Has there ever been an attempted military takeover of a democracy in the western world?

Has there ever been an attempted military takeover of a democracy in the western world?

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Ignoring the Spanish 1981 and Greek 1967 coups. Are there any other examples of the military attempting (or even managing) to overthrow an elected government in an advanced democracy in the western world (W-Europe, Japan, Canada, USA)?

The only example I can remember reading about is the 1933 Business plot.

Another example is the Algerian coup against de Gaulle in 1961.

Quite a few of them, especially in Central and South America.

Here are lists of attempted and successful coups d'etat, listed by date in the former, by nation in the latter.

The 1973 Pinochet coup in Chile seems to fit the criteria you outline. A democratically elected president of a Western country ousted by the military.

The 1973 Chilean coup d'état was a watershed event of the Cold War and the history of Chile. Following an extended period of social and political unrest between the conservative-dominated Congress of Chile and the elected socialist President Salvador Allende, Allende was overthrown in a coup d'état.

The junta was composed of the heads of the Air Force, Navy, Carabineros (police force) and the Army, though Pinochet eventually arose to supreme power within a year after the coup, formally assuming the presidency in late 1974. Pinochet later assumed power and ended Allende's elected Popular Unity government, instigating a campaign of terror on its supporters which included the murder of former Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier. Before Pinochet's rule, Chile had for decades been hailed as a beacon of democracy and political stability in a South America plagued by military juntas and Caudillismo.

Poland - ("Zamach majowy" - May coup) - parliamentary democracy from 1918, successful coup d'etat of Józef Piłsudski in May 1926, and then authoritarian rule of Piłsudski's party up to 1939.

Britain, dictatorship 1653-1658

France, absolute monarchy until 1789, then dictatorship (1799), absolute empire (1804), again monarchy (1814), then dictatorship (1848) and absolute empire again (1852).

Germany, absolute monarchy (1871-1918), then dictatorship (1933)

Spain, absolute monarchy before 1873, restoration of monarchy by a coup (1874-1931), dictatorship 1936-1975

Finland, dictatorship 1939-1945

Italy, dictatorship (1922)

Note that regimes which were not mentioned as dictatorships are not necessarily democratic either.

Rather a lot of Western European countries spent the modern era vascilating between Democratic and Authoritarian governments. This is common enough that it is common when talking about the modern history of said countries to refer to a period as either "The nth Republic" or "The nth Monarchy/Empire/Reich/Whatever".

Countries in this boat include Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, etc.

I would characterize the 1973 overthrow of Chile's Salvador Allende by GENERAL Augosto Pinochet as an example of a "military takeover of a democracy in the western world."


Chile was a western democracy in 1973. People might debate as to whether or not it was "advanced."

Dublin, Easter Monday (April 24) 1916

America’s long history of meddling in other countries’ elections

Last week, Theresa May accused Russia of “meddling in elections” and trying to “undermine free societies”.

The remarks followed Donald Trump’s defence of Vladimir Putin, over claims that he interfered with the US presidential election last year.

“[Putin] said he didn’t meddle,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”

One thing is certain, however: meddling in elections is nothing new. And Russia is not the only country to have been accused of it.

The west – and particularly the US – have a long history of rigging polls, supporting military coups, channeling funds and spreading political propaganda in other countries.

Has there ever been an attempted military takeover of a democracy in the western world? - History

&bull A coup is shorthand for "coup d&rsquoetat," a French term that means the overthrow of the government. The key element of a coup is that it is carried out beyond the bounds of legality. Coups can be violent but don&rsquot need to be.

&bull Some of the things Trump has done since November to contest the election are clearly within the law. Other actions of his up until Jan. 6 were close calls.

&bull Lawmakers objecting to the electoral vote count are acting within the rules to object, so that would not qualify as a coup.

&bull A good case can be made that the storming of the Capitol qualifies as a coup. It&rsquos especially so because the rioters entered at precisely the moment when the incumbent&rsquos loss was to be formally sealed, and they succeeded in stopping the count.

&bull The storming of the Capitol also would seem to qualify as sedition, which is the use of &ldquoforce to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States&rdquo or the authority of the U.S. government.

Are Americans witnessing a coup? Before the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the case was arguable, but not a slam dunk. After the Capitol was breached, the case became more clear cut, experts say.

The questions stem from President Donald Trump&rsquos reaction to losing the 2020 presidential election. Trump and his supporters have filed a string of lawsuits rejected by the courts, sought to strong-arm local officials into changing the results, and suggested incorrectly that Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the will of the electoral college as he presided over the counting of the ballots.

Whether the U.S. was witnessing a coup seemed speculative until the violent overrun of the House and Senate on the day the Electoral College votes were supposed to be counted, officially certifying Biden&rsquos victory.

Here are some questions and answers on what makes a coup, as well as another concept that is increasingly being discussed, sedition.

A coup is shorthand for "coup d&rsquoetat," a French term that means the overthrow of the government. The key element of a coup is that it is carried out beyond the bounds of legality.

"We define a coup d'état as the sudden and irregular (i.e., illegal or extra-legal) removal, or displacement, of the executive authority of an independent government," wrote the Coup D&rsquoetat Project at the University of Illinois&rsquo Cline Center for Democracy in 2013.

The Cline Center characterized 12 types of coups. Several of them aren&rsquot relevant to the current situation, including palace coups, military coups, counter coups, foreign coups, internationally mediated transitions, and forced resignations.

Others might be, including "attempted coups" and "coup conspiracies."

Prior to the breach of the Capitol, some officials and commentators suggested that President Donald Trump, with such actions as trying to get Georgia&rsquos secretary of state, Brad Raffensberger, to "find" enough votes for him to win the state, was effectively attempting a coup. Others said some lawmakers who opposed counting the certified Electoral College slates in Congress were creating a coup.

These actions might fall into the category of self-coups, in which the leader strong-arms other branches of government to entrench power.

"These coups involve the existing chief executive taking extreme measures to eliminate, or render powerless, other components of the government (the legislature, the judicial branch, etc.)," the 2013 Cline Center report said. "It also includes situations where the chief executive simply assumes extraordinary powers in an illegal or extra-legal manner (i.e., goes beyond extraordinary measures included in the country&rsquos constitution, such as declaring a state of emergency)."

Trump&rsquos call to the Georgia secretary of state might well qualify as an "extreme measure" and "illegal or extra-legal," although legal experts have said it might be a hard case to prosecute.

Multiple commentators applied the coup label to the objection to the lawmakers&rsquo counting of the electoral votes, too.

Speaking at a Senate session to debate objections to the electoral vote count, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, "Sadder and more dangerous still is the fact that an element of the Republican Party believes their political viability hinges on the endorsement of an attempted coup."

It may be harder to argue that the effort in Congress amounts to a coup. The law governing the counting allows for objections to be registered, debated, and, if the chambers vote them down, dispensed with. This is part of the law, not something outside it.

Police keep a watch on demonstrators who tried to break through a police barrier on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. (AP/John Minchillo)

The actions of some protestors at the U.S. Capitol, however, were clearly outside the law, especially the people who were able to reach the floor of the House and Senate and lawmakers&rsquo personal offices.

Speaking to CNN as the Capitol was being breached, Rep. Adam Kinziger, R-Ill., said, "Anywhere else in the world, we would call this a coup attempt, and that's what I think it is." NBC News&rsquo Lester Holt said, "There have been some elements of a coup attempt."

Are they right? Let&rsquos start by noting that while violence is part of many coups, being violent is not a necessary condition. (At least one person reportedly died after being shot inside the Capitol.)

That said, the actions on the Capitol grounds may strengthen the case for calling this an attempted coup.

The morning the Capitol was breached, and as the House and Senate were preparing to count the electoral votes, Trump spoke in person to thousands of supporters gathered between the White House and the Washington Monument. He called the presidential election the most corrupt in the nation&rsquos history, and he repeated the unproven claims of election fraud that have failed to find traction in courts across the country.

He told the crowd that they needed to fight for their country. "If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore," he said.

He closed by saying, "We're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue," Trump said. "We're going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country."

Trump ended his remarks by urging the crowd to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to Congress, suggesting that he would join them (though he didn&rsquot). At the Capitol, some of the group stormed the building, causing the House and Senate to break off debate and leave the chamber.

Several categories of coups share some elements of this scenario, although none fit perfectly.

"Rebel coups," according to the Cline Center, require "an organized, militarized group that is actively contesting government forces," though "militarized" may be too generous a description of the disorganized groups that entered the Capitol.

Another category is "dissident actions," which involve "small groups of discontents," though the tens of thousands of protesters in Washington on Jan. 6 were probably more numerous than this category envisions.

"Popular revolts " include "irregular regime changes that are driven by widespread popular dissatisfaction with a government that is manifested by high levels of civil unrest." This doesn&rsquot quite fit either, since the election results did not show "widespread" popular support for Trump remaining in office.

On the other hand, other elements of the actions on Jan. 6 do fit the overall definition of a coup.

A sizable number of citizens were urged by the president to move on the seat of legislative power at precisely the moment when the incumbent&rsquos loss was to be formally sealed. The group proceeded to break laws by entering the building, causing damage inside, and forcing the electoral vote count process to halt.

All this seems to fit the category of a "sudden and irregular (i.e., illegal or extra-legal) removal, or displacement, of the executive authority of an independent government." It was sudden, laws were broken, and official functions of the government were displaced. (For this to apply, one has to envision President-elect Joe Biden as the "executive authority," rather than Trump, the incumbent but lame duck president.)

"Invading the national legislature through force sounds like a coup peaceful protest is obviously not," said Michael Klarman, a Harvard Law School professor.

Anthony Clark Arend, a specialist in international law at Georgetown University, said that he&rsquos skeptical of labeling the lawmakers&rsquo challenges to the electoral vote count a coup, but he thinks it could be valid for the storming of the Capitol.

"I do think the violent actions by the protesters currently occupying part of the Capitol could be seen as a coup attempt," Arend said. "To the extent to which the president can be seen as encouraging these actions, I would argue that he is supporting a coup attempt."

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP/John Minchillo)

Multiple commentators, including CNN&rsquos Jake Tapper, have cast the actions of the protesters as sedition. Sedition is usually defined as conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a government.

This appears to be an even clearer descriptor of the events of Jan. 6.

A seditious conspiracy is defined in federal law as two or more persons "conspir(ing) to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, &hellip or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof." The law comes with a fine or imprisonment up to 20 years, or both.

The storming of the Capitol would seem to qualify as the use of "force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States" or the authority of the U.S. government.

"The people who stormed the Capitol building would seem to clearly qualify for prosecution under this provision," said Carlton Larson, a law professor at the University of California-Davis.

James Robenalt, a lawyer with an expertise in political crises, agreed. "What we are seeing is sedition," he said. "All those taking place and those in conspiracy are guilty and punishable."

Mapped: The 7 Governments the U.S. Has Overthrown

The era of CIA-supported coups dawned in dramatic fashion: An American general flies to Iran and meets with “old friends” days later, the Shah orders Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh to step down. When the Iranian military hesitates, millions of dollars are funneled into Tehran to buy off Mossadegh’s supporters and finance street protests. The military, recognizing that the balance of power has shifted, seizes the prime minister, who will live the rest of his life under house arrest. It was, as one CIA history puts it, “an American operation from beginning to end,” and one of many U.S.-backed coups to take place around the world during the second half of the 20th century.

Several national leaders, both dictators and democratically elected figures, were caught in the middle of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War — a position that ultimately cost them their office (and, for some, their life) as the CIA tried to install “their man” as head of state. The U.S. government has since publicly acknowledged some of these covert actions in fact, the CIA’s role in the 1953 coup was just declassified this week. In other cases, the CIA’s involvement is still only suspected.

The era of CIA-supported coups dawned in dramatic fashion: An American general flies to Iran and meets with “old friends” days later, the Shah orders Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh to step down. When the Iranian military hesitates, millions of dollars are funneled into Tehran to buy off Mossadegh’s supporters and finance street protests. The military, recognizing that the balance of power has shifted, seizes the prime minister, who will live the rest of his life under house arrest. It was, as one CIA history puts it, “an American operation from beginning to end,” and one of many U.S.-backed coups to take place around the world during the second half of the 20th century.

Several national leaders, both dictators and democratically elected figures, were caught in the middle of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War — a position that ultimately cost them their office (and, for some, their life) as the CIA tried to install “their man” as head of state. The U.S. government has since publicly acknowledged some of these covert actions in fact, the CIA’s role in the 1953 coup was just declassified this week. In other cases, the CIA’s involvement is still only suspected.
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The legacy of covert U.S. involvement in the seven successful coups below (not to mention a number of U.S. military interventions against hostile regimes and U.S.-supported insurgencies and failed assassination attempts, including a plan to kill Fidel Castro with an exploding cigar), has made the secret hand of the United States a convenient bogeyman in today’s political tensions. Even now, despite waning U.S. influence in Cairo, conspiracy theories suggesting that both the Muslim Brotherhood and the military-backed government are in cahoots with the United States abound in Egypt.

Here’s a brief history of the confirmed cases of the CIA’s globe-spanning campaign of coups.

Iran, 1953: Despite continued speculation about the CIA’s role in a 1949 coup to install a military government in Syria, the ouster of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh is the earliest coup of the Cold War that the U.S. government has acknowledged. In 1953, after nearly two years of Mossadegh’s premiership, during which time he challenged the authority of the Shah and nationalized an Iranian oil industry previously operated by British companies, he was forced from office and arrested, spending the rest of his life under house arrest. According to the just-declassified CIA-authored history of the operation, “It was the potential … to leave Iran open to Soviet aggression — at a time when the Cold War was at its height and when the United Sates was involved in an undeclared war in Korea against forces supported by the U.S.S.R. and China — that compelled the United States [REDACTED] in planning and executing TPAJAX [the code name of the coup operation].”

Guatemala, 1954: Though the United States was initially supportive of Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz — the State Department felt his rise through the U.S.-trained and armed military would be an asset — the relationship soured as Árbenz attempted a series of land reforms that threatened the holdings of the U.S.-owned United Fruit Company. A coup in 1954 forced Árbenz from power, allowing a succession of juntas in his place. Classified details of the CIA’s involvement in the ouster of the Guatemalan leader, which included equipping rebels and paramilitary troops while the U.S. Navy blockaded the Guatemalan coast, came to light in 1999.

