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...i've been thinking about some of the literature i've had the time to study, as of late.
i want to present to you, a quote:
"Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. IF you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, he that is not with me is against me."
...sounds hawkish, yes? Maybe the words of a warmonger? An American general? And yet, these are the words of none other than George Orwell - yes, that George Orwell - in the context of the British debate over pacifistic appeasement with the Nazis, prior to the outbreak of World War II.
When you look at the quote, at its face value, it is objectively true.
And that rankles me. i am someone who really, really believes in peace.
And yet, have i not found myself in conflict, when i have felt the rights of those i care about are injured? Have i not found myself the rebel, here on the internet, and in real life, despite my preference for peace and quiet?
i speak not only of the present times, though surely this quote is as applicable today as it ever has been.
Is pacifism in the absolute sense impossible, or even dangerous?
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Sounds like a classic "You're either with us or against us!" argument. Never liked that.
It's simply not how it works out in reality. Nuance is a thing. Moreover, forcing people to pick a side usually sets them against you.
It's something for extremists to drum up their own into action, as I see it, and villainise anyone not helping them.
Orwell is not perfect. His word is not necessarily gospel. I understand his concerns of the Nazis, however that doesn't mean it was right. Necessary? Maybe. I'm skeptical. Certainly, I think there were better ways to go about it.
As to pacifism; It's never really been something I could believe in.
"Violence is the supreme authority from which all other authority is derived", after all.
Authority comes from force. Otherwise, I can simply say no.
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Not sure what to say. When Britain is in a position to choose whether to fight Hitler or let him be, each choice has meaning.
I think pro-fascist is a bit hyperbole -- Britain wouldn't imagine providing aid to Hitler's state. But how to regard inaction might depend on how much you agree with "the only thing necessary for evil to thrive is for good to do nothing." If this is so, good must fight.
Although one would have to explain how the system of good and evil works, that pacifism favors evil over good.
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there is wisdom in both of your words. i will post the full document here, but i think i have learned from each of you what i came here to seek (thank you)https://www.orwell.ru/library/articles/pacifism/english/e_patw
Honestly I disagree. As a leftist and anti-fascist, though I may find pacifism contemptible in terrible situations I think there are at least situations where it's quite understandable and they shouldn't be held as though they are themselves basically fascist at least when it comes down to a person level, maybe not a country level. Cowardly may be a fair accusation, but not pro-fascist imo. When applied to a country, it's more understandable the US could have done a lot more good if they intervened sooner but it also wasn't necessarily the US's fight until later on and declaring war also means dragging DRAFTED people into a war which is a big fucking deal imo. Now, I do think things would be better if they intervened sooner as I said, hell, I found this story about some americans who went to fight against the fascists in spain on their own and I do think if more people trained for situations like this and followed their example it may have ended up better: https://theintercept.com/2017/09/30/the-americans-who-fought-fascism-before-wwii/
But back to people since I see this argument applied to regular people as well: I do believe they SHOULD do something if they can, but in many situations there will almost certainly be serious consequences for it, and not just for themselves but it can also have serious ramifications for the family and friends they leave behind to act. If that makes me go against "elementary common sense", so be it I guess.