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It became an active organization, holding regular weekly meetings, and producing literature which was spread as far as Gibraltar and Malta , describing the horrors of war and advocating pacificism on Christian grounds. In the s, British women formed "Olive Leaf Circles", groups of around 15 to 20 women, to discuss and promote pacifist ideas. The peace movement began to grow in influence by the mid-nineteenth century. Richard became the secretary of the Peace Society in on a full-time basis, a position which he would keep for the next 40 years, earning himself a reputation as the 'Apostle of Peace'.

He helped secure one of the earliest victories for the peace movement by securing a commitment from the Great Powers in the Treaty of Paris at the end of the Crimean War , in favour of arbitration. On the European continent, wracked by social upheaval , the first peace congress was held in Brussels in followed by Paris a year later. After experiencing a recession in support due to the resurgence of militarism during the American Civil War and Crimean War , the movement began to spread across Europe and began to infiltrate the new working class socialist movements.

An important thinker who contributed to pacifist ideology was Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. In one of his latter works, The Kingdom of God is Within You , Tolstoy provides a detailed history, account and defense of pacifism. Tolstoy's work inspired a movement named after him advocating pacifism to arise in Russia and elsewhere.

Gandhi — , and the two engaged in regular correspondence while Gandhi was active in South Africa. Bertha von Suttner , the first woman to be a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, became a leading figure in the peace movement with the publication of her novel, Die Waffen nieder! In he convinced Maori to welcome battle-hardened British soldiers into their village and even offered food and drink.

He allowed himself and his people to be arrested without resistance for opposing land confiscation. He is remembered as a great leader because the "passive resistance" his practice prevented British massacres and even protected far more land than violent resistance. Mohandas K. Gandhi was a major political and spiritual leader of India, instrumental in the Indian independence movement.

The Nobel prize winning great poet Rabindranath Tagore , who was also an Indian, gave him the honorific " Mahatma ", usually translated "Great Soul". He was the pioneer of a brand of nonviolence or ahimsa which he called satyagraha —translated literally as "truth force". This was the resistance of tyranny through civil disobedience that was not only nonviolent but also sought to change the heart of the opponent.

He contrasted this with duragraha , "resistant force", which sought only to change behaviour with stubborn protest. During his 30 years of work — for the independence of his country from the British Raj , Gandhi led dozens of nonviolent campaigns, spent over seven years in prison, and fasted nearly to the death on several occasions to obtain British compliance with a demand or to stop inter-communal violence. His efforts helped lead India to independence in , and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom worldwide. Peace movements became active in the Western world after , often focusing on Treaties that would settle disputes through arbitration, and efforts to support the Hague conventions.

The sudden outbreak of the First World War in July dismayed the peace movement. Socialist parties in every industrial nation had committed themselves to antiwar policies, but when the war came, all of them, except in Russia and the United States, supported their own government. There were highly publicized dissidents, some of whom went to jail for opposing the draft laws, like Eugene Debs in the U. The national parties in the Second International increasingly supported their respective nations in war and the International was dissolved in In the League of Nations Society was formed by British liberal leaders to promote a strong international organisation that could enforce the peaceful resolution of conflict.

Later that year the League to Enforce Peace was established in America to promote similar goals. It called for an international organization to agree upon the arbitration of disputes and to guarantee the territorial integrity of its members by maintaining military forces sufficient to defeat those of any non-member. The ensuing debate among prominent internationalists modified Holt's plan to align it more closely with proposals offered in Great Britain by Viscount James Bryce , a former ambassador from the UK to the U.

After the immense loss of nearly ten million men to trench warfare , [49] a sweeping change of attitude toward militarism crashed over Europe, particularly in nations like Great Britain where many of its citizens questioned why it was involved in the war. After World War One's official end in , peace movements across the continent and the United States renewed, gradually gaining popularity among young Europeans who grew up in the shadow of Europe's trauma over the Great War.

The League of Nations also convened several disarmament conferences in the inter-war period such as the Geneva Conference , though the support pacifistic policy and idealism received varied across European nations. These organizations and movements attracted tens of thousands of Europeans, spanning most professions including "scientists, artists, musicians, politicians, clerks, students, activists and thinkers. Pacifism and revulsion with war were very popular sentiments in s Britain.