Congo, 1960: Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Congo (later the Democratic Republic of the Congo), was pushed out of office by Congolese President Joseph Kasavubu amid the U.S.-supported Belgian military intervention in the country, a violent effort to maintain Belgian business interests after the country’s decolonization. But Lumumba maintained an armed opposition to the Belgian military and, after approaching the Soviet Union for supplies, was targeted by the CIA once the agency determined he was a threat to the newly installed government of Joseph Mobutu. The Church Committee, an 11-senator commission established in 1975 to provide oversight of the clandestine actions of the U.S. intelligence community, found that the CIA “continued to maintain close contact with Congolese who expressed a desire to assassinate Lumumba,” and that “CIA officers encouraged and offered to aid these Congolese in their efforts against Lumumba.” After an aborted assassination attempt against Lumumba involving a poisoned handkerchief, the CIA alerted Congolese troops to Lumumba’s location and noted roads to be blocked and potential escape routes. Lumumba was captured in late 1960 and killed in January of the following year.

Dominican Republic, 1961: The brutal dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, which included the ethnic cleansing of thousands of Haitians in the Dominican Republic and the attempted assassination of the president of Venezuela, ended when he was ambushed and killed by armed political dissidents. Though the gunman who shot Trujillo maintained that “Nobody told me to go and kill Trujillo,” he did in fact have the support of the CIA. The Church Committee found that “Material support, consisting of three pistols and three carbines, was supplied to various dissidents…. United States’ officials knew that the dissidents intended to overthrow Trujillo, probably by assassination…”


Pacifism covers a spectrum of views, including the belief that international disputes can and should be peacefully resolved, calls for the abolition of the institutions of the military and war, opposition to any organization of society through governmental force (anarchist or libertarian pacifism), rejection of the use of physical violence to obtain political, economic or social goals, the obliteration of force, and opposition to violence under any circumstance, even defence of self and others. Historians of pacifism Peter Brock and Thomas Paul Socknat define pacifism "in the sense generally accepted in English-speaking areas" as "an unconditional rejection of all forms of warfare". [4] Philosopher Jenny Teichman defines the main form of pacifism as "anti-warism", the rejection of all forms of warfare. [5] Teichman's beliefs have been summarized by Brian Orend as ". A pacifist rejects war and believes there are no moral grounds which can justify resorting to war. War, for the pacifist, is always wrong." In a sense the philosophy is based on the idea that the ends do not justify the means. [6]

Moral considerations Edit

Pacifism may be based on moral principles (a deontological view) or pragmatism (a consequentialist view). Principled pacifism holds that at some point along the spectrum from war to interpersonal physical violence, such violence becomes morally wrong. Pragmatic pacifism holds that the costs of war and interpersonal violence are so substantial that better ways of resolving disputes must be found. Pacifists generally reject theories of Just War.

Nonviolence Edit

Some pacifists follow principles of nonviolence, believing that nonviolent action is morally superior and/or most effective. Some however, support physical violence for emergency defence of self or others. Others support destruction of property in such emergencies or for conducting symbolic acts of resistance like pouring red paint to represent blood on the outside of military recruiting offices or entering air force bases and hammering on military aircraft.

Not all nonviolent resistance (sometimes also called civil resistance) is based on a fundamental rejection of all violence in all circumstances. Many leaders and participants in such movements, while recognizing the importance of using non-violent methods in particular circumstances, have not been absolute pacifists. Sometimes, as with the civil rights movement's march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, they have called for armed protection. The interconnections between civil resistance and factors of force are numerous and complex. [7]

Absolute pacifism Edit

An absolute pacifist is generally described by the BBC as one who believes that human life is so valuable, that a human should never be killed and war should never be conducted, even in self-defense. The principle is described as difficult to abide by consistently, due to violence not being available as a tool to aid a person who is being harmed or killed. It is further claimed that such a pacifist could logically argue that violence leads to more undesirable results than non-violence. [8]

Although all pacifists are opposed to war between nation states, there have been occasions where pacifists have supported military conflict in the case of civil war or revolution. [9] For instance, during the American Civil War, both the American Peace Society and some former members of the Non-Resistance Society supported the Union's military campaign, arguing they were carrying out a "police action" against the Confederacy, whose act of Secession they regarded as criminal. [9] [10] Following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, French pacifist René Gérin urged support for the Spanish Republic. [11] Gérin argued that the Spanish Nationalists were "comparable to an individual enemy" and the Republic's war effort was equivalent to the action of a domestic police force suppressing crime. [11]

In the 1960s, some pacifists associated with the New Left supported wars of national liberation and supported groups such as the Viet Cong and the Algerian FLN, arguing peaceful attempts to liberate such nations were no longer viable, and war was thus the only option. [12]

Advocacy of pacifism can be found far back in history and literature.

China Edit

During the Warring States period, the pacifist Mohist School opposed aggressive war between the feudal states. They took this belief into action by using their famed defensive strategies to defend smaller states from invasion from larger states, hoping to dissuade feudal lords from costly warfare. The Seven Military Classics of ancient China view warfare negatively, and as a last resort. For example, the Three Strategies of Huang Shigong says: "As for the military, it is not an auspicious instrument it is the way of heaven to despise it", and the Wei Liaozi writes: "As for the military, it is an inauspicious instrument as for conflict and contention, it runs counter to virtue". [13]

The Taoist scripture "Classic of Great Peace (Taiping jing)" foretells "the coming Age of Great Peace (taiping)". [14] The Taiping Jing advocates "a world full of peace". [15]

Lemba Edit

The Lemba religion of southern French Congo, along with its symbolic herb, is named for pacifism : "lemba, lemba" (peace, peace), describes the action of the plant lemba-lemba (Brillantaisia patula T. Anders). [16] Likewise in Cabinda, "Lemba is the spirit of peace, as its name indicates." [17]

Moriori Edit

The Moriori, of the Chatham Islands, practiced pacifism by order of their ancestor Nunuku-whenua. This enabled the Moriori to preserve what limited resources they had in their harsh climate, avoiding waste through warfare. In turn, this led to their almost complete annihilation in 1835 by invading Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama Māori from the Taranaki region of the North Island of New Zealand. The invading Māori killed, enslaved and cannibalised the Moriori. A Moriori survivor recalled : "[The Maori] commenced to kill us like sheep . [We] were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape our enemies. It was of no avail we were discovered and killed – men, women and children indiscriminately." [18]

Greece Edit

In Ancient Greece, pacifism seems not to have existed except as a broad moral guideline against violence between individuals. No philosophical program of rejecting violence between states, or rejecting all forms of violence, seems to have existed. Aristophanes, in his play Lysistrata, creates the scenario of an Athenian woman's anti-war sex strike during the Peloponnesian War of 431–404 BC, and the play has gained an international reputation for its anti-war message. Nevertheless, it is both fictional and comical, and though it offers a pragmatic opposition to the destructiveness of war, its message seems to stem from frustration with the existing conflict (then in its twentieth year) rather than from a philosophical position against violence or war. Equally fictional is the nonviolent protest of Hegetorides of Thasos. Euripides also expressed strong anti-war ideas in his work, especially The Trojan Women. [19]

Roman Empire Edit

Several Roman writers rejected the militarism of Roman society and gave voice to anti-war sentiments, [19] including Propertius, Tibullus and Ovid. [20] The Stoic Seneca the Younger criticised warfare in his book Naturales quaestiones (circa 65 AD). [21]

Maximilian of Tebessa was a Christian conscientious objector. He was killed for refusing to be conscripted. [22]

Christianity Edit

Throughout history many have understood Jesus of Nazareth to have been a pacifist, [23] drawing on his Sermon on the Mount. In the sermon Jesus stated that one should "not resist an evildoer" and promoted his turn the other cheek philosophy. "If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well . Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." [24] [25] [26] The New Testament story is of Jesus, besides preaching these words, surrendering himself freely to an enemy intent on having him killed and proscribing his followers from defending him.

There are those, however, who deny that Jesus was a pacifist [23] and state that Jesus never said not to fight, [26] citing examples from the New Testament. One such instance portrays an angry Jesus driving dishonest market traders from the temple. [26] A frequently quoted passage is Luke 22:36: "He said to them, 'But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.'" Pacifists have typically explained that verse as Jesus fulfilling prophecy, since in the next verse, Jesus continues to say: "It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors' and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." Others have interpreted the non-pacifist statements in the New Testament to be related to self-defense or to be metaphorical and state that on no occasion did Jesus shed blood or urge others to shed blood. [23]

Beginning in the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation gave rise to a variety of new Christian sects, including the historic peace churches. Foremost among them were the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Amish, Mennonites, and Church of the Brethren. The humanist writer Desiderius Erasmus was one of the most outspoken pacifists of the Renaissance, arguing strongly against warfare in his essays The Praise of Folly (1509) and The Complaint of Peace (1517). [19] [27]

The Quakers were prominent advocates of pacifism, who as early as 1660 had repudiated violence in all forms and adhered to a strictly pacifist interpretation of Christianity. They stated their beliefs in a declaration to King Charles II:

"We utterly deny all outward wars and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatever this is our testimony to the whole world. The Spirit of Christ . which leads us into all truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of this world. [28]

Throughout the many 18th century wars in which Great Britain participated, the Quakers maintained a principled commitment not to serve in the army and militia or even to pay the alternative £10 fine.

The English Quaker William Penn, who founded the Province of Pennsylvania, employed an anti-militarist public policy. Unlike residents of many of the colonies, Quakers chose to trade peacefully with the Indians, including for land. The colonial province was, for the 75 years from 1681 to 1756, essentially unarmed and experienced little or no warfare in that period.

From the 16th to the 18th centuries, a number of thinkers devised plans for an international organisation that would promote peace, and reduce or even eliminate the occurrence of war. These included the French politician Duc de Sully, the philosophers Émeric Crucé and the Abbe de Saint-Pierre, and the English Quakers William Penn and John Bellers. [29] [30]

Pacifist ideals emerged from two strands of thought that coalesced at the end of the 18th century. One, rooted in the secular Enlightenment, promoted peace as the rational antidote to the world's ills, while the other was a part of the evangelical religious revival that had played an important part in the campaign for the abolition of slavery. Representatives of the former included Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in Extrait du Projet de Paix Perpetuelle de Monsieur l'Abbe Saint-Pierre (1756), [31] Immanuel Kant, in his Thoughts on Perpetual Peace, [32] and Jeremy Bentham who proposed the formation of a peace association in 1789. Representative of the latter, was William Wilberforce who thought that strict limits should be imposed on British involvement in the French Revolutionary Wars based on Christian ideals of peace and brotherhood. Bohemian Bernard Bolzano taught about the social waste of militarism and the needlessness of war. He urged a total reform of the educational, social, and economic systems that would direct the nation's interests toward peace rather than toward armed conflict between nations.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, pacifism was not entirely frowned upon throughout Europe. It was considered a political stance against costly capitalist-imperialist wars, a notion particularly popular in the British Liberal Party of the twentieth century. [33] However, during the eras of World War One and especially World War Two, public opinion on the ideology split. Those against the second World War, some argued, were not fighting against unnecessary wars of imperialism but instead acquiescing to the fascist evils of Germany, Italy and Japan. [34]

Peace movements Edit

During the period of the Napoleonic Wars, although no formal peace movement was established until the end of hostilities, a significant peace movement animated by universalist ideals did emerge, due to the perception of Britain fighting in a reactionary role and the increasingly visible impact of the war on the welfare of the nation in the form of higher taxation levels and high casualty rates. Sixteen peace petitions to Parliament were signed by members of the public, anti-war and anti-Pitt demonstrations convened and peace literature was widely published and disseminated. [35]

The first peace movements appeared in 1815–16. In the United States the first such movement was the New York Peace Society, founded in 1815 by the theologian David Low Dodge, and the Massachusetts Peace Society. It became an active organization, holding regular weekly meetings, and producing literature which was spread as far as Gibraltar and Malta, describing the horrors of war and advocating pacificism on Christian grounds. [36] The London Peace Society (also known as the Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace) was formed in 1816 to promote permanent and universal peace by the philanthropist William Allen. In the 1840s, British women formed "Olive Leaf Circles", groups of around 15 to 20 women, to discuss and promote pacifist ideas. [37]

The peace movement began to grow in influence by the mid-nineteenth century. [38] The London Peace Society, under the initiative of American consul Elihu Burritt and the reverend Henry Richard, convened the first International Peace Congress in London in 1843. [39] The congress decided on two aims: the ideal of peaceable arbitration in the affairs of nations and the creation of an international institution to achieve that. Richard became the secretary of the Peace Society in 1850 on a full-time basis, a position which he would keep for the next 40 years, earning himself a reputation as the 'Apostle of Peace'. He helped secure one of the earliest victories for the peace movement by securing a commitment from the Great Powers in the Treaty of Paris (1856) at the end of the Crimean War, in favour of arbitration. On the European continent, wracked by social upheaval, the first peace congress was held in Brussels in 1848 followed by Paris a year later. [40]

After experiencing a recession in support due to the resurgence of militarism during the American Civil War and Crimean War, the movement began to spread across Europe and began to infiltrate the new socialist movements. In 1870, Randal Cremer formed the Workman's Peace Association in London. Cremer, alongside the French economist Frédéric Passy was also the founding father of the first international organisation for the arbitration of conflicts in 1889, the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The National Peace Council was founded in after the 17th Universal Peace Congress in London (July August 1908).

An important thinker who contributed to pacifist ideology was Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. In one of his latter works, The Kingdom of God is Within You, Tolstoy provides a detailed history, account and defense of pacifism. Tolstoy's work inspired a movement named after him advocating pacifism to arise in Russia and elsewhere. [41] The book was a major early influence on Mahatma Gandhi, and the two engaged in regular correspondence while Gandhi was active in South Africa. [42]

Bertha von Suttner, the first woman to be a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, became a leading figure in the peace movement with the publication of her novel, Die Waffen nieder! ("Lay Down Your Arms!") in 1889 and founded an Austrian pacifist organization in 1891.

