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Orwell On Pacifists


In 1941 he wrote:

“In so far as it hampers the British war effort, British pacifism is on the side of the Nazis and German pacifism, if it exists, is on the side of Britain and the USSR. Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively the pacifist is pro-Nazi.”

In 1942 he wrote in Partisan Review:

“Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me.”’

I looked up these quotes because I have to debate a leader of some group which intends to lead a horde of “human shields” to Iraq in order to make bombing Iraq more difficult. Here’s the story. If there’s more to the history of human shields than meets the eye, I’m all ears. Alas. this will be for CNN International so I doubt many of you can watch. Should be fun though.