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Political Pacifism Essay

Superficially, political pacifism is often discarded due to its lack of practicality. However, my primary goal throughout the course of this paper is to prove pacifism is rather practical. This is not to be mistaken. I am not deeming political pacifism as correct or incorrect but more so asserting its practicality by imparting thoughts in support of properly warranting consideration.

In a primary sense, political pacifism is “the principle or policy that all differences among nations should be adjusted without recourse to war” (IF1) The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. For the sake of argumentation and other various definitions available, the definition provided would be the standard on which will be political pacifism. Reflected in the political writings of Niccolo Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes is the materialization of the state in which pacifism is a potential position.

In The Prince, Machiavelli expresses “a prince/cannot observe all virtues for which are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy/faith/humanity/in order to preserve the state/and must be disposed to change according. ” (IF2) Daniel Donno translation, Bantam Books, 1981, pp. 63-64. Polity is both the private sphere of influence of the prince and the perseverating organization of establishments. Conversely, the Hobbesian conception of the state offers only when numerous states are involved can there be a possibly conflict.

In so far, pacifism is a means of resolving conflicts between states; “…social contract will result from the exhaustion of war and from the common human interest in peace…” (IF3) Leviathan. In spite of this, I maintain war, is a development of antagonistic encounters between states and/or individuals. For example, the submissiveness of the armed military forces to political control dictates certain rights and duties that forces conflict within the state can erect itself as conflict between states.

Many historians of pacifism like Martin Ceadel, maintain the thought that war has altered from a standard stipulation of transnational affairs to a prevalent responsibility shared by all humans to keep transnational affairs under limited constrain. It may be held that if and only if the state can maintain limited constrain amongst themselves than so can the transnational affairs be maintained amongst other states. In so far, arise disparities between pacifism and conventional political beliefs.


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