Non-violent resistance Edit

In colonial New Zealand, during the latter half of the 19th century Pākehā settlers used numerous tactics to confiscate land from the indigenous Māori, including warfare. In the 1870s and 1880s, Parihaka, then reported to be the largest Māori settlement in New Zealand, became the centre of a major campaign of non-violent resistance to land confiscations. One Māori leader, Te Whiti-o-Rongomai, quickly became the leading figure in the movement, stating in a speech that "Though some, in darkness of heart, seeing their land ravished, might wish to take arms and kill the aggressors, I say it must not be. Let not the Pakehas think to succeed by reason of their guns. I want not war". Te Whiti-o-Rongomai achieved renown for his non-violent tactics among the Māori, which proved more successful in preventing land confiscations than acts of violent resistance. [43]

Mahatma Gandhi was a major political and spiritual leader of India, instrumental in the Indian independence movement. The Nobel prize winning great poet Rabindranath Tagore, who was also an Indian, gave him the honorific "Mahatma", usually translated "Great Soul". He was the pioneer of a brand of nonviolence (or ahimsa) which he called satyagraha—translated literally as "truth force". This was the resistance of tyranny through civil disobedience that was not only nonviolent but also sought to change the heart of the opponent. He contrasted this with duragraha, "resistant force", which sought only to change behaviour with stubborn protest. During his 30 years of work (1917–1947) for the independence of his country from British colonial rule, Gandhi led dozens of nonviolent campaigns, spent over seven years in prison, and fasted nearly to the death on several occasions to obtain British compliance with a demand or to stop inter-communal violence. His efforts helped lead India to independence in 1947, and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom worldwide.

World War I Edit

Peace movements became active in the Western world after 1900, often focusing on treaties that would settle disputes through arbitration, and efforts to support the Hague conventions. [44]

The sudden outbreak of the First World War in July 1914 dismayed the peace movement. Socialist parties in every industrial nation had committed themselves to antiwar policies, but when the war came, all of them, except in Russia and the United States, supported their own governments. There were highly publicized dissidents, some of whom were imprisoned for opposing draft laws, such as Eugene Debs in the U.S. [45] In Britain, the prominent activist Stephen Henry Hobhouse was jailed for refusing military service, citing his convictions as a "socialist and a Christian". [46] Many socialist groups and movements were antimilitarist, arguing that war by its nature was a type of governmental coercion of the working class for the benefit of capitalist elites. The French socialist pacifist leader Jean Jaurès was assassinated by a nationalist fanatic on July 31, 1914. The national parties in the Second International increasingly supported their respective nations in war, and the International was dissolved in 1916.

In 1915, the League of Nations Society was formed by British liberal leaders to promote a strong international organisation that could enforce the peaceful resolution of conflict. Later that year, the League to Enforce Peace was established in the U.S. to promote similar goals. Hamilton Holt published a September 28, 1914, editorial in his magazine the Independent called "The Way to Disarm: A Practical Proposal" that called for an international organization to agree upon the arbitration of disputes and to guarantee the territorial integrity of its members by maintaining military forces sufficient to defeat those of any non-member. The ensuing debate among prominent internationalists modified Holt's plan to align it more closely with proposals offered in Great Britain by Viscount James Bryce, a former British ambassador to the United States. [47] These and other initiatives were pivotal in the change in attitudes that gave birth to the League of Nations after the war.

In addition to the traditional peace churches, some of the many groups that protested against the war were the Woman's Peace Party (which was organized in 1915 and led by noted reformer Jane Addams), the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace (ICWPP) (also organized in 1915), [48] the American Union Against Militarism, the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the American Friends Service Committee. [49] Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, was another fierce advocate of pacifism, the only person to vote against American entrance into both wars.

Between the two World Wars Edit

After the immense loss of nearly ten million men to trench warfare, [50] a sweeping change of attitude toward militarism crashed over Europe, particularly in nations such as Great Britain, where many questioned its involvement in the war. After World War I's official end in 1918, peace movements across the continent and the United States renewed, gradually gaining popularity among young Europeans who grew up in the shadow of Europe's trauma over the Great War. Organizations formed in this period included the War Resisters' International, [51] the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the No More War Movement, the Service Civil International and the Peace Pledge Union (PPU). The League of Nations also convened several disarmament conferences in the interbellum period such as the Geneva Conference, though the support that pacifist policy and idealism received varied across European nations. These organizations and movements attracted tens of thousands of Europeans, spanning most professions including "scientists, artists, musicians, politicians, clerks, students, activists and thinkers." [52]

Great Britain Edit

Pacifism and revulsion with war were very popular sentiments in 1920s Britain. Novels and poems on the theme of the futility of war and the slaughter of the youth by old fools were published, including, Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington, Erich Remarque's translated All Quiet on the Western Front and Beverley Nichols's expose Cry Havoc. A debate at the University of Oxford in 1933 on the motion 'one must fight for King and country' captured the changed mood when the motion was resoundingly defeated. Dick Sheppard established the Peace Pledge Union in 1934, which totally renounced war and aggression. The idea of collective security was also popular instead of outright pacifism, the public generally exhibited a determination to stand up to aggression, but preferably with the use of economic sanctions and multilateral negotiations. [53] Many members of the Peace Pledge Union later joined the Bruderhof [54] during its period of residence in the Cotswolds, where Englishmen and Germans, many of whom were Jewish, lived side by side despite local persecution. [55]

The British Labour Party had a strong pacifist wing in the early 1930s, and between 1931 and 1935 it was led by George Lansbury, a Christian pacifist who later chaired the No More War Movement and was president of the PPU. The 1933 annual conference resolved unanimously to "pledge itself to take no part in war". Researcher Richard Toye writes that "Labour's official position, however, although based on the aspiration towards a world socialist commonwealth and the outlawing of war, did not imply a renunciation of force under all circumstances, but rather support for the ill-defined concept of 'collective security' under the League of Nations. At the same time, on the party's left, Stafford Cripps's small but vocal Socialist League opposed the official policy, on the non-pacifist ground that the League of Nations was 'nothing but the tool of the satiated imperialist powers'." [56]

Lansbury was eventually persuaded to resign as Labour leader by the non-pacifist wing of the party and was replaced by Clement Attlee. [57] As the threat from Nazi Germany increased in the 1930s, the Labour Party abandoned its pacifist position and supported rearmament, largely as the result of the efforts of Ernest Bevin and Hugh Dalton, who by 1937 had also persuaded the party to oppose Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. [58]

The League of Nations attempted to play its role in ensuring world peace in the 1920s and 1930s. However, with the increasingly revisionist and aggressive behaviour of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan, it ultimately failed to maintain such a world order. Economic sanctions were used against states that committed aggression, such as those against Italy when it invaded Abyssinia, but there was no will on the part of the principal League powers, Britain and France, to subordinate their interests to a multilateral process or to disarm at all themselves.

Spain Edit

The Spanish Civil War proved a major test for international pacifism, and the work of pacifist organisations (such as War Resisters' International and the Fellowship of Reconciliation) and individuals (such as José Brocca and Amparo Poch) in that arena has until recently [ when? ] been ignored or forgotten by historians, overshadowed by the memory of the International Brigades and other militaristic interventions. Shortly after the war ended, Simone Weil, despite having volunteered for service on the republican side, went on to publish The Iliad or the Poem of Force, a work that has been described as a pacifist manifesto. [59] In response to the threat of fascism, some pacifist thinkers, such as Richard B. Gregg, devised plans for a campaign of nonviolent resistance in the event of a fascist invasion or takeover. [60]

France Edit

As the prospect of a second major war began to seem increasingly inevitable, much of France adopted pacifist views, though some historians argue that France felt more war anxiety than a moral objection to a second war. Hitler's spreading influence and territory posed an enormous threat to French livelihood from their neighbors. The French countryside had been devastated during World War I and the entire nation was reluctant to subject its territory to the same treatment. Though all countries in the First World War had suffered great losses, France was one of the most devastated and many did not want a second war. [61]

Germany Edit

As Germany dealt with the burdens of the Treaty of Versailles, a conflict arose in the 1930s between German Christianity and German nationalism. Many Germans found the terms of the treaty debilitating and humiliating, so German nationalism offered a way to regain the country's pride. German Christianity warned against the risks of entering a war similar to the previous one. As the German depression worsened and fascism began to rise in Germany, a greater tide of Germans began to sway toward Hitler's brand of nationalism that would come to crush pacifism. [62]

World War II Edit

With the start of World War II, pacifist and antiwar sentiment declined in nations affected by the war. Even the communist-controlled American Peace Mobilization reversed its antiwar activism once Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the non-interventionist America First Committee dropped its opposition to American involvement in the war and disbanded, [63] but many smaller religious and socialist groups continued their opposition to war.

Great Britain Edit

Bertrand Russell argued that the necessity of defeating Adolf Hitler and the Nazis was a unique circumstance in which war was not the worst of the possible evils he called his position relative pacifism. Shortly before the outbreak of war, British writers such as E. M. Forster, Leonard Woolf, David Garnett and Storm Jameson all rejected their earlier pacifism and endorsed military action against Nazism. [64] Similarly, Albert Einstein wrote: "I loathe all armies and any kind of violence yet I'm firmly convinced that at present these hateful weapons offer the only effective protection." [65] The British pacifists Reginald Sorensen and C. J. Cadoux, while bitterly disappointed by the outbreak of war, nevertheless urged their fellow pacifists "not to obstruct the war effort." [66]

Pacifists across Great Britain further struggled to uphold their anti-military values during the Blitz, a coordinated, long-term attack by the Luftwaffe on Great Britain. As the country was ravaged nightly by German bombing raids, pacifists had to seriously weigh the importance of their political and moral values against the desire to protect their nation. [67]

France Edit

Some scholars theorize that pacifism was the cause of France's rapid fall to the Germans after it was invaded by the Nazis in June 1940, resulting in a takeover of the government by the German military. Whether or not pacifism weakened French defenses against the Germans, there was no hope of sustaining a real pacifist movement after Paris fell. Just as peaceful Germans succumbed to violent nationalism, the pacifist French were muzzled by the totality of German control over nearly all of France. [68]

The French pacifists André and Magda Trocmé helped conceal hundreds of Jews fleeing the Nazis in the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. [69] [70] After the war, the Trocmés were declared Righteous Among the Nations. [69]

Germany Edit

Pacifists under the Third Reich were dealt with harshly, reducing the movement into almost nonexistence those who continued to advocate for the end of the war and violence were often sent to labor camps German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky [71] and Olaf Kullmann, a Norwegian pacifist active during the Nazi occupation, [72] were both imprisoned in concentration camps and died as a result of their mistreatment there. Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter was executed in 1943 for refusing to serve in the Wehrmacht. [73]

German nationalism consumed even the most peaceful of Christians, who may have believed that Hitler was acting in the good faith of Germany or who may have been so suppressed by the Nazi regime that they were content to act as bystanders to the violence occurring around them. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an anti-Nazi German pastor who later died in 1945 in the Flossenbürg concentration camp, once wrote in a letter to his grandmother: "The issue really is: Germanism or Christianity." [74]

After the end of the war, it was discovered that "The Black Book" or Sonderfahndungsliste G.B., a list of Britons to be arrested in the event of a successful German invasion of Britain, included three active pacifists: Vera Brittain, Sybil Thorndike and Aldous Huxley (who had left the country). [75] [76]

Conscientious objectors Edit

There were conscientious objectors and war tax resisters in both World War I and World War II. The United States government allowed sincere objectors to serve in noncombatant military roles. However, those draft resisters who refused any cooperation with the war effort often spent much of the wars in federal prisons. During World War II, pacifist leaders such as Dorothy Day and Ammon Hennacy of the Catholic Worker Movement urged young Americans not to enlist in military service.

During the two world wars, young men conscripted into the military, but who refused to take up arms, were called conscientious objectors. Though these men had to either answer their conscription or face prison time, their status as conscientious objectors permitted them to refuse to take part in battle using weapons, and the military was forced to find a different use for them. Often, these men were assigned various tasks close to battle such as medical duties, though some were assigned various civilian jobs including farming, forestry, hospital work and mining. [77] Conscientious objectors were often viewed by soldiers as cowards and liars, and they were sometimes accused of shirking military duty out of fear rather than as the result of conscience. In Great Britain during World War II, the majority of the public did not approve of moral objection by soldiers but supported their right to abstain from direct combat. On the more extreme sides of public opinion were those who fully supported the objectors and those who believed they should be executed as traitors. [77] The World War II objectors were often scorned as fascist sympathizers and traitors, though many of them cited the influence of World War I and their shell shocked fathers as major reasons for refusing to participate. [78]

Later 20th century Edit

Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr. led a civil rights movement in the U.S., employing Gandhian nonviolent resistance to repeal laws enforcing racial segregation and to work for integration of schools, businesses and government. In 1957, his wife Coretta Scott King, along with Albert Schweitzer, Benjamin Spock and others, formed the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (now Peace Action) to resist the nuclear arms race. In 1958 British activists formed the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament with Bertrand Russell as its president.

In 1960, Thich Nhat Hanh came to the U.S. to study comparative religion at Princeton University and was subsequently appointed a lecturer in Buddhism at Columbia University. Nhất Hạnh had written a letter to King in 1965 entitled "Searching for the Enemy of Man" and met with King in 1966 to urge him to publicly denounce the Vietnam War. [3] In a famous 1967 speech at Riverside Church in New York City, [79] King publicly questioned the U.S. involvement in Vietnam for the first time.

Other examples from this period include the 1986 People Power Revolution in the Philippines led by Corazon Aquino and the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, with the broadly publicized "Tank Man" incident as its indelible image.

On December 1, 1948, President José Figueres Ferrer of Costa Rica abolished the Costa Rican military. [80] In 1949, the abolition of the military was introduced in Article 12 of the Costa Rican constitution. The budget previously dedicated to the military is now dedicated to providing healthcare services and education. [81]

Antiwar literature of the 20th century Edit

  • Edmund Blunden's Undertones of War (1928).
  • Robert Graves's Goodbye to All That (1929).
  • Erich Marie Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front (1929).
  • Beverley Nichols's Cry Havoc! (1933).
  • A.A. Milne's Peace with Honour (1934).
  • Aldous Huxley's Ends and Means (1937).

