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READ PDF · Why Men Fight Á Written in response to the devastation of World War I, Why Men Fight lays out Bertrand Russell s ideas on war, pacifism, reason, impulse, and personal liberty Russell argues that when individuals live passionately, they will have no desire for war or killing Conversely, excessive restraint or reason causes us to live unnaturally and with hostility toward those who are unlike ourselves It s interesting to see that many of the philosophical ideas of the current century, as well as many of theabstract social issues we face, were already actively thought about right at the start of it Diminishing birth rates, inequality of women and colored people, and education towards obedience rather than creativity and exploratory learning, were already well known and thought about in Russell s day.This is a great look at the kind of society Russell was hoping would come about It is a It s interesting to see that many of the philosophical ideas of the current century, as well as many of theabstract social issues we face, were already actively thought about right at the start of it Diminishing birth rates, inequality of women and colored people, and education towards obedience rather than creativity and exploratory learning, were already well known and thought about in Russell s day.This is a great look at the kind of society Russell was hoping would come about It is also a somewhat sombre read into our current times, as many of these issues still haunt us today, if less so through the veil of total war Written during the First World War, composed as a series of lectures, Bertrand Russell admired and desised pacifist who served jailtime for his objection to conscription in the British Army pleads forsanity, and above all, humanity.His main thesis is that all of mankind is moved by impulses, and only secondary by desires We think and feel we want things, yet subconsciously our ego is driven by some deeper drives, which are triggered by our environments including ourselves Viewing m Written during the First World War, composed as a series of lectures, Bertrand Russell admired and desised pacifist who served jailtime for his objection to conscription in the British Army pleads forsanity, and above all, humanity.His main thesis is that all of mankind is moved by impulses, and only secondary by desires We think and feel we want things, yet subconsciously our ego is driven by some deeper drives, which are triggered by our environments including ourselves Viewing mankind in such a way, immediately leads to the conclusion that the way our environment is ordered and structured determines how we behave towards others More specifically, our environment determines whether our impulses are directed towards creation and benevolence or towards posession and hostility Evenspecifically, it is our political institutions that impact our impulses the most.Within this theoretical framework very reminiscent of Freud s theory of the ego Russell analyzes the current political institutions His main claims are that the State has become too powerful and dominating in private lives that war is desired by some warmongering elites and that the masses are easily aroused through mass psychology i.e propaganda , which finds fertile ground in the heads of people since they have become too dull and blunted by their working lives that the economic system capitalism is solely aimed at posession, turning community living into zero sum games and transforming the rich elites into snobs that education is dominated by the interests of the economic and political elites, kneading children into docile sheep who know only how to follow orders that morality, especially marriage, oppresses women and shuts them up in unhappy lives and lastly, that religion has destroyed both the life of the mind and the life of the spirit.In his criticisms Russell also points to the future For example, he mentions a combination of syndicalism democracy at the work place, ultimately under state control and cooperation where possible as an alternative to pure capitalism He does leave room for capitalism, but curbs it Also, he promotes the freedom of women, yet he is aware of the future risks of a degeneration of the European race, and perhaps even the oppression of men by women which he detests as much as the current oppression of women War can only be killed off by instituting a World Federation that has as its sole purpose to be a military world state which intervenes in every nation or region where human rights to freedom are threatened Economics and politics is left to the nation.Russell s main message is there s a human instinct to live, to be active, and this principle can be used for good when it is aimed at creation creating goods to share with others or for bad when it is aimed at possessions turning your needs into my property Russell pleads for a new way of life, a life that focused on creating and sharing His view can be summarized as liberty and humanity reverence towards others While he recognizes the basic needs of people food, drink, clothing, shelter, etc and sees the economy as a supporting factor in this, he also wants to curb the rights of owners of property to allow workers to work much less hours and spend a bigger part of their lives on learning, art, friendship, etc Although the view expressed by Russell can count on my sympathy, I wonder how much of it is the musings of an intellectual Not everyone is interested in the life of creation, let alone capable But still I think it worthwile to promote such a cause And to be fair to Russell, he does include friendship, community living and even pattriotism in his positive expressions of the life principle I found his treatment of the economic system hugely interesting he is the first and one of the selected few who emphasizes the inhumanity of making people work 40 80 hours a week, and not allowing them to work less, in order to develop themselves as human beings This is an argument which is sadly almost never recognized, especially in calvinistic economies like those of Europe In the end, we have to remember that these texts was written in 1915, delivered as lectures and published in 1916, and that Russell was highly impacted by the distressing news of the mass destruction on the continent Russell was a good man, with a big heart, and much love for all humanity an example worthy of admiration, evenso when we take his time into context Interesting to read and very accessible for anyone who wants to get a feel for the war times as experienced in the UK and US, to a lighter degree I don t claim to be an expert on this sort of thing, but I find it quite difficult to evaluate the logical validity of Russell s vision of a future where pretty much every existing social, political, and economic structure has been turned upside down At best, the book provides an examination of the potential of the human race if the human race consisted entirely of men like Bertie , at worst, an idealist hodgepodge of social theory Well laid out and rationalized, if at times dated in partic I don t claim to be an expert on this sort of thing, but I find it quite difficult to evaluate the logical validity of Russell s vision of a future where pretty much every existing social, political, and economic structure has been turned upside down At best, the book provides an examination of the potential of the human race if the human race consisted entirely of men like Bertie , at worst, an idealist hodgepodge of social theory Well laid out and rationalized, if at times dated in particular the chapter on marriage Personal favorite was Russell s thoughts on education Gave me somewhere to start on this philosophy binge on which I am about to embark Will probably have to reexamine the theories of this book after I ve read it is quiet a difficult task to review a work by a genius like Russell specially for a person with an ordinary intellect but if there is an option then no harm in trying This book is a collection of Russell s lectures during the early phase of WW1 These works cover different aspect of human life such as state, religion, education, marriage to name some, by going through these lectures one got to understand the real mind set of this thinker par excellence the jest of this work is the preachin it is quiet a difficult task to review a work by a genius like Russell specially for a person with an ordinary intellect but if there is an option then no harm in trying This book is a collection of Russell s lectures during the early phase of WW1 These works cover different aspect of human life such as state, religion, education, marriage to name some, by going through these lectures one got to understand the real mind set of this thinker par excellence the jest of this work is the preaching of humanity both in collective and in individual sense Thru these pages we see a person who want person society to thrive on its natural creative instincts, an atmosphere where there is only compassion and benevolence where there will be no fear of state authority in a negative way where children will not strait jacketed to think in some particular way and where term patriotism is not confined to one s own country tribe community but also to understand the feeling of other people towards their country and community Writing style is reader friendly and narration is easy on mind the content is quiet easily communicated to the recipient which is not an easy task specially if the subject is philosophy here Russell has proved his mastery of words and communication skills.One thing is quiet interesting and that is the misjudgment on the part of Russell regarding the role of USA in the world war, he predicted that America will not go to war because it has no external danger well two years after the delivery of this lecture USA did enter the war on the side of Britain and France this proves that mistakes could be incurred by the even the brightest of minds this book is a must read for all the thinking minds with an intent to make this world a better place