Peaceableness toward enemies is an idea that will, of course, continue to be denounced as impractical. It has been too little tried by individuals, much less by nations. It will not readily or easily serve those who are greedy for power. It cannot be effectively used for bad ends. It could not be used as the basis of an empire. It does not afford opportunities for profit. It involves danger to practitioners. It requires sacrifice. And yet it seems to me that it is practical, for it offers the only escape from the logic of retribution. It is the only way by which we can cease to look to war for peace. ... Peaceableness is not passive. It is the ability to act to resolve conflict without violence. If it is not a practical and practicable method, it is nothing. As a practicable method, it reduces helplessness in the face of conflict. In the face of conflict, the peaceable person may find several solutions, the violent person only one.
The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.
There was a time in my life when I did a fair bit of work for the tempestuous Lucretia Stewart, then editor of the American Express travel magazine, . Together, we evolved a harmless satire of the slightly driveling style employed by the journalists of tourism. 'Land of Contrasts' was our shorthand for it. ('Jerusalem: an enthralling blend of old and new.' 'South Africa: a harmony in black and white.' 'Belfast, where ancient meets modern.') It was as you can see, no difficult task. I began to notice a few weeks ago that my enemies in the 'peace' movement had decided to borrow from this tattered style book. The mantra, especially in the letters to this newspaper, was: 'Afghanistan, where the world's richest country rains bombs on the world's poorest country.'Poor fools. They should never have tried to beat me at this game. What about, 'Afghanistan, where the world's most open society confronts the world's most closed one'? 'Where American women pilots kill the men who enslave women.' 'Where the world's most indiscriminate bombers are bombed by the world's most accurate ones.' 'Where the largest number of poor people applaud the bombing of their own regime.' I could go on. (I think number four may need a little work.) But there are some suggested contrasts for the 'doves' to paste into their scrapbook. Incidentally, when they look at their scrapbooks they will be able to re-read themselves saying things like, 'The bombing of Kosovo is driving the Serbs into the arms of Milosevic.
The adherents of the old order have a powerful ally in the natural law of inertia inherent in humanity which is, as it were, a natural defense against change. Thus pacifism faces no easy struggle. The question of whether violence or law shall prevail between states is the most vital of the problems of our eventful era, and the most serious in its repercussions. The beneficial results of a secure world peace are almost inconceivable, but even more inconceivable are the consequences of the threatening world war which many misguided people are prepared to precipitate. The advocates of pacifism are well aware how meager are their resources of personal influence and power. They know that they are still few in number and weak in authority, but when they realistically consider themselves and the ideal they serve, they see themselves as the servants of the greatest of all causes.
The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States
Our most important task is to transform our consciousness so that violence is no longer an option for us in our personal lives, that understanding that a world of peace is possible only if we relate to each other as peaceful beings, one individual at a time.http://www.beliefnet.com/story/160/story_16071_1.html
I certainly do not consider myself permanently dedicated to a crusade for peace and I am beginning to see the uselessness and absurdity of getting too involved in a 'peace movement.' The chief reason why I have spoken out was that I felt I owed it to my conscience to do so. There are certain things that have to be clearly stated. I had in mind particularly the danger arising from the fact that some of the most belligerent people in this country are Christians, on the one hand fundamentalist Protestants and on the other certain Catholics. They both tend to appeal to the bomb to do a 'holy' work of destruction in the name of Christ and Christian truth. This is completely intolerable and the truth has to be stated. I cannot in conscience remain indifferent.