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  • 发表时间:

    我的荣光与骄傲:被踢出北大某级某系微信群之因由。

    送交者pifu01 2020年02月23日10:18:22 于 [五 味 斋] 发送悄悄话


    我的荣光与骄傲:被踢出北大某级某系微信群之因由。想要转贴地随便,没有版权。是否能唤醒几个人俺们也只能试试了。

    我其实也就是挂在群里很少说话的一个人。跟俺以前在北大一样,本就是一个不怎么爱说话的人。

    前天(2月15号)上午在酒店等人,没事干就去看了一眼。以前的班长(当时在大学里就入党了的先进分子),现在的教授,在转贴一篇文章,网络上到处可见的,好像始发“长安街知事”,题目是:“紧要关头,特普朗要对世卫釜底抽薪,援助‘把戏被拆穿’”。就是说美国援助背后有鬼,因为他们砍了世卫的经费等等。前几天在美国援助世界第一的时候,崴脚部发言人华姐“铁口直言”美国没有援助。一国之发言人当众撒谎居然能撒的响当当,俺是很佩服的。于是俺在群里说了一句:“可怜之人必有可恨之处。瘟疫之下大家低头看自己即可。别人不援助挨骂,别人援助了是阴谋。对这样一群人,瘟疫不找他们找谁?”。

    马上就有同学让不要这样说,“太刺耳。”我当时并不知道那个同学当时困在武汉。

    我回答“对不起,只能这么说。”

    党员班长说:“不合适!”

    俺问:“是不是事实?是事实不合适你的世界观?还是你的世界观不合适事实?”

    困在武汉的同学:“谁活该瘟疫了?那些得病的人哪里可恨了?”

    班长:“对那些患者和逝者不公平,不是所有的人都像你说的那样。”

    我:“世人有因必有果,我不知因,但它必然存在”。意思是现在瘟疫这个果出来了,一定有它的因。

    武汉同学:“人家得病了,也没找你讨钱,你何必呢。”

    我:“大家都以为自己是好人。你真有那么好吗?眼看着弱小被欺负的时候你干嘛了?”

    武汉同学:“你也没干嘛啊?”

    同学甲对武汉同学:“别急,换个角度理解这句话:这么大事情都出了,还在洗地,还说不要急着查找真相,还说有了真相大众也受不起,你觉得这种事情下次不会发生了吗?”

    我:“我有没有干嘛不是讨论的焦点。讨论的是普遍自认为是好人不该得如此报应的大众。”

    同学乙: 贴了一篇名为“愚蠢是一种道德缺陷,是对正常智力的主动放弃”的转贴。

    班长:“你说的这些跟人家患者和死了的人有啥关系?”

    武汉同学对同学甲:“一个人冲出来大骂所有的人,你们活该!合适吗?”

    我:“所有的瘟疫都有个人层面和大众层面和正腐的多种原因。雪崩的时候不要觉得自己真有那么无辜。世上没有无因无缘之事。”

    同学甲:“大家骂CDC, 你以为是在骂CDC或者高院长吗?不是,是ZF, 因为在这里他们代表了ZF。说大众,一样,不是某个人,而是这群人组成的一个集体声音。”

    武汉同学:“那跟芸芸众生,小老百姓又有啥关系? 我不觉得我是一片有辜的雪花而活该啊。”

    班长:“TA不是只在骂ZF,TA在骂所有的人,包括那些死了的人。”

    我:“正腐和大众相互成就,大众纵容了正腐,也只配有那样的正腐。”

    同学甲对武汉同学“别说,无论主动被动,你就是(有辜的雪花?,括号里我加的理解)。我也是。”

    武汉同学:“你愿意,你是。我不是。”

    同学甲对武汉同学:“你主观上肯定不是。”

    我:“我没有骂任何人。我的观点是:每个人因果自负。”

    班长重新引述了我的第一个帖子:“可怜之人必有可恨之处。瘟疫之下大家低头看自己即可。别人不援助挨骂,别人援助了是阴谋。对这样一群人,瘟疫不找他们找谁?”

    然后评论:“我觉得你的话很恶毒。”

    我:“不要以为自己多好多无辜。中国现在没几个真正意义上的好人。我的话都是事实。自己多看看自己那颗小心心,看看里面藏了多少见不得人的念头。”

    班长:“那些得病的人和死难者不欠你的,犯不着听你这么难听的话。”

    我:“死人听不到,说给愿意听的活人听的。不愿意听拉倒。”

    对班长:“你觉得我骂你了吗?你觉得自己做的很好了吗?党员同学?你还真的相信自己当初入党时的誓言了吗?你能按照自己发过的誓言去做吗?连誓言都可以背弃的人,能是好人吗?”

    班长:“你好像结过几次婚?你的誓言呢?我觉得你是很坏的人!”

    我:“我那时候结婚还真没有誓言。”

    北京同学:“不管谁发表评论有什么意见,诅咒别人都不是善良的人应做的,尤其是非定向的指向一大片。”

    我:“这不是诅咒。愿意听的听,不愿听的继续作恶。这次瘟疫真的有可能只是一个开始。如果没有大众层面的忏悔,以后会更糟。我仅仅想提醒大家,多在个人层面做反思。”(作者注:唉,其实我老人家的意思是要真正的断恶行善多忏悔。但是忏悔这个词,我连对老妈都说不出来。因为你得先承认自己作恶了才可能忏悔,绝大多数的人,怎么会承认自己作恶呢?大家都觉得自己是多么无辜的好人啊!)

    我:“每个人都出了问题,体制之下无人幸免。就是问题大小的差别。”

    同学丙:“哪里体制没问题?”(抓了根稻草转移话题?)

    北京同学:“先检讨你自己的问题吧。”

    我:“我的问题也很大但老实说最近几年好多了(我没说的是,学佛真的是让我捡起了做人的底线,因为深信因果,坏事不敢做了,谎言不敢说了)。起码我知道自己有问题所以我尽量断恶忏悔。”

    我:“体制强迫撒谎是不是?”

    同学丙:“强迫你撒谎了?反正我没有。。。”

    我:“李医生?每天的赞歌?疫情的压制?那不是撒谎?”

    同学丙:“李医生确实撒谎了。有问题吗?”。

    我三观尽毁。要知道这位现在是北大教授。他都坚定不移的相信李医生是造谣者。当时就不想再争辩下去了。完全没有共同事实了。也不是,是事实离得很远。要不是离我很远,就是离那个社会很远很远。

    同学丙:“谁压制疫情了,你拿出证据,我去举报。”这可不是开玩笑。他后面没有跟笑脸或者开玩笑的语气。

    我再次无语。我想我这些亲爱的同学们大概每天看CCAV?后来有同学贴了整个疫情的时间表。俺这位教授朋友大概仍然会认定正腐的一切都是合适的,并无压制疫情。

    我:“你若认为李医生撒谎了,那我们就失去了对基本事实的判断。这更惨。(我估计我那教授朋友不懂我为何说这更惨)”

    中间有争论李医生是否撒谎,然后俺说了,他那样的在美国算whistle blower,而不是训诫对象。然后被抓住whistle   blower 让我解释。俺知道李只不过在微信群了发信息,严格来讲不算whistle   blower. 于是说这没什么鸟用,争这个既帮不到活人也帮不到死人。

    最后俺说:“愿听的听,觉得被冒犯了的俺说声对不起。当我今天啥也没说。”。

    第二天俺想看看后续反应,光荣而骄傲地发现俺被群主踢出了群。

    群主是俺大学里最要好地朋友,现在在中国绝对是精英里地精英。她踢我出群可以有很多很方便地理由,但是,正是他们,根本不想听到不同地声音。那不就是正腐想让他们做的吗?因果自负,因果自负啊!北大一群经历过64的精英们,都在不自觉地反对着言论自由,俺觉得那个社会如果没有一场大的清洗(如瘟疫这样地),真的会是越来越黑暗地地方。

     

     

    90%(54)


    10%(6)

     

            

     


      德国人就是全民族的忏悔,党文化下的中国人有几个能够懂这一点?  /无内容 - fangbin 02/25/20 (0)

     

      中共治下的大陆就是个粪坑,完全黑白颠倒,无正义公理容身之处  /无内容 - 当局者迷     02/25/20 (0)

     

      可怜之人必有可恨之处  /无内容 - 老张 02/25/20 (3)

     

      我为今天的北大而感到羞耻!!!  /无内容 - zmou 02/25/20 (2)

     

      你的大学同学看来记得利益着占了主流。屁股决定脑袋 -     Joshua 02/24/20 (10)

     

      要纠正一下,先出来地同学乙和后出的不是一个。 -     pifu01 02/23/20 (24)

     

      辩论是没有用的。没法改变对方的思想  /无内容 - 真是好玩     02/23/20 (3)

     

      说的很对:每个人因果自负。  /无内容 - 北美朋友 02/23/20 (3)

     

      唉,要知道睡在铁窗里的永远都不会醒。那些能醒的本来也没有睡着  /无内容 - 明君小雪     02/23/20 (3)

     

      柏杨说,酱缸国里最大事是医生与病人辩论,结果当然是医生大败。  /无内容 - 仙遊野人     02/23/20 (8)

     

      这就对了,如果跟他们如鱼得水那才奇怪 - 雪山下的绛珠草 02/23/20 (22)

     

      “愚蠢是一种道德缺陷”--另一同学地转贴 - pifu01 02/23/20 (63)

     

        恭喜pifu。更想與您分享解讀朕之皇土支那文化,何謂中國 - 大坏人!嘿嘿 02/23/20 (20)

     



  • 发表时间:

    “盡一切惡得須陀洹,然後布施遠離諸苦,受苦眾生令得解脫,怖畏眾生令得遠離。”这是僧伽吒经里面反复提到的四句偈,念诵此四句偈,功德圆满深厚。俺以俺的微薄理解说说它表面的意思。此四句看似简单,实则是甚深法门。这就是僧伽吒法门。


    盡一切惡得須陀洹:灭尽一切恶业,得到 須陀洹果位( 須陀洹是小乘四果的第一果位,就是预流果,证入了预流果就是圣者了,恶业灭尽自然是圣者,这是诸恶莫作)


    然後布施遠離諸苦:布施有三种:财布施,法布施,无畏布施。以法布施最为殊胜。这是众善奉行。离恶行善则是脱离诸苦难的因。


    受苦眾生令得解脫,怖畏眾生令得遠離。这两句看似简单,实则也是甚深法门。讲的是菩提心和出离心。看到他众受苦,于是便想尽办法让他们解脱(解脱,不仅仅指解脱当前的苦难,而且指永久的解脱:证悟菩提。)看到他人恐惧,也是想尽办法让他们远离(这也是讲的解脱)。


    经里反复强调,即使只是念诵这四句,也是能够积累无量的福德资粮的。阿弥陀佛!



  • 发表时间:

    于长夜中,驰骋生死寻觅我者;于长夜中为愚痴覆而重睡眠,醒觉我者;沈溺有海,拔济我者;我入恶道示善道者;系缚有狱解释我者;我于长夜,病所逼恼为作医王;我被贪等猛火烧燃,为作云雨而为息灭,应如是想。--十法经


  • 发表时间:

    俺家小狗能听懂很多人话,像坐下,等等,peepee, poopoo,这种不足为奇。很多狗狗都懂。我们出门不带她的时候,就叫她stay,然后她就老老实实跑去院子里的桌子下面蹲着,一副小可怜模样,然后静静地看我们离开。

    最好玩的是她懂squiral这个词. 因为院子里放了鸟食,松鼠们自然也是要来享受的。她就和松鼠玩上了。一见到松鼠老朋友就激动地不要不要的。松鼠有时候会跑开,有时候就蹲在篱笆上面逍遥的看着狗狗白激动。她在地上瞪着松鼠,划拉着小腿,作势要蹦上去(她是跳高好手,但篱笆太高了),松鼠坐在篱笆上,瞪着圆溜溜的眼睛淡定的看着她。狗狗自己跳跃着发出各种呜呜声,不知是邀请还是威胁。可惜我听不懂她的话。但是我觉得应该是威胁,因为这是她的院子。

    我在厨房可以看到院子(客厅看不到),她在客厅时我只要在厨房喊一声:yogi你的老朋友squiral来了。她一溜烟就跑出去找squiral去了。哈哈。每次都这样。所以我确定她是懂很多人话的。



  • 发表时间:

    了了几句话,内涵和外延都非常真实丰富

    我是中华国民:国民教育,天下兴亡匹夫有责

    我爱中华民国:爱国是自然之情感。爱的是国,不是国民党也不是国民政府。没有党和政府什么事。

    中华民国现在虽然不得了:外敌入侵他们被赶到一个角落,直面现实而不是粉饰太平,歌功颂德

    将来一定了不得:因为有这样的教育和这样的希望,是会了不得的。与前一句一起,说明绝不妄自菲薄也不妄自尊大。

    现在的屁民教育结果是一方面妄自菲薄,一方面妄自尊大。简直不知道除了歌功颂德之外还会教什么。

    屁民教育:感恩毛主席,感恩党,感恩政府。你的恩情比海深。父母吗?父母只生了我的身(不用感谢???),党的光辉照我心----什么屁话?你不感恩?我骂死你。

    佛教是非常讲究感恩的,上报四重恩:国恩,父母恩,三宝恩,众生恩。国土养育你,自然要报国恩。国,不是政党不是政府。尤其是这个政党和政府,反而成为了国民的负担的时候。父母恩重如山,无父母即无你我,必须要报。三宝恩:佛法僧三宝,以正知念教化众生,不仅仅是今生慧命也是解脱之因,必须要报。众生恩:众生是每一位修行人的福田,没有众生就没有菩提心的对象,也就没有悲心之源。三宝和父母是最大的福田。凡希求佛果者必须有这样的正知念。



  • 发表时间:

    下面的内容出自古希腊柏拉图著《理想国》中文译本的第十卷。这是先知苏格拉底讲述的故事。

     苏(苏格拉底):然而这些东西和死后等着正义者和不正义者的东西比较起来,在数上和量上就都又算不上什么了。你们必须听听关于这两种人的一个故事,以便每一种人都可以得到我们的论证认为应属于他的全部报应。

    格(格劳孔):请讲吧。比这更使我高兴听的事情是不多的。

    苏:我要讲的故事不像奥德修斯对阿尔刻诺斯讲的那么长,但也是一个关于勇士的故事。这个勇士名叫厄洛斯,是阿尔米纽斯之子,出身潘菲里亚种族。在一次战斗中他被杀身死。死后第十天尸体被找到运回家去。第十二天举行葬礼。

    他被放上火葬堆时竟复活了。复活后他讲述了自己在另一个世界所看到的情景。他说,当他的灵魂离开躯体后,便和大伙的鬼魂结伴前行。他们来到了一个奇特的地 方。这里,地上有两个并排的洞口;和这两个洞口正对着的,天上也有两个洞口。法官们就坐在天地之间。他们每判决一个人,正义的便吩咐从右边升天,胸前贴着 判决证书;不正义的便命令他从左边下地,背上带着表明其生前所作所为的标记。

    厄洛斯说,当他自己轮到时,法官却派给他一个传递消息给人类的任务,要他把那个世界的事情告诉人类,吩咐他仔细听仔细看这里发生的一切。于是他看 到,判决之后鬼魂纷纷离开,有的走上天的洞口,有的走下地的洞口。同时也有鬼魂从另一地洞口上来,风尘仆仆,形容污秽;也有鬼魂从另一天洞口下来,干净纯 洁。不断到来的鬼魂看上去都像是经过了长途跋涉,现在欣然来到一片草场, 搭下帐篷准备过节样的。他们熟人相逢,互致问候。

    来自地下的询问对方在天上的情况,来自天上的询问对方在地下的情况。他们相互叙说自己的经历。地下来的人 追述着自己在地下行程中(一趟就是一千年)遭遇的痛苦和看到的事情。他们一面说一面悲叹痛哭。天上来的人则叙述他们看到天上的不寻常的美和幸福快乐。格劳 孔啊,所有这些通通说出来得花我们很多时间。简而言之,厄洛斯告诉人们说,一个人生前对别人做过的坏事,死后每一件都要受十倍报应。

    也就是说每百年受罚一次,人以一百年算作一世,因此受到的惩罚就十倍于罪恶。举例说,假定一个人曾造成过许多人的死亡,或曾在战争中投敌,致使别人 成了战俘奴隶,或参与过什么别的罪恶勾当,他必须为每一件罪恶受十倍的苦难作为报应。同样,如果一个人做过好事,为了公正、虔诚,他也会得到十倍的报酬。 厄洛斯还讲到了出生不久就死了的或只活了很短时间就死了的婴儿,但这些不值得我再复述。厄洛斯还描述了崇拜神灵、孝敬父母的人受到的报酬更大,亵渎神灵、 忤逆父母、谋害人命的人受到的惩罚也更大。

     例如他告诉人们说,他亲目所睹,有人问“阿尔蒂阿依俄斯大王在哪里?”这个阿尔蒂阿依俄斯刚好是此前整整一千年的潘菲里亚某一城邦的暴君。据传说, 他曾杀死自己年老的父亲和自己的哥哥,还做过许多别的邪恶的事情。因此回答这一问话的人说:“他没来这里,大概也不会来这里了。因为下述这件事的确是我们 所曾遇到过的可怕事情之一。当我们走到洞口即将出洞,受苦也已到头时,突然看见了他,还有其他一些人。他们差不多大部分是暴君,虽然有少数属于私人生活上 犯了大罪的。当他们这种人“想到自己终于等到出头这一天”而来到洞口欲出时,洞口是不会接受的。

     凡罪不容赦的或者还没有受够惩罚的人要想出洞,洞口就会发出吼声。有一些样子凶猛的人守在洞旁,他们能听懂吼声。

    于是他们把有些人捉起来带走。就像阿尔蒂阿依俄斯那样的一些人,被捆住手脚头颈,丢在地上,剥他们的皮,在路边上拖,用荆条抽打。同时把这些人为什么受这种折磨的缘由,以及还要被抛入塔尔塔洛斯地牢的事告知不时从旁边走过的人们。

