pacificist, pacificism

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Dec 15 21:51:40 UTC 2007

These are in OED solely as synonyms for "pacifist, pacifism."  (In fact, "pacifist, pacifism" have long been decried by the most fastidious, especially in Britain, as too etymologically barbarous to be "words.") But recent usage has employed them in a slightly different manner:

    1965 David A. Martin _Pacifism_ (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul) 73: The dissenting opposition to war here is _pacificist_, not _pacifist_ . The dissenters did not hold that war was always wrong but that it should be avoided wherever [sic] humanly possible.

  2006 Martin Ceadel, in Peter Ghosh & Lawrence Goldman, eds. _Politics and Culture in Victorian Britain_ (N.Y.: Oxford U.P.) 76: From the outset this movement was an  uneasy alliance of _pacifists_ (absolutists who believed that war could be abolished by a mass act of conscientious objection) and _pacificists_ (reformists who believed it could be abolished by structural reform either in the international system or in the states composing it).

  2007 Wikipedia []:  Pacificism is the general ethical opposition to war or violence, except in cases where force is deemed absolutely necessary to advance the cause of peace.



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