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Bertrand Russell
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Born 1872-05-18
Died 1970-02-02
Father John Russell
Philosopher, writer, eugenicist, and architect of the scientific dictatorship.
Quotes
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[Talking on how to get the U.S. into a world government] Persuasion in the United States, where there is freedom of propaganda is a different matter. ... What is needed is an immense campaign of public education. The average American voter, very naturally, is annoyed by the way in which the follies of Europe and Asia compel America to go to war; in his emotions he is an isolationist, even when hard facts have convinced his reason that isolationism is no longer practicable. He wishes the Atlantic were still as wide as in Washington’s day, and is apt to forget the arguments against isolationism whenever business is prosperous.
- 1946-10
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It is necessary to bring home, not only to administrators or Congressmen, but to the average American citizen, the dangers to which, within a few years, America will be exposed, and the impossibility of warding of the dangers except by a partial surrender of sovereignty.
- 1946-10
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I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. ... War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world to full. ... The state of affairs might be somewhat unplesant, but what of that?
- 1949-11-29
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There is, it must be confessed, a psychological difficulty about a single world government. The chief source of social cohesion in the past, I repeat, has been war: the passions that inspire a feeling of unity are hate and fear. These depend upon the existence of an enemy, actual or potential. It seems to follow that a world government could only be kept in being by force, not by the spontaneous loyalty that now inspires a nation at war.
- 1951
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Of these the most influential is what is called "education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part. What is essential in mass psychology is the art of persuasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler's with a speech of Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if the can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment.
- 1951
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The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that show is black. Various results will soon be arrived at. First, that the influence of home is obstructive. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. Fourth, that the opinion that show is white must be held to show that morbid taste for eccentricity. But I anticipate. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray. Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies of policemen. As yet there is only one country which has succeeded in creating this politician's paradise.
- 1951
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If there is a strike in vital industry, the whole community suffers. I am not arguing that the right to strike should be abolished; I am only arguing that, if it is to be preserved, it must be for reasons concerned with this particular matter, and no on general grounds of personal liberty. In a highly organized country there are many activities which are important to everybody, and without which there would be widespread hardship. Matters should be so arranged that large groups seldom think it to their interest to strike. This can be done by arbitration and conciliation, or, as under the dictatorship of the proletariat, by starvation and police action. But in one way or another it must be done if an industrial society is to prosper.
- 1951
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Means must be found of subjecting the relations of nations to the rule of law, so that a single nation will no longer be, as at present, the judge in its own cause. If this is not done, the world will quickly return to barbarism. If that case, scientific technique will disappear along with science, and men will be able to go on being quarrelsome because their quarrels will no longer do much harm. It is, however, just possible that mankind may prefer to survive and prosper rather than to perish in misery, and, if so, national liberty will have to be effectively restrained.
- 1951
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Lenin had the almost unique privilege of actually constructing his Utopia in a great and powerful State; he was the nearest approach known to history to Plato's philosopher king. The fact that the result is unsatisfactory is, I think, mainly due to intellectual errors on the part of Marx and Lenin--errors which remain intellectual although they have emotional source in the dictatorial character of the two men.
- 1951
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Either we must allow the human race to exterminate itself, or we must forgo certain liberties which are very dear to us, more especially the liberty to kill foreigners whenever we feel so disposed.
- 1951
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We must learn not to say: "Never! Better death than dishonor." We must learn to submit to law, even when imposed by aliens whom we hate and despise, and whom we believe to be blind to all considerations of righteousness.
- 1951
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A clear choice must be made within fifty years, the choice between Reason and Death. And by "Reason" I mean willingness to submit to law as declared by an international authority.
- 1951
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Diet, injections,and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will be psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will them them that they are so.
- 1951
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Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulers and the ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revolt of the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organized insurrection of the sheep against the practice of eating mutton.
- 1951
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In Russia they are already mere licensed sycophants. Else-where, before long, with conscription of labor, no one will be allowed to practice literature or painting unless he can get twelve magistrates or ministers of religion to testify to his competence. I am not quite sure that the aesthetic taste of these worthy men will always be impeccable.
- 1953
Cited Sources
The Atomic Bomb and the Prevention of War
Link http://books.google.com/books?id=WwwAAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA1&pg=PA7#v=onepage&q&f=false
Author(s): Bertrand Russell
Publisher: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Linked To:
The Impact Of Science On Society
ISBN: B000NSV4DQ
Author(s): Bertrand Russell
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc
Linked To:
Of these the most influential is what is called "education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part. What is essential in mass psychology is the art of persuasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler's with a speech of Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if the can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment.
-Bertrand Russell