    他说,那时他们虽然碰见过许多各式各样可怕的事情,但是最可怕的还是担心自己想出去时听到洞口发出吼声。要是走出来没有吼声,就再庆幸不过了。审判和惩罚就如上述,给正义者的报酬与此相反。但是一批又一批的人在草场上住满了七天,到第八天上就被要求动身继续上路。

    走了四天他们来到一个地方。在这里他们看得见一根笔直的光柱,自上而下贯通天地,颜色像虹,但比虹更明亮更纯净。又走了一天他们到了那根光柱的所在 地。在那里,他们在光柱中间看见有自天而降的光线的末端。这光柱是诸天的枢纽,像海船的龙骨,把整个旋转的碗形圆拱维系在一起。推动所有球形天体运转的那 个“必然”之纺锤吊挂在光线的末端。光柱,它上端的挂钩是用好铁的,圆拱是用好铁和别的物质合金的。

    圆拱的特点如下:它的形状像人间的圆拱,但是照厄洛斯的描述,我们必须想像最外边的是一个中空的大圆拱。由外至内第二个拱比第一个小,正好可以置于 其中。第二个中间也是空的,空处正好可以置入第三个。第三个里面置入第四个,如此等等,直到最后第八个,一共像大小相套的一套碗。由于所有八个碗形拱彼此 内面和外面相契合,从上面看去它们的边缘都呈圆形,所以合起来在光柱的周围形成一个单一的圆拱连续面,光柱笔直穿过第八个碗拱的中心。

    最外层那个碗拱的碗 边最宽,碗边次宽的是第六个,依次是第四个、第八个、第七个、第五个、第三个,最窄的是第二个。最外层的那个碗边颜色复杂多样;第七条边最亮;第八条边反 射第七条的亮光,颜色同它一样;第二条和第五条边颜色彼此相同, 但比前两者黄些;第三条边颜色最白;第四条边稍红;第六条边次白。旋转起来整个的纺锤体系是一个运动;

    但是在这整个运动内部,里面七层转得慢,方向和整个 运动相反;其中第八层运动得最快;第七、第六、第五彼此一起转动,运动得其次快;有返回原处现象的第四层在他们看起来运动速度第三;第三层速度第四;第二 层速度第五。

    整个纺锤在“必然”的膝上旋转。在每一碗拱的边口上都站着一个海女歌妖,跟着一起转,各发出一个音,八个音合起来形成一个和谐的音调。此外还有三个 女神,距离大约相等,围成一圈坐在自己的座位上。他们是“必然”的女儿,“命运”三女神,身着白袍、头束发带。她们分别名叫拉赫西斯、克洛索、阿特洛泊 斯,和海妖们合唱着。拉赫西斯唱过去的事,克洛索唱当前的事,阿特洛泊斯唱将来的事。克洛索右手不时接触纺锤外面,帮它转动;阿特洛泊斯用左手以同样动作 帮助内面转;拉赫西斯两手交替着两面帮转。

    当厄洛斯一行的灵魂到达这里时,他们直接走到拉赫西斯面前。这时有一个神使出来指挥他们排队的次序和间隔,然后从拉赫西斯膝上取下阄和生活模式,登上一座高坛宣布道:

    “请听‘必然’的闺女拉赫西斯如下的神意:‘诸多一日之魂,你们包含死亡的另一轮回的新生即将开始了。不是神决定你们的命运,是你们自己选择命运。 谁拈得第一号,谁就第一个挑选自己将来必须度过的生活。美德任人自取。每个人将来有多少美德,全看他对它重视到什么程度。过错由选择者自己负责,与神无 涉。’”说完,神使把阄撒到他们之间。每个灵魂就近拾起一阄。厄洛斯除外,神不让他拾取。拾得的人看清自己抽得的号码。

     接着神使把生活模式放在他们面前的地上,数目比在场人数多得多。模式各种各样,有各种动物的生活和各种人的生活。其中有僭主的生活。僭主也有终身在 位的,也有中途垮台因而受穷的,被放逐的或成乞丐的。还有男女名人的荣誉生活,其中有因貌美的,有因体壮的,有因勇武的,有因父母高贵的,有靠祖先福荫 的。还有在这些方面有坏名声的男人和女人的生活。灵魂的状况是没有选择的,因为不同生活的选择必然决定了不同的性格。而其它的事物在选定的生活中则都是不 同程度地相互混合着的,和富裕或贫穷、 疾病或健康,以及各种程度的中间状况混合着的。

    亲爱的格劳孔,这个时刻看来对于一个人是一切都在危险中的。这就是为什么我们每个人都宁可轻视别的学习而应当首先关心寻师访友,请他们指导我们辨别 善的生活和恶的生活,随时随地选取尽可能最善的生活的缘故。我们应当对我们所讨论的这一切加以计算,估价它们(或一起或分别地)对善的生活的影响;了解美 貌而又贫困或富裕,或美貌结合着各种心灵习惯,对善或恶有什么影响;了解出身贵贱、社会地位,职位高低、体质强弱、思想敏捷或迟钝,以及一切诸如此类先天 的或后得的心灵习惯——彼此联系着——又有什么影响。

    考虑了所有这一切之后一个人就能目光注视着自己灵魂的本性,把能使灵魂的本性更不正义的生活名为较恶的生活,把能使灵魂的本性更正义的生活名为较善 的生活,因而能在较善的生活和较 恶的生活之间作出合乎理性的抉择。其余一切他应概不考虑,因为我们已经知道,无论对于生时还是死后这都是最好的选择。人死了也应当把这个坚定不移的信念带 去冥间,让他即使在那里也可以不被财富或其它诸如此类的恶所迷惑,可以不让自己陷入僭主的暴行或其它许多诸如此类的行为并因而受更大的苦,可以知道在这类 事情方面如何在整个的今生和所有的来世永远选择中庸之道而避免两种极端。因为这是一个人的最大幸福之所在。

    据厄洛斯告诉我们,神使在把生活模式让大家选择之前告诉大家:“即使是最后一个选择也没关系,只要他的选择是明智的、他的生活是努力的,仍然有机会选到能使他满意的生活。愿第一个选择者审慎对待,最后一个选择者不要灰心。”

     神使说完,拈得第一号的灵魂走上来选择。他挑了一个最大僭主的生活。他出于愚蠢和贪婪作了这个选择,没有进行全面的考察,因此没有看到其中还包含着吃自己孩子等等可怕的命运在内。等定下心来一细想,他后悔了。于是捶打自己的胸膛,号啕痛哭。

     他忘了神使的警告:不幸是自己的过错。他怪命运和神等等,就是不怨自己。这是一个在天上走了一趟的灵魂,他的前世生活循规蹈矩。但是他的善是由于风 俗习惯而不是学习哲学的结果。确实,广而言之,凡是受了这种诱惑的人大多数来自天上,没有吃过苦头、受过教训;而那些来自地下的灵魂不但自己受过苦,也看 见别人受过苦,就不会那么匆忙草率地作出选择了。

     大多数灵魂的善恶出现互换,除了拈阄中的偶然性之外,这也是一个原因。我们同样可以确信,凡是在人间能忠实地追求智慧,拈阄时又不是拈得最后一号的 话,——如果这里所讲的故事可信的话——这样的人不仅今生今世可以期望得到快乐,死后以及再回到人间来时走的也会是一条平坦的天国之路,而不是一条崎岖的 地下之路。

    厄洛斯告诉我们,某些灵魂选择自己的生活是很值得一看的,其情景是可惊奇的、可怜的而又可笑的。他们的选择大部分决定于自己前生的习性。例如他看见 俄尔菲的灵魂选取了天鹅的生活;他死于妇女之手,因而恨一切妇女而不愿再生为女人。赛缪洛斯的灵魂选择了夜莺的生活。也有天鹅夜莺等歌鸟选择人的生活的。

    第二十号灵魂选择了雄狮的生活,那是特拉蒙之子阿雅斯的灵魂;他不愿变成人,因为他不能忘记那次关于阿克琉斯的武器归属的裁判。接着轮到阿加门农, 他也由于自己受的苦难而怀恨人类,因此选择鹰的生活。选择进行到大约一半时轮到 阿泰兰泰,她看到做一个运动员的巨大荣誉时不禁选择了运动员的生活。在她之后是潘诺佩俄斯之子厄佩俄斯,他愿投生为一有绝巧技术的妇女。

    在远远的后边,滑稽家赛尔息特斯的灵魂正在给自己套上一个猿猴的躯体。拈阄的结果拿到最后一号,最后一个来选择的竟是奥德修斯的灵魂。由于没有忘记 前生的辛苦劳累,他已经抛弃了雄心壮志。他花了很多时间走过各处,想找一种只须关心自己事务的普通公民的生活。他好不容易发现了这个模式。它落在一个角落 里没有受到别人的注意。他找到它时说,即使抽到第一号,他也会同样很乐意地选择这一生活模式。

    同样,还有动物变成人的,一种动物变成另一种动物的。

    不正义的变成野性的动物,正义的变成温驯的动物,以及一切混合的和联合的变化。

    总之,当所有的灵魂已经按照号码次序选定了自己 的生活时,他们列队走到拉赫西斯跟前。她便给每个灵魂派出一个监护神,以便引领他们度过自己的一生完成自己的选择。监护神首先把灵魂领到克洛索处,就在她 的手下方在纺锤的旋转中批准了所选择的命运。跟她接触之后,监护神再把灵魂引领到阿特洛泊斯旋转纺锤的地方,使命运之线不可更改。然后每个灵魂头也不回地 从“必然”的宝座下走过。

     一个灵魂过来了,要等所有其他的灵魂都过来了,大家再一起上路。从这里他们走到勒塞的平原,经过了可怕的闷热,因为这里没有树木和任何的植物。傍晚 他们宿营于阿米勒斯河畔,这儿的水没有任何瓶子可盛。他们全都被要求在这河里喝规定数量的水,而其中一些没有智慧帮助的人便饮得超过了这个标准数量。一喝 这水他们便忘了一切。他们睡着了。到了半夜,便可听到雷声隆隆,天摇地动。 所有的灵魂便全被突然抛起,像流星四射,向各方散开去重新投生。厄洛斯本身则被禁止喝这河的水,但他说不知道自己是怎样回归自己肉体的。他只知道,自己睁 开眼睛时,天已亮了,他正躺在火葬的柴堆上。

     

    格劳孔啊,这个故事就这样被保存了下来,没有亡佚。如果我们相信它,它就能救助我们,我们就能安全地渡过勒塞之河,而不在这个世上玷污了我们的灵魂。不管怎么说,愿大家相信我如下的忠言:灵魂是不死的,它能忍受一切恶和善。

     

    让我们永远坚持走向上的路,追求正义和智慧。这样我们才可以得到我们自己的和神的爱,无论是今世活在这里还是在我们死后(像竞赛胜利者领取奖品那样)得到报酬的时候。我们也才可以诸事顺遂,无论今世在这里还是将来在我们刚才所描述的那一千年的旅程中。



  • 发表时间:

    俺早晨论述悲智关系的时候,只是记得上师讲过,二者时圆融的。道理嘛就记不清楚了。由慧生悲比较好理解,若证悟空性,看世间人是很可怜的,这没有问题。由悲生慧,俺需要找找理论根据。嘿嘿,这不,真给我找到廖。

     

    优婆塞戒经里面的论述,先是讲了很多为何智者看着无明众生何以生悲心的理由(https://deerpark.app/reader/T1488/1 看全文)。 然后是这样讲的:

     

    「善男子!智者修悲,雖未能斷眾生苦惱,已有無量大利益事。善男子!六波羅蜜皆以悲心而作生因。

     

    「善男子!菩薩有二種:一者、出家,二者、在家。出家修悲,是不為難;在家修悲,是乃為難。何以故?在家之人多有惡因緣故。善男子!在家之人若不修悲,則不能得優婆塞戒,若修悲已,即便獲得。善男子!出家之人,唯能具足五波羅蜜,不能具足檀波羅蜜,在家之人則能具足。何以故?一切時中一切施故。是故在家應先修悲,若修悲已,當知是人能具戒、忍、進、定、智慧。若修悲心,難施能施、難忍能忍、難作能作,以是義故,一切善法悲為根本。

     

    「善男子!若人能修如是悲心,當知是人能壞惡業如須彌山,不久當得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提,是人所作少許善業,所獲果報如須彌山。」

     

    所以悲心成就亦能生慧。证毕。谢谢探讨。



  • 发表时间:

    1

    THE WORLD AS I SEE IT

    Albert Einstein

    PREFACE TO ORIGINAL EDITION

    Only individuals have a sense of responsibility. --Nietzsche

    This book does not represent a complete collection of the articles, addresses,

    and pronouncements of Albert Einstein; it is a selection made with a definite

    object-- namely, to give a picture of a man. To-day this man is being drawn,

    contrary to his own intention, into the whirlpool of political passions and

    contemporary history. As a result, Einstein is experiencing the fate that so

    many of the great men of history experienced: his character and opinions are

    being exhibited to the world in an utterly distorted form.

    To forestall this fate is the real object of this book. It meets a wish that has

    constantly been expressed both by Einstein's friends and by the wider public.

    It contains work belonging to the most various dates-- the article on "The

    International of Science" dates from the year 1922, the address on "The

    Principles of Scientific Research" from 1923, the "Letter to an Arab" from

    1930--and the most various spheres, held together by the unity of the

    personality which stands behind all these utterances. Albert Einstein believes

    in humanity, in a peaceful world of mutual helpfulness, and in the high mission

    of science. This book is intended as a plea for this belief at a time which

    compels every one of us to overhaul his mental attitude and his ideas.

    J. H.

    2

    INTRODUCTION TO ABRIDGED

    EDITION

    In his biography of Einstein Mr. H. Gordou Garbedian relates that an

    American newspaper man asked the great physicist for a definition of his

    theory of relativity in one sentence. Einstein replied that it would take him

    three days to give a short definition of relativity. He might well have added

    that unless his questioner had an intimate acquaintance with mathematics and

    physics, the definition would be incomprehensible.

    To the majority of people Einstein's theory is a complete mystery. Their

    attitude towards Einstein is like that of Mark Twain towards the writer of a

    work on mathematics: here was a man who had written an entire book of

    which Mark could not understand a single sentence. Einstein, therefore, is

    great in the public eye partly because he has made revolutionary discoveries

    which cannot be translated into the common tongue. We stand in proper awe

    of a man whose thoughts move on heights far beyond our range, whose

    achievements can be measured only by the few who are able to follow his

    reasoning and challenge his conclusions.

    There is, however, another side to his personality. It is revealed in the

    addresses, letters, and occasional writings brought together in this book.

    These fragments form a mosaic portrait of Einstein the man. Each one is, in a

    sense, complete in itself; it presents his views on some aspect of progress,

    education, peace, war, liberty, or other problems of universal interest. Their

    combined effect is to demonstrate that the Einstein we can all understand is no

    less great than the Einstein we take on trust.

    Einstein has asked nothing more from life than the freedom to pursue his

    researches into the mechanism of the universe. His nature is of rare simplicity

    and sincerity; he always has been, and he remains, genuinely indifferent to

    wealth and fame and the other prizes so dear to ambition. At the same time he

    is no recluse, shutting himself off from the sorrows and agitations of the world

    around him. Himself familiar from early years with the handicap of poverty

    and with some of the worst forms of man's inhumanity to man, he has never

    spared himself in defence of the weak and the oppressed. Nothing could be

    more unwelcome to his sensitive and retiring character than the glare of the

    platform and the heat of public controversy, yet he has never hesitated when

    he felt that his voice or influence would help to redress a wrong. History,

    surely, has few parallels with this introspective mathematical genius who

    laboured unceasingly as an eager champion of the rights of man.

    3

    Albert Einstein was born in 1879 at Ulm. When he was four years old his

    father, who owned an electrochemical works, moved to Munich, and two

    years later the boy went to school, experiencing a rigid, almost military, type

    of discipline and also the isolation of a shy and contemplative Jewish child

    among Roman Catholics-- factors which made a deep and enduring

    impression. From the point of view of his teachers he was an unsatisfactory

    pupil, apparently incapable of progress in languages, history, geography, and

    other primary subjects. His interest in mathematics was roused, not by his

    instructors, but by a Jewish medical student, Max Talmey, who gave him a

    book on geometry, and so set him upon a course of enthusiastic study which

    made him, at the age of fourteen, a better mathematician than his masters. At

    this stage also he began the study of philosophy, reading and re-reading the

    words of Kant and other metaphysicians.

    Business reverses led the elder Einstein to make a fresh start in Milan, thus

    introducing Albert to the joys of a freer, sunnier life than had been possible in

    Germany. Necessity, however, made this holiday a brief one, and after a few

    months of freedom the preparation for a career began. It opened with an

    effort, backed by a certificate of mathematical proficiency given by a teacher

    in the Gymnasium at Munich, to obtain admission to the Polytechnic Academy

    at Zurich. A year passed in the study of necessary subjects which he had

    neglected for mathematics, but once admitted, the young Einstein became

    absorbed in the pursuit of science and philosophy and made astonishing

    progress. After five distinguished years at the Polytechnic he hoped to step

    into the post of assistant professor, but found that the kindly words of the

    professors who had stimulated the hope did not materialize.

    Then followed a weary search for work, two brief interludes of teaching, and

    a stable appointment as examiner at the Confederate Patent Office at Berrie.

    Humdrum as the work was, it had the double advantage of providing a

    competence and of leaving his mind free for the mathematical speculations

    which were then taking shape in the theory of relativity. In 1905 his first

    monograph on the theory was published in a Swiss scientific journal, the

    Annalen der Physik. Zurich awoke to the fact that it possessed a genius in

    the form of a patent office clerk, promoted him to be a lecturer at the

    University and four years later--in 1909--installed him as Professor.