Baháʼí Faith Edit

Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Baháʼí Faith abolished holy war and emphasized its abolition as a central teaching of his faith. [82] However, the Baháʼí Faith does not have an absolute pacifistic position. For example, Baháʼís are advised to do social service instead of active army service, but when this is not possible because of obligations in certain countries, the Baháʼí law of loyalty to one's government is preferred and the individual should perform the army service. [83] [84] Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Baháʼí Faith in the first half of the 20th century, noted that in the Baháʼí view, absolute pacifists are anti-social and exalt the individual over society which could lead to anarchy instead he noted that the Baháʼí conception of social life follows a moderate view where the individual is not suppressed or exalted. [85]

On the level of society, Bahá'u'lláh promotes the principle of collective security, which does not abolish the use of force, but prescribes "a system in which Force is made the servant of Justice". [86] The idea of collective security from the Bahá'í teachings states that if a government violates a fundamental norm of international law or provision of a future world constitution which Bahá'ís believe will be established by all nations, then the other governments should step in. [87]

Buddhism Edit

Ahimsa (do no harm), is a primary virtue in Buddhism (as well as other Indian religions such as Hinduism and Jainism). [88] This leads to a misconception that Buddhism is a religion based solely on peace however, like all religions, there is a long history of violence in various Buddhist traditions and many examples of prolonged violence in its 2,500 year existence. Like many religious scholars and believers of other religions, many Buddhists disavow any connection between their religion and the violence committed in its name or by its followers, and find various ways of dealing with problematic texts. [89]

Aung San Suu Kyi is a Buddhist nonviolent pro-democracy activist and leader of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar (Burma), who became State Counsellor (similar to prime minister) of Myanmar in April 2016. A devout Buddhist, Suu Kyi won the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and in 1991 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her peaceful and non-violent struggle under a repressive military dictatorship. One of her best known speeches is the "Freedom From Fear" speech, which begins, "It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it." [90]

Christianity Edit

Peace churches Edit

Peace churches are Christian denominations explicitly advocating pacifism. The term "historic peace churches" refers specifically to three church traditions: the Church of the Brethren, the Mennonites (and other Anabaptists, such as the Amish and Hutterites), as well as the Quakers (Religious Society of Friends). The historic peace churches have, from their origins as far back as the 16th century, always taken the position that Jesus was himself a pacifist who explicitly taught and practiced pacifism, and that his followers must do likewise. Pacifist churches vary on whether physical force can ever be justified in self-defense or protecting others, as many adhere strictly to nonresistance when confronted by violence. But all agree that violence on behalf of a country or a government is prohibited for Christians.

Holiness Pacifists Edit

The Emmanuel Association of Churches, Immanuel Missionary Church, Church of God (Guthrie, Oklahoma) and Christ's Sanctified Holy Church are denominations in the holiness movement (which is largely Methodist with a minority from other backgrounds such as Quaker, Anabaptist and Restorationist) known for their opposition to war today they are known as "holiness pacifists". [91] [92] [93] The Emmanuel Association teaches: [93] [94]

We feel bound explicitly to avow our unshaken persuasion that War is utterly incompatible with the plain precepts of our divine Lord and Law-giver, and with the whole spirit of the Gospel and that no plea of necessity or policy, however urgent or peculiar, can avail to release either individuals or nations for the paramount allegiance which they owe to Him who hath said, "Love your enemies." Therefore, we cannot participate in war (Rom. 12:19), war activities, or compulsory training. [93]

Pentecostal churches Edit

Jay Beaman's thesis [95] states that 13 of 21, or 62% of American Pentecostal groups formed by 1917 show evidence of being pacifist sometime in their history. Furthermore, Jay Beaman has shown in his thesis [95] that there has been a shift away from pacifism in the American Pentecostal churches to more a style of military support and chaplaincy. The major organisation for Pentecostal Christians who believe in pacifism is the PCPF, the Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship.

The United Pentecostal Church, the largest Apostolic/Oneness denomination, takes an official stand of conscientious objection: its Articles of Faith read, "We are constrained to declare against participating in combatant service in war, armed insurrection . aiding or abetting in or the actual destruction of human life. We believe that we can be consistent in serving our Government in certain noncombatant capacities, but not in the bearing of arms." [96]

Other Christian denominations Edit

The Peace Pledge Union is a pacifist organisation from which the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship (APF) later emerged within the Anglican Church. The APF succeeded in gaining ratification of the pacifist position at two successive Lambeth Conferences, but many Anglicans would not regard themselves as pacifists. South African Bishop Desmond Tutu is the most prominent Anglican pacifist. Rowan Williams led an almost united Anglican Church in Britain in opposition to the 2003 Iraq War. In Australia Peter Carnley similarly led a front of bishops opposed to the Government of Australia's involvement in the invasion of Iraq.

The Catholic Worker Movement is concerned with both social justice and pacifist issues, and voiced consistent opposition to the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Many of its early members were imprisoned for their opposition to conscription. [97] Within the Roman Catholic Church, the Pax Christi organisation is the premiere pacifist lobby group. It holds positions similar to APF, and the two organisations are known to work together on ecumenical projects. Within Roman Catholicism there has been a discernible move towards a more pacifist position through the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Popes Benedict XV, John XXIII and John Paul II were all vocal in their opposition to specific wars. By taking the name Benedict XVI, some suspected that Joseph Ratzinger would continue the strong emphasis upon nonviolent conflict resolution of his predecessor. However, the Roman Catholic Church officially maintains the legitimacy of Just War, which is rejected by some pacifists.

In the twentieth century there was a notable trend among prominent Roman Catholics towards pacifism. Individuals such as Dorothy Day and Henri Nouwen stand out among them. The monk and mystic Thomas Merton was noted for his commitment to pacifism during the Vietnam War era. Murdered Salvadoran Bishop Óscar Romero was notable for using non-violent resistance tactics and wrote meditative sermons focusing on the power of prayer and peace. School of the Americas Watch was founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois in 1990 and uses strictly pacifist principles to protest the training of Latin American military officers by United States Army officers at the School of the Americas in the state of Georgia.

The Southern Baptist Convention has stated in the Baptist Faith and Message, "It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war." [98]

The United Methodist Church explicitly supports conscientious objection by its members "as an ethically valid position" while simultaneously allowing for differences of opinion and belief for those who do not object to military service. [99]

Members of the Rastafari Movement's Mansion Nyabinghi are specifically noted for having a large population of Pacifist members, though not all of them are. [100]

Hinduism Edit

Non violence, or ahimsa, is a central part of Hinduism and is one of the fundamental Yamas – self restraints needed to live a proper life. The concept of ahimsa grew gradually within Hinduism, one of the signs being the discouragement of ritual animal sacrifice. Most Hindus today have a vegetarian diet. The classical texts of Hinduism devote numerous chapters discussing what people who practice the virtue of Ahimsa, can and must do when they are faced with war, violent threat or need to sentence someone convicted of a crime. These discussions have led to theories of just war, theories of reasonable self-defence and theories of proportionate punishment. [101] [102] Arthashastra discusses, among other things, why and what constitutes proportionate response and punishment. [103] [104] The precepts of Ahimsa under Hinduism require that war must be avoided, with sincere and truthful dialogue. Force must be the last resort. If war becomes necessary, its cause must be just, its purpose virtuous, its objective to restrain the wicked, its aim peace, its method lawful. [101] [103] While the war is in progress, sincere dialogue for peace must continue. [101] [102]

Islam Edit

Different Muslim movements through history had linked pacifism with Muslim theology. [105] [106] [107] However, warfare has been integral part of Islamic history both for the defense and the spread of the faith since the time of Muhammad. [108] [109] [110] [111] [112]

Peace is an important aspect of Islam, and Muslims are encouraged to strive for peace and peaceful solutions to all problems. However, most Muslims are generally not pacifists, as the teachings in the Qur'an and Hadith allow for wars to be fought if they are justified, [113] mainly for defensive reasons.

Sufism Edit

Prior to the Hijra travel, Muhammad struggled non-violently against his opposition in Mecca, [114] providing a basis for Islamic pacifist schools of thought such as some Sufi orders. [115]

In the 13th century, Salim Suwari a philosopher in Islam, came up with a peaceful approach to Islam known as the Suwarian tradition. [105] [106]

The earliest massive non-violent implementation of civil disobedience was brought about by Egyptians against the British in the Egyptian Revolution of 1919. [116]

Khān Abdul Ghaffār Khān was a Pashtun independence activist against British colonial rule. He was a political and spiritual leader known for his nonviolent opposition, and a lifelong pacifist and devout Muslim. [117] A close friend of Mahatma Gandhi, Bacha Khan was nicknamed the "Frontier Gandhi" in British India. [118] Bacha Khan founded the Khudai Khidmatgar ("Servants of God") movement in 1929, whose success triggered severe crackdowns by the colonial government against Khan and his supporters, and they experienced some of strongest repression of the Indian independence movement. [119]

Ahmadiyya Edit

According to the Ahmadiyya understanding of Islam, pacifism is a strong current, and jihad is one's personal inner struggle and should not be used violently for political motives. Violence is the last option only to be used to protect religion and one's own life in extreme situations of persecution. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said that in contrary to the current views, Islam does not allow the use of sword in religion, except in the case of defensive wars, wars waged to punish a tyrant, or those meant to uphold freedom. [120]

Ahmadiyya claims its objective to be the peaceful propagation of Islam with special emphasis on spreading the true message of Islam by the pen. Ahmadis point out that as per prophecy, who they believe was the promised messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, rendered the concept of violent jihad unnecessary in modern times. They believe that the answer of hate should be given by love. [121] Many Muslims consider Ahmadi Muslims as either kafirs or heretics, an animosity sometimes resulting in murder. [122] [123] [124]

Jainism Edit

Non-violence, Compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to Jainism. Human life is valued as a unique, rare opportunity to reach enlightenment. Killing any person, no matter what crime he may have committed, is considered unimaginably terrible. It is a religion that requires monks, from all its sects and traditions, to be vegetarian. Some Indian regions, such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh have been strongly influenced by Jains and often the majority of the local Hindus of every denomination are also vegetarian. [125]

Judaism Edit

Although Judaism is not a pacifist religion, it does believe that peace is highly desirable. Most Jews will hope to limit or minimise conflict and violence but they accept that, given human nature and the situations which arise from time to time in the world, there will be occasions when violence and war may be justified. [126] The Jewish Peace Fellowship is a New-York based nonprofit, nondenominational organization set up to provide a Jewish voice in the peace movement. The organization was founded in 1941 in order to support Jewish conscientious objectors who sought exemption from combatant military service. [127] It is affiliated to the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. [128] The small Neturei Karta group of anti-Zionist, ultra-orthodox Jews, supposedly take a pacifist line, saying that "Jews are not allowed to dominate, kill, harm or demean another people and are not allowed to have anything to do with the Zionist enterprise, their political meddling and their wars.". [129] However, the Neturei Karta group do support groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas that are violent towards Israel. [130] The Hebrew Bible is full of examples when Jews were told to go and war against enemy lands or within the Israelite community as well as instances where God, as destroyer and protector, goes to war for non-participant Jews. [131] The Holocaust Remembrance Day (called Yom Hashoah in Hebrew) is a day a remembrance for many Jews as they honor those who fought to end the Hitler government which starved, shot, gassed and burned over six million Jews to death. It is observed on the day corresponding to the 27th day of the month of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. [132]

Raëlism Edit

Non-violence is an important doctrine within Raëlism. The founder of this religion Rael has said "The one holding the weapon is as responsible as the one giving the orders". Other Rael statements include "even if the Elohim asked them to kill someone they should refuse". [133]

While many governments have tolerated pacifist views and even accommodated pacifists' refusal to fight in wars, others at times have outlawed pacifist and anti-war activity. In 1918, The United States Congress passed the Sedition Act of 1918. During the periods between World Wars I and World War II, pacifist literature and public advocacy was banned in Italy under Benito Mussolini, Germany after the rise of Adolf Hitler, [134] Spain under Francisco Franco, [135] and the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. [136] In these nations, pacifism was denounced as cowardice indeed, Mussolini referred to pacifist writings as the "propaganda of cowardice". [134]

Today, the United States requires that all young men register for selective service but does not allow them to be classified as conscientious objectors unless they are drafted in some future reinstatement of the draft, allowing them to be discharged or transferred to noncombatant status. [137] Some European governments like Switzerland, Greece, Norway and Germany offer civilian service. However, even during periods of peace, many pacifists still refuse to register for or report for military duty, risking criminal charges.

Anti-war and "pacifist" political parties seeking to win elections may moderate their demands, calling for de-escalation or major arms reduction rather than the outright disarmament which is advocated by many pacifists. Green parties list "non-violence" and "decentralization" towards anarchist co-operatives or minimalist village government as two of their ten key values. However, in power, Greens often compromise. The German Greens in the cabinet of Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder supported an intervention by German troops in Afghanistan in 2001 if that they hosted the peace conference in Berlin. However, during the 2002 election Greens forced Schröder to swear that no German troops would invade Iraq.

Some pacifists and multilateralists are in favor of international criminal law as means to prevent and control international aggression. The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over war crimes, but the crime of aggression has yet to be clearly defined in international law.

The Italian Constitution enforces a mild pacifist character on the Italian Republic, as Article 11 states that "Italy repudiates war as an instrument offending the liberty of the peoples and as a means for settling international disputes . " Similarly, Articles 24, 25 and 26 of the German Constitution (1949), Alinea 15 of the French Constitution (1946), Article 20 of the Danish Constitution (1953), Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution (1947) and several other mostly European constitutions correspond to the United Nations Charter by rejecting the institution of war in favour of collective security and peaceful cooperation. [138]

Pacifism and abstention from political activity Edit

However, some pacifists, such as the Christian anarchist Leo Tolstoy and autarchist Robert LeFevre, consider the state a form of warfare. In addition, for doctrinal reason that a manmade government is inferior to divine governance and law, many pacifist-identified religions/religious sects also refrain from political activity altogether, including the Anabaptists, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mandaeans. This means that such groups refuse to participate in government office or serve under an oath to a government.

Anarcho-pacifism Edit

Anarcho-pacifism is a form of anarchism which completely rejects the use of violence in any form for any purpose. The main precedent was Henry David Thoreau who through his work Civil Disobedience influenced the advocacy of both Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi for nonviolent resistance. [139] As a global movement, anarcho-pacifism emerged shortly before World War II in the Netherlands, Great Britain and the United States and was a strong presence in the subsequent campaigns for nuclear disarmament.

