The chief reason warfare is still with us is neither a secret death-wish of the human species, nor an irrepressible instinct of aggression, nor, finally and more plausibly, the serious economic and social dangers inherent in disarmament, but the simple fact that no substitute for this final arbiter in international affairs has yet appeared on the political scene.
View quote | Arendt, Hannah quotes
From the happy expression on their faces you might have supposed that they welcomed the war. I have met with men who loved stamps, and stones, and snakes, but I could not imagine any man loving war.
View quote | Asquith, Margot quotes
War both needs and generates certain virtues; not the highest, but what may be called the preliminary virtues, as valor, veracity, the spirit of obedience, the habit of discipline. Any of these, and of others like them, when possessed by a nation, and no matter how generated, will give them a military advantage, and make them more likely to stay in the race of nations.
View quote | Bagehot, Walter quotes
The cannon thunders... limbs fly in all directions... one can hear the groans of victims and the howling of those performing the sacrifice... it's Humanity in search of happiness.
View quote | Baudelaire, Charles quotes
If we justify war, it is because all peoples always justify the traits of which they find themselves possessed, not because war will bear an objective examination of its merits.
View quote | Benedict, Ruth quotes
If we fight a war and win it with H-bombs, what history will remember is not the ideals we were fighting for but the methods we used to accomplish them. These methods will be compared to the warfare of Genghis Khan who ruthlessly killed every last inhabitant of Persia.
View quote | Bethe, Hans A. quotes
A just war is hospitable to every self-deception on the part of those waging it, none more than the certainty of virtue, under whose shelter every abomination can be committed with a clear conscience.
View quote | Cockburn, Alexander quotes
That strange feeling we had in the war. Have you found anything in your lives since to equal it in strength? A sort of splendid carelessness it was, holding us together.
View quote | Coward, Noel quotes
Our young people have come to look upon war as a kind of beneficent deity, which not only adds to the national honor but uplifts a nation and develops patriotism and courage. That is all true. But it is only fair, too, to let them know that the garments of the deity are filthy and that some of her influences debase and befoul a people.
View quote | Davis, Rebecca Harding quotes
Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
View quote | Eisenhower, Dwight D. quotes
Those who actually set out to see the fall of a city or those who choose to go to a front line, are obviously asking themselves to what extent they are cowards. But the tests they set themselves -- there is a dead body, can you bear to look at it? -- are nothing in comparison with the tests that are sprung on them. It is not the obvious tests that matter (do you go to pieces in a mortar attack?) but the unexpected ones (here is a man on the run, seeking your help -- can you face him honestly?).
View quote | Fenton, James quotes
I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.
View quote | Frank, Anne quotes
What vast additions to the conveniences and comforts of living might mankind have acquired, if the money spent in wars had been employed in works of public utility; what an extension of agriculture even to the tops of our mountains; what rivers rendered navigable, or joined by canals; what bridges, aqueducts, new roads, and other public works, edifices, and improvements might not have been obtained by spending those millions in doing good, which in the last war have been spent in doing mischief.
View quote | Franklin, Benjamin quotes
Unless they are immediate victims, the majority of mankind behaves as if war was an act of God which could not be prevented; or they behave as if war elsewhere was none of their business. It would be a bitter cosmic joke if we destroy ourselves due to atrophy of the imagination.
View quote | Gellhorn, Martha quotes
I feel sure that coups d'état would go much better if there were seats, boxes, and stalls so that one could see what was happening and not miss anything.
View quote | Goncourt, Edmond and Jules De quotes
War is the great scavenger of thought. It is the sovereign disinfectant, and its red stream of blood is the Condy's Fluid that cleans out the stagnant pools and clotted channels of the intellect. We have awakened from an opium-dream of comfort, of ease, of that miserable poltroonery of the sheltered life. Our wish for indulgence of every sort, our laxity of manners, our wretched sensitiveness to personal inconvenience, these are suddenly lifted before us in their true guise as the specters of national decay; and we have risen from the lethargy of our dilettantism to lay them, before it is too late, by the flashing of the unsheathed sword.
View quote | Gosse, Sir Edmund quotes
I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious and sacrifice and the expression in vain. We had heard them, sometimes standing in the rain almost out of earshot, so that only the shouted words came through, and had read them, on proclamations that were slapped up by billposters over other proclamations, now for a long time, and I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it.
View quote | Hemingway, Ernest quotes
War has been the most convenient pseudo-solution for the problems of twentieth-century capitalism. It provides the incentives to modernization and technological revolution which the market and the pursuit of profit do only fitfully and by accident, it makes the unthinkable (such as votes for women and the abolition of unemployment) not merely thinkable but practicable. What is equally important, it can re-create communities of men and give a temporary sense to their lives by uniting them against foreigners and outsiders. This is an achievement beyond the power of the private enterprise economy when left to itself.
