Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy". Some consider Descartes' 1637 statement "I think" to have sparked the period. Others cite the publication of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. French historians traditionally date the Enlightenment from 1715 to 1789, from the beginning of the reign of Louis XV until the French Revolution. Most end it with the turn of the 19th century. Philosophers and scientists of the period circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, coffeehouses and in printed books and pamphlets; the ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Church and paved the way for the political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. A variety of 19th-century movements, including liberalism and neo-classicism, trace their intellectual heritage to the Enlightenment; the Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on reason as the primary source of knowledge and advanced ideals such as liberty, toleration, constitutional government and separation of church and state.
In France, the central doctrines of the Enlightenment philosophers were individual liberty and religious tolerance, in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. The Enlightenment was marked by an emphasis on the scientific method and reductionism, along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy—an attitude captured by the phrase Sapere aude; the Age of Enlightenment was preceded by and associated with the scientific revolution. Earlier philosophers whose work influenced the Enlightenment included Bacon, Descartes and Spinoza; the major figures of the Enlightenment included Beccaria, Hume, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Voltaire. Some European rulers, including Catherine II of Russia, Joseph II of Austria and Frederick II of Prussia, tried to apply Enlightenment thought on religious and political tolerance, which became known as enlightened absolutism. Benjamin Franklin visited Europe and contributed to the scientific and political debates there and brought the newest ideas back to Philadelphia.
Thomas Jefferson followed European ideas and incorporated some of the ideals of the Enlightenment into the Declaration of Independence. One of his peers, James Madison, incorporated these ideals into the United States Constitution during its framing in 1787; the most influential publication of the Enlightenment was the Encyclopédie. Published between 1751 and 1772 in thirty-five volumes, it was compiled by Diderot, d'Alembert and a team of 150 scientists and philosophers, it helped spread the ideas of the Enlightenment across Europe and beyond. Other landmark publications were Voltaire's Dictionnaire Letters on the English; the ideas of the Enlightenment played a major role in inspiring the French Revolution, which began in 1789. After the Revolution, the Enlightenment was followed by the intellectual movement known as Romanticism. René Descartes' rationalist philosophy laid the foundation for enlightenment thinking, his attempt to construct the sciences on a secure metaphysical foundation was not as successful as his method of doubt applied in philosophic areas leading to a dualistic doctrine of mind and matter.
His skepticism was refined by John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding and David Hume's writings in the 1740s. His dualism was challenged by Spinoza's uncompromising assertion of the unity of matter in his Tractatus and Ethics; these laid down two distinct lines of Enlightenment thought: first, the moderate variety, following Descartes and Christian Wolff, which sought accommodation between reform and the traditional systems of power and faith, second, the radical enlightenment, inspired by the philosophy of Spinoza, advocating democracy, individual liberty, freedom of expression and eradication of religious authority. The moderate variety tended to be deistic, whereas the radical tendency separated the basis of morality from theology. Both lines of thought were opposed by a conservative Counter-Enlightenment, which sought a return to faith. In the mid-18th century, Paris became the center of an explosion of philosophic and scientific activity challenging traditional doctrines and dogmas.
The philosophic movement was led by Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who argued for a society based upon reason as in ancient Greece rather than faith and Catholic doctrine, for a new civil order based on natural law, for science based on experiments and observation. The political philosopher Montesquieu introduced the idea of a separation of powers in a government, a concept, enthusiastically adopted by the authors of the United States Constitution. While the Philosophes of the French Enlightenment were not revolutionaries and many were members of the nobility, their ideas played an important part in undermining the legitimacy of the Old Regime and shaping the French Revolution. Francis Hutcheson, a moral philosopher, described the utilitarian and consequentialist principle that virtue is that which provides, in his words, "the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers". Much of what is incorporated in the scientific method
Natural and legal rights
Natural and legal rights are two types of rights. Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, so are universal and inalienable Legal rights are those bestowed onto a person by a given legal system; the concept of natural law is related to the concept of natural rights. Natural law first appeared in ancient Greek philosophy, was referred to by Roman philosopher Cicero, it was subsequently alluded to in the Bible, developed in the Middle Ages by Catholic philosophers such as Albert the Great and his pupil Thomas Aquinas. During the Age of Enlightenment, the concept of natural laws was used to challenge the divine right of kings, became an alternative justification for the establishment of a social contract, positive law, government – and thus legal rights – in the form of classical republicanism. Conversely, the concept of natural rights is used by others to challenge the legitimacy of all such establishments; the idea of human rights is closely related to that of natural rights: some acknowledge no difference between the two, regarding them as synonymous, while others choose to keep the terms separate to eliminate association with some features traditionally associated with natural rights.
