From Tactical to Practical (formerly Swords to Plowshares)
Converting weapons of war into peaceful use.
Upped for Grabs by Alnair. No Launching Please.
Proposed Alternate/Redirect Names:
Proposed Alternate/Redirect Names:
- Swords To Plowshares, (brought to consensus as violation to No New Stock Phrases, so it shall be brought as a redirect name)
- Weapons To Tools
- From Tactical To Practical
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up their sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."Great news! The war is over! Now what do we do with all these weapons we built for the war? Turn them into things civilians can use! All that scrap steel can make some heavy machinery or be used in construction. Those nuclear weapons? Fuel rods. TNT? Use it for earth-moving. Those factories that built bombers and warships? Use them to build cars. Imagine all the possibilities. A variation of this is that when a simple tool in the current time is revealed to be a weapon in the past. Perhaps it's due to the current people finding a Lost Technology or alien tech without knowing its real purpose, only figuring out that it's an useful tool in some way. If a weapon of war does not even require conversion to be used for civilian purposes, then it doubles as an example of Mundane Utility. Compare and contrast Improvised Weapon. Also contrast Training the Peaceful Villagers and Superweapon Surprise.
— Isaiah 2:4 (KJV)
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Anime and Manga
- In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, some Tachikoma are repurposed into civilian roles after Section 9 is "disbanded". One works in a care home, and another is used in high altitude construction sites, etc. The one in the care home is "gifted" an explosive shell from a Shell-Shocked Veteran and sets of to rescue Bateau in the finale.
- Played for Laughs in Maou-Jou De Oyasumi when the princess turns a bunch of high level weapons into a hammock.
- Japanese school uniforms were inspired by 19th military uniforms with sailor suits as the basis for girls uniforms and Prussian cadet uniforms as the basis for boys.
- Trenchcoats, for it's namesake, were originally worn by officers and soldiers in the trenches during World War One to protect them from rain and cold. Today, it's been adopted by civilians, private detectives, and the occasional exhibitionists.
- Although neckties have always been a civilian article for centuries, it's ancestor, the cravat, were worn by Croatian mercenaries fighting for France during the Thirty Years' War. France, being France, adopted the styles, and the rest is history.
- Arms Dealer Yuri Orlov claims this is happening in one scene of Lord of War, when Agent Valentine catches him shipping a helicopter gunship to the African nation of Burkina Faso. Yuri claims that with all the excess hardware after the recent fall of the Soviet Union, all they can do with it all is repurpose it for civilian use. Valentine isn't fooled, especially since the missiles and bullets for the helicopter are also going to Burkina Faso, albeit to a client at a different address. Unfortunately, this was apparently a real life legal loophole at the time, and Valentine is forced to let Yuri go.
- At the start of Small Soldiers, the GloboTech Industries has basically resolved to do this by buying up companies in other industries, then using its state-of-the-art military technology to make superior products. This is how A.I. Is a Crapshoot computer chips end up in the Commando Elite and Gorgonite action figures. Inverted at the end when the CEO decides to sell the toys as weapons after all.
- From The Bible: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks and study war no more."- Isaiah 2:4
- In A Darkling Plain, Tom notes that the medical technology which diagnosed his weak heart was made from repurposed Stalker technology, which is typically used to turn corpses into military cyborgs.
- Discussed in The Heroes of Olympus novel "The House of Hades", where Frank threatens that unless Triptolemus frees his friends, he will beat his sword into Triptolemus' head instead of beating it into a plowshare.
- Known Space: On the backstory of the Man-Kzin Wars saga, humanity had decided to become peaceful and gotten rid of all of its weapons, meaning that during the first encounters with the Kzin, the Earthlings had only unarmed vehicles and other civilian equipment... unfortunately for the Kzin, the fact that Humans Are Warriors means that they are also murderously adaptive, and Improvised Weaponry that was the result of on-the-spot MacGyvering was what killed those early Kzin war parties (one of the most famous instances being using a ship's fusion torch engine and the energy beam it fired off for propulsion to cut a Kzin ship in half ).
- This trope is mentioned in George R.R. Martin's "And Seven Times Never Kill Man", in the story describing the creation of the militant cult of the Children of Bakkalon, and it's portrayed as being a stupid idea and displeasing to their god, Bakkalon the Pale Child, who thinks Humans Are Warriors should be the norm and all other species should be under their heel:
"And the pale child came and stood before them, with His great sword in His hand, and in a voice like thunder He rebuked them. 'You have been weak children,' He told them, 'for you have disobeyed. Where are your swords? Did I not set swords in your hands?'"And the children cried out, 'We have beaten them into plowshares, oh Bakkalon!'
- Terran Trade Authority series by Stewart Cowley. After the Proxima War, many of the military spacecraft used in the war are converted for civilian use, e.g. by removing their weapons.
