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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 it. Any man who cares wh... (From: mcmaster.ca.)
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-m... (From: mcmaster.ca.)
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 Papers of Bertr... (From: Drew.edu.)
Ideas that Have Harmed Mankind from "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 human. For six years the civilized nations of th... (From: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_ide....)
The Impulse to Power introduction 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 matter is different. A large proportion of the human... (From: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_pow....)
In Praise of Idleness This 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 was brought up on the saying: (From: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_idl....)
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 authority is unreal and illusory. 5. Have no ... (From: Drew.edu.)
In these days, under the influence of democracy, the virtue of cooperation 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-cooperative. 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 anything of value have se... (From: SantaFe.edu.)
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 bandit who wants to sell him a ...
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 awed tones,...
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 [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 domain 50 years after the author's death, that is, in 2020. (This may or may not be correct. They may have extended this another 20 years. Ask your lawyer before downloading into non-USA...
Proposed Roads To Freedom By Bertrand Russell PART I - HISTORICAL CHAPTER I MARX AND SOCIALIST DOCTRINE SOCIALISM, like everything else that is vital, is rather a tendency than a strictly definable body of doctrine. A definition of Socialism is sure either to include some views which many would regard as not Socialistic, or to exclude others which claim to be included. But I think we shall come nearest to the essence of Socialism by defining it as the advocacy of communal ownership of land and capital. Communal ownership may mean ownership by a democratic State, but cannot be held to include ownership by any State which is not democratic. Communal ownership may also be understood, as Anarchist Communism understands it... (From: Gutenberg.org.)
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 the detailed procedur... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
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 s... (From: WikiSource.org.)

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