is very poorly manned by this younger intelligentsia. While they organize the war, formulation of opinion is left largely in the hands of professional patriots, sensational editors, archaic radicals. The intellectual work of this younger intelligentsia is done by the sedition-hunting Vigilantes, and by the saving remnant of older liberals. It is true, Dewey calls for a more attentive formulation of war purposes and ideas, but he calls largely to deaf ears. His disciples have learned all too literally the instrumental attitude toward life, and, being immensely intelligent and energetic, they are making themselves efficient instruments of the war-technique, accepting with little question the ends as announced from above. That those ends are largely negative does not concern them, because they have never learned not to subordinate idea to technique. Their education has not given them a coherent system of large ideas, or a feeling for democratic goals. They have, in short, no clear philosophy of life except that of intelligent service, the admirable adaptation of means to ends. They are vague as to what kind of a society they want, or what kind of society America needs, but they are equipped with all the administrative attitudes and talents necessary to attain it.

To those of us who have taken Dewey’s philosophy almost as our American religion, it never occurred that values could be subordinated to technique. We were instrumentalists, but we had our private utopias so clearly before our minds that the means fell always into its place as contributory. And Dewey, of course, always meant his philosophy, when taken as a philosophy of life, to start with values. But there was always that unhappy ambiguity in his doctrine as to just how values were created, and it became easier and easier to assume that just any growth was justified and almost any activity valuable so long as it achieved ends. The American, in living out this philosophy, has habitually confused results with product, and been content with getting somewhere without asking too closely whether it was the desirable place to get. It is now becoming plain that unless you start with the vividest kind of poetic vision, your instrumentalism is likely to land you just where it has landed this younger intelligentsia which is so happily and busily engaged in the national enterprise of war. You must have your vision and you must have your technique. The practical effect of Dewey’s philosophy has evidently been to develop the sense of the latter at the expense of the former. Though he himself would develop them together, even in him there seems to be a flagging of values, under the influence of war. The New Republic honorably clamors for the Allies to subordinate military strategy to political ends, technique to democratic values. But war always undermines values. It is the outstanding lesson of the whole war that statesmen cannot be trusted to get this perspective right, that their only motto is, first to win and then grab what they can. The struggle against this statesmanlike animus must be a losing one as long as we have not very clear and very determined and very revolutionary democratic ideas and programmes to challenge them with. The trouble with our situation is not only that values have been generally ignored in favor of technique, but that those who have struggled to keep values foremost, have been too bloodless and too near-sighted in their vision. The defect of any philosophy of “adaptation” or “adjustment,” even when it means adjustment to changing, living experience, is that there is no provision for thought or experience getting beyond itself. If your ideal is to be adjustment to your situation, in radiant cooperation with reality, then your success is likely to be just that and no more. You never transcend anything. You grow, but your spirit never jumps out of your skin to go on wild adventures. If your policy as a publicist reformer is to take what you can get, you are likely to find that you get something less than you should be willing to take. Italy in the settlement is said to be demanding one hundred in order to get twenty, and this Machiavellian principle might well be adopted by the radical. Vision must constantly outshoot technique, opportunist efforts usually achieve less even than what seemed obviously possible. An impossibilist elan that appeals to desire will often carry further. A philosophy of adjustment will not even make for adjustment. If you try merely to “meet” situations as they come, you will not even meet them. Instead you will only pile up behind you deficits and arrears that will some day bankrupt you.

We are in the war because an American government practiced a philosophy of adjustment, and an instrumentalism for minor ends, instead of creating new values and setting at once a large standard to which the nations might repair. An intellectual attitude of mere adjustment, of mere use of the creative intelligence to make your progress, must end in caution, regression, and a virtual failure to effect even that change which you so clear-sightedly and desirously see. This is the root of our dissatisfaction with much of the current political and social realism that is preached to us. It has everything good and wise except the obstreperous vision that would drive and draw all men into it.


The working-out of this American philosophy in our intellectual life then has meant an exaggerated emphasis on the mechanics of life at the expense of the quality of living. We suffer from a real shortage of spiritual values. A philosophy that worked when we were trying to get that material foundation for American life in which more impassioned living could flourish no longer works when we are faced with inexorable disaster and the hysterias or the mob. The note of complacency which we detect in the current expressions of this philosophy has a bad taste. The congruous note for the situation would seem to be, on the contrary, that of robust desperation, – a desperation that shall rage and struggle until new values come out of the travail, and we see some glimmering of our democratic way. In the creation of these new values, we may expect the old philosophy, the old radicalism, to be helpless. It has found a perfectly definite level, and there is no reason to think that it will not remain there. Its flowering appears in the technical organization of the war by an earnest group of young liberals, who direct their course by an opportunist programme of State-socialism at home and a league of benevolently-imperialistic nations abroad. At their best they can give us a government by prudent, enlightened college men instead of by politicians. At their best, they can abolish war by making everybody a partner in the booty of exploitation. That is all, and it is technically admirable. Only there is nothing in the outlook that touches in any way the happiness of the individual, the vivifying of the personality, the comprehension of social forces, the flair of art, – in other words, the quality of life. Our intellectuals have failed us as value-creators, even as value-emphasizers. The allure of the martial in war has passed only to be succeeded by the allure of the technical. The allure of fresh and true ideas, of free speculation, of artistic vigor, of cultural styles, of intelligence suffused by feeling, and feeling given fiber and outline by intelligence, has not come, and can hardly come, we see now, while our reigning philosophy is an instrumental one.

Whence can come this allure? Only from those who are thorough malcontents. Irritation at things as they are, disgust at the continual frustrations and aridities of American life, deep dissatisfaction with self and with the groups that give themselves forth as hopeful, – out of such moods there might be hammered new values. The malcontents would be men and women who could not stomach the war, or the reactionary idealism that has followed in its train. They are quite through with the professional critics and classicists who have let cultural values die through their own personal ineptitude. Yet these malcontents have no intention of being cultural vandals, only to slay. They are not barbarians, but seek the vital and the sincere everywhere. All they want is a new orientation of the spirit that shall be modern, an orientation to accompany that technical orientation which is fast coming, and which the war accelerates. They will be harsh and often bad-tempered, and they will feel that the break-up of things is no time for mellowness. They will have a taste for spiritual adventure, and for sinister imaginative excursions. It will not be Puritanism so much as complacency that they will fight. A tang, a bitterness, an intellectual fibre, a verve, they will look for in literature, and their most virulent enemies will be those unaccountable radicals who are still morally servile, and are now trying to suppress all free speculation in the interests of nationalism. Something more mocking, more irreverent, they will constantly want. They will take institutions very lightly, indeed will never fail to be surprised at the seriousness with which good radicals take the stated offices and systems. Their own contempt will be scarcely veiled, and they will be glad if they can tease, provoke, irritate thought on any subject. These malcontents will be more or less of the American tribe of talent who used either to go immediately to Europe, or starved submissively at home. But these people will neither go to Europe, nor starve submissively. They are too much entangled emotionally in the possibilities of American life to leave it, and they have no desire whatever to starve. So they are likely to go ahead beating their heads at the wall until they are either bloody or light appears. They will give offense to their elders who cannot see what all the concern is about, and they will hurt the more middle-aged sense of adventure upon which the better integrated minds of the younger generation will have compromised. Optimism is often compensatory, and the optimistic mood in American thought may mean merely that American life is too terrible to face. A more skeptical, malicious, desperate, ironical mood may actually be the sign of more vivid and more stirring life fermenting in America today. It may be a sign of hope. That thirst for more of the intellectual “war and laughter” that we find Nietzsche calling us to may bring us satisfactions that optimism-haunted philosophies could never bring. Malcontentedness may be the beginning of promise. That is why I evoked the spirit of William James, with its gay passion for ideas, and its freedom of speculation, when I felt the slightly pedestrian gait into which the war had brought pragmatism. It is the creative desire more than the creative intelligence that we shall need if we are ever to fly.

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Romain Rolland: To the Murdered Peoples

January 16, 2013 Leave a comment


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

Nobel prize in literature recipients on peace and war

French writers on war and peace

Romain Rolland: Selections on war


Romain Rolland
To the Murdered Peoples (1916)
Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul


The horrors that have taken place during the last two and a half years have given a rude spiritual shock to the western world. No one can ever forget the martyrdom of Belgium, Serbia, Poland, of all the unhappy lands of the west and of the east trampled by invaders. Yet these iniquitous deeds, by which we are revolted because we ourselves are the sufferers — for half a century or more, European civilisation has been doing them or allowing them to be done.

Who will ever know at what a price the Red Sultan has purchased from his mutes of the European press and European diplomacy their silence concerning the slaughter of two hundred thousand Armenians during the first massacres, those of 1894 to 1896? Who will voice the sufferings of the peoples delivered over to rapine during colonial enterprises? When a corner of the veil has been lifted, when in Damaraland or the Congo we have been given a glimpse of one of these fields of pain, who has been able to bear the sight without a shudder? What “civilised” man can think without a blush of the massacres of Manchuria and of the expedition to China in 1900 and 1901, when the German emperor held up Attila as an example to his soldiers, when the allied armies of the “civilised world” rivalled one another in acts of vandalism against a civilisation older and nobler than that of the west? What help has the western world given to the persecuted races of eastern Europe, to the Jews, the Poles, the Finns, etc.? What aid to Turkey and to China in their efforts towards regeneration? Sixty years ago, China, poisoned by Indian opium, wished to free herself from the deadly vice. But after two wars and a humiliating peace, she had to accept from England this poison, which is said during a century to have brought to the East India Company profits amounting to £440,000,000. Even in our own day, when China, by a heroic effort, had within ten years cured herself of this disastrous sickness, the sustained pressure of public opinion was requisite to compel the most highly civilised of the European states to renounce the profits derived from the poisoning of a nation. The facts need hardly surprise us, seeing that this same western state continues to draw revenues from the poisoning of its own subjects.

“On the Gold Coast,” writes M. Arnold Porret, “a missionary once told me how the negroes account for the European’s white skin. God Almighty asked him, ‘What hast thou done with thy brother?’ And he turned white with fear.”

European civilisation stinks of the dead-house. “Jam foetet…” Europe has called in the grave-diggers. Asia is on the watch.

On June 18, 1916, at the Imperial University of Tokyo, Rabindranath Tagore, the great Hindu, spoke as follows: “The political civilisation which has sprung from the soil of Europe and is overrunning the whole world, like some prolific weed, is based upon exclusiveness. It is always watchful to keep the aliens at bay or to exterminate them. It is carnivorous and cannibalistic in its tendencies, it feeds upon the resources of other peoples and tries to swallow their whole future. It is always afraid of other races achieving eminence, naming it as a peril, and tries to thwart all symptoms of greatness outside its own boundaries, forcing down races of men who are weaker, to be eternally fixed in their weakness…This political civilisation is scientific, not human. It is powerful because it concentrates all its forces upon one purpose, like a millionaire acquiring money at the cost of his soul. It betrays its trust, it weaves its meshes of lies without shame, it enshrines gigantic idols of greed in its temples, taking great pride in the costly ceremonials of its worship, calling this patriotism. And it can safely be prophesied that this cannot go on…”

“This cannot go on.” Do you hear, Europeans? Are you stopping your ears? Listen to the voice within! We ourselves must question ourselves. Let us not resemble those who ascribe to their neighbour all the sins of the world, and think themselves blameless. For the curse under which we are labouring to-day, each one of us must bear his share of responsibility. Some have erred by deliberate choice, others through weakness, and it is not the weak who are the least guilty. The apathy of the majority, the timorousness of the well-meaning, the selfishness and scepticism of listless rulers, the ignorance or cynicism of the press, the rapacity of profiteers, the faint-hearted servility of the thinkers who make themselves the apostles of devastating prejudices which it should be their mission to uproot; the ruthless pride of intellectuals who value their own ideas more than they value the lives of their fellow-men, and who will send millions to death to prove themselves in the right; the counsels of expediency of a church that is too Roman, a church in which St. Peter the fisherman has become the ferryman of diplomacy; pastors with arid souls, with souls keen-edged as a knife, immolating their flocks in the hope of purifying them; the blind submission of the silly sheep…Who among us is free from blame? Who among us can wash his hands of the blood of a butchered Europe? Let each one admit his fault and endeavour to expiate it! But let us turn to the most immediate task.

Here is the outstanding fact: Europe is not free. The voice of the nations is stifled. In the history of the world, these years will be looked upon as the years of the great Slavery. One half of Europe is fighting the other half, in the name of liberty. That they may fight the better, both halves of Europe have renounced liberty. An appeal to the will of the nations is fruitless. As individual entities, THE NATIONS NO LONGER EXIST. A handful of politicians, a few score journalists, have the audacity to speak in the name of this nation or of that. They have no right to speak. They represent no one but themselves. They do not even represent themselves. As early as 1905, Maurras, denouncing the tamed intelligentsia which claims to lead opinion and to represent the nation, spoke of it as “ancilla plutocratiae.”…The nation! Who has the right to call himself the representative of a nation? Who knows the soul, who has ever dared to look into the soul, of a nation at war? It is a monster, composed of many myriads of conglomerated lives, of lives that are distinct and conflicting, lives that move in all directions and are yet joined at the base like the tentacles of an octopus…It is a confused mingling of all the instincts, and of all the reasons, and of all the unreasons…Blasts of wind from the abyss; sightless and raging forces issuing from the seething depths of animalism; a mad impulse towards destruction and self-destruction; the crude appetites of the herd; distorted religion; mystical erections of the soul enamoured of the infinite, and seeking the morbid assuagement of joy through suffering, through its own suffering, and through the suffering of others; the pretentious despotism of reason, claiming the right to impose on others the unity it lacks yet desires; romanticist flashes of an imagination kindled by memories of the past; the academic phantasmagoria of official history, of the patriotic history which is ever ready to brandish the “Vae Victis” of Brennus, or the “Gloria Victis,” as circumstances may dictate…Helter-skelter there surge upon the tide of passion all the lurking fiends which, in times of peace and order, society spurns…Every one of us is entangled in the tentacles of the octopus. Every one of us discovers in himself the same confusion of good and of bad impulses, knotted and intertwined. A tangled skein. Who shall unravel it?…Thence comes the feeling of inexorable fate by which, in such crises, men are overwhelmed. Nevertheless this feeling derives merely from their own despondency in face of the efforts necessary to free themselves, efforts manifold and prolonged, but within the compass of their powers. If each one did what he could (no more would be required!) fate would not prove inexorable. The apparent fatality results from the universal abdication. By abandoning himself to fate, each one incurs a share of the guilt.

But the shares in the guilt are unequal. Honour to whom honour is due! In the loathsome stew which European politics constitute to-day, money is the tit-bit. Society is enchained, and the hand holding the chain is the hand of Plutus. He is the real master, the real ruler, of the states. It is he who makes of them fraudulent firms, swindling enterprises. The reader must not suppose that we wish to fix the whole responsibility for the ills we are now enduring upon this or that social group, upon this or that individual. We are not such innocents; we have no wish to make a scapegoat of anyone! This would be too easy a solution. We shall not even say, “Is fecit cui prodest.” We shall not say that those desired the war who are now shamelessly profiting by the war. All that they want is profit, and how the profit is made is of no moment to them. They accommodate themselves equally well to war and to peace, to peace and to war, for all is grist which comes to their mill. Let us give one example among a thousand to show how indifferent these men of money become to everything but money. It is a matter of recent history that a group of great German capitalists bought mines in Normandy and gained possession of a fifth part of the mineral wealth of France. Between 1908 and 1913, developing for their own profit the iron industry of our country, they helped in the production of the cannons whose fire is now sweeping the German lines. Such a man was the fabled Midas of antiquity, King Midas of the golden touch…Do not suppose them to entertain hidden but far-reaching designs. They are men of short views. Their aim is to pile up as much wealth as they can, as quickly as possible. In them we see the climax of that anti-social egoism which is the curse of our day. They are merely the most typical figures in an epoch enslaved to money. The intellectuals, the press, the politicians, the very members of the cabinets (preposterous puppets!), have, whether they like it or not, become tools in the hands of the profiteers, and act as screens to hide them from the public eye. Meanwhile the stupidity of the peoples, their fatalistic submissiveness, the mysticism they have inherited from their primitive ancestors, leave them defenceless before the hurricane of lying and frenzy which drives them to mutual slaughter…

There is a wicked and cruel saying that nations always have the governments they deserve. Were this true, we should have reason to despair of mankind, for where can we find a government with which a decent man would shake hands? It is all too clear that the masses, those who work, are unable to exercise due control over the men who rule them. Enough for the masses that they invariably have to pay for the errors or the crimes of their rulers. It would be too much, in addition, to make those who are ruled responsible. The men of the people, sacrificing themselves, die for ideas. Those who send others to the sacrifice, live for interests. Thus it comes to pass that the interests live longer than the ideas. Every prolonged war, even a war which at the outset was in a high degree idealistic, tends more and more, as it is protracted, to become a business matter, to become, as Flaubert wrote, “a war for money.”

Let me repeat, there is no suggestion that the war is undertaken for money. But as soon as the war is afoot, the milking begins; blood flows, money flows, and no one is in a hurry to stop the flow. A few thousands of privileged persons, belonging to all castes and all nations, a few thousands, men of family, parvenus, junkers, ironmasters, syndicated speculators, army contractors, untitled and irresponsible kings — hidden in the wings, surrounded by and nourishing a swarm of parasites — are able, for the sordid motive of gain, to turn to their own account the best and the worst instincts of mankind. They profit by human ambition and by human pride; by men’s grudges and men’s hates. They draw equal gains from the bloodthirsty imaginings and from the courage of their fellow-mortals; from the thirst for self-sacrifice, from the heroism which makes men eager to spill their own blood, from the inexhaustible wealth of faith!…

Unhappy peoples! Is it possible to imagine a more tragical destiny than theirs? Never consulted, always immolated, thrust into war, forced into crimes which they have never wished to commit. Any chance adventurer or braggart arrogantly claims the right to cloak with the name of the people the follies of his murderous rhetoric or the sordid interests he wishes to satisfy. The masses are everlastingly duped, everlastingly martyred; they pay for others’ misdeeds. Above their heads are exchanged challenges for causes of which they know nothing and for stakes which are of no interest to them. Across their backs, bleeding and bowed, takes place the struggle of ideas and of millions, while they themselves have no more share in the former than in the latter. For their part, they do not hate. They are the sacrifice; and those only hate who have ordered the sacrifice. Peoples poisoned by lies, by the press, by alcohol, and by harlots. Toiling masses, who must now unlearn the lesson of labour. Generous-hearted masses, who must now unlearn the lesson of brotherly love. Masses deliberately demoralised, given over to corruption while still alive, slain. Beloved peoples of Europe, dying for the last two years on your dying land. Have you at length plumbed the depths of woe? Alas, the worst is yet to come. After so much anguish, I dread the fatal day when, no longer buoyed by false hopes, realising the fruitlessness of their sacrifices, the masses, worn out with misery, will blindly wreak their vengeance where they may. They, likewise, will then fall into injustice, and through a surfeit of misfortune they will forfeit even the sombre halo of self-sacrifice. Then, from one end of the chain to the other, all alike will be plunged in the same sea of pain and error. Poor crucified wretches, struggling on your crosses on either side of the Master’s! Betrayed more cruelly than He, instead of floating, you will sink like a stone in the ocean of your agony. Will no one save you from your two foes, slavery and hatred? We wish to, we wish to! But you, too, must wish it. Do you wish it? For centuries your reason has been bridled in passive obedience. Are you still capable of achieving freedom?

Who is able to-day to stop the war in its progress? Who can recapture the wild beast and put it back into its cage? Perhaps not even those who first loosed it, the beast-tamers who know that soon will come their turn to be devoured. The cup has been filled with blood and must be drained to the last drop. Carouse, Civilisation! But when thou art glutted, when peace has come again across ten million corpses and thou hast slept off thy drunken debauch, wilt thou be able to regain mastery of thyself? Wilt thou dare to contemplate thy own wretchedness stripped of the lies with which thou hast veiled it? Will that which can and must go on living, have the courage to free itself from the deadly embrace of rotten institutions?…Peoples, unite! Peoples of all races, more blameworthy or less, all bleeding and all suffering, brothers in misfortune, be brothers in forgiveness and in rebirth. Forget your rancours, which are leading you to a common doom. Join in your mourning, for the losses affect the whole great family of mankind. Through the pain, through the deaths, of millions of your brethren, you must have been made aware of your intimate oneness. See to it that after the war this unity breaks down the barriers which the shamelessness of a few selfish interests would fain rebuild more solidly than ever.

If you fail to take this course, if the war should not bring as its first fruit a social renascence in all the nations, then farewell Europe, queen of thought, guide of mankind. You have lost your way; you are marking time in a cemetery. The cemetery is the right place for you. Make your bed there. Let others lead the world!

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Randolph Bourne: Willing war means willing all the evils that are organically bound up with it

December 30, 2012 Leave a comment


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

American writers on peace and against war

Randolph Bourne: Selections on war


Randolph Bourne
A War Diary (1917)


Time brings a better adjustment to the war. There had been so many times when, to those who had energetically resisted its coming, it seemed the last intolerable outrage. In one’s wilder moments one expected revolt against the impressment of unwilling men and the suppression of unorthodox opinion. One conceived the war as breaking down through a kind of intellectual sabotage diffused through the country. But as one talks to people outside the cities and away from ruling currents of opinion, one finds the prevailing apathy shot everywhere with acquiescence. The war is a bad business, which somehow got fastened on us. They won’t want to go, but they’ve got to go. One decides that nothing generally obstructive is going to happen and that it would make little difference if it did. The kind of war which we are conducting is an enterprise which the American government does not have to carry on with the hearty cooperation of the American people but only with their acquiescence. And that acquiescence seems sufficient to float an indefinitely protracted war for vague or even largely uncomprehended and unaccepted purposes. Our resources in men and materials are vast enough to organize the war-technique without enlisting more than a fraction of the people’s conscious energy. Many men will not like being sucked into the actual fighting organism, but as the war goes on they will be sucked in as individuals and they will yield. There is likely to be no element in the country with the effective will to help them resist. They are not likely to resist of themselves concertedly. They will be licked grudgingly into military shape, and their lack of enthusiasm will in no way unfit them for use in the hecatombs necessary for the military decision upon which Allied political wisdom still apparently insists. It is unlikely that enough men will be taken from the potentially revolting classes seriously to embitter their spirit. Losses in the well-to-do classes will be sustained by a sense of duty and of reputable sacrifice. From the point of view of the worker, it will make little difference whether his work contributes to annihilation overseas or to construction at home. Temporarily, his condition is better if it contributes to the former. We of the middle classes will be progressively poorer than we should otherwise have been. Our lives will be slowly drained by clumsily levied taxes and the robberies of imperfectly controlled private enterprises. But this will not cause us to revolt. There are not likely to be enough hungry stomachs to make a revolution. The materials seem generally absent from the country, and as long as a government wants to use the war-technique in its realization of great ideas, it can count serenely on the human resources of the country, regardless of popular mandate or understanding. 


If human resources are fairly malleable into the war-technique, our material resources will prove to be even more so, quite regardless of the individual patriotism of their owners or workers. It is almost purely a problem of diversion. Factories and mines and farms will continue to turn out the same products and at an intensified rate, but the government will be working to use their activity and concentrate it as contributory to the war. The process which the piping times of benevolent neutrality began, will be pursued to its extreme end. All this will be successful, however, precisely as it is made a matter of centralized governmental organization and not of individual offerings of good-will and enterprise. It will be coercion from above that will do the trick rather than patriotism from below. Democratic contentment may be shed over the land for a time through the appeal to individual thoughtfulness in saving and in relinquishing profits. But all that is really needed is the co-operation with government of the men who direct the large financial and industrial enterprises. If their interest is enlisted in diverting the mechanism of production into war-channels, it makes not the least difference whether you or I want our activity to count in aid of the war. Whatever we do will contribute toward its successful organization, and toward the riveting of a semi-military State-socialism on the country. As long as the effective managers, the big men in the staple industries, remained loyal, nobody need care what the millions of little human cogs who had to earn their living felt or thought. This is why the technical organization for this American war goes on so much more rapidly than any corresponding popular sentiment for its aims and purposes. Our war is teaching us that patriotism is really a superfluous quality in war. The government of a modern organized plutocracy does not have to ask whether the people want to fight or understand what they are fighting for, but only whether they will tolerate fighting. America does not co-operate with the President’s designs. She rather feebly acquiesces. But that feeble acquiescence is the all-important factor. We are learning that war doesn’t need enthusiasm, doesn’t need conviction, doesn’t need hope, to sustain it. Once manoeuvred, it takes care of itself, provided only that our industrial rulers see that the end of the war will leave American capital in a strategic position for world-enterprise. The American people might be much more indifferent to the war even than they are and yet the results would not be materially different. A majority of them might even be feebly or at least unconcertedly hostile to the war, and yet it would go gaily on. That is why a popular referendum seems so supremely irrelevant to people who are willing to use war as an instrument in the working-out of national policy. And that is why this war, with apathy rampant, is probably going to act just as if every person in the country were filled with patriotic ardor, and furnished with a completely assimilated map of the League to Enforce Peace. If it doesn’t, the cause will not be the lack of popular ardor, but the clumsiness of the government officials in organizing the technique of the war. Our country in war, given efficiency at the top, can do very well without our patriotism. The non-patriotic man need feel no pangs of conscience about not helping the war. Patriotism fades into the merest trivial sentimentality when it becomes, as so obviously in a situation like this, so pragmatically impotent. As long as one has to earn one’s living or buy tax-ridden goods, one is making one’s contribution to war in a thousand indirect ways. The war, since it does not need it, cannot fairly demand also the sacrifice of one’s spiritual integrity. 


The liberals who claim a realistic and pragmatic attitude in politics have disappointed us in setting up and then clinging wistfully to the belief that our war could get itself justified for an idealistic flavor, or at least for a world-renovating social purpose, that they had more or less denied to the other belligerents. If these realists had had time in the hurry and scuffle of events to turn their philosophy on themselves, they might have seen how thinly disguised a rationalization this was of their emotional undertow. They wanted a League of Nations. They had an unanalyzable feeling that this was a war in which we had to be, and be in it we would. What more natural than to join the two ideas and conceive our war as the decisive factor in the attainment of the desired end! This gave them a good conscience for willing American participation, although as good men they must have loathed war and everything connected with it. The realist cannot deny facts. Moreover, he must not only acknowledge them but he must use them. Good or bad, they must be turned by his intelligence to some constructive end. Working along with the materials which events give him, he must get where and what he can, and bring something brighter and better out of the chaos. 

Now war is such an indefeasible and unescapable Real that the good realist must accept it rather comprehensively. To keep out of it is pure quietism, an acute moral failure to adjust. At the same time, there is an inexorability about war. It is a little unbridled for the realist’s rather nice sense of purposive social control. And nothing is so disagreeable to the pragmatic mind as any kind of absolute. The realistic pragmatist could not recognize war as inexorable  —  though to the common mind it would seem as near an absolute, coercive social situation as it is possible to fall into. For the inexorable abolishes choices, and it is the essence of the realist’s creed to have, in every situation, alternatives before him. He gets out of his scrape in this way: Let the inexorable roll in upon me, since it must. But then, keeping firm my sense of control, it will somehow tame it and turn it to my own creative purposes. Thus realism is justified of her children, and the liberal is saved from the limbo of the wailing and irreconcilable pacifists who could not make so easy an adjustment. 

Thus the liberals who made our war their own preserved their pragmatism. But events have shown how fearfully they imperilled their intuition and how untameable an inexorable really is. For those of us who knew a real inexorable when we saw one, and had learned from watching war what follows the loosing of a war-technique, foresaw how quickly aims and purposes would be forgotten, and how flimsy would be any liberal control of events. It is only we now who can appreciate The New Republic  —  the organ of applied pragmatic realism  —  when it complains that the League of Peace (which we entered the war to guarantee) is more remote than it was eight months ago; or that our State Department has no diplomatic policy (though it was to realize the high aims of the President’s speeches that the intellectuals willed America’s participation); or that we are subordinating the political management of the war to real or supposed military advantages, (though militarism in the liberal mind had no justification except as a tool for advanced social ends). If, after all the idealism and creative intelligence that were shed upon America’s taking up of arms, our State Department has no policy, we are like brave passengers who have set out for the Isles of the Blest only to find that the first mate has gone insane and jumped overboard, the rudder has come loose and dropped to the bottom of the sea, and the captain and pilot are lying dead drunk under the wheel. The stokers and engineers however, are still merrily forcing the speed up to twenty knots an hour and the passengers are presumably getting the pleasure of the ride. 


The penalty the realist pays for accepting war is to see disappear one by one the justifications for accepting it. He must either become a genuine Realpolitiker and brazen it through, or else he must feel sorry for his intuition and be regretful that he willed the war. But so easy is forgetting and so slow the change of events that he is more likely to ignore the collapse of his case. If he finds that his government is relinquishing the crucial moves of that strategy for which he was willing to use the technique of war, he is likely to move easily to the ground that it will all come out in the end the same anyway. He soon becomes satisfied with tacitly ratifying whatever happens, or at least straining to find the grain of unplausible hope that may be latent in the situation. 

But what then is there really to choose between the realist who accepts evil in order to manipulate it to a great end, but who somehow unaccountably finds events turn sour on him, and the Utopian pacifist who cannot stomach the evil and will have none of it? Both are helpless, both are coerced. The Utopian, however, knows that he is ineffective and that he is coerced, while the realist, evading disillusionment, moves in a twilight zone of half-hearted criticism and hoping for the best, where he does not become a tacit fatalist. The latter would be the manlier position, but then where would be his realistic philosophy of intelligence and choice? Professor Dewey has become impatient at the merely good and merely conscientious objectors to war who do not attach their conscience and intelligence to forces moving in another direction. But in wartime there are literally no valid forces moving in another direction. War determines its own end  —  victory, and government crushes out automatically all forces that deflect, or threaten to deflect, energy from the path of organization to that end. All governments will act in this way, the most democratic as well as the most autocratic. It is only liberal naïveté that is shocked at arbitrary coercion and suppression. Willing war means willing all the evils that are organically bound up with it. A good many people still seem to believe in a peculiar kind of democratic and antiseptic war. The pacifists opposed the war because they knew this was an illusion, and because of the myriad hurts they knew war would do the promise of democracy at home. For once the babes and sucklings seem to have been wiser than the children of light. 


If it is true that the war will go on anyway whether it is popular or not or whether its purposes are clear, and if it is true that in wartime constructive realism is an illusion, then the aloof man, the man who will not obstruct the war but who cannot spiritually accept it, has a clear case for himself. Our war presents no more extraordinary phenomenon than the number of the more creative minds of the younger generation who are still irreconcilable toward the great national enterprise which the government has undertaken. The country is still dotted with young men and women, in full possession of their minds, faculties, and virtue, who feel themselves profoundly alien to the work which is going on around them. They must not be confused with the disloyal or the pro-German. They have no grudge against the country, but their patriotism has broken down in the emergency. They want to see the carnage stopped and Europe decently constructed again. They want a democratic peace. If the swift crushing of Germany will bring that peace, they want to see Germany crushed. If the embargo on neutrals will prove the decisive coup, they are willing to see the neutrals taken ruthlessly by the throat. But they do not really believe that peace will come by any of these means, or by any use of our war-technique whatever. They are genuine pragmatists and they fear any kind of an absolute, even when bearing gifts. They know that the longer a war lasts the harder it is to make peace. They know that the peace of exhaustion is a dastardly peace, leaving enfeebled the morals of the defeated, and leaving invincible for years all the most greedy and soulless elements in the conquerors. They feel that the greatest obstacle to peace now is the lack of the powerful mediating neutral which we might have been. They see that war has lost for us both the mediation and the leadership, and is blackening us ever deeper with the responsibility for having prolonged the dreadful tangle. They are skeptical not only of the technique of war, but also of its professed aims. The President’s idealism stops just short of the pitch that would arouse their own. There is a middle-aged and belated taint about the best ideals which publicist liberalism has been able to express. The appeals to propagate political democracy leave these people cold in a world which has become so disillusioned of democracy in the face of universal economic servitude. Their ideals outshoot the government’s. To them the real arena lies in the international class-struggle, rather than in the competition of artificial national units. They are watching to see what the Russian socialists are going to do for the world, not what the timorous capitalistic American democracy may be planning. They can feel no enthusiasm for a League of Nations, which should solidify the old units and continue in disguise the old theories of international relations. Indispensable, perhaps? But not inspiring; not something to give one’s spiritual allegiance to. And yet the best advice that American wisdom can offer to those who are out of sympathy with the war is to turn one’s influence toward securing that our war contribute toward this end. But why would not this League turn out to be little more than a well-oiled machine for the use of that enlightened imperialism toward which liberal American finance is already whetting its tongue? And what is enlightened imperialism as an international ideal as against the anarchistic communism of the nations which the new Russia suggests in renouncing imperialist intentions? 


Skeptical of the means and skeptical of the aims, this element of the younger generation stands outside the war, and looks upon the conscript army and all the other war-activities as troublesome interruptions on its thought and idealism, interruptions which do not touch anywhere a fibre of its soul. Some have been much more disturbed than others, because of the determined challenge of both patriots and realists to break in with the war-obsession which has filled for them their sky. Patriots and realists can both be answered. They must not be allowed to shake one’s inflexible determination not to be spiritually implicated in the war. It is foolish to hope. Since the 30th of July, 1914, nothing has happened in the arena of war-policy and war-technique except for the complete and unmitigated worst. We are tired of continued disillusionment, and of the betrayal of generous anticipations. It is saner not to waste energy in hope within the system of war-enterprise. One may accept dispassionately whatever changes for good may happen from the war, but one will not allow one’s imagination to connect them organically with war. It is better to resist cheap consolations, and remain skeptical about any of the good things so confidently promised us either through victory or the social reorganization demanded by the war-technique. One keeps healthy in wartime not by a series of religious and political consolations that something good is coming out of it all, but by a vigorous assertion of values in which war has no part. Our skepticism can be made a shelter behind which is built up a wider consciousness of the personal and social and artistic ideals which American civilization needs to lead the good life. We can be skeptical constructively, if, thrown back on our inner resources from the world of war which is taken as the overmastering reality, we search much more actively to clarify our attitudes and express a richer significance in the American scene. We do not feel the war to be very real, and we sense a singular air of falsity about the emotions of the upper-classes toward everything connected with war. This ostentatious shame, this grovelling before illusory Allied heroisms and nobilities, has shocked us. Minor novelists and minor poets and minor publicists are still coming back from driving ambulances in France to write books that nag us into an appreciation of the real meaning. No one can object to the generous emotions of service in a great cause or to the horror and pity at colossal devastation and agony. But too many of these prophets are men who have lived rather briskly among the cruelties and thinnesses of American civilization and have shown no obvious horror and pity at the exploitations and the arid quality of the life lived here around us. Their moral sense has been deeply stirred by what they saw in France and Belgium, but it was a moral sense relatively unpractised by deep concern and reflection over the inadequacies of American democracy. Few of them had used their vision to create literature impelling us toward a more radiant American future. And that is why, in spite of their vivid stirrings, they seem so unconvincing. Their idealism is too new and bright to affect us, for it comes from men who never cared very particularly about great creative American ideas. So these writers come to us less like ardent youth, pouring its energy into the great causes, than like youthful mouthpieces of their strident and belligerent elders. They did not convert us, but rather drove us farther back into the rightness of American isolation. 


There was something incredibly mean and plebeian about that abasement into which the war-partisans tried to throw us all. When we were urged to squander our emotion on a bedevilled Europe, our intuition told us how much all rich and generous emotions were needed at home to leaven American civilization. If we refused to export them it was because we wanted to see them at work here. It is true that great reaches of American prosperous life were not using generous emotions for any purpose whatever. But the real antithesis was not between being concerned about luxurious automobiles and being concerned about the saving of France. America’s benevolent neutrality had been saving the Allies for three years through the ordinary channels of industry and trade. We could afford to export material goods and credit far more than we could afford to export emotional capital. The real antithesis was between interest in expensively exploiting American material life and interest in creatively enhancing American personal and artistic life. The fat and earthy American could be blamed not for not palpitating more richly about France, but for not palpitating more richly about America and her spiritual drouths. The war will leave the country spiritually impoverished, because of the draining away of sentiment into the channels of war. Creative and constructive enterprises will suffer not only through the appalling waste of financial capital in the work of annihilation, but also in the loss of emotional capital in the conviction that war overshadows all other realities. This is the poison of war that disturbs even creative minds. Writers tell us that, after contact with the war, literature seems an idle pastime, if not an offense, in a world of great deeds. Perhaps literature that can be paled by war will not be missed. We may feel vastly relieved at our salvation from so many feeble novels and graceful verses that khaki-clad authors might have given us. But this noble sounding sense of the futility of art in a world of war may easily infect conscientious minds. And it is against this infection that we must fight. 


The conservation of American promise is the present task for this generation of malcontents and aloof men and women. If America has lost its political isolation, it is all the more obligated to retain its spiritual integrity. This does not mean any smug retreat from the world, with a belief that the truth is in us and can only be contaminated by contact. It means that the promise of American life is not yet achieved, perhaps not even seen, and that, until it is, there is nothing for us but stern and intensive cultivation of our garden. Our insulation will not be against any great creative ideas or forms that Europe brings. It will be a turning within in order that we may have something to give without. The old American ideas which are still expected to bring life to the world seem stale and archaic. It is grotesque to try to carry democracy to Russia. It is absurd to try to contribute to the world’s store of great moving ideas until we have a culture to give. It is absurd for us to think of ourselves as blessing the world with anything unless we hold it much more self-consciously and significantly than we hold anything now. Mere negative freedom will not do as a twentieth-century principle. American ideas must be dynamic or we are presumptuous in offering them to the world. 


The war  —  or American promise: one must choose. One cannot be interested in both. For the effect of the war will be to impoverish American promise. It cannot advance it, however liberals may choose to identify American promise with a league of nations to enforce peace. Americans who desire to cultivate the promises of American life need not lift a finger to obstruct the war, but they cannot conscientiously accept it. However intimately a part of their country they may feel in its creative enterprises toward a better life, they cannot feel themselves a part of it in its futile and self-mutilating enterprise of war. We can be apathetic with a good conscience, for we have other values and ideals for America. Our country will not suffer for our lack of patriotism as long as it has that of our industrial masters. Meanwhile, those who have turned their thinking into war-channels have abdicated their leadership for this younger generation. They have put themselves in a limbo of interests that are not the concerns which worry us about American life and make us feverish and discontented. 

Let us compel the war to break in on us, if it must, not go hospitably to meet it. Let us force it perceptibly to batter in our spiritual walls. This attitude need not be a fatuous hiding in the sand, denying realities. When we are broken in on, we can yield to the inexorable. Those who are conscripted will have been broken in on. If they do not want to be martyrs, they will have to be victims. They are entitled to whatever alleviations are possible in an inexorable world. But the others can certainly resist the attitude that blackens the whole conscious sky with war. They can resist the poison which makes art and all the desires for more impassioned living seem idle and even shameful. For many of us, resentment against the war has meant a vivider consciousness of what we are seeking in American life. 

This search has been threatened by two classes who have wanted to deflect idealism to the war   — the patriots and the realists. The patriots have challenged us by identifying apathy with disloyalty. The reply is that war-technique in this situation is a matter of national mechanics rather than national ardor. The realists have challenged us by insisting that war is an instrument in the working-out of beneficent national policy. Our skepticism points out to them how soon their mastery becomes drift, tangled in the fatal drive toward victory as its own end, how soon they become mere agents and expositors of forces as they are. Patriots and realists disposed of, we can pursue creative skepticism with honesty, and at least a hope that in the recoil from war we may find the treasures we are looking for.

