Quote [68] – International Politics, Society .. Wars

At the outbreak of the First World War the ex-chancellor of Germany Prince von Bulow said to his successor, “How did it all happen?” “Ah, if only we knew,” was the reply. Make gentle the life of this world
In Africa, I tried to answer those who asked, “If the United States is fighting for self-determination in Vietnam, then how ca it not support the independence struggle of Angola and Mozambique?”   I answered unsatisfactory, for there is no real answer.  Yet to the questionnaires, it is less our intention than our pretension that Is objectionable.  Thus does false principle destroy the credibility of our wisdom and purpose that is the true foundation of influence as world power. Make gentle the life of the world
“But you and I know that this war will not have any real victors and that, once it is over, we shall have to go on living together forever on the same soil” – Albert Camus Make gentle the life of the world
“There is no such thing as inevitable war.  If war comes it will be from failure of human wisdom.”  – Bonar Law Make gentle the life of the world
It is better to suffer certain injustices than to commit them even to win wars, and that such deeds do us more harm than a hundred underground forces on the enemy’s side. – Albert Camus Make gentle the life of the world
Whatever the costs to us, let us think of the young men we have sent there: not just the killed, but those who have to kill; not just the maimed, but also those who must look upon the results of what they do. Make gentle the life of the world

 

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Quote [58] – Hunger, War, Misery … Abundance .. Science, Knowledge

“Think how our world would look to a visitor from another planet as he crossed the continents.  He would find great cities and knowledge able to create enormous abundance from the materials of nature.  He would witness exploration into understanding of the entire physical universe, from the particles of the atom to the secrets of life.   He would see billions of people separated by only a few hours of flight, communicating with the speed of light, sharing a common dependence on a thin layer of soil and covering of air.  Yet he would also observe that most of mankind was living in misery and hunger, that some of the inhabitant of this tiny, crowded globe were killing others, and that a few patches of land were pointing huge instruments of death and war at others.  Since what he was seeing proved our intelligence, he would only wonder at our sanity” Make gentle the life of this world

Quote [56] – Progress – peace & “renunciation of the individual country’s unlimited right to self-determination.”

“The distinguishing feature of the present political situation of the world, and in particular of Europe, seems to me to be this, that political development has failed, both materially and intellectually, to keep pace with economic necessity, which has changed character in a comparatively short time.  The interests of each country must be subordinated to the interests of the wider community.  The struggle for this new orientation of political thought and feeling is a severe one, because it has the tradition of centuries against it. But the survival of Europe depends on its successful issue.  But the survival of Europe depends on its successful issue.  It is my firm conviction that once the psychological impediments are overcome the solution of the real  problems will not be such a terribly difficult matter..” The world as I see it
“As regards this most important need of the age of inhabitants of a small state are better placed than those of a great Power, since the latter are exposed, both in politics and economics, to the temptation to gain their ends by brute force.  The agreement between Holland and Belgium, which is the only bright spot in European affairs during the last few years, encourages one to hope that the small nations will play a leading part in the attempt to liberate the world from the degrading yoke of militarism through the renunciation of the individual country’s unlimited right to self-determination.” The world as I see it

Quote [53] – Wars, Military Service The Value Of International Institutions

“Anybody who really wants to abolish war must resolutely declare himself in favour of his own country’s resigning a portion of its sovereignty in favour of international institutions:  He must be ready to make his own country amendable, in case of dispute, to the award of an international court.  He must in the most uncompromising fashion support disarmament all round, which is actually envisaged in the unfortunate Treaty of Versailles; unless military and aggressively patriotic education is abolished, we can hope for no progress.” The world as I see it
“To be quite frank, a declaration like the one before me in a country which submits to conscription in peacetime seems to me valueless.  What you must fight for is liberation from universal military service.  Verily the French nation has had to pay heavily for the victory in 1918; for that victory had been largely responsible for holding it down in the most degrading of all forms of slavery.  Let your efforts in this struggle be unceasing.  You have a mighty ally in the German reactionaries and militarists.  If France clings to universal military service, it will be impossible in the long run to prevent its introduction in Germany.  For the demand of the Germans for equal rights will succeed in the end; and then there will be two German military slaves for every French one, which would certainly not be in the interests of France.” The world as I see it

 

Quote [52] – The unworthiness of Wars

“If the economic situation cannot be cleared up without systematic regulation, how much more necessary is such regulation for dealing with the problems of international politics!  Few people still cling to the notion that acts of violence in the shape of wars are either advantageous or worthy of humanity as a method of solving international problems.  But they are not logical enough to make vigorous efforts on behalf of the measures which might prevent war, that savage and unworthy relic if the age of barbarism.  It requires some power of reflection to see the issue clearly and a certain courage to serve this great cause resolutely and effectively.” The world as I see it

Quote [50] – Peace, Disarmament – Past European Conflict

“People seek to minimise the danger by limitation of armaments and restrictive rules for the conduct of war.  But war is not like a parlour game in which the players loyally stick to the rules.  Where life and death are at stake, rules and obligations go by the board.   Only the absolute repudiation of all war is of any use here.  The creation of an international court of arbitration is not enough.  There must be treaties guaranteeing that the decisions of this court shall be made effective by all the nations acting in concert.  Without such a guarantee the nations will never have the courage to disarm seriously.” The world as I see it
“Each seeks his own wretched momentary advantage and refuses to subordinate it to the welfare and prosperity of the community” The world as I see it
“Mutual trust and co-operation between France and Germany can come about only if the French demand for security against military attack can be satisfied.  But should France frame demands in accordance with this, such a step would certainly be taken very ill in Germany.

