A Peaceful Response to War

April 19th, 2010

I have been thinking about this:

If someone tells you that they are joining the armed forces, or are already engaged in the war industry, a peaceful response might be:

“I’m so sorry, so truly sorry that you are working for the war industry.  You were born to be a person of peace.  When you get out, if you need someone to help you to heal, please let me know.  I would like to help.”

I am thinking of how I might articulate the proper cultural cues so that people would easily recognize the horrible injury that war does to anyone involved in this enterprise of death and destruction.   I want to condemn the war, not the person.  The person needs help.

I cannot think how we can advance humanity and civilisation while we are continuing with the industry of war.  There are better ways to solve human disputes.  No one has the right to initiate force against anyone else.  And self-defense does not involve war: it is an individual matter, after all.  Neither is self-defense the initiation of force by the individual.

I will probably write more on this as I continue to think about it.  Meanwhile, teach your children that reason is more valuable that force, and cooperation more valuable than any form of government.  Government is the industry of war, after all.  Individual humans do not make war–they cannot, by design–only government can steal enough to construct war machines and force people to go off to places they have never been, to kill people they have never met.

I am so very sorry for anyone who is compelled, by conscription or economic desperation, to work for a war industry.  These people need to be healed.

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