Live Action TV
- This is the premise of the short-lived History Channel show "Tactical to Practical", where Survivor: Marquesas alumnus and ex-naval aviator Hunter Ellis showcases each technology that was used for military purposes that were converted to civilian usage.
- Halo 3: ODST: The M313 "Elephant", a military vehicle designed for mass troop deployment, is seen in the city of New Mombasa as the "Oliphant", repurposed into a garbage truck. Though smaller now and lacking weapons, the Oliphant is still durable enough to plow through cars and serve as a minor tank.
- Star Wars Battlefront II (2017): Inferno Squad utilizes the Imperial Raider-Class Corvette Corvus - designed to engage both starfighters and larger ships - for their operations during the Galactic Civil War. During the final mission, which takes place a few decades after the war ends, it is revealed that the crew has since converted it to a commercial freight hauler.
- The premise of Warbot In Accounting is that a Killer Robot was repurposed and reintegrated into civilian life. Its unsuccessful attempts at doing so are played for Black Comedy.
- Schlock Mercenary:
- The space-habitat of Credomar. A journalist even mentions that it was created by the 'Swords to Plowshears' project. Essentially, it's a Hyperspace Death Ray with enormous stategic value, which has been repurposed as a deep-space habitat. An Arc centers around the king of Credomar evacuating the entire population to a habitable moon somewhere in order to reactivate the weapon - not because he's looking to pick a fight with anyone, but because he's worried that The Federation - who BUILT the damn thing in the first place - may at some point declare a 'state of emergency' and fire the weapon without evacuating the population first...
- At one point Kevyn converts their terapedo supply into a Very Large Array, placing them around a solar system and using their targeting sensors to survey it without giving out radar signals. Of course, they're still fully functional teleporting missiles, which is why he calls it a Very Dangerous Array.
- Referenced by Petey when he sends the Tohdfraug invasion fleet to Andromeda to fight the Paanuri with no supply line and compares them to swords.
Tohdfraug Admiral: "But if you break a sword through abuse or neglect, it's useless."Petey: "As a sword, yes. Eventually I'll be needing plowshares."
- One early Mighty Mouse cartoon shows a cheese factory making Swiss cheese by rolling wheels of regular cheese in front of a World War I Vickers machine gun, which shoots the distinctive holes in the cheese, making it Swiss.
- In the 1939 animated short Peace on Earth, the debris of a terrible war that killed off the human species is converted into little houses made of soldier helmets and street posts made from bayonets by Woodland Creatures.
- Downplayed example from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The show has instances were weapons such as catapults, cannons, and even tanks are being used for games (like chucking pumpkins) or celebrating parties.
- The Philippine "jeepney", specifically the "Sarao" style, originated from Willys MB jeeps used during World War II, and the structure was converted as public utility vehicles that ultimately became an icon of the country.
- As gunpowder and cannons rendered medieval castles obsolete, some castles that weren't abandoned or in ruins were converted into more habitable places, and over the centuries, especially with the Medieval revival in the 19th century, the original function of castles has been abandoned and the modern concept of the castle has been imagined as a fortified palace, both include stained glass windows found in cathedrals. This video explains more about the modern/fantasy concept of castles.
- The Megatons to Megawatts program converts nuclear weapons into fuel rods that produce 10% of the US electricity supply.
- Nuclear power itself is an example, because for over a decade the only use of nuclear power was to build bombs, and then later to power submarines.
- The Internet. Invented for military and scientific uses when it was called ARPANET, it is now used for information, communication, business, and research, if not used for other things.
- Drones such as for attack and/or for surveillance are now being used by civilians for fun and to see the sights in a bird's eye view perspective.
- The escopattera (A portmanteau of the Spanish words escopeta and guitarra, meaning "shotgun" and "guitar" respectively) is a type of guitar made from a modified gun, first invented by Colombian peace activist Cesar Lopez after seeing a soldier holding his gun like a guitar following the 2003 El Nogal Club bombing in Bogota.
- All stringed instruments, from the guitars and violins, to the harps and lyres, all came from an ultimate ancestor: the bow harp, which was either originated or inspired from archers' bows.
- During The Napoleonic Wars, the French government offered a reward to whoever would find a solution to help preserve food for marching soldiers. Thus canned goods were invented by Nicolas Appert. Nowadays, and through the help of soldiers during World War II, though some people may not know the inventor, canned goods are now everywhere for everyday consumption.
Inversions (Plowshares to Swords):
- Inverted on the national anthem of Costa Rica, which says that, should the nation be under threat, the nation's citizens will turn their ploughshares into swords.
- Inverted by "Ashes In Your Mouth" by Megadeth, which references the biblical line.
Melting down all metals, turning plows and shears to swordsShun words of the Bible, we need implements of war
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