He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder. Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Posted by Goes-hmmm on :
Well it isn't in Bartlett's so I don't know about the veracity of that quote, but here's supposedly another Einstein quote in the same vein:
"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding."
To offer the opposing point of view, here are a couple of quotes that sound similar in context to President Bush's take on this war in Iraq:
"In actual fact the pacifistic-humane idea is perfectly all right perhaps when the highest type of man has previously conquered and subjected the world to an extent that makes him the sole ruler of this earth… Therefore, first struggle and then perhaps pacifism." [We must make war to have peace?]
"In starting or waging a war, it is not right that matters but victory." [Victory is the only acceptable outcome?]
Both of these are quotes of none other than everybody's favorite dictator, Adolph Hitler.
One site includes a date (1930) but otherwise I can find no information on when and where he actually said it. However, I see no reason to doubt its provenance; it seems consistent with other recorded utterances of his.
Posted by First of Two on :
This the same Einstein who urged the US to develop a nuclear weapon?
Posted by StarlandVocalBand on :
quote:Originally posted by First of Two: This the same Einstein who urged the US to develop a nuclear weapon?
No. They're talking about Nobel Prize-winning scientist Albert Einstein, who did write a 1939 letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt telling him what he (Einstein) knew about German nuclear research, and urging him (Roosevelt) to fund USerican nuclear researchers so the US would not be left behind.
This would be the same Albert Einstein who campaigned for years for nuclear controls and peace. The same Albert Einstein who (along with philosopher Bertrand Russell) gave his name to the 1955 manifesto which states:
quote: We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to learn to ask ourselves, not what steps can be taken to give military victory to whatever group we prefer, for there no longer are such steps; the question we have to ask ourselves is: what steps can be taken to prevent a military contest of which the issue must be disastrous to all parties?
Here, then, is the problem which we present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war? People will not face this alternative because it is so difficult to abolish war.
The abolition of war will demand distasteful limitations of national sovereignty. But what perhaps impedes understanding of the situation more than anything else is that the term "mankind" feels vague and abstract. People scarcely realize in imagination that the danger is to themselves and their children and their grandchildren, and not only to a dimly apprehended humanity. They can scarcely bring themselves to grasp that they, individually, and those whom they love are in imminent danger of perishing agonizingly. And so they hope that perhaps war may be allowed to continue provided modern weapons are prohibited.