Moral Equivalent Of War Vs Pacifism

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In the course of human history World War 1 is seen as one of the most gruesome and deadliest wars with over 37 million soldiers and civilians caught in between political ideas and action. With over $32 billion used and close to 120,000 soldier deaths from just the United States you can see why United State’s pacifists believed in a future without war would be most beneficial. On the other hand we have European militarists that advocates that war is natural and necessary for the advancement of its people. In order to understand both sides, this essay will compare and contrast the ideas and reasoning of a European militarists, Bernhardi, in his book “War a Biological Necessity” and United States pacifists, William James, in his book “Moral Equivalent of War”. This essay will analyse two sources to understand their definition on war, if it is possible to eliminate war, and how they think war can be changed in their perspective while concluding the essay by giving my personal opinion on the role/state of war.
When introducing the definition of war between Bernhardi and William James, they both have different perspectives on how war impacts the growth of a nation. Bernhardi believes that even with the destruction and chaos of war, eventually war leads to creative, purifying power. Bernhardi also explains how long periods of war will lead to political engagement after a war to understand political interests and settle situations without combat. James on the other hand believes

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