This week on What a Hell of a Way to Die, Nate and Francis speaks with Editor-in-Chief of Current Affairs Nathan J. Robinson about pacifism, what it means, and why it's important in today's discourse.
Despite what your cousin who spent four years in the Marines without deploying may say, pacifism isn't just laying down and letting everyone roll over on you. It's about seeing war not as an inevitable, but as a disgusting thing that must be done only for self preservation. Of course, 'self preservation' means different things to different people. For me, it means having a stable life of comfort and contentedness. For others it mean securing a future for their trashy white babies.
It's easy to say that certainly no one wants war. That war is just a sad thing America is constantly training and preparing for (and doing). The problem being war is easy. It's easy to show up and kill another person or be killed. There is finality in the decision, especially when you know you'll get away with it. What is hard is talking. It's hard to make deals and be bipartisan, which is why we don't see it in out politics. War, with guns or with laws, is easier because either you get your way or you don't.
I am a pacifist. I've gone to war twice and it sucks. Even removing raw body counts of dead, there will always be physical and emotional scarring. A child losing their family in an airstrike irreparably changes their life. Regardless of what they go on to do, for better or worse, there is no argument that killing the family of a child is a net positive.
This is why it's good to be a pacifist. Because I've been a part of that machine that grinds up the brains and bodies of young Americans for no reason other than money and laziness. War is never an inevitable, it's just a thing we let happen. No one checked the Nazis in the 1930s and as a result 100 million people died. It was avoidable, but no one wanted to do the work. Too many people agreed with what they were doing. It happened because everyone let it.
Pacifism is knowing the right fight to stay out of the wrong one. We have a white nationalist rise in America right now and liberals seem ill prepared to deal with it. Media shows itself to be sympathetic to it, at least to the point of giving it a platform. The fight today is verbal, it's ideological and necessary to stop the fight later.