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When the World Outlawed War: An Interview with David Swanson

For those who know war only through television, criminalizing it sounds like proposing to criminalize government. But there was a time when the masses made war illegal.

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DS: One of the strengths of the 1920s peace movement was that it did not put the same emphasis on individual leaders that we do today. People were Outlawrists, not Borahists. Today there are Libertarians, but there are also self-identified Ron Paulers. This makes it harder. But the peace movement of the late 1920s succeeded only when the internationalists and the isolationists came together behind Outlawry and Kellog-Briand. This meant working in alliance with people who disagreed on many things. The leaders of the peace movement included the leaders for and against the prohibition of alcohol. We have to be willing to work on causes with people we have disagreements with on other causes. But “Who’s the lesser evil, Obama or Paul?” is the wrong question. The right question is “How will we come together to eliminate war and injustice from the face of the earth?” 

 

Bruce E. Levine is a clinical psychologist and author of  Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite   (Chelsea Green, 2011). His Web site is  www.brucelevine.net.