From Democracy Now!:
Legendary antiwar priest Father Daniel Berrigan has died just short of his 95th birthday. Berrigan was a poet, pacifist, educator, social activist, playwright and lifelong resister to what he called “American military imperialism. Continue reading Remembering Fr. Daniel Berrigan
From the International Conscientious Objectors Day on War Resisters League:
Every year, 15th May is International Conscientious Objectors day.
Around the world campaigners will be remembering the generations who refused to go to war, and raising awareness of the many who continue to be persecuted and imprisoned for refusing to kill and be part of military structures.
Please join an event (they will be listed here nearer the time), hold your own, and spread the word about the day!
Please send us your events so we can list them here!
You can use the hashtag #CODay (o #díaOC en español)
Democracy Now! aired a report on how “Academy Award-winning Oliver Stone has teamed up with historian Peter Kuznick to produce a 10-part Showtime series called “Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States.'” They have also produced a book of the same name.
The series centers on the effect that the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan had on the history of the US. In questioning whether it was necessary to drop the A-bomb, Stone and Kuznick explore the different path the United States almost took if the pacifist Henry Wallace had remained as Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s Vice President and had won 1944 Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. In the interview, Stone discusses the success of the progressive policies of Wallace as FDR’s Secretary of Agriculture prior to becoming his second Vice President:
Continue reading Oliver Stone discusses Pacifist Presidential Candidate Henry Wallace on DN!
The twelfth chapter of The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace contains A.J. Muste‘s 1959 essay Getting Rid of War. The essay leads off the third section of the book: The Cold War and Vietnam. Muste’s life was a journey toward pacifism and through politics and religion. He was a labor organizer, anti-war leader and civil rights mentor.
Muste seeks a path to “abolish war and the benumbing threat of nuclear destruction.” He defines the problem as having two “characteristics”: 1) the cancerous growth of weapons of mass destruction, and 2) the political intransigence between the Western and Eastern blocs. The first problem has not been resolved. The second has only changed players, but the fight over resources has not. Continue reading Nonviolence: Muste’s Getting Rid of War
Einstein: The Life of a Genius by Walter Isaacson is the Royal Book of the Week. Duke Augustus just finished this book. The book is included among the Royal Books of the Week for the discussions in it of Einstein’s pacifist, socialist and internationalist politics. Up until World War II, he was a ardent pacifist. Einstein even called for 2% of all draftees to resist the draft to bring down the military culture. He believed strongly in a society where every citizen had a guarantee that her basic needs were met, but did not believe in a dictatorship of the proletariat to achieve it. With the unleashing of atomic energy, Einstein continually called for strong supranational organization that would prevent wars and the use of nuclear weapons. He and Bertrand Russell even co-authored a statement calling for such a supranational protection.
Einstein was above all a champion of individual freedom. He opposed totalitarian regimes on the right and the left. After the founding of the state of Israel he became a public supporter, but he also spoke out for the rights of the Palestinians. Einstein was a supporter of Civil Rights. He supported the Scottsboro Boys, and called opposed the death penalty for the Rosenbergs. He was an early critic of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and called for intellectuals to refuse to testify before the House Un-American Committee based on their First Amendment rights.
When the author Isaacson steps onto the stage to give his own opinions, they are often those of the corporate media where he was a leader. Isaacson tries to paint Einstein’s politics as too radical, and his warnings as unnecessarily dire. Isaacson insists that American government is self-correcting. Isaacson does not take into account that such self-corrections have taken place only because of those like Einstein who were willing to risk everything to protect the country he loved. Continue reading Royal Book of the Week: Monday 8/1/11