My Introduction to Bertrand Russell
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.
At the age of 12, 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 spent the summer skinny dipping, listening to Alice in Wonderland on the record player and the CBC’s world at six. There were long conversations by a campfire 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.
The Socialism that Wasn’t
An article from the Monthly review by Jean Bricmont and Normand Baillargeon from July 2017 about Bertrand Russell and the Socialism That Wasn’t
Proposed Roads to Freedom.
Written in 1918, this book is an assessment of three competing streams of thought: Socialism, anarchism and syndicalism. Proposed Roads to Freedom is a historical review and covers Bakunin and Anarchism, Marx, 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 as I go blind I copy text into a plain text editor and enlarge the text. How I read then is by summarizing the text. An act of literary terrorism perhaps, but for me a necessary step in processing.
I particularly like Russell’s analysis that the concept of God is derived from despotism. Russell’s view of progress os that humans 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
The Beatles meet Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell loudly and continually protested against the Vietnam war throughout the 1960s, despite the fact that he was in his nineties. How an enlightened. old man influenced the most popular musical group of thier time. All we are saying is give peace a chance.
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