    His next appointment was (in 1911) at the University of Prague, where he

    remained for eighteen months. Following a brief return to Zurich, he went,

    early in 1914, to Berlin as a professor in the Prussian Academy of Sciences

    and director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Theoretical Physics. The

    period of the Great War was a trying time for Einstein, who could not conceal

    his ardent pacifism, but he found what solace he could in his studies. Later

    4

    events brought him into the open and into many parts of the world, as an

    exponent not only of pacifism but also of world-disarmament and the cause of

    Jewry. To a man of such views, as passionately held as they were by Einstein,

    Germany under the Nazis was patently impossible. In 1933 Einstein made his

    famous declaration: "As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country

    where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are

    the rule." For a time he was a homeless exile; after offers had come to him

    from Spain and France and Britain, he settled in Princeton as Professor of

    Mathematical and Theoretical Physics, happy in his work, rejoicing in a free

    environment, but haunted always by the tragedy of war and oppression.

    The World As I See It, in its original form, includes essays by Einstein on

    relativity and cognate subjects. For reasons indicated above, these have been

    omitted in the present edition; the object of this reprint is simply to reveal to

    the general reader the human side of one of the most dominating figures of our

    day.

    5

    I

    The World As I See It

    The Meaning of Life

    What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer

    this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in

    putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his

    fellow-creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost

    disqualified for life.

    The World as I see it

    What an extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each of us is here for a

    brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he

    feels it. But from the point of view of daily life, without going deeper, we exist

    for our fellow-men--in the first place for those on whose smiles and welfare all

    our happiness depends, and next for all those unknown to us personally with

    whose destinies we are bound up by the tie of sympathy. A hundred times

    every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labours

    of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in

    the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. I am strongly

    drawn to the simple life and am often oppressed by the feeling that I am

    engrossing an unnecessary amount of the labour of my fellow-men. I regard

    class differences as contrary to justice and, in the last resort, based on force. I

    also consider that plain living is good for everybody, physically and mentally.

    In human freedom in the philosophical sense I am definitely a disbeliever.

    Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance

    with inner necessity. Schopenhauer's saying, that "a man can do as he will, but

    not will as he will," has been an inspiration to me since my youth up, and a

    continual consolation and unfailing well-spring of patience in the face of the

    hardships of life, my own and others'. This feeling mercifully mitigates the

    sense of responsibility which so easily becomes paralysing, and it prevents us

    from taking ourselves and other people too seriously; it conduces to a view of

    life in which humour, above all, has its due place.

    To inquire after the meaning or object of one's own existence or of creation

    generally has always seemed to me absurd from an objective point of view.

    6

    And yet everybody has certain ideals which determine the direction of his

    endeavours and his judgments. In this sense I have never looked upon ease

    and happiness as ends in themselves--such an ethical basis I call more proper

    for a herd of swine. The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time

    after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth,

    Goodness, and Beauty. Without the sense of fellowship with men of like mind,

    of preoccupation with the objective, the eternally unattainable in the field of art

    and scientific research, life would have seemed to me empty. The ordinary

    objects of human endeavour--property, outward success, luxury--have

    always seemed to me contemptible.

    My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always

    contrasted oddly with my pronounced freedom from the need for direct

    contact with other human beings and human communities. I gang my own gait

    and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my

    immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties I have never

    lost an obstinate sense of detachment, of the need for solitude--a feeling

    which increases with the years. One is sharply conscious, yet without regret,

    of the limits to the possibility of mutual understanding and sympathy with one's

    fellow-creatures. Such a person no doubt loses something in the way of

    geniality and light-heartedness ; on the other hand, he is largely independent of

    the opinions, habits, and judgments of his fellows and avoids the temptation to

    take his stand on such insecure foundations.

    My political ideal is that of democracy. Let every man be respected as an

    individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the

    recipient of excessive admiration and respect from my fellows through no

    fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire,

    unattainable for many, to understand the one or two ideas to which I have

    with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. I am quite aware

    that it is necessary for the success of any complex undertaking that one man

    should do the thinking and directing and in general bear the responsibility. But

    the led must not be compelled, they must be able to choose their leader. An

    autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates. For force

    always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule

    that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels. For this reason I have

    always been passionately opposed to systems such as we see in Italy and

    Russia to-day. The thing that has brought discredit upon the prevailing form of

    democracy in Europe to-day is not to be laid to the door of the democratic

    idea as such, but to lack of stability on the part of the heads of governments

    and to the impersonal character of the electoral system. I believe that in this

    respect the United States of America have found the right way. They have a

    responsible President who is elected for a sufficiently long period and has

    7

    sufficient powers to be really responsible. On the other hand, what I value in

    our political system is the more extensive provision that it makes for the

    individual in case of illness or need. The really valuable thing in the pageant of

    human life seems to me not the State but the creative, sentient individual, the

    personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such

    remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.

    This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of the herd nature, the military

    system, which I abhor. That a man can take pleasure in marching in formation

    to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been

    given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This

    plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed.

    Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all the pestilent nonsense that does

    by the name of patriotism--how I hate them! War seems to me a mean,

    contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such

    an abominable business. And yet so high, in spite of everything, is my opinion

    of the human race that I believe this bogey would have disappeared long ago,

    had the sound sense of the nations not been systematically corrupted by

    commercial and political interests acting through the schools and the Press.

    The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental

    emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who

    knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good

    as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery--even if

    mixed with fear--that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of

    something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest

    reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in

    their most elementary forms--it is this knowledge and this emotion that

    constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a

    deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes

    his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves.

    An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my

    comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or

    absurd egoism of feeble souls. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of

    life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, together with the

    single-hearted endeavour to comprehend a portion, be it never so tiny, of the

    reason that manifests itself in nature.

    The Liberty of Doctrine--à propos of the Guntbel Case

    Academic chairs are many, but wise and noble teachers are few;

    lecture-rooms are numerous and large, but the number of young people who

    8

    genuinely thirst after truth and justice is small. Nature scatters her common

    wares with a lavish hand, but the choice sort she produces but seldom.

    We all know that, so why complain? Was it not ever thus and will it not ever

    thus remain? Certainly, and one must take what Nature gives as one finds it.

    But there is also such a thing as a spirit of the times, an attitude of mind

    characteristic of a particular generation, which is passed on from individual to

    individual and gives a society its particular tone. Each of us has to do his little

    bit towards transforming this spirit of the times.

    Compare the spirit which animated the youth in our universities a hundred

    years ago with that prevailing to-day. They had faith in the amelioration of

    human society, respect for every honest opinion, the tolerance for which our

    classics had lived and fought. In those days men strove for a larger political

    unity, which at that time was called Germany. It was the students and the

    teachers at the universities who kept these ideals alive.

    To-day also there is an urge towards social progress, towards tolerance and

    freedom of thought, towards a larger political unity, which we to-day call

    Europe. But the students at our universities have ceased as completely as their

    teachers to enshrine the hopes and ideals of the nation. Anyone who looks at

    our times coolly and dispassionately must admit this.

    We are assembled to-day to take stock of ourselves. The external reason for

    this meeting is the Gumbel case. This apostle of justice has written about

    unexpiated political crimes with devoted industry, high courage, and

    exemplary fairness, and has done the community a signal service by his

    books. And this is the man whom the students, and a good many of the staff,

    of his university are to-day doing their best to expel.

    Political passion cannot be allowed to go to such lengths. I am convinced that

    every man who reads Herr Gumbel's books with an open mind will get the

    same impression from them as I have. Men like him are needed if we are ever

    to build up a healthy political society.

    Let every man judge according to his own standards, by what he has himself

    read, not by what others tell him.

    If that happens, this Gumbel case, after an unedifying beginning, may still do

    good.

    9

    Good and Evil

    It is right in principle that those should be the best loved who have contributed

    most to the elevation of the human race and human life. But, if one goes on to

    ask who they are, one finds oneself in no inconsiderable difficulties. In the

    case of political, and even of religious, leaders, it is often very doubtful

    whether they have done more good or harm. Hence I most seriously believe

    that one does people the best service by giving them some elevating work to

    do and thus indirectly elevating them. This applies most of all to the great

    artist, but also in a lesser degree to the scientist. To be sure, it is not the fruits

    of scientific research that elevate a man and enrich his nature, but the urge to

    understand, the intellectual work, creative or receptive. It would surely be

    absurd to judge the value of the Talmud, for instance, by its intellectual fruits.

    The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure

    and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.

    Society and Personality

    When we survey our lives and endeavours we soon observe that almost the

    whole of our actions and desires are bound up with the existence of other

    human beings. We see that our whole nature resembles that of the social

    animals. We eat food that others have grow, wear clothes that others have

    made, live in houses that others have built. The greater part of our knowledge

    and beliefs has been communicated to us by other people through the medium

    of a language which others have created. Without language our mental

    capacities wuuld be poor indeed, comparable to those of the higher animals;

    we have, therefore, to admit that we owe our principal advantage over the

    beasts to the fact of living in human society. The individual, if left alone from

    birth would remain primitive and beast-like in his thoughts and feelings to a

    degree that we can hardly conceive. The individual is what he is and has the

    significance that he has not so much in virtue of his individuality, but rather as a

    member of a great human society, which directs his material and spiritual

    existence from the cradle to the grave.

    A man's value to the community depends primarily on how far his feelings,

    thoughts, and actions are directed towards promoting the good of his fellows.

    We call him good or bad according to how he stands in this matter. It looks at

    first sight as if our estimate of a man depended entirely on his social qualities.

    10

    And yet such an attitude would be wrong. It is clear that all the valuable

    things, material, spiritual, and moral, which we receive from society can be

    traced back through countless generations to certain creative individuals. The

    use of fire, the cultivation of edible plants, the steam engine--each was

    discovered by one man.

    Only the individual can think, and thereby create new values for society--nay,

    even set up new moral standards to which the life of the community conforms.

    Without creative, independently thinking and judging personalities the upward

    development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual

    personality without the nourishing soil of the community.

    The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of the

    individuals composing it as on their close political cohesion. It has been said

    very justly that Gr?co-Europeo-American culture as a whole, and in

    particular its brilliant flowering in the Italian Renaissance, which put an end to

    the stagnation of medi?val Europe, is based on the liberation and comparative

    isolation of the individual.

    Let us now consider the times in which we live. How does society fare, how

    the individual? The population of the civilized countries is extremely dense as

    compared with former times; Europe to-day contains about three times as

    many people as it did a hundred years ago. But the number of great men has

    decreased out of all proportion. Only a few individuals are known to the

    masses as personalities, through their creative achievements. Organization has

    to some extent taken the place of the great man, particularly in the technical

    sphere, but also to a very perceptible extent in the scientific.

    The lack of outstanding figures is particularly striking in the domain of art.

    Painting and music have definitely degenerated and largely lost their popular

    appeal. In politics not only are leaders lacking, but the independence of spent

    and the sense of justice of the citizen have to a great extent declined. The

    democratic, parliamentarian regime, which is based on such independence,

    has in many places been shaken, dictatorships have sprung up and are

    tolerated, because men's sense of the dignity and the rights of the individual is

    no longer strong enough. In two weeks the sheep-like masses can be worked

    up by the newspapers into such a state of excited fury that the men are

    prepared to put on uniform and kill and be billed, for the sake of the worthless

    aims of a few interested parties. Compulsory military service seems to me the

    most disgraceful symptom of that deficiency in personal dignity from which

    civilized mankind is suffering to-day. No wonder there is no lack of prophets

    who prophesy the early eclipse of our civilization. I am not one of these

    pessimists; I believe that better times are coming. Let me shortly state my

    11

    reasons for such confidence.

    In my opinion, the present symptoms of decadence are explained by the fact

    that the development of industry and machinery has made the struggle for

    existence very much more severe, greatly to the detriment of the free

    development of the individual. But the development of machinery means that

    less and less work is needed from the individual for the satisfaction of the

    community's needs. A planned division of labour is becoming more and more

    of a crying necessity, and this division will lead to the material security of the

    individual. This security and the spare time and energy which the individual will

    have at his command can be made to further his development. In this way the

    community may regain its health, and we will hope that future historians will

    explain the morbid symptoms of present-day society as the childhood ailments

    of an aspiring humanity, due entirely to the excessive speed at which

    civilization was advancing.

    Address at the Grave of H. A. Lorentz

    It is as the representative of the German-speaking academic world, and in

    particular the Prussian Academy of Sciences, but above all as a pupil and

    affectionate admirer that I stand at the grave of the greatest and noblest man

    of our times. His genius was the torch which lighted the way from the

    teachings of Clerk Maxwell to the achievements of contemporary physics, to

    the fabric of which he contributed valuable materials and methods.

    His life was ordered like a work of art down to the smallest detail. His

    never-failing kindness and magnanimity and his sense of justice, coupled with

    an intuitive understanding of people and things, made him a leader in any

    sphere he entered. Everyone followed him gladly, for they felt that he never

    set out to dominate but always simply to be of use. His work and his example

    will live on as an inspiration and guide to future generations.

    H. A. Lorentz's work in the cause of International

    Co-operation

    With the extensive specialization of scientific research which the nineteenth

    century brought about, it has become rare for a man occupying a leading

    position in one of the sciences to manage at the same time to do valuable

    service to the community in the sphere of international organization and

    international. politics. Such service demands not only energy, insight, and a

    reputation based on solid achievements, but also a freedom from national

    prejudice and a devotion to the common ends of all, which have become rare

    12

    in our times. I have met no one who combined all these qualities in himself so

    perfectly as H. A. Lorentz. The marvellous thing about the effect of his

    personality was this: Independent and headstrong natures, such as are

    particularly common among men of learning, do not readily bow to another's

    will and for the most part only accept his leadership grudgingly. But, when

    Lorentz is in the presidential chair, an atmosphere of happy co-operation is

    invariably created, however much those present may differ in their aims and

    habits of thought. The secret of this success lies not only in his swift

    comprehension of people and things and his marvellous command of

    language, but above all in this, that one feels that his whole heart is in the

    business in hand, and that, when he is at work, he has room for nothing else in

    his mind. Nothing disarms the recalcitrant so much as this.

    Before the war Lorentz's activities in the cause of international relations were

    confined to presiding at congresses of physicists. Particularly noteworthy

    among these were the Solvay Congresses, the first two of which were held at

    Brussels in 1909 and 1912. Then came the European war, which was a

    crushing blow to all who had the improvement of human relations in general at

    heart. Even before the war was over, and still more after its end, Lorentz

    devoted himself to the work of reconciliation. His efforts were especially

    directed towards the re-establishment of fruitful and friendly co-operation

    between men of learning and scientific societies. An outsider can hardly

    conceive what uphill work this is. The accumulated resentment of the war

    period has not yet died down, and many influential men persist in the

    irreconcilable attitude into which they allowed themselves to be driven by the

    pressure of circumstances. Hence Lorentz's efforts resemble those of a doctor

    with a recalcitrant patient who refuses to take the medicines carefully

    prepared for his benefit.

    But Lorentz is not to be deterred, once he has recognized a course of action

    as the right one. The moment the war was over, he joined the governing body

    of the "Conseil de recherche," which was founded by the savants of the

    victorious countries, and from which the savants and learned societies of the

    Central Powers were excluded. His object in taking this step, which caused

    great offence to the academic world of the Central Powers, was to influence

    this institution in such a way that it could be expanded into something truly

    international. He and other right-minded men succeeded, after repeated

    efforts, in securing the removal of the offensive exclusion-clause from the

    statutes of the "Conseil." The goal, which is the restoration of normal and

    fruitful co-operation between learned societies, is, however, not yet attained,

    because the academic world of the Central Powers, exasperated by nearly

    ten years of exclusion from practically all international gatherings, has got into

    a habit of keeping itself to itself. Now, however, there are good grounds for

    13

    hoping that the ice will soon be broken, thanks to the tactful efforts of

    Lorentz, prompted by pure enthusiasm for the good cause.

    Lorentz has also devoted his energies to the service of international cultural

    ends in another way, by consenting to serve on the League of Nations

    Commission for international intellectual co-operation, which was called into

    existence some five years ago with Bergson as chairman. For the last year

    Lorentz has presided over the Commission, which, with the active support of

    its subordinate, the Paris Institute, is to act as a go-between in the domain of

    intellectual and artistic work among the various spheres of culture. There too

    the beneficent influence of this intelligent, humane, and modest personality,

    whose unspoken but faithfully followed advice is, "Not mastery but service,"

    will lead people in the right way.

    May his example contribute to the triumph of that spirit !

    In Honour of Arnold Berliner's Seventieth Birthday

    (Arnold Berliner is the editor of the periodical Die

    Naturrvissenschaften.)

    I should like to take this opportunity of telling my friend Berliner and the

    readers of this paper why I rate him and his work so highly. It has to be done

    here because it is one's only chance of getting such things said; since our

    training in objectivity has led to a taboo on everything personal, which we

    mortals may transgress only on quite exceptional occasions such as the

    present one.

    And now, after this dash for liberty, back to the objective! The province of

    scientifically determined fact has been enormously extended, theoretical

    knowledge has become vastly more profound in every department of science.

    But the assimilative power of the human intellect is and remains strictly limited.

    Hence it was inevitable that the activity of the individual investigator should be

    confined to a smaller and smaller section of human knowledge. Worse still, as

    a result of this specialization, it is becoming increasingly difficult for even a

    rough general grasp of science as a whole, without which the true spirit of

    research is inevitably handicapped, to keep pace with progress. A situation is

    developing similar to the one symbolically represented in the Bible by the

    story of the Tower of Babel. Every serious scientific worker is painfully

    conscious of this involuntary relegation to an ever-narrowing sphere of

    knowledge, which is threatening to deprive the investigator of his broad

    horizon and degrade him to the level of a mechanic.

    14

    We have all suffered under this evil, without making any effort to mitigate it.

