Pacifism

"I'm just thinking we should tone down the violence somewhat."
"What are you, a pacifist?"

Within a society that operates by principle of the survival of the fittest, an individual refusing to participate raises concern. When violence, killing, and death are part of one's daily routine - and seen as necessary tools to keep the world order from collapsing - the concept of pacifism is foreign, even disturbing.

Plainly put: If a third of your body mass consists of weapons, the second of ammunition for said weapons, and the last of armour against everyone else's two thirds, solving a conflict without using any of it may seem counter-intuitive. Being completely and strictly against this way of conflict-solving is then viewed as being against a solution - or worse, part of the problem.

Symptoms

Do not fall for the sufferers' backwards logic - despite what they claim, an aversion to fighting is the number one sign of a serious illness of the mind.
— info leaflet for clan division leaders
The general consensus is that there are two types of pacifists, identified by their distinct symptoms.

The Internalized Pacifist

Seen as mostly harmless but still deplorable - and capable of causing serious inconvenience. The Internalized Pacifist is always 'concerned' about causing 'unnecessary' harm, which makes them anxious, unreliable individuals.   They are hesitant in executing orders, and/or question them. This is not because of an inability to accept authority, but caused by their abnormal thinking patterns. These patterns lead to warped ideas of what is 'immoral'. Believing that they are forced to carry out 'immoral' acts, the Internalized Pacifist is in constant inner turmoil. In extreme cases, they may lash out at their allies or turn severely melancholic. Often, an Internalized Pacifist's tendencies - if ignored for too long - can worsen and they become an Offending Pacifist.  

The Offending Pacifist

Other than the ceaselessly fretting but comparably well-behaved Internalized Pacifist, this type can cause severe havoc. They may outright refuse following orders or even participation in battle altogether. In many cases these machines will desert completely, becoming traitors. Generally unrepentant, they will be convinced of their ideology - that their worldview is the only sustainable one.

Treatment

It is therefore recommended to have the affected indvidual seek professional help immediately. Under no circumstances should they be given a platform to express their thoughts; strict separation from their peers may be necessary.
— excerpt from the publication "Recognizing Critical Malfunctions of the Core"
Since a lot of the time, their pacifism eventually leads to treason in one way or another, execution ends up being the most common 'treatment' for these individuals. There is little discourse about this, since siding with a pacifist automatically leads to being suspected of being a pacifist as well.
"The most reliable cure for pacifism remains the tried and tested 'shell therapy'. Remember: The dead don't desert."
— overheard at the campfire

Type
Neurological
Rarity
Uncommon
As opposed to fiends, it is not believed that there are 'covert pacifists'. There are no known cases where a pacifist wasn't vocal about their beliefs.   Like with the other illnesses, it is easy to get accused of this one, as well - sometimes with severe consequences. However, while other illnesses are spoken of with a great deal of fear and worry, the term "pacifist" is thrown around rather carelessly a lot of the time. Vehicles tend to use it as an insult or to tease each other.   This is probably due to the low frequency with which "true" pacifism is encountered, and the fact that they tend to be more of an inconvenience than a real threat in most cases.
Hope for Pacifists
Sometimes, usually in clan territories, efforts are made to 'convert' sufferers. Since pacifism is seen as a deep-rooted and complex to solve issue, such efforts are reserved for machines that are otherwise well-esteemed and established as useful. This typically applies to vehicles that have only recently started showing pacifistic tendencies. Others will be simply branded 'hopeless cases'.
Upon further assessment of the patient's mental state conducted through conversation, the following treatment is proposed: Direct exposure to front-line combat; assisting the mechanic(s) in combat-related medical procedures; strict and frequent, monitored self-maintenance.
Full recovery appears possible if treatment is followed through with consistently.
— a TRV's notes


Cover image: by S. Ignatiev

Comments

Author's Notes

I meant to write this article for Summer Camp, but alas, I didn't get it done in time...


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