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Thursday, September 21, 2017

100 Great Anti-War Quotes

The following is a list of 100 Anti-War quotes.

Many of them come from America's venerated Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams.

Many also, come from conservative voices like Pat Buchanan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Ayn Rand, and even George W. Bush (before he became president and went back on his campaign promises to keep America out of open-ended wars and nation-building).

So if your family, friends, or co-workers question your patriotism for opposing war, refer them to this list so they can see how the American Founding Fathers felt about war.

And please hit the Like button at the bottom of this post or at the top of my website to get more posts like this in your Facebook newsfeed. Thank you and lots of love to you!

1. "As far as I am concerned, war itself is immoral." -U.S. WWII General Omar Bradley

2. "The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." -James Madison

3. "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -James Madison

4. "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. " -James Madison

5. "Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other." -James Madison

6. "The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war." -James Madison

7. "It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad." -James Madison

8. "Having seen the people of all other nations bowed down to the earth under the wars and prodigalities of their rulers, I have cherished their opposites, peace, economy, and riddance of public debt, believing that these were the high road to public as well as private prosperity and happiness." -Thomas Jefferson

9. "The most successful war seldom pays for its losses." -Thomas Jefferson

10. "The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force." -Thomas Jefferson

11. "Governments constantly choose between telling lies and fighting wars, with the end result always being the same. One will always lead to the other." -Thomas Jefferson

12. "I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind." -Thomas Jefferson

13. "Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it." -Thomas Jefferson

14. "If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest." -Thomas Jefferson

15. "Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government." -Thomas Jefferson

16. "War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses." -Thomas Jefferson

17. "A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit." -Thomas Jefferson

18. "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto." -Thomas Jefferson

19. " as much a punishment to the punisher as to the sufferer." -Thomas Jefferson

20. "I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be." -Thomas Jefferson

21. "Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." -George Washington

22. "The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure." -George Washington

23. "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." -George Washington

24. "It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world." -George Washington

25. "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force... Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." -George Washington

26. "Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all." -George Washington

27. "My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth." -George Washington

28. "Wars are not paid for in wartime, the bill comes later." -Benjamin Franklin

29. "A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang." -Benjamin Franklin

30. "I hope....that mankind will at length, as they call themselves responsible creatures, have the reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats..." -Benjamin Franklin

31. "When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?" -Benjamin Franklin

32. "All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones." -Benjamin Franklin

33. "There never was a good war or a bad peace." -Benjamin Franklin

34. "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

35. "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war." -John Adams

36. "Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak..." -John Adams

37. "A people free to choose will always choose peace." -Ronald Reagan

38. "The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor." -Ronald Reagan

39. "History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap." -Ronald Reagan

40. "Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means." -Ronald Reagan

41. " mother would ever willingly sacrifice her sons for territorial gain, for economic advantage, for ideology." -Ronald Reagan

42. "People do not make wars; governments do." -Ronald Reagan

43. "We must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women." -Ronald Reagan

44. "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

45. "How far can you go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?" -Dwight D. Eisenhower

46. "We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

47. "We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

48. "Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

49. "You can't have this kind of war. There just aren't enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the streets." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

50. "War settles nothing." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

51. "There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

52. "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

53. "Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

54. "When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

55. "This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

56. "I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

57. "Statism needs war; a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by producing." -Ayn Rand

58. "Do not ever say that the desire to 'do good' by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives." -Ayn Rand

59. "No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country." -Alexis de Tocqueville

60. "All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it." -Alexis de Tocqueville

61. "If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, we’re going to have a serious problem coming down the road." -George W. Bush, before becoming president and doing exactly what he promised not to.

62. "Free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction." -George W. Bush (I wish he had governed according to the principles in this quotation.)

