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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Why I’m Not for Peace

Why I’m Not for Peace

(p.393) Why I’m Not for Peace
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter critiques the “mantra” that desiring peace is an amulet against a predatory world and hence rejects the post-9/11 fetish for first principles. The text clarifies that the position here is not really against peace; what it opposes is peace as a mantra that wards off thought. The chapter stands also against the illusion that by opposing military action anywhere at any time Americans can somehow avoid the moral ambiguities inherent in being citizens of the most powerful nation-state in a world largely shaped by the reality or threat of force. Those ambiguities weighed heavily from the first moment of impact on 9/11. The chapter objects not to the fact of America’s war in Afghanistan but to the way it has been conducted. More specifically, the frustration is not that America took action in Afghanistan but that it has not done enough. It also considers the left’s stand on military action, arguing that the politics of moralism and self-abnegation are an old story on the left.

Keywords:   peace, 9/11, America, war, Afghanistan, politics, moralism, self-abnegation, left

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