The Prophet Isaiah urges the people to “beat their swords into plowshares” and learn war no more (700s BC)


The Gospels draw heavily on the Book of Isaiah for a utopic view of the world. The famous "swords to plowshares" quote (Isaiah 2:4) is but one of its famous proclamations:

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4).

The prophet raises two very interesting problems. The first is the economic problem of how to convert the capital goods needed for the production of war materiel (“swords”) into the capital goods which are needed to produce consumer goods (“ploughshares”). The second is the moral and political problem of getting the will power and the political constituencies to do so.