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Militarism

  • ... militarism ... is one of the chief bulwarks of capitalism, and the day that militarism is undermined, capitalism will fail.

  • New battleships are readily ordered, when clinics, school meals, and ante-natal provision are counted as 'extravagance.'

  • Armies are dependent on youthful male ignorance.

  • ... the greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism.

  • The contention that a standing army and navy is the best security of peace is about as logical as the claim that the most peaceful citizen is he who goes about heavily armed.

  • The pathos of it all is that the America which is to be protected by a huge military force is not the America of the people, but that of the privileged class ...

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "Preparedness: The Road to Universal Slaughter," in Mother Earth ()
  • ... so few people realize that preparedness never leads to peace, but that it is indeed the road to universal slaughter.

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "Preparedness: The Road to Universal Slaughter," in Mother Earth ()
  • You cannot build up a standing army and then throw it back into a box like tin soldiers. Armies equipped to the teeth with weapons, with highly developed instruments of murder and backed by their military interests, have their own dynamic functions.

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "Preparedness: The Road to Universal Slaughter," in Mother Earth ()
  • Militarism consumes the strongest and most productive elements of each nation. Militarism swallows the largest part of the national revenue.

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "Preparedness: The Road to Universal Slaughter," in Mother Earth ()
  • ... the function of militarism is to kill. It cannot live except through murder.

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "Preparedness: The Road to Universal Slaughter," in Mother Earth ()
  • ... 'readiness,' far far from assuring peace, has at all times and in all countries been instrumental in precipitating armed conflicts.

  • [On the Barbie doll:] Her values, while somewhat Yuppified, are not so bad. Look at GI Joe. His only wardrobe is fatigues, he spends all his time trying to kill people, or getting his own innards splashed across the landscape. His big hobby is death.

  • Dead battles, like dead generals, hold the military mind in their dead grip ...

  • Nothing so comforts the military mind as the maxim of a great but dead general.

  • It has been claimed that the aim of the present war is to end war. But war cannot end war, neither can militarism destroy militarism.

  • ... while all the pomp and circumstance of war animated others, it only saddened me; and all of past reflection, all of future dread, made the whole grandeur of the martial scene, and all the delusive seduction of martial music, fill my eyes frequently with tears ...

    • Fanny Burney,
    • 1802, in Charlotte Barrett, ed., Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay, vol. 6 ()
  • I am not being facetious when I say that the real enemies in this country are the Pentagon and its pals in big business.

  • How many are dying / from the taxes I've paid / with my tired hands?

  • Great armies are nothing but a collection of weakness.

    • Queen Christina,
    • "Maxims" (1680), in Henry Woodhead, ed., Memoirs of Christina, Queen of Sweden, vol. 2 ()
  • Japan redefined world power. They showed you could become a world power without having a military.

  • When men talk about defense, they always claim to be protecting the women and children, but they never ask the women and children what they think.

  • Go to a nearby military cemetery and look at the American flags stuck on each grave and think of the person buried there who was killed for global domination or for the blunders and egomania of our leadership. And remember, for every person buried there, 10 more loved that person and were shattered by the loss. Instead of saluting, softly say: 'I'm sorry.' ... We need to make Memorial Day a relic of the past.

    • Cindy Sheehan,
    • "Double the Pain on Memorial Day," The Denver Post ()
  • Bombs know no ism but barbarism. The laws that successfully govern a peaceful and democratic society do not interfere with the only law bombs know, which is the law of gravity.

  • It is high time that the American people should remember a few home truths, and that we should refuse to become partners with a militarism which is still stalking unchecked under the pretense of national needs and of international justice.

  • Making bombs will only destroy us. It doesn't matter whether we use them or not. They will destroy us either way.

  • If it's natural to kill, why do men have to go into training to learn how?

  • ... we ought to realize by now (see Korea, see Vietnam, see Afghanistan, see Iraq, see Iran) that deploying the US military, or dealing billions of dollars a year of arms to our ally of the moment that can serve as a regional rival to our enemy of the moment, is not always the best way to make threats go away. Our military and weapons prowess is a fantastic and perfectly weighted hammer, but that doesn't make every international problem a nail.

  • The Constitutional Convention debated whether America should even have a standing army. ... They worried that a powerful military could rival civilian government for power in our new country, and of course they worried that having a standing army around would create too much of a temptation to use it.

  • And he's fighting for Canada, he's fighting for France, / He's fighting for the U.S.A. / And he's fighting for the Russians, and he's fighting for Japan, / And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way ... / Without him Caesar would have stood alone. / He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war: / And without him all this killin' can't go on.

  • Any society that is spending a third of its national budget on the military is a militaristic society.

  • The consequences of militancy do not disappear when the need for militancy is over.

  • The age in which we live can only be characterized as one of barbarism. Our civilization is in the process not only of being militarized, but also being brutalized.

    • Alva Myrdal,
    • in Barbara Shiels, Women and the Nobel Prize ()
  • The Pentagon is the greatest power on earth today. ... There it sits, a terrible mass of concrete, on our minds, on our hearts, squat on top of our lives. Its power penetrates into every single life. It is in the very air we breathe. The water we drink. Because of its insatiable demands we are drained and we are polluted.

  • Injury is the thing every exhausting piece of strategy and every single weapon is designed to bring into being: it is not something inadvertently produced on the way to producing something else but is the relentless object of all military activity.

  • ... if we pursue the arms race no other problem will be solved.

  • Militarism is the most energy-intensive, entropic activity of humans, since it converts stored energy and materials directly into waste and destruction without any useful intervening fulfillment of basic human needs. Ironically, the net effect of military, as opposed to civilian, expenditures is to increase unemployment and inflation ...

  • Militarism is in direct competition with people's needs for food, health care, and environmental protection.

  • As long as military men control the country you are always going to have a war.

  • Not all the military poems that I have read have roused in me so heroic a desire to welcome my brother home with a bullet in his heart.

  • As we mark this Memorial Day and pay tribute to those who died in the military, let us recognize two critical things we can do for our vets. One is to take better care of them here at home — the homeless vets, the jobless vets, the vets suffering from the mental wounds that haunt them and contribute to a heart-wrenching suicide rate of twenty-two a day. The second thing we can do is stop sending our young men and women off to die in unwinnable wars of choice that will only make more enemies. Stop squandering our precious resources, including the lives of poor youth, to fight for rich men's military contracts.