I was first introduced to Bertrand Russell by my Uncle Murray. Murray taught Economics and Anthropology at Ryerson in Toronto in late 60’s. Murray gave me a copy of Bertrand Russell’s What I Believe. That was the inspiration for the title of my website almost 50 years later.
At the age of 12 years old my parents put me on a bus to Algonquin Park. I got off at the Lake of Two Rivers and was met by my Aunt and Uncle. We then drove their Volkswagen bug out of the park towards the town of Dorset Ontario.
On a little side road near Dorset we parked the bug, pulled a canoe out of the woods and paddled for more than an hour to the far end of a small lake. Once there I found a series of small cabins in the woods and spend the summer skinny dipping, listening to Alice in Wonderland and Charlotte’s Web on the record player, and long conversations by the fire with Murray, Helen and the frequent visits from his students.
Bertrand Russell and his writings was a frequent topic of conversation and whenever I read him; I hear the voice of my Uncle Murray.
Proposed Roads to Freedom.
Written in 1918, this book is an assessment of three competing streams of thought: Marxian socialism, anarchism and syndicalism. Proposed Roads to Freedom is a historical review of Marx and his doctrines. It covers Bakunin and Anarchism, future work, government and provides a vision of the world as it could be.
The Russell-Einstein Manifesto (1955)
The Russell-Einstein Manifesto was issued in London on 9 July 1955 by Bertrand Russell and signed by 11 prominent intellectuals and scientists, most notably Albert Einstein. The document is warning of the dangers of nuclear war.
The text of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto can be found here
What I Believe
Bertrand Russell won the Nobel Prize in literature and I had the audacity to edit his work. Mostly because that is how I read I like to read, putting text in a plain text editor and eliminating the superfluous. An act of literary terrorism to some, getting to the essence for me. There is no dispute of the cogency of Russell’s arguments and many attribute the writing of Richard Dawkins to Russell.
I particularly like Russell’s analysis that the concept of God is derived from despotism. His writing is rich with historical examples from all over the world.
Russell has a view of the progress of humans; that we are becoming more enlightened, and thus by giving up our outmoded beliefs from the past we can progress to a brighter future using science and critical thinking as guideposts as opposed to Bronze age myths.
Edited text can be found here
The original can easily be found elsewhere
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