View quote | Hobsbawm, E. J. quotes
Here dead lie we because we did not choose to live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; but young men think it is, and we were young.
View quote | Housman, A. E. quotes
War seems to be one of the most salutary phenomena for the culture of human nature; and it is not without regret that I see it disappearing more and more from the scene.
View quote | Humboldt, Karl Wilhelm Von quotes
A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.
View quote | Huxley, Aldous quotes
Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.
View quote | Kennedy, John F. quotes
Those who have been immersed in the tragedy of massive death during wartime, and who have faced it squarely, never allowing their senses and feelings to become numbed and indifferent, have emerged from their experiences with growth and humanness greater than that achieved through almost any other means.
View quote | KuBler-Ross, Elisabeth quotes
The more prosperous and settled a nation, the more readily it tends to think of war as a regrettable accident; to nations less fortunate the chance of war presents itself as a possible bountiful friend.
View quote | Lapham, Lewis H. quotes
The war is dreadful. It is the business of the artist to follow it home to the heart of the individual fighters -- not to talk in armies and nations and numbers -- but to track it home.
View quote | Lawrence, D. H. quotes
I have known war as few men now living know it. It's very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.
View quote | Macarthur, Douglas quotes
War is thus divine in itself, since it is a law of the world. War is divine through its consequences of a supernatural nature which are as much general as particular. War is divine in the mysterious glory that surrounds it and in the no less inexplicable attraction that draws us to it. War is divine by the manner in which it breaks out.
View quote | Maistre, Joseph De quotes
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their own free choice -- is often the means of their regeneration.
View quote | Mill, John Stuart quotes
I regard almost all quarrels of princes on the same footing, and I see nothing that marks man's unreason so positively as war. Indeed, what folly to kill one another for interests often imaginary, and always for the pleasure of persons who do not think themselves even obliged to those who sacrifice themselves for them!
View quote | Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley quotes
What the horrors of war are, no one can imagine. They are not wounds and blood and fever, spotted and low, or dysentery, chronic and acute, cold and heat and famine. They are intoxication, drunken brutality, demoralization and disorder on the part of the inferior... jealousies, meanness, indifference, selfish brutality on the part of the superior.
View quote | Nightingale, Florence quotes
There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more or less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction.
View quote | Orwell, George quotes
Those who dare to interpret God's will must never claim Him as an asset for one nation or group rather than another. War springs from the love and loyalty which should be offered to God being applied to some God substitute, one of the most dangerous being nationalism.
View quote | Runcie, Robert quotes
I had supposed until that time that it was quite common for parents to love their children, but the war persuaded me that it is a rare exception. I had supposed that most people liked money better than almost anything else, but I discovered that they liked destruction even better. I had supposed that intellectuals frequently loved truth, but I found here again that not ten per cent of them prefer truth to popularity.
View quote | Russell, Bertrand quotes
Are wars... anything but the means whereby a nation's problems are set, where creation is stimulated -- there you have adventure. But there is no adventure in heads-or-tails, in betting that the toss will come out of life or death. War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus.
View quote | Saint-Exupery, Antoine De quotes
In the arts of life man invents nothing; but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself, and produces by chemistry and machinery all the slaughter of plague, pestilence, and famine.
View quote | Shaw, George Bernard quotes
War-making is one of the few activities that people are not supposed to view realistically; that is, with an eye to expense and practical outcome. In all-out war, expenditure is all-out, unprudent -- war being defined as an emergency in which no sacrifice is excessive.
View quote | Sontag, Susan quotes
O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief... for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
View quote | Twain, Mark quotes
To say that war is madness is like saying that sex is madness: true enough, from the standpoint of a stateless eunuch, but merely a provocative epigram for those who must make their arrangements in the world as given.
View quote | Updike, John quotes
What war has always been is a puberty ceremony. It's a very rough one, but you went away a boy and came back a man, maybe with an eye missing or whatever but godammit you were a man and people had to call you a man thereafter.
View quote | Vonnegut Jr., Kurt quotes
So you think you can tell heaven from hell blue skies from pain. Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail, a smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts hot ashes for trees, hot air for a cool breeze, cold comfort for change? Did you exchange a walk on part in a war for a lead role in a cage?
View quote | Waters, R. quotes
What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war. Petrol is more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict.
View quote | Weil, Simone quotes
If you insist upon fighting to protect me, or our country, let it be understood soberly and rationally between us that you are fighting to gratify a sex instinct which I cannot share; to procure benefits which I have not shared and probably will not share.
View quote | Woolf, Virginia quotes