Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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War

The situation in North Korea now is a good example of McLuhan’s saying that “every new technology requires a new war.” New technology enables small, weak, and backward countries to leapfrog the steps advanced and powerful countries have taken, challenge the world order, and often conquer the previously more advanced nation. Examples include the stirrup invented c. 1000 BCE enabling the Xianbei “barbarians” to overrun the much more powerful China, the modern Chinese and Indians to bypass landline phones and directly compete with the much more “advanced” Western countries; and the longbow catapulting the English over the until then dominating French. Other technologies that have helped humanity in many ways but also launched or expanded numerous wars include the compass, the telescope, the printing press, the telegraph, the steam engine, and the computer. Benjamin Franklin’s attitude toward his inventions, his refusal to patent them and willingness to share with the world rather than hold on to for personal or national advantage; this attitude – if it becomes widespread - may be the turning point in finally ending the wars that have plagued humanity for so long.


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Quotes (124)

“war is always a dangerous thing and brings with it destruction and devastation. Therefore it should not be resorted to rashly but, like a poisonous drug, should be used only as a last resort”

Fu Xi 伏羲 c. 2852–2737 BCE via Richard Wilhelm, Hexagram 7
Emperor/shaman progenitor of civilization symbol
from I Ching

Themes: War Revolution

31. Victory Funeral

“Lavinia: ‘Why must there be war?... The horrible list of carnage they were making ready for… Why? What was it for? For a pet deer? For a girl? What good would that do?’
Turnus: ‘Without war there are no heroes. What harm would that be? Oh Lavinia, what a woman’s question that is.’”

Lavinia 12th C. BCE via Ursula Le Guin
Prophetess and co-foundrer of the Roman Empire
from Lavinia

30. No War

“Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war.”

Homer 850 BCE - ?
Primogenitor of Western culture
from Iliad

Themes: War

“Equality does not create war.”

Solon 638 – 558 BCE
Founder of Athenian democracy

Themes: Equality War

“The nature of weapons is to turn against their holder... Great conquerors are really great criminals.”

Lao Tzu 老子 604 BCE - via Shan Dao, chapter #30
(Lǎozǐ)
from Tao Te Ching 道德经 Dàodéjīng

Themes: War

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

Sun Tzu 孙武 544 – 496 BCE
(Sun Zi)
HIstory's supreme strategist

73. Heaven’s Net

“It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.”

Sun Tzu 孙武 544 – 496 BCE
(Sun Zi)
HIstory's supreme strategist
from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: War

“When Homer said that he wished war might disappear from the lives of gods and men, he forgot that without opposition all things would cease to exist.”

Heraclitus Ἡράκλειτος 535 – 475 BCE
(of Ephesus, the "Weeping Philosopher")
A Greek Buddha

Themes: War Problems

“Nobody should be mad enough to choose war when there is peace. During times of peace, sons bury their fathers but in war fathers bury their sons.”

Herodotus Ἡρόδοτος c. 484 - 425 BCE
“The Father of History”
from Histories

Themes: War Peace

“Hope is man's curse... whenever a city has to vote on a question of war, not man ever takes his own death into account but shifts this misfortune to his neighbor”

Euripides 480 – 406 BCE via G. M. Cookson
Ancient humanitarian influence continuing today
from Suppliants

Themes: Hope War

“Educated men condemn murders and call them wrong but do not realize that a war of aggression against another country is wrong praising it and giving it their support… therefore it is clear they do not know the difference between right and wrong.”

Mozi 墨子 470 – 391 BCE via Lin Yutang, Shan Dao
(Mòzǐ)
Chinese personification of Newton, da Vinci, and Jesus

“Trees, though they are cut and lopped, grow up again quickly, but if men are destroyed, it is not easy to get them again.”

Thucydides Θουκυδίδης 460 – 400 BCE
"Father of realpolitik"

Themes: War

“Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master.”