Violence has always been controversial in anarchism. While many anarchists during the 19th century embraced propaganda of the deed, Leo Tolstoy and other anarcho-pacifists directly opposed violence as a means for change. He argued that anarchism must by nature be nonviolent since it is, by definition, opposition to coercion and force and since the state is inherently violent, meaningful pacifism must likewise be anarchistic. His philosophy was cited as a major inspiration by Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian independence leader and pacifist who self-identified as an anarchist. Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis was also instrumental in establishing the pacifist trend within the anarchist movement. [140] In France, anti-militarism appeared strongly in individualist anarchist circles as Émile Armand founded "Ligue Antimilitariste" in 1902 with Albert Libertad and George Mathias Paraf-Javal.

Opposition to military taxation Edit

Many pacifists who would be conscientious objectors to military service are also opposed to paying taxes to fund the military. In the United States, The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund works to pass a national law to allow conscientious objectors to redirect their tax money to be used only for non-military purposes. [141]

One common argument against pacifism is the possibility of using violence to prevent further acts of violence (and reduce the "net-sum" of violence). This argument hinges on consequentialism: an otherwise morally objectionable action can be justified if it results in a positive outcome. For example, either violent rebellion, or foreign nations sending in troops to end a dictator's violent oppression may save millions of lives, even if many thousands died in the war. Those pacifists who base their beliefs on deontological grounds would oppose such violent action. Others would oppose organized military responses but support individual and small group self-defense against specific attacks if initiated by the dictator's forces. Pacifists may argue that military action could be justified should it subsequently advance the general cause of peace.

Still more pacifists would argue that a nonviolent reaction may not save lives immediately but would in the long run. The acceptance of violence for any reason makes it easier to use in other situations. Learning and committing to pacifism helps to send a message that violence is, in fact, not the most effective way. It can also help people to think more creatively and find more effective ways to stop violence without more violence.

In light of the common criticism of pacifism as not offering a clear alternative policy, one approach to finding "more effective ways" has been the attempt to develop the idea of "defence by civil resistance", also called "social defence". This idea, which is not necessarily dependent on acceptance of pacifist beliefs, is based on relying on nonviolent resistance against possible threats, whether external (such as invasion) or internal (such as coup d'état).

There have been some works on this topic, including by Adam Roberts [142] and Gene Sharp. [143] However, no country has adopted this approach as the sole basis of its defence. [144] (For further information and sources see social defence).

Axis aggression that precipitated World War II is often cited [ by whom? ] as an argument against pacifism. If these forces had not been challenged and defeated militarily, the argument goes, many more people would have died under their oppressive rule. Adolf Hitler told the British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax in 1937 that the British should "shoot Gandhi, and if this doesn't suffice to reduce them to submission, shoot a dozen leading members of the Congress, and if that doesn't suffice shoot 200, and so on, as you make it clear that you mean business." [145]

Adolf Hitler noted in his Second Book: ". Later, the attempt to adapt the living space to increased population turned into unmotivated wars of conquest, which in their very lack of motivation contained the germ of the subsequent reaction. Pacifism is the answer to it. Pacifism has existed in the world ever since there have been wars whose meaning no longer lay in the conquest of territory for a Folk's sustenance. Since then it has been war's eternal companion. It will again disappear as soon as war ceases to be an instrument of booty hungry or power hungry individuals or nations, and as soon as it again becomes the ultimate weapon with which a Folk fights for its daily bread." [146]

Hermann Göring described, during an interview at the Nuremberg Trials, how denouncing and outlawing pacifism was an important part of the Nazis' seizure of power: "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." [147]

Some commentators on the most nonviolent forms of pacifism, including Jan Narveson, argue that such pacifism is a self-contradictory doctrine. Narveson claims that everyone has rights and corresponding responsibilities not to violate others' rights. Since pacifists give up their ability to protect themselves from violation of their right not to be harmed, then other people thus have no corresponding responsibility, thus creating a paradox of rights. Narveson said that "the prevention of infractions of that right is precisely what one has a right to when one has a right at all." Narveson then discusses how rational persuasion is a good but often inadequate method of discouraging an aggressor. He considers that everyone has the right to use any means necessary to prevent deprivation of their civil liberties and force could be necessary. [148] Peter Gelderloos criticizes the idea that nonviolence is the only way to fight for a better world. According to Gelderloos, pacifism as an ideology serves the interests of the state and is hopelessly caught up psychologically with the control schema of patriarchy and white supremacy. [149]

Biden attempts to consign trickle-down economics to the dustbin of history

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I can't believe "if you make rich people richer, they will eventually trickle some of that money down to you" ever worked anyway. Republican politicians know it's not true, it's just their cover to get idiots to support an agenda that doesn't include helping them in any way.

Did the Patricians of Rome ever give more to the Plebeians than they were required to? When slave labor became plentiful to the upper crust of Roman society, did they stop and think about how it would devalue the work of their former soldiers? No, they horded their wealth and used it to buy out the veterans and sat on their land for generations so that they couldn't even properly pay their legions what they owed, leading Rome to be sacked by angry legionaries every couple of years.

Did the nobles of medieval Europe ever hand out their material wealth to the peasantry to improve their lot in life? No, they got rich and fat off the poor for so long that entire countries revolted against the aristocracy in order to implement some kind of democracy.

Did the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age pay their workers any more than was necessary to keep them alive? No, it took nearly the entire workforce unionizing and forcing the monopolies to break up for any amount of wealth to be invested in the working class.

Never in Western history has there ever been a time that those with power and wealth trickled any of it down to the lower class. From Rome to the US, the wealthy have always and will always horde their resources and starve out everyone beneath them.

Its a scam that was sold to the public.

I’ve heard a guy on TV, who literally said “millionaires are good for society, as the poor have someone to look up too”.

Don’t know what a starving mother can learn from a millionaire, that spends thousands of dollars on bling bling to a lapdog or pays 2700 dollars for a two hour trip to Burger King!

Look at how long the 'job creator' bullshit has lasted. As if we can't ever tax businesses because they won't magically be able to ɼreate' jobs if they're not taking home every last penny they can make.

Job creation has never worked like that. Even if you have the slightest notion of how businesses work, it's a ridiculous idea.

I’m very happy that finally a critical mass of people are saying that trickle-down economics “doesn’t work.” But that’s not actually true. Saying it doesn’t work implies that it has failed to accomplish what it was intended to accomplish. It was never intended to bring economic benefits to society as a whole. This was always a lie. Its intent has always been to make rich people richer at the expense of everyone else. And therefore, trickle-down has been a brilliant success.

Everyone saw themselves as the rich person and not the trickle person.

One of the things the GOP use to justify this is that poor people are poor because they are inferior. It is just an extension of malthusianism. That the poor should be allowed do die off and not be given aid.

It's more likely to you to get rich by throwing coins in a wishing well, which is what trickle down economics basically is.

As long as that trickle of money stops with them, the don’t care about anyone else.

What’s really fucked up is that rich people still get rich from trickle up economics, but they rather just hoard all of the wealth instead.

Try arguing this with republicans in the US and Conservatives in Canada. Even moderates or centralists fall into this stupid argument.

I have regular debates with friends in person and online with strangers who use a lot of their college or university education and experience to argue in favor of making the wealthy even more rich because they believe that the wealthy elite are the engine of capitalism that drives the economy. They'll argue that the taxes from the rich power the government, the big corporations create jobs and we need to keep paying millions to financial geniuses because they are the thinkers that lead the way . and best of all, we can't reign in wealth or penalize riches with too much taxes because what if I come up with the next greatest idea and I want to make millions or billions of dollars? If you strangle the unlimited wealth of the most powerful, then poor people like me won't have the motivation or incentive to want to do great things . I won't want to be great at anything because you'll take my potential millions away from me.

It's a bunch of horse shit that we've been fed for generations at all levels of education.

The problem is not about how trickle down economics works or doesn't work

The problem is that we were misled so easily and even after we figured out it was all stupid, we continued to pretend that it meant something and kept believing in lies while we sat back and wondered why our world was falling apart.

It was always just a marketing ploy. No serious person ever believed it. They just believed rich people should be richer, regardless of the consequences for broader society, and trickle down was a somewhat plausible ex post facto justification.

I can't believe "if you make rich people richer, they will eventually trickle some of that money down to you" ever worked anyway.

Has there ever been serious attempt at a coup or revolt in North Korea's history?

I was wondering this since the people of North Korea undergo such horrid abuse I know there must be at least some amount of secret dissent.

But I also know that because North Korea is such a young country and because of the way the Kim Il Sung structured the DPRK's government after takeover essentially all of Kim Jong Un's high ranking military and governmental personnel must be rather loyal.

And of course there's always the constant lies and propaganda the people of North Korea are fed to keep them in check.

Probably, but western media wouldn't have heard about it unless it was particularly egregious. However as waspish_ mentions below, Jang Song-thaek was believed to have been exterminated (along with his whole family in proud despotic fashion) for suspicion of a coup.

Also this turned up in a quick google search.

The Glorious Leader is so beloved that no thought of coup has ever been considered from within the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Such impure thoughts only come from outside the blessed homeland, by the jealous or the criminally inclined.

since the people of North Korea undergo such horrid abuse

This is partly true, but they are brainwashed to not go against the government

Many North Korean people are more aware than youɽ think. I've read that there's one hell of a black market on in the DPRK, and a lot of people secretly have things such as DVD/VHS players, to an extent that South Korean soap operas have almost become a de-facto currency. Here's an article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/yeon-mi-park-the-hopes-of-north-koreas-black-market-generation/2014/05/25/dcab911c-dc49-11e3-8009-71de85b9c527_story.html

clearly not the only country. look at their friends china.

Maybe but the place is an Orwellian nightmare

If there was, how would we know?

In a modern world its easy to look at N. Korea and apply some sort of 1984/post Stalinist narrative, but ironically none of this is really "new" to the nation. If you compare farm productivity, income inequality, and the structure of rule, and the degree of starvation, the lack of trade with other nations, you are really just looking at modern day Chosun Dynasty. In fact, N. Korea calls their own nation "Chosun" still.

I'm not trying to make N. Korea look better as much as I am saying it hard to grasp at how bad middle age peasantry was. well look no further than N. Korea.

Coup attempts are rare even for developed nations.

Commenting to remember to check back in on this one.

Well, a year or two ago Kim Jung Un's Uncle apparently tried to make a coup happen, but being that The country is so isolated, i think that if their was a coup attempt that the information of it would suppressed.

I was wondering this since the people of North Korea undergo such horrid abuse I know there must be at least some amount of secret dissent.

Everything we hear about NK in the Western media makes it sound like everyone in NK is abused and tortured by a wicked despot, but I don't think that's the whole story. Not everyone goes to labour camps or prison. Such a system cannot survive without the majority of the population having it relatively good.

The country is in undeveloped-nation conditions. It's more about fostering a culture of fear and blame. If one person commits even a minor seditious act (such as merely saying something critical of the government) their entire family is sent to the camps and remains there through the third familial generation inside the camp.

This puts pressure on potential rebels. If they get caught, they risk ruining their entire family. The same is true for anyone they might attempt to network with: even if the second person agrees with the cause, joining or even failing to report the first person destroys their own family.

There are also rumors of government agents who test people by posing as rebels trying to recruit people. So if I tried to get you to join my tiny rebellion, youɽ be afraid that I'm actually a government agent who is testing your loyalty to the state.


In the 1940s, the Costa Rican political scene came to be dominated by Rafael Ángel Calderón, a medical doctor who served as President of Costa Rica from 1940 to 1944. [1] The Constitution forbade consecutive reelection, so Calderón's National Republican Party had fielded as its candidate for the 1944 elections law professor Teodoro Picado, who was perceived as a weak figure controlled by Calderón.

The Picado administration resorted several times to the use of military force in order to keep the peace, and pro-Calderón elements within the military institution would often become involved in street violence, which helped to sully the image of the military in the minds of the people. The Costa Rican communist movement, organized in the Popular Vanguard Party led by congressman Manuel Mora, was allied to Picado's government and contributed to the unrest by deploying its militia against the opposition. As the violence grew, supporters of the opposition began to carry guns, and the police began to threaten the use of firearms rather than just beating demonstrators. [ citation needed ]

Disgust with the government's violent reprisals against the opposition led to the Huelga de Brazos Caídos, a strike that stalled commerce in Costa Rica for seven days. [ citation needed ] Pro-Calderón and communist demonstrators began to sack those businesses that participated in the strike, and Picado was forced to respond to the strike with force by intimidating merchants and professionals and threatening workers with dismissal and military service. [ citation needed ] By the end of the strike, police and military forces patrolled the streets, and San José appeared as if under a state of siege. [2]

Calderón himself was the ruling party's candidate for the election of 1948 and there were widespread fears that the government would intervene to ensure his triumph against his main opponent, journalist Otilio Ulate. [1] To assuage these fears, Picado's government for the first time in Costa Rican history placed the election under the control of an independent electoral tribunal.

José Figueres, a Costa Rican businessman, had been forced into exile in Mexico on April 12, 1942 as a consequence of a radio broadcast in which he strongly criticized the Calderón regime. Figueres returned to Costa Rica after the election of Picado. Before the elections of 1948, Figueres had already been planning for a war. Unlike Ulate, former president León Cortés, and the other members of the Costa Rican opposition, Figueres felt that Calderón would never allow a fair election to take place. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Figueres began training the Caribbean Legion, an irregular force of 700. Hoping to use Costa Rica as a base, the Legion planned to move against other authoritarian governments in Middle America. Washington, D.C. officials followed the Legion's activities with concern, especially after Figueres carried out a series of terrorist attacks inside Costa Rica during 1945 and 1946 that was supposed to climax in a general strike. The people did not respond. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

After a highly contentious electoral process plagued by violence and irregularities concluded on February 8, 1948, the independent electoral tribunal, by a split vote of 2 to 1, declared that opposition candidate Otilio Ulate of the National Union Party, had been elected president. The National Republican Party candidate, former president Calderón, claimed that this result had been obtained by fraud and petitioned Congress, where the coalition of his own party and the Popular Vanguard Party held a majority, to void the results and call for a new election. When Congress granted this request the country erupted in chaos, as both sides accused the other of vote tampering and electoral fraud. [8] [6]

On the day that the government annulled the elections, police surrounded the home of Dr. Carlos Luis Valverde, where Ulate was and Figueres had been only moments before. Shots rang out, and Valverde fell dead on his doorstep. Ulate escaped but was later captured and imprisoned, all of which helped to paint an especially distasteful image of the military. [5]

The annulment of the election results in 1948 and the killing of Dr. Valverde on the same day seemed to give Figueres the evidence that he needed that the government had no intention of peacefully accepting the popular will, thus justifying a violent insurrection. On March 11, Figueres made the call that brought in the arms and military leaders Figueres needed for a successful military campaign. On March 12, his National Liberation Army exchanged fire with government forces, and the war began. [9]

Costa Rican politics have traditionally been guided by personal allegiances far more than by ideological consistency, and the Civil War of 1948 provides a striking example of this. Calderón had been elected president in 1940 as the candidate of the right, closely allied with the Roman Catholic Church and with the business elite, but his enthusiastic support for the Allies during World War II and especially his punitive measures against the rich and influential German community in Costa Rica, caused that elite to withdraw its support for him.

