Bertrand Russell Unpopular Essays

24].”Once you “know” where history leads, you can justify any sort of compulsion to help people along the path.Autocracy thinks itself justified by some such dogma.

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20].” Hegel was successful in selling a version of this pap, in part because his writing was so obscure that it was believed to be profound.

Russell provides a capsule and unflattering view of Hegelian philosophy, with its timeless Absolute Idea and the illusory unreality in which we dwell.

17]” until Lenin and Hitler put them into practice.

Russell continues by elaborating on the totalitarianism in Plato’s , including the censorship of literature, drama, and music, the sacrifice of individual happiness for the collectivity, and the purposeful deception by the ruling oligarchs to enforce (with the aid of infanticide) their eugenic aspirations.

The earth once produced “harmless trilobites and butterflies [p. Peace will return, though, as the earth returns to a state where it cannot support life.

Philosophers are not content with the undirected change of the earth.

Hegel (in his own conceit) knew what others did not, and a strong government could force them to act in their own best interest.

Russell quotes Heraclitus, “to whom Hegel was deeply indebted,” as noting that ‘Every beast is driven to the pasture with blows.’ Russell’s caustic retort: “Let us, in any case, make sure of the blows; whether they lead to a pasture is a matter of minor importance…[p.

They note features of the world they like, and others that they don’t like, and then claim that an immutable law of history is leading to an increase in the former and decrease in the latter.

“At the same time the winning side, for reasons which remain somewhat obscure, is represented as the side of virtue [p.


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