Make love, not war

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Make love, not war is an anti-war slogan commonly associated with the American counterculture of the 1960s. It was used primarily by those who were opposed to the Vietnam War, but has been invoked in other anti-war contexts since.[1][2] The "make love" part of the slogan often referred to the practice of free love that was growing among the American youth who denounced marriage as a tool for those who supported war and favored the traditional capitalist culture.[3]

The phrase's origins are unclear; Gershon Legman claimed to be the inventor of the phrase,[4][5] so did American singer Rod McKuen,[6] and some[who?] credit artist, social activist, folk figure, and sometime United States Presidential candidate under the Nudist Party on the Hippie 'Love Ticket' Louis Abolafia.[citation needed] Radical activists Penelope and Franklin Rosemont and Tor Faegre helped to popularize the phrase by printing thousands of "Make Love, Not War" buttons at the Solidarity Bookshop in Chicago, Illinois and distributing them at the Mother's Day Peace March in 1965. They were the first to print the slogan.[7] In April 1965, at a Vietnam demonstration in Eugene, Oregon, Diane Newell Meyer, then a senior at the University of Oregon, pinned a handwritten note on her sweater reading "Let's make love, not war", thus marking the beginning of the popularity of this phrase. A picture of Meyer wearing the slogan was printed in the Eugene Register-Guard and then a related article turned up in the New York Times on May 9, 1965.

When the slogan was used in California in 1967, then Governor Ronald Reagan joked to protesters "Those guys [the protesters] look like they can't make either of both".[8]

In popular culture

On the DEC PDP-10, typing the command "make love" would result in the response "not war?" This action was copied on some older versions of UNIX. Some recent operating systems have brought the easter egg back, such as FreeBSD 7.0; as of /src/usr.bin/make/job.c version if you type "make love," the answer you will get is "Not war."


  1. ^ Fattig, Paul. "Make Love, Not War! coined in Ashland". Medford Mail Tribune. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ Levitas, Mitchel (May 9, 1965). "Article 9 -- No Title; Vietnam Comes to Oregon U. Vietnam Comes to Oregon U". New York Times. 
  3. ^ Emma Goldman:People & Events: Free Love, Accessed February 3, 2014
  4. ^ Dudar, H., "Love and death (and schmutz): G. Legman's second thoughts," Village Voice, May 1, 1984, pp. 41-43.
  5. ^ Scott, Janny: "Gershon Legman, Anthologist of Erotic Humor, Is Dead at 81", The New York Times, March 14, 1999. URL last accessed 2014-05-01.
  6. ^ McKuen, R. : Flight Plan March 14, 2005 Archived May 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.. URL last accessed 2014-05-01.
  7. ^ Rosemont, Penelope. Dreams and Everyday Life: A Sixties Notebook. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2008:40-41.
  8. ^ D'Souza, Dinesh: Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader, p. 71, Simon and Schuster 1999, ISBN 0684848236.

See also

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