Demosthenes Δημοσθένης 384 – 322 BCE

Themes: War

“'Politicians and generals who always want to extend their territories and fill their treasuries are called, 'Robbers of the People and should suffer the highest punishments.”

Mencius 孟子 372 – 289 BCE via Wing-Tsit Chan, Shan Dao
(Mengzi)
from Book of Mencius 孟子

30. No War

“Abandon your plan… respond to the demands of inner truth… and war will end by itself!”

Chuang Tzu 莊周 369 – 286 BCE via Thomas Merton
(Zhuangzi)

from Zhuangzi

Themes: War Truth

30. No War

“An unjust peace is better than a just war.”

Cicero 106 – 43 BCE
from Epistola ad Atticum

Themes: War Peace

“Cause the savage works of war to be lulled to rest vanquished by the never-healing wound of love”

Lucretius 99 – 55 BCE via H. A. J. Munro, Shan Dao
(Titus Carus)
from De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things)

Themes: War Sex

“What a tale he's told, what a bitter bowl of war he's drunk to the dregs.”

Virgil 70 – 19 BCE
(Publius Vergilius Maro)
from Aeneid

Themes: War

“He who takes up the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that evil can be overcome by evil, or violence by violence?”

Jesus 3 BCE – 30 CE via Didymos Thomas
from Gospel According to Thomas

30. No War

“Mortals go to war so that they can inherit dust, their vision distorted by the lie that they value which is nothing.”

Jesus 3 BCE – 30 CE via Didymos Thomas
from Gospel According to Thomas

Themes: War Lies

69. No Enemy

“The purpose of all wars…is peace.”

Augustine ɔːɡəstiːn 354 – 430 CE
(Saint Augustine, Saint Austin, Augustine of Hippo)

Themes: War Peace

“Dogs own space and cats own time. Kings travel from place to place like a cat but want to own those places like a dog. It's why there are wars.”

Hilda of Whitby 614 – 680 CE via Nicola Griffith

“Isn't it clear that weapons are the tools of misery? The great sages never waited until the need for such things arose.”

Li Bai 李白 701 – 762 CE
(Li Bo)

Themes: War

31. Victory Funeral

“The frontier posts run with blood enough to fill an ocean, and the war-loving Emperor's dreams of conquest have still not ended... blue is the smoke of war, white the bones of men.”

Du Fu 杜甫 杜甫 712 – 770 CE

Themes: War Warriors

“Nothing results in greater droughts, plagues, or famines than the scourge of warfare. A good general wins only when he has no choice, then stops. He dares not take anything by force.”

Wang Zhen 809 – 859 CE via Ralph D. Sawyer
from Daodejing Lunbing Yaoyishu, The Tao of War

Themes: War

30. No War

“When ordinary officials and the common people have no fear, punishment occurs. When ministers and high officials have no fear, banishment occurs. When princes and kings have no fear, warfare occurs.”

Wang Zhen 809 – 859 CE
from Daodejing Lunbing Yaoyishu, The Tao of War

72. Helpful Fear

“Now there was fought a battle such as men have not seen the like. And the earth was covered with steel, and arrows fell from the clouds like hail, and the ground was torn with hoofs, and blood flowed like water upon the plains. And the dead lay around in masses, and the feet of the horses could not stir because of them.”

Ferdowsi فردوسی 940 – 1020 CE
(Abul-Qâsem Ferdowsi Tusi)
"undisputed giant of Persian literature"
from Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings (977–1010 CE)

Themes: War

“to the prizes of victory in war I preferred the battle of minds in disputation.”

Peter Abelard Pierre Abélard 1079 – 1142 CE
from Dialogue Between a Philosopher, a Jew, and a Christian

Themes: War Victory

“When the ruler possesses the Tao, soldiers become farmers. When the ruler does not possess the Tao, farmers become soldiers.”

