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Armistice Day Statement

Author: SPSSI council; Source: Newsletter, January 1938

Context: Statement was released to Science Service, the New York Times, the
People's Press, and a number of other publications. The statement was marked for publication during the week of November 6-11, 1937.

Position Statement: Excerpt taken from Newsletter (see January 1938 Newsletter for full text): “The celebration of this Armistice Day, 1937 should not be allowed to pass without a serious consideration by all Americans or the dangers of another war. Of course everybody is opposed to war! But undeclared 'wars' are now raging in Europe and in Asia, and no one can deny that we are in a situation which threatens war...We, as psychologists, protest most emphatically against the common belief that wars are necessary results of 'human nature.’ This opinion is without scientific foundation. There is no evidence to justify it...Not only is the inevitability of war unsound psychology; it is also handicap to peace efforts...War is not inevitable, psychologically. It is, not of 'human nature.' It is fought by men who often do not know why they are fighting, doing things which are repulsive to them but which they have been told they must do. It can be prevented. If we learn how to discount the propaganda of war makers, and how to insist upon the peaceable adjustment of international conflicts, (as we have upon the peaceable adjustment of individual conflicts), there is no psychological reason for wars to continue.”