Quote of the Day: Benjamin Franklin on War & Peace

“There never was a good war, or a bad Peace.”

Benjamin Franklin

Origins of the Quote

It is difficult to pinpoint when Benjamin Franklin said these words, for he gave many many memorable talks. He was a part of innumerably important discussions. But it is not critical that these be traced back exactly because the sentiment that they express is far more valuable and universally applicable in their appeal.

Franklin was a part of several political campaigns and was on the cabinet for different countries as a negotiator for political treaties. He was a keen observer of human nature, as well as society. Coming from him these words gain a great significance and carry substantial weight. In one statement he levels all arguments that favor war and thereby bringing destruction. 

The Person Behind the Words

Born in 1706 to Josiah and Abiah Franklin, Benjamin Franklin came from extremely humble beginnings. He was one of 17 siblings and his father – a humble soap maker could afford schooling for him for a year. But driven from a young age towards the pursuit of excellence, Franklin was an avid reader and a fast learner. At the age of 11, he apprenticed at his brother’s printing business where he learned to set print. He read avidly all the material that came pouring in and began by writing under a pseudonym.

In his early years, he faced tremendous criticism, and corporal punishments from the hands of his own brother, deterring him. Unafraid and determined to make his way, Franklin went to America where he would finally establish his life, albeit amidst great difficulties. His early life set the pattern for his life experiences later. As he went from strength to strength – avidly writing, publishing, studying science, working on ground-breaking discoveries in the field of science, before he joined politics.

Franklin lived by a personal code of conduct – giving his hundred percent to each and every aspect of his life. An indisputably wise man, he was highly respected for his knowledge and his conduct.  

Some Final Thoughts

Benjamin Franklin has been described as a polymath – a multiple skilled and a multi-disciplinary scholar. He suffered several experiences and hardships before tasting success. His personal statement advocating peace comes from a place of deep understanding. Franklin knew financial and economic debilitation closely. Bit by bit he built his business and he was known for his hard work and diligence. Thus for him, peace was invaluable and what war stole, could never be restored. Perhaps there would be a new norm but what was, will never return.

As the world struggles with the Corona Virus pandemic, it is evident that there is a new normal that is en route. One that doesn’t seek permission but has established itself. There is no point in turning a blind eye to reality or waging a war that is futile. All harmony will resume in accepting the truth. There has been a lot written about President Trump asking China to claim responsibility, meanwhile, there has been military unrest on the borders of India; as events in the world continue to occur Ben Franklin’s words are sort of immortalized as they remind everyone that war leads to many more losses than gains, and the power of peace can never be undermined.


Check out our Quote of the Day archive where we bring you quotes hand picked by me, Divvya Nirula. Sharing the stories, people, moments behind the inspiration and thought provoking words.