Li Xizhai 12th century CE via Red Pine
(Li Hsi-Chai)
from Tao-te-chen-ching yi-chieh

Themes: Agriculture War

46. Enough

“War is contrary to peace. Therefore war is always a sin.”

Thomas Aquinas 1225 – 1274 CE
from Summa Theologica

Themes: War

“War is delightful — to those who have had no experience of it.”

Erasmus 1466 – 1536 CE
(Desiderius Roterodamus)
"Greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance"

Themes: War

“A prince should have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else to study than the art of war, its rules and discipline.”

Machiavelli 1469 – 1527 CE via W.K. Marriott, Shan Dao
(Niccolò Machiavelli)
from The Prince

Themes: War

“There is nothing more inglorious than that glory that is gained by war.”

Thomas More 1478 – 1535 CE
from Utopia

Themes: War Power

30. No War

“It can never be that war shall preserve life, and peace destroy it.”

Thomas Hobbes 1588 – 1679 CE
from Leviathan

Themes: War

“When a country is defeated, there remain only mountains and rivers, and on a ruined castle in spring only grasses thrive. I sat down on my hat and wept bitterly till I almost forgot time.
A thicket of summer grass
Is all that remains
Of the dreams and ambitions
Of ancient warriors.”

Matsuo Bashō 松尾 芭蕉 1644 – 1694 CE

30. No War

“Poor nations are hungry, and rich nations are proud; and pride and hunger will ever be at variance. For these reasons, the trade of a soldier is held the most honorable of all others; because a soldier is a Yahoo hired to kill in cold blood as many of his own species—who have never offended him,—as possibly he can.”

Jonathan Swift 1667 – 1745 CE
"Foremost prose satirist in the English language"

from Gulliver's Travels

Themes: War Warriors

“There can be no greater Hypocrisy than for us as a People, to refuse to bear Arms and yet purchase Slaves at a very great Price, thereby justifying their selling of them, and the War, by which they were or are obtained;”

Benjamin Lay 1682 – 1759 CE
from All Slave-Keepers That keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates

Themes: War Delusion

“War is the greatest of all crimes; and yet there is no aggressor who does not color his crime with the pretext of justice.”

Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet 1694 – 1778 CE
from The Ignorant Philosopher

Themes: Justice War Crime

“If religion no longer gives birth to civil wars, it is to philosophy alone that we are indebted... Without philosophy, we would be little above the animals.”

Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet 1694 – 1778 CE

Themes: War Philosophy

31. Victory Funeral

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet 1694 – 1778 CE

31. Victory Funeral

“There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war...This is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle.”

Benjamin Franklin 1706 – 1790 CE
from Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

“With men, the state of nature is not a state of peace, but war; if not of open war, then at least ever ready to break out.”

Immanuel Kant 1724 – 1804 CE
from Perpetual Peace (1795)

Themes: Peace War

“War, in its fairest form, implies a perpetual violation of humanity and justice… The terror of the Roman arms added weight and dignity to the moderation of the emperors. They preserved peace by a constant preparation for war”

Edward Gibbon 1737 – 1794 CE
from Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

Themes: War Peace

“The principles of war are the same as those of a siege. Fire must be concentrated on a single point and as soon as the breach is made, the equilibrium is broken and the rest is nothing.”

Napoleon Bonaparte 1769 – 1821 CE

“War is the stateman's game, the priest's delight, the lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822 CE
from Notes on Queen Mab, 1813

Themes: War

“If there had never been war, there could never have been tyranny in the world.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822 CE
from A Philosophical View of Reform, 1819

Themes: War

“The difference of race is one of the reasons why I fear war may always exist, because race implies difference, difference implies superiority, and superiority leads to predominance.”

Disraeli, Benjamin 1804 – 1881 CE
(Earl of Beaconsfield )
Political balance between mob rule and tyranny

from House of Commons speech, 1849

Themes: War

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.”