Calderón then created a different political base by allying himself with the Costa Rican communists (the Popular Vanguard Party), led by Manuel Mora, and with the socially progressive Catholic Archbishop of San José, Víctor Manuel Sanabria, in order to pass legislation guaranteeing labor rights and establishing a welfare state. Mora's communist militias provided important armed support for the government, both during the tense years of Picado's administration (1944–48) and during the Civil War itself.

The rebel forces led by Figueres were a disparate mix of anti-communist right-wingers, economically conservative elements weary of the welfare state (represented by the winner of the 1948 election himself, Otilio Ulate), and a social democratic intelligentsia which sought to strengthen the new welfare state while ensuring democratic transparency. After their victory this alliance quickly fell apart. The right-wing faction, led by the junta's Minister of Public Safety, Édgar Cardona, attempted to overthrow Figueres and was excluded from the government thereafter. Figueres himself became closely identified with the social democratic faction, which later dominated his own National Liberation Party (PLN). The economically conservative groups under Ulate ended up allying themselves in the 1950s with Calderón's supporters to form a broad anti-PLN coalition.

This lack of ideological consistency is further underscored by the fact that during the Civil War the government forces, despite being allied to the Costa Rican communists, enjoyed the support of right-wing Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, while Figueres's rebels, who as anti-communists were tacitly supported by the United States, received significant aid from leftist Guatemalan president Juan José Arévalo.

The National Liberation Army, as the rebel army called itself, slowly worked their way up the Pan American Highway, capturing small but important cities and ports with relative ease. The official army, which was then led by Picado's brother, was unable to organize an effective resistance to Figueres' National Liberation Army. Figueres also contended against the communist militias commanded by congressman Carlos Luis Fallas and against Nicaraguan soldiers who had been sent by Somoza to help the government retain power.

In Cartago, Costa Rica's second-largest city, located only twelve miles from the capital, Figueres' forces met considerable military opposition however, the limited forces and supplies of the governmental forces quickly ran out, and Cartago fell into the hands of Figueres on April 12. Costa Rican President Picado, realizing that defeat was inevitable, sent notice to Figueres that he was willing to come to a compromise.

Picado's long-time political ally, Manuel Mora of the communist Popular Vanguard Party, had no intention of negotiating with Figueres. Mora's forces had sealed themselves up inside the capital of San José, and were determined not to capitulate as quickly as Picado. As the target of many of Figueres' criticisms about Costa Rica, Mora and his party were worried that a Figueres-led takeover might well lead to their expulsion from politics.

Arévalo's help proved to be indispensable. The determining force was United States policy. The creators of that policy held little love for Figueres, but they were determined to destroy the ‘’Vanguardia Popular’’. Perhaps the Communist party had only seven thousand members, Ambassador Davis reported home, but it should hold the balance of political power in Congress and also constituted "some 70 percent of the police and army." Writing within hours after the Communist overthrow of the Czechoslovak government (an event that severely shook Washington and other Western capitals), Davis warned that Costa Rica's condition was "in many respects similar to that prevailing in Eastern Europe." [10]

When the State Department learned on 17 April 1948 that small Communist groups threatened to take over the capital of San José, US troops were placed on alert in the Canal Zone. Their mission was to move quickly into Costa Rica and stop the revolution before the Vanguardia Popular consolidated its power. It was a false alarm, but it indicated that regardless of any Good Neighbor policy sentiments, the possibility of unilateral U.S. intervention was no mere abstraction. [10]

Throughout the conflict, Figueres received a steady supply of arms from Arévalo, while Picado's forces were unable to exploit Somoza's desire to help. The United States had ensured Somoza's political impotence. Desperately wanting Nicaraguan help, Picado pleaded with Ambassador Davis to allow what was, after all, the recognized Costa Rican government to obtain help from Nicaragua so it could remain in power. Davis blandly "explained our well known policy of non-intervention" and then referred to the obligations of American nations [to] non-intervene." [10]

Picado bitterly observed that non-intervention was a fiction, Figueres had received "tons" of supplies from Arévalo, and rumors circulated of aid even from the Panamanian government. Davis ignored the charges. Picado then threatened to take the matter to the United Nations. "The United Nations machinery was cumbersome," the State Department suavely but directly reminded the Costa Rican leader, and "immediate action on the part of the Council (where the United States had a veto and controlled the majority of the votes) could probably not be expected." [10]

The day after the fall of Cartago, Picado—low on supplies and without any other source of support—sent a letter to Mora and National Republican leader, and former President Calderón stating that "the attempt to hold San José would be futile and catastrophic." Mora, facing the reality that now the United States was ready to act against him as well, gave in to Picado's plea.

On April 19, Picado and Father Benjamín Núñez, an eminent labor leader within Costa Rica, signed the so-called Pact of the Mexican Embassy, ending the armed uprising. Picado resigned the next day, leaving Santos León Herrera as interim president. Picado and former president Calderón Guardia went into exile in Nicaragua. On 24 April, Figueres' forces entered San José, almost six weeks after beginning their revolt in southern Costa Rica. On 8 May the provisional junta presided by Figueres formally took over the government.

By its mobilization in the Canal Zone, constant pressure on Picado, and cutting off Somoza's help, the United States determined the outcome of the revolution in April 1948. With more than 2,000 dead, the 44-day civil war resulting from this uprising was the bloodiest event in 20th-century Costa Rican history.


Pre-colonization Indigenous societies Edit

Among Indigenous peoples of the Americas prior to European colonization, a number of Nations had respected ceremonial and social roles for homosexual, bisexual, and gender-nonconforming individuals in their communities in many contemporary Native American and First Nations communities, these roles still exist. [9] While each Indigenous culture has their own names for these individuals, [10] a modern, pan-Indian term that was adopted in 1990 is "Two-Spirit". [11] While this new term has not been universally accepted—it has been criticized by traditional communities who already have their own terms for the people being grouped under this "urban neologism", and by those who reject what they call the "western" binary implications, such as implying that Natives believe these individuals are "both male and female", it has generally met with more acceptance than the anthropological term it replaced. [12] [13]

Homosexual and gender-variant individuals were also common among other pre-conquest civilizations in Latin America, such as the Aztecs, Mayans, Quechuas, Moches, Zapotecs, and the Tupinambá of Brazil. [14] [15]

The Spanish conquerors were horrified to discover sodomy openly practiced among native peoples, and attempted to crush it out by subjecting the berdaches (as the Spanish called them) under their rule to severe penalties, including public execution, burning and being torn to pieces by dogs. [16]

Post-colonization Edit

In East Asia, same-sex love has been referred to since the earliest recorded history.

Homosexuality in China, known as the pleasures of the bitten peach, the cut sleeve, or the southern custom, has been recorded since approximately 600 BCE. These euphemistic terms were used to describe behaviors, not identities (recently some fashionable young Chinese tend to euphemistically use the term "brokeback," 斷背 duanbei to refer to homosexual men, from the success of director Ang Lee's film Brokeback Mountain). [17] The relationships were marked by differences in age and social position. However, the instances of same-sex affection and sexual interactions described in the classical novel Dream of the Red Chamber seem as familiar to observers in the present, as do equivalent stories of romances between heterosexual people during the same period.

Homosexuality in Japan, variously known as shudo or nanshoku, has been documented for over one thousand years and had some connections to the Buddhist monastic life and the samurai tradition. This same-sex love culture gave rise to strong traditions of painting and literature documenting and celebrating such relationships.

Similarly, in Thailand, kathoey, or "ladyboys," have been a feature of Thai society for many centuries, and Thai kings had male as well as female lovers. While kathoey may encompass simple effeminacy or transvestism, it most commonly is treated in Thai culture as a third gender. They are generally accepted by society, and Thailand has never had legal prohibitions against homosexuality or homosexual behavior. [18]

Antiquity Edit

The earliest Western documents (in the form of literary works, art objects, and mythographic materials) concerning same-sex relationships are derived from ancient Greece.

The formal practice, an erotic yet often restrained relationship between a free-born (i.e. not a slave or freedman) adult male and a free-born adolescent, was valued for its pedagogic benefits and as a means of population control, though occasionally blamed for causing disorder. Plato praised its benefits in his early writings [19] but in his late works proposed its prohibition. [20] In the Symposium (182B-D), Plato equates acceptance of homosexuality with democracy, and its suppression with despotism, saying that homosexuality "is shameful to barbarians because of their despotic governments, just as philosophy and athletics are, since it is apparently not in best interests of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects, or powerful friendships or physical unions, all of which love is particularly apt to produce". [8]

Aristotle, in his Politics, dismissed Plato's ideas about abolishing homosexuality (2.4) he explains that barbarians like the Celts accorded it a special honour (2.6.6), while the Cretans used it to regulate the population (2.7.5). [8]

Little is known of female homosexuality in antiquity. Sappho, born on the island of Lesbos, was included by later Greeks in the canonical list of nine lyric poets. The adjectives deriving from her name and place of birth (sapphic and lesbian) came to be applied to female homosexuality beginning in the 19th century. [21] [22] Sappho's poetry centers on passion and love for various personages and both genders. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love (sometimes requited, sometimes not) for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate. [23] [24] There is no evidence that she ran an academy for girls.

In ancient Rome, the young male body remained a focus of male sexual attention, but relationships were between older free men and slaves or freed youths who took the receptive role in sex. [ citation needed ] The Hellenophile emperor Hadrian is renowned for his relationship with Antinous. However, by 390 A.D., Emperor Theodosius I made homosexuality a legally punishable offense for the passive partner: "All persons who have the shameful custom of condemning a man's body, acting the part of a woman's to the sufferance of alien sex (for they appear not to be different from women), shall expiate a crime of this kind in avenging flames in the sight of the people." [25] In 558, toward the end of his reign, Justinian expanded the proscription to the active partner as well, warning that such conduct can lead to the destruction of cities through the "wrath of God". Notwithstanding these regulations, taxes on brothels of boys available for homosexual sex continued to be collected until the end of the reign of Anastasius I in 618. [26]

The Middle Ages Edit

Through the medieval period, homosexuality was generally condemned and thought to be the moral of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Historians debate if there were any prominent homosexuals and bisexuals at this time, but it is argued that figures such as Edward II, Richard the Lionheart, Philip II Augustus, and William Rufus were engaged in same-sex relationships.

Also, historian Allan A. Tulchin recently argued that a form of male same-sex marriage existed in Medieval France, and possibly other areas in Europe, as well. There was a legal category called "enbrotherment" (affrèrement) that allowed two men to share living quarters, pool their resources, and effectively live as a married couple. The couple shared "one bread, one wine, one purse." [27] The article received considerable attention in the English-language press, since Tulchin may have discovered the earliest form of same-sex marriage. [28] Tulchin's views have also sparked significant controversy, as they challenge the generally held view that the medieval period was one of the most anti-gay in history.

The Renaissance Edit

During the Renaissance, wealthy cities in northern Italy—Florence and Venice in particular—were renowned for their widespread practice of same-sex love, engaged in by a considerable part of the male population and constructed along the classical pattern of Greece and Rome. [29] [30] But even as many of the male population were engaging in same-sex relationships, the authorities, under the aegis of the Officers of the Night, were prosecuting, fining, and imprisoning a good portion of that population. [31] Many of the prominent artists who defined the Renaissance such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci are believed to have had relationships with men. The decline of this period of relative artistic and erotic freedom was precipitated by the rise to power of the moralizing monk Girolamo Savonarola. [32] In England, Geoffery Chaucer's "The Pardoner's Tale" centered around an enigmatic and deceptive character who is also at one point described as "a geldyng or a mare", suggesting that the narrator thought the Pardoner to be either a eunuch ("geldyng") or a homosexual. [33] [34]

Modernity Edit

Early Modernity Edit

The relationships of socially prominent figures, such as King James I and the Duke of Buckingham, served to highlight the issue, including in anonymously authored street pamphlets: "The world is chang'd I know not how, For men Kiss Men, not Women now. Of J. the First and Buckingham: He, true it is, his Wives Embraces fled, To slabber his lov'd Ganimede" [35]

The anonymous Love Letters Between a Certain Late Nobleman and the Famous Mr. Wilson was published in 1723 in England and was presumed by some modern scholars to be a novel. [36]

The 1749 edition of John Cleland's popular novel Fanny Hill includes a homosexual scene, but this was removed in its 1750 edition. [37] [38] Also in 1749, the earliest extended and serious defense of homosexuality in English, Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplified, written by Thomas Cannon, was published, but was suppressed almost immediately. It includes the passage: "Unnatural Desire is a Contradiction in Terms downright Nonsense. Desire is an amatory Impulse of the inmost human Parts." [39] Around 1785 Jeremy Bentham wrote another defense, but this was not published until 1978. [40] Executions for sodomy continued in the Netherlands until 1803 and in England until 1835.

