Antiwar literary and philosophical selections

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

George Santayana: Fatal wars: equally needless, equally murderous

George Santayana: If dreadful outer world became troublesome, it would be necessary to make war on it and teach it a lesson

George Santayana: Such blind battles ought not to be our battles

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George Santayana
From Reason and Society (1905)

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A military class is…always recalling, foretelling, and meditating war; it fosters artificial and senseless jealousies toward other governments that possess armies; and finally, as often as not, it precipitates disaster by bringing about the objectless struggle on which it has set its heart.

Since barbarism has its pleasures it naturally has its apologists. There are panegyrists of war who say that without a periodical bleeding a race decays and loses its manhood. Experience is directly opposed to this shameless assertion.

To delight in war…

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