Natural rights, in particular, are considered beyond the authority of any government or international body to dismiss. The 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an important legal instrument enshrining one conception of natural rights into international soft law. Natural rights were traditionally viewed as negative rights, whereas human rights comprise positive rights. On a natural rights conception of human rights, the two terms may not be synonymous; the proposition that animals have natural rights is one that gained the interest of philosophers and legal scholars in the 20th century and into the 21st. The idea that certain rights are natural or inalienable has a history dating back at least to the Stoics of late Antiquity and Catholic law of the early Middle Ages, descending through the Protestant Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment to today; the existence of natural rights has been asserted by different individuals on different premises, such as a priori philosophical reasoning or religious principles.
For example, Immanuel Kant claimed to derive natural rights through reason alone. The United States Declaration of Independence, meanwhile, is based upon the "self-evident" truth that "all men are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights". Different philosophers and statesmen have designed different lists of what they believe to be natural rights. H. L. A. Hart argued that if there are any rights at all, there must be the right to liberty, for all the others would depend upon this. T. H. Green argued that “if there are such things as rights at all there must be a right to life and liberty, or, to put it more properly to free life.” John Locke emphasized "life and property" as primary. However, despite Locke's influential defense of the right of revolution, Thomas Jefferson substituted "pursuit of happiness" in place of "property" in the United States Declaration of Independence. Stephen Kinzer, a veteran journalist for The New York Times and the author of the book All The Shah's Men, writes in the latter that: The Zoroastrian religion taught Iranians that citizens have an inalienable right to enlightened leadership and that the duty of subjects is not to obey wise kings but to rise up against those who are wicked.
Leaders are seen as representative of God on earth, but they deserve allegiance only as long as they have farr, a kind of divine blessing that they must earn by moral behavior. The Stoics held. Seneca the Younger wrote: It is a mistake to imagine that slavery pervades a man's whole being. Of fundamental importance to the development of the idea of natural rights was the emergence of the idea of natural human equality; as the historian A. J. Carlyle notes: "There is no change in political theory so startling in its completeness as the change from the theory of Aristotle to the philosophical view represented by Cicero and Seneca.... We think that this cannot be better exemplified than with regard to the theory of the equality of human nature." Charles H. McIlwain observes that "the idea of the equality of men is the profoundest contribution of the Stoics to political thought" and that "its greatest influence is in the changed conception of law that in part resulted from it." Cicero argues in De Legibus that "we are born for Justice, that right is based, not upon opinions, but upon Nature."
