Pacifism & the left

Manifest publishing of Norway has directed me to these handy little charts from socialistworker.org. Our priorities - that's us as in the species - are just all wrong. We are quite literally spending more money on killing each other than any other thing.

I think the left needs to get back in touch with their pacifist roots. Obviously, we should be sensible about security and not bla bla the errors of Chamberlain bla bla bla appeasement bla bla useful idiots bla bla. I'll be the first to tell you that peace is not just the absence of war. But seriously: why don't we get back to moving towards these long-term goals: the complete elimination of organised violence and a greatly reduced proportion of standing armies? I can't think of a single reason not to. But here are 200 million good reasons.

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Blogger Mikkel said...

I'm interested to know what you mean by the "pacifist roots" of the left? Seriously.

Owen, Fourier, de Lamennais, Weitling, Lasalle, Jaurès - ?

November 17, 2007 1:02 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

I figured you'd say that. Jesus, maybe?

Note that I didn't say there weren't other roots. And I also didn't specify what I meant when I said the left.

November 17, 2007 1:19 am  
Blogger Mikkel said...

So what you're really saying is: "I think social democrats should get back in touch with their revisionist roots?"

November 17, 2007 9:48 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

Yes, Mikkel. That's exactly what I'm saying. Because I'm not being, y'know, purposefully obtuse or anything.

November 17, 2007 10:06 am  
Blogger Mikkel said...

I'm sorry, but I think you misunderstand me. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, I was just curious to know more about these pacifist roots you mention. And now I'm not quite sure what you mean by "the left".

Are you talking about early christian socialists like Weitling and de Lamennais, or the German social democrats under Lassalle, or maybe Jean Jaurès before the first world war? There's a huge difference.

Which pacifist roots do you want whom to get in touch with, is what I'm asking - because if you're not specific, you're really just saying: "We should all be nice to each other", which is really, really hard to disagree with, mostly because it means absolutely nothing. OK?


November 17, 2007 1:32 pm  

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