Passive Pacifist

For over 20 years I have received Pax, the journal of the Swedish Peace Society. I have always read it as a matter of duty. Rarely has it interested me much. I am a passive pacifist — a passivist, as a radical relative of mine once wrote me from prison, where he had been put for vandalising a fighter plane.

Now Pax has been discontinued. I won’t miss it. I’ll just continue to pay my membership dues and a monthly donation to investigate the Swedish arms industry. In fact, I’m going to hike the donation up to compensate for inflation.

Comments

  1. #1 Birger Johansson
    December 4, 2012

    …”to investigate the Swedish arms industry”.
    Arms export leads to corruption. I still recall when the (Social democrat) government defined Burma as having “peace” so they could legally make a small arms shipment of Carl Gustaf recoilless guns to the country, thirty years ago.
    The center-right alliance is as bad.

  2. #2 Vince Whirlwind
    December 5, 2012

    How about they investigate the ridiculous pursuit of Julian Assange?
    After all, the reason he is being pursued is because he exposed corruption and lies in the military-industrial complex.

  3. #3 Matt Bright
    December 6, 2012

    @Vince Whirlwind – the proximate reason Julian Assange is being pursued is that he is accused of cracking one off over a sleeping lady. It may be that he is being pursued more vigorously than he might be for darker reasons, but nonetheless, as with, say, Roman Polanski, it’s worth keeping the original accusation in mind.
    @Martin – as someone with a connection to the ScienceBlogs network, will you at least, as a pacifist, be expressing your displeasure to the management at allowing Lockheed Martin to publicise themselves on the blog via their sponsorship of the upcoming Science and Engineering Festival in Washington ?

  4. #4 Thomas
    December 6, 2012

    Vince, he is being investigated because he is suspected of sexual assault. Is he guilty? Neither I nor anyone else knows, but it would be easier to find out if he just let the Swedish police do their work. My guess is that the case would be dropped after he was interrogated, but we may never know.

  5. #5 Martin R
    December 6, 2012

    Assange was reported to the Swedish police for sexual coercion by two women. One claims that he purposefully sabotaged a condom. I don’t quite know what the other lady claims, but she was convinced by the first one to file her complaint.

    Matt, please clarify — is the Lockheed Martin logo visible on my blog!?

  6. #6 Matt Bright
    December 6, 2012

    @Martin – not at all. It actually wasn’t meant as a criticism of you or your blog, merely an exhortation to provide a bit of oppositional comment from the inside.

    Vis a vis Assange, the masturbatory accusation was one I read fairly recently and may be hearsay . My point, though, is that to simply discount accusations of this nature on the basis of opinions on the politics or other activities of the accused is not a good way to go.

  7. #7 Martin R
    December 6, 2012

    So Sb is running ads for an event sponsored (in part?) by the arms industry. I’m not sure what I think about the ethics of that. I guess it would depend on who the other sponsors are.

    I don’t think the women who reported Assange to the police are US agents sent out to frame him, though this is of course the conspiracy theory. He’s simply this traveling casanova type who had the misfortune of doing his normal thing in one of the most feminist countries in the world, where the legal bar for sexual coercion sits at quite a different level from most other countries. Female journalist acquaintances of mine tell some remarkable stories of what it’s like to interview the man.

  8. #8 Matt Bright
    December 6, 2012

    It’s a bit more than that – they apear to have their own temporary Branded blog to plug and write about the event. Which, don’t get me wrong, has worthy aims in itself but…

    Assange’s public statements, particularly his exchange with Private Eye in the UK (which the magazine eventually published in full) reveal some alarming attitudes all round, it’s true. One can’t, of course, condemn on that basis (mavericks can often be obstreperous and unpleasant by their very nature), but I suspect ‘Casanova’ is a somewhat lenient term.

  9. #9 Martin R
    December 6, 2012

    I went over to the blog entry in question and commented about the arms industry. Let’s see if it makes it through comment moderation…