Quotes from Donald Wetzel's book Pacifist

It seems to me obvious that there are similarities between armies and prisons, in the way each is operated and in their functions generally; certainly these rigid and authoritarian institutions have more in common than that their members find the wearing of uniforms obligatory.

I suggest, for instance, that they also have this in common. That they are the two most prevalent institutions in modern society that are everywhere, and hugely, failures; that each not only fails to serve the purpose for which ostensibly it exists, but in fact serves a purpose quite the opposite; prisons being, more than anything else, training schools for criminals; and armies--as the targets of other armies--being the occasion, if not precisely the cause, of the destruction of large segments of those populations which they are supposed to protect.

The pacifist is often asked what he would do in the event the United States were to be conquered by a hostile power. The assumption on the part of the questioner is almost always that we would simply assume the proper position in which best to have our asses kicked. I suggest that anyone who believes that such would be the pacifist response to the imposition in America of an oppressive, authoritarian rule--foreign or domestic--should consult the prison authorities that were in power when America's prisons were host to some six thousand pacifists. I am sure it will be found that we have not been forgotten.

What about Hitler?

Consider: Could there have been a Hitler without the institution of modern war, the modern military state? His madness may have been unique, but the weapons Hitler used to spread death and destruction throughout Europe were not unique or even of his own creation; he found them waiting and ready at hand.

Without them, Hitler would have been just another madman.

That about Hitler.

A footnote to the above: It seems to me only prudent that we distrust particularly and to the full all those possessing the means to destroy us. Until they are disarmed, we are their hostages.

Russell Nelson
Last modified: Mon Nov 5 22:29:51 EST 2001