Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out… and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel… And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”—with his mouth.
—Mark Twain, What Is Man?
To be a patriot, one had to say, and keep on saying, ” Our country, right or wrong,” and urge on the little war. Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation.
—Mark Twain, Glances at History
Before I had chance in another war, the desire to kill people to whom I had not been introduced had passed away.
—Mark Twain, Autobiography of Mark Twain
We teach them to take their patriotism at second-hand; to shout with the largest crowd without examining into the right or wrong of the matter—exactly as boys under monarchies are taught and have always been taught. We teach them to regard as traitors, and hold in aversion and contempt, such as do not shout with the crowd, and so here in our democracy we are cheering a thing which of all things is most foreign to it and out of place—the delivery of our political conscience into somebody else’s keeping. This is patriotism on the Russian plan.
—Mark Twain, A Biography