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A. J. Muste (1885 – 1967)


Dutch-born American clergyman, pacifist, and social activist involved in US labor and civil rights movements.
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A. J. Muste
[Their foremost task] ... is to denounce the violence on which the present system is based, and all the evil material and spiritual this entails for the masses of menu throughout the world.... So long as we are not dealing honestly and adequately with this ninety percent of our problem, there is something ludicrous, and perhaps hypocritical, about our concern over the ten percent of violence employed by the rebels against oppression.
Muste quotes
Those who can bring themselves to renounce wealth, position and power accruing from a social system based on violence and putting a premium on acquisitiveness, and to identify themselves in some real fashion with the struggle of the masses toward the light, may help in a measure more, doubtless, by life than by words to devise a more excellent way, a technique of social progress less crude, brutal, costly and slow than mankind has yet evolved.
Muste
The problem after a war is the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war and violence pay. Who will now teach him a lesson?




Muste A. J. quotes
We cannot have peace if we are only concerned with peace. War is not an accident. It is the logical outcome of a certain way of life. If we want to attack war, we have to attack that way of life.
Disarmament cannot be achieved nor can the problem of war be resolved without being accompanied by profound changes in the economic order and the structure of society.
Muste A. J.
There is a certain indolence in us, a wish not to be disturbed, which tempts us to think that when things are quiet, all is well. Subconsciously, we tend to give the preference to 'social peace,' though it be only apparent, because our lives and possessions seem then secure. Actually, human beings acquiesce too easily in evil conditions; they rebel far too little and too seldom. There is nothing noble about acquiescence in a cramped life or mere submission to superior force.
A. J. Muste quotes
In a world built on violence, one must be a revolutionary before one can be a pacifist.
A. J. Muste
There is no way to peace; peace is the way.
Muste A. J. quotes
Educational enterprises do not for any length of time remain immune from the struggle of interests for power which is the dominant feature of social life under a class system.
Muste
[He made] remarkable effort to show that pacifism was by no means passivism and that there could be such a thing as a non-violent social revolution.
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