John Stuart Mill 1806 – 1873 CE

“war is robbery, commerce is generally cheating”

Karl Marx 1818 – 1883 CE
from Das Kapital; Capital: Critique of Political Economy

Themes: War Business

31. Victory Funeral

“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”

Leo Tolstoy 1828 – 1910 CE

Themes: War

38. Fruit Over Flowers

“Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War… He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.”

Mark Twain 1835 – 1910 CE
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
America’s most famous author

31. Victory Funeral

“There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of the war… Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked… and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”

Mark Twain 1835 – 1910 CE
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
America’s most famous author

69. No Enemy

“The war against war is going to be no holiday excursion or camping party. The military feelings are too deeply grounded to abdicate their place among our ideals until better substitutes are offered than the glory and shame that comes to nations as well as individuals from the ups and downs of politics”

William James 1842 – 1910 CE
"Father of American psychology”
from The Moral Equivalent of War

“You say that a good cause will even sanctify war! I tell you, it is the good war that sanctifies every cause!”

Friedrich Nietzsche 1844 – 1900 CE
from Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Themes: War

“99 men out of 100 in a civilized countries are opposed to war. We recognize that life is short and the night cometh. Leave us alone!”

Elbert Hubbard 1856 – 1915 CE
from A Thousand and One Epigrams

Themes: War

“War cannot be avoided until the physical cause for its recurrence is removed… Only the annihilation of distance in every respect will insure the permanency of friendly relations.”

Nikola Tesla Никола Тесла 1856 – 1943 CE
from My Inventions

Themes: War

“Government is founded on property, property is founded on conquest, and conquest is founded on Power.”

Arthur Desmond 1859 – 1929 CE
from Might Is Right

“Human rights and wrongs are not determined by Justice, but by Might. Disguise it as you may, the naked sword is still king-maker and king-breaker, as of yore. All other theories are lies and — lures.

Arthur Desmond 1859 – 1929 CE
from Might Is Right

Themes: War Justice

“Religious fanaticism, unlimited competition, and war are the murderers of freedom. Though they win victories, we now know that they end in suicide.”

Dean Inge 1860 – 1954 CE
Christian mystic and philosopher
from The Modern Churchman

“Only the dead have seen the end of war”

Santayana, George 1863 – 1952 CE
(Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás)
Powerfully influential, true-to-himself philosopher/poet

“To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love... the glories of war are all blood-stained, delirious, and infected with crime; the combative instinct is a savage prompting by which one man's good is found in another's evil.”

Santayana, George 1863 – 1952 CE
(Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás)
Powerfully influential, true-to-himself philosopher/poet
from The Life of Reason

“War is an ill thing, as I surely know. But 'twould be an ill world for weaponless dreamers if evil men were not now and then slain.”

Rudyard Kipling 1865 – 1936 CE
Greatest—in-English—short-story writer

Themes: War

“There is a war going on at the present moment. What does it signify? It signifies that several millions of sleeping people are trying to destroy several millions of other sleeping people. They would not do this, of course, if they were to wake up. Everything that takes place is owing to this sleep.”

G. I. Gurdjieff 1866 – 1949 CE

Themes: War Ignorance

31. Victory Funeral

“If we don’t end war, war will end us.”

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle

Themes: War Revolution

“Euripides saw war as completely evil and he wrote the greatest anti-war piece of literature there is, the Trojan Women, but from first to last, he never mounts the pulpit.”

Edith Hamilton 1867 – 1963 CE
from Roman Way

Themes: War

“What do nations care about the cost of war, if by spending a few hundred millions in steel and gunpowder they can gain a thousand millions in diamonds and cocoa?”

W. E. B. Du Bois 1868 – 1963 CE

“In every important war since 1700, the more democratic side has been victorious.”

Bertrand Russell 1872 – 1970 CE
“20th century Voltaire”
from Unpopular Essays

Themes: Democracy War

“Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.”