Late Modernity Edit

Between 1864 and 1880 Karl Heinrich Ulrichs published a series of twelve tracts, which he collectively titled Research on the Riddle of Man-Manly Love. In 1867 he became the first self-proclaimed homosexual person to speak out publicly in defense of homosexuality when he pleaded at the Congress of German Jurists in Munich for a resolution urging the repeal of anti-homosexual laws. Sexual Inversion by Havelock Ellis, published in 1896, challenged theories that homosexuality was abnormal, as well as stereotypes, and insisted on the ubiquity of homosexuality and its association with intellectual and artistic achievement. [41] Although medical texts like these (written partly in Latin to obscure the sexual details) were not widely read by the general public, they did lead to the rise of Magnus Hirschfeld's Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which campaigned from 1897 to 1933 against anti-sodomy laws in Germany, as well as a much more informal, unpublicized movement among British intellectuals and writers, led by such figures as Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds. Beginning in 1894 with Homogenic Love, Socialist activist and poet Edward Carpenter wrote a string of pro-homosexual articles and pamphlets, and "came out" in 1916 in his book My Days and Dreams. In 1900, Elisar von Kupffer published an anthology of homosexual literature from antiquity to his own time, Lieblingminne und Freundesliebe in der Weltliteratur. His aim was to broaden the public perspective of homosexuality beyond its being viewed simply as a medical or biological issue, but also as an ethical and cultural one. Sigmund Freud, among others, argued that neither predominantly different- nor same-sex sexuality were the norm, instead that what is called "bisexuality" is the normal human condition thwarted by society.

These developments suffered several setbacks, both coincidental and deliberate. For example, in 1895, famed playwright Oscar Wilde was convicted of "gross indecency" in the United Kingdom, and lurid details from the trials (especially those involving young male sex workers) led to increased scrutiny of all facets of relationships between men. The most destructive backlash occurred when the Third Reich specifically targeted LGBT people in the Holocaust. [42] [ needs update ]

There are a handful of accounts by Arab travelers to Europe during the mid-1800s. Two of these travelers, Rifa'ah al-Tahtawi and Muhammad sl-Saffar, show their surprise that the French sometimes deliberately mis-translated love poetry about a young boy, instead referring to a young female, to maintain their social norms and morals. [43]

Among modern Middle Eastern countries, same-sex intercourse officially carries the death penalty in several nations, including Saudi Arabia and Iran. [44]

Today, governments in the Middle East often ignore, deny the existence of, or criminalize homosexuality. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during his 2007 speech at Columbia University, asserted that there were no gay people in Iran. Gay people may live in Iran, however they are forced to keep their sexuality veiled from the society, funded and encouraged by government legislation and traditional norms. [45]

Mesopotamia Edit

Some ancient religious Assyrian texts contain prayers for divine blessings on homosexual relationships. [46] Freely pictured art of anal intercourse, practiced as part of a religious ritual, dated from the 3rd millennium BC and onwards. [47] Homosexual relationships with royal attendants, between soldiers, and those where a social better was submissive or penetrated were treated as rape or seen as bad omens, and punishments were applied. [48]

The Laws of Manu, the foundational work of Hindu law, mentions a "third sex", members of which may engage in nontraditional gender expression and homosexual activities. [49] The Kama Sutra, written in the 4th century, describes techniques by which homosexuals perform fellatio. [50] Further, such homosexual men were also known to marry, according to the Kama Sutra: "There are also third-sex citizens, sometimes greatly attached to one another and with complete faith in one another, who get married together." (KS 2.9.36).

In many societies of Melanesia, especially in Papua New Guinea, same-sex relationships were an integral part of the culture until the middle of the last century. The Etoro and Marind-anim for example, even viewed heterosexuality as sinful [ clarification needed ] and celebrated homosexuality instead. In many traditional Melanesian cultures a prepubertal boy would be paired with an older adolescent who would become his mentor and who would "inseminate" him (orally, anally, or topically, depending on the tribe) over a number of years in order for the younger to also reach puberty. Many Melanesian societies, however, have become hostile towards same-sex relationships since the introduction of Christianity by European missionaries. [51]

Egypt Edit

Homosexuality in ancient Egypt is a passionately disputed subject within Egyptology: historians and egyptologists alike debate what kind of view the Ancient Egyptians society fostered about homosexuality. Only a handful of direct hints have survived to this day and many possible indications are only vague and offer plenty of room for speculation.

The best known case of possible homosexuality in Ancient Egypt is that of the two high officials Nyankh-Khnum and Khnum-hotep. Both men lived and served under pharaoh Niuserre during the 5th Dynasty (c. 2494–2345 BC). [52] Nyankh-Khnum and Khnum-hotep each had families of their own with children and wives, but when they died their families apparently decided to bury them together in one and the same mastaba tomb. In this mastaba, several paintings depict both men embracing each other and touching their faces nose-on-nose. These depictions leave plenty of room for speculation, because in Ancient Egypt the nose-on-nose touching normally represented a kiss. [52]

Egyptologists and historians disagree about how to interpret the paintings of Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep. Some scholars believe that the paintings reflect an example of homosexuality between two married men and prove that the Ancient Egyptians accepted same-sex relationships. [53] Other scholars disagree and interpret the scenes as an evidence that Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep were twins, even possibly conjoined twins. No matter what interpretation is correct, the paintings show at the very least that Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep must have been very close to each other in life as in death. [52]

It remains unclear what exact view the Ancient Egyptians fostered about homosexuality. Any document and literature that actually contains sexually orientated stories never name the nature of the sexual deeds, but instead uses stilted and flowery paraphrases. While the stories about Seth and his sexual behavior may reveal rather negative thoughts and views, the tomb inscription of Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep may instead suggest that homosexuality was likewise accepted. Ancient Egyptian documents never clearly say that same-sex relationships were seen as reprehensible or despicable. And no Ancient Egyptian document mentions that homosexual acts were set under penalty. Thus, a straight evaluation remains problematic. [52] [54]

Sub-Saharan Africa Edit

In the 19th century Mwanga II (1868–1903) the Kabaka of Buganda regularly had sex with his male page. [55]

In Ethiopia Bieber (1909) “encountered Uranism” among the Semitic Harari people and noted that “sodomy is not foreign to the Harari. Albeit not as commonly, it also occurs among the Galla [Oromo] and Somal[i].” He also noted mutual masturbation by both sexes and all ages for all three peoples, and specified that among the Harari, Uranism was practiced as often between men as between men and boys. More recently, Gamst (1969) reported homosexual relations among shepherd boys of the Cushitic-speaking Qemant (Kemant) of central Ethiopia. Among Amhara peasants, Messing (1957) found (better-accepted) male transvestites, who they view as “god’s mistakes.” Wändarwäräd (“literally male-female”) with visible male sexual characteristics, but whose structure is popularly believed to be defective. Among the Maale of southern Ethiopia, “a small minority [of men] crossed over to feminine roles. Called ashtime, these (biological) males dressed like women, performed female tasks, cared for their own houses, and apparently had sexual relations with men,” according to Donald Donham (1990).

Cross-gender homosexuality not tied to possession cults has been reported in a number of East African societies. Needham (1973) described a religious leadership role called mugawe among the Meru of Kenya which includes wearing women's clothes and hairstyle. Mugawe are frequently homosexual, and sometimes are married to a man. Bryk (1964) reported active (i.e., insertive) Kikuyu pederasts called onek. and also mentioned “homoerotic bachelors” among the pastoralist Nandi and Maragoli (Wanga).

The Western world Edit

After World War II, the history of homosexuality in Western societies progressed on very similar and often intertwined paths.

In 1948, American biologist Alfred Kinsey published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, popularly known as the Kinsey Reports. In 1957, the UK government commissioned the Wolfenden report to review the country's anti-sodomy laws the final report advised decriminalizing consensual homosexual conduct, though the laws were not actually changed for another ten years.

Homosexuality was deemed to be a psychiatric disorder for many years, although the studies this theory was based on were later determined to be flawed. In 1973 homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness in the United Kingdom. In 1986 all references to homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder were removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association.

LGBT rights movements Edit

During the Sexual Revolution, the different-sex sexual ideal became completely separated from procreation, yet at the same time was distanced from same-sex sexuality. Many people viewed this freeing of different-sex sexuality as leading to more freedom for same-sex sexuality.

The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and the patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay hangout in Greenwich Village. The riot began on Friday, June 27, 1969, during a routine police raid, when trans women and men, gay men, lesbians, street queens, and other street people fought back in the spirit of the civil rights movements of the era. [56] This riot ended on the morning of 28 June, but smaller demonstrations occurred in the neighborhood throughout the remainder of the week. [57] In the aftermath of the riots, many gay rights organizations formed such as the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). A year later the first Gay Pride March was held to mark the anniversary of the uprising.

The terms homosexual and heterosexual were coined by Karl-Maria Kertbeny in private correspondence in 1868 and published in two pamphlets in 1869, becoming the standard terms when used by Richard von Krafft-Ebing in his Psychopathia Sexualis (1886). The term bisexuality was invented in the 20th century as sexual identities became defined by the predominate sex to which people are attracted and thus a label was needed for those who are not predominantly attracted to one sex. This points out that the history of sexuality is not solely the history of different-sex sexuality plus the history of same-sex sexuality, but a broader conception viewing of historical events in light of our modern concept or concepts of sexuality taken at its most broad and/or literal definitions.

Historical personalities are often described using modern sexual identity terms such as straight, bisexual, gay or queer. Those who favour the practice say that this can highlight such issues as discriminatory historiography by, for example, putting into relief the extent to which same-sex sexual experiences are excluded from biographies of noted figures, or to which sensibilities resulting from same-sex attraction are excluded from literary and artistic consideration of important works, and so on. As well as that, an opposite situation is possible in the modern society: some LGBT-supportive researchers stick to the homosexual theories, excluding other possibilities.

However, many, especially in the academic world, regard the use of modern labels as problematic, owing to differences in the ways that different societies constructed sexual orientation identities and to the connotations of modern words like queer. For example, in many societies same-sex sex acts were expected, or completely ignored, and no identity was constructed on their basis at all. Other academics acknowledge that, for example, even in the modern day not all men who have sex with men identify with any of the modern related terms, and that terms for other modern constructed or medicalized identities (such as nationality or disability) are routinely used in anachronistic contexts as mere descriptors or for ease of modern understanding thus they have no qualms doing the same for sexual orientation. Academic works usually specify which words will be used and in which context. Readers are cautioned to avoid making assumptions about the identity of historical figures based on the use of the terms mentioned above.

Ancient Greece Edit

Greek men had great latitude in their sexual expression, but their wives were severely restricted and could hardly move about the town unsupervised if she was old enough that people would ask whose mother she was, not whose wife she was. [ citation needed ]

Men could also seek adolescent boys as partners as shown by some of the earliest documents concerning same-sex pederastic relationships, which come from Ancient Greece. Though slave boys could be bought, free boys had to be courted, and ancient materials suggest that the father also had to consent to the relationship. Such relationships did not replace marriage between man and woman, but occurred before and during the marriage. A mature man would not usually have a mature male mate, but there were exceptions (among whom Alexander the Great) He would be the erastes (lover) to a young eromenos (loved one). Dover suggests that it was considered improper for the eromenos to feel desire, as that would not be masculine. Driven by desire and admiration, the erastes would devote himself unselfishly by providing all the education his eromenos required to thrive in society. In recent times, Dover's theory suggests that questioned in light of massive evidence of ancient art and love poetry, a more emotional connection than earlier researchers liked to acknowledge. Some research has shown that ancient Greeks believed semen to be the source of knowledge and that these relationships served to pass wisdom on from the erastes to the eromenos. [ citation needed ]

Ancient Rome Edit

The "conquest mentality" of the ancient Romans shaped Roman homosexual practices. [58] In the Roman Republic, a citizen's political liberty was defined in part by the right to preserve his body from physical compulsion or use by others [59] for the male citizen to submit his body to the giving of pleasure was considered servile. [60] As long as a man played the penetrative role, it was socially acceptable and considered natural for him to have same-sex relations, without a perceived loss of his masculinity or social standing. [61] Sex between male citizens of equal status, including soldiers, was disparaged, and in some circumstances penalized harshly. [62] The bodies of citizen youths were strictly off-limits, and the Lex Scantinia imposed penalties on those who committed a sex crime (stuprum) against a freeborn male minor. [63] Male slaves, prostitutes, and entertainers or others considered infames (of no social standing) were acceptable sex partners for the dominant male citizen to penetrate.

"Homosexual" and "heterosexual" were thus not categories of Roman sexuality, and no words exist in Latin that would precisely translate these concepts. [64] A male citizen who willingly performed oral sex or received anal sex was disparaged. In courtroom and political rhetoric, charges of effeminacy and passive sexual behaviors were directed particularly at "democratic" politicians (populares) such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. [65] Until the Roman Empire came under Christian rule, [66] there is only limited evidence of legal penalties against men who were presumably "homosexual" in the modern sense. [67]

2. The Bombing of Ellwood Oil Field

Soldiers inspect a crater caused by the Japanese attack at Fort Stevens. (National Archives and Records Administration)

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, a small contingent of Japanese submarines was dispatched east to patrol the California coastline. On February 23, 1942, the Japanese submarine I-17 slinked into a channel near Ellwood Oil Field, a large oil well and storage facility outside of Santa Barbara. After surfacing, the submarine lobbed 16 shells at Ellwood Beach from its lone deck gun before submerging and fleeing to the open ocean.

The brief shelling only caused minor damage to the oil field𠅊 pump house and a single oil derrick were destroyed𠅋ut its implications were severe. The bombardment at Ellwood was the first shelling of the mainland United States during World War II, and it sparked an invasion panic among an American populace not used dealing with war on the home front. A day later, reports of enemy aircraft led to the so-called �ttle of Los Angeles,” in which American artillery was discharged over Los Angeles for several hours due to the mistaken belief that the Japanese were invading.

America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953

Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide's lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami. He began his talk with a riddle: "Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?" The answer: "Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C." This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.

Ukraine's former security chief, Aleksandr Yakimenko, has reported that the coup-plotters who overthrew the elected government in Ukraine, "basically lived in the (U.S.) Embassy. They were there every day." We also know from a leaked Russian intercept that they were in close contact with Ambassador Pyatt and the senior U.S. official in charge of the coup, former Dick Cheney aide Victoria Nuland, officially the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. And we can assume that many of their days in the Embassy were spent in strategy and training sessions with their individual CIA case officers.

