Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. | Photo: Ilya Repine (1844–1930)
A lot of Libertarians live under the non-aggression principle, meaning as long as you do not steal or physically harm me or my property, I will remain peaceful with you. It's a great concept and one step closer to pacifism, except it still involves violence, which ironically enough, leads to coercion and less freedoms.
The non-aggression principle is a fantastic philosophy for countries to follow in the 21st century, but we as people need to delve further, to avoid the coercive and forceful hand of a violent police state, government, and fanatics. Pacifism allows the truest freedom experience for societies, but has seldom grace planet earth.
Of course, we are nowhere near a pacifist world today or ever will be in my lifetime, but that does not mean it is not the golden way. Anyone following Jesus would be remiss if not a pacifist as Jesus was (Old Testament). Even the Buddha taught non-violence, which is not pacifism, but he still advocated for sustaining from violence and fear, to liberate the mind.
Why stop at the mind? Why not liberate your entire self from such oppression? Sure the rest of the world would have to also abide by pacifism, or else pacifism does not work, as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Lennon found out; but that does not mean they were wrong.
Making a change to a pacifist life-style is not complicated; most of us are already pacifists. Once we enter adulthood, not practicing pacifism will usually land you in a socialist prison, where all of your freedoms are stripped away.
|Making a change to a pacifist life-style is not complicated; most of us are already pacifists.|
When was the last time you physically assaulted someone? Most likely never, because you are unconsciously practicing pacifism, it satisfies our desires to be safe and secure, humans thrive in safe and secure environments.
Even great minds that were the catalyst for anarchism like Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy were pacifists, understanding the chains of violence always enslaves its victims and users equally.
At the dawn of our own country, pacifism was a much more stable way forward with the natives, as pacifist Quaker William Penn found out. The results were over 70 years of peace and trading with native tribes, all without the need to arm a militia or go to war.
Obviously our world is a much more complicated place, but if we can make small steps towards resolving conflicts peacefully without the threat or use of violence, we can shine a path forward for other nations to follow.
One thing is for sure, violence always leads to coercion or force, which limits and takes away freedoms, it never, embellishes them.