Bertrand Russell 1872 – 1970 CE
“20th century Voltaire”

Themes: War Aggression

“We do not know whether Hitler is going to found a new Islam. (He is already on the way; he is like Mohammed. The emotion in Germany is Islamic; warlike and Islamic. They are all drunk with a wild god.”

Carl Jung 1875 – 1961 CE
Insightful shamanistic scientist

30. No War

“Since we now know what a terrible evil war is, we must spare no effort to prevent its recurrence.”

Albert Schweitzer 1875 – 1965 CE
from Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

Themes: Evil War

“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought with but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 CE via Noam Chomsky

Themes: War

“that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor… This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed… and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriots – how passionately I hate them!... this bogey would have disappeared long ago had the sound sense of the peoples not been systematically corrupted by commercial and political interests.”

Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 CE

31. Victory Funeral

“I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed... I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.”

Franklin Roosevelt 1882 – 1945 CE
(FDR)
Champion and creator of a more just and equitable society

Themes: War Hate

“War is something of man’s own fostering, and if all mankind renounces it, then it is no longer there.”

A.A. Milne 1882 – 1956 CE
(Alan Alexander Milne)
from War With Honour

Themes: War

“Let my country die for me.”

James Joyce 1882 – 1941 CE
from Ulysses

Themes: War

31. Victory Funeral

“The Second World War—the tempest which had already begun to drive down upon the earth. Millions of people trembled as they saw the oncoming hunger, slaughter, and madness. All the devils in men were awake and thirsting for blood.”

Nikos Kazantzakis 1883 – 1957 CE
from Report to Greco

Themes: War

“insecurity is the mother of greed, as cruelty is the memory - if only in the blood - of a time when the test of survival (as now between states) was the ability to kill.”

Will (and Ariel) Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
from Lessons of History

Themes: Greed War

“Was there ever, since Ashoka, a major war in which one nation admitted the superior justice of the enemy's cause? It is part of the average citizen's nature to make his God a particeps criminis in the wars of his country. And no superstate could solve the problem, for some of our greatest wars have been civil.”

Will (and Ariel) Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
from Age of Napoleon

Themes: War

“There have been only 268 of the past 3,421 years free of war.”

Will (and Ariel) Durant 1885 – 1981 CE

Themes: War

31. Victory Funeral

“I want war. To me all means will be right. My motto is 'Destroy him by all and any means.' I am the one who will wage the war!”

Adolf Hitler 1889
the most immoral and cruel conqueror in human history

Themes: Evil War

“War in our time has become an anachronism. Whatever the case in the past, war in the future can serve no useful purpose.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890 – 1969 CE via Mike Wallace (1959)

Themes: War Conflict

“we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes… Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890 – 1969 CE

Themes: War Power

31. Victory Funeral

“Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence—those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you'd collapse. And while you people are over consuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.”

Aldous Huxley 1894 – 1963 CE
from Island

58. Goals Without Means

“Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence—those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you'd collapse.”

Aldous Huxley 1894 – 1963 CE
from Island

Themes: Consumerism War

“We know that there is no defense against the most destructive of modern weapons. Both the victor and the defeated will lose the next war. All the factors that formerly protected this country—geographical isolation, industrial strength, and military power—are now obsolete.”

Robert Hutchins 1899 – 1977 CE
(Robert Maynard Hutchins)
from The Great Conversation

Themes: War Victory

“The anarchy of competing sovereign states must lead to war sooner or later. Therefore we must have law, enforced by a world organization attained through world co-operation and community.”

Robert Hutchins 1899 – 1977 CE
(Robert Maynard Hutchins)
from The Great Conversation

“Either men will learn to live like brothers or they will die like beasts.”

Max Lerner 1902 – 1992 CE
(Maxwell Alan)

Themes: War

“The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent... the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war.”

