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Analysis posted Jun 19 2007, 12:21 PM Category: Brave New World Source: InformationLiberation Print

Life under the World State

A Philosopher King speaks

"Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do."

"I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology.... Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. 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.... It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment."

"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 or policemen."
- Bertrand Russell, "The Impact of Science on Society", 1953

"Scientific societies are as yet in their infancy. . . . It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fitche laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished."

"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 become psychologically impossible."

"Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulers and ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revolt of the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organized insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton."
- Bertrand Russell, "The Impact of Science on Society", 1953, pg 49-50

"In like manner, the scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities, probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches of psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play.... All the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called 'co-operative,' i.e., to do exactly what everybody is doing. Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished, will be scientifically trained out of them."

"Except for the one matter of loyalty to the World State and to their own order, members of the governing class will be encouraged to be adventurous and full of initiative...."

"On those rare occasions, when a boy or girl who has passed the age at which it is usual to determine social status shows such marked ability as to seem the intellectual equal of the rulers, a difficult situation will arise, requiring serious consideration. If the youth is content to abandon his previous associates and to throw in his lot whole-heartedly with the rulers, he may, after suitable tests, be promoted, but if he shows any regrettable solidarity with his previous associates, the rulers will reluctantly conclude that there is nothing to be done with him except to send him to the lethal chamber before his ill-disciplined intelligence has had time to spread revolt. This will be a painful duty to the rulers, but I think they will not shrink from performing it."
- Bertrand Russell, "The Scientific Outlook", 1931

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Comments 1 - 20 of 30 Add Comment Page of 2 >
David Stanley

Posted: Jun 19 2007, 1:57 PM

86221 The UK media was founded on a story involving the kidnap and rape of a child, as it subsequently transpired, by the journalist himself. Of alarm to some, things have since markedly declined and subversion using the appeal to the primative emotions is demonstrated daily by the corporate media.

Intellect is an unstoppable revolution. It is not born of nobility, it is independent of any class and as a natural development; anything else is inherently unstable.

What Bertrand Russell perhaps failed to consider (I hope), was that the artificial and corrupt construct of rulers and ruled actually requires an increasing lack of intellect by the rulers to sustain. The point is reached sooner or later where it fails as a consequence of its inherent stupidity.

"Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it." - Albert Einstein

Posted: Jun 19 2007, 10:28 PM

7570 David Stanley.. Growing tired of your irrelevant psychobabble.

Posted: Jun 20 2007, 7:42 AM

Russell's mistake (and that of those in power) was in believing that he was so much more intelligent than everyone else. You can easily train children to pretend they are unable to think, but their minds remain intact. If the government education system worked as well as he predicted (and I do not doubt he was right about the intention of the public education system), why do so many people take antidepressants in attempt to turn off their thoughts? As always, the flaw lies in underestimating the intelligence of the people, and that is what will eventually cause the system to fall to pieces.
Dr. B

Posted: Jun 20 2007, 2:48 PM

156110 I'm curious, as it's difficult to glean from the excerpted comments: was Bertrand Russell advocating such a scenario or was he merely laying it out as a potential trend among high-tech societies?

Posted: Jun 20 2007, 6:56 PM

I seem to recall that even my philosophy professors in college couldn't agree on the answer to your question...
David Stanley

Posted: Jun 21 2007, 5:19 AM

83193 Mankind is offered wisdom or oblivion via freedom or tyranny. For me that is not psychobabble, it is written in blood.

Posted: Jun 21 2007, 6:10 PM

170215 Just that picture of ole Berty gives me the creeps. Look he has no eyes, just black holes !

Posted: Aug 20 2007, 11:59 AM

7589 Dump the Ads by Google, if you purport to be in-the-know about the fascist state we live in. The corporate purchase of Google is riddled with ties to organs of the fascist state.

Posted: Aug 22 2007, 8:13 PM

213208 Q: I'm curious, as it's difficult to glean from the excerpted comments: was Bertrand Russell advocating such a scenario or was he merely laying it out as a potential trend among high-tech societies?

Good question. Without shadow of a doubt he'd have thought the ideas abhorrent. How can one know what he thinks about the idea from the quotes alone?

There seems a lot of this "Bertrand Russell was evil" baloney about. It seems very ignorant - purposefully so?

One can even find racism in early Russell's writing, but he was a man who whilst obviously a cultured and privileged intellectual, was committed to communicating with the masses. In lots of ways he rejected and contradicted the usual expectations one might have of a classic "english upper-class twit."

Though he was an aristocrat he was jailed in First World War for his pacifism. But he supported war against fascism's existential threat in WW2.

He, along with Einstein and others initiated CND, calling for nuclear disarmament following Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

He played a role in averting Nuclear War over Cuba. Letters to Krushchev?

He was a controversial professor in US. He bemoaned his american students - they knew only of things that they needed to know - none of them could name any of the flowers or trees when he asked.

Nor was he a communist - he wrote an essay entitled "Why I am not a communist." He was a very open-minded, rational, skeptical guy. With a big heart, it seems to me. It's hard to find him angry at anything except injustice, dishonesty and whatever. He certainly wasn't prone to hate or megalomania.