A procedure something like the following seems, however, to be possible.  Let the German Government of its own free will propose to the French that they should jointly make representations to the League of Nations that it should suggest to all member states to bind themselves to the following:

(1)     To submit to every decision of the international court of arbitration

(2)     To proceed with all its economic and military force, in concert with the other members of the League, against any State which breaks the peace or resists an international decision made in the interests of world peace.”

The world as I see it
“The greatest obstacle to the success of the disarmament plan was the fact that people in general left out of account the chief difficulties of the problem.  Most objects are gained by gradual steps; for example, the suppression of absolute monarch to democracy.  Here, however, we are concerned with an objective which cannot be reached step by step.

As long as the possibility of war remains, nations will insist on being perfectly prepared militarily as they can, in order to emerge triumphant from the next war.  It will also be impossible to avoid educating the youth in warlike traditions and cultivating narrow national vanity joined to the glorification of the warlike spirit, as long as people have to be prepared for occasions when such a spirit will be needed in the citizens for the purpose of war.  Therefore people will not disarm step by step; they will disarm at on blow or not at all.

The accomplishment of such a far-reaching change in the life of nations presupposes a mighty moral effort, a deliberate departure from deeply ingrained tradition.  Anyone who is not prepared to make the fate of his country in case of a dispute depend entirely on the decisions of an international court of arbitration, and to enter into a treaty to this effect without reserve, is not really resolved to avoid war.  It is a case of all or nothing.

It is undeniable that previous attempts to ensure peace have failed through aiming at inadequate compromises.

Disarmament and security are only to be had in combination.  The one guarantee of security is an undertaking by all nations to give effect to the decisions of the international authority.

We stand, therefore, at the parting of the ways.  Whether we find the way of peace or continue along the old road of brute force, so unworthy of our civilisation, depends on ourselves.  On the one side freedom of the individual and the security of society beckon to us, on the other slavery for the individual and the annihilation of our civilisation threaten us.  Our fate will be according to our desserts.”

The Disarmament Conference of 1932

The world as I see it
“It is true that we have a League of Nations and a court of Arbitration. But the League is not much more that a meeting-hall, and the Court had no means of enforcing its decisions.  These institutions provide no security for any country in case of an attack on it. If you bear this in mind, you will judge the attitude of the French, their refusal to disarm without security, less harshly than it is usually judged at present.” The world as I see it
“This is my position in a nutshell: Mere agreements to limit armaments furnish no sort of security.  Compulsory arbitration must be supported by an executive force, guaranteed by all the participating countries, which is ready to proceed against the disturber of the peace with economic and military sanctions.  Compulsory service, as the bulwark of unhealthy nationalism, must be combated; most important of all, conscientious objectors must be protected on an international basis.

Finally, I would your attention to a book, War again Tomorrow, by Ludwig Bauer, which discusses the issues here involved in an acute and unprejudiced manner and with great psychological insight.”

The world as I see it
“The results of technical progress are most baleful where they furnish means for the destruction of human life and the hard-won fruits of toil, as we of the older generation experienced to our horror in the Great War.  More dreadful even than the destruction, in my opinion, is the humiliating slavery into which war plunges the individual.  Is it not a terrible thing to be forced by the community to do things which every individual regards as abominable crimes? Only a few had the moral greatness to resist; them I regard as the real heroes of the Great War.” The world as I see it

 

Quote [48] – Peace, Military Commerce & Our Individual Choice

“The importance of securing international peace was recognised by the really great men of former generations.  But the technical advances of our times have turned this ethical postulate into a matter of life and death for civilised mankind today, and made the taking of an active part in the solution of the problem of peace a moral duty which no conscientious man can shirk.

One has to realise that the powerful industrial groups concerned in the manufacture of arms are doing their best in all countries to prevent the peaceful settlement of international disputes, and that rulers can achieve this great end only if they are sure of the vigorous support of the majority of their peoples.  In these days of democratic government the fate of nations hangs on themselves; each individual must always bear that in mind.”

The world as I see it
“I am very glad of this opportunity of saying a few words to you about the problem of pacifism.  The course of events in the last few years has once more shown us how little we are justified in leaving the struggle against armaments and against the war spirit to the Governments.  On the other hand, the formation of large organisations with a large membership can of itself bring us very little nearer to our goal.  In my opinion, the best method in this case is the violent one of conscientious objection, with the aid of organisations for giving moral and material support to the courageous conscientious objectors in each country.  In this way we may succeed in making the problem of pacifism an acute one, a real struggle attracts forceful natures.  It is an illegal struggle, but a struggle for people’s real rights against their governments in so far as the latter demand criminal acts of the citizen.

Many who think themselves good pacifists will jib at this out-and-out pacifism, on patriotic grounds.  Such people are not to be relied on in the hour of crisis, as the World War amply proved.

I am most grateful to you for according me an opportunity to give you my views in person.”

The world as I see it