A perfect conjunction of Latin and Greek terms is what shaped the creation of the word pacifism, which we are now dealing with. Thus, we can establish that this is made up of the sum of the Latin word “pax”, which is synonymous with “peace”, and the Greek suffix “-ismo”, which is equivalent to “doctrine”.

Pacifism is the set of doctrines who seek to promote peace among the nations. The concept, then, derives from peace, which is the absence of violence or war and the state of stillness and tranquility.

PacifismFor instance: “The opposition candidate is a recognized leader of pacifism”, “Leaders should understand that pacifism is the only option in international relations”, “When the world put pacifism aside, wars once again dominated the scene”.

The pacifistsTherefore, they oppose all forms of violence. Pacifism can be considered as a ideology, although it usually translates into a political, social or religious movement which actively encourages putting aside violent confrontations.

Pacifism advocates dialogue, cultural exchange and diplomacy in the relationship between peoples. To confront violence, of course, it does not propose violent methods, but favors the conscientious objection (the rejection of certain legal norms that it considers contrary to personal ethics), the civil disobedience (an insubordination to right for moral reasons) and the non-violent resistance (with a strike, a boycott, etc.).

As a doctrine, pacifism dates back to the early years of Christianity, when sermons were taken as support for nonviolent action. From century XVIII It was given another theoretical basis and was associated with human rights.

Many are the characters that, throughout history, have become defenders and symbols of pacifism. This would be the case, for example, of the African Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) who, after more turbulent periods in his life, advocated peaceful methods to try to get South Africa to enjoy a multiracial democracy. Hence, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 together with Willem de Klerk, who supported his proposals and who worked with him for that purpose.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) and Martin Luther King (1929-1968) are some of the top leaders of modern pacifism. Both were killed while defending their beliefs.

Gandhi, first of all, we have to emphasize that he was a Hindu lawyer whose main objective was to achieve the independence of India and that for this he advocated methods in which weapons had no presence.

Second, Martin Luther King was an American pastor who became the champion of the civil rights movement for African Americans in his country. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to him in 1964 and with it he came to recognize the work he had done, using non-violent methods, in order to put an end to racial discrimination and segregation.