Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Today -100: July 13, 1916: Pacifists explained

John Redmond, leader of the increasingly irrelevant Irish Nationalists, angrily accuses Lord Lansdowne of sabotaging negotiations, mostly by suggesting that the exclusion of Ulster from the Home Rule Parliament might be permanent.

The NYT has a letter from Dr. Stewart Paton, a neurobiology lecturer at Princeton, explaining what’s wrong with pacifists. People who oppose expanded military preparedness, he says, display “recognized symptoms of a form of intellectual myopia, which is the result of the limitations placed upon the normal field of vision by a dissociation, or disunion, of the personality.” And so on. “The idea of struggle, of war, is abhorrent, not primarily because the happiness and welfare of others are concerned, but because the ghosts of unsolved personal problems constantly force themselves upon their attention.” It’s like one of those annoying David Brooks columns. Wikipedia tells us that Dr. Paton was a eugenicist.

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