All The More Reason


We’re pacifists, and you?
August 29, 2007, 5:47 am
Filed under: Peace, Rhetoric

If there’s one phrase that rings of the high and mighty it must be the line “I’m a pacifist.” I heard Martin Sheen say it the other day. I think that it’s a pretentious thing to say not because there are instances where pacifism equals nihilism or death, something which the person claiming pacifism probably doesn’t have to worry about, but simply because it is said in a way where it leads one to feel like the opposite position stated would be “I’m a warmonger.” Here’s a piece, linked from aldaily, which discusses the growing peace movements in the West. I can’t vouch for how good it is because I was turned off it by this line:

Invariably portrayed in the media as a charismatic and (these days) grandfatherly champion of decency, Galtung is in fact a lifelong enemy of freedom.

(The italics are mine.) Has Galtung been nominated for an enemy of freedom award? It’s quite possible that this is just a quirk of mine, but I don’t understand why a writer needs to resort to that kind of rhetorical move when it hardly strikes me as necessary. Still, City Journal does have many interesting articles so maybe I’ll try and finish reading this piece another time.

J.S.

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