A stream of novels and poems on the theme of the futility of war and the slaughter of the youth by old fools were published, including, Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington , Erich Remarque 's translated All Quiet on the Western Front and Beverley Nichols 's expose Cry Havoc. A debate at the University of Oxford in on the motion 'one must fight for King and country' captured the changed mood when the motion was resoundingly defeated. Dick Sheppard established the Peace Pledge Union in totally renouncing war and aggression.

The idea of collective security was also popular; instead of outright pacifism the public generally exhibited a determination to stand up to aggression, but preferably with the use of economic sanctions and multilateral negotiations. The annual conference resolved unanimously to "pledge itself to take no part in war". At the same time, on the party's left, Stafford Cripps 's small but vocal Socialist League opposed the official policy, on the non-pacifist ground that the League of Nations was 'nothing but the tool of the satiated imperialist powers'.

The League of Nations attempted to play its role of ensuring world peace in the s and 30s, although with the increasingly revisionist and aggressive behaviour of Nazi Germany , Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan , it ultimately failed to maintain such a world order. Economic sanctions were used against states that committed aggression, such as Italy when it invaded Abyssinia , but there was no will on the part of the principal League powers, Britain and France, to subordinate their interests to a multilateral process or to disarm at all themselves.

Shortly after the war ended, Simone Weil , despite having volunteered for service on the republican side, went on to publish The Iliad or the Poem of Force , a work that has been described as a pacifist manifesto.

Gregg , devised plans for a campaign of nonviolent resistance in the event of a fascist invasion or takeover. As the prospect of a second major war began to seem increasingly inevitable, much of France adopted pacifist views, though some historians argue that France felt more war anxiety than a moral objection to a second war. Neighbors with Germany, Hitler's spreading influence and territory posed an enormous threat to French livelihood.

The French countryside had been devastated during World War One and the entire nation was reluctant to subject their territory to the same treatment. Though all countries in the First World War had suffered great losses, France was one of the most devastated and did not want a second war. As Germany dealt with the burdens of the Treaty of Versailles, a conflict arose in the s between German Christianity and German nationalism.

Many Germans found the terms of the Treaty of Versailles debilitating and humiliating. German nationalism offered a way to regain the country's pride. German Christianity warned against the risks of getting into a war similar to the one Germany lost in As the German Depression worsened and fascism began to rise in Germany, a greater tide of Germans began to sway toward to nationalistic side of Hitler who would come to crush pacifism. With the start of World War II , pacifist and anti-war sentiment declined in nations affected by war. Even the communist-controlled American Peace Mobilization reversed its anti-war activism once Germany invaded the Soviet Union in After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor , mainstream isolationist groups like the America First Committee , declined, but many smaller religious and socialist groups continued their opposition to war.

Bertrand Russell argued that the necessity of defeating Adolf Hitler and the Nazis was a unique circumstance where war was not the worst of the possible evils; he called his position relative pacifism. Shortly before the outbreak of war, British writers such as E. Forster , Leonard Woolf , David Garnett and Storm Jameson all rejected their earlier pacifism and endorsed military action against Nazism.

Cadoux , while bitterly disappointed by the outbreak of war, nevertheless urged their fellow pacifists "not to obstruct the war effort". Pacifists across Great Britain further struggled to uphold their anti-military values during the Blitz , a coordinated, long-term attack by German aircraft on Great Britain. As the country was ravaged nightly by German bombs, pacifists had to seriously weigh the importance of their political and moral values against the desire to protect the home front of their country.

Some scholars theorize that pacifism was the cause of France's rapid fall to the Germans after it was invaded by the Nazis in June , resulting in a takeover of the government by the German military. Whether or not pacifism weakened French defenses against the Germans, there was no hope of sustaining a real pacifist movement after Paris fell to the Nazis. Just as peaceful Germans succumbed to violent nationalism, the pacifist French were muzzled by the totality of German control over nearly all of France. Pacifists under the Third Reich were dealt with harshly, reducing the movement into almost nonexistence; those who continued to advocate for the end of the war and violence were often sent to labor camps; German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky , [70] and Olaf Kullmann , a Norwegian pacifist active during the Nazi occupation, [71] were both imprisoned in concentration camps and died as a result of their mistreatment there.

German nationalism consumed even the most peaceful of Christians, either convincing them that the Nazis and Hitler were acting in the good faith of Germany or sufficiently suppressed by the fascist Nazi regime of the s and s that they were content to act as bystanders to the violence occurring around them.