    But Berliner has come to the rescue, as far as the German-speaking world is

    concerned, in the most admirable way: He saw that the existing popular

    periodicals were sufficient to instruct and stimulate the layman; but he also

    saw that a first-class, well-edited organ was needed for the guidance of the

    scientific worker who desired to be put sufficiently au courant of

    developments in scientific problems, methods, and results to be able to form a

    judgment of his own. Through many years of hard work he has devoted

    himself to this object with great intelligence and no less great determination,

    and done us all, and science, a service for which we cannot be too grateful.

    It was necessary for him to secure the co-operation of successful scientific

    writers and induce them to say what they had to say in a form as far as

    possible intelligible to non-specialists. He has often told me of the fights he

    had in pursuing this object, the difficulties of which he once described to me in

    the following riddle: Question : What is a scientific author? Answer: A cross

    between a mimosa and a porcupine.* Berliner's achievement would have

    been impossible but for the peculiar intensity of his longing for a clear,

    comprehensive view of the largest possible area of scientific country. This

    feeling also drove him to produce a text-book of physics, the fruit of many

    years of strenuous work, of which a medical student said to me the other day:

    "I don't know how I should ever have got a clear idea of the principles of

    modern physics in the time at my disposal without this book."

    Berliner's fight for clarity and comprehensiveness of outlook has done a great

    deal to bring the problems, methods, and results of science home to many

    people's minds. The scientific life of our time is simply inconceivable vzthout

    his paper. It is just as important to make knowledge live and to keep it alive

    as to solve specific problems. We are all conscious of what we owe to

    Arnold Berliner.

    *Do not be angry with me for this indiscretion, my dear Berliner. A

    serious-minded man enjoys a good laugh now and then.

    Popper-Lynhaus was more than a brilliant engineer and writer. He was one

    of the few outstanding personalities who embody the conscience of a

    generation. He has drummed it into us that society is responsible for the fate

    of every individual and shown us a way to translate the consequent obligation

    of the community into fact. The community or State was no fetish to him; he

    based its right to demand sacrifices of the individual entirely on its duty to give

    the individual personality a chance of harmonious development.

    15

    Obituary of the Surgeon, M. Katzenstein

    During the eighteen years I spent in Berlin I had few close friends, and the

    closest was Professor Katzenstein. For more than ten years I spent my leisure

    hours during the summer months with him, mostly on his delightful yacht.

    There we confided our experiences, ambitions, emotions to each other. We

    both felt that this friendship was not only a blessing because each understood

    the other, was enriched by him, and found ins him that responsive echo so

    essential to anybody who is truly alive; it also helped to make both of us more

    independent of external experience, to objectivize it more easily.

    I was a free man, bound neither by many duties nor by harassing

    responsibilities; my friend, on the contrary, was never free from the grip of

    urgent duties and anxious fears for the fate of those in peril. If, as was

    invariably the case, he had performed some dangerous operations in the

    morning, he would ring up on the telephone, immediately before we got into

    the boat, to enquire after the condition of the patients about whom he was

    worried; I could see how deeply concerned he was for the lives entrusted to

    his care. It was marvellous that this shackled outward existence did not clip

    the wings of his soul; his imagination and his sense of humour were

    irrepressible. He never became the typical conscientious North German,

    whom the Italians in the days of their freedom used to call bestia seriosa. He

    was sensitive as a youth to the tonic beauty of the lakes and woods of

    Brandenburg, and as he sailed the boat with an expert hand through these

    beloved and familiar surroundings he opened the secret treasure-chamber of

    his heart to me--he spoke of his experiments, scientific ideas, and ambitions.

    How he found time and energy for them was always a mystery to me; but the

    passion for scientific enquiry is not to be crushed by any burdens. The man

    who is possessed with it perishes sooner than it does.

    There were two types of problems that engaged his attention. The first forced

    itself on him out of the necessities of his practice. Thus he was always thinking

    out new ways of inducing healthy muscles to take the place of lost ones, by

    ingenious transplantation of tendons. He found this remarkably easy, as he

    possessed an uncommonly strong spatial imagination and a remarkably sure

    feeling for mechanism. How happy he was when he had succeeded in making

    somebody fit for normal life by putting right the muscular system of his face,

    foot, or arm! And the same when he avoided an operation, even in cases

    which had been sent to him by physicians for surgical treatment in cases of

    gastric ulcer by neutralizing the pepsin. He also set great store by the

    treatment of peritonitis by an anti-toxic coli-serum which he discovered, and

    rejoiced in the successes he achieved with it. In talking of it he often lamented

    16

    the fact that this method of treatment was not endorsed by his colleagues.

    The second group of problems had to do with the common conception of an

    antagonism between different sorts of tissue. He believed that he was here on

    the track of a general biological principle of widest application, whose

    implications he followed out with admirable boldness and persistence. Starting

    out from this basic notion he discovered that osteomyelon and periosteum

    prevent each other's growth if they are not separated from each other by

    bone. In this way he succeeded in explaining hitherto inexplicable cases of

    wounds ailing to heal, and in bringing about a cure.

    This general notion of the antagonism of the tissues, especially of epithelium

    and connective tissue, was the subject to which he devoted his scientific

    energies, especially in the last ten years of his life. Experiments on animals and

    a systematic investigation of the growth of tissues in a nutrient fluid were

    carried out side by side. How thankful he was, with his hands tied as they

    were by his duties, to have found such an admirable and infinitely enthusiastic

    fellow-worker in Fr?lein Knake! He succeeded in securing wonderful results

    bearing on the factors which favour the growth of epithelium at the expense of

    that of connective tissue, results which may well be of decisive importance for

    the study of cancer. He also had the pleasure of inspiring his own son to

    become his intelligent and independent fellow-worker, and of exciting the

    warm interest and co-operation of Sauerbruch just in the last years of his life,

    so that he was able to die with the consoling thought that his life's work would

    not perish, but would be vigorously continued on the lines he had laid down.

    I for my part am grateful to fate for having given me this man, with his

    inexhaustible goodness and high creative gifts, for a friend.

    Congratulations to Dr. Solf

    I am delighted to be able to offer you, Dr. Solf, the heartiest congratulations,

    the congratulations of Lessing College, of which you have become an

    indispensable pillar, and the congratulations of all who are convinced of the

    need for close contact between science and art and the public which is hungry

    for spiritual nourishment.

    You have not hesitated to apply your energies to a field where there are no

    laurels to be won, but quiet, loyal work to be done in the interests of the

    general standard of intellectual and spiritual life, which is in peculiar danger

    to-day owing to a variety of circumstances. Exaggerated respect for athletics,

    an excess of coarse impressions which the complications of life through the

    technical discoveries of recent years has brought with it, the increased severity

    17

    of the struggle for existence due to the economic crisis, the brutalization of

    political life--all these factors are hostile to the ripening of the character and

    the desire for real culture, and stamp our age as barbarous, materialistic, and

    superficial. Specialization in every sphere of intellectual work is producing an

    everwidening gulf between the intellectual worker and the non-specialist,

    which makes it more difficult for the life of the nation to be fertilized and

    enriched by the achievements of art and science.

    But contact between the intellectual and the masses must not be lost. It is

    necessary for the elevation of society and no less so for renewing the strength

    of the intellectual worker; for the flower of science does not grow in the

    desert. For this reason you, Herr Solf, have devoted a portion of your

    energies to Lessing College, and we are grateful to you for doing so. And we

    wish you further success and happiness in your work for this noble cause.

    Of Wealth

    I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity

    forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The

    example of great and pure characters is the only thing that can produce fine

    ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and always tempts

    its owners irresistibly to abuse it.

    Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus, or Gandhi armed with the money-bags of

    Carnegie?

    Education and Educators

    A letter.

    Dear Miss _____,

    I have read about sixteen pages of your manuscript and it made

    me--smile. It is clever, well observed, honest, it stands on its

    own feet up to a point, and yet it is so typically feminine, by

    which I mean derivative and vitiated by personal rancour. I

    suffered exactly the same treatment at the hands of my teachers,

    who disliked me for my independence and passed me over

    when they wanted assistants (I must admit that I was somewhat

    less of a model student than you). But it would not have been

    worth my while to write anything about my school life, still less

    would I have liked to be responsible for anyone's printing or

    actually reading it. Besides, one always cuts a poor figure if one

    18

    complains about others who are struggling for their place in the

    sun too after their own fashion.

    Therefore pocket your temperament and keep your manuscript

    for your sons and daughters, m order that they may derive

    consolation from it and--not give a damn for what their teachers

    tell them or think of them.

    Incidentally I am only coming to Princeton to research, not to

    teach. There is too much education altogether, especially in

    American schools. The only rational way of educating is to be an

    example--of what to avoid, if one can't be the other sort.

    With best wishes.

    To the Schoolchildren of Japan

    In sending this greeting to you Japanese schoolchildren, I can lay claim to a

    special right to do so. For I have myself visited your beautiful country, seen its

    cities and houses, its mountains and woods, and in them Japanese boys who

    had learnt from them to love their country. A big fat book full of coloured

    drawings by Japanese children lies always on my table.

    If you get my message of greeting from all this distance, bethink you that ours

    is the first age in history to bring about friendly and understanding intercourse

    between people of different countries; in former times nations passed their

    lives in mutual ignorance, and in fact hated or feared one another. May the

    spirit of brotherly understanding gain ground more and more among them.

    With this in mind I, an old man, greet you Japanese schoolchildren from afar

    and hope that your generation may some day put mine to shame.

    Teachers and Pupils

    An address to children

    (The principal art of the teacher is to awaken the joy in creation

    and knowledge.)

    My dear Children,

    I rejoice to see you before me to-day, happy youth of a sunny and fortunate

    land.

    19

    Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work

    of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labour in

    every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance

    in order that you may receive it, honour it, add to it, and one day faithfully

    hand it on to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the

    permanent things which we create in common.

    If you always keep that in mind you will find a meaning in life and work and

    acquire the right attitude towards other nations and ages.

    Paradise Lost

    As late as the seventeenth century the savants and artists of all Europe were

    so closely united by the bond of a common ideal that co-operation between

    them was scarcely affected by political events. This unity was further

    strengthened by the general use of the Latin language.

    To-day we look back at this state of affairs as at a lost paradise. The passions

    of nationalism have destroyed this community of the intellect, and the Latin

    language, which once united the whole world, is dead. The men of learning

    have become the chief mouthpieces of national tradition and lost their sense of

    an intellectual commonwealth.

    Nowadays we are faced with the curious fact that the politicians, the practical

    men of affairs, have become the exponents of international ideas. It is they

    who have created the League of Nations.

    Religion and Science

    Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the

    satisfaction of felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this

    constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their

    development. Feeling and desire are the motive forces behind all human

    endeavour and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may

    present itself to us. Now what are the feelings and needs that have led men to

    religious thought and belief in the widest sense of the words? A little

    consideration will suffice to show us that the most varying emotions preside

    over the birth of religious thought and experience. With primitive man it is

    above all fear that evokes religious notions--fear of hunger, wild beasts,

    sickness, death. Since at this stage of existence understanding of causal

    connexions is usually poorly developed, the human mind creates for itself

    more or less analogous beings on whose wills and actions these fearful

    20

    happenings depend. One's object now is to secure the favour of these beings

    by carrying out actions and offering sacrifices which, according to the tradition

    handed down from generation to generation, propitiate them or make them

    well disposed towards a mortal. I am speaking now of the religion of fear.

    This, though not created, is in an important degree stabilized by the formation

    of a special priestly caste which sets up as a mediator between the people and

    the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis. In many cases the

    leader or ruler whose position depends on other factors, or a privileged class,

    combines priestly functions with its secular authority in order to make the

    latter more secure; or the political rulers and the priestly caste make common

    cause in their own interests.

    The social feelings are another source of the crystallization of religion. Fathers

    and mothers and the leaders of larger human communities are mortal and

    fallible. The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the

    social or moral conception of God. This is the God of Providence who

    protects, disposes, rewards, and punishes, the God who, according to the

    width of the believer's outlook, loves and cherishes the life of the tribe or of

    the human race, or even life as such, the comforter in sorrow and unsatisfied

    longing, who preserves the souls of the dead. This is the social or moral

    conception of God.

    The Jewish scriptures admirably illustrate the development from the religion of

    fear to moral religion, which is continued in the New Testament. The religions

    of all civilized peoples, especially the peoples of the Orient, are primarily

    moral religions. The development from a religion of fear to moral religion is a

    great step in a nation's life. That primitive religions are based entirely on fear

    and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against

    which we must be on our guard. The truth is that they are all intermediate

    types, with this reservation, that on the higher levels of social life the religion of

    morality predominates.

    Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their

    conception of God. Only individuals of exceptional endowments and

    exceptionally high-minded communities, as a general rule, get in any real sense

    beyond this level. But there is a third state of religious experience which

    belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form, and which

    I will call cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to explain this feeling to

    anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic

    conception of God corresponding to it.

    The individual feels the nothingness of human desires and aims and the

    sublimity and marvellous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in

    21

    the world of thought. He looks upon individual existence as a sort of prison

    and wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The

    beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear in earlier stages of

    development--e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the

    Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learnt from the wonderful writings of

    Schopenhauer especially, contains a much stronger element of it.

    The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of

    religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's

    image; so that there can be no Church whose central teachings are based on

    it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who

    were filled with the highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases

    regarded by their contemporaries as Atheists, sometimes also as saints.

    Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza

    are closely akin to one another.

    How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to

    another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In

    my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this

    feeling and keep it alive in those who are capable of it.

    We thus arrive at a conception of the relation of science to religion very

    different from the usual one. When one views the matter historically one is

    inclined to look upon science and religion as irreconcilable antagonists, and

    for a very obvious reason. The man who is thoroughly convinced of the

    universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the

    idea of a being who interferes in the course of events--that is, if he takes the

    hypothesis of causality really seriously. He has no use for the religion of fear

    and equally little for social or moral religion. A God who rewards and

    punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man's actions are

    determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot

    be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the

    motions it goes through. Hence science has been charged with undermining

    morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behaviour should be based

    effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is

    necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by

    fear and punishment and hope of reward after death.

    It is therefore easy to see why the Churches have always fought science and

    persecuted its devotees. On the other hand, I maintain that cosmic religious

    feeling is the strongest and noblest incitement to scientific research. Only those

    who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion which pioneer

    work in theoretical science demands, can grasp the strength of the emotion

    22

    out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of

    life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and

    what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind

    revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to

    spend years of solitary labour in disentangling the principles of celestial

    mechanics! Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived

    chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the

    mentality of the men who, surrounded by a sceptical world, have shown the

    way to those like-minded with themselves, scattered through the earth and the

    centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid

    realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to

    remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious

    feeling that gives a man strength of this sort. A contemporary has said, not

    unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are

    the only profoundly religious people.

    The Religiousness of Science

    You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without

    a peculiar religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religion of the

    naive man. For the latter God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit

    and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a

    child for its father, a being to whom one stands to some extent in a personal

    relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe.

    But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The future,

    to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past. There is nothing

    divine about morality, it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the

    form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals

    an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic

    thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This

    feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in

    keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question

    closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.

    The Plight of Science

    The German-speaking countries are menaced by a danger to which those in

    the know are in duty bound to call attention in the most emphatic terms. The

    economic stress which political events bring in their train does not hit

    everybody equally hard. Among the hardest hit are the institutions and

    individuals whose material existence depends directly on the State. To this

    category belong the scientific institutions and workers on whose work not

    23

    merely the well-being of science but also the position occupied by Germany

    and Austria in the scale of culture very largely depends.

    To grasp the full gravity of the situation it is necessary to bear in mind the

    following consideration. In times of crisis people are generally blind to

    everything outside their immediate necessities. For work which is directly

    productive of material wealth they will pay. But science, if it is to flourish, must

    have no practical end in view. As a general rule, the knowledge and the

    methods which it creates only subserve practical ends indirectly and, in many

    cases, not till after the lapse of several generations. Neglect of science leads

    to a subsequent dearth of intellectual workers able, in virtue of their

    independent outlook and judgment, to blaze new trails for industry or adapt

    themselves to new situations. Where scientific enquiry is stunted the

    intellectual life of the nation dries up, which means the withering of many

    possibilities of future development. This is what we have to prevent. Now that

    the State has been weakened as a result of nonpolitical causes, it is up to the

    economically stronger members of the community to come to the rescue

    directly, and prevent the decay of scientific life.

    Far-sighted men with a clear understanding of the situation have set up

    institutions by which scientific work of every sort is to be kept going in

    Germany and Austria. Help to make these efforts a real success. In my

    teaching work I see with admiration that economic troubles have not yet

    succeeded in stifling the will and the enthusiasm for scientific research. Far

    from it! Indeed, it looks as if our disasters had actually quickened the

    devotion to non-material goods. Everywhere people are working with burning

    enthusiasm in the most difficult circumstances. See to it that the will-power

    and the talents of the youth of to-day do not perish to the grievous hurt of the

    community as a whole.

    Fascism and Science

    A letter to Signor Rocco, Minister of State, Rome.

    My dear Sir,

    Two of the most eminent and respected men of science in Italy

    have applied to me in their difficulties of conscience and

    requested me to write to you with the object of preventing, if

    possible, a piece of cruel persecution with which men of learning

    are threatened in Italy. I refer to a form of oath in which fidelity

    to the Fascist system is to be promised. The burden of my

    request is that you should please advise Signor Mussolini to

    24

    spare the flower of Italy's intellect this humiliation.

    However much our political convictions may differ, I know that

    we agree on one point: in the progressive achievements of the

    European mind both of us see and love our highest good. Those

    achievements are based on the freedom of thought and of

    teaching, on the principle that the desire for truth must take

    precedence of all other desires. It was this basis alone that

    enabled our civilization to take its rise in Greece and to celebrate

    its rebirth in Italy at the Renaissance. This supreme good has

    been paid for by the martyr's blood of pure and great men, for

    whose sake Italy is still loved and reverenced to-day.

