Chapter 24 » 24.33

Practical expressions of our peace testimony

Reconciliation and mediation

All forms of non-violent resistance are certainly much better than appeasement, which has come to mean the avoidance of violence by a surrender to injustice at the expense of the sufferings of others and not of one’s self, by the giving away of something that is not ours to give. This meaning of appeasement, the buying of peace for ourselves temporarily by pandering to international blackmail, has rightly come to be despised and to be regarded as an encouragement to aggressors and despots. It should be distinguished sharply from the admission, which personal or international integrity might sometimes demand, that we have made a mistake or have ourselves done wrong, and are ready to make open amends or to reverse our policy. No considerations of national or international prestige should prevent the correction of error when it is realised. This is a sine qua non in the search for truth, and is evidence of strength and not of weakness of personal or of national character, even when it means temporary humiliation.

Kathleen Lonsdale, 1953

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