Sunday, June 06, 2004


Man does right, as a rule, to have his thoughts more occupied with the interests of his nation than with those of others, because his actions are more likely to affect his own nation. But in time of war, and in all manners which are not of equal concern to other nations and to his own, a man ought to take account of the universal welfare, and not allow his survey to be limited by the interests, or supposed interests, of his own group, or nation. Poch Suzara


You can, if you think fit, prepare children for a military life by teaching them all to do the same thing at the same moment when they hear the word of command. If you do, they will grow up thwarted and stunted and full of deep-seated anger against the world – no doubt useful emotions if they are to be soldiers employed in killing, but not if they are to be happy citizens of a world at peace.
To stop war, we must not only work on governments; we must cleanse our own hearts of the poisons that make war seem reasonable: pride, fear, greed, envy, and contempt. It is a difficult business, but if it cannot be achieved, the end is death.

What History makes.

History makes one aware that there is no finality in human affairs; there is not a static perfection and an unimprovable wisdom to be achieved.

Edited by Lee Eisler

On Education

Education must foster the development of freedom of action and thought. This is the ultimate purpose of teaching and learning. Only a free human being can be a skeptical one; conversely, only a skeptical person can ultimately achieve genuine freedom.

Russell: The Journal of the Bertrand Russell Archives
Vol 12 no 1, Summer 1992


Political ideals must be based upon ideals for the individual life. The aim of politics should be to make the lives of individuals as good as possible. There is nothing for the politician to consider outside or above the various men, women, and children who compose the world. The problem of politics is to adjust the relations of human beings in such a way that each severally may have as much of good in his existence as possible.


When I see people who desire money or fame or power, I find it hard to imagine what must be the emotional emptiness of their lives, that can leave room for such trivial things.


A freethinker’s universe may seem bleak and cold to those who have been accustomed to the comfortable indoor warmth of the Christian cosmology. But to those who have grown accustomed to it, it has its own sublimity, and confers its own joy. In learning to think freely we have learnt to thrust fear out of our thoughts, and this lesson, once learnt, brings a kind of peace which is impossible to the slave of hesitant and uncertain credulity.


I have been informed that suffering is sent as a purification for sin, but I find it difficult to think that a child of four or five can be sunk in such black depths of iniquity as to deserve the punishment that befalls not a few of the children whom our optimistic divines might see any day, if they choose, suffering torments in children’s hospitals. Again, I am told that though the child himself may not have sinned very deeply, he deserves to suffer on account of his parents’ wickedness. I can only repeat that if this is the divine sense of justice it differs from mine, and that I think mine superior.