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Stop NATO articles

July 25, 2012 1 comment

Stop NATO articles

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Pentagon Forges NATO Proxy Armies In Eastern Europe
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U.S. And NATO Drag Asia Into Afghan Quagmire
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Arabian Sea: Center Of West’s 21st Century War
October 25, 2010

Southeast Asia: West Completes Plans For Asian NATO
October 21, 2010

New War Rumors: U.S. Plans To Seize Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal
October 15, 2010

Afghanistan: Global NATO’s First Ground War In Its Tenth Year
October 10, 2010

Pentagon Partners With NATO To Create Global Cyber Warfare System
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U.S. And NATO To Wage War 15-Year War In Afghanistan And Pakistan
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Baltic States: Pentagon’s Training Grounds For Afghan and Future Wars
September 30, 2010

Bangladesh: U.S. And NATO Forge New Military Partnership In South Asia
September 29, 2010

NATO Expands Afghan War Into Pakistan
September 28, 2010

America’s Undeclared War: Deadly Drone Attacks In Pakistan Reach Record High
September 26, 2010

U.S. Consolidates New Military Outposts In Eastern Europe
September 23, 2010

NATO Provides Pentagon Nuclear, Missile And Cyber Shields Over Europe
September 22, 2010

Global NATO Raises Alarms From Arctic To Brazil
September 17, 2010

U.S. And NATO Strengthen Positions Along Russia’s Southern Flank
September 16, 2010

Asia: Pentagon Revives And Expands Cold War Military Blocs
September 14, 2010

Global Grandiosity: America’s 21st Century World Architecture
September 13, 2010

India: U.S. Completes Global Military Structure
September 10, 2010

Middle East Loses Trillions As U.S. Strikes Record Arms Deals
September 2, 2010

Book Review: The Politics Of Genocide
September 1, 2010

Afghanistan: North Atlantic Military Bloc’s Ten-Year War In South Asia
August 31, 2010

Canada Opens Arctic To NATO, Plans Massive Weapons Buildup
August 29, 2010

Pentagon’s New Global Military Partner: Sweden
August 25, 2010

U.S. Marshals Military Might To Challenge Asian Century
August 21, 2010

U.S. Global Strategy: Defeating Potential Challengers In Eurasia
August 19, 2010

Part II: U.S.-China Crisis: Beyond Words To Confrontation
August 17, 2010

U.S.-China Conflict: From War Of Words To Talk Of War, Part I
August 15, 2010

Iraq: NATO Assists In Building New Middle East Proxy Army
August 13, 2010

Central Asia: U.S. Military Buildup On Chinese, Iranian And Russian Borders
August 11, 2010

U.S. Expands Asian NATO To Contain And Confront China
August 7, 2010

Europe And Beyond: U.S. Consolidates Global Missile Shield
August 3, 2010

Uganda: U.S., NATO Allies Prepare New Invasion Of Somalia
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NATO Pulls Pakistan Into Its Global Network
July 23, 2010

U.S. Risks Military Clash With China In Yellow Sea
July 16, 2010

Pentagon Provokes New Crisis With China
July 10, 2010

Clinton Renews U.S. Claims On Former Soviet Space
July 7, 2010

Afghan War: Petraeus Expands U.S. Military Presence Throughout Eurasia
July 4, 2010

West’s Afghan Debacle: Commander Dismissed As War Deaths Reach Record Level
June 25, 2010

Kyrgyzstan: Bloodstained Geopolitical Chessboard
June 16, 2010

Military Watershed: Longest War In U.S. And Afghan History
June 9, 2010

Pentagon Chief In Azerbaijan: Afghan War Arc Stretches To Caspian And Caucasus
June 8, 2010

Poland: U.S. Moves First Missiles, Troops Near Russian Border
May 29, 2010

U.S. Cyber Command: Waging War In World’s Fifth Battlespace
May 26, 2010

U.S. And NATO Accelerate Military Build-Up In Black Sea Region
May 20, 2010

NATO In Afghanistan: World War In One Country
May 13, 2010

Eastern Europe: From Socialist Bloc And Non-Alignment To U.S. Military Colonies
May 10, 2010

NATO: Global Military Bloc Finalizes 21st Century Strategic Doctrine
May 8, 2010

New Colonialism: Pentagon Carves Africa Into Military Zones
May 5, 2010

Atlantic Council: Securing The 21st Century For NATO
April 30, 2010

U.S. Consolidates Military Network In Asia-Pacific Region
April 28, 2010

Japanese Military Joins U.S. And NATO In Horn Of Africa
April 25, 2010

Nuclear Weapons And Interceptor Missiles: Twin Pillars Of U.S.-NATO Military Strategy In Europe
April 23, 2010

Relentless Global Drive: NATO On Six Continents In Seven Days
April 20, 2010

NATO: Pentagon’s Gateway Into Former Warsaw Pact And Soviet Union
April 15, 2010

Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China
April 14, 2010

U.S. Reserves Use Of Nuclear Arms, Missile Shield To Defend Global Empire
April 13, 2010

Prompt Global Strike: World Military Superiority Without Nuclear Weapons
April 10, 2010

Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia
April 7, 2010

War In Afghanistan Evokes Second World War Parallels
April 6, 2010

Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia
March 31, 2010

As Obama Talks Of Arms Control, Russians View U.S. As Global Aggressor
March 28, 2010

U.S. Plunges Central America Back To Era Of Coups And Death Squads
March 26, 2010

Full Circle: NATO Completes Takeover Of Former Yugoslavia
March 23, 2010

NATO: AFRICOM’s Partner In Military Penetration Of Africa
March 20, 2010

Eleven Years Later: NATO Powers Prepare Final Solution In Kosovo
March 18, 2010

Georgia: Simulating War Or Provoking It?
March 16, 2010

Rasmussen In Poland: Expeditionary NATO, Missile Shield And Nuclear Weapons
March 14, 2010

AFRICOM’s First War: U.S. Directs Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia
March 11, 2010

Decade Of The Drone: America’s Aerial Assassins
March 9, 2010

U.S., NATO Intensify War Games Around Russia’s Perimeter
March 6, 2010

U.S. Tightens Missile Shield Encirclement Of China And Russia
March 4, 2010

U.S. Black Sea Military Buildup Could Trigger Missile War
March 2, 2010

21st Century Strategy: Militarized Europe, Globalized NATO
February 26, 2010

South Atlantic: Britain May Provoke New Conflict With Argentina
February 23, 2010

Impending Explosion: U.S. Intensifies Threats To Russia And Iran
February 18, 2010

Afghanistan: Charlie Wilson And America’s 30-Year War
February 15, 2010

NATO Expansion, Missile Deployments And Russia’s New Military Doctrine
February 12, 2010

NATO’s Role In The Military Encirclement Of Iran
February 10, 2010

Romania: U.S. Expands Missile Shield Into Black Sea
February 6, 2010

Brussels, London, Istanbul: A Week Of Western War Councils
February 5, 2010

U.S. Extends Missile Buildup From Poland And Taiwan To Persian Gulf
February 3, 2010

Hillary Clinton’s Prescription: Make The World A NATO Protectorate
January 31, 2010

Pentagon Confronts Russia In The Baltic Sea
January 28, 2010

Bases, Missiles, Wars: U.S. Consolidates Global Military Network
January 26, 2010

With Nuclear, Conventional Arms Pacts Stalled, U.S. Moves Missiles And Troops To Russian Border
January 22, 2010

U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow
January 19, 2010

Israel: Global NATO’s 29th Member
January 17, 2010

Afghanistan: NATO Intensifies Its First Asian War
January 13, 2010

U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean
January 8, 2010

West’s Afghan War: From Conquest To Bloodbath
January 5, 2010

2010: U.S. To Wage War Throughout The World
December 31, 2009

End Of The Year: U.S. Recruits Worldwide For Afghan War
December 23, 2009

World’s Sole Military Superpower’s 2 Million-Troop, $1 Trillion Wars
December 21, 2009

Afghanistan: World’s Lengthiest War Has Just Begun
December 18, 2009

Yemen: Pentagon’s War On The Arabian Peninsula
December 15, 2009

Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind
December 10, 2009

Nobel Committee Celebrates War As Peace
December 8, 2009

U.S., NATO War In Afghanistan: Antecedents And Precedents
December 5, 2009

NATO’s Secret Transatlantic Bond: Nuclear Weapons In Europe
December 3, 2009

Loose Cannon And Nuclear Submarines: West Prepares For Arctic Warfare
December 1, 2009

Geopolitical Crossroads: Pentagon, NATO Complete Conquest Of Balkans
November 28, 2009

Christmas 2009: U.S., NATO To Expand New Millennium’s Longest War
November 25, 2009

Former Soviet States: Battleground For Global Domination
November 23, 2009

Rumors Of Coups And War: U.S., NATO Target Latin America
November 18, 2009

Pentagon’s Global Reach: Around The World In 12 Days
November 13, 2009

Fort Hood, Veterans Day And Defending America
November 11, 2009

Berlin Wall: From Europe Whole And Free To New World Order
November 9, 2009

1989-2009: Moving The Berlin Wall To Russia’s Borders
November 7, 2009

Israel: Forging NATO Missile Shield, Rehearsing War With Iran
November 5, 2009

Twenty Years After End Of The Cold War: Pentagon’s Buildup In Latin America
November 4, 2009

Kosovo: Marking Ten Years Of Worldwide Wars
October 31, 2009

ABC Of West’s Global Military Network: Afghanistan, Baltics, Caucasus
October 28, 2009

Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
October 24, 2009

AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World
October 22, 2009

U.S. Expands Asian NATO Against China, Russia
October 16, 2009

Afghanistan: West’s 21st Century War Risks Regional Conflagration
October 12, 2009

Threat Of New Conflict In Europe: Western-Sponsored Greater Albania
October 8, 2009

Thousand Deadly Threats: Third Millennium NATO, Western Businesses Collude On New Global Doctrine
October 2, 2009

Dangerous Missile Battle In Space Over Europe: Fifth Act In U.S. Missile Shield Drama
September 29, 2009

U.S. Missile Shield System Deployments: Larger, Sooner, Broader
September 27, 2009

U.S., NATO Poised For Most Massive War In Afghanistan’s History
September 24, 2009

West Using Its Military Might To Control World Energy Resources
September 22, 2009

Black Sea, Caucasus: U.S. Moves Missile Shield South And East
September 19, 2009

U.S. Missile Shield Plans: Retreat Or Advance?
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Black Sea Crisis Deepens As Threat To Iran Grows
September 16, 2009

Balkans Revisited: U.S., NATO Expand Military Role In Southeastern Europe
September 14, 2009

U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans
September 11, 2009

Broader Strategy: West’s Afghan War Targets Russia, China, Iran
September 8, 2009

Following Afghan Election, NATO Intensifies Deployments, Carnage
September 6, 2009

U.S. Marines In The Caucasus As West Widens Afghan War
September 3, 2009

AFRICOM: Pentagon Prepares Direct Military Intervention In Africa
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Pentagon Intensifies Plans For Global Military Supremacy: U.S., NATO Could Deploy Mobile Missiles Launchers To Europe
August 22, 2009

U.S. Accelerates First Strike Global Missile Shield System
August 19, 2009

Politicizing Ethnicity: U.S. Plan To Repeat Yugoslav Scenario In Caucasus Could Cause World War
August 14, 2009

Former Axis Nations Abandon Post-World War II Military Restrictions
August 12, 2009

Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
August 9, 2009

Encroachment From All Compass Points: Canada Leads NATO Confrontation With Russia In North
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South Asia, Latin America: Pentagon’s 21st Century Counterinsurgency Wars
July 29, 2009

Afghan War: NATO Trains Finland, Sweden For Conflict With Russia
July 26, 2009

Germany: World Arms Merchant In First Post-WW II Combat
July 24, 2009

Colombia: U.S. Escalates War Plans In Latin America
July 22, 2009

Germany And NATO’s Nuclear Nexus
July 18, 2009

Germany: First New Post-Cold War World Military Power
July 16, 2009

From World War II To World War III: Global NATO And Remilitarized Germany
July 14, 2009

New NATO: Germany Returns To World Military Stage
July 12, 2009

West’s Afghan War And Drive Into Caspian Sea Basin
July 10, 2009

Militarization Of Space: Threat Of Nuclear War On Earth
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Scandinavia And The Baltic Sea: NATO’s War Plans For The High North
June 14, 2009

Azerbaijan And The Caspian: NATO’s War For The World’s Heartland
June 10, 2009

Canada: Battle Line In East-West Conflict Over The Arctic
June 3, 2009

NATO Of The South: Chile, South Africa, Australia, Antarctica
May 30, 2009

West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO
May 27, 2009

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Prospects For A Multipolar World
May 21, 2009

Scramble For World Resources: Battle For Antarctica
May 16, 2009

Pentagon Preparing For War With The Enemy: Russia
May 14, 2009

Adriatic Charter And The Balkans: Smaller Nations, Larger NATO
May 13, 2009

NATO War Games In Georgia: Threat Of New Caucasus War
May 8, 2009

Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
May 6, 2009

Cold War Origins Of The Somalia Crisis And Control Of The Indian Ocean
May 3, 2009

Canada: In Service To The Pentagon And NATO At Home And Abroad
April 16, 2009

End of Scandinavian Neutrality: NATO’s Militarization Of Europe
April 10, 2009

Eurasian Crossroads: The Caucasus In U.S.-NATO War Plans
April 7, 2009

NATO’s Sixty-Year Legacy: Threat Of Nuclear War In Europe
March 31, 2009

Afghanistan: U.S., NATO Wage World’s Largest, Longest War
March 24, 2009

White House And Pentagon: Change, Continuity And Escalation
March 19, 2009

Tenth Anniversary Of NATO’s Drive Into Eastern Europe
March 13, 2009

Recent Words Aside, U.S. Continues Military Encirclement Of Russia
March 7, 2009

Mr. Simmons’ Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border
March 4, 2009

Baltic Sea: Flash Point For NATO-Russia Conflict
February 27, 2009

Black Sea: Pentagon’s Gateway To Three Continents And The Middle East
February 21, 2009

EU, NATO, US: 21st Century Alliance For Global Domination
February 19, 2009

Eastern Partnership: The West’s Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union
February 13, 2009

Balkans: Staging Ground For NATO’s Post-Cold War Order
February 9, 2009

NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbul
February 6, 2009

NATO’s, Pentagon’s New Strategic Battleground: The Arctic
February 2, 2009

Proliferation Security Initiative And U.S. 1,000-Ship Navy: Control Of World’s Oceans, Prelude To War
January 29, 2009

Global Military Bloc: NATO’s Drive Into Asia
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Global Energy War: Washington’s New Kissinger’s African Pla
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21st Century Star Wars And NATO’s 60th Anniversary
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Categories: Uncategorized

Randolph Bourne: War and the State

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment


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

American writers on peace and against war

Randolph Bourne: Selections on war


Randolph Bourne
The State (1918)


With the shock of war…the State comes into its own again. The Government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other Government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war. For the benefit of proud and haughty citizens, it is fortified with a list of the intolerable insults which have been hurled toward us by the other nations; for the benefit of the liberal and beneficent, it has a convincing set of moral purposes which our going to war will achieve; for the ambitious and aggressive classes, it can gently whisper of a bigger role in the destiny of the world. The result is that, even in those countries where the business of declaring war is theoretically in the hands of representatives of the people, no legislature has ever been known to decline the request of an Executive, which has conducted all foreign affairs in utter privacy and irresponsibility, that it order the nation into battle.

The moment war is declared, however, the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves. They then, with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory of destruction toward whatever other people may have, in the appointed scheme of things, come within the range of the Government’s disapprobation.

Country is a concept of peace, of tolerance, of living and letting live. But State is essentially a concept of power, of competition: it signifies a group in its aggressive aspects. And we have the misfortune of being born not only into a country but into a State, and as we grow up we learn to mingle the two feelings into a hopeless confusion.

Public opinion, as expressed in the newspapers, and the pulpits and the schools, becomes one solid block. “Loyalty,” or rather war orthodoxy, becomes the sole test for all professions, techniques, occupations. Particularly is this true in the sphere of the intellectual life. There the smallest taint is held to spread over the whole soul, so that a professor of physics is ipso facto disqualified to teach physics or hold honorable place in a university — the republic of learning — if he is at all unsound on the war.

The State is intimately connected with war, for it is the organization of the collective community when it acts in a political manner, and to act in a political manner towards a rival group has meant, throughout all history — war.

The State is a jealous God and will brook no rivals. Its sovereignty must pervade everyone and all feeling must be run into the stereotyped forms of romantic patriotic militarism which is the traditional expression of the State herd-feeling.

Because the entire nation is regimented and the whole resources of the country are levied on for war, this does not mean that it is the country, our country which is fighting, and only as a State would it possibly fight. So, literally, it is States which make war on each other and not peoples. Governments are the agents of States, and it is Governments which declare war on each other, acting truest to form in the interests of the great State ideal which they represent. There is no case known in modern times of the people being consulted in the initiation of a war. The present demand for democratic control of foreign policy indicates how completely, even in the most democratic of modern nations, foreign policy has been the secret private possession of the executive branch of Government.



To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favour of partisan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather than the State with which the politically minded are concerned. The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of patriotic holiday.

Government is obviously composed of common and unsanctified men, and is thus a legitimate object of criticism and even contempt. If your own party is in power, things may be assumed to be moving safely enough; but if the opposition is in, then clearly all safety and honor have fled the State. Yet you do not put it to yourself in quite that way. What you think is only that there are rascals to be turned out of a very practical machinery of offices and functions which you take for granted. When we say that Americans are lawless, we usually mean that they are less conscious than other peoples of the august majesty of the institution of the State as it stands behind the objective government of men and laws which we see. In a republic the men who hold office are indistinguishable from the mass. Very few of them possess the slightest personal dignity with which they could endow their political role; even if they ever thought of such a thing. And they have no class distinction to give them glamour. In a republic the Government is obeyed grumblingly, because it has no bedazzlements or sanctities to gild it. If you are a good old-fashioned democrat, you rejoice at this fact, you glory in the plainness of a system where every citizen has become a king. If you are more sophisticated you bemoan the passing of dignity and honor from affairs of State. But in practice, the democrat does not in the least treat his elected citizen with the respect due to a king, nor does the sophisticated citizen pay tribute to the dignity even when he finds it. The republican State has almost no trappings to appeal to the common man’s emotions. What it has are of military origin, and in an unmilitary era such as we have passed through since the Civil War, even military trappings have been scarcely seen. In such an era the sense of the State almost fades out of the consciousness of men.

With the shock of war, however, the State comes into its own again. The Government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other Government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war. For the benefit of proud and haughty citizens, it is fortified with a list of the intolerable insults which have been hurled toward us by the other nations; for the benefit of the liberal and beneficent, it has a convincing set of moral purposes which our going to war will achieve; for the ambitious and aggressive classes, it can gently whisper of a bigger role in the destiny of the world. The result is that, even in those countries where the business of declaring war is theoretically in the hands of representatives of the people, no legislature has ever been known to decline the request of an Executive, which has conducted all foreign affairs in utter privacy and irresponsibility, that it order the nation into battle. Good democrats are wont to feel the crucial difference between a State in which the popular Parliament or Congress declares war, and the State in which an absolute monarch or ruling class declares war. But, put to the stern pragmatic test, the difference is not striking. In the freest of republics as well as in the most tyrannical of empires, all foreign policy, the diplomatic negotiations which produce or forestall war, are equally the private property of the Executive part of the Government, and are equally exposed to no check whatever from popular bodies, or the people voting as a mass themselves.

The moment war is declared, however, the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves. They then, with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory of destruction toward whatever other people may have, in the appointed scheme of things, come within the range of the Government’s disapprobation. The citizen throws off his contempt and indifference to Government, identifies himself with its purposes, revives all his military memories and symbols, and the State once more walks, an august presence, through the imaginations of men. Patriotism becomes the dominant feeling, and produces immediately that intense and hopeless confusion between the relations which the individual bears and should bear toward the society of which he is a part.

The patriot loses all sense of the distinction between State, nation, and government. In our quieter moments, the Nation or Country forms the basic idea of society. We think vaguely of a loose population spreading over a certain geographical portion of the earth’s surface, speaking a common language, and living in a homogeneous civilization. Our idea of Country concerns itself with the non-political aspects of a people, its ways of living, its personal traits, its literature and art, its characteristic attitudes toward life. We are Americans because we live in a certain bounded territory, because our ancestors have carried on a great enterprise of pioneering and colonization, because we live in certain kinds of communities which have a certain look and express their aspirations in certain ways. We can see that our civilization is different from contiguous civilizations like the Indian and Mexican. The institutions of our country form a certain network which affects us vitally and intrigues our thoughts in a way that these other civilizations do not. We are a part of Country, for better or for worse. We have arrived in it through the operation of physiological laws, and not in any way through our own choice. By the time we have reached what are called years of discretion, its influences have molded our habits, our values, our ways of thinking, so that however aware we may become, we never really lose the stamp of our civilization, or could be mistaken for the child of any other country. Our feeling for our fellow countrymen is one of similarity or of mere acquaintance. We may be intensely proud of and congenial to our particular network of civilization, or we may detest most of its qualities and rage at its defects. This does not alter the fact that we are inextricably bound up in it. The Country, as an inescapable group into which we are born, and which makes us its particular kind of a citizen of the world, seems to be a fundamental fact of our consciousness, an irreducible minimum of social feeling.

Now this feeling for country is essentially noncompetitive; we think of our own people merely as living on the earth’s surface along with other groups, pleasant or objectionable as they may be, but fundamentally as sharing the earth with them. In our simple conception of country there is no more feeling of rivalry with other peoples than there is in our feeling for our family. Our interest turns within rather than without, is intensive and not belligerent. We grow up and our imaginations gradually stake out the world we live in, they need no greater conscious satisfaction for their gregarious impulses than this sense of a great mass of people to whom we are more or less attuned, and in whose institutions we are functioning. The feeling for country would be an uninflatable maximum were it not for the ideas of State and Government which are associated with it. Country is a concept of peace, of tolerance, of living and letting live. But State is essentially a concept of power, of competition: it signifies a group in its aggressive aspects. And we have the misfortune of being born not only into a country but into a State, and as we grow up we learn to mingle the two feelings into a hopeless confusion.

The State is the country acting as a political unit, it is the group acting as a repository of force, determiner of law, arbiter of justice. International politics is a “power politics” because it is a relation of States and that is what States infallibly and calamitously are, huge aggregations of human and industrial force that may be hurled against each other in war. When a country acts as a whole in relation to another country, or in imposing laws on its own inhabitants, or in coercing or punishing individuals or minorities, it is acting as a State. The history of America as a country is quite different from that of America as a State. In one case it is the drama of the pioneering conquest of the land, of the growth of wealth and the ways in which it was used, of the enterprise of education, and the carrying out of spiritual ideals, of the struggle of economic classes. But as a State, its history is that of playing a part in the world, making war, obstructing international trade, preventing itself from being split to pieces, punishing those citizens whom society agrees are offensive, and collecting money to pay for all.

Government on the other hand is synonymous with neither State nor Nation. It is the machinery by which the nation, organized as a State, carries out its State functions. Government is a framework of the administration of laws, and the carrying out of the public force. Government is the idea of the State put into practical operation in the hands of definite, concrete, fallible men. It is the visible sign of the invisible grace. It is the word made flesh. And it has necessarily the limitations inherent in all practicality. Government is the only form in which we can envisage the State, but it is by no means identical with it. That the State is a mystical conception is something that must never be forgotten. Its glamor and its significance linger behind the framework of Government and direct its activities.

Wartime brings the ideal of the State out into very clear relief, and reveals attitudes and tendencies that were hidden. In times of peace the sense of the State flags in a republic that is not militarized. For war is essentially the health of the State. The ideal of the State is that within its territory its power and influence should be universal. As the Church is the medium for the spiritual salvation of man, so the State is thought of as the medium for his political salvation. Its idealism is a rich blood flowing to all the members of the body politic. And it is precisely in war that the urgency for union seems greatest, and the necessity for universality seems most unquestioned. The State is the organization of the herd to act offensively or defensively against another herd similarly organized. The more terrifying the occasion for defense, the closer will become the organization and the more coercive the influence upon each member of the herd. War sends the current of purpose and activity flowing down to the lowest levels of the herd, and to its remote branches. All the activities of society are linked together as fast as possible to this central purpose of making a military offensive or military defense, and the State becomes what in peacetimes it has vainly struggled to become — the inexorable arbiter and determinant of men’s businesses and attitudes and opinions. The slack is taken up, the cross-currents fade out, and the nation moves lumberingly and slowly, but with ever accelerated speed and integration, towards the great end, towards that “peacefulness of being at war,” of which L. P. Jacks has spoken so unforgettably.

The classes which are able to play an active and not merely a passive role in the organization for war get a tremendous liberation of activity and energy. Individuals are jolted out of their old routine, many of them are given new positions of responsibility, new techniques must be learnt. Wearing home times are broken and women who would have remained attached with infantile bonds are liberated for service overseas. A vast sense of rejuvenescence pervades the significant classes, a sense of new importance in the world. Old national ideals are taken out, re-adapted to the purpose and used as the universal touchstones, or molds into which all thought is poured. Every individual citizen who in peacetimes had no living fragment of hte State becomes an active amateur agent of the Government in reporting spies and disloyalists, in raising Government funds, or in propagating such measures as are considered necessary by officialdom. Minority opinion, which in times of peace was only irritating and could not be dealt with by law unless it was conjoined with actual crime, becomes with the outbreak of war, a case for outlawry. Criticism of the State, objections to war, lukewarm opinions concerning the necessity or the beauty of conscription, are made subject to ferocious penalties, far exceeding [in] severity those affixed to actual pragmatic crimes. Public opinion, as expressed in the newspapers, and the pulpits and the schools, becomes one solid block. “Loyalty,” or rather war orthodoxy, becomes the sole test for all professions, techniques, occupations. Particularly is this true in the sphere of the intellectual life. There the smallest taint is held to spread over the whole soul, so that a professor of physics is ipso facto disqualified to teach physics or hold honorable place in a university — the republic of learning — if he is at all unsound on the war. Even mere association with persons thus tainted is considered to disqualify a teacher. Anything pertaining to the enemy becomes taboo. His books are suppressed wherever possible, his language is forbidden. His artistic products are considered to convey in the subtlest spiritual way taints of vast poison to the soul that permits itself to enjoy them. So enemy music is suppressed, and energetic measures of opprobrium taken against those whose artistic consciences are not ready to perform such an act of self-sacrifice. The rage for loyal conformity works impartially, and often in diametric opposition to other orthodoxies and traditional conformities or ideals. The triumphant orthodoxy of the State is shown at its apex perhaps when Christian preachers lose their pulpits for taking in more or less literal terms the Sermon on the Mount, and Christian zealots are sent to prison for twenty years for distributing tracts which argue that war is unscriptural.

War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties. The minorities are either intimidated into silence, or brought slowly around by subtle process of persuasion which may seem to them really to be converting them. Of course, the ideal of perfect loyalty, perfect uniformity is never really attained. The classes upon whom the amateur work of coercion falls are unwearied in their zeal, but often their agitation, instead of converting merely serves to stiffen their resistance. Minorities are rendered sullen, and some intellectual opinion bitter and satirical. But in general, the nation in wartime attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could not possibly be produced through any other agency than war. Other values such as artistic creation, knowledge, reason, beauty, the enhancement of life, are instantly and almost unanimously sacrificed, and the significant classes who have constituted themselves the amateur agents of the State, are engaged not only in sacrificing these values for themselves but in coercing all other persons into sacrificing them.

War — or at least modern war waged by a democratic republic against a powerful enemy — seems to achieve for a nation almost all that the most inflamed political idealist could desire. Citizens are no longer indifferent to their Government, but each cell of the body politic is brimming with life and activity. We are at last on the way to full realization of that collective community in which each individual somehow contains the virtue of the whole. In a nation at war, every citizen identifies himself with the whole and feels immensely strengthened in that identification. The purpose and desire of the collective community live in each person who throws himself whole-heartedly into the cause of war. The impeding distinction between society and the individual is almost blotted out. At war, the indvidual becomes almost identical with his society. He achieves a superb self-assurance, an intuition of the rightness of all his ideas and emotions, so that in the suppression of opponents or heretics he is invincibly strong; he feels behind him all the power of the collective community. The individual as social being in war seems to have achieved almost his apotheosis. Not for any religious impulse could the American nation have been expected to show such devotion en masse, such sacrifice and labor. Certainly not for any secular good, such as universal education or the subjugation of nature, would it have poured forth its treasure and its life, or would it have permitted such stern coercive measures to be taken against it, such as conscripting its money and its men. But for the sake of a war of offensive self-defense, undertaken to support a difficult cause to the slogan of “democracy,” it would reach the highest level ever known of collective effort.

For these secular goods, connected with the enhancement of life, the education of men and the use of the intelligence to realize reason and beauty in the nation’s communal living, are alien to our traditional ideal of the State. The State is intimately connected with war, for it is the organization of the collective community when it acts in a political manner, and to act in a political manner towards a rival group has meant, throughout all history — war.

There is nothing invidious in the use of the term, “herd,” in connection with the State. It is merely an attempt to reduce closer to first principles the nature of this institution in the shadow of which we all live, move and have our being. Ethnologists are generally agreed that human society made its first appearance as the human pack and not as a collection of individuals or couples. The herd is in fact the original unit, and only as it was differentiated did personal individuality develop. All the most primitive tribes of men are shown to live in very complex but very rigid social organization where opportunity for individuation is scarcely given. These tribes remain strictly organized herds, and the difference between them and the modern State is one of degree of sophistication and variety of organization, and not of kind.

Psychologists recognize the gregarious impulse as one of the strongest primitive pulls wihch keeps together the herds of the different species of higher animals. Mankind is no exception. Our pugnacious evolutionary history has prevented the impulse from ever dying out. This gregarious impulse is the tendency to imitate, to conform to coalesce together, nad is most powerful when the herd believes itself threatened with attack. Animals crowd together for protection, and men become most conscious of their collectivity at the threat of war. Consciousness of collectivity brings confidence and a feeling of massed strength, which in turn arouses pugnacity and the battle is on. In civilized man, the gregarious impulse acts not only to produce concerted action for defense, but also to produce identity of opinion. Since thought is a form of behavior, the gregarious impulse floods up into its realms and demands that sense of uniform thought which wartime produces so successfully. And it is in this flooding of the conscious life of society that gregariousness works its havoc.

For just as in modern societies the sex-instinct is enormously over-supplied for the requirements of human propagation, so the gregarious impulse is enormously over-supplied for the work of protection which it is called upon to perform. It would be quite enough if we were gregarious enough to enjoy the companionship of others, to be able to cooperate with them, and to feel a slight malaise at solitude. Unfortunately, however, this impulse is not content with those reasonable and healthful demands, but insists that like mindedness shall prevail everywhere, in all departments of life, so that all human progress, all novelty, and nonconformity must be carried against the resistance of this tyrannical herd-instinct which drives the individual into obedience and conformity with the majority. Even in the most modern and enlightened societies this impulse shows little sign of abating. As it is driven by inexorable economic demand out of the sphere of utility, it seems to fasten itself ever more fiercely in the realm of feeling and opinion, so that conformity comes to be a thing aggressively desired and demanded.

The gregarious impulse keeps its hold all the more virulently because when the group is in motion or is taking any positive action, tihs feeling of being with and supported by the collective herd very greatly feeds that will to power, the nourishment of which the individual organism so constantly demands. You feel powerful by conforming, and you feel forlorn and hopeless if you are out of the crowd. While even if you do not get any access to power by thinking and feeling just as everybody else in your group does, you get at least the warm feeling of obedience, the soothing irresponsibility of protection.

Joining as it does to these very vigorous tendencies of the individual — the pleasure in power and the pleasure of obedienece — this gregarious impulse becomes irresistible in society. War stimulates it to the highest possible degree, sending the influence of its mysterious herd-current with its inflations of power and obedience to the farthest reaches of the society, to every individual and little group that can possibly be affected. And it is these impulses which the State—the organization of the entire herd, the entire collectivity — is founded on and makes use of.

There is, of course, in the feeling towards the State a large element of pure filial mysticism. The sense of insecurity, the desire for protection, sends one’s desire back to the father and mother, with whom is associated the earliest feelings of protection. It is not for nothing that one’s State is still thought of as Father or Motherland, that one’s relation towards it is conceived in terms of family affection. The war has shown that nowhere under the shock of danger have these primitive childlike attitudes failed to assert themselves again, as much in this country as anywhere. If we have not the intense Father-sense of the German who worships his Vaterland, at least in Uncle Sam we have a symbol of protecting, kindly authority, and in the many Mother-posters of the Red Cross, we see how easily in the more tender functions of war service, the ruling organization is conceived in family terms. A people at war have become in the most literal sense obedient, respectful, trustful children again, full of that naive faith in the all-wisdom and all-power of the adult who takes care of them, imposes his mild but necessary rule upon them and in whom they lose their responsibility and anxieties. In this recrudescence of the child, there is great comfort, and a certain influx of power. On most people the strain of being an independent adult weighs heavily, and upon none more than those members of the significant classes who have bequeathed to them or have assumed the responsibilities of governing. The State provides the convenientest of symbols under which those classes can retain all the actual pragmatic satisfaction of governing, but can rid themselves of the psychic burden of adulthood. They continue to direct industry and government and all the institutions of society pretty much as before, but in their own conscious eyes and in the eyes of the general public, they are turned from their selfish and predatory ways, and have become loyal servants of society, or something greater than they — the State. The man who moves from the direction of a large business in New York to a post in the war management industrial service in Washington does not apparently alter very much his power or his administrative technique. But psychically, what a transformation has occurred! He is not now only the power but the glory! And his sense of satisfaction is proportional not to the genuine amount of personal sacrifice that may be involved in the change but to the extent to which he retains the industrial prerogatives and sense of command.

From members of this class a certain insuperable indignation arises if the change from private enterprise to State service involves any real loss of power and personal privilege. If there is to be any pragmatic sacrifice, let it be, they feel, on the field of honor, in the traditionally acclaimed deaths by battle, in that detour to suicide, as Nietzsche calls war. The State in wartime supplies satisfaction for this very real craving, but its chief value is the opportunity it gives for this regression to infantile attitudes. In your reaction to an imagined attack on your country or an insult to its government, you draw closer to the herd for protection, you conform in word and deed, and you act together. And you fix your adoring gaze upon the State, with a truly filial look, as upon the Father of the flock, the quasi-personal symbol of the strength of the herd, and the leader and determinant of your definite action and ideas.

The members of the working-classes, that portion at least which does not identify itself with the significant classes and seek to imitate it and rise to it, are notoriously less affected by the symbolism of the State, or, in other words, are less patriotic than the significant classes. For theirs is neither the power nor the glory. The State in wartime does not offer them the opportunity to regress, for, never having acquired social adulthood, they cannot lose it. If they have been drilled and regimented, as by the industrial regime of the last century, they go out docilely enough to do battle for their State, but they are almost entirely without that filial sense and even without that herd-intellect sense which opreates so powerfully among their “betters.” They live habitually in an industrial serfdom, by which though nominally free, they are in practice as a class bound to a system of a machine-production, the implements of which they do not own, and in the distribution of whose product they have not the slightest voice, except what they can occasionally exert by a veiled intimidation which draws slightly more of the product in their direction. From such serfdom, military conscription is not so great a change. But into the military enterprise they go, not with those hurrahs of the significant classes whose instincts war so powerfully feeds, but with the same apathy with which they enter and continue in the industrial enterprise.

From this point of view, war can be called almost an upper-class sport. the novel interests and excitements it provides, the inflations of power, the satisfaction it gives to those very tenacious human impulses —gregariousness and parent-regression — endow it with all the qualities of a luxurious collective game which is felt intensely just in proportion to the sense of significant rule the person has in the class-division of society. A country at war — particularly our own country at war — does not act as a purely homogenous herd. The significant classes have all the herd-feeling in all its primitive intensity, so that this feeling does not flow freely without impediment throughout the entire nation. A modern country represents a long historical and social process of disaggregation of the herd. The nation at peace is not a group, it is a network of myriads of groups representing the cooperation and similar feeling of men on all sorts of planes and in all sorts of human interests and enterprises. In every modern industrial country, there are parallel planes of economic classes with divergent attitudes and institutions and interests — bourgeois and proletariat — with their many subdivisions according to power and function, and even their interweaving, such as those more highly skilled workers who habitually identify themselves with the owning and significant classes and strive to raise themselves to the bourgeois level, imitating their cultural standards and manners. Then there are religious groups with a certain definite, though weakening sense of kinship, and there are the powerful ethnic groups which behave almost as cultural colonies in the New World, clinging tenaciously to language and historical tradition, though their herdishness is usually founded on cultural rather than State symbols. There are certain vague sectional groups. All these small sects, political parties, classes, levels, interests, may act as foci for herd-feelings. They intersect and interweave, and the same person may be a member of several different groups lying at different planes. Different occasions will set off his herd-feeling in one direction or another. In a religious crisis he will be intensely conscious of the necessity that his sect — or sub-herd — may prevail; in a political campaign, that his party shall triumph.

To the spread of herd-feeling, therefore, all these smaller herds offer resistance. To the spread of that herd-feeling which arises from the threat of war, and which would normally involve the entire nation, the only groups which make serious resistance are those, of course, which continue to identify themselves with the other nation from which they or their parents have come. In times of peace they are for all practical purposes citizens of their new country. They keep alive their ethnic traditions more as a luxury than anything. Indeed these traditions tend rapidly to die out except where they connect with some still unresolved nationalistic cause abroad, with some struggle for freedom, or some irredentism. If they are consciously opposed by a too invidious policy of Americanism, they tend to be strengthened. And in time of war, these ethnic elements which have any traditional connection with the enemy, even though most of the individuals may have little real sympathy with the enemy’s cause, are naturally lukewarm to the herd-feeling of the nation which goes back to State traditions in which they have no share. But to the natives imbued with State-feeling, any such resistance or apathy is intolerable. This herd-feeling, this newly awakened consciousness of the State, demands universality. The leaders of the significant classes, who feel most intensely this State-compulsion, demand a one hundred per cent Americanism, among one hundred per cent of the population. The State is a jealous God and will brook no rivals. Its sovereignty must pervade everyone and all feeling must be run into the stereotyped forms of romantic patriotic militarism which is the traditional expression of the State herd-feeling.

Thus arises conflict within the State. War becomes almost a sport between the hunters and the hunted. The pursuit of enemies within outweighs in psychic attractiveness the assault on the enemy without. The whole terrific force of the State is brought to bear against the heretics. The nation boils with a slow insistent fever. A white terrorism is carried on by the Government against all pacifists, Socialists, enemy aliens, and a milder unofficial persecution against all persons or movements that can be imagined as connected with the enemy. War, which should be the health of the State, unifies all the bourgeois elements and the common people, and outlaws the rest. The revolutionary proletariat that shows more resistance to this unification is, as we have seen, psychically out of the current. Its vanguard as the I.W.W. is remorselessly pursued, in spite of the proof that it is a symptom, not a cause, and its prosecution increases the disaffection of labor and intensifies the friction instead of lessening it.

But the emotions that play around the defense of the State do not take into consideration the pragmatic results. A nation at war, led by its significant classes, is engaged in liberating certain of its impulses which have had all too little exercise in the past. It is getting certain satisfactions and the actual conduct of the war or the condition of the country are really incidental to the enjoyment of new forms of virtue and power and agressiveness. If it could be shown conclusively that the persecution of slightly disaffected elements actually increased enormously the difficulties of production and the organization of the war technique, it would be found that public policy would scarcely change. The significant classes must have their pleasure in hunting down and chastising everything that they feel instinctively to be not imbued with the current State-enthusiasm, though the State itself be actually impeded in its efforts to carry out those objects for which they are passionately contending. The best proof of this is that with a pursuit of plotters that has continued with ceaseless vigilance ever since the beginning of the war in Europe, the concrete crimes unearthed and punished have been fewer than those prosecutions for the mere crime of opinion or the expression of sentiments critical of the State or the national policy. The punishment for opinion has been far more ferocious and unintermittent than the punishment of pragmatic crime. Unimpeachable Anglo-Saxon-Americans who were freer of pacifist or socialist utterance than the State-obsessed ruling public opinion, received heavier penalties, and even greater opprobrium, in many instances, than the definitely hostile German plotter. A public opinion which, almost without protest, accepts as just, adequate, beautiful, deserved, and in fitting harmony with ideals of liberty and freedom of speech, a sentence of twenty years in prison for mere utterances, no matter what they may be, shows itself to be suffering from a kind of social derangement of values, a sort of social neurosis, that deserves analysis and comprehension. On our entrance into the war there were many persons who predicted exactly this derangement of values, who feared lest democracy suffer mroe at home from an America at war than could be gained for democracy abroad. That fear has been amply justified. The question whether the American nation would act like an enlightened democracy going to war for the sake of high ideals, or like a State-obsessed herd, has been decisively answered. The record is written and cannot be erased. History will decide whether the terrorization of opinion, and the regimentation of life was justified under the most idealistic of democratic administrations. It will see that when the American nation had ostensibly a chance to conduct a gallant war, with scrupulous regard to the safety of democratic values at home, it chose rather to adopt all the most obnoxious and coercive techniques of the enemy and of the other countries at war, and to rival in intimidation and ferocity of punishment the worst governmental systems of the age. For its former unconsciousness and disrespect of the State ideal, the nation apparently paid the penalty in a violent swing to the other extreme. It acted so exactly like a herd in its irrational coercion of minorities that there is no artificiality in interpreting the progress of the war in terms of herd psychology. It unwittingly brought out into the strongest relief the true characteristics of the State and its intimate alliance with war. It provided for the enemies of war and the critics of the State the most telling arguments possible. The new passion for the State ideal unwittingly set in motion and encouraged forces that threaten very materially to reform the State. It has shown those who are really determined to end war that the problem is not the mere simple one of finishing a war that will end war.

For war is a complicated way in which a nation acts, and it acts so out of a spiritual compulsion which pushes it on perhaps against all its interests, all its real desires, and all its real sense of values. It is States that make wars and not nations, and the very thought and almost necessity of war is bound up with the ideal of the State. Not for centuries have nations made war; in fact the only historical example of nations making war is the great barbarian invasions into Southern Europe, invasions of Russia from the East, and perhaps the sweep of Islam through Northern Africa into Europe after Mohammed’s death. And the motivations for such wars were either the restless expansion of migratory tribes or the flame of religious fanaticism. Perhaps these great movements could scarcely be called wars at all, for war implies an organized people drilled and led; in fact, it necessitates the State. Ever since Europe has had any such organization, such huge conflicts between nations—nations, that is, as cultural groups—have been unthinkable. It is preposterous to assume that for centuries in Europe there would have been any possibility of a people en masse — with their own leaders, and not with the leaders of their duly constituted State — rising up and overflowing their borders in a war raid upon a neighboring people. The wars of the Revolutionary armies of France were clearly in defense of an imperiled freedom, and moreover, they were clearly directed not against other peoples, but against the autocratic governments that were combining to crush the Revolution. Three is no instance in history of genuinely national war. There are instances of national defenses, among primitive civilizations such as the Balkan peoples, against intolerable invasion by neighboring despots or oppression. But war, as such, cannot occur except in a system of competing States, which have relations with each other through the channels of diplomacy.