George Orwell 1903 – 1950 CE
English, poet, humanist, apostle of doubt, and powerful political influence
from 1984

Themes: War Revolution

“I cared more about the fundamental way of thinking that causes war. This is why I didn’t like the nationalists in Japan. Their view was very one-sided and unrealistic… They created tremendous problems.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 1904 – 1971 CE

Themes: War Nationalism

69. No Enemy

“Every move we make in fear of the next war in fact hastens it.”

Gregory Bateson 1904 – 1980 CE

Themes: War Fear

“One can clearly see here that Buddhism is strongly opposed to any kind of war, when it lays down that trade in arms and lethal weapons is an evil and unjust means of livelihood.”

Walpola Rahula Thero 1907 – 1997 CE
“Supreme Master of Buddhist Scriptures”

“War is the principle motivational force for the development of science at every level... all the significant discoveries about the natural world have been inspired by the real or imaginary military necessities of their epochs... war has always provided the basic incentive.”

Marshall McLuhan 1911 – 1980 CE
from War and Peace in the Global Village

Themes: War Science

“The myth of unlimited production brings war in its train as inevitably as clouds announce a storm.”

Albert Camus 1913 – 1960 CE

“There are no grounds anywhere, anytime for justifying war... War exists only in man's world and is alien to the rest of the biological kingdom; it does not belong to the natural world. War is an absurdity that arose from the human intellect.”

Masanobu Fukuoka 福岡 正信 1913 – 2008 CE via Metreaud
from Road Back to Nature

Themes: War

“If there is anything to learn from history, it is that scoldings, warnings, and preachings are a complete ethical failure [and] only confirm and ingrain the attitudes which keep us at war.”

Alan Watts 1915 – 1973 CE
from Psychotherapy East and West

Themes: History War

“If there is anything to be learned from history, it is that scoldings, warnings, and preachings are a complete ethical failure... they only confirm and ingrain the attitudes which keep us at war.”

Alan Watts 1915 – 1973 CE
from Psychotherapy East and West

Themes: History War

“We are at war with ourselves, with the environment, and with others. It is a matter of overcoming the old ways of thinking and the old premises of being, including our economic and political structures. The old competitive market economy and the old political parties, representing special selfish interests, will give way to a co-operative global community.”

Ralph Alan Dale 1920 – 2006 CE
Translator, author, visionary
from Tao Te Ching, a new translation and commentary

“Wars are fought by teenagers, you realize that. They really ought to be fought by the politicians and old people who start these wars.”

James Clavell 1921 – 1994 CE
Fictionalizing and fictional historian
from Radio interview, 1986

“How can you have a war on terrorism while war itself is terrorism! War itself is the enemy of the human race.”

Howard Zinn 1922 – 2010 CE
Historian of the oppressed and defeated

Themes: War Enemy

“What if someone gave a war and Nobody came?”

Allen Ginsberg 1926 – 1997 CE

Themes: War Conflict

31. Victory Funeral

“Society highly values its normal man… Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.”

R. D. Laing 1927 – 1989 CE
from Politics of Experience

Themes: War

“The doctrinal differences between Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism are not anywhere near as important as doctrinal differences among Christianity and Islam and Judaism. Holy wars are not fought over them because verbalized statements about reality are never presumed to be reality itself.”

Robert M. Pirsig 1928 – 2017 CE
from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”

Martin Luther King Jr. 1929 – 1968 CE
Leading world influence for equality, peace, non-violence, and poverty alleviation

Themes: War

“Every war results from the struggle for markets and spheres of influence, and every war is sold to the public by professional liars and totally sincere religious maniacs, as a Holy Crusade to save God and Goodness from Satan and Evil.”

Robert Anton Wilson 1932 – 2007 CE
from Cosmic Trigger II

31. Victory Funeral

“If as Sun Tzu says, ‘Deception is the art of war,’ it follows that being genuine and authentic is the art of peace.”