One of the first Western thinkers to develop the contemporary idea of natural rights was French theologian Jean Gerson, whose 1402 treatise De Vita Spirituali Animae is considered one of the first attempts to develop what would come to be called modern natural rights theory. Centuries the Stoic doctrine that the "inner part cannot be delivered into bondage" re-emerged in the Reformation doctrine of liberty of conscience. Martin Luther wrote: Furthermore, every man is responsible for his own faith, he must see it for hi
Expropriative anarchism is the name given to a practice carried out by certain anarchist affinity groups in Argentina and Spain which involved theft, robbery and counterfeiting currency. The robberies done were called "expropriations on the bourgeoisie", it had its major peak between 1920 and 1935 and some of its most famous practitioners were Buenaventura Durruti, Francisco Ascaso, Severino Di Giovanni, Miguel Arcángel Roscigna, Lucio Urtubia. It was different from French illegalism because it was not thought of as a way of life but as a way of reaching political ends such as financing revolutionary activities, anarchist propaganda and the release of anarchist prisoners. Los Solidarios known as Crisol, was a Spanish anarchist armed-struggle group founded in 1922 or 1923 in Barcelona, as a reply to the'dirty war' strategy used by the employers and government against trade unions, it was created as a successor to a previous group called Los Justicieros, created in Zaragoza. The group was instigated by anarcho-syndicalists, it set up a network in order to buy and store guns, with which to attack members of the Sindicato Libre, an employer-obeying organization.
Los Solidarios are considered responsible for bank robberies, such as the Bank of Spain Robbery, for the murder of the Zaragoza cardinal Juan Soldevilla y Romero. After that, pressured by the Primo de Rivera dictatorship, Buenaventura Durruti, Francisco Ascaso and other members fled to France, to Latin America, where they were charged with more robberies, they returned to Europe, settled down in France, were charged with making an attempt on the life of Alfonso XIII on a visit to Paris, so they had to live clandestinely. They were settled down in Belgium, where they were allowed to stay. With the advent of the Spanish Second Republic, some of the members, able to return to Catalonia decided to enter the Federación Anarquista Ibérica, as a group called Nosotros, holding more radical points of view than those of the FAI itself; when the Spanish Civil War broke out, the group dissolved as such, but they kept working inside the FAI. The first robbery in Argentina for anarchist political ends was executed by the Russian Germán Boris Wladimirovich in 1919.
The purpose was to obtain financing for pamphlets which could explain the situation of the Russian Revolution. The robbery failed and Wladimirovich was arrested along with his collaborator Andrés Babby. Miguel Arcángel Roscigna and Andrés Vázquez Paredes, who had collaborated with Buenaventura Durruti and Los Solidarios when they were in Argentina executed a series of bombings against United States interests in response to the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. In this campaign, the notorious Italian expropriator Severino Di Giovanni joined in. Roscigna y Vázquez Paredes alongside Antonio Moretti and Vicente Moretti carried out a robbery on the Rawson Hospital of Buenos Aires in October, 1927, where they obtained the amount of 141.000 pesos. According to historian Oswaldo Bayer, with this money they financed the counterfeiting of argentinian currency; the Moretti brothers and three Catalans recommended by Durruti decided to rob the Cambio Messina in Montevideo, with an outcome of 3 deaths and only 4000 pesos.
They shortly put in practice a spectacular jailbreak. Di Giovanni started publishing a magazine called Culmine and anarchist propaganda, all of, financed by robberies; the anarcho-syndicalist publication La Protesta started criticizing Di Giovanni and his group in strong terms going as far as accusing him of being a spy and a police agent. Rosigna continued the expropriations but with the purpose of aiding anarchist prisoners; this money was used for liberating the anarchists in the Punta Carretas prison. The expropriative anarchists carried out reprisals against police and state agents who attacked the anarchist movement. Before being arrested Di Giovanni published Anarchia with "expropriations", he ended up being executed alongside Paulino Scarfó. Groups such as Rewolucyjni Mściciele and Chernoe Znamia, active at the beginning of the 20th century, used expropriation as a means to fund their activities. Lucio Urtubia Jiménez is a living Spanish anarchist famous for his practice of expropriative anarchism.
