Bertrand Russell : British Mathematician with a Socialist, Pacifist, Freethinker's Ideology
Russell's external career has been checkered. The descendant of one of the great families of the Whig aristocracy, he has always delighted in standing up for his radical convictions with willful stubbornness. In 1916, he was deprived of his lectureship at Trinity College, Cambridge, after his pacifist activities had brought him into conflict with the government...
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From : Anarchy Archives
"It is impossible to imagine a more dramatic and horrifying combination of scientific triumph with political and moral failure than has been shown to the world in the destruction of Hiroshima."
From : "The Bomb and Civilization," by Bertrand Russell, 1945
"...if atomic bombs are used on both sides, it is to be expected that all large cities will be completely wiped out..."
From : "The Bomb and Civilization," by Bertrand Russell, 1945
"Either war or civilization must end..."
From : "The Bomb and Civilization," by Bertrand Russell, 1945
About Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970 ) was born in Trelleck, Wales. His parents died when he was three years old. He was educated privately and went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a brilliant student of mathematics and philosophy. In 1900, Russell became acquainted with the work of the Italian mathematician Peano, which inspired him to write The Principles of Mathematics (1903), expanded in collaboration with Alfred North Whitehead into three volumes of Principia Mathematica (1910-13). The research, which Russell did during this period together with Whitehead and which is preserved in many books and essays, establishes him as one of the founding fathers of modern analytical philosophy. Throughout his life Russell has also been an extremely outspoken and aggressive moralist in the rationalist tradition of Locke and Hume. His many essays, often in the form of short reflections or observations on moral or psychological topics, are written in a terse, vivid, and provocative style. His greatest literary achievement has been his History of Western Philosophy (1946).
Russell's external career has been checkered. The descendant of one of the great families of the Whig aristocracy, he has always delighted in standing up for his radical convictions with willful stubbornness. In 1916, he was deprived of his lectureship at Trinity College, Cambridge, after his pacifist activities had brought him into conflict with the government, but in 1946 he was reelected a Fellow. In 1918, he even went to prison for six months, where he wrote his Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1919). In 1920, Russell traveled in Russia and, subsequently, taught philosophy at Peking for a year. He went to the United States in 1938 and taught there for several years at various universities. Lord Russell has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1908; he succeeded to the earldom in 1931 and, in 1949, received the Order of Merit.
In recent years Lord Russell has been active in political organizations such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other groups with similar aims. The first two volumes of his autobiography, covering the years from 1872 to 1944, appeared in 1967 and 1968, respectively.
Bertrand Russel died in 1970.
From : Anarchy Archives
This person has authored 25 documents, with 178,666 words or 1,087,485 characters.
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (880 Words / 5,271 Characters)
Last Essay: "1967" This is Bertrand Russell's last manuscript. Untitled, it was annotated "1967" by Russell, at the age of 95, two or three years before he died. Ray Monk published it first in The Independent of London on the 25th anniversary of the Russell Archives. The essay's politics are uncannily prescient. The time has come to review my life as a whole, and to ask whether it has served any useful purpose or has been wholly concerned in futility. Unfortunately, no answer is possible for anyone who does not know the future. Modern weapons make it practically certain that the next serious war will exterminate the human race. This is admitted by all competent authorities, and I shall not waste time in proving i... (From : mcmaster.ca.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1945 ~ (1,426 Words / 8,527 Characters)
It is impossible to imagine a more dramatic and horrifying combination of scientific triumph with political and moral failure than has been shown to the world in the destruction of Hiroshima. From the scientific point of view, the atomic bomb embodies the results of a combination of genius and patience as remarkable as any in the history of mankind. Atoms are so minute that it might have seemed impossible to know as much as we do about them. A million million bundles, each containing a million million hydrogen atoms, would weigh about a gram and a half. Each hydrogen atom consists of a nucleus, and an electron going round the nucleus, as the earth goes round the sun. The distance from the nucleus to the electron is usually about a hundred-... (From : mcmaster.ca.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1903 ~ (3,759 Words / 22,061 Characters)
A Free Man's Worship by Bertrand Russell A brief introduction: "A Free Man's Worship" (first published as "The Free Man's Worship" in Dec. 1903) is perhaps Bertrand Russell's best known and most reprinted essay. Its mood and language have often been explained, even by Russell himself, as reflecting a particular time in his life; "it depend(s)," he wrote in 1929, "upon a metaphysic which is more platonic than that which I now believe in." Yet the essay sounds many characteristic Russellian themes and preoccupations and deserves consideration--and further serious study--as an historical landmark of early-twentieth-century European thought. For a scholarly edition with some documentation, see Volume 12 of The Collected ... (From : Drew.edu.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (6,848 Words / 43,433 Characters)
Ideas that Have Harmed Mankindfrom "Unpopular Essays" by Bertrand Russell . The misfortunes of human beings may be divided into two classes: First, those inflicted by the non-human environment and, second, those inflicted by other people. As mankind have progressed in knowledge and technique, the second class has become a continually increasing percentage of the total. In old times, famine, for example, was due to natural causes, and although people did their best to combat it, large numbers of them died of starvation. At the present moment large parts of the world are faced with the threat of famine, but although natural causes have contributed to the situation, the principal causes are huma... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_ide....)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1938 ~ (1,940 Words / 12,958 Characters)
The Impulse to Powerintroduction to the book "Power" by Bertrand Russell . Between man and other animals there are various differences, some intellectual, some emotional. One of the chief emotional differences is that some human desires, unlike those of- animals, are essentially boundless and incapable of complete satisfaction. The boa constrictor, when he has had his meal, sleeps until appetite revives; if other animals do not do likewise, it is because their meals are less adequate or because they fear enemies. The activities of animals, with few exceptions, are inspired by the primary needs of survival and reproduction, and do not exceed what these needs make imperative.With men, the... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_pow....)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (5,120 Words / 32,788 Characters)
