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Pacifism

Entry 127, on 2005-02-08 at 16:11:29 (Rating 2, Comments)

A habit I have had for the last year is to read a few pages of a book at lunch time. Its a form of escapism from the tedium of everyday life, and an enforced break for 10 minutes. To avoid confusion I read non-fiction at lunch time, because I usually read fiction at home (that way I don't get the plots mixed up).

I have just finished a rather interesting book about the seven wonders of the industrial world, which included the Panama Canal, Boulder Dam, and the Brooklyn Bridge. These were incredible engineering feats and many of them destroyed the person who coordinated their construction. In some cases tens of thousands of workers were lost in the process.

I've just started something quite different, a book by a distant member of my family, the famous New Zealand pacifist Archibald Baxter. Even after reading only the first two sections of this it is already obvious this will be an amazing story, which I will probably comment on in a future blog.

During Archibald Baxter's era, World War I, pacifism was very unpopular amongst most people, but we would hope that as the world becomes more "civilised" the idea of engaging in war would become less acceptable. Unfortunately this doesn't appear to be the case, so maybe the stand taken by pacifists had no effect in the end - a depressing thought.

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