War: Quotation Therapy

““Pacifism and Prussianism [militarism] are always in alliance, by a fatal logic far beyond any conscious conspiracy.”
“That all war is physically frightful is obvious; but if that were a moral verdict there would be no difference between a torturer and a surgeon.”

-G. K. Chesterton
(HT Michael W. Perry)

The first quote is particularly fascinating, in that does the rejection of aggression increases the risk of aggression against you? Probably not, but the correlary certainly is false. Just do because you reject aggression does not mean aggression will not visit you. Rejection is a conceptual/abstract/state of mind. Aggression is an actual physical act. There is a huge chasm between a thought and an act. None of us can wish things into being.

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

–John Stuart Mill

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