War is a function of this system of States, and could not occur except in such a system. Nations organized for internal administration, nations organized as a federation of free communities, nations orgainzed in any way except that of a political centralization of a dynasty or the reformed descendant of a dynasty, could not possibly make war upon each other. They would not only have no motive for conflict, but they would be unable to muster the concentrated force to make war effective. There might be all sorts of amateur marauding, there might be guerrilla expeditions of group against group, but there could not be that terrible war en masse of the national state, that exploitation of the nation in the interests of the State, that abuse of the national life and resource in the frenzied mutual suicide which is modern war.

It cannot be too firmly realized that war is a function of States and not of nations, indeed that it is the chief function of States. War is a very artificial thing. It is not the naive spontaneous outburst of herd pugnacity; it is no more primary than is formal religion. War cannot exist without a military establishment, and a military establishment cannot exist without a State organization. War has an immemorial tradition and heredity only because the State has a long tradition and heredity. But they are inseparably and functionally joined. We cannot crusade against war without crusading implicitly against the State. And we cannot expect, or take measures to ensure, that this war is a war to end war, unless at the same time we take measures to end the State in its traditional form. The State is not the nation, and the State can be modified and even abolished in its present form, without harming the nation. On the contrary, with the passing of the dominance of the State, the genuine life-enhancing forces of the nation will be liberated. If the State’s chief function is war, then the State must suck out of the nation a large part of its energy for purely sterile purposes of defense and aggression. It devotes to waste or to actual destruction as much as it can of the vitality of the nation. No one wlil deny that war is a vast complex of life-destroying and life-crippling forces. If the State’s chief function is war, then it is chiefly concerned with coordinating and developing the powers and techniques which make for destruction. And this means not only the actual and potential destruction of the enemy, but of the nation at home as well. For the very existence of a State in a system of States means that the nation lies always under a risk of war and invasion, and the calling away of energy into military pursuits means a crippling of the productive and life-enhancing process of the national life.

All this organizing of death-dealing energy and technique is not a natural but a very sophisticated process. Particularly in modern nations, but also all through the course of modern European history, it could never exist without the State. For it meets the demands of no other institution, it follows the desires of no religious, industrial, political group. If the demand for military organization and a military establishment seems to come not from the officers of the State but from the public, it is only that it comes from the State-obsessed portion of the public, those groups which feel most keenly the State ideal. And in this country we have had evidence all too indubitable about how powerless the pacifically minded officers of the State may be in the face of a State-obsession of the significant classes. If a powerful section of the significant classes feels more intensely the attitudes of the State, then they will most infallibly mold the Government in time to their wishes, bring it back to act as the embodiment of the State which it pretends to be. In every country we have seen groups that were more loyal than the King — more patriotic than the Government — the Ulsterites in Great Britain, the Junkers in Prussia, l’Action Francaise in France, our patrioteers in America. These groups exist to keep the steering wheel of the State straight, and they prevent the nation from ever veering very far from the State ideal.

Militarism expresses the desires and satisfies the major impulse only of this class. The other classes, left to themselves, have too many necessities and interests and ambitions, to concern themselves with so expensive and destructive a game. But the State-obsessed group is either able to get control of the machinery of the State or to intimidate those in control, so that it is able through the use of the collective force to regiment the other grudging and reluctant classes into a military programme. State idealism percolates down through the strata of society, capturing groups and individuals just in proportion to the prestige of this dominant class. So that we have the herd actually strung along between two extremes, the militaristic patriots at one end, who are scarcely distinguishable in attitude and animus frmo the most reactionary Bourbons of an Empire, and unskilled labor groups, which entirely lack the State sense. But the State acts as a whole, and the class that controls governmental machinery can swing the effective action of the herd as a whole. The herd is not actually a whole, emotionally. But by an ingenious mixture of cajolery, agitation, intimidation, the herd is licked into shape, into an effective mechanical unity, if not into a spiritual whole. Men are told simultaneously that they will enter the military establishment of their own volition, as their splendid sacrifice for their country’s welfare, and that if they do not enter they will be hunted down and punished with the most horrid penalties; and under a most indescribable confusion of democratic pride and personal fear they submit to the destruction of their livelihood if not their lives, in a way that would formerly have seemed to them so obnoxious as to be incredible.

In this great herd-machinery, dissent is like sand in the bearings. The State ideal is primarily a sort of blind animal push towards military unity. Any interference with that unity turns the whole vast impulse towards crushing it. Dissent is speedily outlawed, and the Government, backed by the significant classes and those who in every locality, however small, identify themselves with them, proceeds against the outlaws, regardless of their value to other institutions of the nation, or of the effect thta their persecution may have on public opinion. The herd becomes divided into the hunters and the hunted, and war-enterprise becomes not only a technical game but a sport as well.

It must never be forgotten that nations do not declare war on each other, nor in the strictest sense is it nations that fight each other. Much has been said to the effect that modern wars are wars of whole peoples and not of dynasties. Because the entire nation is regimented and the whole resources of the country are levied on for war, this does not mean that it is the country, our country which is fighting, and only as a State would it possibly fight. So, literally, it is States which make war on each other and not peoples. Governments are the agents of States, and it is Governments which declare war on each other, acting truest to form in the interests of the great State ideal which they represent. There is no case known in modern times of the people being consulted in the initiation of a war. The present demand for democratic control of foreign policy indicates how completely, even in the most democratic of modern nations, foreign policy has been the secret private possession of the executive branch of Government.

However representative of the people Parliaments and Congresses may be in all that concerns the internal administration of a country’s political affairs, in international relations it has never been possible to maintain that the popular body acted except as a wholly mechanical ratifier of the Executive’s will. The formality by which Parliaments and Congresses declare war is the merest technicality. Before such a declaration can take place, the country will have been brought to the very brink of war by the foreign policy of the Executive. A long series of steps on the downward path, each one more fatally committing the unsuspecting country to a warlike course of action will have been taken without either the people or its representatives being consulted or expressing its feeling. When the declaration of war is finally demanded by the Executive, the Parliament or Congress could not refuse it without reversing the course of history, without repudiating what has been representing itself in the eyes of the other states as the symbol and interpreter of the nation’s will and animus. To repudiate an Executive at that time would be to publish to the entire world the evidenec that the country had been grossly deceived by its own Government, that the country with an almost criminal carelessness had allowed its Government to commit it to gigantic national enterprises in which it had no heart. In such a crisis, even a Parliament which in the most democratic States represents the common man and not the significant classes who most strongly cherish the State ideal, will cheerfully sustain the foreign policy which it understands even less than it would care for if it understood, and will vote almost unanimously for an incalculable war, in which the nation may be brought well nigh to ruin. That is why the referendum which was advocated by some people as a test of American sentiment in entering the war was considered even by thoughtful democrats to be something subtly improper. The die had been cast. Popular whim could derange and bungle monstrously the majestic march of State policy in its new crusade for the peace of the world. The irresistible State ideal got hold of the bowels of men. Whereas up to this time, it had been irreproachable to be neutral in word and deed, for the foreign policy of the State had so decided it, henceforth it became the most arrant crime to remain neutral. The Middle West, which had been soddenly pacifistic in our days of neutrality, became in a few months just as soddenly bellicose, and in its zeal for witch-burning and its scent for enemies within gave precedence to no section of the country. The herd-mind followed faithfully the State-mind and, the agitation for a referendum being soon forgotten, the country fell into the universal conclusion that, since its Congress had formally declared the war, the nation itself had in the most solemn and universal way devised and brought on the entire affair.

Oppression of minorities became justified on the plea that the latter were perversely resisting the rationally constructed and solemnly declared will of a majority of the nation. The herd coalescence of opinion which became inevitable the moment the State had set flowing the war attitudes became interpreted as a prewar popular decision, and disinclination to bow to the herd was treated as a monstrously antisocial act. So that the State, which had vigorously resisted the idea of a referendum and clung tenaciously and, of course, with entire success to its autocratic and absolute control of foreign policy, had the pleasure of seeing the country, within a few months, given over to the retrospective impression that a genuine referendum had taken place. When once a country has lapped up these State attitudes, its memory fades; it conceives itself not as merely accepting, but of having itself willed, the whole policy and technique of war. The significant classes, with their trailing satellites, identify themselves with the State, so that what the State, through the agency of the Government, has willed, this majority conceives itself to have willed.

All of which goes to show that the State represents all the autocratic, arbitrary, coercive, belligerent forces within a social group, it is a sort of complexus of everything most distasteful to the modern free creative spirit, the feeling for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. War is the health of the State. Only when the State is at war does the modern society function with that unity of sentiment, simple uncritical patriotic devotion, cooperation of services, which have always been the ideal of the State lover. With the ravages of democratic ideas, however, the modern republic cannot go to war under the old conceptions of autocracy and death-dealing belligerency. If a successful animus for war requires a renaissance of State ideals, they can only come back under democratic forms, under this retrospective conviction of democratic control of foreign policy, democratic desire for war, and particularly of this identification of the democracy with the State. How unregenerate the ancient State may be, however, is indicated by the laws against sedition, and by the Government’s unreformed attitude on foreign policy. One of the first demands of the more farseeing democrats in the democracies of the Alliance was that secret diplomacy must go. The war was seen to have been made possible by a web of secret agreements between States, alliances that were made by Governments without the shadow of popular support or even popular knowledge, and vague, half-understood commitments that scarcely reached the stage of a treaty or agreement, but which proved binding in the event. Certainly, said these democratic thinkers, war can scarcely be avoided unless this poisonous underground system of secret diplomacy is destroyed, this system by which a nation’s power, wealth, and manhood may be signed away like a blank check to an allied nation to be cashed in at some future crisis. Agreements which are to affect the lives of whole peoples must be made between peoples and not by Governments, or at least by their representatives in the full glare of publicity and criticism.

Such a demand for “democratic control of foreign policy” seemed axiomatic. Even if the country had been swung into war by steps taken secretly and announced to the public only after they had been consummated, it was felt that the attitude of the American State toward foreign policy was only a relic of the bad old days and must be superseded in the new order. The American President himself, the liberal hope of the world, had demanded, in the eyes of the world, open diplomacy, agreements freely and openly arrived at. Did this mean a genuine transference of power in this most crucial of State functions from Government to people? Not at all. When the question recently came to a challenge in Congress, and the implications of open discussion were somewhat specifically discussed, and the desirabilities frankly commended, the President let his disapproval be known in no uncertain way. No one ever accused Mr. Wilson of not being a State idealist, and whenever democratic aspirations swung ideals too far out of the State orbit, he could be counted on to react vigorously. Here was a clear case of conflict between democratic idealism and the very crux of the concept of the State. However unthinkingly he might have been led on to encourage open diplomacy in his liberalizing program, when its implication was made vivid to him, he betrayed how mere a tool the idea had been in his mind to accentuate America’s redeeming role. Not in any sense as a serious pragmatic technique had he thought of a genuinely open diplomacy. And how could he? For the last stronghold of State power is foreign policy. It is in foreign policy that the State acts most concentratedly as the organized herd, acts with fullest sense of aggressive-power, acts with freest arbitrariness. In foreign policy, the State is most itself. States, with reference to each other, may be said to be in a continual state of latent war. The “armed truce,” a phrase so familiar before 1914, was an accurate description of the normal relation of States when they are not at war. Indeed, it is not too much to say that the normal relation of States is war. Diplomacy is a disguised war, in which States seek to gain by barter and intrigue, by the cleverness of wits, the objectives which they would have to gain more clumsily by means of war. Diplomacy is used while the States are recuperating from conflicts in which they have exhausted themselves. It is the wheedling and the bargaining of the worn-out bullies as they rise from the ground and slowly restore their strength to begin fighting again. If diplomacy had been a moral equivalent for war, a higher stage in human progress, an inestimable means of making words prevail instead of blows, militarism would have broken down and given place to it. But since it is a mere temporary substitute, a mere appearance of war’s energy under another form, a surrogate effect is almost exactly proportioned to the armed force behind it. When it fails, the recourse is immediate to the military technique whose thinly veiled arm it has been. A diplomacy that was the agency of popular democratic forces in their non-State manifestations would be no diplomacy at all. It would be no better than the Railway or Education commissions that are sent from one country to another with rational constructive purpose. The State, acting as a diplomatic-military ideal, is eternally at war. Just as it must act arbitrarily and autocratically in time of war, it must act in time of peace in this particular role where it acts as a unit. Unified control is necessarily autocratic control.

Democratic control of foreign policy is therefore a contradiction in terms. Open discussion destroys swiftness and certainty of action. The giant State is paralyzed. Mr. Wilson retains his full ideal of the State at the same time that he desires to eliminate war. He wishes to make the world safe for democracy as well as safe for diplomacy. When the two are in conflict, his clear political insight, his idealism of the State, tells him that it is the naïver democratic values that must be sacrificed. The world must primarily be made safe for diplomacy. The State must not be diminished.

What is the State essentially? The more closely we examine it, the more mystical and personal it becomes. On the Nation we can put our hand as a definite social group, with attitudes and qualities exact enough to mean something. On the Government we can put our hand as a certain organization of ruling functions, the machinery of lawmaking and law-enforcing. The Administration is a recognizable group of political functionaries, temporarily in charge of the government. But the State stands as an idea behind them all, eternal, sanctified, and from it Government and Administration conceive themselves to have the breath of life. Even the nation, especially in times of war—or at least, its significant classes—considers that it derives its authority and its purpose from the idea of the State. Nation and State are scarcely differentiated, and the concrete, practical, apparent facts are sunk in the symbol. We reverence not our country but the flag. We may criticize ever so severely our country, but we are disrespectful to the flag at our peril. It is the flag and the uniform that make men’s heart beat high and fill them with noble emotions, not the thought of and pious hopes for America as a free and enlightened nation.

It cannot be said that the object of emotion is the same, because the flag is the symbol of the nation, so that in reverencing the American flag we are reverencing the nation. For the flag is not a symbol of the country as a cultural group, following certain ideals of life, but solely a symbol of the political State, inseparable from its prestige and expansion. The flag is most intimately connected with military achievement, military memory. It represents the country not in its intensive life, but in its far-flung challenge to the world. The flag is primarily the banner of war; it is allied with patriotic anthem and holiday. It recalls old martial memories. A nation’s patriotic history is solely the history of its wars, that is, of the State in its health and glorious functioning. So in responding to the appeal of the flag, we are responding to the appeal of the State, to the symbol of the herd organized as an offensive and defensive body, conscious of its prowess and its mystical herd strength.

Even those authorities in the present Administration, to whom has been granted autocratic control over opinion, feel, though they are scarcely able to philosophize over, this distinction. It has been authoritatively declared that the horrid penalties against seditious opinion must not be construed as inhibiting legitimate, that is, partisan criticism of the Administration. A distinction is made between the Administration and the Government. It is quite accurately suggested by this attitude that the Administration is a temporary band of partisan politicians in charge of the machinery of Government, carrying out the mystical policies of State. The manner in which they operate this machinery may be freely discussed and objected to by their political opponents. The Governmental machinery may also be legitimately altered, in case of necessity. What may not be discussed or criticized is the mystical policy itself or the motives of the State in inaugurating such a policy. The President, it is true, has made certain partisan distinctions between candidates for office on the ground of support or nonsupport of the Administration, but what he means was really support or nonsupport of the State policy as faithfully carried out by the Administration. Certain of the Administration measures were devised directly to increase the health of the State, such as the Conscription and the Espionage laws. Others were concerned merely with the machinery. To oppose the first was to oppose the State and was therefore not tolerable. To oppose the second was to oppose fallible human judgment, and was therefore, though to be depreciated, not to be wholly interpreted as political suicide.

The distinction between Government and State, however, has not been so carefully observed. In time of war it is natural that Government as the seat of authority should be confused with the State or the mystic source of authority. You cannot very well injure a mystical idea which is the State, but you can very well interfere with the processes of Government. So that the two become identified in the public mind, and any contempt for or opposition to the workings of the machinery of Government is considered equivalent to contempt for the sacred State. The State, it is felt, is being injured in its faithful surrogate, and public emotion rallies passionately to defend it. It even makes any criticism of the form of Government a crime.

The inextricable union of militarism and the State is beautifully shown by those laws which emphasize interference with the Army and Navy as the most culpable of seditious crimes. Pragmatically, a case of capitalistic sabotage, or a strike in war industry would seem to be far more dangerous to the successful prosecution of the war than the isolated and ineffectual efforts of an individual to prevent recruiting. But in the tradition of the State ideal, such industrial interference with national policy is not identified as a crime against the State. It may be grumbled against; it may be seen quite rationally as an impediment of the utmost gravity. But it is not felt in those obscure seats of the herd mind which dictate the identity of crime and fix their proportional punishments. Army and Navy, however, are the very arms of the State; in them flows its most precious lifeblood. To paralyze them is to touch the very State itself. And the majesty of the State is so sacred that even to attempt such a paralysis is a crime equal to a successful strike. The will is deemed sufficient. Even though the individual in his effort to impede recruiting should utterly and lamentably fail, he shall be in no wise spared. Let the wrath of the State descend upon him for his impiety! Even if he does not try any overt action, but merely utters sentiments that may incidentally in the most indirect way cause someone to refrain from enlisting, he is guilty. The guardians of the State do not ask whether any pragmatic effect flowed out of this evil will or desire. It is enough that the will is present. Fifteen or twenty years in prison is not deemed too much for such sacrilege.

Such attitudes and such laws, which affront every principle of human reason, are no accident, nor are they the result of hysteria caused by the war. They are considered just, proper, beautiful by all the classes which have the State ideal, and they express only an extreme of health and vigor in the reaction of the State to its non-friends.

Such attitudes are inevitable as arising from the devotees of the State. For the State is a personal as well as a mystical symbol, and it can only be understood by tracing its historical origin. The modern State is not the rational and intelligent product of modern men desiring to live harmoniously together with security of life, property, and opinion. It is not an organization which has been devised as pragmatic means to a desired social end. All the idealism with which we have been instructed to endow the State is the fruit of our retrospective imaginations. What it does for us in the way of security and benefit of life, it does incidentally as a by-product and development of its original functions, and not because at any time men or classes in the full possession of their insight and intelligence have desired that it be so. It is very important that we should occasionally lift the incorrigible veil of that ex post facto idealism by which we throw a glamour of rationalization over what is, and pretend in the ecstasies of social conceit that we have personally invented and set up for the glory of God and man the hoary institutions which we see around us. Things are what they are, and come down to us with all their thick encrustations of error and malevolence. Political philosophy can delight us with fantasy and convince us who need illusion to live that the actual is a fair and approximate copy—full of failings, of course, but approximately sound and sincere—of that ideal society which we can imagine ourselves as creating. From this it is a step to the tacit assumption that we have somehow had a hand in its creation and are responsible for its maintenance and sanctity.

Nothing is more obvious, however, than that every one of us comes into society as into something in whose creation we had not the slightest hand. We have not even the advantage of consciousness before we take up our careers on earth. By the time we find ourselves here we are caught in a network of customs and attitudes, the major directions of our desires and interests have been stamped on our minds, and by the time we have emerged from tutelage and reached the years of discretion when we might conceivably throw our influence to the reshaping of social institutions, most of us have been so molded into the society and class we live in that we are scarcely aware of any distinction between ourselves as judging, desiring individuals and our social environment. We have been kneaded so successfully that we approve of what our society approves, desire what our society desires, and add to the group our own passionate inertia against change, against the effort of reason, and the adventure of beauty.

Every one of us, without exception, is born into a society that is given, just as the fauna and flora of our environment are given. Society and its institutions are, to the individual who enters it, as much naturalistic phenomena as is the weather itself. There is, therefore, no natural sanctity in the State any more than there is in the weather. We may bow down before it, just as our ancestors bowed before the sun and moon, but it is only because something in us unregenerate finds satisfaction in such an attitude, not because there is anything inherently reverential in the institution worshiped. Once the State has begun to function, and a large class finds its interest and its expression of power in maintaining the State, this ruling class may compel obedience from any uninterested minority. The State thus becomes an instrument by which the power of the whole herd is wielded for the benefit of a class. The rulers soon learn to capitalize the reverence which the State produces in the majority, and turn it into a general resistance toward a lessening of their privileges. The sanctity of the State becomes identified with the sanctity of the ruling class, and the latter are permitted to remain in power under the impression that in obeying and serving them, we are obeying and serving society, the nation, the great collectivity of all of us.


An analysis of the State would take us back to the beginnings of society, to the complex of religious and personal and herd-impulses which has found expression in so many forms. What we are interested in is the American State as it behaves and as Americans behave towards it in this twentieth century, and to understand that we have to go no further back than the early English monarchy of which our American republic is the direct descendant. How straight and true is that line of descent almost nobody realizes. Those persons who believe in the sharpest distinction between democracy and monarchy can scarcely appreciate how a political institution may go through so many transformations and yet remain the same. Yet a swift glance must show us that in all the evolution of the English monarchy, with all its broadenings and its revolutions, and even with its jump across the sea into a colony which became an independent nation and then a powerful State, the same State functions and attitudes have been preserved essentially unchanged. The changes have been changes of form and not of inner spirit, and the boasted extension of democracy has been not a process by which the State was essentially altered to meet the shifting of classes, the extension of knowledge, the needs of social organization, but a mere elastic expansion by which the old spirit of the State easily absorbed the new and adjusted itself successfully to its exigencies. Never once has it been seriously shaken. Only once or twice has it been seriously challenged, and each time it has speedily recovered its equilibrium and proceeded with all its attitudes and faiths reinforced by the disturbance.

The modern democratic state, in this light, is therefore no bright and rational creation of a new day, the political form under which great peoples are to live healthfully and freely in a modern world, but the last decrepit scion of an ancient and hoary stock, which has become so exhausted that it scarcely recognizes its own ancestor, does, in fact, repudiate him while it clings tenaciously to the archaic and irrelevant spirit that made that ancestor powerful, and resists the new bottles for the new wine that its health as a modern society so desperately needs. So sweeping a conclusion might have been doubted concerning the American State had it not been for the war, which has provided a long and beautiful series of examples of the tenacity of the State ideal and its hold on the significant classes of the American nation. War is the health of the State and it is during war that one best understands the nature of that institution. If the American democracy during wartime has acted with an almost incredible trueness to form, if it has resurrected with an almost joyful fury the somnolent State, we can only conclude that the tradition from the past has been unbroken, and that the American republic is the direct descendant of the English State.

And what was the nature of this early English State? It was first of all a medieval absolute monarchy, arising out of the feudal chaos, which had represented the first effort at order after the turbulent assimilation of the invading barbarians by the Christianizing Roman civilization. The feudal lord evolved out of the invading warrior who had seized or been granted land and held it, souls and usufruct thereof, as fief to some higher lord whom he aided in war. His own serfs and vassals were exchanging faithful service for the protection which the warrior with his organized band could give them. Where an invading chieftain retained his power over his lesser lieutenants a petty kingdom would arise, as in England, and a restless and ambitious king might extend his power over his neighbors and consolidate the petty kingdoms only to fall before the armed power of an invader like William the Conqueror, who would bring the whole realm under his heel. The modern State begins when a prince secures almost undisputed sway over fairly homogeneous territory and people and strives to fortify his power and maintain the order that will conduce to the safety and influence of his heirs. The State in its inception is pure and undiluted monarchy; it is armed power, culminating in a single head, bent on one primary object, the reducing to subjection, to unconditional and unqualified loyalty of all the people of a certain territory. This is the primary striving of the State, and it is a striving that the State never loses, through all its myriad transformations.

When the subjugation was once acquired, the modern State had begun. In the King, the subjects found their protection and their sense of unity. From his side, he was a redoubtable, ambitious, and stiff-necked warrior, getting the supreme mastery which he craved. But from theirs, he was a symbol of the herd, the visible emblem of that security which they needed and for which they drew gregariously together. Serfs and villains, whose safety under their petty lords had been rudely shattered in the constant conflicts for supremacy, now drew a new breath under the supremacy that wiped out this local anarchy. King and people agreed in the thirst for order, and order became the first healing function of the State. But in the maintenance of order, the King needed officers of justice; the old crude group-rules for dispensing justice had to be codified, a system of formal law worked out. The King needed ministers, who would carry out his wlil, extensions of his own power, as a machine extends the power of a man’s hand. So the State grew as a gradual differentiation of the King’s absolute power, founded on the devotion of his subjects and his control of a military band, swift and sure to smite. Gratitude for protection and fear of the strong arm sufficed to produce the loyalty of the country to the State.

The history of the State, then, is the effort to maintain these personal prerogatives of power, the effort to convert more and more into stable law the rules of order, the conditions of public vengeance, the distinction between classes, the possession of privilege. It was an effort to convert what was at first arbitrary usurpation, a perfectly apparent use of unjustified force, into the taken for granted and the divinely established. The State moves inevitably along the line from military dictatorship to the divine right of Kings. What had to be at first rawly imposed becomes through social habit to seem the necessary, the inevitable. The mdoern unquestioning acceptance of the State comes out of long and turbulent centuries when the State was challenged and had to fight its way to prevail. The King’s establishment of personal power—which was the early State—had to contend with the impudence of hostile barons, who saw too clearly the adventitious origin of the monarchy and felt no reason why they should not themselves reign. Feuds between the King and his relatives, quarrels over inheritance, quarrels over the devolution of property, threatened constantly the existence of the new monarchial State. The King’s will to power necessitated for its absolute satisfaction universality of political control in his dominions, just as the Roman Church claimed universality of spiritual control over the whole world. And just as rival popes were the inevitable product of such a pretension of sovereignty, rival kings and princes contended for that dazzling jewel of undisputed power.

Not until the Tudor regime was there in England an irresponsible personal monarchy on the lines of the early State ideal, governing a fairly well organized and prosperous nation. The Stuarts were not only too weak-minded to inherit the fruition of William the Conqueror’s labors, but they made the fatal mistake of bringing out to public view and philosophy the idea of Divine Right implicit in the State, and this at a time when a new class of country gentry and burghers were attaining wealth and self-consciousness backed by the zeal of a theocratic and individualistic religion. Cromwell might certainly, if he had continued in power, revised the ideal of the State, perhaps utterly transformed it, destroying the concepts of personal power and universal sovereignty, substituting a sort of Government of Presbyterian Soviets under the tutelage of a celestial Czar. But the Restoration brought back the old State under a peculiarly frivolous form. The Revolution was the merest change of monarchs at the behest of a Protestant majority which insisted on guarantees against religious relapse. The intrinsic nature of the monarchy as the symbol of the State was not in the least altered. In place of the inept monarch who could not lead the State in person or concentrate in himself the royal prerogatives, a coterie of courtiers managed the State. But their direction was consistently in the interest of the monarch and of the traditional ideal, so that the current of the English State was not broken.

The boasted English Parliament of Lords and commoners possessed at no time any vitality which weakened or threatened to weaken the State ideal. Its original purpose was merely to facilitate the raising of the King’s revenues. The nobles responded better when they seemed to be giving their consent. Their share in actual government was subjective, but the existence of Parliament served to appease any restiveness at the autocracy of the King. The significant classes could scarcely rebel when they had the privilege of giving consent to the King’s measures. There was always outlet for the rebellious spirit of a powerful lord in private revolt against the King. The only Parliament that seriously tried to govern outside of and against the King’s will precipitated a civil war that ended with the effectual submission of Parliament to a more careless and corrupt autocracy than had yet been known. By the time of George III Parliament was moribund, utterly unrepresentative either of the new bourgeois classes or of peasants and laborers, a mere frivolous parody of a legislature, despised both by King and people. The King was most effectively the State and his ministers the Government, which was run in terms of his personal whim, by men whose only interest was personal intrigue. Government had been for long what it has never ceased to be—a series of berths and emoluments in Army, Navy and the different departments of State, for the representatives of the privileged classes.

The State of George III was an example of the most archaic ideal of the English State, the pure, personal monarchy. The great mass of the people had fallen into the age-long tradition of loyalty to the crown. The classes that might have been restive for political power were placated by a show of representative government and the lucrative supply of offices. Discontent showed itself only in those few enlightened elements which could not refrain from irony at the sheer irrationality of a State managed on the old heroic lines for so grotesque a sovereign and by so grotesque a succession of courtier-ministers. Such discontent could by no means muster sufficient force for a revolution, but the Revolution which was due came in America where even the very obviously shadowy pigment of Parliamentary representation was denied the colonists. All that was vital in the political thought of England supported the American colonists in their resistance to the obnoxious government of George III.

The American Revolution began with certain latent hopes that it might turn into a genuine break with the State ideal. The Declaration of Independence announced doctrines that were utterly incompatible not only with the century-old conception of the Divine Right of Kings, but also with the Divine Right of the State. If all governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed, and if a people is entitled, at any time that it becomes oppressive, to overthrow it and institute one more nearly conformable to their interests and ideals, the old idea of the sovereignty of the State is destroyed. The State is reduced to the homely work of an instrument for carrying out popular policies. If revolution is justifiable a State may even be criminal sometimes in resisting its own extinction. The sovereignty of the people is no mere phrase. It is a direct challenge to the historic tradition of the State. For it implies that the ultimate sanctity resides not in the State at all or in its agent, the government, but in the nation, that is, in the country viewed as a cultural group and not specifically as a king-dominated herd. The State then becomes a mere instrument, the servant of this popular will, or of the constructive needs of the cultural group. The Revolution had in it, therefore, the makings of a very daring modern experiment—the founding of a free nation which should use the State to effect its vast purposes of subduing a continent just as the colonists’ armies had used arms to detach their society from the irresponsible rule of an overseas king and his frivolous ministers. The history of the State might have ended in 1776 as far as the American colonies were concerned, and the modern nation which is still striving to materialize itself have been born.

For awhile it seemed almost as if the State was dead. But men who are freed rarely know what to do with their liberty. In each colony that fatal seed of the State had been sown; it could not disappear. Rival prestige and interests began to make themselves felt. Fear of foreign States, economic distress, discord between classes, the inevitable physical exhaustion and prostration of idealism which follows a protracted war — all combined to put the responsible classes of the new States into the mood for a regression to the State ideal. Ostensibly there is no reason why the mere lack of a centralized State should have destroyed the possibility of progress in the new liberated America, provided the inter-state jealousy and rivalry could have been destroyed. But there were no leaders for this anti-State nationalism. The sentiments of the Declaration remained mere sentiments. No constructive political scheme was built on them. The State ideal, on the other hand, had ambitious leaders of the financial classes, who saw in the excessive decentralization of the Confederation too much opportunity for the control of society by the democratic lower-class elements. They were menaced by imperialistic powers without and by democracy within. Through their fear of the former they tended to exaggerate the impossibility of the latter. There was no inclination to make the State a school where democratic experiments could be worked out as they should be. They were unwilling to give reconstruction the term that might have been necessary to build up this truly democratic nationalism. Six short years is a short time to reconstruct an agricultural country devastated by a six years’ war. The popular elements in the new States had only to show their turbulence; they were given no time to grow. The ambitious leaders of the financial classes got a convention called to discuss the controversies and maladjustments of the States, which were making them clamor for a revision of the Articles of Confederation, and then, by one of the most successful coups d’etat in history, turned their assembly into the manufacture of a new government on the strongest lines of the old State ideal.

This new constitution, manufactured in secret session by the leaders of the propertied and ruling classes, was then submitted to an approval of the electors which only by the most expert manipulation was obtained, but wihch was sufficient to override the indignant undercurrent of protest from those popular elements who saw the fruits of the Revolution slipping away from them. Universal suffrage would have killed it forever. Had the liberated colonies had the advantage of the French experience before them, the promulgation of the Constitution would undoubtedly have been followed by a new revolution, as very nearly happened later against Washington and the Federalists. But the ironical ineptitude of Fate put the machinery of the new Federalist constitutional government in operation just at the moment that the French Revolution began, and by the time those great waves of Jacobin feeling reached North America, the new Federalist State was firmly enough on its course to weather the gale and the turmoil.

The new State was therefore not the happy political symbol of a united people, who in order to form a more perfect union, etc., but the imposition of a State on a loose and growing nationalism, which was in a condition of unstable equilibrium and needed perhaps only to be fertilized from abroad to develop a genuine political experiment in democracy. The preamble to the Constitution, as was soon shown in the hostile popular vote and later in the revolt against the Federalists, was a pious hope rather than actuality, a blessedness to be realized when by the force of government pressure, the creation of idealism, and mere social habit, the population should be welded and kneaded into a State. That this is what has acutally happened, is seen in the fact that the somewhat shockingly undemocratic origins of the American State have been almost completely glossed over and the unveiling is bitterly resented, by none so bitterly as the significant classes who have been most industrious in cultivating patriotic myth and legend. American history, as far as it has entered into the general popular emotion, runs along this line. The Colonies are freed by the Revolution from a tyrannous King and become free and independent States; there follow six years of impotent peace, during which the Colonies quarrel among themselves and reveal the hopeless weakness of the principle under which they are working together; in desperation the people then create a new instrument, and launch a free and democratic republic, which was and remains—especially since it withstood the shock of civil war—the most perfect form of democratic government known to man, perfectly adequate to be promulgated as an example in the twentieth century to all people, and to be spread by propaganda, and, if necessary, the sword, in all unregenerately Imperial regions. Modern historians reveal the avowedly undemocratic personnel and opinions of the Convention. They show that the members not only had an unconscious economic interest but a frank political interest in fuonding a State which should protect the propertied classes against the hostility of the people. They show how, from one point of view, the new government became almost a mechanism for overcoming the repudiation of debts, for putting back into their place a farmer and small trader class whom the unsettled times of reconstruction had threatened to liberate, for reestablishing on the securest basis of the sanctity of property and the State, their class-supremacy menaced by a democracy that had drunk too deeply at the fount of Revolution. But all this makes little impression on the other legend of the popular mind, because it disturbs the sense of the sanctity of the State and it is this rock to which the herd-wish must cling.

Every little school boy is trained to recite the weaknesses and inefficiencies of the Articles of Confederation. It is taken as axiomatic that under them the new nation was falling into anarchy and was only saved by the wisdom and energy of the Convention. These hapless Articles have had to bear the infamy cast upon the untried by the radiantly successful. The nation had to be strong to repel invasion, strong to pay to the last loved copper penny the debts of the propertied and the provident ones, strong to keep the unpropertied and improvident from ever using the government to secure their own prosperity at the expense of moneyed capital. Under the Articles the new States were obviously trying to reconstruct themselves in an alarming tenderness for the common man impoverished by the war. No one suggests that the anxiety of the leaders of the heretofore unquestioned ruling classes desired the revision of the Articles and labored so weightily over a new instrument not because the nation was failing under the Articles, but because it was succeeding only too well. Without intervention from the leaders, reconstruction threatened in time to turn the new nation into an agrarian and proletarian democracy. It is impossible to predict what would have materialized into a form of society very much modified from the ancient State. All we know is that at a time when the current of political progress was in the direction of agrarian and proletarian democracy, a force hostile to it gripped the nation and imposed upon it a powerful form against which it was never to succeed in doing more than blindly struggle. The liberating virus of the Revolution was definitely expunged, and henceforth if it worked at all it had to work against the State, in opposition to the armed and respectable power of the nation.

The propertied classes, seated firmly in the saddle by their Constitutional coup d’etat have, of course, never lost their ascendancy. The particular group of Federalists who engineered the new machinery and enjoyed the privilege of setting it in motion were turned out ina dozen years by the “Jeffersonian democracy” whom their manner had so deeply offended. But the Jeffersonian democracy never meant in practice any more than the substitution of the rule of the country gentlemen for the rule of the town capitalist. The true hostility between their interests was small as compared with the hostility of both towards the common man. When both were swept away by the irruption of the Western democracy under Andrew Jackson and the rule of the common man appeared for a while in its least desirable forms, it was comapratively easy for the two propertied classes to form a tacit coalition against them. The new West achieved an extension of suffrage and a jovial sense of having come politically into its own, but the rule of the ancient classes was not seriously challenged. Their squabbles over a tariff were family affairs, for the tariff could not materially affect the common man of either East or West. The Eastern and Northern capitalists soon saw the advantage of supporting Southern country gentleman slave-power as against the free-soil pioneer. Bad generalship on the part of this coalition allowed a Western free-soil minority President to slip into office and brought on the Civil War, which smashed the slave power and left Northern capital in undisputed possession of a field against which the pioneer could make only sporadic and ineffective revolts.

From the Civil War to the death of Mark Hanna, the propertied capitalist industrial classes ran a triumphal career in possession of the State. At various times, as in 1896, the country had to be saved for them from disillusioned, rebellious hordes of small farmers and traders and democratic idealists, who had in the overflow of prosperity been squeezed down into the small end of the horn. But except for these occasional menaces, business, that is to say, aggressive expansionist capitalism, had nearly forty years in which to direct the American republic as a private preserve, or laboratory, experimenting, developing, wasting, subjugating, to its heart’s content, in the midst of a vast somnolence of complacency such as has never been seen and contrast strangely with the spiritual dissent and constructive revolutionary thought which went on at the same time in England and the Continent.

That era ended in 1904 like the crack of doom, which woke a whole people into a modern day which they had overslept, and for which they had become acutely and painfully aware of the evils of the society in which they had slumbered and they snatched at one after the other idea, programme, movement, ideal, to uplift them out of the slough in which they had slept. The glory of those shining figures — captains of industry — went out in a sulphuric gloom. The head of the State, who made up in dogmatism what he lacked in philosophy, increased the confusion by reviving the Ten Commandments for political purposes, and belaboring the wicked with them. The American world tossed in a state of doubt, of reawakened social conscience, of pragmatic effort for the salvation of society. The ruling classes — anonoyed, bewildered, harassed — pretended with much bemoaning that they were losing their grip on the State. Their inspired prophets uttered solemn warnings against political novelty and the abandonment of the tried and tested fruits of experience.

These classes actually had little to fear. A political system which had been founded in the interests of property by their own spiritual and economic ancestors, which had become ingrained in the country’s life through a function of 120 years, which was buttressed by a legal system which went back without a break to the early English monarchy was not likely to crumble before the anger of a few muck-rakers, the disillusionment of a few radical sociologists, or the assaults of proletarian minorities. Those who bided their time through the Taft interregnum, wihch merely continued the Presidency until there could be found a statesman to fill it, were rewarded by the appearance of the exigency of the war, in which business organization was imperatively needed. They were thus able to make a neat and almost noiseless coalition with the Government. The mass of the worried middle classes, riddled by the campaign against American failings, which at times extended almost to a skepticism of the American State itself, were only too glad to sink back to a glorification of the State ideal, to feel about them in war, the old protecting arms, to return to the old primitive robust sense of the omnipotence of the State, its matchless virtue, honor and beauty, driving away all the foul old doubts and dismays.

That the same class which imposed its constitution on the nascent proletarian and agrarian democracy has maintained itself to this day indicates how slight was the real effect of the Revolution. When that political change was consolidated in the new government, it was found that there had been a mere transfer of ruling-class power across the seas, or rather that a ruling commercial class in the colonies had been able to remove through a war fought largely by the masses a vexatious overlordship of the irresponsible coteries of ministers that surrounded George III. The colonies merely exchanged a system run in the interest of the overseas trade of English wealth for a system run in the interest of New England and Philadelphia merchanthood, and later of Southern slavocracy. The daring innovation of getting rid of a king and setting up a kingless State did not apparently impress the hard headed farmers and small traders with as much force as it has their patriotic defenders. The animus of the Convention was so obviously monarchial that any executive they devised could be only a very thinly disguised king. The compromise by which the presidency was created proved but to be the means by which very nearly the whole mass of traditional royal prerogatives was brought over and lodged in the new state.

The President is an elected king, but the fact that he is elected has proved to be of far less significance in the course of political evolution than the fact that he is pragmatically a king. It was the intention of the founders of the Constitution that he be elected by a small body of notables, representing the ruling propertied classes, who could check him up every four years in a new election. This was no innovation. Kings have often been selected this way in European history, and the Roman Emperor was regularly chosen by election. That the American President’s term was limited merely shows the confidence which the founders felt in the buttressing force of their instrument. His election would never pass out of the hands of the notables, and so the office would be guaranteed to be held by a faithful representative of upper-class demands. What he was most obviously to represent was the interests of that body which elected him, and not the mass of the people who were still disenfranchised. For the new State started with no Quixotic belief in universal suffrage. The proprty qualifications which were in effect in every colony were continued. Government was frankly a function of those who held a concrete interest in the public weal, in the shape of visible proprty. The responsibility for the security of property rights could safely lie only with those who had something to secure. The “stake” in the commonwealth which those who held office most possess was obviously larger.

