Quotes about war

A collection of quotes on the topic of war.

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Albert Einstein photo
Mikhail Bakunin photo

„I eagerly await tomorrow's mail to have news of Russia and Poland. For now, I have to content myself with a few vague rumors which float around. I have heard about new, bloody skirmishes in Poland between the people and troops; I was told that, even in Russia, there was a conspiracy against the czar and the whole royal family.
I am equally passionate about the struggle between the North and the Southern American states. Of course, my heart goes out to the North. But alas! It is the South who acted with the most force, wisdom, and solidarity, which makes them worthy of the triumph they have received in every encounter so far. It is true that the South has been preparing for war for three years now, while the North has been forced to improvise. The surprising success of the ventures of the American people, for the most part happy; the banality of the material well being, where the heart is absent; and the national vanity, altogether infantile and sustained with very little cost; all seem to have helped deprave these people, and perhaps this stubborn struggle will be beneficial to them in so much as it helps the nation regain its lost soul. This is my first impression; but it could very well be that I will change my mind upon seeing things up close. The only thing is, I will not have enough time to examine really closely.“

—  Mikhail Bakunin Russian revolutionary, philosopher, and theorist of collectivist anarchism 1814 - 1876

Letter http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_archives/bakunin/letters/toherzenandogareff.html to Aleksandr Ivanovich Herzen and Ogareff from San Francisco (3 October 1861); published in Correspondance de Michel Bakounine (1896) edited by Michel Dragmanov

Joseph Goebbels photo
Dick Winters photo
Marcus Garvey photo

„When the war started in Abyssinia all Negro nationalists looked with hope to Haile Selassie. They spoke for him, they prayed for him, they sung for him, they did everything to hold up his hands, as Aaron did for Moses; but whilst the Negro peoples of the world were praying for the success of Abyssinia this little Emperor was undermining the fabric of his own kingdom by playing the fool with white men, having them advising him[, ] having them telling him what to do, how to surrender, how to call off the successful thrusts of his [Race] against the Italian invaders. Yes, they were telling him how to prepare his flight, and like an imbecilic child he followed every advice and then ultimately ran away from his country to England, leaving his people to be massacred by the Italians, and leaving the serious white world to laugh at every Negro and repeat the charge and snare - "he is incompetent," "we told you so." Indeed Haile Selassie has proved the incompetence of the Negro for political authority, but thank God there are Negroes who realise that Haile Selassie did not represent the truest qualities of the Negro race. How could he, when he wanted to play white? How could he, when he surrounded himself with white influence? How could he, when in a modern world, and in a progressive civilization, he preferred a slave State of black men than a free democratic country where the black citizens could rise to the same opportunities as white citizens in their democracies?“

—  Marcus Garvey Jamaica-born British political activist, Pan-Africanist, orator, and entrepreneur 1887 - 1940

The Failure of Haile Selassie as Emperor in The Blackman, April, 1937.

Georgy Zhukov photo
Octavia E. Butler photo
Hermann Göring photo
Chiang Kai-shek photo

„If and when the war starts(WW2), no matter where or whoever you are or if you are young or old, Northner or Southner, you all have the responsibility of protecting our home and repelling the enemy, you all must have the will to achieve ultimate sacrifice.“

—  Chiang Kai-shek Chinese politician and military leader 1887 - 1975

如果戰端一開,就是地無分南北,年無分老幼,無論何人,皆有守土抗戰之責任,皆應抱定犧牲一切之決心!
蔣介石廬山《應戰宣言》

Walter Model photo

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Ulrike Meinhof photo
José de San Martín photo

„Your coarse impudence in making me a proposition to employ my sword in a civil war is simply incomprehensible.“

—  José de San Martín Argentine general and independence leader 1778 - 1850

Response of a request by José de la Riva Agüero for support in a revolution against the Peruvian congress in 1823, as quoted in '‪Captain of the Andes : The Life of José de San Martín, Liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru (1943) b‬y Margaret Hayne Harrison, p. 201
Context: Your coarse impudence in making me a proposition to employ my sword in a civil war is simply incomprehensible. You insolent scoundrel! Do you realize it has never been dipped in American blood?

Louis Althusser photo

„In the battle that is philosophy all the techniques of war, including looting and camouflage, are permissible.“

—  Louis Althusser French political philosopher 1918 - 1990

Source: Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists: And Other Essays

James Brown photo
Carl von Clausewitz photo

„Kind-hearted people might of course think there was some ingenious way to disarm or defeat the enemy without too much bloodshed, and might imagine this is the true goal of the art of war.“

—  Carl von Clausewitz, book On War

Source: On War (1832), Book 1, Chapter 1, Section 3, Paragraph 1.
Context: Kind-hearted people might of course think there was some ingenious way to disarm or defeat the enemy without too much bloodshed, and might imagine this is the true goal of the art of war. Pleasant as it sounds, it is a fallacy that must be exposed: War is such a dangerous business that mistakes that come from kindness are the very worst.

Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein photo
W.E.B. Du Bois photo
Paul Valéry photo

„War: a massacre of people who don't know each other for the profit of people who know each other but don't massacre each other.“

—  Paul Valéry French poet, essayist, and philosopher 1871 - 1945

La guerre, c'est un massacre de gens qui ne se connaissent pas, au profit de gens qui se connaissent, mais ne se massacrent pas.
Bizarre, issues 24-31 (1962), p. 102

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“