Shan Dao 山道 1933 CE –

57. Wu Wei

“McLuhan’s comment that ‘every new technology requires a new war’ may help explain why we have so many new wars popping up all the time - not just wars with guns but cultural wars, race wars, gender wars, political meme wars, religious wars, social hierarchy wars, wars of philosophy…”

Shan Dao 山道 1933 CE –

Themes: Technology War

30. No War

“Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.”

George Carlin 1937 – 2008 CE
One of the most influential social commentators of his time

Themes: War

31. Victory Funeral

“Going beyond challenge is learning the art of war… when you do not produce another force of hatred, the opposing force collapses,”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from Martial Arts and the Art of War

Themes: War Hate

31. Victory Funeral

“It is the war that is going on inside our own heads to which we have to call the truce.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from The New Age

Themes: War Conflict

31. Victory Funeral

“We let ourselves be blinded by promises, reduce ourselves to a state of deaf and dumb, and accept without question the battlefield situation of fighting against something else.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE via Sherab Chodzin, Shan Dao
from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Themes: War Ignorance

“Every foreign war now will traumatize children who will hate us 50 years from now”

Mary Catherine Bateson 1939 CE –

Themes: War Hate

“Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too”

John Lennon 1940 – 1980 CE

Themes: War

71. Sick of Sickness

“Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friends.”

John Lennon 1940 – 1980 CE

Themes: War Conflict

31. Victory Funeral

“If it's natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how?”

Joan Baez 1941 CE –

Themes: War

“Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs…
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.”

Bob Dylan 1941 CE –

Themes: War Aggression

31. Victory Funeral

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned... Everything is war.”

Bob Marley 1945 – 1981 CE

“It is better to win the peace and to lose the war.”

Bob Marley 1945 – 1981 CE

Themes: Victory Peace War

30. No War

“Fights over ideas are the most vicious of all. If it were merely food, or water, or shelter, we would work something out But in the realm of ideas, one can become idealistic.”

Kim Stanley Robinson 1952 CE –

“During most of the history of nations and empires, war was the natural state of affairs, and peace a mere interlude between wars. Today war between countries is obsolescent, and war within countries is absent from five-sixths of the world. The proportion of people killed annually in wars is about a quarter of what it was in the mid-1980s, a sixth of what it was in the early 1970s, and a 16th of what it was in the early 1950s.”

Steven Pinker 1954 CE –
Humanistic scientist, insightful cultural commentaror
from Enlightenment Now

Themes: War

“The mental machinery that drives modern wars—patriotic fervor, mass self-righteousness, contagious rage—have their deepest roots in... conflicts among coalitions of males for status.”

Robert Wright 1957 CE –
from Moral Animal — Why we are the Way we Are

Themes: War Conflict

“Struck by the arrows of greed, we don’t see that it is our own desire for conveniences… that actually supports the wars that are devastating our world.”

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche རྫོང་གསར་ འཇམ་དབྱངས་ མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་ རིན་པོ་ཆེ། 1961 CE –
(Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche)
"Activity" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from What Makes You Not a Buddhist

Themes: Greed War

68. Joining Heaven & Earth

“Any fool can start a war, and once he's done so, even the wisest of men are helpless to stop it - especially if it's a nuclear war.”

Nina Lvovna Khrushcheva Нина Львовна Хрущёва 1964 CE –

Themes: War

“What good was the French Revolution? If people did not become any happier, then what was the point of all that chaos, fear, blood, and war?... People think that this political revolution or that social reform will make them happy, but their biochemistry tricks them time and again.”

Yuval Harari יובל נח הררי‎ 1976 CE –
Israeli historian, professor, and philosopher

from Sapiens

Themes: Revolution War

“Human stupidity is one of the most important forces in history, yet we often tend to discount it... The problem is that the world is far more complicated than a chessboard, and human rationality is not up to the task of really understanding it... Even if war is catastrophic for everyone, no god and no law of nature protect us from human stupidity.”

Yuval Harari יובל נח הררי‎ 1976 CE –
Israeli historian, professor, and philosopher

from 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Themes: Ignorance War

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