Friday, January 18, 2008

Reading matters

Reading matter
Originally uploaded by Southcoasting
BERTRAND RUSSELL to STUD TERKEL (Quoted in 'Talking to Myself')

Q. Bertrand Russell, what is the world you envision?

BR. I should like to live in a world where children were brought up as free as possible, freely, so they shouldn't be filled with rebellious impulses. I should like to live in a world where those of men's impulses that are not possessive hould have free scope.

BR. I divide impulses into possessive and creative. If you write a poem, you don't prevent another man from writing a poem. If you eat food, you don't prevent him from eating food. If there is a shortage, you get conflict. Naturally, material comfort must be sufficiently supplied.

BR. What has happened in all societies that have ever existed is that creative impulses are cramped by politicians or churches. The man who has a new idea or a new way of feeling is punished, although it might be a solution for a great many of our troubles.

BR. I should like to see our impulses go into creativity - poetry, music, in lesser ways, gardening. There is always something creative a person can do...

Q. Is it possible in our time?

BR. Hardly, I think. IN our time, we can move towards it. It's a matter of degree. In some ways, things are better than they used to be. People used to be burned alive. Today they're only slowly starved. I suppose that's slightly better, but I don't know. You take steps. You can't get very far in our world. There is such a lot to do.

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