At times compared to Robin Hood, Urtubia carried out bank robberies and forgeries throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In the words of Albert Boadella, "Lucio is a Quijote that did not fight against wind mills, but against a true giant". Bayer, Osvaldo. Severino Di Giovanni, el idealista de la violencia. Booket, Buenos Aires, mayo de 2006. ISBN 987-580-092-9 Bayer Osvaldo, Los anarquistas expropiadores y otros ensayos. Booket, Buenos Aires, 2008. Bayer, Osvaldo. Severino Di Giovanni, el idealista de la violencia. Buenos Aires: Galerna, 1970. Noble, Cristina. Severino Di Giovanni, Pasión Anarquista. Buenos Aires: Ed. Capital Intellectual, 2006. Digital Archive of Expropriative Anarchism in Spanish On the case of Greek social bandit V. Palaiokostas and the anarchists arrested with him
Direct action originated as a political activist term for economical and political acts in which the actors use their power to directly reach certain goals of interest, in contrast to those actions that appeal to others by, for instance, revealing an existing problem, highlighting an alternative, or demonstrating a possible solution. Both direct action and actions appealing to others can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the action participants. Examples of nonviolent direct action can include sit-ins, workplace occupations, street blockades or hacktivism, while violent direct action may include political violence or assaults. Tactics such as sabotage and property destruction are sometimes considered violent. By contrast, electoral politics, negotiation and arbitration are not described as direct action, as they are politically mediated. Non-violent actions are sometimes a form of civil disobedience, may involve a degree of intentional law-breaking where persons place themselves in arrestable situations in order to make a political statement but other actions may not violate criminal law.
The aim of direct action is to either obstruct another political agent or political organization from performing some practice to which the activists object, or to solve perceived problems which traditional societal institutions are not addressing to the satisfaction of the direct action participants. Non-violent direct action has been an assertive regular feature of the tactics employed by social movements, including Mahatma Gandhi's Indian Independence Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. Direct action tactics have been around for as long as conflicts have existed but it is not known when the term first appeared; the radical union the Industrial Workers of the World first mentioned the term "direct action" in a publication in reference to a Chicago strike conducted in 1910. Other noted historical practitioners of direct action include the American Civil Rights Movement, the Global Justice Movement, the Suffragettes, revolutionary Che Guevara, certain environmental advocacy groups. American anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre wrote an essay called "Direct Action" in 1912, cited today.
In this essay, de Cleyre points to historical examples such as the Boston Tea Party and the American anti-slavery movement, noting that "direct action has always been used, has the historical sanction of the people now reprobating it."In his 1920 book, Direct Action, William Mellor placed direct action in the struggle between worker and employer for control "over the economic life of society." Mellor defined direct action "as the use of some form of economic power for securing of ends desired by those who possess that power." Mellor considered direct action a tool of both owners and workers and for this reason, he included within his definition lockouts and cartels, as well as strikes and sabotage. However, by this time the US anarchist and feminist Voltairine de Cleyre had given a strong defense of direct action, linking it with struggles for civil rights:...the Salvation Army, started by a gentleman named William Booth was vigorously practising direct action in the maintenance of the freedom of its members to speak and pray.
Over and over they were arrested and imprisoned... till they compelled their persecutors to let them alone. Martin Luther King felt that non-violent direct action's goal was to "create such a crisis and foster such a tension" as to demand a response; the rhetoric of Martin Luther King, James Bevel, Mohandas Gandhi promoted non-violent revolutionary direct action as a means to social change. Gandhi and Bevel had been influenced by Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You, considered a classic text that ideologically promotes passive resistance. By the middle of the 20th century, the sphere of direct action had undoubtedly expanded, though the meaning of the term had contracted. Many campaigns for social change—such as those seeking suffrage, improved working conditions, civil rights, abortion rights or an end to abortion, an end to gentrification, environmental protection—claim to employ at least some types of violent or nonviolent direct action; some sections of the anti-nuclear movement used direct action during the 1980s.
Groups opposing the introduction of cruise missiles into the United Kingdom employed tactics such as breaking into and occupying United States air bases, blocking roads to prevent the movement of military convoys and disrupt military projects. In the US, mass protests opposed nuclear energy and military intervention throughout the decade, resulting in thousands of arrests. Many groups set up semi-permanent "peace camps" outside air bases such as Molesworth and Greenham Common, at the Nevada Test Site. Environmental movement organizations such as Greenpeace have used direct action to pressure governments and companies to change environmental policies for years. On April 28, 2009, Greenpeace activists, including Phil Radford, scaled a crane across the street from the Department of State, calling on world leaders to address climate change. Soon thereafter, Greenpeace activists dropped a banner off of Mt. Rushmore, placing President Obama's face next to other historic presidents, which read "History Honors Leaders.
