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Ideology and War: Pacifism and Eschatological Militarism in Foreign Policy

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Vassar College

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  1. Introduction
  2. Militarism: The drive towards war between two groups
  3. Pacifism and eschatological militarism
    1. The history of pacifism
    2. Examining an ideology in general
    3. Considering pacifisms in terms of a foreign policy
  4. The perspective of the just war theory
  5. The non violent ideal of socially engaged Buddhism
  6. Pacifistic ideals and the situation in Chinese occupied Tibet
  7. The history of religious pacifisms
  8. The pacifist impulse
  9. The war in Iraq: The ideologies of the Christian fundamentalists
  10. Conclusion
  11. Works cited

War is a situation that embodies the principle of duality: one side is pitted against another in an ?an act of violence intended to compel an opponent to fulfill our will .? That will, whatever it may be, ?has its root in a political object ? that is determined within ideological constraints. This pattern is corroborated by conclusions determined by other human endeavors. Psychologically speaking, perception precedes action; philosophically, ontology precedes ethics, and politically, ideology precedes war. As the soldier-cum-philosopher of war Clausewitz muses, ?Is not War merely another kind of writing and language for political thoughts? .?

[...] Pacifism and the Just War. Basil Blackwell, New York: 1986. Tucker, Robert. The Just War. Greenwood Press, Westport Connecticut: 1960. Phillips, War and Justice ibid ibid Teichman, Pacifism and the Just War The messianic character is present almost universally throughout the history of religions: Daoism has its Golden Age, Buddhism its Maitreya- Buddha, Christianity its second coming of Christ, Zoroastrianism its Saoshyant, and Judaism the messianic age of heaven on earth (complete with many ?false messiahs' from the Shabtai Zvi to the 20th century Lubavitcher Rebbe). [...]

[...] Despite its reputation for causing conflict, most notably in the Crusades, Christianity also has an established history of pacifism (though, as we will see, its use in actual foreign policy still tends toward being an excuse for militarism). Several sects that were founded in the 19th century and continue through today exhibit pacifist beliefs of the ?eschatological' variety. They share a belief in the imminence of the Day of Judgement when the godless will be destroyed, after which Christ will reign as King over the faithful in a new world. [...]

[...] In this sense, tactical pacifism is alligned with justum bellum, the idea of a ?just war.[14]' Robert Tucker defines a just war simply as war fought either in self-defense or in collective self-defense against an armed attack.[15]? Pacifism is usually set at odds with just-war theory,[16] but, in their basic urge for rational restraint, tactical pacifism and just-war theory are essentially two sides of the same coin. They are complementary ideologies in the sense that the former withholds support for war in all but exceptional cases, while the latter grants support for war only in cases that can be legitimized according to simple criteria. [...]

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