Yet I've seen him described on the internet as "The most evil man in the world!"

It is, of course, completely ridiculous. Out of context quotes notwithstanding. :)

I think the "Bertrand Russell = World Govt" thing comes from a very particular time - that period when USA had 'the bomb' and nobody else did. Russell wondered about the rather obvious idea of using american monopoly on "the bomb" to introduce a world system preventing anybody ever again using them.

It's a rather obvious position to hold - and such views were obviously limited to that particular historic moment. It would never happen again......

I think it's completely wrong to suggest this particular moment is indicative of Russell's innate evil. It's ridiculous and IMO completely contrary to what anyone would understand about Russell if they actually read some.........

So here's something more representative:

what is work?

Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid. The second kind is capable of indefinite extension: there are not only those who give orders, but those who give advice as to what orders should be given. Usually two opposite kinds of advice are given simultaneously by two organized bodies of men; this is called politics. The skill required for this kind of work is not knowledge of the subjects as to which advice is given, but knowledge of the art of persuasive speaking and writing, i.e. of advertising.

Throughout Europe, though not in America, there is a third class of men, more respected than either of the classes of workers. There are men who, through ownership of land, are able to make others pay for the privilege of being allowed to exist and to work. These landowners are idle, and I might therefore be expected to praise them. Unfortunately, their idleness is only rendered possible by the industry of others; indeed their desire for comfortable idleness is historically the source of the whole gospel of work. The last thing they have ever wished is that others should follow their example.

From the beginning of civilization until the Industrial Revolution, a man could, as a rule, produce by hard work little more than was required for the subsistence of himself and his family, although his wife worked at least as hard as he did, and his children added their labor as soon as they were old enough to do so. The small surplus above bare necessaries was not left to those who produced it, but was appropriated by warriors and priests. In times of famine there was no surplus; the warriors and priests, however, still secured as much as at other times, with the result that many of the workers died of hunger. This system persisted in Russia until 1917 [1], and still persists in the East; in England, in spite of the Industrial Revolution, it remained in full force throughout the Napoleonic wars, and until a hundred years ago, when the new class of manufacturers acquired power. In America, the system came to an end with the Revolution, except in the South, where it persisted until the Civil War. A system which lasted so long and ended so recently has naturally left a profound impress upon men's thoughts and opinions. Much that we take for granted about the desirability of work is derived from this system, and, being pre-industrial, is not adapted to the modern world. Modern technique has made it possible for leisure, within limits, to be not the prerogative of small privileged classes, but a right evenly distributed throughout the community. The morality of work is the morality of slaves, and the modern world has no need of slavery.

Posted: Aug 22 2007, 8:27 PM

213208 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.

Unfortunately, our politicians are not accustomed to such a choice. However hard they try, their minds inevitably slide back to the courtroom and the criminal world. If, out of kindness, the last man foresees the murder of the last man but one, the whole law-enforcement campaign imagines all the apparatus of police, Scotland Yard, judges and wigs ready to catch and punish him. But this is not how the scene will be. There will be first the death of nearly all the inhabitants of New York or London or Peking or Tokyo, then a gradual extension of deaths to the country, then famine due to failure of trade, and at last gasping, horrifying lonely death in the mountains, and then eternal silence.

If the Great Powers continue their present policies, some such end as this is inevitable. When two or more Powers disagree, what can they do? A can yield to B, or B can yield to A, or they can reach a compromise, or they can fight. If either yields, it is thought pusillanimous: either it loses caste, or, next time, it must fight; or it must secure an ally. Since the number of States is finite, this process must soon come to an end. We have seen all the steps in this development since the end of the Second War. Consider what happened in the Cuba crisis. Both sides were willing to fight, but at the last possible moment Khrushchev's nerve failed and he allowed the world to live till the next crisis. But it turned out that Russia would have preferred death, and Khrushchev fell.

Can we count on this always happening?

What is the present system?

When there is a quarrel, a conference is summoned, each side debates, they reach two compromises, one favoured by one side, the other by the other. If each contains disarmament clauses, each is aware that they may be infringed. Each considers the tiniest chance of infringement a greater misfortune than the end of the human race. And so nothing is done. The powers must learn that peace is the paramount interest of everybody. To cause this to be realized by governments should be the supreme aim.

What has been achieved towards this end, and what have I personally contributed?

Publicly, in the relations between states, very little, but still something. Russia has expressed willingness to transform NATO by joining it; but China is a new threat. The Vietnam war seems likely to end in negotiation. Generally, the powers (except the U.S.) show a reluctance to go to war. France is uncertain, but leaves room for hope. At any rate, the stark opposition of Communist and non-Communist is breaking down. If peace can be preserved for the next 10 years, it will be possible to hope.

What can private persons do meanwhile? They can agitate, by pointing out the effects of modern war and the danger of the extinction of Man. They can teach men not to hate peoples other than their own, or to cause themselves to be hated. They can value, and cause others to value, what Man has achieved in art and science. They can emphasize the superiority of co-operation to competition.