Overall, more than 2,600 people were arrested while protesting energy policy and associated health issues under the Barack Obama Administration. In 2009
Economic freedom or economic liberty is the ability of people of a society to take economic actions. This is a term used in economic and policy debates as well as in the philosophy of economics. One approach to economic freedom comes from classical liberal and libertarian traditions emphasizing free markets, free trade, private property under free enterprise. Another approach to economic freedom extends the welfare economics study of individual choice, with greater economic freedom coming from a "larger" set of possible choices. Other conceptions of economic freedom include freedom from want and the freedom to engage in collective bargaining; the free market viewpoint defines economic liberty as the freedom to produce and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft. This is embodied in the rule of law, property rights and freedom of contract, characterized by external and internal openness of the markets, the protection of property rights and freedom of economic initiative.
There are several indices of economic freedom. Based on these rankings correlative studies have found higher economic growth to be correlated with higher scores on the country rankings. With regards to other measures, such as equality, corruption and social violence and their correlation to economic freedom it has been argued that the economic freedom indices conflate unrelated policies and policy outcomes to conceal negative correlations between economic growth and economic freedom in some subcomponents. According to the free market view, a secure system of private property rights is an essential part of economic freedom; such systems include two main rights: the right to control and benefit from property and the right to transfer property by voluntary means. These rights offer people the possibility of autonomy and self-determination according to their personal values and goals. Economist Milton Friedman sees property rights as "the most basic of human rights and an essential foundation for other human rights."
With property rights protected, people are free to choose the use of their property, earn on it, transfer it to anyone else, as long as they do it on a voluntary basis and do not resort to force, fraud or theft. In such conditions most people can achieve much greater personal freedom and development than under a regime of government coercion. A secure system of property rights reduces uncertainty and encourages investments, creating favorable conditions for an economy to be successful. Empirical evidence suggests that countries with strong property rights systems have economic growth rates twice as high as those of countries with weak property rights systems, that a market system with significant private property rights is an essential condition for democracy. According to Hernando de Soto, much of the poverty in the Third World countries is caused by the lack of Western systems of laws and well-defined and universally recognized property rights. De Soto argues that because of the legal barriers poor people in those countries can not utilize their assets to produce more wealth.
One thinker to question private property was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, a socialist and anarchist, who argued that property is both theft and freedom. Freedom of contract is the right to choose one's contracting parties and to trade with them on any terms and conditions one sees fit. Contracts permit individuals to create their own enforceable legal rules, adapted to their unique situations. However, not all contracts need to be enforced by the state. For example, in the United States there is a large number of third-party arbitration tribunals which resolve disputes under private commercial law. Negatively understood, freedom of contract is freedom from government interference and from imposed value judgments of fairness; the notion of "freedom of contract" was given one of its most famous legal expressions in 1875 by Sir George Jessel MR: f there is one thing more than another public policy requires it is that men of full age and competent understanding shall have the utmost liberty of contracting, that their contracts when entered into and voluntarily shall be held sacred and shall be enforced by courts of justice.
Therefore, you have this paramount public policy to consider – that you are not to interfere with this freedom of contract. The doctrine of freedom of contract received one of its strongest expressions in the US Supreme Court case of Lochner v New York which struck down legal restrictions on the working hours of bakers. Critics of the classical view of freedom of contract argue that this freedom is illusory when the bargaining power of the parties is unequal, most notably in the case of contracts between employers and workers; as in the case of restrictions on working hours, workers as a group may benefit from legal protections that prevent individuals agreeing to contracts that require long working hours. In its West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish decision in 1937, overturning Lochner, the Supreme Court cited an earlier decisions From this point on, the Lochner view of freedom of contract has been rejected by US courts; some free market advocates argue that political and civil liberties have expanded with market-based economies, present empirical evidence to support the claim that economic and political freedoms are linked.
In Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman further developed Friedrich Hayek's argument that economic freedom, while itself an important component of total freedom, is a necessary condition for political freedom. He commented that centralized control of economic activities was always accompanied with political repression. In his view, voluntary character of all transactions in a free
Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold liberal economic positions while economically left-wing and nationalist political parties support protectionism, the opposite of free trade. Most nations are today members of the World Trade Organization multilateral trade agreements. Free trade is additionally exemplified by the European Economic Area and the Mercosur which have established open markets. However, most governments still impose some protectionist policies that are intended to support local employment, such as applying tariffs to imports or subsidies to exports. Governments may restrict free trade to limit exports of natural resources. Other barriers that may hinder trade include import quotas and non-tariff barriers, such as regulatory legislation. There is a broad consensus among economists that protectionism has a negative effect on economic growth and economic welfare while free trade and the reduction of trade barriers has a positive effect on economic growth.
However, liberalization of trade can cause significant and unequally distributed losses, the economic dislocation of workers in import-competing sectors. Free trade policies may promote the following features: Trade of goods without taxes or other trade barriers. Trade in services without taxes or other trade barriers; the absence of "trade-distorting" policies that give some firms, households, or factors of production an advantage over others. Unregulated access to markets. Unregulated access to market information. Inability of firms to distort markets through government-imposed monopoly or oligopoly power. Trade agreements which encourage free trade. Two simple ways to understand the proposed benefits of free trade are through David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage and by analyzing the impact of a tariff or import quota. An economic analysis using the law of supply and demand and the economic effects of a tax can be used to show the theoretical benefits and disadvantages of free trade.
Most economists would recommend that developing nations should set their tariff rates quite low, but the economist Ha-Joon Chang, a proponent of industrial policy, believes higher levels may be justified in developing nations because the productivity gap between them and developed nations today is much higher than what developed nations faced when they were at a similar level of technological development. Underdeveloped nations today, Chang believes, are weak players in a much more competitive system. Counterarguments to Chang's point of view are that the developing countries are able to adopt technologies from abroad whereas developed nations had to create new technologies themselves and that developing countries can sell to export markets far richer than any that existed in the 19th century. If the chief justification for a tariff is to stimulate infant industries, it must be high enough to allow domestic manufactured goods to compete with imported goods in order to be successful; this theory, known as import substitution industrialization, is considered ineffective for developing nations.
The chart at the right analyzes the effect of the imposition of an import tariff on some imaginary good. Prior to the tariff, the price of the good in the world market is Pworld; the tariff increases the domestic price to Ptariff. The higher price causes domestic production to increase from QS1 to QS2 and causes domestic consumption to decline from QC1 to QC2; this has three main effects on societal welfare. Consumers are made worse off. Producers are better off; the government has additional tax revenue. However, the loss to consumers is greater than the gains by the government; the magnitude of this societal loss is shown by the two pink triangles. Removing the tariff and having free trade would be a net gain for society. An identical analysis of this tariff from the perspective of a net producing country yields parallel results. From that country's perspective, the tariff leaves producers worse off and consumers better off, but the net loss to producers is larger than the benefit to consumers. Under similar analysis, export tariffs, import quotas and export quotas all yield nearly identical results.
Sometimes consumers are better off and producers worse off and sometimes consumers are worse off and producers are better off, but the imposition of trade restrictions causes a net loss to society because the losses from trade restrictions are larger than the gains from trade restrictions. Free trade creates winners and losers, but theory and empirical evidence show that the size of the winnings from free trade are larger than the losses. According to mainstream economics theory, the selective application of free trade agreements to some countries and tariffs on others can lead to economic inefficiency through the process of trade diversion, it is economically efficient for a good to be produced by the country, the lowest cost producer, but this does not always take place if a high cost producer has a free trade agreement while the low cost producer faces a high tariff. Applying free trade to the high cost producer and not the low cost producer as well can lead to trade diversion and a net economic loss.