63. "War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it." -George Orwell

64. "Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac." -George Orwell

65. "The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor." -George Orwell

66. "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable." -George Orwell

67. "War is a way of shattering to pieces...materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent." -George Orwell

68. "All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting." -George Orwell

69. "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." -George Orwell

70. "What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood." -Aldous Huxley

71. "A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny." -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

72. "The next war ... may well bury Western civilization forever." -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

73. "In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful."
-Leo Tolstoy

74. "A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen." -G.K. Chesterton

75. "War is the greatest plague that can affect humanity; it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it." -Martin Luther

76. "How vile and despicable war seems to me! I would rather be hacked to pieces than take part in such an abominable business." -Albert Einstein

77. "It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." -Albert Einstein

78. "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." -The Mahatma Gandhi

79. "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" -The Mahatma Gandhi

80. "Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary." -The Mahatma Gandhi

81. "Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood." -The Mahatma Gandhi

82. "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent." -The Mahatma Gandhi

83. "If we don't stop behaving like the British Empire, we will end up like the British Empire." -Pat Buchanan

84. "All forms of violence, especially war, are totally unacceptable as means to settle disputes between and among nations, groups and persons." -The Dalai Lama

85. "The best defense is no offense." -Dr. Ivan Eland

86. "It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

87. "The chain reaction of evil--wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

88. "We have guided missiles and misguided men." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

89. "The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

90. "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

91. "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

92. "'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded." -F.A. Hayek

93. "The essence of so-called war prosperity; it enriches some by what it takes from others. It is not rising wealth but a shifting of wealth and income." -Ludwig von Mises

94. "Economically considered, war and revolution are always bad business." -Ludwig von Mises

95. "The attainment of the economic aims of man presupposes peace." -Ludwig von Mises

96. "History has witnessed the failure of many endeavors to impose peace by war, cooperation by coercion, unanimity by slaughtering dissidents…. A lasting order cannot be established by bayonets." -Ludwig von Mises

97. "War prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake or a plague brings." -Ludwig von Mises

98. " harmful, not only to the conquered but to the conqueror." -Ludwig von Mises

99. "Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking. Peace and not war is the father of all things." -Ludwig von Mises

100. "Whoever wants peace among nations must seek to limit the state and its influence most strictly." -Ludwig von Mises


  1. I hate war. I truly do, with all my heart.

    Even more, I hate that people sometimes force us into wars.

    War is a last resort against being enslaved by Hitlers and Tojos.

    I would rather be dead than be a slave.

    War is sometimes a form of self defence.

    Self defense is a basic human right.

    Does opposing war include the abrogation of self defense?

  2. You bring up a great point. For some people, antiwar sentiment springs from an ethical system of strict pacifism- in which case any war and even violent self-defense are unjustified. As for me, I am a strict-non-aggressionist, and my quarrel isn't with war or with violence per se, but with the sad reality that most wars and most violent acts (the overwhelming majority, I'd say) are aggressive.

  3. Once again we are in agreement.

    I would add that "peace" itself, is a low goal.

    It has been said that "peace is what you have when you and your wife are not speaking."

    The absence of hostility is not the ideal, it's harmony we should always seek.

  4. Yes I'd agree with that totally, Grant! And the beauty of a free society, is that it fosters just that- mutual cooperation. The ideology of freedom should have been called "socialism" instead of that anti-social ideology that seeks to wage a constant and total war on its victims' lives, liberty, and property.

  5. Life is lived in the present.Yesterday is gone.Tomorrow is yet to be.Today is the miracle.Let's initiate our lives towards peace. Let’s teach the humans that our first religion has to be Humanity. Above all let’s make them believe “ THE WORLD IS REAL”

  6. People live their lives based on the choices they make, why dont we help them choose peace?

  7. Yes, peace is certainly preferable to war isn't it?

  8. How can you already be against the next war if you don't even know what it's about? With out war there would be no America.

  9. Because I do know what it's about. Observe history, especially recent American history, and it's not hard to see that war is about lining the pockets of special interest contractors that profit from it, and just generally deriving the cheap satisfaction of a bully.

  10. fighting for monetary or economic gain is what is illegal and criminal

  11. Then said Jesus to him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword, shall perish by the sword.

  12. Thanks for compiling this, Wes! I will refer to it often.

  13. Missed a good one:

    "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

  14. #7 should be:

    Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad.
    Letter to Thomas Jefferson (1798-05-13); published in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (1865), Vol. II, p. 141

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