Finally, have I done anything to further such ends?

Something perhaps, but sadly little in view of the magnitude of the evil. Some few people in England and the U.S.A. I have encouraged in the expression of liberal views, or have terrified with the knowledge of what modern weapons can do. It is not much, but if everybody did as much this Earth would soon be a paradise. Consider for a moment what our planet is and what it might be. At present, for most, there is toil and hunger, constant danger, more hatred than love. There could be a happy world, where co-operation was more in evidence than competition, and monotonous work is done by machines, where what is lovely in nature is not destroyed to make room for hideous machines whose sole business is to kill, and where to promote joy is more respected than to produce mountains of corpses. Do not say this is impossible: it is not. It waits only for men to desire it more than the infliction of torture.

There is an artist imprisoned in each one of us. Let him loose to spread joy everywhere.

Posted: Aug 25 2007, 10:36 AM

8239 World state is a bad thing, you will lose your freedom, you will be microchipped, and mass population control, and the guy at the top of this gets the role to play god, he can do what he likes, brain wash who he wants, disarm all those that appose him. complete control, we will all be slaves to them.

Posted: Aug 30 2007, 8:51 PM

213208 ----World state is a bad thing, you will lose your freedom


You really believe all that though, don't you? All that "world bank is taking over america" rubbish?

No doubt all that you can see in Russell's words above is some slavering despot - intent to enslave you.........

So, do you want to try explaining how "world state" means "you will lose your freedom"?

What do you mean by "world state" - what do you mean by "freedom"?

---------"you will be microchipped"

Really? says who? Of course some people want all that crap - but so what!? Do you want to make the future or is someone else going to do it?
Make it different. But how is a "world state" any more likely to "microchip" you than the USA, for example?

Can't you even dare imagine "a world state" different to one that's been hammered into your head (by nationalists)? Can't you?

--------and mass population control

Same questions as above. Plus - what are your views on immigration?

----and the guy at the top of this gets the role to play god, he can do what he likes, brain wash who he wants, disarm all those that appose him. complete control, we will all be slaves to them."

Is the only possible way to have ANY "state" with "THE GUY at the top"?

The point of democracy, and the basis of its threat to power and rpivilege, is that IT COMES FROM BELOW. From "the people".

A state of whatever size is NOT democratic if it has A GUY at the top.

The point is to MAKE states (whatever their size) DEMOCRATIC.

So, WHY can a state NOT be democratic?

You imagine a world dictatorship and reject it - fine, I am with you there - I reject it too.

You automatically equate "world state" with dictatorship - for no apparent reason. As there seems no reasons to imagine world state=dictatorship then maybe you should re-evaluate WHY you think what you do? Maybe?

Posted: Aug 31 2007, 5:59 AM

we don't have any freedom to lose....

Posted: Aug 31 2007, 6:02 PM

213208 well, you wrote what you did.

I read it.

Still - most people don't even have that "freedom" do they?

Posted: Sep 01 2007, 8:28 AM

it was not I. I never said anyone was free.

Posted: Sep 02 2007, 12:35 PM

213208 You never said anyone was "free"?

I know - you implied the opposite.

Funny - who was it that FORCED you to say that? NOBODY??

Anybody FORCE me to read it? NO.

That is "SOME freedom to lose", right?

So don't pretend it doesn't exist at all.

So why do you think this website has completely misrepresented the views of Bertrand Russell?

Posted: Sep 07 2007, 10:26 AM

you can believe that the illusion of freedom is good enough for you. It's not good enough for me. I'm free to say what I want, sure, so what? Leonard Peltier is, too. You think he's free, sitting in jail these thirty some years for speaking aloud what was in his heart? If he is not free, neither are any of the rest of us.

Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act.
Let who you are ring out & resonate
in every word & every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There's no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.
What you do is who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message.
You are the message.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

- Leonard Peltier


Posted: Oct 09 2007, 3:54 PM

friendstacy: Thank you for that quote by Leonard Peltier.....beautiful!

I am part Indian, but somehow the ancestry of that part of my family got squashed. why? so my Gr Grandmother could have freedom.....

I agree whole heartedly with what you say, freedom is dependent upon my ability to play by someone else's rules, and unfortunately in USA , imo.... the rules that I see: the new (or old) golden rule "he who has the gold rules"

Posted: Nov 05 2007, 10:59 AM

213208 So - what on earth are you doing reading such rubbish about Bertrand Russell at a crappy website like this?

Everyone who visits this website SHOULD be aware that they publish total distortions - look at the way they have treated Russell with all this distorted crap about him.

This ridiculous insinuation about Russell is easily verifiable - it IS nonsense.

But how easily can anyone check the other stuff at this site?


None of the visitors - supposed truthseekers? - have even had the nous to wonder, let alone realise, let alone comment.

Information Liberation??? Info Distortion more like............what a shock.

And our darling "truthseekers" don't even notice.

Posted: Nov 05 2007, 11:20 AM

question everything. only real truth stands up to scrutiny. discard all false notions, those beliefs you hold through fear and the intimidation from those that refuse to recognize, much less answer, the really tough questions.
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