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Lecture

SDS131R Lecture Notes - Henry David Thoreau, Anabaptism, Nonviolence


Department
Social Development Studies
Course Code
SDS131R
Professor
Theresa Romkey

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Pacifism
What is Pacifism?
Completely against violence and challenges us to see what violence really is in all forms
Religious roots and anarchist roots (remove authority)
Most forms are anti-war
What do they believe?
Optimistic about human nature in that we are capable of changing for the better
State is an institution that wants power and can be oppressive as they are part of the
problem
They are wary of the state rather than completely against like the anarchists
Community always trumps the individual
Full equality and peaceful state
Utility trumps rights in order to achieve peace
Roots of Pacifism
Jesus as a pacifist and influence for many other to emulate
Anabaptists: new group of Christians that baptised later in life so that people had a choice
Live isolated from others in society (technology etc.) but community focused and help
each other when in need
Quakers
George Fox 1600s: Religious Society of Friends: direct experience of god is available to
all people
Name was first derogatory because of the extreme religious experiences they had but
reclaimed the term as one should ‘quake’ before god
Not just anti-war but also anti-oppression
Praxis, they put theory into action
Conscientious objectors: put a lot of thought into why they think or act the way we do
(e.i. won’t serve in the war because the morally object)
Henry David Thoreau
Wadlen: about his tome living in a cabin for 2 years where he lived simply and was self
sufficient
You must live with purposed or else you’ll end up living someone else’s life
He is not religious based
It is easier to live simply is you have less to loose (Not many positions or a high status)
Non-violence civil disobedience
Voting doesn’t bring change you want because voting for injustice is ineffective
Refused to pay his taxes as a protest to the US war against Mexico because if you pay
taxes then you support the endeavor with your dollars (if enough people do it the system
will inevitable break down)
If there is an unjust law it shouldn’t be follow and deserves to be broken
Less governance is better
Leo Tolstoy
Wrote War and Peace and The Kingdom of God is Within You in protest to Russian
orthodox
To be a Christian is to be a pacifist
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