The United States government allowed sincere objectors to serve in noncombatant military roles. However, those draft resisters who refused any cooperation with the war effort often spent much of each war in federal prisons. During the World Wars, young men conscripted into the military but who refused to take up arms were called conscientious objectors.

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Though these men had to either answer their conscription or face prison time, their status as conscientious objectors permitted them to refuse taking part in battle using weapons and the military was forced to find a different use for them. Often, these men were assigned various tasks around the battlement including medical duties, though some were assigned various civilian jobs including farming, forestry, hospital work, and mining. In Great Britain during World War Two, the majority of the public did not approve of moral objection by soldiers but supported their right to abstain from direct combat.

On the more extreme sides of public opinion were those who fully supported the objectors and those who believed they should be executed as traitors. Martin Luther King Jr —68 , a Baptist minister , led the civil rights movement , which successfully used Gandhian nonviolent resistance to repeal laws enforcing racial segregation and work for integration of schools, businesses and government.

Other examples from this period include the People Power Revolution in the Philippines led by Cory Aquino , and the Tiananmen Square Protests which included the broadly publicized " Tank Man " incident. The budget previously dedicated to the military is now dedicated to providing health care services and education.

Buddhism is generally seen as among the least violent religious traditions, [87] and Ahimsa do no harm , is a primary virtue in Buddhism. A devout Buddhist , Suu Kyi won the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in and in was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her peaceful and non-violent struggle under a repressive military dictatorship. One of her best known speeches is the "Freedom From Fear" speech, which begins, "It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.

Peace churches are Christian denominations explicitly advocating pacifism. The term "historic peace churches" refers specifically to three church traditions: the Church of the Brethren , the Mennonites and some other Anabaptists , such as Amish Hutterites , and the Bruderhof [90] , and the Quakers Religious Society of Friends. The historic peace churches have, from their origins as far back as the 16th century, always taken the position that Jesus was himself a pacifist who explicitly taught and practiced pacifism, and that his followers must do likewise.

Pacifist churches vary on whether physical force can ever be justified in self-defense or protecting others, as many adhere strictly to nonresistance when confronted by violence. But all agree that violence on behalf of a country or a government is prohibited for Christians. Furthermore, Jay Beaman has shown in his thesis [91] that there has been a shift away from pacifism in the American Pentecostal churches to more a style of military support and chaplaincy. We believe that we can be consistent in serving our Government in certain noncombatant capacities, but not in the bearing of arms.

The APF succeeded in gaining ratification of the pacifist position at two successive Lambeth Conferences , but many Anglicans would not regard themselves as pacifists. In Australia Peter Carnley similarly led a front of bishops opposed to the Government of Australia 's involvement in the invasion of Iraq.

Many of its early members were imprisoned for their opposition to conscription. It holds positions similar to APF, and the two organisations are known to work together on ecumenical projects. Within Roman Catholicism there has been a discernible move towards a more pacifist position through the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

By taking the name Benedict XVI , some suspected that Joseph Ratzinger would continue the strong emphasis upon nonviolent conflict resolution of his predecessor. However, the Roman Catholic Church officially maintains the legitimacy of Just War, which is rejected by some pacifists. In the twentieth century there was a notable trend among prominent Roman Catholics towards pacifism.

Individuals such as Dorothy Day and Henri Nouwen stand out among them. The monk and mystic Thomas Merton was noted for his commitment to pacifism during the Vietnam War era. School of the Americas Watch was founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois in and uses strictly pacifist principles to protest the training of Latin American military officers by United States Army officers at the School of the Americas in the state of Georgia. The Southern Baptist Convention has stated in the Baptist Faith and Message , "It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness.

In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war. The United Methodist Church explicitly supports conscientious objection by its members "as an ethically valid position" while simultaneously allowing for differences of opinion and belief for those who do not object to military service.

Members of the Rastafari Movement 's Mansion Nyabinghi are specifically noted for having a large population of Pacifist members, though not all of them are. Non violence, or ahimsa , is a central part of Hinduism and is one of the fundamental Yamas — self restraints needed to live a proper life.

