Spoils of War: Peaceniks in 1922

0 Conversations

This year is part of the 100th anniversary of the Great War, aka World War I, or 'The War to End War'. (Ha.)

Ever wonder how much it cost?

Peaceniks in 1922

The Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Believe it or not, it actually occurred to some people after World War I to challenge the idea that wars were necessary. And to make plans to prevent them. Even more astounding, some of these peaceniks were Christian church people. If this surprises you, you've been watching too much Fox News.

In a book called The Christian Crusade for a Warless World, published by a US group called the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America Commission on International Justice and Goodwill, the crusaders (and isn't it nice to see that word used in a non-military sense?) pointed out how much World War I had cost:

The cost of World War I.

Then they outlined some ways to prevent future wars. No, they weren't ideas like, 'Be excellent to each other.' They were practical ideas, like improving international commerce agreements, things like that. Some of these idea were ones supported by Woodrow Wilson in his famous Fourteen Points. Like Wilson, these folks didn't have a lot of success. World War II happened anyway – largely because people like this were ignored. But someday, maybe, somebody might listen. So reading the book is still a good idea.

A really cool section of the book is called 'Striking Quotations'. From what they quote, it is obvious that arms races worried them just as much in those pre-nuclear days as they did humanity during the Cold War. Or now. Here are a couple of good ones:

From the standpoint of labor it is more constructive to
destroy a battleship than to build one.

Samuel Gompers, labour leader.
Give the children a true idea of war in their history books
and the next generation would no more want a war than they would want an earthquake.

Israel Zangwill, British Zionist leader.
Peace is not the product of documents. Peace is the
product of good will among men.

Herbert Hoover, US President.

As Stephen Colbert recently reminded his audience, one definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Maybe it's a good idea we have these old books in an archive somewhere. Someday, maybe, some actual leader might actually read them…

Spoils of War Archive

Dmitri Gheorgheni

19.10.15 Front Page

Back Issue Page

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

There are no Conversations for this Entry



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry


h2g2 Entries

External Links

Not Panicking Ltd is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more