One of the larger errors of political insight which the sage founders of the Constitution committed was to assume that the enfranchised watchdogs of property and the public order would remain a homogeneous class. Washington, acting strictly as the mouthpiece of the unified State ideal, deprecated the growth of parties and factions which horridly keep the State in turbulence or threaten to render it asunder. But the monarchial and repressive policies of Washington’s own friends promptly generated an opposition democratic party representing the landed interests of the urling classes, and the party system was fastened on the country. By the time the electorate had succeeded in reducing the electoral college to a mere recorder of the popular vote, or in other words, had broadened the class of notables to the whole property-holding electorate, the parties were firmly established to carry on the selective and refining and securing work of the electoral college. The party leadership then became, and has remained ever since, the nucleus of notables who determine the presidency. The electorate having won an apparently democratic victory in the destruction of the notables, finds itself reduced to the role of mere ratification or selection between two or three candidates, in whose choice they have only a nominal share. The electoral college which stood between even the propertied electorate and the executive with the prerogatives of a king, gave place to a body which was just as genuinely a bar to democratic expression, and far less responsible for its acts. The nucleus of party councils which became, after the reduction of the Electoral College, the real choosers of the Presidents, were unofficial, quasi-anonymous, utterly unchecked by the populace whose rulers they chose. More or less self-chosen, or chosen by local groups whom they dominated, they provided a far more secure guarantee that the State should remain in the hands of the ruling classes than the old electoral college. The party councils could be loosely organized entirely outside of the governmental organization, without oversight by the State or check from the electorate. They could be composed of the leaders of the propertied classes themselves or their lieutenants, who could retain their power indefinitely, or at least until they were unseated by rivals within the same charmed domain. They were at least entirely safe from attack by the officially constituted electorate, who, as the party system became mor and more firmly established, found they could vote only on slates set up for them by unknown councils behind an imposing and all-powerful “Party.”

As soon as this system was organized into a hierarchy extending from national down to state and county politics, it became perfectly safe to broaden the electorate. The clamors of the unpropertied or the less propertied to share in the selection of their democratic republican government could be graciously acceded to without endangering in the least the supremacy of those classes which the founders had meant to be supreme. The minority were now even more effectually protected from the majority than under the old system, however indirect the election might be. The electorate was now reduced to a ratifier of slates, both of wihch were pledged to upper-class domination; the electorate could have the freest, most universal suffrage, for any mass-desire for political change, any determined will to shift the class balance, would be obliged to register itself through the party machinery. It could make no frontal attack on the Government. And the party machinery was directly devised to absorb and neutralize this popular shock, handing out to the disgruntled electorate a disguised stone when it asked for political bread, and effectually smashing any third party which ever avariciously tried to reach government except through the regular two-party system.

The party system succeeded, of course, beyond the wildest dreams of its creators. It relegated the founders of the Constitution to the role of doctrinaire theorists, political amateurs. Just because it grew up slowly to meet the needs of ambitious politicians and was not imposed by ruling-class fiat, as was the Constitution, did it have a chance to become assimilated, worked into the political intelligence and instinct of the people, and be adopted gladly and universally as a genuine political form, expressive both of popular need and ruling-class demand. It satisfied the popular demand for democracy. The enormous sense of victory which followed the sweeping away of property qualifications of suffrage, the tangible evidence that now every citizen was participating in public affairs, and that the entire manhood democracy was now self-governing, created a mood of political complacency that lasted uninterruptedly into the twentieth century. The party system was thus the means of removing political grievance from the greater part of the populace, and of giving to the ruling classes the hidden but genuine permanence of control which the Constitution had tried openly to give them. It supplemented and repaired the ineptitudes of the Constitution. It became the unofficial but real government, the instrument which used the Constitution as its instrument.

Only in two cases did the party system seem to lose its grip, was it thrown off base by the inception of a new party from without—in the elections of Jackson and Lincoln. Jackson came in as the representative of a new democratic West which had no tradition of suffrage qualifications, and Lincoln as a minority candidate in a time of factional sectional strife. But the discomfiture of the party politicians was short. The party system proved perfectly capable of assimilating both of these new movements. Jackson’s insurrection was soon captured by the old machinery and fed the slavocracy, and Lincoln’s party became the property of the new bonanza capitalism. Neither Jackson nor Lincoln made the slightest deflection in the triumphal march of the party-system. In practically no other contests has the electorate had for all practical purposes a choice except between two candidates, identical as far as their political role would be as representatives of the significant classes in the State. Campaigns such as Bryan’s, where one of the parties is captured by an element which seeks a real transference of power from the significant to the less significant classes, split the party, and sporadic third party attacks merely throw the scale one way or the other between the big parties, or, if threatening enough, produce a virtual coalition against them.

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Olive Schreiner: The bestiality and insanity of war

January 2, 2012 2 comments


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

Women writers on peace and war

Olive Schreiner: Give me back my dead!

Olive Schreiner: I have never met a human creature who hates war as I hate it


Olive Schreiner
From “Woman and War”
Woman and Labour (1911)

But, it may then be said: “What of war, that struggle of the human creature to attain its ends by physical force and at the price of the life of others: will you take part in that also?” We reply: Yes; more particularly in that field we intend to play our part. We have always borne part of the weight of war, and the major part. It is not merely that in primitive times we suffered from the destruction of the fields we tilled and the houses we built; or that in later times as domestic labourers and producers, though unwaged, we, in taxes and material loss and additional labour, paid as much as our males towards the cost of war; nor is it that in a comparatively insignificant manner, as nurses of the wounded in modern times, or now and again as warrior chieftainesses and leaders in primitive and other societies, we have borne our part; nor is it even because the spirit of resolution in its women, and their willingness to endure, has in all ages again and again largely determined the fate of a race that goes to war, that we demand our controlling right where war is concerned. Our relation to war is far more intimate, personal, and indissoluble than this. Men have made boomerangs, bows, swords, or guns with which to destroy one another; we have made the men who destroyed and were destroyed! We have in all ages produced, at an enormous cost, the primal munition of war, without which no other would exist. There is no battlefield on earth, nor ever has been, howsoever covered with slain, which is has not cost the women of the race more in actual bloodshed and anguish to supply, then it has cost the men who lie there. We pay the first cost on all human life.

In supplying the men for the carnage of a battlefield, women have not merely lost actually more blood, and gone through a more acute anguish and weariness, in the long months of bearing and in the final agony of childbirth, than has been experienced by the men who cover it; but, in the long months and years of rearing that follow, the women of the race go through a long, patiently endured strain which no knapsacked soldier on his longest march has ever more than equalled; while, even in the matter of death, in all civilised societies, the probability that the average woman will die in childbirth is immeasurably greater than the probability that the average male will die in battle.

There is, perhaps, no woman, whether she have borne children, or be merely potentially a child-bearer, who could look down upon a battlefield covered with slain, but the thought would rise in her, “So many mothers’ sons! So many bodies brought into the world to lie there! So many months of weariness and pain while bones and muscles were shaped within; so many hours of anguish and struggle that breath might be; so many baby mouths drawing life at woman’s breasts;— all this, that men might lie with glazed eyeballs, and swollen bodies, and fixed, blue, unclosed mouths, and great limbs tossed — this, that an acre of ground might be manured with human flesh, that next year’s grass or poppies or karoo bushes may spring up greener and redder, where they have lain, or that the sand of a plain may have a glint of white bones!” And we cry, “Without an inexorable cause, this should not be!” No woman who is a woman says of a human body, “It is nothing!”

On that day, when the woman takes her place beside the man in the governance and arrangement of external affairs of her race will also be that day that heralds the death of war as a means of arranging human differences. No tinsel of trumpets and flags will ultimately seduce women into the insanity of recklessly destroying life, or gild the wilful taking of life with any other name than that of murder, whether it be the slaughter of the million or of one by one.


The twenty thousand men prematurely slain on a field of battle, mean, to the women of their race, twenty thousand human creatures to be borne within them for months, given birth to in anguish, fed from their breasts and reared with toil, if the numbers of the tribe and the strength of the nation are to be maintained. In nations continually at war, incessant and unbroken child-bearing is by war imposed on all women if the state is to survive; and whenever war occurs, if numbers are to be maintained, there must be an increased child-bearing and rearing. This throws upon woman as woman a war tax, compared with which all that the male expends in military preparations is comparatively light.


It is also true, that, from the loftiest standpoint, the condemnation of war which has arisen in the advancing human spirit, is in no sense related to any particular form of sex function. The man and the woman alike, who with Isaiah on the hills of Palestine, or the Indian Buddha under his bo-tree, have seen the essential unity of all sentient life; and who therefore see in war but a symptom of that crude disco-ordination of life on earth, not yet at one with itself, which affects humanity in these early stages of its growth: and who are compelled to regard as the ultimate goal of the race, though yet perhaps far distant across the ridges of innumerable coming ages, that harmony between all forms of conscious life, metaphorically prefigured by the ancient Hebrew, when he cried, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb; and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them!” – to that individual, whether man or woman, who has reached this standpoint, there is no need for enlightenment from the instincts of the child-bearers of society as such; their condemnation of war, rising not so much from the fact that it is a wasteful destruction of human flesh, as that it is an indication of the non-existence of that co-ordination, the harmony which is summed up in the cry, “My little children, love one another.”

But for the vast bulk of humanity, probably for generations to come, the instinctive antagonism of the human child-bearer to reckless destruction of that which she has at so much cost produced, will be necessary to educate the race to any clear conception of the bestiality and insanity of war.

War will pass when intellectual culture and activity have made possible to the female an equal share in the control and governance of modern national life; it will probably not pass away much sooner; its extinction will not be delayed much longer.

It is especially in the domain of war that we, the bearers of men’s bodies, who supply its most valuable munition, who, not amid the clamour and ardour of battle, but singly, and alone, with a three-in-the-morning courage, shed our blood and face death that the battlefield may have its food, a food more precious to us than our heart’s blood; it is we especially, who in the domain of war, have our word to say, a word no man can say for us. It is our intention to enter into the domain of war and to labour there till in the course of generations we have extinguished it.

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Edwin Arlington Robinson: Though your very flesh and blood the Eagle eats and drinks, you’ll praise him for the best of birds

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment


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

American writers on peace and against war


Edwin Arlington Robinson

“Today I have been thinking of Hitler and of what one fanatic neurotic may yet do to us and drag us into. It is all right to say it can’t happen here, but unfortunately it can.”

Letter, 1934


Cassandra (1914)

I heard one who said: “Verily,
What word have I for children here?
Your Dollar is your only Word,
The wrath of it your only fear.

“You build it altars tall enough
To make you see but you are blind;
You cannot leave it long enough
To look before you or behind.

“When Reason beckons you to pause,
You laugh and say that you know best;
But what it is you know, you keep
As dark as ingots in a chest.

“You laugh and answer, ‘We are young;
Oh, leave us now, and let us grow:’
Not asking how much more of this
Will Time endure or Fate bestow.

“Because a few complacent years
Have made your peril of your pride,
Think you that you are to go on
Forever pampered and untried?

“What lost eclipse of history,
What bivouac of the marching stars,
Has given the sign for you to see
Milleniums and last great wars?

“What unrecorded overthrow
Of all the world has ever known,
Or ever been, has made itself
So plain to you, and you alone?

“Your Dollar, Dove, and Eagle make
A Trinity that even you
Rate higher than you rate yourselves;
It pays, it flatters, and it’s new.

“And though your very flesh and blood
Be what the Eagle eats and drinks,
You’ll praise him for the best of birds,
Not knowing what the eagle thinks.

“The power is yours, but not the sight;
You see not upon what you tread;
You have the ages for your guide,
But not the wisdom to be led.

“Think you to tread forever down
The merciless old verities?
And are you never to have eyes
To see the world for what it is?

“Are you to pay for what you have
With all you are?” – No other word
We caught, but with a laughing crowd
Moved on. None heeded, and few heard.


The Valley of the Shadow (1921)

There were faces to remember in the Valley of the Shadow,
There were faces unregarded, there were faces to forget;
There were fires of grief and fear that are a few forgotten ashes,
There were sparks of recognition that are not forgotten yet.
For at first, with an amazed and overwhelming indignation
At a measureless malfeasance that obscurely willed it thus,
They were lost and unacquainted—till they found themselves in others,
Who had groped as they were groping where dim ways were perilous.

There were lives that were as dark as are the fears and intuitions
Of a child who knows himself and is alone with what he knows;
There were pensioners of dreams and there were debtors of illusions,
All to fail before the triumph of a weed that only grows.
There were thirsting heirs of golden sieves that held not wine or water,
And had no names in traffic or more value there than toys:
There were blighted sons of wonder in the Valley of the Shadow,
Where they suffered and still wondered why their wonder made no noise.

There were slaves who dragged the shackles of a precedent unbroken,
Demonstrating the fulfilment of unalterable schemes,
Which had been, before the cradle, Time’s inexorable tenants
Of what were now the dusty ruins of their father’s dreams.
There were these, and there were many who had stumbled up to manhood,
Where they saw too late the road they should have taken long ago:
There were thwarted clerks and fiddlers in the Valley of the Shadow,
The commemorative wreckage of what others did not know.

And there were daughters older than the mothers who had borne them,
Being older in their wisdom, which is older than the earth;
And they were going forward only farther into darkness,
Unrelieved as were the blasting obligations of their birth;
And among them, giving always what was not for their possession,
There were maidens, very quiet, with no quiet in their eyes;
There were daughters of the silence in the Valley of the Shadow,
Each an isolated item in the family sacrifice.

There were creepers among catacombs where dull regrets were torches,
Giving light enough to show them what was there upon the shelves—
Where there was more for them to see than pleasure would remember
Of something that had been alive and once had been themselves.
There were some who stirred the ruins with a solid imprecation,
While as many fled repentance for the promise of despair:
There were drinkers of wrong waters in the Valley of the Shadow,
And all the sparkling ways were dust that once had led them there.

There were some who knew the steps of Age incredibly beside them,
And his fingers upon shoulders that had never felt the wheel;
And their last of empty trophies was a gilded cup of nothing,
Which a contemplating vagabond would not have come to steal.
Long and often had they figured for a larger valuation,
But the size of their addition was the balance of a doubt:
There were gentlemen of leisure in the Valley of the Shadow,
Not allured by retrospection, disenchanted, and played out.

And among the dark endurances of unavowed reprisals
There were silent eyes of envy that saw little but saw well;
And over beauty’s aftermath of hazardous ambitions
There were tears for what had vanished as they vanished where they fell.
Not assured of what was theirs, and always hungry for the nameless,
There were some whose only passion was for Time who made them cold:
There were numerous fair women in the Valley of the Shadow,
Dreaming rather less of heaven than of hell when they were old.

Now and then, as if to scorn the common touch of common sorrow,
There were some who gave a few the distant pity of a smile;
And another cloaked a soul as with an ash of human embers,
Having covered thus a treasure that would last him for a while.
There were many by the presence of the many disaffected,
Whose exemption was included in the weight that others bore:
There were seekers after darkness in the Valley of the Shadow,
And they alone were there to find what they were looking for.

So they were, and so they are; and as they came are coming others,
And among them are the fearless and the meek and the unborn;
And a question that has held us heretofore without an answer
May abide without an answer until all have ceased to mourn.
For the children of the dark are more to name than are the wretched,
Or the broken, or the weary, or the baffled, or the shamed:
There are builders of new mansions in the Valley of the Shadow,
And among them are the dying and the blinded and the maimed.

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Southeast Asia: U.S. Completing Asian NATO To Confront China

November 7, 2011 4 comments

Stop NATO articles

November 6, 2011

Southeast Asia: U.S. Completing Asian NATO To Confront China
Rick Rozoff

Since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization adopted its first Strategic Concept for the 21st century a year ago this month in Portugal, and in the process all but formalized the bloc as a global military intervention force, discussion has been rife concerning a collective partnership with the 54-nation African Union, a “mini-NATO” in the Persian Gulf and another in the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic Sea, the culmination of the transformation of the Mediterranean into a NATO sea and the effective “NATOization” of the ten-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). [1-5]

The U.S.-dominated military alliance, whose current American ambassador, Ivo Daalder, for years has advocated becoming a full-fledged global NATO (in one instance in an article with that precise title), expanded from 16 to 28 full members in the decade beginning in 1999 and has over forty partners in four continents outside the Euro-Atlantic zone under the auspices of programs like the Partnership for Peace in Europe and Asia, the Mediterranean Dialogue in Africa and the Middle East, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative in the Persian Gulf,  the Contact Country format in the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea), Annual National Programs with Georgia and Ukraine, the Afghanistan-Pakistan-International Security Assistance Force Tripartite Commission, the NATO-Russia Council, the NATO Training Mission-Iraq and NATO-Training Mission – Afghanistan (with a Libyan version to follow), a bilateral agreement with the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia where NATO has airlifted thousands of Ugandan and Burundian troops for the war there and other arrangements.

Formal partnerships with the African Union and ASEAN would gain the world’s only military bloc fifty new cohorts in Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritania and Morocco – the last not an African Union member – are already members of the Mediterranean Dialogue) and ten in Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore. Thailand and Vietnam.

In addition, in September U.S. permanent representative to NATO Daalder told Indian journalists visiting the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels:

“I think it is important to have a dialogue (with India) and deepen that dialogue.

“It is through dialogue, through understanding each other’s perceptions and perhaps by working on misperceptions that may exist, that we can strengthen the relations between India and NATO.”

He also bluntly suggested that India, a founding member of the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement, should abandon its policy of neutrality and collaborate with the U.S. and NATO in the development of an international interceptor missile system.

In articles written in the last decade, including the aforementioned “Global NATO,” [6]  Daalder and fellow Brookings Institution and Council on Foreign Relations officials argued for partnerships between the bloc and nations around the world under Daalder’s concept of an Alliance of Democratic States and other mechanisms. The countries mentioned by name include Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea. [7]

Immediately ahead of the NATO summit in Lisbon, Daalder was quoted stating:

“We’re launching Nato 3.0.

“It is no longer just about Europe – it’s not a global alliance but it is a global actor. We need to look for opportunities to work with countries we haven’t worked with before, like India, China and Brazil.”

The month before, in October of last year, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a video post on his blog, “We should reach out to new and important partners, including China and India.”

With NATO as the prime mover and in charge, that is. He added: “We should encourage consultations between interested allies and partners on security issues of common concern, with NATO as a hub for those discussions.”

In September of this year he told the Xinhua News Agency: “I would very much like to see a strengthened dialogue between China and NATO.” China and India were among 47 nations represented at a meeting at NATO headquarters on September 14 to discuss naval operations in the Gulf of Aden and in the broader Indian Ocean where NATO runs Operation Ocean Shield. Other non-NATO nations present were Australia, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. At the time the last two were supplying warplanes for NATO’s Operation Unified Protector assault against Libya.

If the architects of an international NATO realize their ambitions fully, more than 140 of the world’s 194 nations will be members or partners of the North Atlantic Alliance. Their troops, military hardware and air and other bases will be available to the U.S.-dominated bloc for actions nearly everywhere in the world, as warplanes from NATO partner Israel have recently been training in Romania, Greece and a NATO air base in Sardinia for strikes against Iran.

With every nation on the European continent and every European island nation except for Cyprus now either a NATO member or partner and with the Alliance now firmly ensconced in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean, the U.S. and its Western allies are concentrating their firepower on East Asia.

The war in Afghanistan is in its eleventh year and it has provided NATO the opportunity to integrate the militaries of over fifteen Asian-Pacific countries (including the Middle East and the South Caucasus in that category) through supplying troops and other military personnel to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force: Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Georgia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Tonga, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. All but Bahrain and Japan are what the bloc refers to as Troop Contributing Nations, of which Kazakhstan is to be the 49th, with its parliament at least temporarily blocking the formalization of that status.

Before his death late last year U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke was recruiting Bangladesh to become the 50th official supplier of troops for NATO’s Afghan war. [8]

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently concluded an eight-day trip to Asia, his first as Pentagon chief, where he visited Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.

On the first leg of his journey he met with the defense ministers of the ten members of ASEAN. Indonesia holds the organization’s chairmanship this year. Next year it will be transferred to Cambodia, where at the same time Panetta was in East Asia his subordinate, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia Robert Scher, visited for two days to solidify military relations with the host nation where U.S. Army Pacific has led multinational Angkor Sentinel military exercises for the past two years.

Xinhua quoted the Pentagon official as saying:

“It’s a fruitful visit. I participated in a series of productive meetings with the Cambodian Ministry of Defense and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) to discuss the growing U.S.-Cambodia bilateral defense relationship…”

He was additionally cited stating he “had discussions about Cambodia’s objectives as it approaches to take over the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2012.

“The U.S. Department of Defense is committed to continuing to work with the RCAF to develop a professional force that will contribute to regional and international peace and stability” and “the United States’ overall commitment is to enhance its engagement in the Asia-Pacific region in the future.”

While in Indonesia, Panetta indulged in the affectation of identifying himself as “a son of the U.S. Pacific coast,” having been raised in California, as his commander-in-chief, Hawaii-born President Barack Obama, has touted himself as America’s first Pacific head of state.

He met with Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, according to the Stars and Stripes newspaper, “to discuss growing bilateral military relations and broader issues facing Southeast Asia…[c]hief among those issues [being] China’s growing assertiveness in an area it considers its own backyard.”

In his own words, “I’ve made it very clear that the United States remains a Pacific power, that we will continue to strengthen our presence in this part of the world and that we will remain a force…in this region.”

Later in Japan, the Pentagon chief told American troops at  the Yokota Air Base near Tokyo: “We are not anticipating any cutbacks in this region. If anything we are going to strengthen our presence in the Pacific.” Two weeks earlier Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had spoken in a  similar vein: “Probably the greatest opportunities in the years ahead will be found in the Asia Pacific region, which is why we have renewed America’s leadership and pre-eminent role there.”

In July of 2010 Clinton attended the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi and entered the fray in the disputes between ASEAN member states and China over the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea, in essence pledging the U.S. as guarantor for ASEAN against China. Panetta’s meeting with his ten ASEAN counterparts last month provided an overt military component to the commitment.

While in Japan the defense secretary celebrated a half century of American-Japanese military colloboration enshrined in the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan of 1960, adding, “And it will be for the next 50 years as well.”

Panetta also told assembled U.S. and Japanese troops: “I just had the opportunity to be in Indonesia and meet with the (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) defense ministers. And I conveyed the same message to them: the United States will continue to work with all of them to improve our cooperation, to improve our assistance, and to make sure that we strengthen security for all nations in the Pacific region.”

Southeast Asia has a population of approximately 600 million, two-thirds that of the Western Hemisphere and almost three-quarters that of Europe. It contains one of the world’s most vital shipping lanes, the Strait of Malacca. The strait runs for 600 miles between Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore to the east and the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the west.

According to the United Nations International Maritime Organization, at least 50,000 ships pass through the waterway annually, transporting 30 percent of the goods traded in the world, including oil from the Persian Gulf to major East Asian nations like China, Japan and South Korea. As many as 20 million barrels of oil a day pass through the Strait of Malacca, an amount that will only increase with the further advance of the Asian Century. [9]

Since the end of the Cold War the U.S. and its Western allies have expanded NATO throughout Europe and combined that effort with the creation of an Asian NATO that in part consists of the revival and expansion of other Cold War military alliances based on NATO: The Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS).

But what is being built currently is far more extensive than all the latter three combined and is, moreover, not complementary to but in collusion with NATO, the Afghan war serving the purpose of unifying East and West under American and NATO control as the Korean War and Vietnam War did for the creation and consolidation of SEATO and ANZUS.

In May of 2010 the Atlantic Council of the United States, the main NATO lobbying group in the Western Hemisphere and indeed in the world, posted an article by Max Boot, the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and frequent lecturer at the Army War College and the Command and General Staff College, titled “Building an East Asian NATO.”

It contained this excerpt:

“A common complaint heard among American officials and policy analysts is that in East Asia – one of the most important and conflict-prone areas of the planet – there is no security architecture comparable to NATO. The U.S. has ties to many key countries, notably Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, and Taiwan. But they do not have strong ties to one another, and there is no joint military planning of the kind that NATO undertakes…” [10]

In recent months the topic of a NATO-ASEAN military partnership has been given increased attention.

In August  U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell gave an interview to The Australian in which he said:

“One of the most important challenges for US foreign policy is to effect a transition from the immediate and vexing challenges of the Middle East to the long-term and deeply consequential issues in Asia.”

“There is an undeniable assertive quality to Chinese foreign policy and we’re seeing that play out in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

“What has been effective in the past year or so is the number of countries in the Asia-Pacific (that) have been prepared to say to China that greater transparency (from China in military matters) is in the interests of the Asia-Pacific region.

“I think what you see is an across-the-board effort (by the US) to articulate India as playing a greater role in Asia, and also revitalising relations with ASEAN – both ASEAN as an institution, and with its key members, such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore, and revitalising what used to be a very important relationship with The Philippines.” [11]

His comments paralleled those of defense chief Panetta and other Pentagon officials in affirming that with the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the beginning of a drawdown in Afghanistan, the Pentagon is focusing on East Asia, with NATO to take a greater role in policing the Greater/Broader/New Middle East and Africa in order to free up the American military to shift to the east.

In July an article appeared in the Jakarta Post with the title “Sketching out a future ASEAN-NATO partnership” by Evan A. Laksmana, identified as a researcher for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, presumably an affiliate of the think tank of the same name in Washington, D.C. Indonesia, recall, currently chairs ASEAN.

The author’s comments included:

“As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) enters its seventh decade and as ASEAN consolidates its regional community building ahead of and beyond 2015, the bodies have much to learn from each other.

“For NATO, ASEAN will be increasingly critical for the future of Asian stability and order and would be an ideal candidate for a strategic counterpart to tackle common regional and global security challenges – especially when ASEAN consolidates its regional community building, allowing it to share NATO’s role as a community of like-minded nations…

“Southeast Asia’s geopolitical, geo-strategic, and geo-economic value also suggests that NATO’s future missions beyond its traditional area of operations might increasingly depend on ASEAN.”

Further, he recommended:

“Any future ASEAN-NATO partnership could at least be placed within five major policy areas: peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), maritime security, defense reform and counterterrorism.”

“These five areas of engagement could be further executed in four levels of cooperation: strategic, institutional, operational and people-to-people.

“Strategically, NATO can engage ASEAN in discussions and dialogue regarding the five security issues using two tracks.

“In track one, the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (consisting of all ASEAN countries plus Australia, the US, China, South Korea, Japan, India, Russia and New Zealand) as well as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) provide critical dialogue venues.

“In track two, two groupings are crucial: the ASEAN Institutes of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS), a network of nine major think tanks in Southeast Asia, and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), a network of nearly all major Asia Pacific think tanks.

“Institutionally, NATO could explore future cooperation or collaboration with either the ASEAN Secretariat, the network of ASEAN Peacekeeping Centers, the ASEAN Center for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief or even the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation.

“Other forms of diplomatic defense activities such as port visits or officer exchanges that are more practical and ‘neutral’ might also help alleviate some of the sensitivities of regional countries regarding NATO’s visibility.”

The writer ended his piece with these comments:

“This would slowly and gradually raise the public profile and awareness of NATO’s potential contribution to regional stability.

“This is at least the writer’s impression from discussions with various NATO officials on a recent trip.

“NATO should at least start thinking of engaging ASEAN early to avoid any surprises when a new, region-wide crisis in Asia comes knocking. For ASEAN, if we are serious about boosting our regional security community building, would it hurt to learn from a multi-national organization that has had the longest practical experience in the endeavor?” [12]

Three days later an article appeared in the Pakistani press called “NATO knocks at the door of ASEAN” by Dr. Jassim Taqui, which issued these warnings:

“Having failed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has decided to change direction towards Southeast Asia. In this regard, NATO shows a keen interest to establish a partnership with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).”

Although “the United States continued to influence ASEAN since 1997,” now “Washington is combining with India to influence the region in a bid to neutralize the rising cooperation between ASEAN and China.

“During her visit to India, the US Secretary of State Ms Hillary Clinton urged India to expand its traditional sphere of influence from South Asia to Central Asia and Southeast Asia to contain China’s increasing assertiveness. Ostensibly, Clinton’s slip of the tongue suggests a strategy that aims to encircle China in its backyard in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim on one hand and to boost engagement in Central Asia, on China’s western flank, on the other.

“Clinton’s tone is confrontational. It justifies the containment of China by Washington and New Delhi on the ground of ‘common values and interests.’ Clinton also announced that the Obama administration would soon launch a three-way dialogue with India and Japan to counter China.” [13]

At the beginning of the year U.S. Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters:

“We have 28,500 troops on the Korean Peninsula. We’ve got, I think, north of 50,000 troops in Japan. So we have significant assets already there. Over the long-term lay-down of our forces in the Pacific, we are looking at ways to even bolster that, not necessarily in Korea and Japan, but along the Pacific Rim, particularly in Southeast Asia.” [14]

In September a U.S. Pacific Command spokesperson told The Diplomat “that ASEAN’s pursuit of regional defence industry collaboration would help advance US national interests in the Asia-Pacific as it would usher in a new ‘set of standards, similar to NATO, (that) will facilitate interoperability among ASEAN and US militaries.'”

The feature also stated:

“From an operational perspective, the adoption of NATO standards by ASEAN would advance long-term plug-and-play interoperability between NATO and ASEAN militaries. While this would improve joint-military action across numerous mission spaces, it also would allow Pentagon defence planners to view ASEAN militaries as potential forward-based force multipliers for some regional scenarios with potential adversaries, including China.” [15]

As the year nears it end it is apparent that the Pentagon and its increasingly global military bloc, NATO, are concentrating on integrating the militaries of Southeast Asia in their inexorable drive to contain and confront China and abort the emergence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a viable, non-military alternative to them in Eurasia.

1) Africa: Global NATO Seeks To Recruit 50 New Military Partners
Stop NATO, February 20, 2011
2) US envisions NATO of the Gulf
RT, October 31, 2011

U.S. And NATO Allies Escalate Military Buildup Against Iran
Stop NATO,December 6, 2010
3) Britain Spearheads “Mini-NATO” In Arctic Ocean, Baltic Sea
Stop NATO, January 22, 2011
4) Cyprus: U.S. To Dominate All Europe, Mediterranean Through NATO
Stop NATO, March 3, 2011
5) North Korea As Pretext: U.S. Builds Asian Military Alliance Against China And Russia
Stop NATO, December 3, 2010

After NATO Summit, U.S. To Intensify Military Drive Into Asia
Stop NATO, November 17, 2010

Southeast Asia: West Completes Plans For Asian NATO
Stop NATO, October 21, 2010
6) Global NATO, Ivo Daalder and James Goldgeier
Foreign Affairs, September-October 2006
7) West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO
Stop NATO, May 27, 2009
8) Bangladesh: U.S. And NATO Forge New Military Partnership In South Asia
Stop NATO, September 29, 2010
9) Southeast Asia: West Completes Plans For Asian NATO
Stop NATO, October 21, 2010
10) Building an East Asian NATO, Max Boot
Atlantic Council, May 12, 2010
11) US keeps an eagle eye on Asia
The Australian, August 15, 2011

12) Sketching out a future ASEAN-NATO partnership, Evan A. Laksmana
Jakarta Post, July 26, 2011
13) NATO knocks the door of ASEAN, Dr. Jassim Taqui
Pakistan Observer, July 29, 2011
14) US considers boosting force in Asia: Pentagon
Yonhap News, January 28, 2011
15) A NATO-Like ASEAN?, Eddie Walsh
The Diplomat, September 20, 2011

Categories: Uncategorized

Virgil: Age of peace

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment


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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

Virgil: On war and on peace


Eclogue IV
Translated by A. S. Kline


Muses of Sicily, let me sing a little more grandly.
Orchards and humble tamarisks don’t please everyone:
if I sing of the woods, let the woods be fit for a Consul.

Now the last age of the Cumaean prophecy begins:
the great roll-call of the centuries is born anew:
now Virgin Justice returns, and Saturn’s reign:
now a new race descends from the heavens above.
Only favour the child who’s born, pure Lucina, under whom
the first race of iron shall end, and a golden race
rise up throughout the world: now your Apollo reigns.
For, Pollio, in your consulship, this noble age begins,
and the noble months begin their advance:
any traces of our evils that remain will be cancelled,
while you lead, and leave the earth free from perpetual fear.
He will take on divine life, and he will see gods
mingled with heroes, and be seen by them,
and rule a peaceful world with his father’s powers.
And for you, boy, the uncultivated earth will pour out
her first little gifts, straggling ivy and cyclamen everywhere
and the bean flower with the smiling acanthus.
The goats will come home themselves, their udders swollen
with milk, and the cattle will have no fear of fierce lions:
Your cradle itself will pour out delightful flowers:
And the snakes will die, and deceitful poisonous herbs
will wither: Assyrian spice plants will spring up everywhere.
And you will read both of heroic glories, and your father’s deeds,
and will soon know what virtue can be.
The plain will slowly turn golden with tender wheat,
and the ripe clusters hang on the wild briar,
and the tough oak drip with dew-wet honey.
Some small traces of ancient error will lurk,
that will command men to take to the sea in ships,
encircle towns with walls, plough the earth with furrows.
Another Argo will arise to carry chosen heroes, a second
Tiphys as helmsman: there will be another War,
and great Achilles will be sent once more to Troy.
Then when the strength of age has made you a man,
the merchant himself will quit the sea, nor will the pine ship
trade its goods: every land will produce everything.
The soil will not feel the hoe: nor the vine the pruning hook:
the strong ploughman too will free his oxen from the yoke:
wool will no longer be taught to counterfeit varied colours,
the ram in the meadow will change his fleece of himself,
now to a sweet blushing purple, now to a saffron yellow:
scarlet will clothe the browsing lambs of its own accord.
‘Let such ages roll on’ the Fates said, in harmony,
to the spindle, with the power of inexorable destiny.
O dear child of the gods, take up your high honours
(the time is near), great son of Jupiter!
See the world, with its weighty dome, bowing,
earth and wide sea and deep heavens:
see how everything delights in the future age!
O let the last days of a long life remain to me,
and the inspiration to tell how great your deeds will be:
Thracian Orpheus and Linus will not overcome me in song,
though his mother helps the one, his father the other,
Calliope Orpheus, and lovely Apollo Linus.
Even Pan if he competed with me, with Arcady as judge,
even Pan, with Arcady as judge, would account himself beaten.
Little child, begin to recognise your mother with a smile:
ten months have brought a mother’s long labour.
Little child, begin: he on whom his parents do not smile
no god honours at his banquets, no goddess in her bed.

Categories: Uncategorized

For peace, against war: literary selections

May 3, 2011 21 comments

Maria Abdy: May the gentle Dove of Peace extend her snowy pinions o’er us

Joseph Addison: Already have our quarrels fill’d the world with widows and with orphans

Joseph Addison and Richard Steele: It is a stupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms

George Ade: The dubious rights granted a people “liberated” through war

Aelian: A parable of two cities

Aelian: That is the benefit of peace

Aeschines: Following a policy of war after war; war, the destroyer of popular government

Aeschines: Peace does not feed laziness

Aeschylus: Ares, father of tears, mows the field of man

Aeschylus: The unpeopled land laments her youth

Aesop: The lies of lupine liberators

Conrad Aiken: The history of war is the history of mankind, seven thousand million dead on the field of battle

Conrad Aiken: Vast symphonic dance of death

Lucy Aikin: Gentle Peace with healing hand returns

Lucy Aikin: Sickening I turn on yonder plain to mourn the widows and the slain

Mark Akenside: The hidden plan whence every treaty, every war began

Mark Akenside: Statesmanship versus war

Alain: Why is there war?

Alciphron: Content with a life of peace. Evading conscription is best.

Mark Aldanov: War was the only subject she avoided

Richard Aldington: Selections on war

Richard Aldington: All the decay and dead of battlefields entered his blood and seemed to poison him

Richard Aldington: The Blood of the Young Men

Richard Aldington: The criminal cant and rant of war

Richard Aldington: How can we atone for the lost millions and millions of years of life, how atone for those lakes and seas of blood?

Richard Aldington: How well the premeditated mass murder of war is organized

Richard Aldington: It is so important to know how to kill

Richard Aldington: It was a war of missiles, murderous and soul-shaking explosives, like living in the graveyard of the world

Richard Aldington: Pools and ponds of blood, the huge black dogs of hell

Richard Aldington: Why so sentimental? Why all this fuss over a few million men killed and maimed?

Julius Myron Alexander: The Flag of Peace

Julius Myron Alexander: It is but war, ask not the cause

Vittorio Alfieri: The infamous trade of soldier, the sole basis of all arbitrary authority

Vittorio Alfieri: Thousands immolated on the altar of despotism, slaves born but to fertilize the soil

Grant Allen: I cannot contribute to making peaceable Canadian citizens throw themselves into the devouring whirlpool of militarism

Grant Allen: War and blood money

James Allen: A Prayer for Peace

James Lane Allen: Then white and heavenly Peace again. Eteocles and Polyneices In America

Ellen P. Allerton: Peace After War

American writers on peace and against war

Yehuda Amichai: Knowledge of peace passes from country to country, like children’s games

Amiel on war

Ammianus Marcellinus: Empowering the military…with foreseeable results

Ammianus Marcellinus: War’s landscape: discolored with the hue of dark blood

Anacreon: Rather art and love than lamentable war

Hans Christian Andersen: Art, not arms, rules the world. War, an allegory

Sherwood Anderson: War destroys brotherhood

W. H. Anderson: Our Brother’s Keeper

Leonid Andreyev: The Red Laugh

Antiphanes: War and personal destiny

Apollodorus: Why do you devote all your thought to injuring one another by making war?

Appian: Drawing the sword for mutual slaughter. The tears of fratricide.

Appian: War fueled by blood and gold, excuse for expenditure of one, expropriation of the other

Louis Aragon: Selections on war

Louis Aragon: Caravans of Peace

Louis Aragon: Children scattering flowers will some day scatter deadly flowers, grenades

Louis Aragon: The military: parasite and defender of parasitism

Louis Aragon: The peace that forces murder down to its knees for confession

Louis Aragon: War and its gloomy procession of storm clouds, sacred rites, illusions and lies

Louis Aragon: War, signal for the coming massacre of the sacrificial herd

Aratus: Justice deserts earth with warning of wars and cruel bloodshed

Pietro Aretino: Overjoyed at statue of Peace and her flames burning up arms of war

Pietro Aretino: Proper task, the giving of a beginning to peace and an end to wars

Arturo Arias: There were bodies everywhere. They didn’t move. They were called corpses.

Ludovico Ariosto: Cast new weapons into the hell from which they came

Aristides on the two types of war: Bad and worse

Aristophanes: Rescuing Peace

Aristotle: How tyrants use war

Aristotle: Leader not praiseworthy in training citizens for conquest and dominion

Aristotle: A man would be regarded as a bloodthirsty monster if he were to make war just to produce battles and slaughter

Aristotle: When they had attained empire they fell, for of the arts of peace they knew nothing

Edwin Arnold: Heaven’s love descending in that loveliest word, PEACE!

Edwin Arnold: My chariot shall not roll with bloody wheels till earth wears the red record of my name

Matthew Arnold: Man shall live in peace, as now in war

Matthew Arnold: New Age. Uphung the spear, unbent the bow.

Matthew Arnold: Tolstoy’s commandments of peace

Arrian: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and the fate of conquerors

Mikhail Artsybashev: Don’t talk to me about the beauty of war. No, no, your war is ugly.

Mikhail Artsybashev: A mother’s simple prescription against war

Victor Astafiev: On sunny days in peacetime all places are different, in wartime all are alike

W.H. Auden: A land laid waste, its towns in terror and all its young men slain

Berthold Auerbach: Practicing for mutual manslaughter

Augustine: To make war on your neighbors, what else is this to be called than great robbery?

Aulus Gellius: Thievery as school for war

Alfred Austin: The White Pall of Peace

Marcel Aymé: A child’s view of war

Bacchylides: Paean on peace

Francis Bacon: Arts benefit man more than arms

Joanna Baillie: And shall we think of war? 

Joanna Baillie: Do children return from rude jarring war?

Joanna Baillie: Thy native land, freed from the ills of war, a land of peace!

H. Lavinia Baily: By the Sea. An Argument for Peace.

Josephine Turck Baker: To the Mothers of the Martyred Dead upon the Field of Battle

Balzac: Mass executions: Has Europe ever ceased from wars?

Isabella Banks: Absolve our souls from blood shed in our country’s cause

Isabella Banks: The bugle of war, the bugle of peace

Isabella Banks: “Glory, glory, glory!” As if murder were not sin!

Isabella Banks: Lay down weapons, war should cease

Anna Laetitia Barbauld: Peace and Shepherd

Anna Laetitia Barbauld: The storm of horrid war rolls dreadful on

Anna Laetitia Barbauld: War’s least horror is th’ ensanguined field

Mary Barber: The officer’s widow

Jules Barbey D’Aurevilly: The jackals of war

Henri Barbusse: Selections on war

Henri Barbusse: All battles spring from themselves and necessitate each other to infinity

Henri Barbussse: As long as the colors of uniforms cover the flesh of men

Henri Barbusse: The awful power of a dead man

Henri Barbusse: Blood-stained priest of the God of War

Henri Barbusse: Butchery as far as the eye can see

Henri Barbusse: Cold death sits brooding, great and sumptuous bird of prey is in the act of taking wing

Henri Barbusse: Crows eddying round naked flesh with flapping banners and war-cries

Henri Barbusse: The enemy is militarism and no other

Henri Barbusse: Flags and swords, instruments of the cult of human sacrifice

Henri Barbusse: The goddess of slaughter, the world worn out by war

Henri Barbusse: I will wage war, even though I alone may survive

Henri Barbusse: Jesus on the battlefield

Henri Barbusse: Manual laborers of war glutting the cannon’s mouth with their flesh

Henri Barbusse: The mournful hearse of the army razes harshly

Henri Barbusse: Murder enters as invisibly as death itself. Industry multiplies its magic.

