George Santayana: If dreadful outer world became troublesome, it would be necessary to make war on it and teach it a lesson

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 on war and militarism

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George Santayana
From The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel (1935)

Santayana_2

Her moral ideal was democracy, but a democracy of the elect. There could be no oppression in imposing uniformity on people who were really all alike; and such a society exacted from its members only what, if they were honourable, they would exact from themselves. She couldn’t conceive life except in a clan, where all the peers should have equal rights and similar virtues. Beyond the pale there could be nothing but utter darkness – an alien, heathen, unintelligible world, to be kept as remote as possible. If they couldn’t grow tea at home, she supposed they must get it from China or Ceylon. And she supposed that if occasionally that dreadful…

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