John Stuart Mill on war

I just noticed a random tweet go across my screen. It said only “Basically America supports war.” I don’t know what point that person was trying to make, or what exactly would even bring that up, but there it was in my face for me to think about.

But having seen that tweet my mind went instantly to a memory of a quote by John Stuart Mill. A quote I think is an eternal truth. A quote I think is highly relevant to the world we live in today and a quote that is definitely worthy to be called “Words of Freedom”.

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” ~ John Stuart Mill

John Stewart Mill on war

While chatting with a co-working in pretty yellow dress a few minutes ago I showed her a photo of a yellow ice cream shop that I had just put on our Modern Traveling Blog. The co-worker told me she had been to that small town and actually bought another yellow dress there a few years ago. She went on to explain that she felt bad for buying the dress as the shop was full of rainbow flags and banners that read “no war”. She expressed remorse for “supporting people like that.”

Impressing me beyond her years she then went on to say that war is a horrible thing but that there is something worse, and she spoke about the families who have lost a loved one oversees and now live with grief and loss every day.

This of course brought my mind right back to these famous words of John Stewart Mill, who, though not an American, has by his love of liberty earned his place in history and this little blog.

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” — John Stewart Mill