USBN #113 Jan 1938, p1-2
21 November 1936 to Mrs. Helen Bishop
With reference to the absolute pacifists, or conscientious objectors to war; their attitude, judged from the Bahá’í standpoint, is quite anti-social and due to its exaltation of the individual conscience leads inevitably to disorder and chaos in society. Extreme pacifists are thus very close to the anarchists, in the sense that both these groups lay an undue emphasis on the rights and merits of the individual. The Bahá’í conception of social life is essentially based on the principle of the subordination of the individual will to that of society. It neither suppresses the individual nor does it exalt him to the point of making him an anti-social creature, a menace to society. As in everything it follows the ‘golden mean’. The only way that society can function is for the minority to follow the will of the majority.
The other main objection to the conscientious objectors is that their method of establishing peace is too negative. Non-co-operation is too passive a philosophy to become an effective way for social reconstruction. Their refusal to bear arms can never establish peace. There should be first a spiritual revitalisation which nothing, except the Cause of God, can effectively bring to every man’s heart.