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
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 46 documents, with 178,638 words or 1,086,152 characters.
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (881 Words / 5,278 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 it. Any man who cares what the future may have in store therefore has to choose between nothingness and conciliation, not once, but throughout future ages until the sun grows cold. (From : mcmaster.ca.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1945 ~ (1,427 Words / 8,536 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-millionth of a centimeter; the electron and the nucleus are supposed to be so small that if they could be crowded together it would take about ten million million on end to fill a centimeter. The nucleus has positive electricity, the plan... (From : mcmaster.ca.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1903 ~ (3,759 Words / 22,043 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 Papers of Bertrand Russell, entitled Contemplation and Action, 1902-14 (London, 1985; now published by Routledge). To Dr. Faustus in his study Mephistopheles told the history of the... (From : Drew.edu.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (6,849 Words / 43,443 Characters)
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 the world devoted all their best energi... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_ide....)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1938 ~ (1,941 Words / 12,974 Characters)
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... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_pow....)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (5,119 Words / 32,802 Characters)
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... (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 authority is unreal and illusory. 5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found. 6. Do not us... (From : Drew.edu.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (642 Words / 3,780 Characters)
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 seldom been "cooperative" children. As a rule, they have liked solitude: they have tried to slink into a corner with a book and been happiest when they could escape the notice of their barbarian contemporaries. Almost all men who hav... (From : SantaFe.edu.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1932 ~ (632 Words / 3,531 Characters)
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 grand piano. He points out that that he has no room large enough to house it, but the bandit shows that, by knocking down a bit of wall, the tail of the piano can be made to project from the living room into the best bedroom. Paterf...
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (4,260 Words / 25,645 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 awed tones, but not to be acted on in daily life. What would happen would be that any verbal denial of the mystic doctrine would be made illegal, and obstinate heretics would be 'frozen' at the stake. No person who did not enthusiasti...
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1912 CHAPTER VII ON OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GENERAL PRINCIPLES WE saw in the preceding chapter that the principle of Induction, while necessary to the validity of all arguments based on experience, is itself not capable of being proved by experience, and yet is unhesitatingly believed by every one, at least in all its concrete applications. In these characteristics the principle of induction does not stand alone. There are a number of other principles which cannot be proved or disproved by experience, but are used in arguments which start from what is experienced. Some of these principles have even greater evidence than the principle of induction, and the knowledge of them has the same degree of certainty as the knowledge of the existence of sense-data. They constitute the means of drawing inferences from what is given in sensation; and if what we infer is to be true, it is just as necessary that our principles of inference should be...
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 ~ (2,225 Words / 12,928 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 the detailed procedure of science, it could be ignored by scientists and was in fact ignored. Nowadays matters are quite different; the revolutionary ideas of the philosophy of physics have come from the ph... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1917 WHY MEN FIGHT I THE PRINCIPLE OF GROWTH TO all who are capable of new impressions and fresh thought, some modification of former beliefs and hopes has been brought by the war. What the modification has been has depended, in each case, upon character and circumstance; but in one form or another it has been almost universal. To me, the chief thing to be learned through the war has been a certain view of the springs of human action, what they are, and what we may legitimately hope that they will become. This view, if it is true, seems to afford a basis for political philosophy more capable of standing erect in a time of crisis than the philosophy of traditional Liberalism has shown itself to be. The following lectures, though only one of them will deal with war, all are inspired by a view of the springs of action which has been suggested by the war. And all of them are informed by the hope of seeing such political institutions established in Europe as shall m...
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