Henri Barbusse: The only cause of war is the slavery of those whose flesh wages it

Henri Barbusse: Pay for a glory which is not yours or for ruins that others have made with your hands

Henri Barbusse: “Perhaps it is the last war of all”

Henri Barbusse: Sepulchral sculptor’s great sketch-model, the gate of hell

Henri Barbusse: Soldier’s glory is a lie, like every other fine-looking thing in war

Henri Barbusse: “That’s war. It’s not anything else.”

Henri Barbusse: There will be nothing else on the earth but preparation for war

Henri Barbusse: These murdered souls, covered with black veils; they are you and I

Henri Barbusse: Torture…agony…human sacrifices…

Henri Barbusse: Under Fire

Henri Barbusse: War, as hideous morally as physically

Henri Barbusse: War befouls the country as it does faces and hearts

Henri Barbusse: “War must be killed; war itself”

Henri Barbusse: War which breeds war, whether by victory or defeat

Henri Barbusse: War’s loathsome horror and lunacy

Henri Barbusse: “We must have a new Ministry: a new public opinion: War.”

Henri Barbusse: The world has come to the end of its strength: it is vanquished by wars

Henri Barbusse: “You understand, I’m against all wars”

Maurice Baring: August, 1918

Maurice Baring: The greater fools are you who seek the wars

Maurice Baring: Unalterable horror, misery, pain and suffering which is caused by modern war

Maurice Baring: The Wounded

Joel Barlow: War after war his hungry soul require, each land lie reeking with its people’s slain

Charlotte Alington Barnard: Peace Hovers

Giambattista Basile: “To war, to war”: Tavern warriors

Katharine Lee Bates: Selections on war and peace

Katharine Lee Bates: Carnage! Bayonet, bomb and shell! Merry reading for hell!

Katharine Lee Bates: Children of the War

Katharine Lee Bates: The doomful, mad torpedo, the colossal slaughter-guns

Katharine Lee Bates: Fodder for Cannon

Katharine Lee Bates: Marching Feet

Katharine Lee Bates: Mother

Katharine Lee Bates: When the Millennium Comes

Pierre Bayle: The God of fratricide is a lunatic invention

Pierre Bayle: Men of blood not permitted to build temples

James Beattie: Ode to Peace

Thomas Lovell Beddoes: War’s harvest

Aphra Behn: No rough sound of war’s alarms

Aphra Behn: The pen triumphs over the sword

Edward Bellamy: We have no wars now, and our governments no war powers

Hilaire Belloc: After the tempest and destruction of universal war, permanence

Julien Benda: Military mysticism

Stephen Vincent Benét: The dead march from the last to the next blind war

Stephen Vincent Benét: Nightmare For Future Reference: The second year of the Third World War

W. C. Benet: Hymn of Peace

William Rose Benét: The Red Country

Ida Whipple Benham: The Friend of Peace

Ida Whipple Benham: War’s weeding

Walter Benjamin: Self-alienated mankind experiences its own destruction as aesthetic pleasure

Adelaide George Bennett: The Peace-Pipe Quarry

Arnold Bennett: The miraculous lunacy of war

Arnold Bennett: The Primary Object of War

Arnold Bennett: The Slaughterer

Arnold Bennett: War casualties and war profiteers

Arthur Christopher Benson: No carnal triumph of the empurpled sword

Robert Hugh Benson: The whole human race will be at war

Jeremy Bentham: A Plan for an Universal and Perpetual Peace

Jeremy Bentham: War is mischief upon the largest scale

Elizabeth Bentley: On the return of celestial peace

Elizabeth Bentley: Terror-striking War shalt be banish’d far

Pierre-Jean de Béranger: The Holy Alliance of Peace

Pierre-Jean de Béranger: When from the miseries of war we wake…

George Berkeley: Continuing dishonorable war is committing murder, rapine, sacrilege and violence

Georges Bernanos: War, the penalty of rendering unto Caesar what is no longer his

Georges Bernanos: Wars like epidemics, with neither beginning nor end

Samuel Bernard: A pipe dream of peace

Giuseppe Berto: Selections on war

Giuseppe Berto: Bombing produced cities of the dead

Giuseppe Berto: A fable: The war was going well, the war was going badly

Giuseppe Berto: It was a good night for an air raid. Somewhere or other there would be terror and death and destruction.

Giuseppe Berto: No one truly survives war

Giuseppe Berto: One of the fruits of war, that people should feel so alone and desolate

Giuseppe Berto: Orphaned by the bombs

Giuseppe Berto: The sound of the bombs whistling, the sounds of human suffering, the groans, the screams, the agonized appeals

Giuseppe Berto: Stop destroying so many good things that existed on earth simply in order to slaughter each other

Giuseppe Berto: Then the war passed over our countryside

Giuseppe Berto: A universal evil has given them the power to kill unknown people, people very like themselves

Giuseppe Berto: War destroys the soul even when it spares the body

Walter Besant: War and the destruction of London, a city lone and widowed

Walter Besant: Wisdom and war

Matilda Betham: All the horrid charms of war

Ambrose Bierce: Selections on war

Ambrose Bierce: Warlike America

Ambrose Bierce: Chickamauga

Ambrose Bierce: The Coup de Grâce

Ambrose Bierce: Killed At Resaca

Ambrose Bierce: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce: War as parricide

Augustine Birrell: Richard Cobden, visionary of world peace

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: All labor’s dread of war’s mad waste and murder

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: I saw a dove fear-daunted

William Black: Better small farms, thriving and prosperous, than splendid ruins that tell of the fierceness of war

William Black: Military glory, the most mean, the most cruel and contemptible thing under the sun!

William Black: When Caesar’s legions turn on him

Robert Blair: Where are the mighty thunderbolts of war?

William Blake: Selections on war and peace

William Blake: Be withdrawn cloudy war, troops of warriors depart, nor around our peaceable city breathe

William Blake: Groaning among the happier dead

William Blake: O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue to drown the throat of war!

William Blake: O go not forth in Martyrdoms & Wars

William Blake: To peaceful arts shall envy bow

Susanna Blamire: When the eye sees the grief that from one battle flows, small cause of triumph can the bravest feel

Charles A. Blanchard: What is war? Is peace possible?

Jean Blewett: Above the din of martial clamor, a crying in the dark

Mathilde Blind: All vile things that batten on disaster follow feasting in the wake of war

Mathilde Blind: Reaping War’s harvest grim and gory

Mathilde Blind: Widowing the world of men to win the world

Alexander Blok: The kite, the mother and endless war

León Bloy: The Sword

Edmund Blunden: Writings on war

Edmund Blunden: The black fiend leaps brick-red as life’s last picture goes

Edmund Blunden: The bondservice of destruction

Edmund Blunden: Death could not kneel

Edmund Blunden: Harsher screamed the condor war

Edmund Blunden: How silver clear against war’s hue and cry each syllable of peace the gods allowed

Edmund Blunden: Initiation into war

Edmund Blunden: One needed no occult gift to notice the shadow of death

Edmund Blunden: War tableaux

Edmund Blunden: War’s harvest

Edmund Blunden: War’s undormant cemetery

Edmund Blunden: We stood estranged with the ghosts of war between

Edmund Blunden: A whole sweet countryside amuck with murder

Robert Bly: War, writers and government money

Giovanni Boccaccio: Avarice armed mankind in violence

Friedrich Martin von Bodenstedt: Christianity and War

Boethius: Provoking death’s destined day by waging unjust and cruel wars

Evgeny Bogat: Hiroshima and Socrates

Evgeny Bogat: In a world of napalm and burning villages, love is the triumph over non-existence

Evgeny Bogat: Rembrandt’s girl

Heinrich Böll: Every death in war is a murder – a murder for which someone is responsible

Heinrich Böll: I’m going to die soon and before the war is over. I shall never know peace again.

Wolfgang Borchert: It was war; stories from a primer

Wolfgang Borchert: Only one thing to do, say No!

George Borrow: Prisoners of war: misery on one side, disgrace on the other

Carl John Bostelmann: Hate, still thy drums! War, make thy trumpets mute!

James Boswell: On War

James Boswell: Samuel Johnson – war is worst type of all violence

James Boswell: Who profits by war?

Pierre Boulle: The long reach of war profiteers

Randolph Bourne: Selections on war

Randolph Bourne: The War and the Intellectuals

Randolph Bourne: War and the State

Randolph Bourne: Willing war means willing all the evils that are organically bound up with it

Randolph Bourne: Conscience and Intelligence in War

Randolph Bourne: Twilight of Idols

Randolph Bourne: Below the Battle

Jane Bowdler: War’s deadly futility

William Lisle Bowles: Selections on war and peace

William Lisle Bowles: As War’s black trump pealed its terrific blast

William Lisle Bowles: The dread name of the hideous war-fiend shall perish

William Lisle Bowles: The Fiend of War, sated with slaughter

William Lisle Bowles: Grim-visaged War drowns with his trumpet’s blast a brother’s cries

William Lisle Bowles: Oh, when will the long tempestuous night of warfare and of woe be rolled away!

William Lisle Bowles: When her war-song Victory doth sing, Destruction flaps aloft her iron-hurtling wing

Henry Noel Brailsford: Waiting for the horrors of a war that was coming

Henry Noel Brailsford: Who is the happy warrior?

Berton Braley: The nobler army fights the bloodless battles of industry and peace

Georg Brandes: Selections on war

Georg Brandes: An Appeal Against Wholesale Murder

Georg Brandes: War, uninterrupted series of horrors, atrocities, and slaughter

Georg Brandes: The World at War

Georg Brandes: The Praise of War

Georg Brandes: Only officers and ammunition-makers wish war

Georg Brandes: Two million men held in readiness to exterminate each other

Georg Brandes: Wars waged by governments fronting for financial oligarchies

Georg Brandes: Abrupt about-face, the glorification of war

Georg Brandes: Giants of bloodshed; military staffs foster war

Georg Brandes: The future will look on war as the present looks on witchcraft, the Inquisition

Georg Brandes: War not fight for ideals but fight for concessions

Bertolt Brecht: Selections on war

Bertolt Brecht: For its material and moral beneficiaries, war can look forward to a prosperous future

Bertolt Brecht: German Miserere

Bertolt Brecht: I won’t let you spoil my war for me

Bertolt Brecht: In war the attacker always has an alibi

Bertolt Brecht: Maimed soldiers are anti-war demonstrators

Bertolt Brecht: One’s only got to make a war to become a millionaire. It’s amazing!

Bertolt Brecht: Picture-book generals more dangerous, less brave, than serial killers

Bertolt Brecht: To hear the big fellows talk, they wage war from fear of God and for all things bright and beautiful

Bertolt Brecht: The upper classes sacrifice for the soldiers

Bertolt Brecht: War Song

Bertolt Brecht: Wherein a holy war differs from other wars

Edward Arnold Brenholtz: Selections on peace and war

Edwin Arnold Brenholtz: The Demon, War

Edwin Arnold Brenholtz: The Dying Warrior

Edwin Arnold Brenholtz: If war is sane, make me insane

Edward Arnold Brenholtz: Now be the God of Peace adored

Edwin Arnold Brenholtz: The Passion of Peace

Robert Bridges: And this is War!

Vera Mary Brittain: August, 1914

British writers on peace and war

Louis Bromfield: NATO, Permanent War Panic and America’s Messiah Complex

Van Wyck Brooks: The truth about war that Mark Twain could only divulge after death

William E. Brooks: Memorial Day

Laura Helena Brower: Heritage. The blighted fruit of war.

Charles Brockden Brown: Such is the spectacle exhibited in every field of battle

Frances Brown: An avenger mightier than war

Waldo R. Browne: War, a parable

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Exalt the name of Peace and leave those rusty wars that eat the soul

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: War’s human harvest

Robert Browning: Selections on peace and war

Robert Browning: The devil’s doctrine, the paraded shame of war

Robert Browning: Far and wide the victims of our warfare strew the plain

Robert Browning: Peace, in whom depths of wealth lie

Robert Browning: Peace rises within them ever more and more

Robert Browning: They sent a million fighters forth South and North

Kenneth Bruce: Universal Peace

William Jennings Bryan: What the world would have lost if Shakespeare had been killed as a soldier, Burns had fallen on the battlefield

William Cullen Bryant: Christmas 1875

William Cullen Bryant: Emblem of the peace that yet shall be, noise of war shall cease from sea to sea

Robert Buchanan: The moon gleamed on the dreadful drifts of dead

John Wright Buckham: The Heroisms of Peace

Edward Bulwer Lytton: Ghouls on the field of slaughter

Edward Bulwer Lytton: The heartless and miserable vanity from which arose wars neither useful nor honourable

Edward Bulwer Lytton: The sword, consecrating homicide and massacre with a hollow name

George Shepard Burleigh: Martial Heroism

George Shepard Burleigh: When shall the crystal fount of Peace wash out the hideous stain of blood?

Dana Burnett: Selections on war

Dana Burnet: Ammunition. The Dead.

Dana Burnet: Christmas in the Trenches

Dana Burnet: The Dreadnaught

Dana Burnet: The Glory of War

Dana Burnet: Napoleon’s Tomb

Dana Burnet: The Village

Dana Burnet: War

Dana Burnet: The world’s awry and there are no more dreams!

Robert Burns: I hate murder by flood or field

Robert Burns: Peace, thy olive wand extend and bid wild War his ravage end

Robert Burns: Wars, the plagues of human life

Vincent Godfrey Burns: An Ex-Serviceman Makes a Vow

Vincent Godfrey Burns: Hell à la mode

Amelia Josephine Burr: Two Viewpoints

Elihu Burritt: Dismantled Arsenals. Death, sin and Satan weep over the grave of their renowned confederate, War.

Struthers Burt: To a Friend Wanting War

Robert Burton: Hypocrites who make the trumpet of the gospel the trumpet of war

Robert Burton: War’s nuptials, war’s justice

Robert Burton: We hate the hawk because it is always at war

Robert Burton: What fury first brought so devilish, so brutish a thing as war into men’s minds?

Samuel Butler: Religion of war

Samuel Butler: Valor in modern warfare

Witter Bynner: War

Byron: Selections on war

Byron: The age of beauty will succeed the sport of war

Byron: All ills past, present and to come yield to the true portrait of one battle-field

Byron: Blasted below the hot breath of war

Byron: The drying up a single tear has more of honest fame than shedding seas of gore.

Byron: Gore and glory seen in hell alone

Byron: The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away

Byron: I loathe all war and warriors

Byron: I made no wars

Byron: Just ponder what a pious pastime war is

Byron: Such is the absorbing hate when warring nations meet

Byron: The time is past when swords subdued

Byron: War, banquet for wolf and worm

Byron: War cuts up not only branch, but root

Byron: War did glut himself again, all earth was but one thought – and that was death

Byron: War feeds the vultures, wolves and worms

Byron: War returns on its perpetrator

Byron: War’s a brain-spattering, windpipe-slitting art

Callimachus: Nurse peace, that he who sows may also reap

Calpurnius Siculus: The unholy War-Goddess shall yield. All wars shall be quelled in Tartarean durance.

Thomas Campbell: Selections on peace and war

Thomas Campbell: Maddening strife and blood-stain’d fields to come

Thomas Campbell: Men will weep for him when many a guilty martial fame is dim

Thomas Campbell: Sending whirlwind warrants forth to rouse the slumbering fiends of war

Thomas Campbell: Shall War’s polluted banner ne’er be furl’d?

Thomas Campbell: The snow shall be their winding-sheet, every turf a soldier’s sepulchre

Thomas Campion: Raving war wastes our empty fields

Thomas Campion: Then bloody swords and armour should not be

Thomas Campion: Upright man needs neither towers nor armour

Albert Camus: Where war lives. The reign of beasts has begun.

Karel Čapek: The War with the Newts

Ernesto Cardenal: They speak of peace and secretly prepare for war

Thomas Carew: Lust for gold fills the world with tumult, blood, and war

Thomas Carew: They’ll hang their arms upon the olive bough

Thomas Carlyle: War is a quarrel between two thieves

Thomas Carlyle: What blood-filled trenches, and contentious centuries, may still divide us!

Thomas Carlyle: The works of peace versus battles and war-tumults

William Herbert Carruth: When the Cannon Booms

Baldassare Castiglione: Leaders must prepare their people for peace, not war

Baldassare Castiglione: Sabine peace

Catullus: Appalled by fratricide, gods turned from man

Benvenuto Cellini: War kept behind closed doors

Cervantes: Everything then was friendship, everything was harmony

Alexander Chakovsky: The war, the darkness and the cold. “And then everything will come back?”

Mary Chandler: The noise of war is hushed

George Chapman: Men’s want of peace, which was from want of love

George Chapman: Peace with all her heavenly seed

François-René de Chateaubriand: What is war? A barbaric profession.

Chateaubriand: Would-be master of the world who knew only how to destroy

Thomas Chatterton: Peace, gentlest, softest of the virtues

Geoffrey Chaucer: The city to the soldier’s rage resigned; successless wars and poverty behind

Anton Chekhov: You can’t remember a single year without war

Anne Cleveland Cheney: All Ye Who Pass By

Victor Cherbuliez and Erich Fromm: Wars are outbursts of destructiveness and paranoid suspicion

Charles Chesnutt: Justice, Peace – the seed and the flower of civilisation

G.K. Chesterton: In modern war defeat is complete defeat

G. K. Chesterton: War’s regressive tendency

José Santos Chocano: When a future explorer uncovers that rarest of things, a sword

John Chrysostom: God is not a God of war and fighting

Charles Churchill: Thousands bleed for some vile spot where fifty cannot feed

Cicero: All wars, undertaken without a proper motive, are unjust

Cicero: Even war’s victories should be forgotten

Cicero: Military commands, phantom of glory and the ruin of one’s own country and personal downfall

Jules Claretie: A sensible man can but have one opinion on the question of war and peace

Thomas Curtis Clark: Apparitions

Thomas Curtis Clark: Bugle Song of Peace

Thomas Curtis Clark: Who made war?

Claudian: Hell’s numberless monsters plot war

Clement of Alexandria: Gods of war

Clement of Alexandria: Let us gird ourselves with the armour of peace

Caroline Clive: The bloody words of ruffian war

Arthur Hugh Clough: For an impalpable odour of honour armies shall bleed

Arthur Hugh Clough: Ye vulgar dreamers about peace

Florence Earle Coates: The New Mars

Florence Earle Coates: War

Humphrey Cobb: Selections on war

Humphrey Cobb: Generals are reassured by the smell of the dead

Humphrey Cobb: Hallucination of fantastic butchery; too much for one man to bear

Humphrey Cobb: The paths of glory lead but to the rats

Humphrey Cobb: Reworking the sixth commandment for war; thou shalt not commit individual murder

Humphrey Cobb: War never settled anything except who was the strongest

Elizabeth Cobbold: Earth’s bosom drenching with her children’s blood

Margaret Postgate Cole: They fell, like snowflakes wiping out the noon

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge: Lilies and Doves

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Selections on peace and war

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: All our dainty terms for fratricide

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: And war still violates the unfinished works of peace

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The demon War and its attendants, maniac Suicide and giant Murder

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Fire, Famine, And Slaughter: A War Eclogue

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: From all sides rush the thirsty brood of War!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: War and all its dread vicissitudes pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: War is a murderous fiend, by fiends adored

John Collins: Till war becomes a crime abhorred, and earth be blessed with endless peace

William Collins: Ode to Peace

Auguste Comte: Permanent warfare as foundation of retrograde system, incompatible with modern civilization

Étienne Bonnot de Condillac: Peace will not make good all the evils war has caused

Nicolas de Condorcet: War can never benefit the majority of individuals of a nation

Nicolas de Condorcet: War, the most dreadful of all calamities, the most terrible of all crimes

William Congreve: Cursed ambition wakes the world to war and ruin

William Congreve: No more do youth leave the sacred arts for stubborn arms

Elizabeth Connor: This World War

Joseph Conrad: Selections on war

Joseph Conrad: Firing into a continent, a touch of insanity in the proceeding

Joseph Conrad: In modern war mankind cannot resist the temptation to use any stealthy, murderous contrivance

Joseph Conrad: Men go mad in protest against “peculiar sanity” of war

Joseph Conrad: Moral cannibals feeding on each other’s misfortunes: ‘It’s a damned bad war, but it’s better than no war at all.’

Joseph Conrad: With earth soaked in blood, all men seek some formula of peace

Eliza Cook: Selections on peace and war

Eliza Cook: Crimson battlefield. When the world shall be spread with tombless dead.

Eliza Cook: I felt a shuddering horror lurk, to think I’d mingled in such work

Eliza Cook: No bloodstain lingers there. The plough and the spear.

Eliza Cook: Not where bullet, sword, and shield lie strown with the gory slain

Eliza Cook: Who can love the laurel wreath, plucked from the gory field of death?

James Fenimore Cooper: Is there a star where war and bloodshed aren’t known?

James Fenimore Cooper: Oppression and injustice the natural consequences of military power uncurbed by restraints of civil authority

James Fenimore Cooper: War’s victory not worth the sacrifice of human life

François Coppée: God preserve us from scientific war, the worst of any

Michel Corday: Selections from The Paris Front

Michel Corday: Blood! Blood! But there is still not enough.

Michel Corday: The everlasting glorification of murder

Michel Corday: War, the most brutal heritage of the past

Michel Corday: In war fathers bury their sons

Michel Corday: War sentiment is general dementia, barbarous and neolithic

Michel Corday: Millions of men killed to cure a single hypochondriac

Michel Corday: War – hell let loose, butchery, a return to barbarism

Michel Corday: War is irreparable loss for the earth and the human race

Michel Corday: The hideous futility of war in itself

Michel Corday: Future description of these horrors ought to make any return of war impossible

Michel Corday: Striking against war

Michel Corday: The Truth is the chief victim of war

Michel Corday: Glorification of slaughter is the beginning of future armaments

Michel Corday: The plague that comes in war’s train\

Joseph Cottle: Selections on war

Joseph Cottle: If on the slaughter’d field some mind humane…

Joseph Cottle: Know you their crimes on whom you warfare wage?

Joseph Cottle: Plant the seeds of universal peace

Joseph Cottle: Torn from their cots to wield the murderer’s blade

Joseph Cottle: Warn mankind to shun the hostile spear

Joseph Cottle: War’s noxious breath fills earth with discord, dread, and death

Peter L. Courtier: Ode to Peace

Francis Coutts: Why was no better gift by thee bequeathed than a sword unsheathed?

Abraham Cowley: Like the peace, but think it comes too late

Abraham Cowley: Only peace breeds scarcity in Hell

Abraham Cowley: To give peace and then the rules of peace

Malcolm Cowley: By day there are only the dead

William Cowper: Selections on peace and war

William Cowper on war and man’s inhumanity to man: Homo homini lupus

William Cowper: In every heart are sown the sparks that kindle fiery war

William Cowper: Never shall you hear the voice of war again

William Cowper: O place me in some heaven-protected isle where no crested warrior dips his plume in blood

William Cowper: Peace, both the duty and the prize

William Cowper: They trust in navies and armies

William Cowper: Universal soldiership has stabbed the heart of man

Wilbur F. Crafts: Not mailed but nailed the hands he turned to the world

Stephen Crane: An Episode of War

Stephen Crane: There was crimson clash of war

Stephen Crane: War Is Kind

Richard Crashaw: In Hell’s palaces

F. Marion Crawford: The world dreads the very name of war, lest it should become universal once it breaks out

Isabella Valancy Crawford: The Forging of the Sword

Isabella Valancy Crawford: Peace

Isabella Valancy Crawford: War

Ann Batten Cristall: Pity, Liberty, and Peace

Ann Batten Cristall: Relief for nature, man at war with themselves

Maria Briscoe Croker: War and Peace

Ernest Crosby: Selections against war, for peace

Ernest Crosby: Peace

Ernest Crosby: The Peace Congress

Ernest Crosby: Peace has outgrown all that, for Peace is a man

Ernest Crosby: They know not love that love not peace

Ernest Crosby: War and Hell

Ernest Crosby: Woman and War

Martha Foote Crow: There is no Christ left in all those carnage-loving lands

William Crowe: On poets who sing of war

E. E. Cummings: Detention camp during wartime

Mary L. Cummins: The News of War

Mary L. Cummins: The Women Who Wait

William Cunningham: A thousand gifts are thine, Sweet Peace! – which War can never know

Quintus Curtius: So completely does war invert even the laws of Nature

Cyprian: War cannot consist with peace

Charlotte Dacre: Peace

Charlotte Dacre: War

Dante: The fate of those who deal in bloodshed and in pillaging

Olive Tilford Dargan: Beyond War

Rubén Darío: You think the future is wherever your bullet strikes

James Darmesteter: War and prophecy

Alphonse Daudet: Revenge and war

William Davenant : War, the sport of kings, increases the number of dead

John Davidson: Blood in torrents pour in vain, for war breeds war again

John Davidson: The blood of men poured out in endless wars

W.H. Davies: The blind hatred engendered by war

Richard Harding Davis: Destruction versus civilization, soldiers and engineers

Thomas Day: Wages abhorred war with humankind

Cecil Day-Lewis: Newsreel

John William De Forest: Uncivil war

Cecelia De Vere: The American flag. Peacemakers, called the children of Great God.

Daniel Defoe: Mammon and Mars, twin deities

Thomas Dekker: Lands ravaged by soldiers and war

Democritus: Strange humor: Men covet war in time of peace

Demosthenes: When war comes home, the fatal weaknesses of states are revealed

Antoine Destutt de Tracy: War leads to despotism, despotism to war

Charles Dickens: Waging war to perpetuate slavery

Emily Dickinson: I many times thought Peace had come

Denis Diderot: War is contest between beast and savage

Dio Cassius: Weeping and lamenting the fratricide of war

Dio Cassius: When peace was announced the mountains resounded

Dio Chystostom: Greed leads to internal strife and foreign wars

Dio Chrystostom: On the fate of states educated only for war

Diodorus Siculus: Alexander’s first encounter with military glory

Diodorus Siculus: History is more than the recording of wars

Diogenes Laertius: Steel and eloquence

Dionysius of Halicarnassus: Numa’s arbiters of peace

Dionysius of Halicarnassus: Scorn rapine and violence and the profits accruing from war

Dionysius of Halicarnassus: Women’s plea for peace

Alfred Döblin: The law and the police are at the service of the war state and its slavery

Alfred Döblin: The old grim cry for war

Alfred Döblin: War is not ineluctable fate

Alfred Döblin: We march to war, Death folds his cloak singing: Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes.

Austin Dobson: Before Sedan

Nathan Haskell Dole: Death: War is my Master-stroke since Days of Yore

Nathan Haskell Dole: Here are War’s pomp and circumstance

Nathan Haskell Dole: Thanks offering of the God of Waste and Destruction

Nathan Haskell Dole: The Vision of Peace

James B. Dollard: The Battle-Line

Alfred Dommett: A Christmas hymn. The peaceful Prince of earth and heaven.

John Donne: The horror and ghastliness of war

John Donne: War and misery are one thing

John Dos Passos: Selection on war

John Dos Passos: Meat for guns. Shot for saying the war was wrong.

John Dos Passos: The miserable dullness of industrialized slaughter

John Dos Passos: Not wake up till the war was over and you could be a human being again

John Dos Passos: They were going to kill everybody who spoke that language

John Dos Passos: Three Soldiers

John Dos Passos on Randolph Bourne: War is the health of the state

John Dos Passos: What was the good of stopping the war if the armies continued?

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Selections on war

Fyodor Dostoevsky: The abysmal cunning of war

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Decide for yourself, has civilization made mankind more bloodthirsty?

Fyodor Dostoevsky: The desire to rule mankind as slaves leads West to colossal, final war

1862: Dostoevsky on the new world order

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Holocaustal weapons of future wars

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Holy blood was shed, regular wars sprang up

Marion Doyle: Mars and Kings have silenced all their singing

Augusta Theodosia Drane: It needs must be that gentle Peace prevail!

Michael Drayton: All your banks with peace preserved be

Theodore Dreiser: If he went he might be shot, and what would his noble emotion amount to then? He would rather make money, regulate current political, social and financial affairs

Theodore Dreiser: The logic of military victory, an apologue

Theodore Dreiser and Smedley Butler: War is a Racket

John Drinkwater: I sing of peace while nations market in death

Maurice Druon: A contempt for all things military

Maurice Druon: The dual prerogatives of minting coins and waging wars

John Dryden: All your care is to provide the horrid pomp of war

John Dryden: In peace the thoughts of war he could remove

John Dryden and Horace: Happy is he who trumpets summon not to war

John Dryden and Lucretius: Venus and Mars: Lull the world in universal peace

Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas: Breaking oaths of peace, cover the fields with bloody carcasses

W.E.B. Du Bois: Work for Peace

Georges Duhamel: Selections on war

Georges Duhamel: The demon of war had imprisoned us under his knee

Georges Duhamel: The Fleshmongers, War’s Winnowing Basket

Georges Duhamel: Mosaic of pain stained with mud and blood, the colours of war

Georges Duhamel: No end to war without moral reeducation

Georges Duhamel: No man desires war…but if there’s money to be made…

Georges Duhamel: The possession of the world is not decided by guns. It is the noble work of peace.

Georges Duhamel: The stupid machine of war throws out, from minute to minute, bleeding men

Georges Duhamel: The Third Symphony, a slender bridge across the abyss

Georges Duhamel: War and civilization

Georges Duhamel: War has achieved the mournful miracle of denaturing nature, rendering it ignoble and criminal

Georges Duhamel: Who has taught children of man that war brings happiness?

Georges Duhamel: World where now there are more graveyards than villages

Alexandre Dumas: The dove

Paul Laurence Dunbar: Birds of peace and deadened hearts

S. B. Dunn: In Terra PaxS. B. Dunn: In Terra Pax

Finley Peter Dunne: A great nation at war (in the vernacular)

Maurice Duplay: Colloquy on science and war

Maurice Duplay: Imperative to uproot the passion of war

Marguerite Duras: The civilizing mission

Jean Dutourd: The horrors of war

Edward Dyer: So that of war the very name may not be heard again

Georg Ebers: Each one must bring a victim to the war

Eça de Queiroz: Afghanistan

Eça de Queiroz: The English in Egypt, a case study

J.A. Edgerton: A Song of Peace

J.A. Edgerton: When the cannon’s roar shall be heard no more

George Eliot: Tart rebuke of crude war propaganda

Havelock Ellis: War, a relapse from civilisation into barbarism, if not savagery

Paul Éluard: True law of men despite the misery and war

Emma Catherine Embury: Proud soldier turns from scenes of war

Ralph Waldo Emerson: All history is the decline of war. Cannot peace be, as well as war?

Ralph Waldo Emerson: The cause of peace is not the cause of cowardice

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Universal peace is as sure as is the prevalence of civilization over barbarism

Epictetus: I and mine, the cause of wars

Erasmus: Selections on war

Erasmus: Against War

Erasmus: The Complaint of Peace

Erasmus: How an astute general conducts warfare

Erasmus: Of a Soldier’s Life

Erasmus: The Soldier and the Carthusian

Erasmus: What is it that moves people to be so hot for war? What will they get by it?

Erckmann-Chatrian: In a century the war gods will be recognized as barbarians

Erckmann-Chatrian: In war belligerents conspire against their own citizens

Euripides: The crown of War, the crown of Woe

Nathaniel Evans: Ode on the Prospect of Peace

Maria Louise Eve: Disarm!

Laura Bell Everett: The Skein of Grievous War

William Norman Ewer: Five Souls

Faiz Ahmed Faiz: Today, war means the annihilation of the human race itself

Eleanor Farjeon: Now that you too join the vanishing armies

Eleanor Farjeon: Peace Poem

Marianne Farningham: Give Peace

George Farquhar: What induced you to turn soldier?

William Faulkner: All we ever needed to do is just say, Enough of this

William Faulkner: It’s simple nameless war which decimates our ranks

William Faulkner: There is only the question: When will I be blown up?

William Faulkner: To militarists, all civilians, even their own, are alien intruders

Joseph Fawcett: Civilized war! The cool carnage of the cultured world.

Joseph Fawcett: The contemptible wagers of civilized war

Joseph Fawcett: The deep scarlet shame of unceasing war

Joseph Fawcett: The distempered dream of war

Joseph Fawcett: War and music. Perversion most perverse! Misapplication monstrous!

Joseph Fawcett: War Elegy

Joseph Fawcett: War mocks and degrades nature, God, mind, commerce, agriculture

Konstantin Fedin: Is there anyone who doesn’t want this war to be the last one on earth?

Osyp Yuriy Fedkovych: The Recruit

Fénelon: War is the most dreadful of all evils by which heaven has afflicted man

Lion Feuchtwanger: Selections on war

Lion Feuchtwanger: The demand for perpetual peace must be raised again and again

Lion Feuchtwanger: The future national state: A military power beyond conception

Lion Feuchtwanger: The privilege, the courage of fighting for peace

Lion Feuchtwanger: Service at the front gave him a burning hatred for militarism

Lion Feuchtwanger: There is no greater crime than an unnecessary war

Lion Feuchtwanger: War to make the world safe for democracy

Johann Gottlieb Fichte: The inexorable law of universal peace

Eugene Field and Thorne Smith: Bacchus disables Mars

Henry Fielding: An alternative to heaps of mangled and murdered human bodies

Henry Fielding: On the condign fate of Great Men and conquerors

Henry Fielding: War creates the professors of human blood-shedding

Anne Finch: Enquiry After Peace

F. Scott Fitzgerald: War comes to Princeton

Gustave Flaubert and George Sand: Monstrous conflicts of which we have no idea; warfare suppressed or civilization perishes

Florus: Scattering the flames of war over the whole world

Florus: World war, something worse than war

Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle: Planet blessed with love but decimated by war

Ford Maddox Ford: Millions massacred for picturesque phrases in politicians’ speeches

Ford Maddox Ford: Preparing men likes bullocks for the slaughterhouse

Mary Weston Fordham: Ode to Peace

E.M. Forster: The Imperialist is not what he thinks or seems. He is a destroyer.

E.M. Forster: Wars spurred on by persistent talk of war, amplified by the gutter press

Paul Fort: The Complaint of the Soldiers

Anatole France: Selections on war

Anatole France: Attack the monster that devours our race; make war on war, a war to the death

Anatole France: Barracks are a hideous invention of modern times

Anatole France: Brutal impulse which has led and still leads one half of humanity to destroy the other

Anatole France: Ceaselessly repeating that war is abominable, avoiding all the tortuous intrigues which might provoke it

Anatole France: Country living under shadow of war is easy to govern

Anatole France: Education and War

Anatole France: Emerging painfully from primitive barbarism, war

Anatole France: The ethics of war

Anatole France: Financiers only wanted colonial wars and the people did not want any wars at all

Anatole France: “He left us impoverished and depopulated, but he gave us glory”

Anatole France: How the U.S. Congress deliberates on wars

Anatole France: In civilised nations the glory of massacre is the greatest glory known

Anatole France: Letter to an advocate of “peace with victory”

Anatole France: Military service the most terrible pest of civilised nations

Anatole France: Modern Romans, the Americanization of the world

Anatole France: No one has right to kill, just man will refuse to draw his number for war

Anatole France: Nobel Prize speech

Anatole France: Only two ways out of militarism – war and bankruptcy

Anatole France: Restoring order by means of theft, rape, pillage, murder and incendiarism

Anatole France: To avert the danger of peace breaking out…

Anatole France: The tutelary gods of world war

Anatole France: Wait till the warriors you make gods of swallow you all up

Anatole France: War brings to the victor himself but ruin and misery, is nothing but a horrible and stupid crime

Anatole France: War, burlesque masquerade in which fatuous patriots sing stupid dithyrambs

Anatole France: War debases man beneath the level of ferocious beasts

Anatole France: War is committing all crimes by which an individual dishonours himself: arson, robbery, rape, murder

Anatole France: War is the last redoubt of oligarchy, plutocracy

Anatole France: Wars fought over territorial acquisition, commercial rivalries

Anatole France: War ruins all trades but its own

Anatole France: “What you call murder and robbery may really be war and conquest, sacred foundations of empires”

Anatole France: Whether civil or foreign, war is execrable

Anatole France: Why should not humanity abolish the law of murder?

Anatole France on Victor Hugo: People to substitute justice and peace for war and bloodshed

Anatole France on Émile Zola, military terrorism and world peace

Anatole France and Michel Corday: The press fans the flames of war’s blast furnace

Anatole France and Michel Corday: Threat of annihilation in gigantic Armageddon

Anatole France and Michel Corday: War is a crime, for which victory brings no atonement

Bruno Frank: Mercenaries lay coffinless in their thousands; terribly easy for princes to carry on their wars

Ivan Franko: Even the dove has the blood of men on its snowy white wings

James George Frazer: Purifying the defilement of war

James George Frazer: Saturn’s reign of peace

Harold Frederic: War inflicts stifling political conformity

Robert Freeman: Peace on Earth

French writers on war and peace

Philip Freneau: The Prospect of Peace

Fronto: Devotion to peace 

Henry Blake Fuller: Killed and wounded on the fields of hate

Margaret Fuller: America, with no prouder emblem than the Dove

Thomas Fuller: As though there were not enough men-murdering engines

Thomas Fuller: When all the world might smile in perfect peace

Richard Furness: Selections on war

Richard Furness: Death and demons laugh’d in horrid joy

Richard Furness: The plough and the sword

Richard Furness: War and Love

Richard Furness: Whatever monster rose to mar the happiness of earth by war

Richard Furness: Who wasted earth with sword and flame and murdered millions for a name

F. Benjamin Gage: The Sword and the Plough

John Galsworthy: Selections on war

John Galsworthy, 1911: Air war last and worst hideous development of the black arts of warfare

John Galsworthy: Achieving perpetual peace by securing the annihilation of our common enemies

John Galsworthy: Air war leads to reverse evolution

John Galsworthy: Friend becomes foe with war psychosis

John Galsworthy: Grandiloquent phrases are the very munitions of war

John Galsworthy: History, made up of wars and intrigues which have originated in the brains of public men

John Galsworthy: The monstrous injustice of conflating chauvinism with common drunkenness

John Galsworthy: No one who disagrees with me must say anything if we are to save the cause of freedom and humanity

John Galsworthy: On the drawbacks of uttering pro-war cant

John Galsworthy: On the embarrassing consequences of bellicose pontification

John Galsworthy: Only a helpless or wicked God would allow the slaughter of millions

John Galsworthy: The procreative demands of war

John Galsworthy: The pure essence of humanitarian warfare sentiments

John Galsworthy: Rivers of blood and tears. When would killing go out of fashion?

John Galsworthy: Trading in fanatical idiocy at expense of others’ blood and sweat

John Galsworthy: Valley of the Shadow

John Galsworthy: War and the microbe of fatalism

John Galsworthy: The war brought in ugliness

John Galsworthy: The war made us all into barbarians

John Galsworthy: War moves mankind towards the manly and unforgiving vigour of the tiger and the rat

John Galsworthy: “The war! The cursed war!”

John Galsworthy: War, where Christ is daily crucified a million times over

John Galsworthy: Would they never tire of making mincemeat of the world?

Rasul Gamzatov: For women war is never over

Maya Ganina: Peace and homeland

Gabriel García Márquez: Five wars and seventeen military coups

Hamlin Garland: Cog in a vast machine for killing men

David Garnett: Criminal to welcome war

David Garnett: War is the worst of the epidemic diseases which afflict mankind

Vsevolod Garshin: Four Days

Théophile Gautier: One could imagine oneself in the Golden Age of Peace

John Gay: Parallel lives. Highwaymen and soldiers.

Thomas Gent: Sonnet to Peace

Stefan George: Monsters of lead and iron, tubes and rods escape their maker’s hand and rage unruly

German writers on peace and war

C. Virgil Gheorghiu: Armies composed of mercenaries fighting for the consolidation of robot society

C. Virgil Gheorghiu: In order to achieve victory the earth has been strewn with the bodies of innocent men, women, and children

C. Virgil Gheorghiu: Third World War, the first true world war in history

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: Selections from the Peace Sonnets

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: The blessed salve of peace for the whole bleeding world

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: Crown him with many crowns, the Prince of Peace

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: I sing the soldiers of the coming wars, those that save and heal

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: Speak peace, that thou and all the lands may live, ere thou and they all perish by the sword!

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: They say they are of Christ and do the works of Cain

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: War is the mailèd hand of criminal states

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: We feed bread of our children to the war-god’s greed

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: Selections on war

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: The Bayonet

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: Between The Lines

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: The Conscript

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: Dance of death

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: He who killed men in foreign lands bore my name

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: Nine O’Clock News

André Gide: Transformation of a war supporter

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Flag of Peace

Mary Putnam Gilmore: Sweet Peace is Here

Jean Giono: Led to the slaughterhouse

Jean Giono: Rats and worms were the only living things

Jean Giono: War, nourishment and dismemberment

Jean Giono: War! Who’s the madman in charge of all this? Who’s the madman who gives the orders?

