Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Dionisopoulos, P. Allan

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Pacifism; Socialism


Although war and violence have always posed a serious problem to political thought, the magnitude of this problem has become greatly increased because of the advent of the nuclear age and its threat of total human annihilation. In modern times, especially since the nuclear age began in 1945, socialistic pacifism has been one of the answers advanced to meet this problem. Its adherents argue that only non-violent means aimed at achieving social and economic equality can provide the basis for real and lasting world peace. Traditionally the greatest challenge to socialistic pacifism has come from the doctrine of political realism. Political realism argues that the modern pacifist approach to politics is inapplicable to the problems of our day, because of its naive conception of man and the political order. In this thesis an attempt has been made to describe in what manner leading modern, socialistic pacifists have answered the realist and other traditional beliefs on the necessity of war and violence in human society and politics. This has been done through a descriptive presentation of socialistic pacifism, as represented in the intellectually important proponents of this doctrine during the last one hundred years. The study covers modern religious and secular socialistic pacifist such as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Mulford Q. Sibley, Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell, and A. H. Muste. Their views pertaining to the nature of man, the state, violence, property, and equality have been emphasized, as well as their reactions to the realist critique. The conclusion of the study is that although socialistic pacifism contains certain weaknesses, such as the lack of convincing practical proposals for implementing its doctrine, its inherent moral and ethical strength plays a significant role in the quest for world peace in the nuclear age, and has contributed a vital balancing factor to the world of traditional power politics.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 74 pages




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