We want peace

 
Igino Giordani wrote Catholic Revolt in 1925 after living in trenches during World War I and as threatening winds were blowing through Europe. This text is taken from the 2016 edition published by Comitato edizioni Gobettiane.

IginoGiordani_04112017Just as war is ignorance, instinct and darkness, peace is science, civilization and light. Expecting – as we did – to have a better society from carnage, good
from evil, black from white, is the same as expecting a better education for the heads it severs.
Science, which was meant to devise exciting tools, will make the next war an exquisite case of refined, methodological stupidity.
Fear is the great regulator of human relationships. Stimulated by fear, drained and exhausted lands keep disproportionately large and costly armies standing.
There would be a solution: to substitute fear with mutual trust, indifference with friendship. But the solution would be too . . . easy; that is why it is so difficult. And it would bankrupt various oligarchies. I would have a good solution for the impulsive and powerful youngsters, deputies and public figures, improvised journalists and bank rats, for the tatsteless little misses to the spinsters on the committees, for speculators both high and low, for the generals and the professors, for the supporters of war – I would leave them in one of the trenches for ten minutes under a debilitating bombing, as all reason is lost and all nature rebells. When they come out of that, they’ll understand what war is – and they’ll curse it.
This honoured society of ministers, deputies and journalists who presume to explain the significance of war to the rest of us, should understand once and for all that all their discourse turns our stomachs.
We want peace and serenity, and we want the violence that they would unleash to be gone. Is that asking too much?
Igino Giordani, from Rivolta Cattolica (Rome: Edizioni Gobettiane, 2016), 10-13.

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