Friday, 29 March 2013

War — The Slavery of Our Times

In his 1900 essay, The Slavery of Our Times, Lev N. Tolstoy argued that killing people is murder and therefore war is contrary to Christian teachings (and one can add, to any warring religion).

He explained how: "Laws are rules, made by people who govern by means of organised violence,..." The army is an instrument of murder which kings, emperors, presidents and prime ministers have institutionalized.

He concluded that war is as useless, brutish, murder and harmful madness to society as slavery. The alternative is  love, non-killing, and a fair economy for all.

It has been over a century since Tolstoy penned that profound essay (below), yet we daily hear the drums of war with the propaganda of 'neutralizing' the enemy, the development of robot planes (drones) to better kill, and for surveillance and control of human populations.

Our 'military industrial complex' (which the late President Dwight Eisenhower in 1961 called as the greatest threat to our society) continues to devour the daily bread of ordinary citizens around the world, as it seeks to develop more and more weapons of mass destruction.

Surely guns kill whether they are rifles or atomic bombs!  Let's stop murdering people for some spurious patriot cause or more precisely for some economic gain.  Shame on us! War is certainly not healthy for children and other living things.
  • Where is our concern for humanity?
  • For the beautiful environment?
  • For creating a better United Nations?
  • For developing Departments of Peace in our respective countries?
Where is our sanity?
Have we gone mad as a human race?

Brothers and Sisters around the world, let's outlaw war just as we have earlier done with human slavery. The time is now! This is a time for cooperation, a time for using science for human goodness and beauty, a time for common sense. Let's get on with it, my friends! Let's turn to a new path of sanity, justice and respect for all. Are we not members of one human family?

I invite you to read Tolstoy's The Slavery of Our Times


  1. Physicians for Global Survival and more specifically, Mary-Wynne Ashford and I have argued for year is that War is a Disease, a diseased state of mind, like a sociopathology. Further more, it has addicted the current political and economic leaders of the world. As an addiction, it consumes its children, and resources necessary to life itself. It keeps finding more and more ways to maintain itself.

    So, how do we get to the cure? The Department of Peace is a good initiative, delegitimizing war as persistently as we can, focussing on countries which do not have armies, learning more about peace as an active state (as opposed to being simply the state of "no war"), disarming our own country. sigh. No doubt there must be a lot of prayer involved!

  2. Today's governments/multinational corporations rely on controlling the media lockstep with using taxpayers money to gain land and resources for enormous profit. On top of that, war profiteering includes the production of the weapons themselves. The fallout of this hyper bullying is the death and suffering of millions of innocent civilians and the stealing of taxpayers dollars needed for the creation of a more just, equal and prosperous world. The priority must be the well-being of all life. Instead, governments and corporations kill and maim innocent civilians under the guise of democracy and freedom. What an oxymoron. What a crime. War is a failure to be compassionate and cooperative. Is that the kind of leadership we want? If not, stand up for what is right and stand up to what is wrong. ...Kensky

  3. While Tolstoy is probably right about defining war as institutionalized murder, his proposal to solve the ptoblem through "non-resistance in all circumstances" ("непротивление злу насилием") have been proven next to impossible to implement. Any party trying to adhere to this principle would immediately lose its political and economic positions together with the principle itself.

    World peace is much easier to achieve through economic integration, which would make any military conflict detrimental and prohibitive to any potential aggressor. For example any military conflict between EU countries is virtually impossible. A conflict between US and EU or Japan or China is also impossible. Contemporary wars are limited to a few countries that are not yet integrated into the world economy: Iran, Syria, North Korea. Once economic integration of all these countries into the world economy is accomplished, the risk of wars, even regional, leave alone world wars, will be brought to an absolute minimum, if not to say to zero.