    Far be it from me to argue with you about what inroads on

    human liberty may be justified by reasons of State. But the

    pursuit of scientific truth, detached from the practical interests of

    everyday life, ought to be treated as sacred by every

    Government, and it is in the highest interests of all that honest

    servants of truth should be left in peace. This is also undoubtedly

    in the interests of the Italian State and its prestige in the eyes of

    the world.

    Hoping that my request will not fall on deaf ears, I am, etc.

    A. E.

    Interviewers

    To be called to account publicly for everything one has said, even in jest, an

    excess of high spirits, or momentary anger, fatal as it must be in the end, is yet

    up to a point reasonable and natural. But to be called to account publicly for

    what others have said in one's name, when one cannot defend oneself, is

    indeed a sad predicament. "But who suffers such a dreadful fate?" you will

    ask. Well, everyone who is of sufficient interest to the public to be pursued by

    interviewers. You smile incredulously, but I have had plenty of direct

    experience and will tell you about it.

    Imagine the following situation. One morning a reporter comes to you and

    asks you in a friendly way to tell him something about your friend N. At first

    you no doubt feel something approaching indignation at such a proposal. But

    you soon discover that there is no escape. If you refuse to say anything, the

    man writes: "I asked one of N.'s supposedly best friends about him. But he

    prudently avoided my questions. This in itself enables the reader to draw the

    25

    inevitable conclusions." There is, therefore, no escape, and you give the

    following information: "Mr. N. is a cheerful, straightforward man, much liked

    by all his friends. He can find a bright side to any situation. His enterprise and

    industry know no bounds; his job takes up his entire energies. He is devoted

    to his family and lays everything he possesses at his wife's feet. . . "

    Now for the reporter's version : "Mr. N. takes nothing very seriously and has

    a gift for making himself liked, particularly as he carefully cultivates a hearty

    and ingratiating manner. He is so completely a slave to his job that he has no

    time for the considerations of any non-personal subject or for any mental

    activity outside it. He spoils his wife unbelievably and is utterly under her

    thumb. . ."

    A real reporter would make it much more spicy, but I expect this will be

    enough for you and your friend N. He reads this, and some more like it, in the

    paper next morning, and his rage against you knows no bounds, however

    cheerful and benevolent his natural disposition may be. The injury done to him

    gives you untold pain, especially as you are really fond of him.

    What's your next step, my friend? If you know, tell me quickly, so that I may

    adopt your method with all speed.

    Thanks to America

    Mr. Mayor, Ladies, and Gentlemen,

    The splendid reception which you have accorded to me to-day puts me to the

    blush in so far as it is meant for me personally, but it gives me all the more

    pleasure in so far as it is meant for me as a representative of pure science. For

    this gathering is an outward and visible sign that the world is no longer prone

    to regard material power and wealth as the highest goods. It is gratifying that

    men should feel an urge to proclaim this in an official way.

    In the wonderful two months which I have been privileged to spend in your

    midst in this fortunate land, I have had many opportunities of observing what a

    high value men of action and of practical life attach to the efforts of science; a

    good few of them have placed a considerable proportion of their fortunes and

    their energies at the service of scientific enterprises and thereby contributed to

    the prosperity and prestige of this country.

    I cannot let this occasion pass without referring in a spirit of thankfulness to

    the fact that American patronage of science is not limited by national frontiers.

    26

    Scientific enterprises all over the civilized world rejoice in the liberal support

    of American institutions and individuals--a fact which is, I am sure, a source of

    pride and gratification to all of you.

    These tokens of an international way of thinking and feeling are particularly

    welcome; for the world is to-day more than ever in need of international

    thinking and feeling by its leading nations and personalities, if it is to progress

    towards a better and more worthy future. I may be permitted to express the

    hope that this internationalism of the American nation, which proceeds from a

    high sense of responsibility, will very soon extend itself to the sphere of

    politics. For without the active co-operation of the great country of the United

    States in the business of regulating international relations, all efforts directed

    towards this important end are bound to remain more or less ineffectual.

    I thank you most heartily for this magnificent reception and, in particular, the

    men of learning in this country for the cordial and friendly welcome I have

    received from them. I shall always look back on these two months with

    pleasure and gratitude.

    The University Course at Davos

    Senalores boni viri, senatus autem bestia. So a friend of mine, a Swiss

    professor, once wrote in his irritable way to a university faculty which had

    annoyed him. Communities tend to be less guided than individuals by

    conscience and a sense of responsibility. What a fruitful source of suffering to

    mankind this fact is! It is the cause of wars and every kind of oppression,

    which fill the earth with pain, sighs, and bitterness.

    And yet nothing truly valuable can be achieved except by the unselfish

    co-operation of many individuals. Hence the man of good will is never happier

    than when some communal enterprise is afoot and is launched at the cost of

    heavy sacrifices, with the single object of promoting life and culture.

    Such pure joy was mine when I heard about the university courses at Davos.

    A work of rescue is being carried out there, with intelligence and a wise

    moderation, which is based on a grave need, though it may not be a need that

    is immediately obvious to everyone. Many a young man goes to this valley

    with his hopes fixed on the healing power of its sunny mountains and regains

    his bodily health. But thus withdrawn for long periods from the will-hardening

    discipline of normal work and a prey to morbid reflection on his physical

    condition, he easily loses the power of mental effort and the sense of being

    able to hold his own in the struggle for existence. He becomes a sort of

    hot-house plant and, when his body is cured, often finds it difficult to get back

    27

    to normal life. Interruption of intellectual training in the formative period of

    youth is very apt to leave a gap which can hardly be filled later.

    Yet, as a general rule, intellectual work in moderation, so far from retarding

    cure, indirectly helps it forward, just as moderate physical work does. It is in

    this knowledge that the university courses are being instituted, with the object

    not merely of preparing these young people for a profession but of stimulating

    them to intellectual activity as such. They are to provide work, training, and

    hygiene in the sphere of the mind.

    Let us not forget that this enterprise is admirably calculated to establish such

    relations between members of different nations as are favourable to the

    growth of a common European feeling. The effects of the new institution in this

    direction are likely to be all the more advantageous from the fact that the

    circumstances of its birth rule out every sort of political purpose. The best

    way to serve the cause of internationalism is by co-operating in some

    life-giving work.

    >From all these points of view I rejoice that the energy and intelligence of the

    founders of the university courses at Davos have already attained such a

    measure of success that the enterprise has outgrown the troubles of infancy.

    May it prosper, enriching the inner lives of numbers of admirable human

    beings and rescuing many from the poverty of sanatorium life!

    Congratulations to a Critic

    To see with one's own eyes, to feel and judge without succumbing to the

    suggestive power of the fashion of the day, to be able to express what one

    has seen and felt in a snappy sentence or even in a cunningly wrought

    word--is that not glorious? Is it not a proper subject for congratulation?

    Greeting to G. Bernard Shaw

    There are few enough people with sufficient independence to see the

    weaknesses and follies of their contemporaries and remain themselves

    untouched by them. And these isolated few usually soon lose their zeal for

    putting things to rights when they have come face to face with human

    obduracy. Only to a tiny minority is it given to fascinate their generation by

    subtle humour and grace and to hold the mirror up to it by the impersonal

    agency of art. To-day I salute with sincere emotion the supreme master of this

    method, who has delighted--and educated--us all.

    28

    Some Notes on my American Impressions

    I must redeem my promise to say something about my impressions of this

    country. That is not altogether easy for me. For it is not easy to take up the

    attitude of an impartial observer when one is received with such kindness and

    undeserved respect as I have been in America. First of all let me say

    something on this head.

    The cult of individual personalities is always, in my view, unjustified. To be

    sure, nature distributes her gifts variously among her children. But there are

    plenty of the well-endowed ones too, thank God, and I am firmly convinced

    that most of them live quiet, unregarded lives. It strikes me as unfair, and even

    in bad taste, to select a few of them fur boundless admiration, attributing

    superhuman powers of mind and character to them. This has been my fate,

    and the contrast between the popular estimate of my powers and

    achievements and the reality is simply grotesque. The consciousness of this

    extraordinary state of affairs would be unbearable but for one great consoling

    thought: it is a welcome symptom in an age which is commonly denounced as

    materialistic, that it makes heroes of men whose ambitions lie wholly in the

    intellectual and moral sphere. This proves that knowledge and justice are

    ranked above wealth and power by a large section of the human race. My

    experience teaches me that this idealistic outlook is particularly prevalent in

    America, which is usually decried as a particularly materialistic country. After

    this digression I come to my proper theme, in the hope that no more weight

    will be attached to my modest remarks than they deserve.

    What first strikes the visitor with amazement is the superiority of this country

    in matters of technics and organization. Objects of everyday use are more

    solid than in Europe, houses infinitely more convenient in arrangement.

    Everything is designed to save human labour. Labour is expensive, because

    the country is sparsely inhabited in comparison with its natural resources. The

    high price of labour was the stimulus which evoked the marvellous

    development of technical devices and methods of work. The opposite

    extreme is illustrated by over-populated China or India, where the low price

    of labour has stood in the way of the development of machinery. Europe is

    half-way between the two. Once the machine is sufficiently highly developed it

    becomes cheaper in the end than the cheapest labour. Let the Fascists in

    Europe, who desire on narrow-minded political grounds to see their own

    particular countries more densely populated, take heed of this. The anxious

    care with which the United States keep out foreign goods by means of

    prohibitive tariffs certainly contrasts oddly with this notion.…But an

    29

    innocent visitor must not be expected to rack his brains too much, and, when

    all is said and done, it is not absolutely certain that every question admits of a

    rational answer.

    The second thing that strikes a visitor is the joyous, positive attitude to life.

    The smile on the faces of the people in photographs is symbolical of one of

    the American's greatest assets. He is friendly, confident, optimistic,

    and--without envy. The European finds intercourse with Americans easy and

    agreeable.

    Compared with the American, the European is more critical, more

    self-conscious, less goodhearted and helpful, more isolated, more fastidious in

    his amusements and his reading, generally more or less of a pessimist.

    Great importance attaches to the material comforts of life, and peace,

    freedom from care, security are all sacrificed to them. The American lives for

    ambition, the future, more than the European. Life for him is always becoming,

    never being. In this respect he is even further removed from the Russian and

    the Asiatic than the European is. But there is another respect in which he

    resembles the Asiatic more than the European does: he is lest of an

    individualist than the European--that is, from the psychological, not the

    economic, point of view.

    More emphasis is laid on the "we" than the "I." As a natural corollary of this,

    custom and convention are very powerful, and there is much more uniformity

    both in outlook on life and in moral and ?sthetic ideas among Americans than

    among Europeans. This fact is chiefly responsible for America's economic

    superiority over Europe. Co-operation and the division of labour are carried

    through more easily and with less friction than in Europe, whether in the

    factory or the university or in private good works. This social sense may be

    partly due to the English tradition.

    In apparent contradiction to this stands the fact that the activities of the State

    are comparatively restricted as compared with Europe. The European is

    surprised to find the telegraph, the telephone, the railways, and the schools

    predominantly in private hands. The more social attitude of the individual,

    which I mentioned just now, makes this possible here. Another consequence

    of this attitude is that the extremely unequal distribution of property leads to

    no intolerable hardships. The social conscience of the rich man is much more

    highly developed than in Europe. He considers himself obliged as a matter of

    course to place a large portion of his wealth, and often of his own energies

    too, at the disposal of the community, and public opinion, that all-powerful

    force, imperiously demands it of him. Hence the most important cultural

    30

    functions can be left to private enterprise, and the part played by the State in

    this country is, comparatively, a very restricted one.

    The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by

    the Prohibition laws. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the

    government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be

    enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this

    country is closely connected with this.

    There is also another way in which Prohibition, in my opinion, has led to the

    enfeeblement of the State. The public-house is a place which gives people a

    chance to exchange views and ideas on public affairs. As far as I can see,

    people here have no chance of doing this, the result being that the Press,

    which is mostly controlled by definite interests, has an excessive influence over

    public opinion.

    The over-estimation of money is still greater in this country than in Europe, but

    appears to me to be on the decrease. It is at last beginning to be realized that

    great wealth is not necessary for a happy and satisfactory life.

    As regards artistic matters, I have been genuinely impressed by the good taste

    displayed in the modern buildings and in articles of common use; on the other

    hand, the visual arts and music have little place in the life of the nation as

    compared with Europe.

    I have a warm admiration for the achievements of American institutes of

    scientific research. We are unjust in attempting to ascribe the increasing

    superiority of American research-work exclusively to superior wealth; zeal,

    patience, a spirit of comradeship, and a talent for co-operation play an

    important part in its successes. One more observation to finish up with. The

    United States is the most powerful technically advanced country in the world

    to-day. Its influence on the shaping of international relations is absolutely

    incalculable. But America is a large country and its people have so far not

    shown much interest in great international problems, among which the

    problem of disarmament occupies first place today. This must be changed, if

    only in the essential interests of the Americans. The last war has shown that

    there are no longer any barriers between the continents and that the destinies

    of all countries are closely interwoven. The people of this country must realize

    that they have a great responsibility in the sphere of international politics. The

    part of passive spectator is unworthy of this country and is bound in the end

    to lead to disaster all round.

    31

    Reply to the Women of America

    An American Women's League felt called upon to protest against

    Einstein's visit to their country. They received the following answer.

    Never yet have I experienced from the fair sex such energetic rejection of all

    advances; or, if I have, never from so many at once.

    But are they not quite right, these watchful citizenesses? Why should one open

    one's doors to a person who devours hard-boiled capitalists with as much

    appetite and gusto as the Cretan Minotaur in days gone by devoured luscious

    Greek maidens, and on top of that is low-down enough to reject every sort of

    war, except the unavoidable war with one's own wife? Therefore give heed to

    your clever and patriotic women-folk and remember that the Capitol of

    mighty Rome was once saved by the cackling of its faithful geese.

    II

    Politics and Pacifism

    Peace

    The importance of securing international peace was recognized by the really

    great men of former generations. But the technical advances of our times have

    turned this ethical postulate into a matter of life and death for civilized mankind

    to-day, and made the taking of an active part in the solution of the problem of

    peace a moral duty which no conscientious man can shirk.

    One has to realize that the powerful industrial groups concerned in the

    manufacture of arms are doing their best in all countries to prevent the

    peaceful settlement of international disputes, and that rulers can achieve this

    great end only if they are sure of the vigorous support of the majority of their

    peoples. In these days of democratic government the fate of the nations hangs

    on themselves; each individual must always bear that in mind.

    The Pacifist Problem

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I am very glad of this opportunity of saying a few words to you about the

    32

    problem of pacificism. The course of events in the last few years has once

    more shown us how little we are justified in leaving the struggle against

    armaments and against the war spirit to the Governments. On the other hand,

    the formation of large organizations with a large membership can of itself bring

    us very little nearer to our goal. In my opinion, the best method in this case is

    the violent one of conscientious objection, with the aid of organizations for

    giving moral and material support to the courageous conscientious objectors

    in each country. In this way we may succeed in making the problem of

    pacificism an acute one, a real struggle which attracts forceful natures. It is an

    illegal struggle, but a struggle for people's real rights against their governments

    in so far as the latter demand criminal acts of the citizen.

    Many who think themselves good pacifists will jib at this out-and-out

    pacifism, on patriotic grounds. Such people are not to be relied on in the hour

    of crisis, as the World War amply proved.

    I am most grateful to you for according me an opportunity to give you my

    views in person.

    Address to the Students' Disarmament Meeting

    Preceding generations have presented us, in a highly developed science and

    mechanical knowledge, with a most valuable gift which carries with it

    possibilities of making our life free and beautiful such as no previous

    generation has enjoyed. But this gift also brings with it dangers to our

    existence as great as any that have ever threatened it.

    The destiny of civilized humanity depends more than ever on the moral forces

    it is capable of generating. Hence the task that confronts our age is certainly

    no easier than the tasks our immediate predecessors successfully performed.

    The foodstuffs and other goods which the world needs can be produced in far

    fewer hours of work than formerly. But this has made the problem of the

    division of labour and the distribution of the goods produced far more difficult.

    We all feel that the free play of economic forces, the unregulated and

    unrestrained pursuit of wealth and power by the individual, no longer leads

    automatically to a tolerable solution of these problems. Production, labour,

    and distribution need to be organized on a definite plan, in order to prevent

    valuable productive energies from being thrown away and sections of the

    population from becoming impoverished and relapsing into savagery. If

    unrestricted sacro egoismo leads to disastrous consequences in economic

    life, it is a still worse guide in international relations. The development of

    33

    mechanical methods of warfare is such that human life will become intolerable

    if people do not before long discover a way of preventing war. The

    importance of this object is only equalled by the inadequacy of the attempts

    hitherto made to attain it.

    People seek to minimize the danger by limitation of armaments and restrictive

    rules for the conduct of war. But war is not like a parlour-game in which the

    players loyally stick to the rules. Where life and death are at stake, rules and

    obligations go by the board. Only the absolute repudiation of all war is of any

    use here. The creation of an international court of arbitration is not enough.

    There must be treaties guaranteeing that the decisions of this court shall be

    made effective by all the nations acting in concert. Without such a guarantee

    the nations will never have the courage to disarm seriously.

    Suppose, for example, that the American, English, German, and French

    Governments insisted on the Japanese Government's putting an immediate

    stop to their warlike operations in China, under pain of a complete economic

    boycott. Do you suppose that any Japanese Government would be found

    ready to take the responsibility of plunging its country into such a perilous

    adventure? Then why is it not done? Why must every individual and every

    nation tremble for their existence? Because each seeks his own wretched

    momentary advantage and refuses to subordinate it to the welfare and

    prosperity of the community.

    That is why I began by telling you that the fate of the human race was more

    than ever dependent on its moral strength to-day. The way to a joyful and

    happy state is through renunciation and self-limitation everywhere.

    Where can the strength for such a process come from? Only from those who

    have had the chance in their early years to fortify their minds and broaden

    their outlook through study. Thus we of the older generation look to you and

    hope that you will strive with all your might to achieve what was denied to us.

