George Santayana: We want peace and make war

Antiwar literary and philosophical selections

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

George Santayana: Selections on war

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George Santayana
From Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies (1922)

Good honest unguided creatures! They are hardly out of the fog of war when they are lost in the fog of peace. If experience could teach mankind anything, how different our morals and our politics would be, how clear, how tolerant, how steady! If we knew ourselves, our conduct at all times would be absolutely decided and consistent; and a pervasive sense of vanity and humour would disinfect all our passions, if we knew the world. As it is, we live experimentally, moodily, in the dark; each generation breaks its egg-shell with the same haste and assurance as the last, pecks at the same indigestible pebbles, dreams the same dreams, or others just as absurd, and if it hears…

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