the pacifist and anarchist tradition
Formely published by the PPU now also available as pdf document.
1. pacifism, pacificism and anti-militarism
2. sectarian origins of pacifism
3. pacificism and the peace movement
5. conscription and the nation state
6. the co formula
7. anarchism as a social movement
8. anarchism as a tradition of political thought
9. society and the state
10. the anarchist view of the state
11. the anarchist view of the nation and of nationalism
12. anarchism and violence
13. convergence of pacifism and anarchism



1. A D Smith Theories of Nationalism (London: Duckworth, 1971) p.2.
2. Quoted in D Boulton Objection Overruled (London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1976) P.111.
3. St Matthew 5, verses 39 and 44, AV.
4. See Quentin Skinner The Foundation of Modern Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978) vol.2, p.78.
5. See Kenneth Rexroth Communalism (London: Peter Owen, 1975), which provides a short historical account of the communitarian tradition.
6. Quoted in G Hubbard Quaker by Convincement (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974) P.128.
7. The terms are taken from Peter Brock's typology of pacifism.
8. P Brock Twentieth-Century Pacifism (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1970) pp.184 and 186.
9. Quoted in M Howard War and the Liberal Conscience (London: Temple Smith, 1978) pp.40-1.
10. Not included in the 7 are the USA, which imposed conscription from time to time, and Britain, which imposed it during the years 1915-18 and 1939-57.
11. See Devi Prasad and Tony Smythe (eds) Conscription (London: War Resisters' International, 1968).
12. Ibid., pp.56 and 139.
13. Brock, op.cit., pp.159 and 177.
14. See David Malament 'Selective conscientious objection and the Gillette decision' in M Cohen, T Nagel and T Scanlon (eds) War and Moral Responsibility (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1974). In Britain during the Second World War the provision for conscientious objection made no mention of religion, nor did it specify that objection must be to all war as distinct from the war actually being waged.
15. Quoted in Howard, op.cit., p.22.
16. Quoted in E H Carr Michael Bakunin (London: Macmillan, 1937) p.341.
17. T Paine The Rights of Man (1792; London: Watts, The Thinker's Library, 1937) Part 2, Ch.1, p.134.
18. W Godwin Political Justice 3rd edition (1798; Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1976).
19. E Burke The Vindication of Natural Society (1756) in The Works of Edmund Burke Vol.1 (London: M'Lean, 1823; London: Bohn, 1854).
20. P Kropotkin Mutual Aid (1902; Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1939).
21. P Kropotkin Modern Science and Anarchism (1913) in R N Baldwin (ed.) Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets (New York: Dover, 1970) p.157.
22. C Ward Anarchy in Action (London: Allen and Unwin, 1973) p.11.
23. See especially P Kropotkin The State: its historic role (1903) in P A Kropotkin Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1970)
24. Ibid., revised edition (London: Freedom Press, 1943) p.10.
25. Ibid., p.44.
26. Since anarchists repudiate the political concept of the nation and direct their appeal to people across national boundaries, their attitude is more properly described as 'transnationalist' than 'internationalist' (favouring cooperation between nations). Bakunin, it should be noted, distinguished three types of patriotism: (i) 'natural', defined as 'an instinctive, mechanical, uncritical attachment to the socially accepted hereditary or traditional pattern of life'. Deriving from the law that determines the separation of all living beings into species, families and groups, it is an expression of social solidarity but exists 'in inverse ratio to the development of civilisation, that is, the triumph of humanity in human societies'; (ii) 'bourgeois', whose object is to preserve and maintain 'the power of the national State, that is, the mainstay of all the privileges of the exploiters throughout the nation'; and (iii) 'proletarian', which ignores national differences and state boundaries and embrances the whole world. See G P Maximoff The Political Philosophy of Bakunin (Glencoe, Ill: Free Press, 1953) Pt.II, Chs.10 and 11.
27. Quoted in E Cahm and V C Fisera (eds) Socialism and Nationalism (Nottingham: Spokesman, 1978) p.42. The book includes two chapters dealing, respectively, with Bakunin's and Kropotkin's views on the national question.
28. The English edition of Rocker's book was published by Freedom Press, London, and the quotations in this paragraph are taken from pp.200-13.
29. For an extended discussion of anarchist violence in relation to pacifism, see April Carter 'Anarchism and violence' in J R Pennock and J W Chapman (eds) Anarchism (New York: New York University Press, 1978).
30. See, for example, Bakunin's message in 1868 to the International League of Peace and Freedom, quoted in Carr., op.cit., p.343.
31. The text is given in the selection of pacifist and pacificist writings edited by Peter May, The Pacifist Conscience (Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1966).
32. L Tolstoy The Kingdom of God is Within you (1893; London: Oxford University Press, The World's Classics, 1936).
33. H D Thoreau 'Civil Disobedience' (1849) in H A Bedau (ed.) Civil Disobedience (New York: Pegasus, 1969).
34. R Gregg The Power of Nonviolence 2nd edition (London: James Clarke, 1960).
35. B de Ligt The Conquest of Violence (London: Routledge, 1937).
36. See the collection of Goodman's political essays edited by Taylor Stoehr, Drawing the Line (New York: Free Life Editions, 1977). Another mentor of the New Left, Herbert Marcuse, it should be noted, expounded a form of libertarian Marxism and sought to justify 'revolutionary violence'.
37. See Nigel Young An Infantile Disorder? The Crisis and Decline of the New Left (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977).
38. Jayaprakash Narayan Socialism, Sarvodaya and Democracy (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1964), p.165.
39. On the Sarvodaya movement, see G Ostergaard and M Currell The Gentle Anarchists (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971). The venture into confrontation politics and its sequel are discussed in G Ostergaard 'JP's total revolution: in retrospect and prospect' Vigil (Calcutta) 2, nos 14-17 (November-December 1979).
40. As illustrations of this effort see: Manifesto for Nonviolent Revolution (London: War Resisters' International, 1972); Howard Clark Making Nonviolent Revolution (London: Housmans, 1978); George Lakey Strategy for a Living Revolution (San Francisco: Freeman, 1973); and S Gowan, G Lakey, W Moyer and R Taylor Moving Towards a New Society (Philadelphia: New Society Press, 1976).
41. Roszak's critique is developed in the following books: The Making of a Counter Culture (London: Faber, 1969), Where the Wasteland Ends (London: Faber, 1972), Unfinished Animal (London: Faber, 1976), and Person/Planet: the Creative Disintegration of Industrial Society (London: Gollancz, 1979).