To place the coup in Ukraine in historical context, this is at least the 80th time the United States has organized a coup or a failed coup in a foreign country since 1953. That was when President Eisenhower discovered in Iran that the CIA could overthrow elected governments who refused to sacrifice the future of their people to Western commercial and geopolitical interests. Most U.S. coups have led to severe repression, disappearances, extrajudicial executions, torture, corruption, extreme poverty and inequality, and prolonged setbacks for the democratic aspirations of people in the countries affected. The plutocratic and ultra-conservative nature of the forces the U.S. has brought to power in Ukraine make it unlikely to be an exception.

Noam Chomsky calls William Blum's classic, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II, "Far and away the best book on the topic." If you're looking for historical context for what you are reading or watching on TV about the coup in Ukraine, Killing Hope will provide it. The title has never been more apt as we watch the hopes of people from all regions of Ukraine being sacrificed on the same altar as those of people in Iran (1953) Guatemala(1954) Thailand (1957) Laos (1958-60) the Congo (1960) Turkey (1960, 1971 & 1980) Ecuador (1961 & 1963) South Vietnam (1963) Brazil (1964) the Dominican Republic (1963) Argentina (1963) Honduras (1963 & 2009) Iraq (1963 & 2003) Bolivia (1964, 1971 & 1980) Indonesia (1965) Ghana (1966) Greece (1967) Panama (1968 & 1989) Cambodia (1970) Chile (1973) Bangladesh (1975) Pakistan (1977) Grenada (1983) Mauritania (1984) Guinea (1984) Burkina Faso (1987) Paraguay (1989) Haiti (1991 & 2004) Russia (1993) Uganda (1996)and Libya (2011). This list does not include a roughly equal number of failed coups, nor coups in Africa and elsewhere in which a U.S. role is suspected but unproven.

The disquieting reality of the world we live in is that American efforts to destroy democracy, even as it pretends to champion it, have left the world less peaceful, less just and less hopeful. When Harold Pinter won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, at the height of the genocidal American war on Iraq, he devoted much of his acceptance speech to an analysis of this dichotomy. He said of the U.S., "It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis… Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be, but it is also very clever."

The basic framework of U.S. coups has hardly evolved since 1953. The main variables between coups in different places and times have been the scale and openness of the U.S. role and the level of violence used. There is a strong correlation between the extent of U.S. involvement and the level of violence. At one extreme, the U.S. war on Iraq was a form of regime change that involved hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and killed hundreds of thousands of people. On the other hand, the U.S. role in General Suharto's coup in Indonesia in 1965 remained covert even as he killed almost as many people. Only long after the fact did U.S. officials take credit for their role in Suharto's campaign of mass murder, and it will be some time before they brag publicly about their roles in Ukraine.

But as Harold Pinter explained, the U.S. has always preferred "low-intensity conflict" to full-scale invasions and occupations. The CIA and U.S. special forces use proxies and covert operations to overthrow governments and suppress movements that challenge America's insatiable quest for global power. A coup is the climax of such operations, and it is usually only when these "low-intensity" methods fail that a country becomes a target for direct U.S. military aggression. Iraq only became a target for U.S. invasion and occupation after a failed CIA coup in June 1996. The U.S. attacked Panama in 1989 only after five CIA coup attempts failed to remove General Noriega from power. After long careers as CIA agents, both Hussein and Noriega had exceptional knowledge of U.S. operations and methods that enabled them to resist regime change by anything less than overwhelming U.S. military force.

But most U.S. coups follow a model that has hardly changed between 1953 and the latest coup in Ukraine in 2014. This model has three stages:

1) Creating and strengthening opposition forces

In the early stages of a U.S. plan for regime change, there is little difference between the methods used to achieve it at the ballot box or by an anti-constitutional coup. Many of these tools and methods were developed to install right-wing governments in occupied countries in Europe and Asia after World War II. They include forming and funding conservative political parties, student groups, trade unions and media outlets, and running well-oiled propaganda campaigns both in the country being targeted and in regional, international and U.S. media.

Post-WWII Italy is a case in point. At the end of the war, the U.S. used the American Federation of Labor's agents in France and Italy to funnel money through non-communist trade unions to conservative candidates and political parties. But socialists and communists won a plurality of votes in the 1946 election in Italy, and then joined forces to form the Popular Democratic Front for the next election in 1948. The U.S. worked with the Catholic Church, conducted a massive propaganda campaign using Italian-American celebrities like Frank Sinatra, and printed 10 million letters for Italian-Americans to mail to their relatives in Italy. The U.S. threatened a total cut-off of aid to the war-ravaged country, where allied bombing had killed 50,000 civilians and left much of the country in ruins.

The FDP was reduced from a combined 40% of the votes in 1946 to 31% in 1948, leaving Italy in the hands of increasingly corrupt U.S.-backed coalitions led by the Christian Democrats for the next 46 years. Italy was saved from an imaginary communist dictatorship, but more importantly from an independent democratic socialist program committed to workers' rights and to protecting small and medium-sized Italian businesses against competition from U.S. multinationals.

The U.S. employed similar tactics in Chile in the 1960s to prevent the election of Salvador Allende. He came within 3% of winning the presidency in 1958, so the Kennedy administration sent a team of 100 State Department and CIA officers to Chile in what one of them later called a "blatant and almost obscene" effort to subvert the next election in 1964. The CIA provided more than half the Christian Democrats' campaign funds and launched a multimedia propaganda campaign on film, TV, radio, newspapers, posters and flyers. This classic "red scare" campaign, dominated by images of firing squads and Soviet tanks, was designed mainly to terrify women. The CIA produced 20 radio spots per day that were broadcast on at least 45 stations, as well as dozens of fabricated daily "news" broadcasts. Thousands of posters depicted children with hammers and sickles stamped on their foreheads. The Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei defeated Allende by 17%, with a huge majority among women.

But despite the U.S. propaganda campaign, Allende was finally elected in 1970. When he consolidated his position in Congressional elections in 1973 despite a virtual U.S. economic embargo and an ever-escalating destabilization campaign, his fate was sealed, at the hands of the CIA and the U.S.-backed military, led by General Pinochet.

In Ukraine, the U.S. has worked since independence in 1991 to promote pro-Western parties and candidates, climaxing in the "Orange Revolution" in 2004. But the Western-backed governments of Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko became just as corrupt and unpopular as previous ones, and former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich was elected President in 2010.

The U.S. employed all its traditional tactics leading up to the coup in 2014. The U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has partially taken over the CIA's role in grooming opposition candidates, parties and political movements, with an annual budget of $100 million to spend in countries around the world. The NED made no secret of targeting Ukraine as a top priority, funding 65 projects there, more than in any other country. The NED's neoconservative president, Carl Gershman, called Ukraine "the biggest prize" in a Washington Post op-ed in September 2013, as the U.S. operation there prepared to move into its next phase.

2) Violent street demonstrations

In November 2013, the European Union presented President Yanukovich with a 1,500 page "free trade agreement," similar to NAFTA or the TPP, but which withheld actual EU membership from Ukraine. The agreement would have opened Ukraine's borders to Western exports and investment without a reciprocal opening of the EU's borders. Ukraine, a major producer of cheese and poultry, would have been allowed to export only 5% of its cheese and 1% of its poultry to the EU. Meanwhile Western firms could have used Ukraine as a gateway to flood Russia with cheap products from Asia. This would have forced Russia to close its borders to Ukraine, shattering the industrial economy of Eastern Ukraine.

Understandably, and for perfectly sound reasons as a Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich rejected the EU agreement. This was the signal for pro-Western and right-wing groups in Kiev to take to the street. In the West, we tend to interpret street demonstrations as representing surges of populism and democracy. But we should distinguish left-wing demonstrations against right-wing governments from the kind of violent right-wing demonstrations that have always been part of U.S. regime change strategy.

In Tehran in 1953, the CIA spent a million dollars to hire gangsters and "extremely competent professional organizers", as the CIA's Kermit Roosevelt called them, to stage increasingly violent demonstrations, until loyal and rebel army units were fighting in the streets of Tehran and at least 300 people were killed. The CIA spent millions more to bribe members of parliament and other influential Iranians. Mossadegh was forced to resign, and the Shah restored Western ownership of the oil industry. BP divided the spoils with American firms, until the Shah was overthrown 26 years later by the Iranian Revolution and the oil industry was re-nationalized. This pattern of short-term success followed by eventual independence from U.S. interests is a common result of CIA coups, most notably in Latin America, where they have led many of our closest neighbors to become increasingly committed to political and economic independence from the United States.

In Haiti in 2004, 200 U.S. special forces trained 600 FRAPH militiamen and other anti-Lavalas forces at a training camp across the border in the Dominican Republic. These forces then invaded northern Haiti and gradually spread violence and chaos across the country to set the stage for the overthrow of President Aristide.

In Ukraine, street protests turned violent in January 2014 as the neo-NaziSvoboda Party and the Right Sector militia took charge of the crowds in the streets. The Right Sector militia only appeared in Ukraine in the past 6 months, although it incorporated existing extreme-right groups and gangs. It is partly funded by Ukrainian exiles in the U.S. and Europe, and may be a creation of the CIA. After Right Sector seized government buildings, parliament outlawed the protests and the police reoccupied part of Independence Square, killing two protesters.

On February 7th, the Russians published an intercepted phone call betweenAssistant Secretary of State Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. The intercept revealed that U.S. officials were preparing to seize the moment for a coup in Ukraine. The transcript reads like a page from a John Le Carre novel: "I think we're in play… we could land jelly-side up on this one if we move fast." Their main concern was to marginalize heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, who had become the popular face of the "revolution" and was favored by the European Union, and to ensure that U.S. favorite Arseniy Yatsenyuk ended up in the Prime Minister's office.

On the night of February 17th, Right Sector announced a march from Independence Square to the parliament building on the 18th. This ignited several days of escalating violence in which the death toll rose to 110 people killed, including protesters, government supporters and 16 police officers. More than a thousand people were wounded. Vyacheslav Veremyi, a well-known reporter for a pro-government newspaper, was dragged out of a taxi near Independence Square and shot to death in front of a crowd of onlookers. Right Sector broke into an armory near Lviv and seized military weapons, and there is evidence of both sides using snipers to fire from buildings in Kiev at protesters and police in the streets and the square below. Former security chief Yakimenko believes that snipers firing from the Philharmonic building were U.S.-paid foreign mercenaries, like the snipers from the former Yugoslavia who earn up to $2,000 per day shooting soldiers in Syria.

As violence raged in the streets, the government and opposition parties held emergency meetings and reached two truce agreements, one on the night of February 19th and another on the 21st, brokered by the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland. But Right Sector rejected both truces and called for the "people's revolution" to continue until Yanukovich resigned and the government was completely removed from power.

3) The coup d'etat.

The creation and grooming of opposition forces and the spread of violence in the streets are deliberate strategies to create a state of emergency as a pretext for removing an elected or constitutional government and seizing power. Once the coup leaders have been trained and prepared by their CIA case officers, U.S. officials have laid their plans and street violence has broken down law and order and the functioning of state institutions, all that remains is to strike decisively at the right moment to remove the government and install the coup leaders in its place. In Iran, faced with hundreds of people being killed in the streets, Mohammad Mosaddegh resigned to end the bloodshed. In Chile, General Pinochet launched air strikes on the presidential palace. In Haiti in 2004, U.S. forces landed to remove President Aristide and occupy the country.

In Ukraine, Vitaly Klitschko announced that parliament would open impeachment proceedings against Yanukovich, but, later that day, lacking the 338 votes required for impeachment, a smaller number of members simply approved a declaration that Yanukovich "withdrew from his duties in an unconstitutional manner," and appointed Oleksandr Turchynov of the opposition Fatherland Party as Acting President. Right Sector seized control of government buildings and patrolled the streets. Yanukovich refused to resign, calling this an illegal coup d'etat. The coup leaders vowed to prosecute him for the deaths of protesters, but he escaped to Russia. Arseniy Yatsenyuk was appointed Prime Minister on February 27th, exactly as Nuland and Pyatt had planned.

The main thing that distinguishes the U.S. coup in Ukraine from the majority of previous U.S. coups was the minimal role played by the Ukrainian military. Since 1953, most U.S. coups have involved using local senior military officers to deliver the final blow to remove the elected or ruling leader. The officers have then been rewarded with presidencies, dictatorships or other senior positions in new U.S.-backed regimes. The U.S. military cultivates military-to-military relationships to identify and groom future coup leaders, and President Obama's expansion of U.S. special forces operations to 134 countries around the world suggests that this process is ongoing and expanding, not contracting.

But the neutral or pro-Russian position of the Ukrainian military since it was separated from the Soviet Red Army in 1991 made it an impractical tool for an anti-Russian coup. So Nuland and Pyatt's signal innovation in Ukraine was to use the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and Right Sector as a strike force to unleash escalating violence and seize power. This also required managing Svoboda and Right Sector's uneasy alliance with Fatherland and UDAR, the two pro-Western opposition parties who won 40% between them in the 2012 parliamentary election.

Historically, about half of all U.S. coups have failed, and success is never guaranteed. But few Americans have ended up dead or destitute in the wake of a failed coup. It is always the people of the target country who pay the price in violence, chaos, poverty and instability, while U.S. coup leaders like Nuland and Pyatt often get a second - or 3rd or 4th or 5th - bite at the apple, and will keep rising through the ranks of the State Department and the CIA. Direct U.S. military intervention in Ukraine was not an option before the coup, but now the coup itself may destabilize the country and plunge it into economic collapse, regional disintegration or conflict with Russia, creating new and unpredictable conditions in which NATO intervention could become feasible.

Russia has proposed a reasonable solution to the crisis. To resolve the tensions between Eastern and Western Ukraine over their respective political and economic links with Russia and the West, the Russians have proposed a federal system in which both Eastern and Western Ukraine would have much greater autonomy. This would be more stable that the present system in which each tries to dominate the other with the support of their external allies, turning Ukraine and all its people into pawns of Western-NATO expansion and Russia's efforts to limit it. The Russian proposal includes a binding commitment that Ukraine would remain neutral and not join NATO. A few weeks ago, Obama and Kerry seemed to be ready to take this off-ramp from the crisis. The delay in agreeing to Russia's seemingly reasonable proposal may be only an effort to save face, or it may mean that theneocons who engineered the coup are still dictating policy in Washington and that Obama and Kerry may be ready to risk a further escalation of the crisis.

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