George Gissing: Selections on war

George Gissing: “Civilisation rests upon a military basis”

George Gissing: Culpable fatalism: war is assured by perpetual prophecies of statesmen and journalists

George Gissing: Games and war

George Gissing: The imposition of military servitude

George Gissing: Large-scale murder as fair sport

George Gissing: Letter to a son killed in war: War is a horrible thing that ought to be left to savages

George Gissing: Lord of Slaughter commands curse of universal soldiering

George Gissing: The morbid love of war

George Gissing: Next stage in civilization: peace made a religion

George Gissing: A parable on war, industry and the press

George Gissing: Peace, no word more beautiful

George Gissing: War turns science into enemy of man

George Gissing: When the next great war comes, newspapers will be the chief cause of it

Ellen Glasgow: Selections on war

Ellen Glasgow: The Altar of the War God

Ellen Glasgow: His vision of the future only an endless warfare and a wasted land

Ellen Glasgow: The Reign of the Brute

Ellen Glasgow: “That killed how many? how many?”

Ellen Glasgow: Then the rows of dead men stared at him through the falling rain in the deserted field

William Godwin: Inventions of a barbarous age, deluging provinces with blood

Ferdynand Goetel: Hands off our home, you tracking murderers! Hands off our brains and hearts!

Ferdynand Goetel: Men ripped up by the Moloch of war

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: I have not a warlike nature nor warlike tastes

Goethe: “O wisdom, thou speakest as a dove!”

Goethe: Withdraw hands from your swords

Nikolai Gogol: The dove not seeing the hawk. War in the Ukraine

Oliver Goldsmith: Selections on war

Oliver Goldsmith: A thousand hecatombs for mere trumperies. Imperial contest that no honest man can wish either side wins.

Oliver Goldsmith on war: Hundreds of thousands killed without consequence

Oliver Goldsmith: I am an enemy to nothing in this good world but war

Oliver Goldsmith: To make one man happy is more truly great than having ten thousand captives groaning at the wheels of his chariot

Oliver Goldsmith: War and its servile press

Adam Lindsay Gordon: Bellona

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war

Maxim Gorky on Romain Rolland, war and humanism

Maxim Gorky to H.G. Wells: Cleanse from the hearts of children the blood-stained rust of horrible and senseless war

Maxim Gorky: The fatal consequences of ignoring military protocol

Maxim Gorky: Generals and substitutes for monkeys

Maxim Gorky: Henri Barbusse and the mass of lies, hypocrisy, cruelty, dirt and blood called war

Maxim Gorky: Military museum; soaking the dirt and dust of the earth with copious blood

Maxim Gorky: Military Tower of Babel

Maxim Gorky: Only time to train cannon fodder, not soldiers

Maxim Gorky: Perfidious Albion at war

Maxim Gorky: “That’s what war is for – to seize foreign land or depopulate one’s own”

Maxim Gorky: The true motives of war

Maxim Gorky: War and Civilization

Maxim Gorky: War, cunning in its stupidity

Maxim Gorky: War permits destruction of every kind: losing limbs fighting for our country

Maxim Gorky: What in war is honorable, in peacetime is criminal

Maxim Gorky: What we needed was a successful war – with anybody at all

Maxim Gorky: When “cause of freedom for man” means money for armaments

Maxim Gorky: With arming of vast hordes of people, what can I get out of the war?

Maxim Gorky: World war and racial conflict on an obscure, infinitesimal planet

Edmund Gosse: War and the brutalities of the real thing

Remy de Gourmont: Getting drunk at the dirty cask of militarism

Remy de Gourmont: If they wage war, in what state must the world be?

John Gower: Peace is chief of all world’s wealth, war is mother of all wrongs

Albert-Paul Granier: The deadweight cortege of death grinds past

Daniil Granin: A scientist’s lament

Robert Graves: Selections on war

Robert Graves: Accommodations for a million men killed in war

Robert Graves: A certain cure for lust of blood

Robert Graves: Even its opponents don’t survive war

Robert Graves: The grim arithmetic of war

Robert Graves: Men at arms and men of letters, the birth of English pacifism in the First World War

Robert Graves: Military madness degenerating into savagery

Robert Graves: Peace

Robert Graves: Recalling the last war, preparing for the next

Robert Graves: War follows its victims back home

Robert Graves: War should be a sport for men above forty-five only

Robert Graves: War’s path of death, decay and decomposition

Robert Graves: War’s ultimate victors, the rats

Robert Graves: When even war’s gallows humor fails

Thomas Gray: Clouds of carnage blot the sun; weave the crimson web of war

Thomas Gray: Poetry subdues war

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

Graham Greene: He carried the war in his heart, infecting everything

Graham Greene: A hundred English Guernicas

Graham Greene: Letter On NATO Threat To Cuba

Graham Greene: None of us can hate any more – or love. You have to feel something to stop a war.

Robert Greene: Then the stormy threats of wars shall cease

Fulke Greville: The shames of peace are the pride of war

Nordahl Grieg: War is contempt for life

Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen: Soldiers and peasants

Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen: Study and let war alone

Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen: The war-god Mars sat over all Europe

Alexander Grin: A hellish nightmare, or rather a horrible reality

Alexander Grin: How a little girl stopped a world war

Alexander Grin: How two leaders ended war

Edgar Guest: The Peaceful Warriors

Jorge Guillén: The monsters have passed over

Nicolás Guillén: Come, dove, come tell me the tale of your woe

Pentti Haanpää: War suits only such people as want to die

Hermann Hagedorn: The fourth estate turning the thoughts of our children to war

Hermann Hagedorn: How to engineer a war

Hermann Hagedorn: Leave God out of the game!

Hermann Hagedorn: Slaughter! And voices, begging shrill the merciful grace of death.

Hermann Hagedorn; There’s nothing like a war to make a man president

James Norman Hall: Broken, bleeding bodies with all their beauty gone

Hala Jean Hammond: War’s black hatred

Peter Handke: The horror unleashed by NATO’s first war

Thomas Hardy: Selections on war

Thomas Hardy: All-Earth-gladdening Law of Peace, war’s apology wholly stultified

Thomas Hardy: As war-waste classed

Thomas Hardy: The battle-god is god no more

Thomas Hardy: Channel Firing

Thomas Hardy: Ever consign all Lords of War to sleep

Thomas Hardy: How long must your wroth reasonings trade on lives like these?

Thomas Hardy: The Man He Killed

Thomas Hardy: Vaster battalions press for further strands to argue in the self-same bloody mode

Thomas Hardy: War’s annals will fade into night

C. F. Harper: Song of the Battleships

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Do Not Cheer, Men Are Dying

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Music to soothe all sorrow till war and crime shall cease

Frank Harris: Soulless selfishness of war; Anglo-Saxon domineering combativeness greatest danger to Humanity

Frank Harris: Henri Barbusse and the war against war

Charles Yale Harrison: Selections on war

Charles Yale Harrison: Bombardment, maniacal congealed hatred

Charles Yale Harrison: This is called an artillery duel

Charles Yale Harrison: Two kinds of people in the world, those who like wars and those who fight them

Charles Yale Harrison: War and really murdering someone

Charles Yale Harrison: War is a hell that no god, however cruel, would fashion for his most deadly enemies

Charles Yale Harrison: War’s snarling, savage beasts

Charles Yale Harrison: War’s whispered reminder, you must come back to my howling madness

Charles Yale Harrison: We have learned who our enemies are

Charles Yale Harrison: Who can comfort whom in war? The mother of the man who died at the end of my bayonet

Ernest Hartsock: Let Mars and all his mangled mourners pass

Jaroslav Hašek: Bathe in the blood of the enemy and slaughter them all as Herod did the babies

Jaroslav Hašek: Systematized, systematic system for writing of anticipatory war glories

Gerhart Hauptmann: American politics and warships

W. T. Hawkins: A Song of Peace

Nathaniel Hawthorne on war: Drinking out of skulls till the Millennium

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Slaughter’s way. No laurel wreath can wake the silent dead.

William Hazlitt: Selections on war

William Hazlitt: And this is patriotism. Practitioners of eternal war.

William Hazlitt: Difference between a war-expenditure and what ought to be a peace-establishment

William Hazlitt: Effects of war and taxes

William Hazlitt: Harpies of the press. Juggling fiends. Systematic opponents of peace. Ceaseless partisans of interminable hostilities.

William Hazlitt: High-priests of Moloch foam at the mouth at the name of peace

William Hazlitt: Keystone of indestructible war-system: Closing up the avenues to peace, shutting the gates of mercy on mankind

William Hazlitt: Poets outlive conquerors

William Hazlitt: Systematic patrons of eternal war

William Hazlitt: Ultima ratio regum: liberals and conservatives united by leaden bullets and steel bayonets

William Hazlitt: War is in itself is a thriving, sensible traffic only to cannibals

Verner von Heidenstam: The cloth versus khaki

Felicia Hemans: Selections on peace and war

Felicia Hemans: Say to the hurricane of war, – “Be still”

Felicia Hemans: Speak not of death, till thou hast looked on such

Felicia Hemans: A thousand voices echo “Peace!”

Felicia Hemans: Thousands doomed to moan, condemned by war to hopeless grief unknown

Felicia Hemans: War and Peace

Felicia Hemans: War has still ravaged o’er the blasted plain

Ernest Hemingway: Selections on war

Ernest Hemingway: All armies are the same

Ernest Hemingway: Beaten to start with, beaten when they took them from their farms and put them in the army

Ernest Hemingway: Combat the murder that is war

Ernest Hemingway: “Down with the officers. Viva la Pace!”

Ernest Hemingway: “If everybody would not attack the war would be over”

Ernest Hemingway: “It doesn’t finish. There is no finish to a war.”

Ernest Hemingway: Nothing sacred about war’s stockyards

Ernest Hemingway: Perhaps wars weren’t won any more. Maybe they went on forever.

Ernest Hemingway: There are people who would make war, there are other people who would not make war

Ernest Hemingway: Who wins wars?

O. Henry: The ethics of justifiable slaughter

George Herbert: Make war to cease

Johann Gottfried von Herder: Selections on war

Johann Gottfried von Herder: Disturbing the peace of the world for domestic benefits

Johann Gottfried von Herder: Divine law ordains more doves and sheep than lions and tigers

Johann Gottfried Herder: Hardly dare name or write the terrible word “war”

Johann Gottfried Herder: Peace, not war, is the natural state of mankind

Johann Gottfried von Herder: War springs from war and gives rise to another in turn

José-Maria de Heredia: Drunk with dreams that brutal conquests bring

Miguel Hernández: Wretched Wars

Herodian: Accommodating the military, selling an empire

Herodotus: No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace

Mary Heron: Bid brazen-throated war and discord cease

Mary Heron: Ode on the General Peace

Robert Herrick: The Olive Branch

Robert Herrick: The olive branch, the arch of peace

Alexander Herzen: Selections on the military and war

Alexander Herzen: As soon as a boy can walk, he is given a toy sword to train him to murder

Alexander Herzen: Barracks, the most inhuman condition in which men live. An exhibition of generals.

Alexander Herzen: Blood replaced by tears, the field of battle by forgotten tombs

Alexander Herzen: Chthonic passions, heathen patriotism fuel war

Alexander Herzen: Despotism means military discipline, empires mean war

Alexander Herzen: The frenzied anxiety, the exhausted satiety that lead to war

Alexander Herzen: Inhumanity of army discipline, flunky of a crowned soldier

Alexander Herzen: Middle class idyll impossible with half a million bayonets clamoring for “work”

Alexander Herzen: Six hundred thousand animated machines with bayonets. Military caste divides the people into two nations

Alexander Herzen: The type of military commander in whom everything social and moral, everything human has died out

Alexander Herzen: War and “international law”

Alexander Herzen: War, duel between nations; duel, war between individuals

Alexander Herzen: What the military calls work

Hesiod: Lamentable works of Ares lead to dank house of Hades

Maurice Hewlett: In the Trenches

Maurice Hewlett: O, this war, what a glorious game!

Maurice Hewlett: Who prayeth peace?

Stefan Heym: Sure it’s a vicious circle, it’s war

Stefan Heym: The whole scene was immersed in the silence of absolute death

Stefan Heym: The world market…making new wars

Amanda M. Hicks: A Truce for the Toilers

Nazim Hikmet: The Little Girl

Nazim Hikmet: Sad kind of freedom, free to be an American air base

Leslie Pinckney Hill: The patriotism of pacifism

Thomas Hobbes: Divine law is the fulfilling of peace

Martha Lavinia Hoffman: The Song of Peace

James Hogg: Few such monsters can mankind endure: The fields are heaped with dead and dying.

James Hogg: Millions have bled that sycophants may rule

Ludvig Holberg: Military modesty and candor

Thomas Holcroft: In wars and wretchedness I cannot say that I delight

Thomas Holcroft: Reaping vast crops of famine, sword, and fire

Friedrich Hölderlin: Celebration of Peace

Oliver Wendell Holmes: Hymn to Peace

Oliver Wendell Holmes: Not so enamored of the drum and trumpet

Homer: Caging the terrible Lord of War

Homer: The great gods are never pleased with violent deeds

Homer: Mars, most unjust, most odious of all the gods

Oles Honchar: Orchards of peace

Oles Honchar: The ponderous, stupefying word “War”

Thomas Hood: As gentle as sweet heaven’s dew beside the red and horrid drops of war

Thomas Hood: Freelance soldiering

Thomas Hood: When war has ceased with all its Ills, Captains should come like sucking Doves, With Olive Branches in their Bills

A. D. Hope: Inscription for a War

Gerard Manley Hopkins: What pure peace allows alarms of wars?

Horace: Let there be a limit to warfare

Horace: Transcending war

John Horn: False Ideas About War and Peace

Julia Ward Howe: The Development of the Peace Ideal

Julia Ward Howe: Mother’s Day Proclamation 1870

William Dean Howells: Selections on war

William Dean Howells: Editha

William Deans Howells: Everyday sacrifices.”I don’t want to see any more men killed in my time.”

William Dean Howells: If we have war, every good cause will be set back

William Dean Howells to Henry James: The most stupid and causeless war

William Dean Howells: Spanish Prisoners of War

William Dean Howells: On Mark Twain and war

William Dean Howells to Mark Twain: War for humanity turned into war for coal-stations

William Dean Howells: War Stops Literature

William Dean Howells: Warmongers should tremble when they remember that God is just

William Dean Howells: Wilson’s Mexican war, wickeder than that of 1846

Langston Hughes: A mighty army serving human kind, not an army geared to kill

Victor Hugo: Selections on war

Victor Hugo: The black eagle waits with claws outspread

Victor Hugo: Brute war, dire birth of hellish race

Victor Hugo: Common-sense opposition to war

Victor Hugo: The face of Cain, hunters of men, sublime cutthroats

Victor Hugo: From fratricide to fraternity

Victor Hugo: Glorious war does not exist; peace, that sublime, universal desire

Victor Hugo: The history of war and the history of peace

Victor Hugo: The inkstand is to destroy the sword

Victor Hugo: International Peace Congress 1851

Victor Hugo: Peace will supersede war, perhaps sooner than people think

Victor Hugo: The poet outlives the man of war

Victor Hugo: War, made by humanity against humanity, despite humanity

Victor Hugo: What greater aim could there be than civilization through peace?

David Hume: War’s double standards

James Huneker: Remy de Gourmont and philosophic abhorrence of war

Leigh Hunt: Captain Sword and Captain Pen

Leigh Hunt: The devilish drouth of the cannon’s ever-gaping mouth

Leigh Hunt: Some Remarks On War And Military Statesmen

Francis Hutcheson: To poets, war is impetuous, cruel, undistinguishing monster

Frank Walcott Hutt: The Peace Congress

Aldous Huxley: Selections on war

Aldous Huxley: Absurdity of talking about the defence of democracy by war

Aldous Huxley: All devote themselves methodically and scientifically to general massacre and wholesale destruction

Aldous Huxley: The first of the political causes of war is war itself

Aldous Huxley: How are we to get rid of war when we celebrate militarists?

Aldous Huxley: Imposition of permanent military servitude upon the masses

Aldous Huxley: Manufacturing of arms, an intrinsically abominable practice

Aldous Huxley: Nuclear weapons, establishing world domination for one’s gang

Aldous Huxley: One cannot be ruler of militaristic society without being militarist oneself

Aldous Huxley: Peace of the world frequently endangered in order that oil magnates might grow a little richer

Aldous Huxley: Rhetorical devices used to conceal fundamental absurdity and monstrosity of war

Aldous Huxley: Science, technology harnessed to the chariot of war

Aldous Huxley: Scientific workers must take action against war

Aldous Huxley: Shifting people’s attention in world where war-making remains an almost sacred habit

Aldous Huxley: War is mass murder organized in cold blood

Aldous Huxley: War is not a law of nature, nor even of human nature

Aldous Huxley: War is now the affair of every man, woman and child in the community

Aldous Huxley: War shatters precarious crust of civilization, precipitates vast numbers of human beings into abyss of misery and frenzied diabolism

Joris-Karl Huysmans: An Apocalypse of wars

Jean Ingelow: And the dove said, “Give us peace!”

Jean Ingelow: Methought the men of war were even as gods

Irish writers on peace and war

Washington Irving: The laudable spirit of military emulation. Soldiers, poor animals

Washington Irving: Most pacific nation in the world? Rather the most warlike

Washington Irving: The renown not purchased by deeds of violence and blood

Isocrates: Addicted to war, lusting after imperial power

Isocrates: War zealots plunge state into manifold disasters

Avetik Issahakian: Eternal fabricators of war, erecting pyramids with a myriad skulls

Panaït Istrati: Crusades profit neither those who fight, nor the cause for which they have gone to war

Panaït Istrati: Warmakers and toadeaters

Italian writers on war and militarism

Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz: The word pax, pax, pax

Henry James: Beguiled into thinking war, worst horror that attends the life of nations, could not recur

Henry James: War, the waste of life and time and money

William James: The Moral Equivalent of War

William James: The Philippine Tangle

St. James: Where do the wars among you come from?

Jules Janin: War aborts orators and writers, bears soldiers

Jules Janin: War needs blood and gold

Randall Jarrell: In bombers named for girls, we burned the cities we had learned about in school

Théodore Jean: The God of War

Robinson Jeffers: Eagle Valor, Chicken Mind

James Jennings: Reign goddess, Peace, throughout eternal years

Soame Jenyns: One good-natured act more praises gain than armies overthrown, and thousands slain

Soame Jenyns: The soldier’s scarlet glowing from afar shows his bloody occupation’s war

Jerome: We must seek peace if we are to avoid wars

Robert Underwood Johnson: The fairest of daughters, heavenly Peace

Rossiter Johnson: Infinitely better to learn how to avert war

Rossiter Johnson: Where swell the songs thou shouldst have sung by peaceful rivers yet to flow?

Samuel Johnson: Selections on war

Samuel Johnson: I to nobler themes aspire

Samuel Johnson: Reason frowns on War’s unequal game

Samuel Johnson: The violence of war admits no distinction

Samuel Johnson: War is heaviest of national evils, a calamity in which every species of misery is involved

Samuel Johnson: War is the extremity of evil

Mór Jókai: In the soldier’s march to glory each step is a human corpse

Mór Jókai: War’s patriotic pelf: a slaughtered army tells no tales

Henry Jones: Bid discord cease, and open wide the gates of peace

Josephus: Admonition against war

Joseph Joubert on war: All victors will be defeated

Attila József: War stirs its withering alarms, I shudder to see hatred win

Julian: Reforming the evils that war has caused

Justin: There would then assuredly be fewer wars in all ages and countries

Juvenal: Mighty warriors and their tombs are circumscribed by Fate

Juvenal: The spoils of war and the price thereof

Juvenal: War and violence, baser than the beasts

Juvenal: Weigh the greatest military commanders in the balance

Immanuel Kant: Prescription for perpetual peace

Georgi Karaslavov: War’s fratricide, how commonplace and yet how terrible

Frigyes Karinthy: Lost his mind on the battlefield, thought he knew what he was fighting for

Frigyes Karinthy: Started war of self-defense by attacking neighbor

Veniamin Kaverin: A dream of war

Yuri Kazakov: If only there was no war

Nikos Kazantzakis: Francis of Assisi

John Keats: Days innocent of scathing war

John Keats: The fierce intoxicating tones of trumpets, drums and cannon

John Keats: Sonnet on Peace

Harry Kemp: I Sing the Battle

Joseph Kessel: In my family, war is in the blood…the blood of others

Joseph Kessel: The monstrous ululation of an air-raid siren

Joseph Kessel: War’s ultimate fratricide, killed for not killing

Ellen Key: Overcoming the madness of a world at war

Harriet King: Life is Peace

Charles Kingsley: Empire, a system of world-wide robbery, and church

Charles Kingsley: Tyrannising it luxuriously over all nations, she had sat upon the mystic beast

Henry Kirke White: Far better music inspire peace than war

Henry Kirke White: The red-eyeballed warrior doomed to ruin

Hans Hellmut Kirst: Goose-Stepping for NATO

Frederic Lawrence Knowles: The New Age. The victory which is peace.

Vsevolod Kochetov: Peace is the future happiness of mankind

Vladimir Korolenko: Final judgment

Zofia Kossak: Every creature has its day. War and crocodiles.

Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky: Man the despoiler, man the slayer

Vadim Kozhevnikov: “We seized power from women and there’s been war ever since”

Karl Kraus: Selections on war

Karl Kraus: Aphorisms and obloquies on war

Karl Kraus: This is world war. This is my manifesto to mankind.

Karl Kraus: The evolution of humanitarian bombing

Karl Kraus: The Last Days of Mankind

Karl Kraus: The Warmakers

Karl Kraus: War renders unto Caesar that which is God’s

Karl Kraus: In war, business is business

Karl Kraus: Wire dispatches are instruments of war

Karl Kraus: The vampire generation; prayer in wartime

Raymond Kresensky: When patriotism is pushing propaganda for war

Alexander Kuprin: Selections on war

Alexander Kuprin: Deciphering the military metaphysic

Alexander Kuprin: The human race has had its childhood – a time of incessant and bloody war

Alexander Kuprin: Mounds and mountains of corpses under which moan the dying

Alexander Kuprin: What is war after all? Perhaps it is nothing more than a mistake made by all, a universal error, a madness.

Alexander Kuprin: The whole science of war exists only because humanity will not, or cannot, or dare not, say, ‘I won’t.’

Jean de La Bruyère: And self-slaughtering man dares call animals brutes

La Bruyère on the lust for war

La Fontaine: When shall Peace pack up these bloody darts?

Julien Offray de La Mettrie: Wars are the plague of the human race

José-André Lacour: War’s sanguinary peacock

Jacques de Lacretelle: War’s atavistic brigands

Lactantius: Selections on war

Lactantius: The arms of the nations shall be burnt; and now there shall be no war, but peace and everlasting rest

Lactantius: Duties relating to warfare are accommodated neither to justice nor to true virtue

Lactantius: Justice had no other reason for leaving the earth than the shedding of human blood

Lactantius: No one can befittingly describe the cruelty of this beast, which rages with iron teeth throughout the world

Lactantius: The pernicious and impious madness of deifying warlike generals who have inundated plains with blood

Lactantius: Sacrificing to the gods of war

Lactantius: War, object of execration, and its domestic analogue

Pär Lagerkvist: If such a thing as war can end

Selma Lagerlöf: The Fifth Commandment. The Great Beast is War.

Selma Lagerlöf: The mark of death was on them all

Alphonse de Lamartine: Mercenaries, taking others’ lives for hire

Lamartine: The republic of peace

Charles Lamb: More-wasting War, insatiable of blood

Wilhelm Lamszus: The Human Slaughter-House

Walter Savage Landor: Some stopped revenge athirst for slaughter

Sidney Lanier: Selections on war

Sidney Lanier: Blood-red flower of war, whose odors strangle a people, whose roots are in hell

Sidney Lanier: Death in Eden

Sidney Lanier: Dialogue on the war-flower

Sidney Lanier: War by other means

Sidney Lanier: The wind blew all the vanes in the country in one way – toward war

D. H. Lawrence: Selections on war

D.H. Lawrence: All modern militarism is foul

D.H. Lawrence: Future War, Murderous Weapons, Refinements of Evil

D.H. Lawrence: In 1915 the world ended with the slaughter-machine of human devilishness

D. H. Lawrence: No romance of war. The soul did not heal.

D.H. Lawrence: The price to pay at home for terrible, terrible war

D.H. Lawrence: War adds horror to horror, becomes horrible piratic affair, dirty sort of freebooting

Henry Lawson: And all the nations of the world prepare for war again!

Halldór Laxness: In war there is no cause except the cause of war. A bitter disappointment when it turned out they could defend themselves

Richard Le Gallienne: Selections on war

Richard Le Gallienne: Christ at Notre Dame: abhorred be they who ever draw again the sword

Richard Le Gallienne: The Illusion of War

Richard Le Gallienne: Is this to be strong, ye nations, your vulgar battles to fight?

Richard Le Gallienne: A nation is merely a big fool with an army

Richard Le Gallienne: Poetry and war

Richard Le Gallienne: The Rainbow

Ruth Le Prade: Out of Chaos

Stephen Leacock: In The Good Time After The War

Stephen Leacock: The war mania of middle age and embonpoint

Joseph Lee: German Prisoners

Vernon Lee: Satan’s rules of war

Lily Alice Lefevre: The Bridge of Peace

Derrick Norman Lehmer: Militarism

Marie Lenéru: War is not human fate

William Ellery Leonard: The Pied Piper

Leonid Leonov: All the blood that has been shed has turned the air bad

Leonid Leonov: Tell me, is it right to kill – in war or anyhow?

Mikhail Lermontov: Still you’re fighting: Why, what for?

Alain-René Lesage: A military braggart and his opposite

Nikolai Leskov: Immorality

Doris Lessing: With war every event has the quality of war, nothing of peace remains

Charles Lever: The self-serving drunken oblivion of war

Sinclair Lewis: Selections on war

Sinclair Lewis: Can’t depend On Providence to supply wars when you need them

Sinclair Lewis: College education makes soldiers more patriotic, flag-waving, and skillful in the direction of slaughter

Sinclair Lewis: The disguised increase, false economizing of war budgets

Sinclair Lewis: Don’t much care what kind of war they prepare for

Sinclair Lewis: For the first time in all history, a great nation must go on arming itself more and more…for peace!

Sinclair Lewis: General: State of peace far worse than war

Sinclair Lewis: Get us into war just to grease their insane vanity and show the world that we’re the huskiest nation going

Sinclair Lewis: Inevitable war with Canada, Mexico, Russia, Cuba, Japan, or perhaps Staten Island

Sinclair Lewis: It Can(‘t) Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis: The only thing not absurd about wars was that they kill a good many millions of people

Sinclair Lewis: Other Unavoidable Wars to End All Wars

Sinclair Lewis: Pining for a good war

Li Bai: Nefarious War

Libanius: Rulers more popular for granting mercy than possessing multitudes of soldiers

Libanius: War in time of peace

Isabella Lickbarrow: Invocation To Peace

Jack Lindsay: The Scared Men

Jack Lindsay: Who Will Dare Look This Child in the Eyes?

Vachel Lindsay: Speak Now for Peace

Vachel Lindsay: The Unpardonable Sin

Martha Shepard Lippincott: Nations now for mammon fight

Martha Shepard Lippincott: Peace on Earth

Martha Shepard Lippincott: Shame will fall upon us for barbarous deeds of war

Livy: On the political utility of starting unprovoked wars

John Locke: State of war and state of nature are opposites

William J. Locke: Following war

William J. Locke: I’m good at killing things, I ought to have been a soldier

William J. Locke: Life in its fullness and glory, war’s orgies of horror

Jack London: Some day all men will counsel peace. No man will slay his fellow. All men will plant.

Jack London: War

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Forevermore, forevermore, the reign of violence is o’er!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: I am weary of your quarrels, weary of your wars and bloodshed

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Peace! and no longer from its brazen portals the blast of War’s great organ shakes the skies!

Federico García Lorca: War goes crying with a million gray rats

Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvray: What is called the grand art of war

Samuel Lover: The demon of war casts his shadows before

Samuel Lover: The trumpet and the sword

Amy Lowell: Misericordia

Amy Lowell: A pattern called a war. Christ! What are patterns for?

James Russell Lowell: Selections on war and peace

James Russell Lowell: Dante and universal peace

James Russell Lowell on Lamartine: Highest duty of man, to summon peace when vulture of war smells blood

James Russell Lowell: The military qualifications of a prospective president

James Russell Lowell: Uncle Sam presents his bill for war

James Russell Lowell: A war supporter’s credo

Lu Hsün: Ballads among bushes of bayonets, hungry dove amid crumbling walls

Lucan: Over all the world you are victorious and your soldiers die

Lucian: Rejecting war’s seductive appeal

Lucian: War propaganda and its hyperbole

Lucretius: Lull to a timely rest the savage works of war

Emil Ludwig: Dialogue on “humanitarian war”

Lycophron: Ares, who banquets in gory battles

Ernest Neal Lyon: A Dream of Peace

Lysias: Those who wage war imitate tyrants

Thomas Macaulay: Drive for transatlantic dominion leads to endless wars, empty treasuries

Thomas Macaulay: Loving war for its own sake

Thomas Macaulay: The self-perpetuating role of the army

Hugh MacDiarmid: A war to save civilization, you say?

George MacDonald: War-cry of every opinion. Battle of the dead.

Charles Mackay: Awake the song of peace!

Charles Mackay: Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall

Charles Mackay: War in all men’s eyes shall be a monster of iniquity

Archibald MacLeish: The disastrous war, the silent slain

Maurice Maeterlinck: Bloodshed, battle-cry and sword-thrust are the joys of barbarians

Joseph de Maistre: The soldier and the executioner

Nicolas Malebranch: Ignorance, brutality and training for war

Elizar Maltsev: Suddenly people would discover that there was no war at all

Albert Maltz: A children’s wartime bestiary

Albert Maltz: Conquering the world but losing your son

Albert Maltz: “Ten thousand dead today. That’s what the war means.”

Bernard Mandeville: How to induce men to kill and die

Heinrich Mann: Mission of letters in a world in rubble with 10 million corpses underground

Heinrich Mann: Nietzsche, war and the butchery of ten to twenty million souls

Heinrich Mann: Nowadays the real power is peace

Thomas Mann: Selections on war

Thomas Mann: By nature evil and harmful, war is destructive even to the victor

Thomas Mann: Dirge for a homeland wasted by war

Thomas Mann: Parallel, oracle and warning

Thomas Mann: Tolstoy, a force that could have stopped war

Thomas Mann: War is a blood-orgy of egotism, corruption, and vileness

Thomas Mann: William Faulkner’s love for man, protest against militarism and war

Frederic Manning: War poems

Frederic Manning: Blow, wind! Drown the senseless thunder of the guns.

Frederic Manning: Grotesque

Frederic Manning: Shells hounding through air athirst for blood

Frederic Manning: The Trenches

Frederic Manning: The very mask of God, broken

Frederic Manning: War poems

Alessandro Manzoni: The havoc of war devastated the state

Gabriel Marcel: Modern war is sin itself, the suicide of the human race

Gabriel Marcel: War depersonalizes enemy, dehumanizes self

Gabriel Marcel: War is disaster from which no counterbalancing advantage can be reaped

Marcus Aurelius: Military conquests lead but to the grave

Jacques Maritain: What good one can expect from such a war and its pitiless prolongation?

Edwin Markham: Peace

Edwin Markham: Peace Over Africa

Georgi Markov: War is a glutton. Its terrible hunger is never sated.

Christopher Marlowe: Accurs’d be he that first invented war!

Christopher Marlowe: Parricide and filicide. While lions war, poor lambs perish.

José Martí: Oscar Wilde on war and aesthetics

Martial: Let the mad be eager for wars and fierce Mars

Roger Martin du Gard: Selections on war

Roger Martin du Gard: From Nobel Prize in Literature speech

Roger Martin du Gard: All the pageantry of war cannot redeem its beastliness

Roger Martin du Gard: “Anything rather than the madness, the horrors of a war!”

Roger Martin du Gard: Be loyal to yourselves, reject war

Roger Martin du Gard: Deliberately infecting a country with war neurosis

Roger Martin du Gard: “Drop your rifles. Revolt!”

Roger Martin du Gard: General strike for peace

Roger Martin du Gard: A hundredth part of energy expended in war could have preserved peace

Roger Martin du Gard: How make active war on war?

Roger Martin du Gard: Launch against the war-mongers a concerted movement to force the governments to bow to your desire for peace

Roger Martin du Gard: No more dangerous belief can take root in the mind than the belief that war’s inevitable

Roger Martin du Gard: Nothing worse than war and all it involves

Roger Martin du Gard: Romain Rolland

Roger Martin du Gard: Secret commitments which from one day to another may plunge you, every man of you, into the horrors of war

Roger Martin du Gard: A thousand times more honor in preserving peace than waging war

Roger Martin du Gard: Tragedy of war, like that of Oedipus, occurs because warnings are ignored

Roger Martin du Gard: War breeds atmosphere of lies, officials lies

Roger Martin du Gard: War is at our gates, dooming millions of innocent victims to suffering and death

Roger Martin du Gard: War’s “serviceable lie” costs tens of thousands of lives

Roger Martin du Gard: When you refer to war, none of you thinks of the unprecedented slaughter, the millions of innocent victims it involves

Andrew Marvell: War all this doth overgrow

Andrew Marvell: When roses only arms might bear

E. P. Marvin: War Disenchanted

Caroline Atherton Mason: Enemy, oh, let our warfare cease!

William Mason: Il Pacifico: Joys that peace inspires

Gerald Massey: Curst, curst be war, the World’s most fatal glory!

Gerald Massey: Sweet peace comes treading down war’s cruel spears

Philip Massinger: Famine, blood, and death, Bellona’s pages

Philip Massinger: Mustn’t change ploughshares into swords

Edgar Lee Masters: “The honor of the flag must be upheld”

Edgar Lee Masters: The Philippine Conquest

Edgar Lee Masters: The words, Pro Patria, what do they mean, anyway?

Guy de Maupassant: Selections on war

Guy de Maupassant: The army, murdering those who defend themselves, making prisoners of the rest, pillaging in the name of the Sword

Guy de Maupassant: The Horrible

Guy de Maupassant: How and why wars are plotted

Guy de Maupassant: I do not understand how these murderers are tolerated walking on the public streets

Guy de Maupassant: I only pray that our sons may never see any wars again

Guy de Maupassant: Military hysteria, military presumptuousness

Guy de Maupassant: Why does society not rise up bodily in rebellion at the word “war”?

Francois Mauriac: The Bloody Dawn of Peace

André Maurois: The killing machine started up with pitiless smoothness

Vladimir Mayakovsky: Hurl a question to their faces: Why are we fighting?

Thomas McGrath: All the Dead Soldiers

Grenville Mellen: Slaughter rides screaming on the vengeful ball

Herman Melville: Trophies of Peace

Herman Melville: War-pits and rattraps. Soldier sold to the army as Faust sold himself to the devil.

Albert Memmi: So the war had caught up with us, a celebration in honor of death

Menander: Inglorious military vainglory

H.L. Mencken: New wars will bring about an unparalleled butchery of men

George Meredith: Selections on peace and war

George Meredith: All your gains from War resign

George Meredith: Bellona’s mad halloo

George Meredith: Nations at war are wild beasts

George Meredith: The Olive Branch

George Meredith: On the Danger of War

George Meredith: War wife, as good as widowed

George Meredith: War’s rivers of blood no crown for future generations

Dmitry Merezhkovsky : His God is not at all the God of the Christians, but the ancient, pagan Mars

Prosper Mérimée: To the shame of humanity, horrors of war have their charm

Robert Merle: The present war, and all the previous wars, and all the wars to come

Robert Merle: There’s no such thing as a just or sacred war

Leonard Merrick: Strange there weren’t more that didn’t think it a virtue to commit murder if you put on khaki

Lillian Rozell Messenger: Seeking a new world of peace

Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Arnold Schoenberg: Peace on Earth

Alice Meynell: The true slayers are those who sire soldiers

Jules Michelet: My book is a book of peace

Adam Mickiewicz: The transient glory of military conquerors

Thomas Middleton: Selections on peace and war

Thomas Middleton: All made to make a peace, and not a war

Thomas Middleton: Blood-quaffing Mars, who wash’d himself in gore

Thomas Middleton: Let them that seek Peace, find Peace and enjoy Peace

Thomas Middleton: O thrice-peaceful souls, whom neither threats nor strife nor wars controls!

Thomas Middleton: The Peacemaker

Thomas Middleton: The soldier’s fate

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Conscientious Objector

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Lament

Emily Huntington Miller: Hymn of Peace

Joaquin Miller: The People’s Song of Peace

John Milton: Men levy cruel wars, wasting the earth, each other to destroy

John Milton: No war or battle’s sound was heard the world around

John Milton: What can war but endless war still breed?

John Milton: Without ambition, war, or violence

Minucius Felix: War and the birth of empire

Octave Mirbeau: Selections on war

Octave Mirbeau: All these wan faces, all these bodies already vanquished – toward what useless and bloody slaughters?

Octave Mirbeau: It was not enough that war should glut itself with human flesh, it was necessary that it should also devour beasts, the earth itself, everything that lived in the calm and peace of labor and love

Octave Mirbeau: An orgy of destruction, criminal and foolish. What was this country, in whose name so many crimes were being committed?

Octave Mirbeau: Stupidly, unconsciously, I had killed a man whom I loved, a man with whom my soul had just identified itself

Octave Mirbeau: A sudden vision of Death, red Death standing on a chariot, drawn by rearing horses, which was sweeping down on us, brandishing his scythe

Octave Mirbeau: War, apprenticeship in man-killing

Ruth Comfort Mitchell: He Went for a Soldier

Mary Russell Mitford: Sheath thy gory blade in peace

Charles Edward Montague: Selections on war and its aftermath

Charles Edward Montague; Aloof, detached officers lead to thousands of little brown bundles

Charles Edward Montague: Post-war prescription for peace

Charles Edward Montague: Soldier politician, recruiter of other men for battles that he avoided himself

Charles Edward Montague: War must first slay natural sentiment of brotherhood

Charles Edward Montague: War propaganda leaves bill to be settled in peacetime

Charles Edward Montague: War’s demoralization

Montaigne: Selections on war

Montaigne: Blood on the sword: From slaughter of animals to slaughter of men

Montaigne: God would not favor so unjust an enterprise as insulting and quarreling with another nation for profit

Montaigne: The ignominy of lopsided military conquest

Montaigne: Invasion concerns all men; not so defense: that concerns only the rich

Montaigne: It is enough to dip our pens in ink without dipping them in blood

Montaigne: Monstrous war waged for frivolous reasons

Montaigne: This furious monster war

Montaigne: War, that malady of mankind

Montaigne: War’s fury

Eugenio Montale: Poetry in an era of nuclear weapons and Doomsday atmosphere

Montesquieu: Distemper of militarism brings nothing but public ruin

Montesquieu: Military glory leads to torrents of blood overspreading the earth

Montesquieu: Wars abroad aggravate conflicts at home

James Montgomery: Selections on war and peace

James Montgomery: Farewell to War

James Montgomery: Fratricidal war speeds on inexorability of Death

James Montgomery: The poet tracks not the warrior’s fiery road

James Montgomery: ‘Twas but a dream. But one word found utterance – “Peace, peace! peace!”

James Montgomery: War, that self-inflicted scourge of man

Robert Montgomery: Field of Death

Robert Montgomery: War

Henry de Montherlant: A constant state of crime against humanity

William Vaughn Moody: Bullet’s scream went wide of its mark to its homeland’s heart

George Moore: Murder pure and simple, impossible to revive the methods of Tamburlaine

George Moore: War and disillusionment

Marianne Moore: I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war

Thomas Moore: Famine comes to glean all that the sword had left unreap’d. A banquet, yet alive, for ravening vultures.

Paul Morand: The magic disappearance of ten millions of war dead

Paul Morand: Nations never lay down their arms; death which is still combative

Paul Morand: The War for Righteousness ends in the burying of moral sense

Alberto Moravia: Selections on war

Alberto Moravia: “Ah well, war is war, you know”

Alberto Moravia: Even in uniform and with a chest covered with medals, always a thief and a murderer

Alberto Moravia: That is what war is like, the war is everywhere

Alberto Moravia: Torn colored posters inciting people to war

Alberto Moravia: War destroys all things seen and unseen

Alberto Moravia: War survives in our souls long after it is over

Hannah More: War

Thomas More: Battles result from lust for fame and glory

Angela Morgan: Mothers “Go, fashion the Future’s laws that war shall be no more”

Angela Morgan: In Spite of War

Charles Morice: Woe to you enemies of peace

Christopher Morley: Humanity’s most beautiful gift, Peace

Christopher Morley: No enthusiasm for hymns of hate

Jean Lewis Morris: A Patriot I!

Lewis Morris: Selections on war and peace

Lewis Morris: The blight of war surges in waves of blood

Lewis Morris: The evil blight of war torments the race from age to age

Lewis Morris: Filled with love of peace

Lewis Morris: Put off the curse of war

Lewis Morris: Red war, the dungeon, and the stake

Lewis Morris: When the cannons roar and the trumpets blare no longer

Lewis Morris: White-winged Peace triumphs over War’s red rapine

Lewis Morris: Who will free us from the dreadful past of war and hatred?

