Is pacifism taken to the extreme a position that can be realistically defended? I take it to be the case that there are varying degrees in which one can be a pacifist. A person can be an absolute pacifist, believing that there is absolutely no such thing as a justified war or one can be a contingent pacifist believing that war is only justified under the most rare circumstances. By "extreme pacifism" I mean those who are either absolute pacifists or else relatively close to them. I was reading a couple essays today by John Dewey and one essay from a critic of his regarding the decision for the US to go to war against Germany in 1917. Apparently around the turn of the 20th century the US was largely dominated by very pacifist elements which included most in the church. These days it seems almost impossible for an American to believe in pacifism. Those who profess pacifism in the US are often met with jeers about how they are being unrealistic and just inviting another Pearl Harbor or 911. Is being prepared for war the only way to keep peace? It seems almost paradoxical and yet it seems to make a kind of logical sense these days.