Political Ideals

Political Ideals

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Political Ideals by Bertrand Russell

Published:

1917

Pages:

60

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5,126

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Political Ideals

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Mr. Russell has expressed these ideas in his other books. But here they are organized into what is virtually a primer of revolutionary idealism, written with a passionate soberness that stirs the mind as deeply as it moves the heart.

Book Excerpt

ch a free creative life can grow, yet it is the chief motive which inspires the daily work of most wage-earners. The hope of possessing more wealth and power than any man ought to have, which is the corresponding motive of the rich, is quite as bad in its effects; it compels men to close their minds against justice, and to prevent themselves from thinking honestly on social questions while in the depths of their hearts they uneasily feel that their pleasures are bought by the miseries of others. The injustices of destitution and wealth alike ought to be rendered impossible. Then a great fear would be removed from the lives of the many, and hope would have to take on a better form in the lives of the few.

But security and liberty are only the negative conditions for good political institutions. When they have been won, we need also the positive condition: encouragement of creative energy. Security alone might produce a smug and stationary society; it demands creativeness as its counterpart, in order to

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