Lewis Morris: The world rang with the fierce shouts of war and cries of pain

William Morris: No man knew the sight of blood

William Morris: Protecting the strong from the weak, selling each other weapons to kill their own countrymen

William Morris: War abroad but no peace at home

Mozi: War, Right or Wrong

Philip Stafford Moxom: The Palace of Peace

Sergei Mstislavsky: Germ warfare of the future

Luise Mühlbach: Battle-field writes names of its heroes in blood

John Middleton Murry: Selections on peace and war

John Middleton Murry: The choice, democracy or modern warfare

John Middleton Murry: For England, peace or destruction

John Middleton Murry: The machine of war

John Middleton Murry: Modern warfare is the deliberate massacre of the innocents

John Middleton Murry: The morality of bombing civilians is not arithmetic

John Middleton Murry: Non-intervention versus the universal peace of universal destruction

John Middleton Murry: The pacifism of luxury and the pacifism of sacrifice

John Middleton Murry: Pacifist movement to bear witness against total dehumanization of humanity necessitated by modern war

John Middleton Murry: Weapons of modern war involve bestialization of humanity

Alfred de Musset: “No, none of these things, but simply peace.”

Lilika Nakos: Selections on war

Lilika Nakos: The dead man, the living, the house; all were smashed to bits

Lilika Nakos: Do I know what makes men kill each other?

Lilika Nakos: Do you think the war will ever end?

Lilika Nakos: The grandmother’s sin

Lilika Nakos: “Surely God didn’t intend this butchery”

Lilika Nakos: “What’s the war got to do with God?”

Thomas Nashe: Swords may not fight with fate

Nikolai Nekrasov: In War

Pablo Neruda: Bandits with planes, jackals that the jackals would despise

Alfred Neumann: Selections on war

Alfred Neumann: Debunking the glory of twenty murderous years, the greatest mass-murderer in history

Alfred Neumann: Empire destroys peace, converts liberalism into harvest of blood

Alfred Neumann: European hegemony emerges from piled-up corpses, out of recent graves

Alfred Neumann: Four thousand miles of fratricidal murder

Alfred Neumann: Modern war, the murderous happiness of the greatest number

Alfred Neumann: The morals and manners of the War God

Alfred Neumann: Sacred recalcitrance toward the black hatred of war

Alfred Neumann: Scandalous was the idea of winning happiness through war, of making profit out of war

Alfred Neumann: The stench of burning flesh. That happens sometimes.

Alfred Neumann: Ten million lives for one man’s glory; the emperor changes his hat

Alfred Neumann: This is how it happens in history. Soldiers become thieves, thieves become murderers.

Alfred Neumann: Twilight of a conqueror

Alfred Neumann: The ultima ratio of all dictatorships: war

Alfred Neumann: War and the stock market

Alfred Neumann: War, the Great Incendiary, the everlasting prototype of annihilation

Alfred Neumann: War is not ambiguous after all, but a horribly intelligent affair

Alfred Neumann: The War Minister

Alfred Neumann: War nights were never silent

Alfred Neumann: War: Sad, hate-filled, hopeless and God-forsaken

Alfred Neumann: War’s arena, a monstrous distortion, a blasphemous coupling of life and death

Martin Andersen Nexø : From warlike giant to hysterical popinjay

Pierre Nicole: Peacemakers warrant highest title men are capable of

Pierre Nicole: Scripture obliges us to seek and desire the peace of the whole world

Adela Florence Nicolson: Doubtless feasted the jackal and the kite

Paul Nizan: War completely assembled, like a mighty engine

Nobel prize in literature recipients on peace and war

Charles Nodier: Fruitless is the glory of battles

Charles Nodier: Painful to the eyes and the heart of he who cherishes liberty

Nonnos: Brother-murdering blade. Disarming the god of war.

Charles Eliot Norton: Fighting the devil with his own arms: Declaration of war does not change the moral law

Grace Fallow Norton: O I have heard the drums beat for war!

Evgeny Nosov: What a single shell destroys

Novalis: Celebrating a great banquet of love as a festival of peace

Alfred Noyes: Selections on war

Alfred Noyes: And the cost of war, they reckoned it In little disks of gold

Alfred Noyes: The Dawn of Peace

Alfred Noyes: Mars and Urania

Alfred Noyes: Medicine driven back in defeat by the nightmare chaos of war

Alfred Noyes: The men he must kill for a little pay. And once he had sickened to watch them slaughter an ox.

Alfred Noyes: Out of the obscene seas of slaughter

Alfred Noyes: Scarecrows that once were men

Alfred Noyes: A shuddering lump of tattered wounds lifted up a mangled head and whined

Alfred Noyes: Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter!

Alfred Noyes: They say that war’s a noble thing!

Alfred Noyes: Turning wasteful strength of war to accomplish large and fruitful tasks of peace

Alfred Noyes: The Victory Ball

Alfred Noyes: War, hypocritical word for universal murder

Alfred Noyes: War they tell me is a noble thing

Alfred Noyes: When they talked of war, they thought of sawdust, not of blood

Alfred Noyes: The Wine Press

Sara Louisa Oberholtzer: The dawn of peace is breaking!

Sean O’Casey: Battles of war changed for battles of peace

Sean O’Casey: The dead of wars past clasp their colder arms around the newer dead

Sean O’Casey: The Prince of Peace transformed into the god of war

Vladimir Odoevsky: City without a name, system with one

Kenzaburō Ōe: Categorical imperative to renounce war forever

Kenzaburo Ōe: Nuclear war and its lemmings

Liam O’Flaherty: The foul horror of war

Liam O’Flaherty: Sounds from a dead world. Nothing but worms and rats feeding on death.

Georges Ohnet: Pillaging in the wake of victorious armies

Zoé Oldenbourg: War provides a feast for the vultures

John Oldham: The cup and the sword

Eugene O’Neill: The hell that follows war

Amelia Opie: Grant, Heaven, those tears may be the last that war, detested war, shall cause!

Origen: Vanquish all demons who stir up war

Charles d’Orléans: Pray for Peace

Frances Sargent Osgood: Peace and the olive branch

Ovid: Selections on war and peace

Ovid: Add incense, ye priests, to the flames that burn on the altar of Peace

Ovid: Golden Age, before weapons were warm and bloodstained from killing

Ovid: I had naught to do with war, guardian was I of peace and doorways

Ovid: Instead of a wolf the timorous ewes dread war

Ovid: Pray for perpetual peace and a peace-loving leader

Ovid: Sabine peace

Wildred Owen: Selections on war

Wilfred Owen: Arms and the Boy and Disabled

Wilfred Owen: For torture of lying machinally shelled at the pleasure of this world’s Powers who’d run amok

Wilfred Owen: From gloom’s last dregs these long-strung creatures crept

Wilfred Owen: Multitudinous murders they once witnessed

Wilfred Owen: 1914

Wilfred Owen: The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

Wilfred Owen: Pawing us who dealt them war and madness

Wildred Owen: Rushed in the body to enter hell and there out-fiending all its fiends and flames

Wilfred Owen: Soldier’s Dream

Wilfred Owen: The sons we offered might regret they died if we got nothing lasting in their stead

Wildred Owen: Strange meeting: I am the enemy you killed, my friend

John Oxenham: The Stars’ Accusal

John Oxenham: Thank God For Peace!

Thomas Parnell: Lovely, lasting peace, appear!

Pascal on war: An assassin if he kills in his own country, a hero if in another

Walter Pater: What are they all now, and the dust of their battles? Deity of Slaughter.

Coventry Patmore: Peace in life and art

Pausanias: Peace cradling Wealth in her arms

Pausanias: Woe to man

Konstantin Paustovsky: All conquerors are mad

Konstantin Paustovsky: Cervantes slain in war

Cesare Pavese: Every war is a civil war

Cesare Pavese: A moment of peace, to be reborn into a bloodless world

Josephine Preston Peabody: Harvest Moon

Thomas Love Peacock: Selections on war and peace

Thomas Love Peacock: Frenzied war’s ensanguined reign

Thomas Love Peacock: The god of battle, the last deep groan of agony

Thomas Love Peacock: I’ll make my verses rattle with the din of war and battle

Thomas Love Peacock: Ne’er thy sweet echoes swell again with war’s demoniac yell!

Thomas Love Peacock: We spilt blood enough to swim in, we orphaned many children and widowed many women

Charles Péguy: Cursed be war, cursed of God

Benjamin Péret: Little song for the maimed

Benito Pérez Galdós: Cannon should be cast into church bells

Benito Pérez Galdós: Good God! why are there wars?

Petrarch: Return, O heaven-born Peace!

Petrarch: Wealth and power at a bloody rate is wicked, better bread and water eat with peace

Lori Petri: Battleships

Petronius : Dreams of war

David Graham Phillips: Captains of industry, industrial warfare, marauders and renegade generals

David Graham Phillips: Hate war and fightin’ and money grabbin’

Stephen Phillips: Appalled at bloody trophies

Philo: “Ah, my friends, how should you not hate war and love peace?”

Philo: Casting off the warlike spirit in its completeness

Philo: “Nourished” for war and all its attendant evils

Philostratus: War versus love

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola: Holy peace wherein men become angels

John Pierpont: Not on the Battle-Field

Pindar: The arts versus war

Pindar: Shall war spread unbounded ruin round?

Harold Pinter: Art, Truth and Politics

Plato: Selections on war

Plato: All wars arise for the sake of gaining money

Plato: A good city has peace, but the evil city is full of wars within and without

Plato: The highest good is not war but peace

Plato: No true statesman looks only, or first of all, to external warfare

Plato: Socrates on the eulogizing of war heroes

Plato: They both hate and are hated. Silver and gold and war.

Plato: The tyrant is always stirring up war, the oligarchy uses force of arms to gain power

Andrei Platonov: Will the world become inured to bombing?

Plautus: Military braggadocio

Pliny the Elder: Crime and slaughter and warfare. Humanity’s war against its mother

Pliny the Elder: Curious disease of the sublunary, sanguinary human mind

Plotinus: Let earth be at peace and sea, air and the very heavens

Max Plowman: The dead soldiers. Killing men is always killing God.

Max Plowman: The God of War

Max Plowman: The Goddess of War

Joseph Mary Plunkett: Till blooms the bud on olive branch, borne by the bird of peace

Plutarch: Selections on war and peace

Plutarch: Advanced and bettered by wars? Only if riches, luxury, dominion are preferred to security, gentleness, independence accompanied by justice.

Plutarch: Entire and universal cessation of war

Plutarch: Lover of peace changed the first month of the year

Plutarch: Motivations and consequences of war

Plutarch: Numa’s guardians of peace

Plutarch: On war and its opponents

Plutarch: The privilege of being wounded and killed in war for the defense of their creditors

Plutarch: Sharpened and whetted to war from their very infancy. So unsocial and wild-beast-like is the nature of ambition and cupidity.

Plutarch: They fought indeed and were slain, but it was to maintain the luxury and the wealth of other men

Plutarch: Venus, who more than the rest of the gods and goddesses abhors force and war

Edgar Allan Poe: The Valley of Unrest

Polybius: The bestialization of man by war

Polybius: Diplomacy versus war

Polybius: Peace is a blessing for which we all pray to the gods

Ernest Poole: Apply for death certificates here. War’s house of death.

Ernest Poole: The hatred rising in all men has already butchered millions and will butcher millions more!

Ernest Poole: War cuts off the past from the future

Ernest Poole: War was the fashion. War was a pageant, a thing of romance.

Alexander Pope: Peace o’er the world her olive wand extend

Alexander Pope: War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades

Alexander Pope: Where Peace scatters blessings from her dovelike wing

Jessie Pope: Black, solemn peace is brooding low; peace, still unbroken

John Cowper Powys: To Eugene Debs, in prison for opposing war

Vladimir Pozner: Mars and Ceres

Winthrop Mackworth Praed: Take the sword away

J.B. Priestley: Insane regress of ultimate weapons leads to radioactive cemetery

Thomas Pringle: After the slaughter, the feast

Thomas Pringle: Resistless swept the ranks of war, the murder-glutted scythe of death

Matthew Prior: A new golden age free from fierce Bellona’s rage

Procopius: A parable

Procopius: Refuge from war

Adelaide A. Procter: Let carnage cease and give us peace!

Propertius: Elegy on war

Marcel Proust: Every day war is declared anew

Prudentius: Cruel warfare angers God

Publilius Syrus: Better plow than weapon

Samuel von Pufendorf: Perverted animals wage wars for superfluities

Salvatore Quasimodo: In every country a cultural tradition opposes war

Francisco de Quevedo: Metal against metal: Learning causes peace to be sought after

Francisco de Quevedo: The soldierly virtues of ardor, candor, honor and valor

Arthur Quiller-Couch: Man shall outlast his battles

Edgar Quinet: The soul of man has vanished, nations and races are doomed to combat and destroy each other

Quintilian: War, the antithesis of justice

Quintus Smyrnaeus: In his talons bore a gasping dove. Where never ceased Ares from hideous slaughter.

Quintus Smyrnaeus: Mass murder’s tropes: Dread Ares drank his fill of blood

Quintus Smyrnaeus: While here all war’s marvels were portrayed, there were the works of lovely peace

François Rabelais: Born for peace, not war

François Rabelais: The magnanimity of peace

François Rabelais: Strictures against war

François Rabelais: Waging war in good earnest

C.F. Ramuz: Little by little the war spreads

Beatrice Witte Ravenel: Missing. How many women in how many lands wait beside the desolate hearthstone!

Herbert Read: Bombing Casualties

Herbert Read: The Happy Warrior

Charles Reade: To God? Rather to war and his sister and to the god of lies

Charles Reade: War is sweet to those who have never experienced it

Thomas Reid: State of nature versus state of war

Frank C. Reighter: Victim of War’s murd’rous tyranny

Erich Maria Remarque: Selections on war

Erich Maria Remarque: After the war: The day of great dreams for the future of mankind was past

Erich Maria Remarque: All learning, all culture, all science is nothing but hideous mockery so long as mankind makes war

Erich Maria Remarque: The front begins and we become on the instant human animals

Erich Maria Remarque: It is the moaning of the world, it is the martyred creation

Erich Maria Remarque: Like a dove, a lonely white dove of assurance and peace

Erich Maria Remarque: Now, for the first time, I feel it; I see it; I comprehend it fully: Peace.

Erich Maria Remarque: On every yard there lies a dead man

Erich Maria Remarque: Peace?

Erich Maria Remarque: Their fighting and their dying have been coupled with murder and injustice and lies and might; they have been defrauded

Erich Maria Remarque: War dreams

Erich Maria Remarque: The war has ruined us for everything

Erich Maria Remarque: War, mass production of corpses

Erich Maria Remarque: War turns us into thugs, into murderers, into God only knows what devils

Erich Maria Remarque: A war veteran’s indictment

Erich Maria Remarque: War was everywhere. Everywhere, even in the brain and the heart.

Erich Maria Remarque: War’s conqueror worms

Erich Maria Remarque: We want to be men again, not war machines!

Erich Maria Remarque: We were making war against ourselves without knowing it

Erich Maria Remarque: What do they expect of us if a time ever comes when the war is over?

Erich Maria Remarque: With the melting came the dead

Erich Maria Remarque: Worse than a slaughterhouse

Ernest Renan: No military path to the kingdom of God

Charles Richardson: The Dawn of Peace

Charlotte Richardson: Once more let war and discord cease

Jean Paul Richter: The arch of peace

Jean Paul Richter: The fathers of war

Jean Paul Richter: The Goddess of Peace

James Whitcomb Riley: Sang! sang on! sang hate – sang war –

Rainer Maria Rilke: War is always a prison

Arthur Rimbaud: Evil

Yannis Ritsos: Peace

Edwin Arlington Robinson: Though your very flesh and blood the Eagle eats and drinks, you’ll praise him for the best of birds

Marilynne Robinson: The sign was ignored and since then we have had war continuously

Mary Robinson: Selections on war

Mary Robinson: Anticipate the day when ruthless war shall cease to desolate

Mary Robinson: Dread-destructive power of war

Mary Robinson: Impetuous War, the lord of slaughter

Mary Robinson: The soldier sheds, for gold, a brother’s blood

Mary Robinson: Spread once more the fostering rays of Peace

Mary Robinson: The wise shall bid, too late, the sacred olive rise

Emmanuel Roblès: Respect is first due to the living

Samuel Rogers: War and the Great in War let others sing

Samuel Rogers: What tho’ the iron school of War erase each milder virtue…

Romain Rolland: Selections on war

Romain Rolland: A father’s plea against war

Romain Rolland: The abominable war crimes of intellectuals

Romain Rolland: Above The Battle

Romain Rolland: Against grasping imperialism and inhuman pride, military caste and megalomania of pedants

Romain Rolland: America and the war against war

Romain Rolland: Ara Pacis and Ave, Caesar, Morituri Te Salutant

Romain Rolland: Centuries to recreate what war destroys in a day

Romain Rolland: Chorus of war’s secular high priests and intellectual carpet knights

Romain Rolland: Civilized warfare allows victims choice of how to be slaughtered

Romain Rolland: The collective insanity, the terrible spirit of war

Romain Rolland: Content with having said “No!” to war

Romain Rolland: The enormous iniquity, the ignoble calculations of war

Romain Rolland: The equivocating sages of Armed Peace

Romain Rolland: Gandhi and the Satanic nature of war

Romain Rolland: Gandhi vs Einstein: War must be stopped before it starts

Romain Rolland: Goddess of prey, Anti-Christ, hovering over butcheries with spread wings and hawk’s talons

Romain Rolland: Hatred and holy butchery; the deadly sophistry, carnivorous poetry of war

Romain Rolland: The heroism of war resisters

Romain Rolland: The intellectual drunkeness of war propaganda

Romain Rolland on Leo Tolstoy: How is it they are able to retain the lust of destroying their fellows?

Romain Rolland on Henri Barbusse: The isolated bleating of one of the beasts about to die

Romain Rolland: Letter to Gandhi on confronting age of global wars

Romain Rolland: Letter to Gandhi on total inadmissibility of war

Romain Rolland: Letters on conscientious objection

Rolland Rolland: Letters to Tagore on peace

Romain Rolland: The life that would have been, the life that was not going to be

Romain Rolland: A little idealism to make the war booty more delectable

Romain Rolland: Message to America on the will to conquer the world

Romain Rolland: Mobilization of all the forces in the world for peace

Romain Rolland: Not enough that nations are destroyed, they are bidden to glorify Death, to march towards it with songs

Romain Rolland: Oh, fair diplomats, you rid us of irksome peace

Romain Rolland: Our Neighbor the Enemy

Romain Rolland: Pacifism only allowed when it is not effective

Romain Rolland: Peace and war are in the hands of those who hold the purse-strings

Romain Rolland: Real peace demands that the masters of war be eliminated

Romain Rolland: Reawakening of old instincts of national pride, lapping of blood

Romain Rolland: Recurrence of the hell of war

Romain Rolland: To Gandhi on mental unbalance leading whole world to destruction

Romain Rolland: To the Murdered Peoples

Romain Rolland: To the undying Antigone; waging war against war

Romain Rolland: Tolstoy and peace among men

Romain Rolland: Totalizing, to their personal profit, the ruin of all nations

Romain Rolland: Tragedy of scientists at the disposal of military powers

Romain Rolland: War, a divine monster; half-beast, half-god

Romain Rolland: War, a pathological fact, a plague of the soul

Romain Rolland: War and the factories of intellectual munitions and cannon

Romain Rolland: War enriches a few, and ruins the community

Romain Rolland: The way to peace is not through weakness

Romain Rolland: When we defend war, dare to admit we are defending slavery

Romain Rolland: Where to rebuild the world after war?

Romain Rolland: Youth delivered up to the sword of war

Jules Romains: Selections on war

Jules Romains: Colloquy on God and war

Jules Romains: Communion of saints opposing war’s mutual massacre, human sacrifice

Jules Romains: Condign punishment for war profiteers and professional patriots

Jules Romains: Deadening effects of war on human sensibilities, defeat of civilization by barbarism

Jules Romains: Destruction of war itself, its deletion from the pages of history

Jules Romains: Distinguishing characteristic of modern warfare is that it will never come to an end of itself

Jules Romains: Fraternization versus fratricide, the forbidden subject of peace

Jules Romains: If mankind could put two and two together, there’d be no more war

Jules Romains: Just kill because the more dead there are, the fewer living will remain

Jules Romains: Romantic view of war played a dirty trick on the warriors

Jules Romains: Squalidly degrading everything that the civilization of mankind had created

Jules Romains: Unnatural war will only stop when everybody, on both sides, is killed

Jules Romains: War means a golden age for the munitions makers

Jules Romains: War: symphony of death, vast pudding concocted of corpses

Jules Romains: War turns murder into a public and highly praiseworthy action

Jules Romains: War under modern conditions has need of everything that man produces

Ronsard: Far away from Europe and far from its wars

E. Merrill Root: Drill, like sheep with wolves’ fangs, meek to kill

E. Merrill Root: Military drill. Murder’s witless marionettes.

Isaac Rosenberg: Break of Day in the Trenches

Isaac Rosenberg: Dead Man’s Dump

Isaac Rosenberg: O! ancient crimson curse! On receiving news of the war

Isaac Rosenberg: Soldier: Twentieth Century

Christina Rossetti: They reap a red crop from the field. O Man, put up thy sword.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Shall Peace be still a sunk stream long unmet?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau on peace and war

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The advantages of peace

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: No nobler, more beautiful scheme than lasting peace

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: No such thing as a successful war

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The scheme of founding a lasting peace is the most lofty ever conceived

Rousseau: The State of War

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: War and despotism reinforce each other

Claude Roy: Great wars and those which kill just as effectively

Gabrielle Roy: This was the hope that was uplifting mankind once again: to do away with war

Jules Roy: Any attempt to escape the universal holocaust would mean being hunted and tortured wherever he went

Rick Rozoff: A Protest

John Ruskin: Peace Song

George William Russell: Gods of War

Russian writers on peace and war

Rutilius Namatianus: Races of demigods who knew not iron-harnessed Mars

Edwin L. Sabin: Where Will the War be Next?

Margaret Sackville: Selections on peace and war

Margaret Sackville: How is it that men slaughter men even here upon the earth?

Margaret Sackville: Nostra Culpa

Margaret Sackville: The Pageant of War

Margaret Sackville: The Peacemakers

Margaret Sackville: Quo Vaditis?

Margaret Sackville: Reconciliation over our mutual dead

Margaret Sackville: Sacrament

Margaret Sackville: So quietly and evenly they walked these million gentle dead

Margaret Sackville: To One Who Denies the Possibility of a Permanent Peace

Margaret Sackville: We are the mothers, and each has lost a son

Margaret Sackville: Who shall deliver us from the memory of these dead?

Vita Sackville-West: Man’s war on his fellow creatures

Saint-Exupéry: Charred flesh of children viewed with indifference

Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve: Théophile Gautier, lover of peace

George Saintsbury: The odious profession

Miguel de Salabert: I first learned about men from their bombs

Miguel de Salabert: “What have you done with my legs?”

Miguel de Salabert: When they gave me a rifle to carry, I knew my life was over

Sallust: Lust for dominion the reason for war

Edgar Saltus: Soldiers and no farmers; imperial sterility…and demise

Francis Saltus Saltus: The wind favors poets over conquerors

Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin: The grandeur, the selflessness of war

George Sand: Trader in uniformed flesh and the religion of self

Carl Sandburg: And They Obey

Carl Sandburg: The grass grows over Austerlitz and Waterloo

Carl Sandburg: Ready to Kill

Carl Sandburg: Wars

Carl Sandburg: What it costs to move two buttons one inch on the war map

George Santayana: Selections on war

George Santayana on war and militarism

George Santayana: Fatal wars: equally needless, equally murderous

George Santayana: If dreadful outer world became troublesome, it would be necessary to make war on it and teach it a lesson

George Santayana: Only the dead have seen the end of war

George Santayana: Such blind battles ought not to be our battles

George Santayana: We want peace and make war

Mary McDermott Santley: The serene light of peace to all mankind

Sergei Sartakov: I fervently wish for universal peace

Sergei Sartakov: No to eternal war

Jean-Paul Sartre: They lift their heads and look up at the sky, the poisonous sky

Jean-Paul Sartre: When staging a massacre, all soldiers look alike

Jean-Paul Sartre: When the rich fight the rich, it is the poor who die

Siegfried Sassoon: Selections on war

Siegfried Sassoon: Aftermath

Siegfried Sassoon: Arms and the Man

Siegfried Sassoon: At the Cenotaph

Siegfried Sassoon: Atrocities

Siegfried Sassoon: Enemies

Siegfried Sassoon: The foul beast of war that bludgeons life

Siegfried Sassoon: Murdering the livid hours that grope for peace

Siegfried Sassoon: No doubt he loathed the war and longed for peace

Siegfried Sassoon: Our deeds with lies were lauded, our bones with wrongs rewarded

Siegfried Sassoon: Repression of War Experience

Siegfried Sassoon: Their dreams that drip with murder, of glorious war that shatter’d all their pride

Siegfried Sassoon: To Any Dead Officer

Siegfried Sassoon: The Tombstone-Maker

Siegfried Sassoon: The unheroic dead who fed the guns, those doomed, conscripted, unvictorious ones

Siegfried Sassoon: War, remorse and reconciliation

Siegfried Sassoon: We left our holes and looked above the wreckage of the earth

Scandinavian writers on peace and war

Ethel Talbot Scheffauer: The sun shall rise upon a newer world that has forgot to kill

Joseph Victor von Scheffel: The Muses heal what Mars has wrought

Joseph Victor von Scheffel: The wood of peace

Friedrich Schiller: Beauty, peace and reconciliation

Friedrich Schiller: The citizen is naught, the soldier all; rude hordes, lawless grown in lengthy war

Friedrich Schiller: Oh, blessed peace, may the day of grim War’s ruthless crew never dawn

August Wilhelm Schlegel: Aristophanes, tragedian of peace

Arthur Schnitzler: Cannot praise war in general and oppose individual wars

Arthur Schnitzler: Political reaction is the consequence of victorious wars; revolution the consequence of lost ones

Arthur Schnitzler: Remold the structure of government so that war becomes impossible

Arthur Schnitzler: War, making fathers pay wages to their sons whom we sent to their deaths

Arthur Schopenhauer: Beasts of prey in the human race

Olive Schreiner: Give me back my dead!

Olive Schreiner: The bestiality and insanity of war

Olive Schreiner: I have never met a human creature who hates war as I hate it

Albert Schweitzer: On nuclear weapons in NATO’s hands

Clinton Scollard: Selections on war and peace

Clinton Scollard: Can mankind win to heights of peace and perfect amity?

Clinton Scollard: The Carnival of war

Clinton Scollard: Mars’ mad and holocaustal rite

Clinton Scollard: The Night Sowers

Clinton Scollard: Prayer: bid this reign of hate and horror end!

Clinton Scollard: Sunset Trees

Clinton Scollard: The Vale of Shadows

Clinton Scollard: Victories

Clinton Scollard: The Watcher by the Tower

Clinton Scollard: The Winds of God

John Scott: I hate that drum’s discordant sound

Walter Scott: Fighting

Walter Scott: War’s cannibal priest, druid red from his human sacrifice

Senancour: Lottery of war amid heaps of the dead

Étienne Pivert de Senancour: War, state-sanctioned suicide

Seneca the Elder: It is this that drives the world into war

Seneca the Elder: What is this hideous disease, this appalling evil that drove you to shed each other’s blood?

Seneca on war: Deeds punished by death when committed by individuals praised when carried out by generals

Anna Seghers: War enthusiasm, brewed from equal parts of age-old memories and total oblivion

Alexander Serafimovich: Down with war!

Anna Seward: Fierce War has wing’d the arrow that wounds my soul’s repose

Shaftesbury: Improvement of arts and scholarship requires rest from war

William Shakespeare: Selections on war and peace

William Shakespeare: Blessed is the peacemaker

William Shakespeare: Contumelious, beastly, mad-brained war

William Shakespeare: Death of twenty thousand men for fantasy and fame

William Shakespeare: Enrich the time to come with smooth-faced peace

William Shakespeare: Naked, poor, mangled peace, dear nurse of arts, plenties, joyful births

William Shakespeare: Never a war did cease…with such a peace

William Shakespeare: Nor more shall trenching war channel her fields, bruise her flowerets

William Shakespeare: O bloody times. When lions war, sons kill fathers, fathers sons

William Shakespeare: O war, thou son of hell

Shakespeare: On driving a husband to none-sparing war

William Shakespeare: Out of speech of peace into harsh tongue of war

Shakespeare: So inured to war that mothers smile as their children are slain

William Shakespeare: Soldier, a creature that I teach to fight

William Shakespeare: Take heed how you awake our sleeping sword of war

William Shakespeare: Tame the savage spirit of wild war

William Shakespeare: War’s exactions

William Shakespeare: Works of poetry outlast the works of war

Ivan Shamyakin: As a physicist, she feared for the fate of mankind

George Bernard Shaw: Selections on war

George Bernard Shaw: The earth is still bursting with the dead bodies of the victors

George Bernard Shaw: Gadarene swine running violently into a hell of high explosives

George Bernard Shaw: Little Minds and Big Battles

George Bernard Shaw: The Long Arm of War

Militarist myopia: George Bernard Shaw’s Common Sense About the War

George Bernard Shaw: Rabid war maniacs reversed the order of nature

George Bernard Shaw: Religion as antidote to war

George Bernard Shaw: Religion of ruthless competition inevitably leads to war

George Bernard Shaw: The shallowness of the ideals of men ignorant of history is their destruction

George Bernard Shaw: Soldiering is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak

George Bernard Shaw: War and frivolous exultation in death for its own sake

George Bernard Shaw: War and the sufferings of the sane

George Bernard Shaw: War Delirium

George Bernard Shaw: War, governments and munitions manufacturers

George Bernard Shaw: War, the Yahoo and the angry ape

George Bernard Shaw: The way of the soldier is the way of death

Mary Shelley: The fate of the world bound up with the death of a single man

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Selections on war

Juvenilia: Percy Bysshe Shelley on war

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Earth cleansed of quivers, spears and gorgon-headed shields

Percy Bysshe Shelley: The fatal trump of useless war to swell

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Man fabricates the sword which stabs his peace

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Peace, love and concord once shall rule again

Percy Bysshe Shelley: The soldiers dreamed that they were blacksmiths

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Titled idiot kindles flames of war

Percy Bysshe Shelley: The unholy song of war

Percy Bysshe Shelley: War with its million horrors shall live but in the memory of time

William Shenstone: Ah, hapless realms! that war’s oppression feel.

William Shenstone: Let the gull’d fool the toils of war pursue

William Shenstone: War, where bleed the many to enrich the few

Kate Brownlee Sherwood: This one soft whisper – Peace

Robert Sherwood: War is essentially a false, hideous mistake

Taras Shevchenko: The civilizing mission…at sword’s point

James Shirley: Some men with swords may reap the field and plant fresh laurels where they kill

Mikhail Sholokhov: Selections on war

Mikhail Sholokhov: His entire face a cry, screaming without opening his lips

Mikhail Sholokhov: People worse than wolves. And it was called a heroic exploit.

Mikhail Sholokhov: Visit to a military hospital

Mikhail Sholokhov: War’s bitter harvest

Mikhail Sholokhov: Who was he calling for in his hour of death?

Mikhail Sholokhov: With innumerable hands the soldiers reached out to the phantasmal word “peace”

Vasily Shukshin: How many lives destroyed

Lydia Sigourney: Peace was the song the angels sang

Silius Italicus: Peace is the best thing that man may know; peace alone is better than a thousand triumphs

Louise Morgan Sill: I am the Hell-god, War!

Ignazio Silone: Resorting to the bloody diversion of war

Ignazio Silone: They have been warned of wars and rumors of wars

Ignazio Silone: War with today’s hereditary enemy

Victor Domingo Silva: Cain, the fratricide

Simonides: Dirges for the victims of the impetuous War-God

Upton Sinclair: Selections on war

Upton Sinclair: After war, the color revolution cleanup

Upton Sinclair: A banker’s post-war nightmare

Upton Sinclair: Decade of national cynicism, corruption followed “war for democracy”

Upton Sinclair: Gigantic stir of war preparation for global territorial aggrandizement

Upton Sinclair: How wars start, how they can be prevented

Upton Sinclair: The Juggernaut of war flattens out all opposition

Upton Sinclair: The lost people are those who go to be shot, killed in big war (Dante through Vanzetti)

Upton Sinclair: The plea of Nicola Sacco, “What is war?”

Upton Sinclair: New Lysistratas: Women must refuse to have babies until men stop killing

Upton Sinclair: Spending several times as much money to prepare for an even greater war to end war

Upton Sinclair: U.S. invasion of Russia: nothing but wholesale murder; American army and navy as a world police-force

Upton Sinclair: Using all the machinery and brains of civilization to slaughter one another

Upton Sinclair: The war system, bankers recouping the costs of war propaganda

Upton Sinclair: War’s one-sided boost to the economy

Upton Sinclair: What it costs a woman to keep the world at war

Upton Sinclair: World war as a business enterprise

Ina Duvall Singleton: The Women’s Litany

Edith Sitwell: Dirge for the New Sunrise

Osbert Sitwell: Totally out of place in a war-mad world

Osbert Sitwell: Wilfred Owen, poetry and war

Christopher Smart: Rejoice with the dove. Pray that all guns be nailed up.

M. B. Smedley: Where is the ministry of peace?

Charlotte Turner Smith: The lawless soldiers’ victims

Charlotte Turner Smith: Statesmen! ne’er dreading a scar, let loose the demons of war

Charlotte Turner Smith: Thus man spoils Heaven’s glorious works with blood!

Charlotte Turner Smith: To bathe his savage hands in human blood

Horace Smith: Selections on peace and war

Horace Smith: The hero-butchers of the sword

Horace Smith: Manufactured to machines for killing human creatures

Horace Smith: The trade of man-butchery. The soldier and the sailor.

Horace Smith: Weapon gathering dust

Horace Smith: When War’s ensanguined banner shall be furl’d

Rembert G. Smith: O bid the wars of men to cease

Sydney Smith: War, hailing official murderers as the greatest and most glorious of human creatures

Thorne Smith: Make statues of war’s wholesale butchers before they strike

Tobias Smollett: War contractors fattened on the blood of the nation

Tobias Smollett: The war glories of a demagogue

C.P. Snow: Selections on war

C.P. Snow: As final product of scientific civilization, nuclear bomb is its ultimate indictment

C.P. Snow: Even if moral judgments are left out, it’s unthinkable to drop the bomb

C.P. Snow: Hiroshima, the most horrible single act so far performed

C.P. Snow: Hope it’s never possible to develop superbomb

C.P. Snow: Worse than Genghiz Khan. Has there ever been a weapon that someone did not want to let off?

Vladimir Soloukhin: Shadow of this beautiful world being incinerated

Sophocles: War the destroyer

Charles Hamilton Sorley: The blind fight the blind

Charles Hamilton Sorley: When you see millions of the mouthless dead

Robert Southey: Selections on peace and war

Robert Southey: The Battle of Blenheim

Robert Southey: Preparing the way for peace; militarism versus Christianity

Robert Southey: The Soldier’s Wife

Robert Southey: Wade to glory through a sea of blood

Robert Southey: Year follows year, and still we madly prosecute the war

Wole Soyinka: Africa victim, never perpetrator, of theo/ideological wars

Wole Soyinka: Civilian and Soldier

Spanish writers on war and peace

Fanny Bixby Spencer: The shame of the cannonade

Fanny Bixby Spencer: Will your son kill mine or will mine kill yours?

Herbert Spencer: No patriotism when it comes to wars of aggression

Stephen Spender: Selections on war

Stephen Spender: Automata controlled by the mechanism of war, meaningless struggle between potential ashes to gain a world of ashes

Stephen Spender: Lecture on Hell: battle against totalitarian war

Stephen Spender: Two Armies

Stephen Spender: Ultima Ratio Regum

Stephen Spender: The War God

Stephen Spender: The Woolfs in the 1930s: War the inevitable result of an arms race.

Edmund Spenser: The first to attack the world with sword and fire

Edmund Spenser: Wars can nought but sorrows yield

Baruch Spinoza: Men shouldn’t choose slavery in time of peace for better fortune in war

Baruch Spinoza: Peace is not mere absence of war

Baruch Spinoza: Tyrants and war for its own sake

Baruch Spinzoa: War corrupts civil society

Madame de Staël: Voting for war, pronouncing their own death sentence

Statius: Devilish monster’s tongue at last tells of war. “Whither, unhappy ones, whither are ye rushing to war, though fate and heaven would bar the way?”

Stendhal: Dreaming of the Marshall and his glory…

Stendhal: You’ve got to learn the business before you can become a soldier

Stendhal and Byron: Military leprosy; fronts of brass and feet of clay

George Sterling: To the War-Lords

George Sterling: War past, present, future

Laurence Sterne: Follow Peace

Stesichorus: Thrust wars away

Robert Louis Stevenson: Peace we found where fire and war had been

Arthur E. Stilwell: The Day of Peace

Margaret Stineback: The Unknown Soldier

Frank Stockton: Battles of annihilation, the Anglo-American War Syndicate

Frank Stockton: The Great War Syndicate: “On to Canada!”

William Stokes: Selections on peace and war

William Stokes: The Angel of Peace

William Stokes: Can fields of blood redeem mankind from error?

William Stokes: Invocation to the Spirit of Peace

William Stokes: The peace of nations to destroy

William Stokes: The Soldier

Strabo: Ares, the only god they worship

Strabo: Studying war is wickedness

Lytton Strachey: After the battle, who shall say that the corpses were the most unfortunate?

August Strindberg: Progeny of soulless militarism

August Strindberg: What has become of the sacred promise of peace on our earth?

Hermann Sudermann: Militarism and its terminus

Hermann Sudermann: War irrigates the soil with blood, fertilizes it with corpses

Eugène Sue: War, murder by proxy

Suetonius: Caligula and military glory

Suetonius: Not let slip any pretext for war, however unjust and dangerous

Archil Sulakauri: I just can’t believe that people die so simply

Bertha von Suttner: Selections on peace and war

Bertha von Suttner: Among these ills the most dreadful of all – War

Bertha von Suttner: Armaments, without fighting each other the nations would all come to ruin in making preparations for war

Bertha von Suttner: Education hardens children against natural horror which terrors of war awaken

Bertha von Suttner: Mounting doubts about war

Bertha von Suttner: Outgrowing the old idolatry for war

Bertha von Suttner: The Protocol of Peace

Bertha von Suttner: Vengeance! War breeds more war.

Jonathan Swift: Brutes more modest than men in perpetuating war against their own species

Jonathan Swift: How to select commanders, end wars

Jonathan Swift: Lemuel Gulliver on War

Algernon Charles Swinburne: Death made drunk with war

Algernon Charles Swinburne: A gospel of war and damnation for the bestial by birth

Algernon Charles Swinburne: There shall be no more wars nor kingdoms won

Frank Swinnerton: Aerial bombardment, the most stupid and futile aspect of war

John Addington Symonds: Nation with nation, land with land unarmed shall live as comrades free

Arthur Symons: A great reaction: people will be tired of wars

Tacitus: The robbery, slaughter and plunder that empire calls peace

Tacitus: When war bursts on us, innocent and guilty alike perish

Rabindranath Tagore: Secure disarmament, transform it into strength

Hippolyte Taine on the inhuman travesty of war

Anton Tammsaare: War, the greatest enterprise of the modern age

Torquato Tasso: Pastoral refuge from war

Torquato Tasso: War’s devouring minister, the sword

Sara Teasdale: Dusk in War Time

Sara Teasdale: Spring in War-Time

Charles Tennant: Nor shall they learn war

William Tennant: Ode to Peace

William Tennant: While some sing of Mars’s bloody game…

Alfred Lord Tennyson: Selections on war and peace

Alfred Lord Tennyson: The brazen bridge of war

Alfred Lord Tennyson: I would the old God of war himself were dead

Alfred Tennyson: Ring out the thousand wars of old, ring in the thousand years of peace

Alfred Tennyson: Till the war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle-flags were furl’d

Alfred Lord Tennyson: When shall universal peace lie like light across the land?

Tertullian: As a last test of empire, make war on heaven

William Makepeace Thackeray: Millions of innocent hearts wounded horribly

William Makepeace Thackeray: “Pax in bello.” The death of a single soldier.

William Makepeace Thackeray: War taxes men and women alike

Theocritus: May spiders spin their slender webs over weapons of war

Theophrastus: Warmongering’s rumormongering

Dylan Thomas: The Hand That Signed the Paper

Edith Matilda Thomas: Air war: They are not humans.

