Great Book: Has Man a Future? by Bertrand Russell

An examination of the consequences of the development of nuclear weapons, by Bertrand Russell.

I don't have memories of the Cold War. I was alive, sure, but I was just a kid, and by the time I started paying attention to politics the fear was moderated. I don't remember experiencing anything like the peril and fear that Russell conveys about the international situation in the decades immediately following World War II.

One thing struck me the most about this treatise, and that's were Russell's criteria for success. The ways that humanity might manage to destroy itself in a nuclear holocause are not so interesting or varied. Russell's condition for permanently aavoiding such destruction were novel. He posits a world government, federal in nature, which would take control of all military power monolithically. Freedom of speech would be curtailed to reduce nationalistic sentiment and avoid uprisings. Can't have people praising military leaders or talking about how great their country is.

Other than that little weirdness, it all seemed quite reasonable (if hair-raisingly scary). It's amazing that we survived, really.


Anonymous said...

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willy bach poetic thoughts said...

This may be a radical suggestion, but you could always try reading it!