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[ 279 Pacifism To the Editor of The New English Weekly The New English Weekly, 8 (31 Oct 1935) 58 Sir, – It is an obvious principle of controversial writing that one should direct one’s attack at the enemy, and not shower blows indiscriminately upon bystanders, some of whom may be sympathisers. One should know whom one is attacking. One may have several enemies; but when these enemies are not allied, there is nothing to be gained by attacking them at once. I make these remarks with a view to the contribution to your last number by Mr. C. H. Norman.1 I read what he had to say with a good deal of sympathy until I reached the words: The organized force of society is one of the most remarkable pieces of bluff which has ever controlled human affairs. Its principle is as false as the supernatural basis of religion. [30] I think that he ought to have said that instead of which: but that is not the point. I think that if religion has no “supernatural basis” it has no basis at all: but that is not the point either. Nor is my point that I object to Mr. Norman’s attacking the supernatural basis of religion. People who believe in the supernatural basis of religion are used to seeing it attacked; and I feel no annoyance with Mr. Norman for attacking it. But Mr. Norman’s interesting article is not about the supernatural basis of religion; it is about something quite different, and his reference is an irrelevance. When I read the preceding part of his article, I assumed that it had some significance evenforthosewhobelieveinthesupernaturalbasisofreligion.Mr.Norman makes it clear that he repudiates such people.2 I suggest that he is making a mistake, and that he is weakening the expression of a conviction, by reinforcing it with a prejudice. T. S. Eliot Notes 1. C. H. Norman, “Pacifism and the War Mind,” NEW (24 Oct 1935), 29-30. Clarence Henry Norman (1886-1974), journalist and political activist, reviews We Did Not Fight by various Essays, Reviews, Commentaries, and Public Letters: 1935 280 ] authors, Peace with Honour by A. A. Milne, discussed by TSE in “Notes on the Way [II]” (5.159), and The Power of Non-Violence by Richard B. Gregg. 2. Norman continues: “it will continue to exist only so long as the masses of the people are foolish enough to continue to be taken in by this gigantic confidence trick” (30). ...


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