All wars are wars among thieves who are too cowardly to fight and who therefore induce the young manhood of the whole world to do the fighting for them.

Emma Goldman

Frederick William was deeply disappointed by his son, the future Frederick the Great, who in his youth seemed more interested in French culture, music, and literature than in the military virtues. The father’s disaffection turned to actual hatred, and his treatment became so harsh that the young prince decided to run away, with the aid of two accomplices, Lieutenants Katte and Keith. The plan was discovered; Keith escaped, but the prince and Katte were captured and court-martialed. Katte was sentenced to life imprisonment, Frederick to solitary confinement. Frederick William, deciding that Katte’s sentence was too lenient, had him beheaded in the presence of Prince Frederick. This drastic measure had the desired effect; Frederick asked the king’s pardon and began to apply himself to acquiring the Prussian military philosophy.

The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes

Probably no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both.

Abraham Flexner

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.

Albert Einstein

You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.

George Bernard Shaw

After every “victory” you have more enemies.

Jeanette Winterson

War creates peace like hate creates love.

David L. Wilson

It is the people who have no say in making wars who suffer most from the consequences of them.

Philippa Carr

Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.

Sir Peter Ustinov

A liberation movement that is nonviolent sets the oppressor free as well as the oppressed.

Barbara Deming

I am not against all wars — just whichever is current.

Ken Gillespie

If any man says he hates war more than I do, he better have a knife, that’s all I have to say.

Jack Handey

If a sufficient number of people who wanted to stop war really did gather together, they would first of all begin by making war upon those who disagreed with them. And it is still more certain that they would make war on people who also want to stop wars but in another way.

G.I. Gurdjieff

Only the dead have seen the end of war.


There is a philistine and an aesthete in all of us, and a murderer and a saint. You don’t reconcile the poles. You just recognize them.

Orson Welles

Life, as we all know, is conflict, and man, being part of life, is himself an expression of conflict. If he recognizes the fact and accepts it, he is apt, despite the conflict, to know peace and to enjoy it.

Henry Miller

The days are too short even for love; how can there ever be time for quarreling?

Margaret Gatty

We normally think of history as one catastrophe after another, war followed by war, outrage by outrage — almost as if history were nothing more than all the narratives of human pain, assembled in sequence. And surely this is, often enough, an adequate description. But history is also the narratives of grace, the recountings of those blessed and inexplicable moments when someone did something for someone else, saved a life, bestowed a gift, gave something beyond what was required by circumstance.

Thomas Cahill