    To Sigmund Freud

    Dear Professor Freud,

    It is admirable the way the longing to perceive the truth has

    overcome every other desire in you. You have shown with

    irresistible clearness how inseparably the combative and

    destructive instincts are bound up with the amative and vital ones

    in the human psyche. At the same time a deep yearning for that

    great consummation, the internal and external liberation of

    34

    mankind from war, shines out from the ruthless logic of your

    expositions. This has been the declared aim of all those who

    have been honoured as moral and spiritual leaders beyond the

    limits of their own time and country without exception, from

    Jesus Christ to Goethe and Kant. Is it not significant that such

    men have been universally accepted as leaders, in spite of the

    fact that their efforts to mould the course of human affairs were

    attended with but small success?

    I am convinced that the great men--those whose achievements,

    even though in a restricted sphere, set them above their

    fellows--are animated to an overwhelming extent by the same

    ideals. But they have little influence on the course of political

    events. It almost looks as if this domain, on which the fate of

    nations depends, had inevitably to be given over to violence and

    irresponsibility.

    Political leaders or governments owe their position partly to

    force and partly to popular election. They cannot be regarded as

    representative of the best elements, morally and intellectually, in

    their respective nations. The intellectual èlite have no direct

    influence on the history of nations in these days; their lack of

    cohesion prevents them from taking a direct part in the solution

    of contemporary problems. Don't you think that a change might

    be brought about in this respect by a free association of people

    whose work and achievements up to date constitute a guarantee

    of their ability and purity of aim? This international association,

    whose members would need to keep in touch with each other by

    a constant interchange of opinions, might, by defining its attitude

    in the Press--responsibility always resting with the signatories on

    any given occasion--acquire a considerable and salutary moral

    influence over the settlement of political questions. Such an

    association would, of course, be a prey to all the ills which so

    often lead to degeneration in learned societies, dangers which

    are inseparably bound up with the imperfection of human nature.

    But should not an effort in this direction be risked in spite of this?

    I look upon the attempt as nothing less than an imperative duty.

    If an intellectual association of standing, such as I have

    described, could be formed, it would no doubt have to try to

    mobilize the religious organizations for the fight against war. It

    would give countenance to many whose good intentions are

    paralysed to-day by a melancholy resignation. Finally, I believe

    35

    that an association formed of persons such as I have described,

    each highly esteemed in his own line, would be just the thing to

    give valuable moral support to those elements in the League of

    Nations which are really working for the great object for which

    that institution exists.

    I had rather put these proposals to you than to anyone else in the

    world, because you are least of all men the dupe of your desires

    and because your critical judgment is supported by a most

    earnest sense of responsibility.

    Compulsory Service

    From a letter

    Instead of permission being given to Germany to introduce compulsory

    service it ought to be taken away from everybody else: in future none but

    mercenary armies should be permitted, the size and equipment of which

    should be discussed at Geneva. This would be better for France than to have

    to permit compulsory service in Germany. The fatal psychological effect of the

    military education of the people and the violation of the individual's rights

    which it involves would thus be avoided.

    Moreover, it would be much easier for two countries which had agreed to

    compulsory arbitration for the settlement of all disputes arising out of their

    mutual relations to combine their military establishments of mercenaries into a

    single organization with a mixed staff. This would mean a financial relief and

    increased security for both of them. Such a process of amalgamation might

    extend to larger and larger combinations, and finally lead to an "international

    police," which would be bound gradually to degenerate as international

    security increased.

    Will you discuss this proposal with our friends by way of setting the ball

    rolling? Of course I do not in the least insist on this particular proposal. But I

    do think it essential that we should come forward with a positive programme;

    a merely negative policy is unlikely to produce any practical results.

    Germany and France

    Mutual trust and co-operation between France and Germany can come about

    only if the French demand for security against military attack is satisfied. But

    should France frame demands in accordance with this, such a step would

    36

    certainly be taken very ill in Germany.

    A procedure something like the following seems, however, to be possible. Let

    the German Government of its own free will propose to the French that they

    should jointly make representations to the League of Nations that it should

    suggest to all member States to bind themselves to the following:--

    (1) To submit to every decision of the international court of arbitration.

    (2) To proceed with all its economic and military force, in concert with the

    other members of the League, against any State which breaks the peace or

    resists an international decision made in the interests of world peace.

    Arbitration

    Systematic disarmament within a short period. This is possible only in

    combination with the guarantee of all for the security of each separate nation,

    based on a permanent court of arbitration independent of governments.

    Unconditional obligation of all countries not merely to accept the decisions of

    the court of arbitration but also to give effect to them.

    Separate courts of arbitration for Europe with Africa, America, and Asia

    (Australia to be apportioned to one of these). A joint court of arbitration for

    questions involving issues that cannot be settled within the limits of any one of

    these three regions.

    The International of Science

    At a sitting of the Academy during the War, at the time when national and

    political infatuation had reached its height, Emil Fischer spoke the following

    emphatic words: "It's no use, Gentlemen, science is and remains international."

    The really great scientists have always known this and felt it passionately, even

    though in times of political confusion they may have remained isolated among

    their colleagues of inferior calibre. In every camp during the War this mass of

    voters betrayed their sacred trust. The international society of the academies

    was broken up. Congresses were and still are held from which colleagues

    from ex-enemy countries are excluded. Political considerations, advanced

    with much solemnity, prevent the triumph of purely objective ways of thinking

    without which our great aims must necessarily be frustrated.

    What can right-minded people, people who are proof against the emotional

    temptations of the moment, do to repair the damage? With the majority of

    37

    intellectual workers still so excited, truly international congresses on the grand

    scale cannot yet be held. The psychological obstacles to the restoration of the

    international associations of scientific workers are still too formidable to be

    overcome by the minority whose ideas and feelings are of a more

    comprehensive kind. These last can aid in the great work of restoring the

    international societies to health by keeping in close touch with like-minded

    people all over the world and resolutely championing the international cause in

    their own spheres. Success on a large scale will take time, but it will

    undoubtedly come. I cannot let this opportunity pass without paying a tribute

    to the way in which the desire to preserve the confraternity of the intellect has

    remained alive through all these difficult years in the breasts of a large number

    of our English colleagues especially.

    The disposition of the individual is everywhere better than the official

    pronouncements. Right-minded people should bear this in mind and not allow

    themselves to be misled and get angry: senatores boni viri, senatus autem

    bestia.

    If I am full of confident hope concerning the progress of international

    organization in general, that feeling is based not so much on my confidence in

    the intelligence and high-mindedness of my fellows, but rather on the

    irresistible pressure of economic developments. And since these depend

    largely on the work even of reactionary scientists, they too will help to create

    the international organization against their wills.

    The Institute for Intellectual Co-operation

    During this year the leading politicians of Europe have for the first time drawn

    the logical conclusion from the truth that our portion of the globe can only

    regain its prosperity if the underground struggle between the traditional

    political units ceases. The political organization of Europe must be

    strengthened, and a gradual attempt made to abolish tariff barriers. This great

    end cannot be achieved by treaties alone. People's minds must, above all, be

    prepared for it. We must try gradually to awaken in them a sense of solidarity

    which does not, as hitherto, stop at frontiers. It is with this in mind that the

    League of Nations has created the Commission de coopération

    intellectuelle. This Commission is to be an absolutely international and

    entirely nonpolitical authority, whose business it is to put the intellectuals of all

    the nations, who were isolated by the war, into touch with each other. It is a

    difficult task; for it has, alas, to be admitted that--at least in the countries with

    which I am most closely acquainted--the artists and men of learning are

    governed by narrowly nationalist feelings to a far greater extent than the men

    of affairs.

    38

    Hitherto this Commission has met twice a year. To make its efforts more

    effective, the French Government has decided to create and maintain a

    permanent Institute for intellectual co-operation, which is just now to be

    opened. It is a generous act on the part of the French nation and deserves the

    thanks of all.

    It is an easy and grateful task to rejoice and praise and say nothing about the

    things one regrets or disapproves of. But honesty alone can help our work

    forward, so I will not shrink from combining criticism with this greeting to the

    new-born child.

    I have daily occasion for observing that the greatest obstacle which the work

    of our Commission has to encounter is the lack of confidence in its political

    impartiality. Everything must be done to strengthen that confidence and

    everything avoided that might harm it.

    When, therefore, the French Government sets up and maintains an Institute

    out of public funds in Paris as a permanent organ of the Commission, with a

    Frenchman as its Director, the outside observer can hardly avoid the

    impression that French influence predominates in the Commission. This

    impression is further strengthened by the fact that so far a Frenchman has also

    been chairman of the Commission itself. Although the individuals in question

    are men of the highest reputation, liked and respected everywhere,

    nevertheless the impression remains.

    Dixi et salvavi animam naeam. I hope with all my heart that the new

    Institute, by constant interaction with the Commission, will succeed in

    promoting their common ends and winning the confidence and recognition of

    intellectual workers all over the world.

    A Farewell

    A letter to the German Secretary of the League of Nations

    Dear Herr Dufour-Feronce,

    Your kind letter must not go unanswered, otherwise you may get

    a mistaken notion of my attitude. The grounds for my resolve to

    go to Geneva no more are as follows: Experience has,

    unhappily, taught me that the Commission, taken as a whole,

    stands for no serious determination to make real progress with

    39

    the task of improving international relations. It looks to me far

    more like an embodiment of the principle ut aliquid fieri

    videatur. The Commission seems to me even worse in this

    respect than the League taken as a whole.

    It is precisely because I desire to work with all my might for the

    establishment of an international arbitrating and regulative

    authority superior to the State, and because I have this object

    so very much at heart, that I feel compelled to leave the

    Commission.

    The Commission has given its blessing to the oppression of the

    cultural minorities in all countries by causing a National

    Commission to be set up in each of them, which is to form the

    only channel of communication between the intellectuals of a

    country and the Commission. It has thereby deliberately

    abandoned its function of giving moral support to the national

    minorities in their struggle against cultural oppression.

    Further, the attitude of the Commission in the matter of

    combating the chauvinistic and militaristic tendencies of

    education in the various countries has been so lukewarm that no

    serious efforts in this fundamentally important sphere can be

    hoped for from it.

    The Commission has invariably failed to give moral support to

    those individuals and associations who have thrown themselves

    without reserve into the business of working for an international

    order and against the military system.

    The Commission has never made any attempt to resist the

    appointment of members whom it knew to stand for tendencies

    the very reverse of those it is bound in duty to foster.

    I will not worry you with any further arguments, since you will

    understand my resolve yell enough from these few hints. It is not

    my business to draw up an indictment, but merely to explain my

    position. If I nourished any hope whatever I should act

    differently--of that you may be sure.

    The Question of Disarmament

    The greatest obstacle to the success of the disarmament plan was the fact that

    40

    people in general left out of account the chief difficulties of the problem. Most

    objects are gained by gradual steps: for example, the supersession of absolute

    monarchy by democracy. Here, however, we are concerned with an

    objective which cannot be reached step by step.

    As long as the possibility of war remains, nations will insist on being as

    perfectly prepared militarily as they can, in order to emerge triumphant from

    the next war. It will also be impossible to avoid educating the youth in warlike

    traditions and cultivating narrow national vanity joined to the glorification of

    the warlike spirit, as long as people have to be prepared for occasions when

    such a spirit will be needed in the citizens for the purpose of war. To arm is to

    give one's voice and make one's preparations not for peace but for war.

    Therefore people will not disarm step by step; they will disarm at one blow or

    not at all.

    The accomplishment of such a far-reaching change in the life of nations

    presupposes a mighty moral effort, a deliberate departure from deeply

    ingrained tradition. Anyone who is not prepared to make the fate of his

    country in case of a dispute depend entirely on the decisions of an

    international court of arbitration, and to enter into a treaty to this effect without

    reserve, is not really resolved to avoid war. It is a case of all or nothing.

    It is undeniable that previous attempts to ensure peace have failed through

    aiming at inadequate compromises.

    Disarmament and security are only to be had in combination. The one

    guarantee of security is an undertaking by all nations to give effect to the

    decisions of the international authority.

    We stand, therefore, at the parting of the ways. Whether we find the way of

    peace or continue along the old road of brute force, so unworthy of our

    civilization, depends on ourselves. On the one side the freedom of the

    individual and the security of society beckon to us, on the other slavery for the

    individual and the annihilation of our civilization threaten us. Our fate will be

    according to our deserts.

    The Disarmament Conference of 1932

    I

    May I begin with an article of political faith? It runs as follows: The State is

    made for man, not man for the State. And in this respect science resembles

    the State. These are old sayings, coined by men for whom human personality

    41

    was the highest human good. I should shrink from repeating them, were it not

    that they are for ever threatening to fall into oblivion, particularly in these days

    of organization and mechanization. I regard it as the chief duty of the State to

    protect the individual and give him the opportunity to develop into a creative

    personality.

    That is to say, the State should be our servant and not we its slaves. The State

    transgresses this commandment when it compels us by force to engage in

    military and war service, the more so since the object and the effect of this

    slavish service is to kill people belonging to other countries or interfere with

    their freedom of development. We are only to make such sacrifices to the

    State as will promote the free development of individual human beings. To any

    American all this may be a platitude, but not to any European. Hence we may

    hope that the fight against war will find strong support among Americans.

    And now for the Disarmament Conference. Ought one to laugh, weep, or

    hope when one thinks of it? Imagine a city inhabited by fiery-tempered,

    dishonest, and quarrelsome citizens. The constant danger to life there is felt as

    a serious handicap which makes all healthy development impossible. The

    magistrate desires to remedy this abominable state of affairs, although all his

    counsellors and the rest of the citizens insist on continuing to carry a dagger in

    their girdles. After years of preparation the magistrate determines to

    compromise and raises the question, how long and how sharp the dagger is

    allowed to be which anyone may carry in his belt when he goes out. As long

    as the cunning citizens do not suppress knifing by legislation, the courts, and

    the police, things go on in the old way, of course. A definition of the length

    and sharpness of the permitted dagger will help only the strongest and most

    turbulent and leave the weaker at their mercy. You will all understand the

    meaning of this parable. It is true that we have a League of Nations and a

    Court of Arbitration. But the League is not much more than a meeting-hall,

    and the Court has no means of enforcing its decisions. These institutions

    provide no security for any country in case of an attack on it. If you bear this

    in mind, you will judge the attitude of the French, their refusal to disarm

    without security, less harshly than it is usually judged at present.

    Unless we can agree to limit the sovereignty of the individual State by all

    binding ourselves to take joint action against any country which openly or

    secretly resists a judgment of the Court of Arbitration, we shall never get out

    of a state of universal anarchy and terror. No sleight of hand can reconcile the

    unlimited sovereignty of the individual country with security against attack.

    Will it need new disasters to induce the countries to undertake to enforce

    every decision of the recognized international court? The progress of events

    so far scarcely justifies us in hoping for anything better in the near future. But

    42

    everyone who cares for civilization and justice must exert all his strength to

    convince his fellows of the necessity for laying all countries under an

    international obligation of this kind.

    It will be urged against this notion, not without a certain justification, that it

    over-estimates the efficacy of machinery, and neglects the psychological, or

    rather the moral, factor. Spiritual disarmament, people insist, must precede

    material disarmament. They say further, and truly, that the greatest obstacle to

    international order is that monstrously exaggerated spirit of nationalism which

    also goes by the fair-sounding but misused name of patriotism. During the last

    century and a half this idol has acquired an uncanny and exceedingly

    pernicious power everywhere.

    To estimate this objection at its proper worth, one must realize that a

    reciprocal relation exists between external machinery and internal states of

    mind. Not only does the machinery depend on traditional modes of feeling

    and owe its origin and its survival to them, but the existing machinery in its turn

    exercises a powerful influence on national modes of feeling.

    The present deplorably high development of nationalism everywhere is, in my

    opinion, intimately connected with the institution of compulsory military service

    or, to call it by its less offensive name, national armies. A country which

    demands military service of its inhabitants is compelled to cultivate a

    nationalistic spirit in them, which provides the psychological foundation of

    military efficiency. Along with this religion it has to hold up its instrument, brute

    force, to the admiration of the youth in its schools.

    The introduction of compulsory service is therefore, to my mind, the prime

    cause of the moral collapse of the white race, which seriously threatens not

    merely the survival of our civilization but our very existence. This curse, along

    with great social blessings, started with the French Revolution, and before

    long dragged all the other nations in its train.

    Therefore those who desire to encourage the growth of an international spirit

    and to combat chauvinism must take their stand against compulsory service. Is

    the severe persecution to which conscientious objectors to military service are

    subjected to-day a whit less disgraceful to the community than those to which

    the martyrs of religion were exposed in former centuries? Can you, as the

    Kellogg Pact does, condemn war and at the same time leave the individual to

    the tender mercies of the war machine in each country?

    If, in view of the Disarmament Conference, we are not to restrict ourselves to

    the technical problems of organization involved but also to tackle the

    43

    psychological question more directly from educational motives, we must try

    on international lines to invent some legal way by which the individual can

    refuse to serve in the army. Such a regulation would undoubtedly produce a

    great moral effect.

    This is my position in a nutshell: Mere agreements to limit armaments furnish

    no sort of security. Compulsory arbitration must be supported by an executive

    force, guaranteed by all the participating countries, which is ready to proceed

    against the disturber of the peace with economic and military sanctions.

    Compulsory service, as the bulwark of unhealthy nationalism, must be

    combated; most important of all, conscientious objectors must be protected

    on an international basis.

    Finally, I would draw your attention to a book, War again To-morrow, by

    Ludwig Bauer, which discusses the issues here involved in an acute and

    unprejudiced manner and with great psychological insight.

    II

    The benefits that the inventive genius of man has conferred on us in the last

    hundred years could make life happy and care-free if organization had been

    able to keep pace with technical progress. As it is, these hard-won

    achievements in the hands of our generation are like a razor in the hands of a

    child of three. The possession of marvellous means of production has brought

    care and hunger instead of freedom.

