Pacifism is used widely today for many countries. The pacts of non-aggression do not at any point prevent self-defense nor have they ever prevented self-defense. The idea of pacifism is that you can attempt to solve all conflicts through negotiations however that does not mean allowing others to slay you at whim.
The most common misconception is that pacifism is an extreme form of non-violence, which it would be idealistically, but like most ideals it has been tailored to appropriately fit the world we live in and become a practical concept.
There are many instances in history where non-violent protests have changed a society's ways more effectively than the more violent measures taken. Martin Luther King Jr. Became someone many people looked up to and supported while some might not even recall who the Black Panthers were. Of course, there are plenty of other examples of non-violent protesters who have won support for their cause because of their actions, but when you ask if pacifism works, you have to remember that the price is heavy. These people were beaten, arrested, threatened, robbed, and killed. The same fate may have befallen their innocent families. It does work, but it isn't the easiest road to take.
I have no doubt Pacifism can work. Many people in society just want to live in peace without having to worry about war. However there are always some people who want to start war and could put Pacifism in jeopardy. Of course this can be the case with anything. Many things can fail with Pacifism, but many things can go right.
Since the beginning of time there has all been someone or group who has decided that 'might is right' and if you can seize the resources and land of another person or group and enslave them then you should. Thus empires rise conquering weaker nations and competing with other Empires until there is one global Empire subjugating and enslaving all humanity for eternity. Ie the modern world. To prevent or overcome such a state of affairs EVERYONE NEEDS to refuse not just to serve in the armed forces of the respective war regime but also refuse to work in its economy. Because some out of greed or propaganda like patriotism do work and serve the regime those that refuse face if not certain death then at least enslavement and subjection. Our choice is simple have the courage to say 'NO' to the powerful, Theerby robbing them of their power, Or be enslaved to them. So long as there is sufficient number that say 'YES' to war then we are sentenced to never ending cycle of war and its atrocities. I understand the idea that if enough of us armed ourselves and overthrew the evil regimes and brought evil doers to justice we could all live in a peaceful utopia, It just seems naive to me as the very process of fighting such a bitter conflict destroys the very humanity we seek to preserve. Unless we all become pacifists the future is very bleak indeed.
If someone does something bad to someone, why would they need to fight each other? Anyway, if people guard their country then how are people going to invade it? If you went to a country and on all of the country's borders it had guards, do you honestly think you could defeat them?
If any of you have seen the show "Doctor Who", then you know that the main character (The Doctor) solves most conflicts passively and peacefully.
Some could argue that this road of action only encourages fiends to continue their actions because they feel that they won't be getting punished. But the main thing to think about is not the fact that the wrongdoers aren't being punished, but rather that the problem is solved without as much grief as it would have been solved aggressively.
There will always be an evil dictator who commits a genocide or tries to invade the world. There are people who cant be negotiated with those people need to be fought. That and pacifism is the same as accepting what a dictator who commits genocides actions so in that sense they support evil by not helping.
Jesus was absolutely not a pacifist. A pacifist is a person who will never act with force to defend themselves or anyone else under any circumstances. This ideology paves the way for submission and slavery of all mankind to the will of psychopaths who would violate their sovereignty and rights. Pacifists do not understand the difference between violence or coercive behavior which is never right and the use of force for self defense which is a right that unfortunately is sometimes necessary to preserve life and rights against those who would harm them. Pacifism leads to a victim mentality
There will always be someone who will take advantage of the situation and therefore rise to power. Moreover it links to human nature - humans are brainwired to be the strongest and the most powerful - so if they get the oppurtunity they will gladly take it and rise to power
The only reason we even have the option of being "pacifists" is because most of us live in safe, structured societies where all of our basic needs are met without much conflict. However, humans naturally do have raw emotion within themselves and every person has a line that, if crossed, will spur them into violence. If any global event happened that triggered an apocalypse began, most of these "pacifists" would either come to grips with the real world and learn to fight to survive or they would die in their reluctance.
Pacifism: The belief that any violence, including war, is unjustifiable under any circumstances, and that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means.
Pacifism can only work when people still maintain power over their aggressors. Pacifism is only useful as a sign of political protest and CANNOT be used as a system of defense against aggression.
If I want your land, your people, your property, your resources, or your life, pacifism will only make it easier for me to obtain these things. To RESIST ceaseless oppression, to FIGHT against a relentless threat, these are methods in which we have survived and thrived as a species. Becoming passive and refusing to take steps necessary or deal a decisive blow is what leads to death and failure.
Violence is not necessary against the kind or the peaceful, but it is required against the brutal and violent.
In a conflict against moderate or moderately tolerant people, pacifism can work. It is especially effective against those who want to view themselves as kind and merciful to the weak or disenfranchised. Examples are US society in the 1950's and 1960' (civil rights movement) and Britain in the 1940's (Gandhi and the Indian Independence movement/revolution). Violence against the pacifists created outrage against the police and soldiers, and more to the point, made the police and soldiers lose stomach for attacking the protesters.
On the other hand, it is useless against the pointedly ruthless (Hitler and the Nazis), the religiously or ideologically fanatical (the inquisition, modern day Israel, the Taliban, etc. ad nauseum.) People who do not care about the well-being of their adversaries, or who pointedly want to eliminate them, simply behave as if the pacifists are making their job easier. Most of the Holocaust victims peacefully walked into the ghettos, and from the ghettos to the gas chambers without fighting back.
In general, pacifism gives power to the most ruthless and most vicious members of our species. These are the ones who can only be controlled with violent force.
Consider that laws against violent crime are enforced by police forces authorized to use violence equivalent or greater than those they are arresting. The only power the police actually have to enforce the law is violence or the credible threat of violence. Otherwise their orders would be ignored. A pacifist police force would quickly be eliminated by violent criminals, who would then take over the society. The reason murder, rape, and violent robbery are not standard experiences (either as perpetrators or victims) of everyone in our society is that we know violence may (or will) be a tool used to stop us, bring us to justice, and establish justice and peace.
The old question comes up, "Do I be the change I want to see, or do I act based on the reality of the situation?" If everyone was peaceful, then, obviously, things would be great. But that seems like an impossibility, so shouldn't I just give in and practice violence when necessary? But isn't that the attitude that prevents us from becoming peaceful as a people, the fact that we doubt the possibility of peace, so we don't give it a chance ourselves? These doubts prevent us from achieving pacifism as a whole, and pacifism can really only work with solidarity. Conflict is clearly in human nature, it is why our history is full of acts of war and not acts of peace. Pacifism is a noble goal, but ultimately human nature won't allow it.