Quote of the day–John Stuart Mill

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.


John Stuart Mill
(1868)
[And those that would give up the tools with which they might fight for their freedom in the false hope that thugs and those that would take their freedom will give up their tools of oppression and become good neighbors are no better than those unwilling to fight for freedom.–Joe]

3 thoughts on “Quote of the day–John Stuart Mill

  1. As a Freshman at the Air Force Academy 24 years ago, I was required to memorize that quote, and many others like it on leadership and courage. It remains one of my favorites today.

    Some things are worth fighting for.

  2. Ghandi was a pacifist who didn’t back down from a fight, and his ideas on non-violent confrontation were backed up in the injuries sustained by himself and his followers. He knew that he could win the fight without resorting to violence because of the nature of his enemy. He wasn’t fighting the British Army, he was fighting the British Public through news media domination. But he was fighting.

    Desmond Doss was a conscientous objector awarded the Medal of Honor for his selfless service as a medic in Korea. As a Seventh Day Adventist he could not carry a rifle, but he sure could carry medical supplies and spend several hours under direct fire saving the lives of those whose consciences allowed them to carry a rifle.

    I have no problems with those who fight their wars without violence, but I have no respect for those who see no difference between predatory and protective violence, who equate all violence as evil. Even non-violent men and women can fight for the side of freedom.

    Ghandi and Doss both knew that they could die in the conflict, and they chose to serve as their consciences allowed. They understood the cost of warfare/conflict, and knew that the price of freedom is worth the cost.

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