The concept of ahimsa grew gradually within Hinduism, one of the signs being the discouragement of ritual animal sacrifice. Most Hindus today have a vegetarian diet. The classical texts of Hinduism devote numerous chapters discussing what people who practice the virtue of Ahimsa, can and must do when they are faced with war, violent threat or need to sentence someone convicted of a crime. These discussions have led to theories of just war, theories of reasonable self-defence and theories of proportionate punishment. Force must be the last resort.

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If war becomes necessary, its cause must be just, its purpose virtuous, its objective to restrain the wicked, its aim peace, its method lawful. Islam does not have any normative tradition of pacifism, [] [] and warfare has been integral part of Islamic history both for the defense and the spread of the faith since the time of Muhammad. According to the Ahmadiyya understanding of Islam, pacifism is a strong current, and jihad is one's personal inner struggle and should not be used violently for political motives.

Violence is the last option only to be used to protect religion and one's own life in extreme situations of persecution. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad , the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said that in contrary to the current views, Islam does not allow the use of sword in religion, except in the case of defensive wars, wars waged to punish a tyrant, or those meant to uphold freedom. Ahmadiyya claims its objective to be the peaceful propagation of Islam with special emphasis on spreading the true message of Islam by the pen.

Ahmadis point out that as per prophecy, who they believe was the promised messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, rendered the concept of violent jihad unnecessary in modern times. They believe that the answer of hate should be given by love. Prior to the Hijra travel, Muhammad struggled non-violently against his opposition in Mecca, [] providing a basis for Islamic pacifist schools of thought such as some Sufi orders. In the 13th century, Salim Suwari a philosopher in Islam, came up with a peaceful approach to Islam known as the Suwarian tradition.

The earliest massive non-violent implementation of civil disobedience was brought about by Egyptians against British occupation in the Egyptian Revolution of He was a political and spiritual leader known for his nonviolent opposition, and a lifelong pacifist and devout Muslim. Non-violence, Compassion for all life, human and non-human , is central to Jainism. Human life is valued as a unique, rare opportunity to reach enlightenment. Killing any person, no matter what crime he may have committed, is considered unimaginably terrible.

It is a religion that requires monks, from all its sects and traditions, to be vegetarian. Some Indian regions, such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh have been strongly influenced by Jains and often the majority of the local Hindus of every denomination are also vegetarian. The attitude of Jews toward pacifism, as with most other aspects of religion, is heavily influenced by the Holocaust which was a program of Nazi Germany to murder every man, woman and child who was Jewish as well as people of other religions who had a Jewish grandparent.

As a result, some six million people were exterminated by various means because the Nazis considered them Jews and therefore unworthy of life. In hindsight, there were opportunities for a number of years to defeat Nazi Germany before it could build a military force strong enough to capture and kill most of the Jews of Europe. Had pacifism gained more support, the Allies might have lost the war and virtually all Jews would have been killed.

The Jewish Peace Fellowship is a New-York based nonprofit , nondenominational organization set up to provide a Jewish voice in the peace movement. The organization was founded in in order to support Jewish conscientious objectors who sought exemption from combatant military service. It is observed on the day corresponding to the 27th day of the month of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. The founder of this religion Rael has said " The one holding the weapon is as responsible as the one giving the orders ".

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Other Rael statements include " even if the Elohim asked them to kill someone they should refuse ". While many governments have tolerated pacifist views and even accommodated pacifists' refusal to fight in wars, others at times have outlawed pacifist and anti-war activity. Today, the United States requires that all young men register for selective service but does not allow them to be classified as conscientious objectors unless they are drafted in some future reinstatement of the draft, allowing them to be discharged or transferred to noncombatant status.

However, even during periods of peace, many pacifists still refuse to register for or report for military duty, risking criminal charges. Anti-war and "pacifist" political parties seeking to win elections may moderate their demands, calling for de-escalation or major arms reduction rather than the outright disarmament which is advocated by many pacifists.

Green parties list " non-violence " and " decentralization " towards anarchist co-operatives or minimalist village government as two of their ten key values.

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However, in power, Greens often compromise. Some pacifists and multilateralists are in favor of international criminal law as means to prevent and control international aggression. The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over war crimes, but the crime of aggression has yet to be clearly defined in international law. The Italian Constitution enforces a mild pacifist character on the Italian Republic, as Article 11 states that "Italy repudiates war as an instrument offending the liberty of the peoples and as a means for settling international disputes However, some pacifists, such as the Christian anarchist Leo Tolstoy and autarchist Robert LeFevre , consider the state a form of warfare.

