Regulating Apocalypse

By David Swanson, World BEYOND War

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good!”
“Don’t be such a purist!”
“Be strategic!”
“Do what’s possible!”
“You can’t deny reality / human nature / religious text.”

The phrases used to oppose proposals for major change haven’t changed much for centuries, in both meanings of that phrase. No doubt these sayings sound better in certain circumstances than others, depending on the details. But in general, I find that they sound worse read more

Make Ben Salmon a Saint

Does it matter whether Catholic church officials really believe that they have the power to turn dead people into magical demigods? I don’t think so. I think it matters whether large numbers of people believe that, and I think they don’t. I think making someone a saint is, at this point, just a high honor like any other high honor, and that, as long as the practice exists, we’re better off with better people, rather than worse people, being made saints, for better reasons, rather than worse read more

Classical Conditioning for Peace

According to the analysis of police-murder-instigator Dave Grossman, the reason that only a minority of soldiers attempted to kill in World War II and earlier wars was a general aversion to committing murder. And the reason that the vast majority of U.S. soldiers (marines, sailors, etc.) have attempted to kill in recent decades is “classical conditioning.” A fireman rushes into a fire without thinking, if he or she has been conditioned through drill read more

Nobody to Vote For

When I say there is nobody to vote for, I don’t just mean the familiar complaint that the candidates may be different shades of evil but are all too evil to support, that the earth’s climate does not recover one iota because some even worse policy has been averted, that sadistic bombings and humanitarian bombings actually look identical. I do mean all of that. But I also mean that candidates are campaigning as and being presented as nothing, as empty figures with no positions on anything.

What read more

Humanitarian Bombs

One should not sell bombs to a government that abuses human rights, which means murders a man without using one of the bombs.

If Saudi Arabia had murdered a man using a bomb, it would be fine to sell Saudi Arabia more bombs.

But Saudi Arabia murdered with a non-bomb weapon, and so shouldn’t have bombs anymore.

One should, in fact, bomb people whose government abuses human rights, which means murders children without using bombs.

Syria allegedly killed children using chemical weapons, and so Syrian read more

Making the World Great for the First Time

Remarks at Fellowship Hall at Berkeley, Calif., October 13, 2018.

Video here.

Slogans and headlines and haikus and other short combinations of words are tricky things. I wrote a book looking at many of the themes in how people commonly talk about war, and I found them all without exception — and the marketing campaigns before, during, and after every past war without exception — to be dishonest. So I called the book War Is A Lie. And then people who misunderstood my meaning started read more