Edith Matilda Thomas: The Altar of Moloch

James Thomson: Despise the insensate barbarous trade of war

James Thomson: Peace is the natural state of man; war his corruption, his disgrace

James Thomson: Philosophy’s plans of policy and peace

Mabel Thomson: A child’s ideal of soldiering

Henry David Thoreau: Taxes enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood

Thucydides: Admonitions against war

Tibullus: War is a crime perpetrated by hearts hardened like weapons

Thomas Tickell: The Soldier’s late destroying Hand shall rear new Temples in his native Land

Christoph August Tiedge: Give to earth the light of peaceful day

Ernst Toller: Corpses In The Woods

Alexei Tolstoy: The one incontestable result was dead bodies

Leo Tolstoy: Selections on war

Leo Tolstoy: The Law of Love and the Law of Violence

Leo Tolstoy: Two Wars and Carthago Delenda Est

Leo Tolstoy: Patriotism or Peace

Leo Tolstoy: “Thou Shalt Not Kill”

Leo Tolstoy: Murder and vengeance are not the will of the people

Leo Tolstoy: The Beginning of the End

Leo Tolstoy: Christian cannot be a murderer and therefore cannot be a soldier

Leo Tolstoy: Letter on the Peace Conference

Leo Tolstoy: Idealization of military malefactors is shameful

Leo Tolstoy: Prescription for peace

H. M. Tomlinson: Great offensive. Curse such trite and sounding words

H. M. Tomlinson: Greatest evil is unconscious indifference to war’s obscene blasphemy against life

H. M. Tomlinson: The return of the soldier, of he who was once alive

Edythe C. Toner: The Wraiths

Georg Trakl: Night beckons to dying soldiers, the ghosts of the killed are sighing

Katrina Trask: Selections on war and peace

Katrina Trask: Civilized warfare

Katrina Trask: A dialogue on God and war

Katrina Trask: The Logic of War

Katrina Trask: The Statue of Peace

Katrina Trask: “Wars shall cease. Peace shall knit the world together in a bond of common Brotherhood.”

Lucia Trent: Breed, little mothers, breed for the war lords who slaughter your sons

Lucia Trent: Women of War

Yuri Trifonov: Our world – the world of peace!

Anthony Trollope: How wars are arranged

Anthony Trollope: Leader appointed to save the empire – with warships

Anthony Trollope: Sports, reading and war

Henri Troyat: Selections on war

Henri Troyat: All humanity passing through a crisis of destructive madness

Henri Troyat: Nothing grand, nothing noble, in the universal slaughter

Henri Troyat: Shedding blood for the motherland: War is ugly and absurd

Henri Troyat: So many men killed, so many towns burned…for a telegram

Henri Troyat: Thoughts stop with a shock: War!

Henri Troyat: Tolstoy’s visceral detestation of war

Henri Troyat: War, that greatest of political crimes

Henri Troyat: “Will a day ever come when there’s no more war, no more lies, no more tragedy!”

Kurt Tucholsky: The White Spots

Kurt Tucholsky: The Trench

Kurt Tucholsky: Murder in disguise

Ivan Turgenev: “Militarism, the soldiery, have got the upper hand”

Nancy Byrd Turner: Let Us Have Peace

Julia S. Tutwiler: O, the world has grown weary of battle and strife

Mark Twain: Selections on war

Mark Twain: The War Prayer

Mark Twain: To the Person Sitting in Darkness

Mark Twain: The basest type of patriotism: support for war and imperialism

Mark Twain: The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Brought Down to Date)

Mark Twain: Cain and mankind’s legacy of war

Mark Twain: Epitome of war, the killing of strangers against whom you feel no personal animosity

Mark Twain: Grotesque self-deception of war

Mark Twain: I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

Mark Twain: Maxims on battleships and statesmanship

Mark Twain: An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war

Mark Twain: Only dead men dare tell the whole truth about war

Mark Twain: Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War

Mark Twain on Western military threat to China: I am a Boxer

Mark Twain: Cecil Rhodes and the civilizing mission: He wants the earth and wants it for his own

Ukrainian writers on war

Lesya Ukrainka: Do you understand that word called war?

Louis Untermeyer: Daybreak after war

Paul Vaillant-Couturier: The Song of Craonne

Armando Palacio Valdés: “He would be better with a pickaxe in his hand, and more useful to his country”

Juan Valera: Thou art the God of peace

Paul Valéry on global conflicts, Europe governed by American commission

Paul Valèry: War, science, art and Leibnitz, who dreamed of universal peace

César Vallejo: So much love and yet so powerless against death

Jules Vallès: I hate war and its sinister glory

Henry van Dyke: Stain Not the Sky

Mario Vargas Llosa: More than enough atomic and conventional weapons to wipe out several planets

Varro: War’s etymologies

Henry Vaughan: Let us ‘midst noise and war of peace and mirth discuss

Henry Vaughan: The Men of War

Henry Vaughan: What thunders shall those men arraign who cannot count those they have slain?

Thorstein Veblen: Habituation to war entails a body of predatory habits of thought

Velleius Paterculus: License of the sword inevitably leads to wars for profit

Roger Vercel: Boats built for men to live in, ships built to kill

Vercors: Are war crimes only committed by the vanquished?

Giovanni Verga: The Mother of Sorrows

Émile Verhaeren: I hold war in execration; ashamed to be butchers of their fellows

Paul Verlaine: The joy of sweet peace without victory

Giambattista Vico: Mars, the vilest of the gods

Alfred de Vigny: Selections on war

Alfred de Vigny: Admiration for military commander turns us into slaves and madmen

Alfred de Vigny: The army is a machine wound up to kill

Alfred de Vigny: It is war that is wrong, not we

Alfred de Vigny: War is condemned of God and even of man who holds it in secret horror

Alfred de Vigny: When armies and war exist no more

Virgil: On war and on peace

Virgil: Age of peace

Virgil: The blind passion of unpitying war

Virgil: None heard the trumpet’s blast, nor direful clang of smitten anvils loud with shaping sword

Virgil: Shall impious soldiers have these new-ploughed grounds?

Virgil: The War-god pitiless moves wrathful through the world

Elio Vittorini: Dialogue between a dead soldier and his brother

Elio Vittorini: Slaughter perpetrated in the world; one man cries and another laughs

Voltaire: Selections on war

Voltaire: Annals with no mention of any war undertaken at any time

Voltaire: Armies composed of well disciplined hirelings who determine the fate of nations

Voltaire: Bellicose father or pacific son?

Voltaire: He did not put a sufficient number of his fellow creatures to death

Voltaire: Invoking the gods of war

Voltaire: The laws of robbers and war

Voltaire: Million regimented assassins traverse Europe from one end to the other, to get their bread by regular depredation and murder

Voltaire: Mortals, you’re bound by sacred tie, therefore those cruel arms lay by

Voltaire: Must Europe never cease to be in arms?

Voltaire: One country cannot conquer without making misery for another

Voltaire: War

Voltaire: Why prefer a war to the happy labors of peace?

Louise B. Waite: Let There Be Peace

Edmund Waller: Less pleasure take brave minds in battles won

Horace Walpole: The glory of war and soldiering

Horace Walpole: Who gives a nation peace, gives tranquility to all

Hugh Walpole: Selections on war

Hugh Walpole: Continual screaming, men without faces

Hugh Walpole: The dark, crippling advent of war

Hugh Walpole: Dream of horror: the false reality of war

Hugh Walpole: It would indeed be a disheartening sight….

Hugh Walpole: War both protracts and strangles youth

Henry Ward: Ode to Peace

Rex Warner: These guns were sent to save civilisation

Gretchen Warren: Dying Peace

Thomas Warton: Not seek in fields of blood his warrior bays

Jakob Wassermann: Was there ever since the world began a just cause for war?

Gilbert Waterhouse: “This is the last of wars – this is the last!”

William Watson: Curse my country for its military victory

William Watson: Dream of perfect peace

Isaac Watts: Clamor, and wrath, and war, begone

Albert Durrant Watson: A Prayer for Peace

Edwin Waugh: Who strives to make the world a home where peace and justice meet

Maurice C. Waugh: A Plea for Peace

H.G. Wells: Selections on war

H.G. Wells: The abolition of war will be a new phase in the history of life

H.G. Wells: Armaments: Vile and dangerous industry in the human blood trade

H.G. Wells: Either man will put an end to air war or air war will put an end to mankind

H.G. Wells: For the predetermined losing side, modern wars an unspeakable business

H.G. Wells: Mars will sit like a giant above all human affairs and his speech is blunt and plain

H.G. Wells: Massacres of boys! That indeed is the essence of modern war.

H.G. Wells: Nearly everybody wants peace but nobody thinks out the arrangements needed

H.G. Wells: No more talk of honour and annexations, hegemonies and trade routes, but only Europe lamenting for her dead

H.G. Wells: None so detestable as the god of war

H.G. Wells: A number of devoted men and women ready to give their whole lives to great task of peace

H.G. Wells: The progressive enslavement of the race to military tyranny

H.G. Wells: A time will come when a politician who has wilfully made war will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide

H.G. Wells: Universal collapse logically follows world-wide war

H.G. Wells: War is a triumph of the exhausted and dying over the dead

H.G. Wells: War, road to complete extinction or to degradation beyond our present understanding

H.G. Wells: War will leave the world a world of cripples and old men and children

H.G. Wells: When war comes home

H.G. Wells: Why did humanity gape at the guns and do nothing? War as business

H.G. Wells: The world is weary of this bloodshed, weary of all this weeping

H.G. Wells: The young are the food of war

Franz Werfel: Selections on war

Franz Werfel: Advent of air war and apocalyptic visions

Franz Werfel: Cities disintegrated within seconds in the Last War

Franz Werfel: Don’t you hear the roar of the bombers, the clatter of heavy machine guns that envelop the globe?

Franz Werfel: How describe in a few words a world war?

Franz Werfel: Leaders’ fear of their people drives them to war

Franz Werfel: To a Lark in War-Time

Franz Werfel: Twenty thousand well-preserved human skulls of the Last War

Franz Werfel: Waging currish, cowardly war to plunder the poor

Franz Werfel: War behind and in front, outside and inside

Franz Werfel: War is the cause and not the result of all conflicts

John Werge: Battle in hell if war ye must

Charles Wesley: No horrid alarm of war shall break our eternal repose

James H. West: No More

Nathanael West: Selections on war

Nathanael West: Every defeat is a victory in a war of attrition

Nathanael West: The noble motives, the noble methods of war

Nathanael West: Not their fault, they thought they had bombed a hospital

Nathanael West: One live recruit is better than a dozen dead veterans

Nathanael West: They haven’t the proper military slant

Rebecca West: The dreams of Englishwomen during war

Phillis Wheatley: From every tongue celestial Peace resounds

Robert Whitaker: Whence Cometh War?

John Whitehouse: Ode to War

Walt Whitman: Away with themes of war! away with war itself!

Anna M. Whitney: The Call for Peace

John Greenleaf Whittier: Selections on peace and war

John Greenleaf Whittier: Disarmament

John Greenleaf Whittier: The Gospel of Christ is peace, not war, and love, not hatred

John Greenleaf Whittier: If this be Peace, pray what is War?

John Greenleaf Whittier: The Peace Convention at Brussels

John Greenleaf Whittier: Nobler than the sword’s shall be the sickle’s accolade

John Greenleaf Whittier: The stormy clangor of wild war music o’er the earth shall cease

Margaret Widdemer: After War

Margaret Widdemer: A Mother to the War-Makers

Margaret Widdemer: Men have to wage world-wars, children are left to die

Margaret Widdemer: War-March

Ellen Wheeler Wilcox: The Paean of Peace

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: A Plea To Peace

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: Women and War

Jane Wilde: Peace with the Olive, and Mercy with the Palm

Oscar Wilde: Antidote to war

Oscar Wilde: Crimson seas of war, Great Game in Central and South Asia

Oscar Wilde: Who would dare to praise the barren pride of warring nations?

Helen Maria Williams: Heaven-born peace

Helen Maria Williams: Now burns the savage soul of war

Sarah Williams: Groaning for him they slew

John Wilmot: With war I’ve not to do

D. A. Wilson: Who Won the War?

Thomas Wolfe: His imperial country at war, possessed of the inspiration for murder

Thomas Wolfe: Santimony and cant of war

Women writers on peace and war

Clement Wood: Seedtime and harvest

Clement Wood: Victory – Without Peace

Margaret L. Woods: The forgotten slain

William Wordsworth: Selections on peace and war

William Wordsworth: All merit centered in the sword; battle’s hecatombs

William Wordsworth: Earth’s groaning field, where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars

William Wordsworth: If men with men in peace abide, all other strength the weakest may withstand

William Wordsworth: Peace in these feverish times is sovereign bliss

William Wordsworth: Proclaimed heroes for strewing meadows with carcasses

William Wordsworth: Prophetic harps were singing, “War shall cease”

William Wordsworth: Spreading peaceful ensigns over war’s favourite playground

Wordsworth: We felt as men should feel at vast carnage

Philip Stanhope Worsley: Not with iron steeped in slaughter

Henry Wotton: Pastorale. No wars are seen.

Thomas Wyatt: Children of the gun

Thomas Wyatt: Wax fat on innocent blood: I cannot leave the state to Caesar

Elinor Wylie: Peace falls unheeded on the dead

Hedd Wynn: War

Xenophon: Selections on war and peace

Xenophon: Begin wars as tardily, end them as speedily as possible

Xenophon: Guile without guilt. Peace and joy reigned everywhere.

Xenophon: Socrates’ prescription for averting the calamities of war

Xenophon: Socrates’ war sophistry; civil crimes are martial virtues

Xenophon: War as obsession, warfare as mistress

Ann Yearsley: The anarchy of war

William Butler Yeats: The Rose of Peace

Barbara Young: Peace is not bought with dead men slain

Edward Young: Selections on peace and war

Edward Young: Draw the murd’ring sword to give mankind a single lord

Edward Young: End of war the herald of wisdom and poetry

Edward Young: No more the rising harvest whets the sword, now peace, though long repuls’d, arrives at last

Edward Young: Reason’s a bloodless conqueror, more glorious than the sword

Edward Young: Such a peace that follows war

Marguerite Yourcenar: Fruits of war are food for new wars

Leonid Zhukhovitsky: May the book prove more powerful than the bomb

Émile Zola: Selections on war

Émile Zola on war mania: A blind and deaf beast let loose amid death and destruction, laden with cannon-fodder

Émile Zola: Bloody pages of history, the wars, the conquests, the names of the captains who had butchered their fellow-beings.

Émile Zola: Encomiums on labor and peace

Émile Zola: The forge of peace and the pit of war

Émile Zola: Haunted by military matters

Émile Zola: The military, necessary apprenticeship for devastation and massacre

Émile Zola: One sole city of peace and truth and justice

Émile Zola: Prescription for a happy life in the midst of universal peace

Émile Zola: To what field of disaster would it be taken to kill men? what harvest of human lives would it reap?

Émile Zola: Vulcan in service to Mars

Émile Zola: War’s vast slaughterhouse

Émile Zola: Why armies are maintained

Émile Zola: Yes, war is dead. The world has reached its last stage. Brothers may now give each other the fraternal kiss.

Zuhair: Accursed thing, war will grind you between millstones

Arnold Zweig: Selections on war

Arnold Zweig: Conducting the business of murder with embittered reluctance

Arnold Zweig: The costs of war are spiritual and moral desolation, economic catastrophes and political reaction

Arnold Zweig: Education Before Verdun

Arnold Zweig: The final trump in the struggle for world markets: the Gun

Arnold Zweig: From the joy of the slayer to being dimly aware of the man on the other side

Arnold Zweig: In the war you’ve lost all the personality you’ve ever had

Arnold Zweig: Keep the war going to the last drop of – other – people’s blood

Arnold Zweig: The meaning, or rather the meaninglessness, of war

Arnold Zweig: Mere existence of armies imposes upon mankind the mentality of the Stone Age

Arnold Zweig: Military strips nation of all that is worthy of defense

Arnold Zweig: Never again! On reading Barbusse

Arnold Zweig: No joy to be born into world of war

Arnold Zweig: Of course, one had to shoot at crowds of civilians, men, women and children

Arnold Zweig: Only the wrong people are killed in a war

Arnold Zweig: The plague has always played a part in war

Arnold Zweig: Pro-war clerks and clerics are Herod’s mercenaries

Arnold Zweig: Reason is the highest patriotism and militarism is evil its very essence

Arnold Zweig: They won no more ground than they could cover with their corpses

Arnold Zweig: War a deliberate act, not an unavoidable natural catastrophe

Arnold Zweig: War, a gigantic undertaking on the part of the destruction industry

Arnold Zweig: War of all against all, jaded multitudes of death

Arnold Zweig: War transforms rescue parties into murder parties

Arnold Zweig: War was in the world, and war prevailed

Arnold Zweig: War’s brutality, folly and tyranny practiced even on its own

Arnold Zweig: War’s communion, hideous multiplication of human disasters

Arnold Zweig: War’s hecatomb from the air, on land and at sea

Arnold Zweig: Whole generation shed man’s blood, whole generation to be poured forth in vats of blood

Stefan Zweig: Selections on peace and war

Stefan Zweig: The army of the spirit, not the army of force

Stefan Zweig: The bloody cloud-bank of war will give way to a new dawn

Stefan Zweig: The fear of opposing military hysteria

Stefan Zweig: The fruits of peace, the drive toward war

Stefan Zweig: “How much rottenness there is in war”

Stefan Zweig: I would never have believed such a crime on the part of humanity possible

Stefan Zweig: Idea of human brotherhood buried by the grave-diggers of war

Stefan Zweig: The idealism which sees beyond blood-drenched battlefields

Stefan Zweig: Opposition to war, a higher heroism still

Stefan Zweig: Origin of the Nobel Peace Prize

Stefan Zweig: Propaganda is as much war matériel as arms and planes

Stefan Zweig: Romain Rolland and the campaign against hatred

Stefan Zweig: A single conscience defies the madness of war

Stefan Zweig: Stendhal, in war but not of it

Stefan Zweig: War, the ultimate betrayal of the intellectuals

Stefan Zweig: The whole world of feeling, the whole world of thought, became militarized

Stefan Zweig: World war and Romain Rolland, the conscience of the world

Categories: Uncategorized

Randolph Bourne: The War and the Intellectuals

March 20, 2011 Leave a comment


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

American writers on peace and against war

Randolph Bourne: Selections on war


Randolph Bourne
The War and the Intellectuals (1917)


[Emphasis added]

To those of us who still retain an irreconcilable animus against war, it has been a bitter experience to see the unanimity with which the American intellectuals have thrown their support to the use of war-technique in the crisis in which America found herself. Socialists, college professors, publicists, new-republicans, practitioners of literature, have vied with each other in confirming with their intellectual faith the collapse of neutrality and the riveting of the war-mind on a hundred million more of the world’s people.

And the intellectuals are not content with confirming our belligerent gesture. They are now complacently asserting that it was they who effectively willed it, against the hesitation and dim perceptions of the American democratic masses. A war made deliberately by the intellectuals! A calm moral verdict, arrived at after a penetrating study of inexorable facts! Sluggish masses, too remote from the world-conflict to be stirred, too lacking in intellect to perceive their danger!

An alert intellectual class, saving the people in spite of themselves, biding their time with Fabian strategy until the nation could be moved into war without serious resistance! An intellectual class, gently guiding a nation through sheer force of ideas into what the other nations entered only through predatory craft or popular hysteria or militarist madness! A war free from any taint of self-seeking, a war that will secure the triumph of democracy and internationalize the world! This is the picture which the more self-conscious intellectuals have formed of themselves, and which they are slowly impressing upon a population which is being led no man knows whither by an indubitably intellectualized President. And they are right, in that the war certainly did not spring from hysteria, of the American people, however acquiescent the masses prove to be, and however clearly the intellectuals prove their putative intuition.

Those intellectuals who have felt themselves totally out of sympathy with this drag toward war will seek some explanation for this joyful leadership. They will want to understand this willingness of the American intellect to open the sluices and flood us with the sewage of the war spirit. We cannot forget the virtuous horror and stupefaction which filled our college professors when they read the famous manifesto the their ninety-three German colleagues in defense of their war. To the American academic mind of 1914 defense of war was inconceivable. From Bernhardi it recoiled as from blasphemy, little dreaming that two years later would find it creating its own cleanly reasons for imposing military service on the country and for talking of the rough rude currents of health and regeneration that war would send through the American body politic.

They would have thought anyone mad who talked of shipping American men by the hundreds of thousands – conscripts – to die on the fields of France. Such a spiritual change seems catastrophic when we shoot our minds back to those days when neutrality was a proud thing. But the intellectual progress has been so gradual that the country retains little sense of the irony. The war sentiment, begun so gradually but so perseveringly by the preparedness advocates who come from the ranks of big business, caught hold of one after another of the intellectual groups. With the aid of Roosevelt, the murmurs became a monotonous chant, and finally a chorus so mighty that to be out of it was at first to be disreputable and finally almost obscene. And slowly a strident rant was worked up against Germany which compared very creditably with the German fulminations against the greedy power of England. The nerve of the war-feeling centered, of course, in the richer and older classes of the Atlantic seaboard, and was keenest where there were French or English business and particularly social connections. The sentiment then spread over the country as a class-phenomenon, touching everywhere those upper-class elements in each section who identified themselves with this Eastern ruling group.

It must never be forgotten that in every community it was the least liberal and least democratic elements among whom the preparedness and later the war sentiment was found. The farmers were apathetic, the small business men and workingmen are still apathetic towards the war. The election was a vote of confidence of these latter classes in a President who would keep the faith of neutrality. The intellectuals, in other words, have identified themselves with the least democratic forces in American life.

They have assumed the leadership for war of those very classes whom the American democracy has been immemorially fighting. Only in a world where irony was dead could an intellectual class enter war at the head of such illiberal cohorts in the avowed cause of world-liberalism and world-democracy. No one is left to point out the undemocratic nature of this war-liberalism. In a time of faith, skepticism is the most intolerable of all insults.

Our intellectual class might have been occupied, during the last two years of war, in studying and clarifying the ideals and aspirations of the American democracy, in discovering a true Americanism which would not have been merely nebulous but might have federated the different ethnic groups and traditions. They might have spent the time in endeavoring to clear the public mind of the cant of war, to get rid of old mystical notions that clog our thinking. We might have used the time for a great wave of education, for setting our house in spiritual order. We could at least have set the problem before ourselves.

If our intellectuals were going to lead the administration, they might conceivably have tried to find some way of securing peace by making neutrality effective. They might have turned their intellectual energy not to the problem of jockeying the nation into war, but to the problem of using our vast neutral power to attain democratic ends for the rest of the world and ourselves without the use of the malevolent technique of war. They might have failed. The point is that they scarcely tried.

The time was spent not in clarification and education, but in mulling over nebulous ideals of democracy and liberalism and civilization which had never meant anything fruitful to those ruling classes who now so glibly used them, and in giving free rein to the elementary instinct of self-defense. The whole era has been spiritually wasted. The outstanding feature has been not its Americanism but its intense colonialism. The offence of our intellectuals was not so much that they were colonial – for what could we expect of a nation composed of so many national elements? – but that it was so one-sidedly and partisanly colonial. The official, reputable expression of the intellectual class has been that of the English colonial. Certain portions of it have been even more loyalist than the King, more British even than Australia. Other colonial attitudes have been vulgar.

The colonialism of the other American stocks was denied a hearing from the start. America might have been made a meeting-ground for the different national attitudes. An intellectual class, cultural colonists of the different European nations, might have threshed out the issues here as they could not be threshed out in Europe. Instead of this, the English colonials in university and press took command at the start, and we became an intellectual Hungary where thought was subject to an effective process of Magyarization. The reputable opinion of the American intellectuals became more and more either what could be read pleasantly in London, or what was written in an earnest effort to put Englishmen straight on their war-aims and war-technique. This Magyarization of thought produced as a counter-reaction a peculiarly offensive and inept German apologetic, and the two partisans divided the field between them. The great masses, the other ethnic groups, were inarticulate. American public opinion was almost as little prepared for war in 1917 as it was in 1914.

The sterile results of such an intellectual policy are inevitable. During the war the American intellectual class has produced almost nothing in the way of original and illuminating interpretation. Veblen’s “Imperial Germany;” Patten’s “Culture and War,” and addresses; Dewey’s “German Philosophy and Politics;” a chapter or two in Weyl’s “American Foreign Policies;” – is there much else of creative value in the intellectual repercussion of the war? It is true that the shock of war put the American intellectual to an unusual strain. He had to sit idle and think as spectator not as actor. There was no government to which he could docily and loyally tender his mind as did the Oxford professors to justify England in her own eyes. The American’s training was such as to make the fact of war almost incredible. Both in his reading of history and in his lack of economic perspective he was badly prepared for it. He had to explain to himself something which was too colossal for the modern mind, which outran any language or terms which we had to interpret it in. He had to explain his sympathies to the breaking-point, while pulling the past and present into some sort of interpretative order. The intellectuals in the fighting countries had only to rationalize and justify what their country was already doing. Their task was easy. A neutral, however, had really to search out the truth. Perhaps perspective was too much to ask of any mind. Certainly the older colonials among our college professors let their prejudices at once dictate their thought. They have been comfortable ever since. The war has taught them nothing and will teach them nothing. And they have had the satisfaction, under the rigor of events, of seeing prejudice submerge the intellects of their younger colleagues. And they have lived to see almost their entire class, pacifists and democrats too, join them as apologists for the “gigantic irrelevance” of war.

We had had to watch, therefore, in this country the same process which so shocked us abroad – the coalescence of the intellectual classes in support of the military programme. In this country, indeed, the socialist intellectuals did not even have the grace of their German brothers and wait for the declaration of war before they broke for cover. And when they declared for war they showed how thin was the intellectual veneer of their socialism. For they called us in terms that might have emanated from any bourgeois journal to defend democracy and civilization, just as if it was not exactly against those very bourgeois democracies and capitalist civilizations that socialists had been fighting for decades. But so subtle is the spiritual chemistry of the “inside” that all this intellectual cohesion – herd-instinct – which seemed abroad so hysterical and so servile, comes to us here in highly rational terms. We go to war to save the world from subjugation! But the German intellectuals went to war to save their culture from barbarization! And the French to save international honor! And Russia, most altruistic and self-sacrificing of all, to save a small State from destruction! Whence is our miraculous intuition of our moral spotlessness? Whence our confidence that history will not unravel huge economic and imperialist forces upon which our rationalizations float like bubbles? The Jew often marvels that his race alone should have been chosen as the true people of the cosmic God. Are not our intellectuals equally fatuous when they tell us that our war of all wars is stainless and thrillingly achieving for good?

An intellectual class that was wholly rational would have called insistently for peace and not for war. For months the crying need has been for a negotiated peace, in order to avoid the ruin of a deadlock. Would not the same amount of resolute statesmanship thrown into intervention have secured a peace that would have been a subjugation for neither side? Was the terrific bargaining power of a great neutral ever really used? Our war followed, as all wars follow, a monstrous failure of diplomacy. Shamefacedness should now be our intellectuals’ attitude, because the American play for peace was made so little more than a polite play. The intellectuals have still to explain why, willing as they now are to use force to continue the war to absolute exhaustion, they were not willing to use force to coerce the world to a speedy peace.

Their forward vision is no more convincing than their past rationality. We go to war now to internationalize the world! But surely their league to Enforce Peace is only a palpable apocalyptic myth, like the syndicalists’ myth of the “general strike.” It is not a rational programme so much as a glowing symbol for the purpose of focusing belief, of setting enthusiasm on fire for international order. As far as it does this it has pragmatic value, but as far as it provides a certain radiant mirage of idealism for this war and for a world-order founded on mutual fear, it is dangerous and obnoxious. Idealism should be kept for what is ideal. It is depressing to think that the prospect of a world so strong that none dare challenge it should be the immediate prospect of the American intellectual. If the League is only a makeshift, a coalition into which we enter to restore order, then it is only a description of an existing fact, and the idea should be treated as such. But if it is an actually prospective outcome of the settlement, the keystone of American policy, it is neither realizable nor desirable. For the programme of such a League contains no provision for dynamic national growth or for international economic justice. In a world which requires recognition of economic internationalism far more than of political internationalism, an idea is reactionary which proposes to petrify and federate the nations as political and economic units. Such a scheme for international order is a dubious justification for American policy. And if American policy had been sincere in its belief that our participation would achieve international beatitude, would we not have made our entrance into the war conditional upon a solemn general agreement to respect in the final settlement these principles of international order? Could we have afforded, if our war was to end war by the establishment of a league of honor, to risk the defeat of our vision and our betrayal in the settlement? Yet we are in the war, and no such solemn agreement was made, nor has it even been suggested.

The case of the intellectuals seems, therefore, only very speciously rational. They could have used their energy to force a just peace or at least to devise other means than war for carrying through American policy. They could have used their intellectual energy to ensure that our participation in the war meant the international order which they wish. Intellect was not so used. It was used to lead an apathetic nation into an irresponsible war, without guarantees from those belligerents whose cause we were saving. The American intellectual, therefore has been rational neither in his hindsight, nor his foresight. To explain him we must look beneath the intellectual reasons to the emotional disposition. It is not so much what they thought as how they felt that explains our intellectual class. Allowing for colonial sympathy, there was still the personal shock in a world-war which outraged all our preconceived notions of the way the world was tending. It reduced to rubbish most of the humanitarian internationalism and democratic nationalism which had been the emotional thread of our intellectuals’ life. We had suddenly to make a new orientation. There were mental conflicts. Our latent colonialism strove with our longing for American unity. Our desire for peace strove with our desire for national responsibility in the world. That first lofty and remote and not altogether unsound feeling of our spiritual isolation from the conflict could not last. There was the itch to be in the great experience which the rest of the world was having. Numbers of intelligent people who had never been stirred by the horrors of capitalistic peace at home were shaken out of their slumber by the horrors of war in Belgium. Never having felt responsibility for labor wars and oppressed masses and excluded races at home, they had a large fund of idle emotional capital to invest in the oppressed nationalities and ravaged villages of Europe. Hearts that had felt only the ugly contempt for democratic strivings at home beat in tune with the struggle for freedom abroad. All this was natural, but it tended to over-emphasize our responsibility. And it threw our thinking out of gear. The task of making our own country detailedly fit for peace was abandoned in favor of a feverish concern for the management of war, advice to the fighting governments on all matters, military, social and political, and a gradual working up of the conviction that we were ordained as a nation to lead all erring brothers towards the light of liberty and democracy. The failure of the American intellectual class to erect a creative attitude toward the war can be explained by these sterile mental conflicts which the shock to our ideals sent raging through us.

Mental conflicts end either in a new and higher synthesis or adjustment, or else in a reversion to more primitive ideas which have been outgrown but to which we drop when jolted out of our attained position. The war caused in America a recrudescence of nebulous ideals which a younger generation was fast outgrowing because it had passed the wistful stage and was discovering concrete ways of getting them incarnated in actual institutions. The shock of war threw us back from this pragmatic work into an emotional bath of these old ideals. there was even a somewhat rarefied revival of our primitive Yankee boastfulness, the reversion of senility to that republican childhood when we expected the whole world to copy our republican institutions. We amusingly ignored the fact that it was just that Imperial German regime, to whom we are to teach the art of self-government, which our own Federal structure, with its executive irresponsible in foreign policy and with its absence of parliamentary control, most resembles. And we are missing the exquisite irony of the unaffected homage paid by the American democratic intellectuals to the last and most detested of Britain’s tory premiers as the representative of a “liberal” ally, as well as the irony of the selection of the best hated of America’s bourbon “old guard” as the missionary of American democracy to Russia.

The intellectual state that could produce such things is one where reversion has taken place to more primitive ways of thinking. Simple syllogisms are substituted for analysis, things are known by their labels, our heart’s desire dictates what we shall see. The American intellectual class, having failed to make the higher synthesis, regresses to ideas that can issue in quick, simplified action. Thought becomes any easy rationalization of what is actually going on or what is to happen inevitably tomorrow. It is true that certain groups did rationalize their colonialism and attach the doctrine of the inevitability of British seapower to the doctrine of a League of Peace. But this agile resolution of the mental conflict did not become a higher synthesis, to be creatively developed. It gradually merged into a justification for our going to war. It petrified into a dogma to be propagated. Criticism flagged and emotional propaganda began. Most of the socialists, the college professors and the practitioners of literature, however, have not even reached this high-water mark of synthesis. Their mental conflicts have been resolved much more simply. War in the interests of democracy! This was almost the sum of their philosophy. The primitive idea to which they regressed became almost insensibly translated into a craving for action. War was seen as the crowning relief of their indecision. At last action, irresponsibility, the end of anxious and torturing attempts to reconcile peace-ideals with the drag of the world towards Hell. An end to the pain of trying to adjust the facts to what they ought to be! Let us consecrate the facts as ideal! Let us join the greased slide towards war! The momentum increased. Hesitations, ironies, consciences, considerations, – all were drowned in the elemental blare of doing something aggressive, colossal. The new-found Sabbath “peacefulness of being at war”! The thankfulness with which so many intellectuals lay down and floated with the current betrays the hesitation and suspense through which they had been. The American university is a brisk and happy place these days. Simple, unquestioning action has superseded the knots of thought. The thinker dances with reality.

With how many of the acceptors of war has it been mostly a dread of intellectual suspense? It is a mistake to suppose that intellectuality necessarily makes for suspended judgments. The intellect craves certitude. It takes effort to keep it supple and pliable. In a time of danger and disaster we jump desperately for some dogma to cling to. The time comes, if we try to hold out, when our nerves are sick with fatigue, and we seize in a great healing wave of release some doctrine that can immediately be translated into action. Neutrality meant suspense, and so it became the object of loathing to frayed nerves. The vital myth of the League of Peace provides a dogma to jump to. With war the world becomes motor again and speculation is brushed aside like cobwebs. The blessed emotion of self-defense intervenes too, which focused millions in Europe. A few keep up a critical pose after war is begun, but since they usually advise action which is in one-to-one correspondence with what the mass is already doing, their criticism is little more than a rationalization of the common emotional drive.

The results of war on the intellectual class are already apparent. Their thought becomes little more than a description and justification of what is going on. They turn upon any rash one who continues idly to speculate. Once the war is on, the conviction spreads that individual thought is helpless, that the only way one can count is as a cog in the great wheel. There is no good holding back. We are told to dry our unnoticed and ineffective tears and plunge into the great work. Not only is everyone forced into line, but the new certitude becomes idealized. It is a noble realism which opposes itself to futile obstruction and the cowardly refusal to face facts. This realistic boast is so loud and sonorous that one wonders whether realism is always a stern and intelligent grappling with realities. May it not be sometimes a mere surrender to the actual, an abdication of the ideal through a sheer fatigue from intellectual suspense? The pacifist is roundly scolded for refusing to face the facts, and for retiring into his own world of sentimental desire. But is the realist, who refuses to challenge or criticise facts, entitled to any more credit than that which comes from following the line of least resistance? The realist thinks he at least can control events by linking himself to the forces that are moving. Perhaps he can. But if it is a question of controlling war, it is difficult to see how the child on the back of a mad elephant is to be any more effective in stopping the beast than is the child who tries to stop him from the ground. The ex-humanitarian, turned realist, sneers at the snobbish neutrality, colossal conceit, crooked thinking, dazed sensibilities, of those who are still unable to find any balm of consolation for this war. We manufacture consolations here in America while there are probably not a dozen men fighting in Europe who did not long ago give up every reason for their being there except that nobody knew how to get them away.

But the intellectuals whom the crisis has crystalized into an acceptance of war have put themselves into a terrifying strategic position. It is only on the craft, in the stream, they say, that one has any chance of controlling the current forces for liberal purposes. If we obstruct, we surrender all power for influence. If we responsibly approve, we then retain our power for guiding. We will be listened to as responsible thinkers, while those who obstructed the coming of war have committed intellectual suicide and shall be cast into outer darkness. Criticism by the ruling powers will only be accepted from those intellectuals who are in sympathy with the general tendency of the war. Well, it is true that they may guide, but if their stream leads to disaster and the frustration of national life, is their guiding any more than a preference whether they shall go over the right-hand or the left-hand side of the precipice? Meanwhile, however, there is comfort on board. Be with us, they call, or be negligible, irrelevant. Dissenters are already excommunicated. Irreconcilable radicals, wringing their hands among the debris, become the most despicable and impotent of men. There seems no choice for the intellectual but to join the mass of acceptance. But again the terrible dilemma arises, – either support what is going on, in which case you count for nothing because you are swallowed in the mass and great incalculable forces bear you on; or remain aloof, passively resistant, in which case you count for nothing because you are outside the machinery of reality.

Is there no place left then, for the intellectual who cannot yet crystallize, who does not dread suspense, and is not yet drugged with fatigue? The American intellectuals, in their preoccupation with reality, seem to have forgotten that the real enemy is War rather than imperial Germany. There is work to be done to prevent this war of ours from passing into popular mythology as a holy crusade. What shall we do with leaders who tell us that we go to war in moral spotlessness, or who make “democracy” synonymous with a republican form of government? There is work to be done in still shouting that all the revolutionary by-products will not justify the war, or make war anything else than the most noxious complex of all the evils that afflict men. There must be some to find no consolation whatever, and some to sneer at those who buy the cheap emotion of sacrifice. There must be some irreconcilables left who will not even accept the war with walrus tears. There must be some to call unceasingly for peace, and some to insist that the terms of settlement shall be not only liberal but democratic. There must be some intellectuals who are not willing to use the old discredited counters again and to support a peace which would leave all the old inflammable materials of armament lying about the world. There must still be opposition to any contemplated “liberal” world-order founded on military coalitions. The “irreconcilable” need not be disloyal. He need not even be “impossibilist.” His apathy towards war should take the form of a heightened energy and enthusiasm for the education, the art, the interpretation that make for life in the midst of the world of death. The intellectual who retains his animus against war will push out more boldly than ever to make his case solid against it. The old ideals crumble; new ideals must be forged. His mind will continue to roam widely and ceaselessly. The thing he will fear most is premature crystallization. If the American intellectual class rivets itself to a “liberal” philosophy that perpetuates the old errors, there will then be need for “democrats” whose task will be to divide, confuse, disturb, keep the intellectual waters constantly in motion to prevent any such ice from ever forming.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Marshals Military Might To Challenge Asian Century

August 21, 2010 4 comments

Stop NATO articles

August 21, 2010

U.S. Marshals Military Might To Challenge Asian Century
Rick Rozoff

The first decade of what more than a generation ago was predicted to be the Asian Century is drawing to a close, marking ten years since the end of the American Century.

China overtook Japan as the world’s second-largest economy during the second financial quarter of this year and three-quarters of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations, the world’s largest emerging economies, are entirely or primarily in Asia. During its first heads of state summit in Russia last year, BRIC “urged the creation of a new global financial security system.” [1] At the time its members accounted for 15 percent of the global economy and 42 percent of international currency reserves [2] even after the advent of the U.S.-triggered world financial crisis in 2008.

60 percent of humanity lives in Asia and the continent is home to several of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Demographics and economics alike assure a preeminent role for Asia in any natural – which is to say peaceful – course of development.

Asia is in fact part of a broader land mass, Eurasia, which in turn is inextricably connected to the rest of what over a century ago British geographer Halford Mackinder called the World Island: Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The last has recently recorded a population exceeding a billion, making it the second most populous continent.

The Asia-Europe-Africa grouping contains the overwhelming majority of the human race, perhaps as many as 5.6 billion of the world’s 6.8 billion inhabitants. The entire Western Hemisphere, by contrast, has a population under one billion and Oceania’s numbers are negligible.

But for 500 years a small number of nations in the global West and North, a limited contingent of countries that collectively calls itself the North Atlantic community, has dominated most of the world.

With the demise in 1991 of an eastern power that for decades had presented them with the greatest challenge in their history, the Soviet Union, the major Western states, a coalition of all the main past colonial empires and the new American global superpower united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military alliance, viewed the entire world as being ripe for penetration and dominance, starting with the former Eastern European socialist bloc and the territories of the former Soviet Union.

Military formations were used to spread American and Western European influence throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East – NATO and its numerous partnership programs, U.S. Africa Command, ad hoc “coalitions of the willing” – and into the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea basin, Central Asia and South Asia, in which last location the Pentagon and NATO are waging a nine-year-old war with 150,000 troops.

In the past eleven years the U.S. has obtained military, including missile shield, bases and facilities in parts of the world where the Pentagon had never ensconced itself before: Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Colombia.

Just since last year the Pentagon has conducted bilateral and multinational military exercises in and off the coasts of nations like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, East Timor, Finland, Sweden, the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Angola, Burkino Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda in addition to traditional Cold War allies and partners, including holding the first large-scale joint war games in Israel.

This month troops from the U.S. and other NATO nations have participated in military exercises in Mongolia and Kazakhstan, which both border Russia and China.

If Asia is superior with regard to economic growth and potential, resources natural and human, and other factors, the U.S. supersedes it in one key category: An overwhelming advantage in military firepower. The world’s largest expeditionary warfighting machine, U.S. Pacific Command, and its biggest naval “permanent forward projection force,” the U.S. Seventh Fleet, both are concentrated on East Asia.

The Pentagon withdrew troops and even closed bases in Asia after the end of the Cold War, but now it is returning.

In addition to three joint naval exercises in as many months – in the Sea of Japan in late July, the South China Sea this month and the Yellow Sea in September – the U.S. is massively expanding military facilities in Guam, has deployed 60 percent of its nuclear submarine fleet to the Pacific region and is considering increasing its naval fleet from 282 to 346 ships to “beef up U.S. maritime power in Asia.” [3]

In recent days Robert Scher, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, was in the capital of Vietnam to meet with Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Minister of Defense, for the two countries’ “first high-level defense dialogue.”

On August 17, a week after a U.S. warship docked in Vietnam for the two nations’ first joint military exercise, the Pentagon official stated the event was “the next significant historic step in our increasingly robust defense relationship,” and confirmed that the discussions included sharing “impressions of Chinese military modernization.” [4]

The next day the chief of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard, was in the Philippines to meet