This means that such groups refuse to participate in government office or serve under an oath to a government. Anarcho-pacifism also pacifist anarchism or anarchist pacifism is a form of anarchism which completely rejects the use of violence in any form for any purpose. The main precedent was Henry David Thoreau who through his work Civil Disobedience influenced the advocacy of both Leo Tolstoy and Mohandas Gandhi for nonviolent resistance. Violence has always been controversial in anarchism.

While many anarchists during the 19th century embraced propaganda of the deed , Leo Tolstoy and other anarcho-pacifists directly opposed violence as a means for change. He argued that anarchism must by nature be nonviolent since it is, by definition, opposition to coercion and force and since the state is inherently violent, meaningful pacifism must likewise be anarchistic.

His philosophy was cited as a major inspiration by Mohandas Gandhi , an Indian independence leader and pacifist who self-identified as an anarchist.

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Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis was also instrumental in establishing the pacifist trend within the anarchist movement. Many pacifists who would be conscientious objectors to military service are also opposed to paying taxes to fund the military. In the United States, The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund works to pass a national law to allow conscientious objectors to redirect their tax money to be used only for non-military purposes.

One common argument against pacifism is the possibility of using violence to prevent further acts of violence and reduce the "net-sum" of violence. This argument hinges on consequentialism : an otherwise morally objectionable action can be justified if it results in a positive outcome. For example, either violent rebellion, or foreign nations sending in troops to end a dictator's violent oppression may save millions of lives, even if many thousands died in the war.

Those pacifists who base their beliefs on deontological grounds would oppose such violent action. Others would oppose organized military responses but support individual and small group self-defense against specific attacks if initiated by the dictator's forces. Pacifists may argue that military action could be justified should it subsequently advance the general cause of peace.

Still more pacifists would argue that a nonviolent reaction may not save lives immediately but would in the long run. The acceptance of violence for any reason makes it easier to use in other situations. Learning and committing to pacifism helps to send a message that violence is, in fact, not the most effective way. It can also help people to think more creatively and find more effective ways to stop violence without more violence. In light of the common criticism of pacifism as not offering a clear alternative policy, one approach to finding "more effective ways" has been the attempt to develop the idea of "defence by civil resistance ", also called " social defence ".

There have been some works on this topic, including by Adam Roberts [] and Gene Sharp. Axis aggression that precipitated World War II often is cited [ by whom? If these forces had not been challenged and defeated militarily, the argument goes, many more people would have died under their oppressive rule. Adolf Hitler told the British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax in that the British should "shoot Gandhi, and if this doesn't suffice to reduce them to submission, shoot a dozen leading members of the Congress, and if that doesn't suffice shoot , and so on, as you make it clear that you mean business.

Adolf Hitler noted in his Second Book : " Later, the attempt to adapt the living space to increased population turned into unmotivated wars of conquest, which in their very lack of motivation contained the germ of the subsequent reaction. Pacifism is the answer to it. What He Thought. Heather McHugh. We Are Not Responsible. Harryette Mullen. Tato Laviera. Urban Affection. Emanuel Xavier. A Song for Soweto. June Jordan. Hayan Charara. Short Speech to My Friends. Amiri Baraka. Rosa Parks. Nikki Giovanni. If We Must Die. Dear Gaybashers.

Jill McDonough. Maria Melendez Kelson. We Lived Happily During the War. Ilya Kaminsky. Ghazal, After Ferguson. Yusef Komunyakaa. You, If No One Else. Tino Villanueva. Juliana Spahr. Walt Whitman. Staggerlee wonders. James Baldwin. At the Bomb Testing Site. William E. Not one more refugee death. William Blake.

Endless War: Anarchist antimilitarism and the “war on terrorism”

Appeared in Poetry Magazine Mind Core. Juan Felipe Herrera. In the Middle of This Century. Yehuda Amichai. Ways of Rebelling. Nathalie Handal. Alice Notley. To the Censorious Ones. Anne Waldman. Apology for Apostasy? Etheridge Knight. America Politica Historia, in Spontaneity. Gregory Corso. My Generation Reading the Newspapers.

Kenneth Patchen. For the Consideration of Poets. Haki R. In My Name. David Roderick. Patricia Smith. Something is Coming Toward Us. Alli Warren.