In Praise of IdlenessThis text was first provided by the Massachusetts Green Party, but I found out that they have moved or deleted their page, so now I'm keeping a "mirror" of their text. . In this essay, Lord Bertrand Russell proposes a cut in the definition of full time to four hours per day. As this article was written in 1932, he has not the benefit of knowing that, as we added more wage-earners per family (women entered the work force) and families shrunk (fewer kids), and the means of production become more efficient (better machines) the number of hours each wage-earner must work to support the family has stayed constant. These facts seem to uphold Russell's point. Like most of my generation, I... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_idl....)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (274 Words / 1,814 Characters)
A LIBERAL DECALOGUE By Bertrand Russell Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows: 1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything. 2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light. 3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed. 4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authorit... (From : Drew.edu.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (644 Words / 3,807 Characters)
Of Co-Operation In these days, under the influence of democracy, the virtue of co-operation has taken the place formerly held by obedience. The old-fashioned schoolmaster would say of a boy that he was disobedient; the modern schoolmistress says of an infant that he is non-co-operative. It means the same thing: the child, in either case, fails to do what the teacher wishes, but in the first case the teacher acts as the government and in the second as the representative of the People, i.e. of the other children. The result of the new language, as of the old, is to encourage docility, suggestibility, herd-instinct and conventionality, thereby necessarily discouraging originality, initiative and unusual intelligence. Adults who achieve... (From : SantaFe.edu.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1932 ~ (634 Words / 3,547 Characters)
On Sales Resistance Throughout recent years, a vast amount of money and time and brains has been employed in overcoming sales resistance, i.e. in inducing unoffending persons to waste their money in purchasing objects which they had no desire to possess. It is characteristic of our age that this sort of thing is considered meritorious: lectures are given on salesmanship, and those who possess the art are highly rewarded. Yet, if a moment's consideration is given to the matter, it is clear that the activity is a noxious one which does more harm than good. Some hard-working professional man, for example, who has been saving up with a view to giving his family a pleasant summer holiday, is beset in a weak moment by a highly trained band...
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (4,262 Words / 25,643 Characters)
I am persuaded that there is absolutely no limit in the absurdities that can, by government action, come to be generally believed. Give me an adequate army, with power to provide it with more pay and better food than falls to the lot of the average man, and I will undertake, within thirty years, to make the majority of the population believe that two and two are three, that water freezes when it gets hot and boils when it gets cold, or any other nonsense that might seem to serve the interest of the State. Of course, even when these beliefs had been generated, people would not put the kettle in the refrigerator when they wanted it to boil. That cold makes water boil would be a Sunday truth, sacred and mystical, to be professed in a...
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1912 ~ (43,581 Words / 265,992 Characters)
The Problems of Philosophy Bertrand Russell [title page] The Problems of Philosophy BERTRAND RUSSELL OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS LONDON OXFORD NEW YORK [verso] First published in the Home University Library, 1912 First issued as an Oxford University Press paperback, 1959 This reprint, 1971-2 PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA [cover] GB21 $1.50 In Canada $1.65 ISBN 0-19-500212-1 [Public domain (in the USA at least) HTML version completed February 1996. All copyrights for HTML enhancements are renounced. This is a freely reproducible text in the USA. In accordance with the differing copyright laws, in Great Britain (and others using the same copyright treaties) I understand it will become public d...
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1918 Proposed Roads To Freedom By Bertrand Russell INTRODUCTION THE attempt to conceive imaginatively a better ordering of human society than the destructive and cruel chaos in which mankind has hitherto existed is by no means modern: it is at least as old as Plato, whose ``Republic'' set the model for the Utopias of subsequent philosophers. Whoever contemplates the world in the light of an ideal--whether what he seeks be intellect, or art, or love, or simple happiness, or all together--must feel a great sorrow in the evils that men needlessly allow to continue, and--if he be a man of force and vital energy--an urgent desire to lead men to the realization of the good which inspires his creative vision. It is this desire which has been the primary force moving the pioneers of Socialism and Anarchism, as it moved the inventors of ideal commonwealths in the past. In this there is nothing new. What is new in Socialis...
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1929 ~ (2,224 Words / 12,997 Characters)
The Century Magazine, July 1929, Vol. 118, No. 3, Pgs. 311-315 The Twilight Of Science Is The Universe Running Down Bertrand Russell It is a curious fact that just when the man in the street has begun to believe thoroughly in science, the man in the laboratory has begun to lose his faith. When I was young, no physicist entertained the slightest doubt that the laws of physics give us real information about the motions of bodies, and that the physical world does really consist of the sort of entities that appear in the physicist's equations. The philosophers, it is true, throw doubt upon this view, and have done so ever since the time of Berkeley; but since their criticism never attached itself to any point in th... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1917 II THE STATE UNDER the influence of socialism, most liberal thought in recent years has been in favor of increasing the power of the State, but more or less hostile to the power of private property. On the other hand, syndicalism has been hostile both to the State and to private property. I believe that syndicalism is more nearly right than socialism in this respect, that both private property and the State, which are the two most powerful institutions of the modern world, have become harmful to life through excess of power, and that both are hastening the loss of vitality from which the civilized world increasingly suffers. The two institutions are closely connected, but for the present I wish to consider only the State. I shall try to show how great, how unnecessary, how harmful, many of its powers are, and how enormously they might be diminished without loss of what is useful in its activity. But I shall admit that in certain directions its functions ought to b...
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