final objection to what is called "peace at any
price" is simply that we should pay the price and not get the peace
-Chesterton's Introduction to Practical Pacifism and Its Adversaries: "Is it Peace, Jehu" (by Severin Nordentoft)
sense...war is a sacred thing.
It is the ultimate, which should not even be named except in an atmosphere
purified from every breath of frivolity or malice....A man has only one life, and he can do
nothing so solemn as to stake it for an object he thinks worthy. The
worst infamy of Jingoism is that it has encouraged an idle theatrical
way of looking at this sacrifice, as if a man had nine lives, like a
cat....Indeed, both the cross and the sword are in the same relation to
mankind: they are horrible and ungainly tools, made beautiful by the
vast and subversive power of human love. Nothing more intrinsically
repulsive can be thought of than nailing a man to a wooden stake.
Nothing more hideous can be conceived than violently disorganisjng his
anatomy with an iron spike called a sword. But the transformation which
pity and self-sacrifice has made even in the bodily aspect of these
objects is one of the most gigantic of the triumphs of man’s moral
imagination.... But these symbols are reverenced because they are
rare; because they represent a terrible wager possible only in the last
resort. The curse of Jingo poetry is that it makes an unreal and
fashionable thing of the appeal by battle. Can anyone conceive a more
appalling pantomime than a fashion of being crucified ?
-June 1, 1901, The Speaker
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