Vulnerable pacifists


Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist,” George Orwell famously wrote in his 1942 essay “Pacifism and the War.” Orwell’s argument was straightforward; anyone not helping the war effort against fascism was hindering it and therefore helping the Nazis. His with-me-or-against-me formulation has been wheeled out to argue for intervention ever since . . . Unprincipled people, and leaders, sometimes do use pacifist and anti-war rhetoric as a shield. Anti-war activists and thinkers need to be consciously anti-fascist if they want to avoid being co-opted to the cause of violence, hatred, and war by both bad actors close to hand and authoritarian regimes abroad.