Introductory Comment

The title and subtitle of this essay may seem unrelated; hence a word of explanation may be useful. The essay was written for a memorial number of Liberation which, as the editor expressed it, "gathered together a series of articles that deal with some of the problems with which A. J. struggled." I think that Muste's revolutionary pacifism was, and is, a profoundly important doctrine, both in the political analysis and the moral conviction that it expresses. The circumstances of the antifascist war subjected it to the most severe of tests. Does it survive this test? When I began working on this article I was not at all sure. I still feel quite ambivalent about the matter. There are several points that seem to me fairly clear, however. The American reaction to Japan's aggressiveness was, in a substantial measure, quite hypocritical. Worse still, there are very striking, quite distressing similarities between Japan's escapades and our own -- both in character and in rationalization -- with the fundamental difference that Japan's appeal to national interest, which was not totally without merit, becomes merely ludicrous when translated into a justification for American conquests in Asia.
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