    The results of technical progress are most baleful where they furnish means for

    the destruction of human life and the hard-won fruits of toil, as we of the older

    generation experienced to our horror in the Great War. More dreadful even

    than the destruction, in my opinion, is the humiliating slavery into which war

    plunges the individual. Is it not a terrible thing to be forced by the community

    to do things which every individual regards as abominable crimes? Only a few

    had the moral greatness to resist; them I regard as the real heroes of the Great

    War.

    There is one ray of hope. I believe that the responsible leaders of the nations

    do, in the main, honestly desire to abolish war. The resistance to this essential

    step forward comes from those unfortunate national traditions which are

    handed on like a hereditary disease from generation to generation through the

    workings of the educational system. The principal vehicle of this tradition is

    military training and its glorification, and, equally, that portion of the Press

    which is controlled by heavy industry and the soldiers. Without disarmament

    44

    there can be no lasting peace. Conversely, the continuation of military

    preparations on the present scale will inevitably lead to new catastrophes.

    That is why the Disarmament Conference of 1932 will decide the fate of this

    generation and the next. When one thinks how pitiable, taken as a whole,

    have been the results of former conferences, it becomes clear that it is the

    duty of all intelligent and responsible people to exert their full powers to

    remind public opinion again and again of the importance of the 1932

    Conference. Only if the statesmen have behind them the will to peace of a

    decisive majority in their own countries can they attain their great end, and for

    the formation of this public opinion each one of us is responsible in every

    word and deed.

    The doom of the Conference would be sealed if the delegates came to it with

    ready-made instructions, the carrying out of which would soon become a

    matter of prestige. This seems to be generally realized. For meetings between

    the statesmen of two nations at a time, which have become very frequent of

    late, have been used to prepare the ground for the Conference by

    conversations about the disarmament problem. This seems to me a very

    happy device, for two men or groups of men can usually discuss things

    together most reasonably, honestly, and dispassionately when there is no third

    person present in front of whom they think they must be careful what they say.

    Only if exhaustive preparations of this kind are made for the Conference, if

    surprises are thereby ruled out, and an atmosphere of confidence is created

    by genuine good will, can we hope for a happy issue.

    In these great matters success is not a matter of cleverness, still less of

    cunning, but of honesty and confidence. The moral element cannot be

    displaced by reason, thank heaven ! It is not the individual spectator's duty

    merely to wait and criticize. He must serve the cause by all means in his

    power. The fate of the world will be such as the world deserves.

    America and the Disarmasnent Conference

    The Americans of to-day are filled with the cares arising out of economic

    conditions in their own country. The efforts of their responsible leaders are

    directed primarily to remedying the serious unemployment at home. The sense

    of being involved in the destiny of the rest of the world, and in particular of the

    mother country of Europe, is even less strong than in normal times.

    But the free play of economic forces will not by itself automatically overcome

    these difficulties. Regulative measures by the community are needed to bring

    about a sound distribution of labour and consumption-goods among mankind;

    45

    without them even the people of the richest country suffocate. The fact is that

    since the amount of work needed to supply everybody's needs has been

    reduced through the improvement of technical methods, the free play of

    economic forces no longer produces a state of affairs in which all the available

    labour can find employment. Deliberate regulation and organization are

    becoming necessary to make the results of technical progress beneficial to all.

    If the economic situation cannot be cleared up without systematic regulation,

    how much more necessary is such regulation for dealing with the problems of

    international politics! Few people still cling to the notion that acts of violence

    in the shape of wars are either advantageous or worthy of humanity as a

    method of solving international problems. But they are not logical enough to

    make vigorous efforts on behalf of the measures which might prevent war, that

    savage and unworthy relic of the age of barbarism. It requires some power of

    reflection to see the issue clearly and a certain courage to serve this great

    cause resolutely and effectively.

    Anybody who really wants to abolish war must resolutely declare himself in

    favour of his own country's resigning a portion of its sovereignty in favour of

    international institutions: he must be ready to make his own country amenable,

    in case of a dispute, to the award of an international court. He must in the

    most uncompromising fashion support disarmament all round, which is actually

    envisaged in the unfortunate Treaty of Versailles; unless military and

    aggressively patriotic education is abolished, we can hope for no progress.

    No event of the last few years reflects such disgrace on the leading civilized

    countries of the world as the failure of all disarmament conferences so far; for

    this failure is due not only to the intrigues of ambitious and unscrupulous

    politicians, but also to the indifference and slackness of the public in all

    countries. Unless this is changed we shall destroy all the really valuable

    achievements of our predecessors.

    I believe that the American nation is only imperfectly aware of the

    responsibility which rests with it in this matter. People in America no doubt

    think as follows: "Let Europe go to the dogs, if it is destroyed by the

    quarrelsomeness and wickedness of its inhabitants. The good seed of our

    Wilson has produced a mighty poor crop in the stony ground of Europe. We

    are strong and safe and in no hurry to mix ourselves up in other people's

    affairs."

    Such an attitude is at once base and shortsighted. America is partly to blame

    for the difficulties of Europe. By ruthlessly pressing her claims she is hastening

    the economic and therewith the moral collapse of Europe; she has helped to

    46

    Balkanize Europe, and therefore shares the responsibility for the breakdown

    of political morality and the growth of that spirit of revenge which feeds on

    despair. This spirit will not stop short of the gates of America--I had almost

    said, has not stopped short. Look around, and look forward.

    The truth can be briefly stated: The Disarmament Conference comes as a final

    chance, to you no less than to us, of preserving the best that civilized humanity

    has produced. And it is on you, as the strongest and comparatively soundest

    among us, that the eyes and hopes of all are focused.

    Active Pacifism

    I consider myself lucky in witnessing the great peace demonstration organized

    by the Flemish people. To all concerned in it I feel impelled to call out in the

    name of men of good will with a care for the future: "In this hour of opened

    eyes and awakening conscience we feel ourselves united with you by the

    deepest ties."

    We must not conceal from ourselves that an improvement in the present

    depressing situation is impossible without a severe struggle; for the handful of

    those who are really determined to do something is minute in comparison with

    the mass of the lukewarm and the misguided. And those who have an interest

    in keeping the machinery of war going are a very powerful body; they will

    stop at nothing to make public opinion subservient to their murderous ends.

    It looks as if the ruling statesmen of to-day were really trying to secure

    permanent peace. But the ceaseless piling-up of armaments shows only too

    clearly that they are unequal to coping with the hostile forces which are

    preparing for war. In my opinion, deliverance can only come from the peoples

    themselves. If they wish to avoid the degrading slavery of war-service, they

    must declare with no uncertain voice for complete disarmament. As long as

    armies exist, any serious quarrel will lead to war. A pacifism which does not

    actually try to prevent the nations from arming is and must remain impotent.

    May the conscience and the common sense of the peoples be awakened, so

    that we may reach a new stage in the life of nations, where people will look

    back on war as an incomprehensible aberration of their forefathers!

    Letter to a Friend of Peace

    It has come to my ears that in your greatheartedness you are quietly

    accomplishing a splendid work, impelled by solicitude for humanity and its

    fate. Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes and feel with

    47

    their own hearts. But it is their strength that will decide whether the human

    race must relapse into that hopeless condition which a blind multitude appears

    to-day to regard as the ideal.

    O that the nations might see, before it is too late, how much of their

    self-determination they have got to sacrifice in order to avoid the struggle of

    all against all! The power of conscience and the international spirit has proved

    itself inadequate. At present it is being so weak as to tolerate parleying with

    the worst enemies of civilization. There is a kind of conciliation which is a

    crime against humanity, and it passes for political wisdom.

    We cannot despair of humanity, since we are ourselves human beings. And it

    is a comfort that there still exist individuals like yourself, whom one knows to

    be alive and undismayed.

    Another ditto

    Dear friend and spiritual brother,

    To be quite frank, a declaration like the one before me in a

    country which submits to conscription in peace-time seems to

    me valueless. What you must fight for is liberation from universal

    military service. Verily the French nation has had to pay heavily

    for the victory of 1918; for that victory has been largely

    responsible for holding it down in the most degrading of all forms

    of slavery. Let your efforts in this struggle be unceasing. You

    have a mighty ally in the German reactionaries and militarists. If

    France clings to universal military service, it will be impossible in

    the long run to prevent its introduction into Germany. For the

    demand of the Germans for equal rights will succeed in the end;

    and then there will be two German military slaves to every

    French one, which would certainly not be in the interests of

    France.

    Only if we succeed in abolishing compulsory service altogether

    will it be possible to educate the youth in the spirit of

    reconciliation, joy in life, and love towards all living creatures.

    I believe that a refusal on conscientious grounds to serve in the

    army when called up, if carried out by 50,000 men at the same

    moment, would be irresistible. The individual can accomplish

    little here, nor can one wish to see the best among us devoted to

    destruction through the machinery behind which stand the three

    48

    great powers of stupidity, fear, and greed.

    A third ditto

    Dear Sir,

    The point with which you deal in your letter is one of prime

    importance. The armament industry is, as you say, one of the

    greatest dangers that beset mankind. It is the hidden evil power

    behind the nationalism which is rampant everywhere.…

    Possibly something might be gained by nationalization. But it is

    extremely hard to determine exactly what industries should be

    included. Should the aircraft industry? And how much of the

    metal industry and the chemical industry?

    As regards the munitions industry and the export of war material,

    the League of Nations has busied itself for years with efforts to

    get this horrible traffic controlled--with what little success, we all

    know. Last year I asked a well-known American diplomat why

    Japan was not forced by a commercial boycott to desist from

    her policy of force. "Our commercial interests are too strong,"

    was the answer. How can one help people who rest satisfied

    with a statement like that?

    You believe that a word from me would suffice to get something

    done in this sphere? What an illusion! People flatter me as long

    as I do not get in their way. But if I direct my efforts towards

    objects which do not suit them, they immediately turn to abuse

    and calumny in defence of their interests. And the onlookers

    mostly keep out of the light, the cowards! Have you ever tested

    the civil courage of your countrymen? The silently accepted

    motto is "Leave it alone and don't speak of it." You may be sure

    that I shall do everything in my power along the lines you

    indicate, but nothing can be achieved as directly as you think.

    Women and War

    In my opinion, the patriotic women ought to be sent to the front in the next

    war instead of the men. It would at least be a novelty in this dreary sphere of

    infinite confusion, and besides--why should not such heroic feelings on the

    part of the fair sex find a more picturesque outlet than in attacks on a

    defenceless civilian?

    49

    Thoughts on the World Economic Crisis

    If there is one thing that can give a layman in the sphere of economics the

    courage to express an opinion on the nature of the alarming economic

    difficulties of the present day, it is the hopeless confusion of opinions among

    the experts. What I have to say is nothing new and does not pretend to be

    anything more than the opinion of an independent and honest man who,

    unburdened by class or national prejudices, desires nothing but the good of

    humanity and the most harmonious possible scheme of human existence. If in

    what follows I write as if I were clear about certain things and sure of the truth

    of what I am saying, this is done merely for the sake of an easier mode of

    expression; it does not proceed from unwarranted self-confidence or a belief

    in the infallibility of my somewhat simple intellectual conception of problems

    which are in reality uncommonly complex.

    As I see it, this crisis differs in character from past crises in that it is based on

    an entirely new set of conditions, due to rapid progress in methods of

    production. Only a fraction of the available human labour in the world is

    needed for the production of the total amount of consumption-goods

    necessary to life. Under a completely free economic system this fact is bound

    to lead to unemployment. For reasons which I do not propose to analyse

    here, the majority of people are compelled to work for the minimum wage on

    which life can be supported. If two factories produce the same sort of goods,

    other things being equal, that one will be able to produce them more cheaply

    which employs less workmen--i.e., makes the individual worker work as long

    and as hard as human nature permits. From this it follows inevitably that, with

    methods of production what they are to-day, only a portion of the available

    labour can be used. While unreasonable demands are made on this portion,

    the remainder is automatically excluded from the process of production. This

    leads to a fall in sales and profits. Businesses go smash, which further

    increases unemployment and diminishes confidence in industrial concerns and

    therewith public participation in these mediating banks; finally the banks

    become insolvent through the sudden withdrawal of deposits and the wheels

    of industry therewith come to a complete standstill.

    The crisis has also been attributed to other causes which we will now

    consider.

    (1) Over-production. We have to distinguish between two things here--real

    over-production and apparent over-production. By real overproduction I

    mean a production so great that it exceeds the demand. This m4y perhaps

    apply to motor-cars and wheat in the United States at the present moment,

    50

    although even that is doubtful. By "over-production" people usually mean a

    condition of things in which more of one particular article is produced than

    can, in existing circumstances, be sold, in spite of a shortage of

    consumption-goods among consumers. This condition of things I call apparent

    over-production. In this case it is not the demand that is lacking but the

    consumers' purchasing-power. Such apparent over-production is only another

    word for a crisis, and therefore cannot serve as an explanation of the latter;

    hence people who try to make over-production responsible for the crisis are

    merely juggling with words.

    (2) Reparations. The obligation to pay reparations lies heavy on the debtor

    nations and their industries, compels them to go in for dumping, and so harms

    the creditor nations too This is beyond dispute. But the appearance of the

    crisis in the United States, in spite of the high tariff-wall protecting them,

    proves that this cannot be the principal cause of the world crisis. The shortage

    of gold in the debtor countries due to reparations can at most serve as an

    argument for putting an end to these payments; it cannot be dragged in as an

    explanation of the world crisis.

    (3) Erection of near tariff-walls. Increase in the unproductive burden of

    armaments. Political in security owing to latent danger of war. All these things

    add considerably to the troubles of Europe, but do not materially affect

    America. The appearance of the crisis in America shows that they cannot be

    its principal causes.

    (4) The dropping-out of the two Powers, China and Russia. This blow to

    world trade also does not touch America very nearly, and therefore cannot be

    a principal cause of the crisis.

    (5) The economic rise of the lower classes since the War. This, supposing

    it to be a reality, could only produce a scarcity of goods, not an excessive

    supply.

    I will not weary the reader by enumerating further contentions which do not

    seem to me to get to the heart of the matter. Of one thing I feel certain: this

    same technical progress which, in itself, might relieve mankind of a great part

    of the labour necessary to its subsistence, is the main cause of our present

    troubles. Hence there are those who would in all seriousness forbid the

    introduction of technical improvements. This is obviously absurd. But how can

    we find a more rational way out of our dilemma?

    If we could somehow manage to prevent the purchasing-power of the

    masses, measured in terms of goods, from sinking below a certain minimum,

    51

    stoppages in the industrial cycle such as we are experiencing to-day would be

    rendered impossible.

    The logically simplest but also most daring method of achieving this is a

    completely planned economy, in which consumption-goods are produced and

    distributed by the community. That, in essentials, is what is being attempted in

    Russia to-day. Much will depend on what results this mighty experiment

    produces. To hazard a prophecy here would be presumption. Can goods be

    produced as economically under such a system as under one which leaves

    more freedom to individual enterprise? Can this system maintain itself at all

    without the terror that has so far accompanied it, which none of us

    "westerners" would care to let himself in for? Does not such a rigid,

    centralized system tend towards protection and hostility to advantageous

    innovations? We must take care, however, not to allow these suspicions to

    become prejudices which prevent us from forming an objective judgment.

    My personal opinion is that those methods are preferable which respect

    existing traditions and habits so far as that is in any way compatible with the

    end in view. Nor do I believe that a sudden transference of the control of

    industry to the hands of the public would be beneficial from the point of view

    of production; private enterprise should be left its sphere of activity, in so far

    as it has not already been eliminated by industry itself in the form of

    cartelization.

    There are, however, two respects in which this economic freedom ought to be

    limited. In each branch of industry the number of working hours per week

    ought so to be reduced by law that unemployment is systematically abolished.

    At the same time minimum wages must be fixed in such a way that the

    purchasing power of the workers keeps pace with production.

    Further, in those industries which have become monopolistic in character

    through organization on the part of the producers, prices must be controlled

    by the State in order to keep the creation of new capital within reasonable

    bounds and prevent the artificial strangling of production and consumption.

    In this way it might perhaps be possible to establish a proper balance between

    production and consumption without too great a limitation of free enterprise,

    and at the same time to stop the intolerable tyranny of the owners of the

    means of production (land, machinery) over the wage-earners, in the widest

    sense of the term.

    Culture and Prosperity

    52

    If one would estimate the damage done by the great political catastrophe to

    the development of human civilization, one must remember that culture in its

    higher forms is a delicate plant which depends on a complicated set of

    conditions and is wont to flourish only in a few places at any given time. For it

    to blossom there is needed, first of all, a certain degree of prosperity, which

    enables a fraction of the population to work at things not directly necessary to

    the maintenance of life; secondly, a moral tradition of respect for cultural

    values and achievements, in virtue of which this class is provided with the

    means of living by the other classes, those who provide the immediate

    necessities of life.

    During the past century Germany has been one of the countries in which both

    conditions were fulfilled. The prosperity was, taken as a whole, modest but

    sufficient; the tradition of respect for culture vigorous. On this basis the

    German nation has brought forth fruits of culture which form an integral part of

    the development of the modern world. The tradition, in the main, still stands;

    the prosperity is gone. The industries of the country have been cut off almost

    completely from the sources of raw materials on which the existence of the

    industrial part of the population was based. The surplus necessary to support

    the intellectual worker has suddenly ceased to exist. With it the tradition which

    depends on it will inevitably collapse also, and a fruitful nursery of culture turn

    to wilderness.

    The human race, in so far as it sets a value on culture, has an interest in

    preventing such impoverishment. It will give what help it can in the immediate

    crisis and reawaken that higher community of feeling, now thrust into the

    background by national egotism, for which human values have a validity

    independent of politics and frontiers. It will then procure for every nation

    conditions of work under which it can exist and under which it can bring forth

    fruits of culture.

