Pacifism & Moral Authority

Victory Bonds.jpg

Buy Victory Bonds, circa 1915. National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial Archives (20.1.292).

“We Junior Reds canvassed diligently and landed several tough old customers who had at first flatly refused to invest. I–even I–tackled Whiskers-on-the-moon. I expected a bad time and a refusal. But to my amazement he was quite agreeable and promised on the spot to take a thousand dollar bond. He may be a pacifist, but he knows a good investment when it is handed out to him. Five and a half per cent. is five and a half per cent. even when a militaristic government pays it.”

L. M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside. NY: Stokes, 1921, p.282.

Mr. Pryor, “Whiskers-on-the-moon,” is represented as an unpatriotic Canadian "Hun" willing to betray his opposition to war for a good business deal when he purchases a $1000 Victory Loan bond. This sort of characterization of pacifists was common at the timeattributing the basest motivations to specific actions in order to undermine their moral authority. It is also another demonstration of the sort of ad hominem attack on pacifists that prevailed at the time.

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