"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, around the world. 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.
Several people claimed to be the inventor of the phrase, including Gershon Legman, Rod McKuen, radical activists Penelope and Franklin Rosemont and Tor Faegre, and Diane Newell Meyer, a senior at the University of Oregon in 1965, but the earliest uses in print appear to have been in anti-war protests in Berkeley, California earlier in 1965 than the April and May uses cited by Penelope Rosemont and Diane Newell Meyer. Articles mentioning signs and bumper stickers with the phrase were reported in the Daily Californian in February and the Oakland Tribune in March. Barbara Smoker claimed to have financed the manufacture of the first “Make Love, Not War” badges.This quote is also attributed to Herbert Marcuse, a German philosopher who emigrated to the United States in the thirties and was an outspoken war critic (cit. quote.org).
In popular culture
- The slogan was featured in two 1973 songs: John Lennon's "Mind Games" and Bob Marley's "No More Trouble" (first released on the album Burnin').
- It is also featured in the 1988 song "A Little Respect" by Erasure.
- In the 1989 film Field of Dreams, fictional character Terence Mann is credited with coining the phrase.
- David Allyn named his 2001 book after the slogan: Make Love, Not War: The Sexual Revolution: An Unfettered History.
- The character of 'Pop', in the 2002 futuristic Queen musical play We Will Rock You, shouts "Make love, not war!" as he is brainwashed at the start of the show, which leads into the stage performance of "Radio Ga Ga".
- In the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame, Stan Lee appears in his cameo driving past Camp Lehigh, shouting "Make love, not war!" to the army soldiers before driving off in his car.
- in 2020 Jason Derulo and Nuka released the song "Love Not War".
- Fattig, Paul. "Make Love, Not War! coined in Ashland". Medford Mail Tribune. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- Levitas, Mitchel (May 9, 1965). "Article 9 -- No Title; Vietnam Comes to Oregon U. Vietnam Comes to Oregon U.". New York Times. Archived from the original on November 29, 2021. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
- Emma Goldman:People & Events: Free Love Archived 2017-02-25 at the Wayback Machine PBS.org, Accessed February 3, 2014
- Dudar, H., "Love and death (and schmutz): G. Legman's second thoughts," Village Voice, May 1, 1984, pp. 41-43.
- Scott, Janny: "Gershon Legman, Anthologist of Erotic Humor, Is Dead at 81 Archived 2016-11-07 at the Wayback Machine", The New York Times, March 14, 1999. URL last accessed May 1, 2014.
- McKuen, R. : Flight Plan March 14, 2005 Archived May 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. URL last accessed May 1, 2014.
- Rosemont, Penelope. Dreams and Everyday Life: A Sixties Notebook. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2008:40-41.
- "History of the Make Love Not War slogan". Creative Review. 2012-02-01. Archived from the original on 2021-02-27. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
- "Princess Declares Official War on Pakistani Prince". Daily Californian. 16 Feb 1965. p. 6. Archived from the original on 10 January 2023. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
Inspired by a sign reading 'let's make love, not war' ....
- Fiset, Bill (12 Mar 1965). "A Gallery of Abstracts". Oakland Tribune. p. 21.
And the latest [bumper stickers] in Berkeley, protesting Viet Nam, simply say, 'Make Love--Not War.'
- MacKillop, I. D. (27 February 1986). The British Ethical Societies. Cambridge University Press. p. 86. ISBN 9780521266727.
- "We Will Rock You (London Cast Album)". www.ultimatequeen.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2021-08-19. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- "'Make love, not war': Inside Stan Lee's Avengers Endgame cameo, his last in the MCU". Hindustan Times. April 27, 2019. Archived from the original on April 28, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- "Avengers: Endgame Stan Lee Cameo Explained". Cosmic Book News. 6 May 2019. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.