This is why many economists place such high importance on negotiations for global tar
Antimilitarism is a doctrine that opposes war, relying on a critical theory of imperialism and was an explicit goal of the First and Second International. Whereas pacifism is the doctrine that disputes should be settled without recourse to violence, Paul B. Miller defines anti-militarism as "ideology and activities...aimed at reducing the civil power of the military and preventing international war". Cynthia Cockburn defines an anti-militarist movement as one opposed to "military rule, high military expenditure or the imposition of foreign bases in their country". Martin Ceadel points out that anti-militarism is sometimes equated with pacificism—general opposition to war or violence, except in cases where force is deemed necessary to advance the cause of peace. Pacifism is the belief that disputes between nations should be settled peacefully, it is the use of violence as a means of settling disputes. It can include the refusal to participate in military action. Antimilitarism does not reject war in all circumstances, but rejects the belief or desire to maintain a large and strong military organization in aggressive preparedness for war.
Anarcho-syndicalist Georges Sorel advocated the use of violence as a form of direct action, calling it "revolutionary violence", which he opposed in Reflections on Violence to the violence inherent in class struggle. Similarities are seen between Sorel and the International Workingmens' Association theorization of propaganda of the deed. Walter Benjamin, in his Critique of Violence demarcates a difference between "violence that founds the law", "violence that conserves the law", on one hand, on the other hand, a "divine violence" that breaks the "magic circle" between both types of "state violence". What distinguishes these two kinds of violence fundamentally is their mode of operation; the example Benjamin provides in his essay is that of a General Strike, the latter of, a key element of Sorel's Reflections on Violence. The "violence that conserves the law" is equivalent to the state's monopoly of legitimate violence; the "violence that founds the law" is the original violence necessary to the creation of a state.
"Revolutionary violence" removes itself from the sphere of the law by shattering its instrumental logic of violence. Giorgio Agamben showed the theoretical link between the law and violence permitted Nazi-thinker Carl Schmitt to justify the "state of exception" as the characteristic of sovereignty, thus indefinite suspension of the law may only be blocked by breaking this link between violence and right. Henry David Thoreau's 1849 essay "Civil Disobedience" titled "Resistance to Civil Government", can be considered an antimilitarist point of view, his refusal to pay taxes is justified as an act of protest against slavery and against the Mexican–American War, in accordance to the practice of civil disobedience.. He writes in his essay. Instead the individual should "break the law" if the law is "of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another." Capitalism has been thought by antimilitarist literature to be a major cause of wars, an influence, theorized by Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg under the name of "imperialism".
The military-industrial complex has been accused of "pushing for war" in pursuit of private economic or financial interests. The Second International was opposed to the participation of the working classes in war, analyzed as a competition between different national bourgeois classes and different state imperialisms; the assassination of French socialist leader Jean Jaurès days before the proclamation of World War I resulted in massive participation in the coming war. In Mars. After World War II, US President Eisenhower's 1961 issued a warning on the influence of the "military-industrial complex". American right-wing antimilitarists draw upon the statements of Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers condemning standing armies and foreign entanglements. Jefferson's beliefs on maintaining a standing army are as follows: "There are instruments so dangerous to the rights of the nation and which place them so at the mercy of their governors that those governors, whether legislative or executive, should be restrained from keeping such instruments on foot but in well-defined cases.
Such an instrument is a standing army."Right-wing antimilitarists in the United States believe that "A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country", as stated by James Madison. To this end, there is much overlap between the Militia movement and right-wing antimilitarists, although the two groups are not mutually inclusive; the term "well regulated" in the above quote is taken by such antimilitarists not to mean "regulated by the state" but rather "well equipped" and "in good