My own understanding of the ideas and movements discussed in this essay owes much to Nigel Young. His forthcoming sociological study of The Nation State and War Resistance (University of California Press) based on his PhD thesis of that title (University of California, Berkeley, 1976) will be essential reference on the subject.
The best historical introduction to pacifism is Peter Brock's Twentieth-Century Pacifism (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1970). The earlier history is covered in his two large volumes, Pacifism in the United States and Pacifism in Europe to 1914 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968 and 1972, respectively). The collection of readings edited by Mulford Sibley, The Quiet Battle (New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1963), deals with the theory and practice of non-violent resistance. The major work on this topic, however, is Gene Sharp's The Politics of Nonviolent Action (Boston, USA: Porter Sargent, 1973). Michael Howard's War and the Liberal Conscience (London: Temple Smith, 1978) provides a readable account of what I have called pacifist thought.
George Woodcock's Anarchism (Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, 1963) remains the best general introduction to the history of libertarian ideas and movements but should be supplemented with the same author's The Anarchist Reader (London: Fontana/Collins, 1977). A short analytical study relating anarchist ideas to the orthodox concerns and concepts of political theory is April Carter's The Political Theory of Anarchism (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971).

See also other works cited in the text and references.

This essay was originally published in The Nation State: The Formation of Modern Politics, ed. Leonard Tivey, Oxford, Martin Robertson, 1981. An earlier version was published by the PPU in 1982 as Studies in Nonviolence No.11 (reprinted 1983 and 1985),

Suggestions, comments
let us know

  P E A C E  P L E D G E  U N I O N  1 Peace Passage London N7 0BT, Britain.
  phone  +44 (0)20 7424 9444  fax: +44 (0)20 7482 6390     CONTACT US