...if we be honest with ourselves,
we shall be honest with each other.  ~ George MacDonald

Jesus Wept 

Jesus Wept

 

Chivalry is not just a good idea. It is necessary for the survival of modern civilisation.* 

 

But instead of encouraging chivalry, wouldn't the world be more peaceful if we simply disarmed? The following highlights the problem with that view of keeping the peace. 

“...an obviously aggressive nation, such as Nazi Germany during the 1930s, launches a military buildup in order to accomplish its goals by force or the threat of force, while those who build up counter-force are seeking to avoid being attacked or forced into surrender. If a defensive military buildup—an “arms race”—fails to secure any net advantage whatever against the aggressor, it is nevertheless a huge success if it prevents aggression or the need to surrender. From the standpoint of the non-aggressor nation, it is not trying to gain anything at the expense of anybody else, but simply recognizes the grim reality that military preparedness is part of the price of maintaining the peace, independence, and freedom that it already has. If military deterrence permits that to be done without bloodshed, it is not a “waste” because the arms are never used, but instead is a bargain because they were formidable enough that they did not have to be used, nor lives sacrificed in the carnage of war.”

—Thomas Sowell, The Quest for Cosmic Justice (p.109, 110, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1999.)

I have no problem with pacifists sacrificing their own lives, but I have a big problem when third parties die because of the "peace movements" vision of how to keep (or make) peace. Many pacifists believe that anyone who does not support disarmament must want war, and is therefore evil. They do not seem to realise that most people (at least in democratic nations) who support their militaries want peace. They also don't knowor at least choose to ignorethat there are hostile groups and governments who want democratic nations to disarm because they seek to destroy those nations by any means possible. (See Silent Invasion by Clive Hamilton, The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS by Robert Spencer, The Third Choice by Mark Durie and the YouTube video “Stephen Coughlin, Part 5, The Role of the IOC in Enforcing Islamic Law”). Pacifists who convince politicians that the innocent do not need to be defended, or who convince politicians that ordinary people have no right to defend themselves, are usually well meaning, but deeply misguided.

“At the end of the war, Churchill looked back and said: “There never was a war in all history easier to prevent by timely action than the one which has just desolated such great areas of the globe.” But such timely action to deter war with armaments and military alliances, as Churchill had urged throughout the 1930’s, would not have exulted the anointed visionaries, as their championing of opposites policies did. The British, American, and other Allied soldiers who paid with their lives in the early years of the war for the quantitatively inadequate and qualitatively obsolete military equipment that was a legacy of interwar pacifism were among the most tragic of the many third parties who have paid the price of other people’s exalted visions and self-congratulation”  (Thomas Sowell, ibid., p.115-16). 

Doing for others what we would like them to do for us sometimes means standing up to bullies on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves. (Here is what C.S. Lewis had to say about pacifism.)

 

* C.S. Lewis' (see video above) was greatly influenced by George MacDonald; MacDonald's book Sir Gibbie paints a beautiful picture of Christlike courage shaped by love.