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Anti-War Quotations

Updated on September 18, 2012

Hell no, we won't go! (anonymous)

Anti-war quotes have been around for thousands of years. The love of peace has united people from all nationalities, eras, and walks of life. The following collection of quotes comes from a variety of anti-war activists from Greek philosophers to rock stars.


Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?

Sometime around 1970, I heard the above quote, "suppose they gave a war and nobody came?" It inspired my imagination, causing my mind to conjure up images of leaders and generals gathering to give orders, but the soldiers were at home playing with their children, walking hand-in--hand with their sweethearts, barbecuing in the yard, and totally ignoring the order to go to war. How cool would that be, I thought.

I didn't realize at the time that those words weren't an actual quote, but the title of a movie made in 1970, which I have never seen. However, I liked the image of that title so much that I have given it the honor of being the title of my anti-war quotation collection.

And here they are - amazing, inspiring anti-war quotes:

1. " This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs: when he first appears, he is a protector."

Plato (427 - 347 BC ) Greek philosopher

2. " Thank God, men cannot yet fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!"

Henry David Thoreau ( 1817 - 1862 ) American author and philosopher

3, "The first casualty, when war comes, is truth.

Hiram Johnson (1866 - 1945 ) U.S. Senator

4. " Propaganda is the art of persuading others what you don't believe yourself."

Abba Eban (1915 - 2002 ) Israeli diplomat and politician

5. " Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."

Isaac Asimov ( 1920 - 1992 ) Russian-born American author

6. "Nothing enduring can be built on violence."

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948 ) Indian spiritual and political leader

7. " War is not good for children and other living things."

Lorraine Schneider ( 1925 - 1972 ) American artist and activist

8. " As a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American."

Natalie Maines (1973 - ) American singer-songwriter

9. "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997 ) Catholic nun, missionary worker, and Nobel Laureate

10. " There never was a good war, or a bad peace." Benjamin Franklin.

This is just a taste of the wonderful inspiring quotes by brave and outspoken people. I fervently hope folks will continue to speak out for peace and say no to war.

So put a bumper sticker on your car, a peace sign in your window. Wear a t-shirt that promotes Peace. Put a peace bib on your baby. There are lots of items out there that will make sure your anti-war sentiments are seen. Better still, make your own peace flag or sign. Paint a peace sign on a piece of fabric and glue it to a stick, wave it at events to let the world know how you feel. Recycle a piece of plywood or privacy fence by painting it in bright colors. Paint the word Peace on it, nail it to a post and put it in your garden. Tell the world that love and tolerance are better than war!

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix, 1942-1997.

Powerful Peace Statement by Jimi Hendrix - Wear it!

Everybody in your family needs one of these shirts! (Amazon has more sizes)

World Peace Wanted - London Anti-War Protest, September 2002

Americans are not the only people who protest wars and demonstrate for peace. This is a picture of a demonstration in London in 2002.

Photo taken by William M. Connolley. By courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Kudos to Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war,

You that build all the guns

You that build the death planes

You that build all the bombs

You that hide behind walls

You that hide behind desks

I just want you to know

I can see through your masks

Singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan, lyrics from Masters of War, 1963

Peace Quotes

The Other Side of the Coin

Nehru said, "Peace is not a relationship of nationalities, It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. lasting peace can come only to peaceful people."

I am also reminded of a song that goes, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."

Here are some inspiring quotes on Peace, the other side of the coin, the Yin to the Yang, the Good to the Evil, the White to the Black. The opposite to war must be peace, and many people throughout history have emphasized that peace does not come about through war, through violence. It must come from within each individual.

1. "For Peace is not the mere absence of war, but is a virture that springs from the force of character." Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)

2. "First keep the peace within yourself, then you can bring the peace to others." Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471

3." If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends, you talk to your enemies." Moshe Dayan (1915-1981)

4." Peace has never come from dropping bombs. Real peace comes from enlightenment and educating people to behave in a more divine manner." (Carlos Santana, Sept. 1, 2004)


Inspiring books on War and Peace

Films about war and peace

Some great films were made about and during this era. here are some of my personal favorites:

Make Your Own Peace Sign

All you need is a piece of wood - a 2x4 works well - some paint and and a paint brush. Brush on a background color. When it's dry, write the word PEACE. Add a peace sign if you like and it's done. If it's going to be outside in the garden, spray on a coat of polyurethane. It will last longer. Place it on a plant stand, table, planter box, deck rail, anywhere it can seen.

This rustic sign sits on a plant stand on my front porch surrounded by small potted plants with a garden gnome in the background.

A Quote From Chief Dan George

Chief Dan George was a wise man. I love this quote and it sums up exactly what I feel about wars.

"It is hard for me to understand a culture that spends more on wars and weapons to kill than it does on education and welfare to help and develop.

Chief Dan George (1899-1981)

Canadian actor and chief of the Tseil-Watuth tribe.

Amazon Spotlight Personal Review

Do You Believe in Magic
Do You Believe in Magic

This is one of my favorite books of all time. If you grew up in the sixties, or even have a fascination with that crazy decade, read this book.


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    • MelaniePaige13 profile image

      Melanie Paige 

      5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Awesome lens! Thank you so much for sharing. I don't understand how people can harm another person. We're all human, and deserve to live life, so why waste it on hurting others? I'm a believer in Karma - What Goes Around Comes Around - and usually it can be up to 3 times harder, maybe more depending on what it is they did. Let's spread the word of Peace! Hopefully there will still be a world for future generations.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 

      5 years ago

      Great lens! Thank you for sharing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice lens


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