    Production and Purchasing Power

    I do not believe that the remedy for our present difficulties lies in a knowledge

    of productive capacity and consumption, because this knowledge is likely, in

    the main, to come too late. Moreover the trouble in Germany seems to me to

    be not hypertrophy of the machinery of production but deficient purchasing

    power in a large section of the population, which has been cast out of the

    productive process through rationalization.

    The gold standard has, in my opinion, the serious disadvantage that a shortage

    in the supply of gold automatically leads to a contraction of credit and also of

    53

    the amount of currency in circulation, to which contraction prices and wages

    cannot adjust themselves sufficiently quickly. The natural remedies for our

    troubles are, in my opinion, as follows:--

    (1) A statutory reduction of working hours, graduated for each department of

    industry, in order to get rid of unemployment, combined with the fixing of

    minimum wages for the purpose of adjusting the purchasing-power of the

    masses to the amount of goods available.

    (2) Control of the amount of money in circulation and of the volume of credit

    in such a way as to keep the price-level steady, all special protection being

    abolished.

    (3) Statutory limitation of prices for such articles as have been practically

    withdrawn from free competition by monopolies or the formation of cartels.

    Production and Work

    An answer to Cederstr?m

    Dear Herr Cederstr?m,

    Thank you for sending me your proposals, which interest me

    very much. Having myself given so much thought to this subject I

    feel that it is right that I should give you my perfectly frank

    opinion on them.

    The fundamental trouble seems to me to be the almost unlimited

    freedom of the labour market combined with extraordinary

    progress in the methods of production. To satisfy the needs of

    the world to-day nothing like all the available labour is wanted.

    The result is unemployment and excessive competition among

    the workers, both of which reduce purchasing power and put

    the whole economic system intolerably out of gear.

    I know Liberal economists maintain that every economy in

    labour is counterbalanced by an increase in demand. But, to

    begin with, I don't believe it, and even if it were true, the

    above-mentioned factors would always operate to force the

    standard of living of a large portion of the human race doom to

    an unnaturally low level.

    I also share your conviction that steps absolutely must be taken

    54

    to make it possible and necessary for the younger people to take

    part in the productive process. Further, that the older people

    ought to be excluded from certain sorts of work (which I call

    "unqualified" work), receiving instead a certain income, as having

    by that time done enough work of a kind accepted by society as

    productive.

    I too am in favour of abolishing large cities, but not of settling

    people of a particular type--e.g., old people--in particular

    towns. Frankly, the idea strikes me as horrible. I am also of

    opinion that fluctuations in the value of money must be avoided,

    by substituting for the gold standard a standard based on certain

    classes of goods selected according to the conditions of

    consumption--as Keynes, if I am not mistaken, long ago

    proposed. With the introduction of this system one might

    consent to a certain amount of "inflation," as compared with the

    present monetary situation, if one could believe that the State

    would really make a rational use of the windfall thus accruing to

    it.

    The weaknesses of your plan lie, so it seems to me, in the sphere

    of psychology, or rather, in your neglect of it. It is no accident

    that capitalism has brought with it progress not merely in

    production but also in knowledge. Egoism and competition are,

    alas, stronger forces than public spirit and sense of duty. In

    Russia, they say, it is impossible to get a decent piece of

    bread.…Perhaps I am over-pessimistic concerning State

    and other forms of communal enterprise, but I expect little good

    from them. Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work. I have

    seen and experienced too many dreadful warnings, even in

    comparatively model Switzerland.

    I am inclined to the view that the State can only be of real use to

    industry as a limiting and regulative force. It must see to it that

    competition among the workers is kept within healthy limits, that

    all children are given a chance to develop soundly, and that

    wages are high enough for the goods produced to be consumed.

    But it can exert a decisive influence through its regulative function

    if--and there again you are right--its measures are framed in an

    objective spirit by independent experts.

    I would like to write to you at greater length, but cannot find the

    time.

    55

    Minorities

    It seems to be a universal fact that minorities--especially when the individuals

    composing them are distinguished by physical peculiarities--are treated by the

    majorities among whom they live as an inferior order of beings. The tragedy of

    such a fate lies not merely in the unfair treatment to which these minorities are

    automatically subjected in social and economic matters, but also in the fact

    that under the suggestive influence of the majority most of the victims

    themselves succumb to the same prejudice and regard their brethren as

    inferior beings. This second and greater part of the evil can be overcome by

    closer combination and by deliberate education of the minority, whose

    spiritual liberation can thus be accomplished.

    The efforts of the American negroes in this direction are deserving of all

    commendation and assistance.

    Observations on the Present Situation in Europe

    The distinguishing feature of the present political situation of the world, and in

    particular of Europe, seems to me to be this, that political. development has

    failed, both materially and intellectually, to keep pace with economic

    necessity, which has changed its character in a comparatively short time. The

    interests of each country must be subordinated to the interests of the wider

    community. The struggle for this new orientation of political thought and

    feeling is a severe one, because it has the tradition of centuries against it. But

    the survival of Europe depends on its successful issue. It is my firm conviction

    that once the psychological impediments are overcome the solution of the real

    problems will not be such a terribly difficult matter. In order to create the right

    atmosphere, the most essential thing is personal co-operation between men of

    like mind. May our united efforts succeed in building a bridge of mutual trust

    between the nations!

    The Heirs of the Ages

    Previous generations were able to look upon intellectual and cultural progress

    as simply the inherited fruits of their forebears' labours, which made life easier

    and more beautiful for them. But the calamities of our times show us that this

    was a fatal illusion.

    We see now that the greatest efforts are needed if this legacy of humanity's is

    to prove a blessing and not a curse. For whereas formerly it was enough for a

    56

    man to have freed himself to some extent from personal egotism to make him

    a valuable member of society, to-day he must also be required to overcome

    national and class egotism. Only if he reaches those heights can he contribute

    towards improving the lot of humanity.

    As regards this most important need of the age the inhabitants of a small State

    are better placed than those of a great Power, since the latter are exposed,

    both in politics and economics, to the temptation to gain their ends by brute

    force. The agreement between Holland and Belgium, which is the only bright

    spot in European affairs during the last few years, encourages one to hope

    that the small nations will play a leading part in the attempt to liberate the

    world from the degrading yoke of militarism through the renunciation of the

    individual country's unlimited right of self-determination.

    III

    Germany 1933

    Manifesto

    As long as I have any choice, I will only stay in a country where political

    liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule.

    Political liberty implies liberty to express one's political views orally and in

    writing, toleration, respect for any and every individual opinion.

    These conditions do not obtain in Germany at the present time. Those who

    have done most for the cause of international understanding, among them

    some of the leading artists, are being persecuted there.

    Any social organism can become psychically distempered just as any

    individual can, especially in times of difficulty. Nations usually survive these

    distempers. I hope that healthy conditions will soon supervene in Germany,

    and that in future her great men like Kant and Goethe will not merely be

    commemorated from time to time, but that the principles which they inculcated

    will also prevail in public life and in the general consciousness.

    March, 1933.

    Correspondence with the Prussian Academy of Sciences

    The following correspondence is here published for the first time in its

    authentic and complete form. The version published in German

    newspapers was for the most part incorrect, important sentences being

    57

    omitted.

    The Academy's declaration of April I, 1933, against Einstein.

    The Prussian Academy of Sciences heard with indignation from the

    newspapers of Albert Einstein's participation in atrocity-mongering in France

    and America. It immediately demanded an explanation. In the meantime

    Einstein has announced his withdrawal from the Academy, giving as his reason

    that he cannot continue to serve the Prussian State under its present

    Government. Being a Swiss citizen, he also, it seems, intends to resign the

    Prussian nationality which he acquired in 1913 simply by becoming a full

    member of the Academy.

    The Prussian Academy of Sciences is particularly distressed by Einstein's

    activities as an agitator in foreign countries, as it and its members have always

    felt themselves bound by the closest ties to the Prussian State and, while

    abstaining strictly from all political partisanship, have alwa58 stressed and

    remained faithful to the national idea. It has, therefore, no reason to regret

    Einstein's withdrawal.

    Prof. Dr. Ernst Heymann,

    Perpetual Secretary.

    Le Coq, near Ostende, April 5, 1933

    To the Prussian Academy of Sciences,

    I have received information from a thoroughly reliable source

    that the Academy of Sciences has spoken in an official statement

    of "Einstein's participation in atrocity-mongering in America and

    France."

    I hereby declare that I have never taken any part in

    atrocity-mongering, and I must add that I have seen nothing of

    any such mongering anywhere. In general people have contented

    themselves with reproducing and commenting on the official

    statements and orders of responsible members of the German

    Government, together with the programme for the annihilation of

    the German Jews by economic methods.

    The statements I have issued to the Press were concerned with

    my intention to resign my position in the Academy and renounce

    my Prussian citizenship; I gave as my reason for these steps that

    I did not wish to live in a country where the individual does not

    58

    enjoy equality before the law and freedom to say and teach what

    he likes.

    Further, I described the present state of affairs in Germany as a

    state of psychic distemper in the masses and also made some

    remarks about its causes.

    In a written document which I allowed the International League

    for combating Anti-Semitism to make use of for the purpose of

    enlisting support, and which was not intended for the Press at all,

    I also called upon all sensible people, who are still faithful to the

    ideals of a civilization in peril, to do their utmost to prevent this

    mass-psychosis, which is exhibiting itself in such terrible

    symptoms in Germany to-day, from spreading further.

    It would have been an easy matter for the Academy to get hold

    of a correct version of my words before issuing the sort of

    statement about me that it has. The German Press has

    reproduced a deliberately distorted version of my words, as

    indeed was only to be expected with the Press muzzled as it is

    to-day.

    I am ready to stand by every word I have published. In return, I

    expect the Academy to communicate this statement of mine to

    its members and also to the German public before which I have

    been slandered, especially as it has itself had a hand in slandering

    me before that public.

    The Academy's Answer of April 11, 1933

    The Academy would like to point out that its statement of April

    1, 1933. was based not merely on German but principally on

    foreign, particularly French and Belgian, newspaper reports

    which Herr Einstein has not contradicted; in addition, it had

    before it his much-canvassed statement to the League for

    combating anti-Semitism, in which he deplores Germany's

    relapse into the barbarism of long-passed ages. Moreover, the

    Academy has reason to know that Herr Einstein, who according

    to his own statement has taken no part in atrocitymongering, has

    at least done nothing to counteract unjust suspicions and

    slanders, which, in the opinion of the Academy, it was his duty

    as one of its senior members to do. Instead of that Herr Einstein

    has made statements, and in foreign countries at that, such as,

    59

    coming from a man of world-wide reputation, were bound to be

    exploited and abused by the enemies not merely of the present

    German Government but of the whole German people.

    For the Prussian Academy of Sciences,

    (Signed) H. von Ficker,

    E. Heymann,

    Perpetual Secretaries.

    Berlin, April 7, 1933

    The Prussian Academy of Sciences.

    Professor Albert Einstein, Leyden,

    c/o Prof. Ehrenfest, Witte Rosenstr.

    Dear Sir,

    As the present Principal Secretary of the Prussian Academy I

    beg to acknowledge the receipt of your communication dated

    March 28 announcing your resignation of your membership of

    the Academy. The Academy took cognizance of your

    resignation in its plenary session of March 30, 1933.

    While the Academy profoundly regrets the turn events have

    taken, this regret is inspired by the thought that a man of the

    highest scientific authority, whom many years of work among

    Germans and many years of membership of our society must

    have made familiar with the German character and German

    habits of thought, should have chosen this moment to associate

    himself with a body of people abroad who--partly no doubt

    through ignorance of actual conditions and events--have done

    much damage to our German people by disseminating erroneous

    views and unfounded rumours. We had confidently expected

    that one who had belonged to our Academy for so long would

    have ranged himself, irrespective of his own political sympathies,

    on the side of the defenders of our nation against the flood of lies

    which has been let loose upon it. In these days of mud-slinging,

    some of it vile, some of it ridiculous, a good word for the

    German people from you in particular might have produced a

    great effect, especially abroad. Instead of which your testimony

    has served as a handle to the enemies not merely of the present

    Government but of the German people. This has come as a

    bitter and grievous disappointment to us, which would no doubt

    have led inevitably to a parting of the ways even if we had not

    60

    received your resignation.

    Yours faithfully,

    (signed) von Ficker.

    Le Coq-sur-Mer, Belgium, April 12, 1933

    To the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin.

    I have received your communication of the seventh instant and

    deeply deplore the mental attitude displayed in it.

    As regards the fact, I can only reply as follows: What you say

    about my behaviour is, at bottom, merely another form of the

    statement you have already published, in which you accuse me

    of having taken part in atrocity-mongering against the German

    nation. I have already, in my last letter, characterized this

    accusation as slanderous.

    You have also remarked that a "good word" on my part for "the

    German people" would have produced a great effect abroad. To

    this I must reply that such a testimony as you suggest would have

    been equivalent to a repudiation of all those notions of justice

    and liberty for which I have all my life stood. Such a testimony

    would not be, as you put it, a good word for the German nation;

    on the contrary, it would only have helped the cause of those

    who are seeking to undermine the ideas and principles which

    have won for the German nation a place of honour in the

    civilized world. By giving such a testimony in the present

    circumstances I should have been contributing, even if only

    indirectly, to the barbarization of manners and the destruction of

    all existing cultural values.

    It was for this reason that I felt compelled to resign from the

    Academy, and your letter only shows me how right I was to do

    so.

    Munich, Aril 8, 1933

    From the Bavarian Academy of Sciences to Professor Albert Einstein.

    Sir,

    61

    In your letter to the Prussian Academy of Sciences you have

    given the present state of affairs in Germany as the reason for

    your resignation. The Bavarian Academy of Sciences, which

    some years ago elected you a corresponding member, is also a

    German Academy, closely allied to the Prussian and other

    German Academies; hence your withdrawal from the Prussian

    Acadeiny of Sciences is bound to affect your relations with our

    Academy.

    We must therefore ask you how you envisage your relations with

    our Academy after what has passed between yourself and the

    Prussian Academy.

    The President of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.

    Le Coq-sur-Mer, April 21, 1933

    To the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich.

    I have given it as the reason for my resignation from the Prussian

    Academy that in the present circumstances I have no wish either

    to be a German citizen or to remain in a position of

    quasi-dependence on the Prussian Ministry of Education.

    These reasons would not, in themselves, involve the severing of

    my relations with the Bavarian Academy. If I nevertheless desire

    my name to be removed from the list of members, it is for a

    different reason.

    The primary duty of an Academy is to encourage and protect

    the scientific life of a country. The learned societies of Germany

    have, however--to the best of knowledge--stood by and said

    nothing while a not inconsiderable proportion of German savants

    and students, and also of professional men of university

    education, have been deprived of all chance of getting

    employment or earning their livings in Germany. I would rather

    not belong to any society which behaves in such a manner, even

    if it does so under external pressure.

    A Reply

    The following lines are Einstein's answer to an invitation to associate

    himself with a French manifesto against Anti-Semitism in Germany.

    62

    I have considered this most important proposal, which has a bearing on

    several things that I have nearly at heart, carefully from every angle. As a

    result I have come to the conclusion that I cannot take a personal part in this

    extremely important affair, for two reasons:--

    In the first place I am, after all, still a German citizen, and in the second I am a

    Jew. As regards the first point I must add that I have worked in German

    institutions and have always been treated with full confidence in Germany.

    However deeply I may regret the things that are being done there, however

    strongly I am bound to condemn the terrible mistakes that are being made

    with the approval of the Government; it is impossible for me to take part

    personally in an enterprise set on foot by responsible members of a foreign

    Government. In order that you may appreciate this fully, suppose that a

    French citizen in a more or less analogous situation had got up a protest

    against the French Government's action in conjunction with prominent German

    statesmen. Even if you fully admitted that the protest was amply warranted by

    the facts, you would still, I expect, regard the behaviour of your fellow-citizen

    as an act of treachery. If Zola had felt it necessary to leave France at the time

    of the Dreyfus case, he would still certainly not have associated himself with a

    protest by German official personages, however much he might have

    approved of their action. He would have confined himself to--blushing for his

    countrymen. In the second place, a protest against injustice and violence is

    incomparably more valuable if it comes entirely from people who have been

    prompted to it purely by sentiments of humanity and a love of Pew This

    cannot be said of a man like me, a few who regards other Jews as his

    brothers. For him, an injustice done to the Jews is the same as an injustice

    done to himself. He must not be the judge in his own case, but wait for the

    judgment of impartial outsiders.

    These are my reasons. But I should like to add that I have always honoured

    and admired that highly developed sense of justice which is one of the noblest

    features of the French tradition.

    IV

    The Jews

    Jewish Ideals

    The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice,

    and the desire for personal independence--these are the features of the Jewish

    tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it.

    63

    Those who are raging to-day against the ideals of reason and individual liberty

    and are trying to establish a spiritless State-slavery by brute force rightly see

    in us their irreconcilable foes. History has given us a difficult row to hoe; but

    so long as we remain devoted servants of truth, justice, and liberty, we shall

    continue not merely to survive as the oldest of living peoples, but by creative

    work to bring forth fruits which contribute to the ennoblement of the human

    race, as heretofore.

    Is there a Jewish Point of View?

    In the philosophical sense there is, in my opinion, no specifically Jewish

    outlook. Judaism seems to me to be concerned almost exclusively with the

    moral attitude in life and to life. I look upon it as the essence of an attitude to

    life which is incarnate in the Jewish people rather than the essence of the laws

    laid down in the Thora and interpreted in the Talmud. To me, the Thora and

    the Talmud are merely the most important evidence for the manner in which

    the Jewish conception of life held sway in earlier times.

    The essence of that conception seems to me to lie in an affirmative attitude to

    the life of all creation. The life of the individual has meaning only in so far as it

    aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful. Life is

    sacred--that is to say, it is the supreme value, to which all other values are

    subordinate. The hallowing of the supra-individual life brings in its train a

    reverence for everything spiritual--a particularly characteristic feature of the

    Jewish tradition.

    Judaism is not a creed: the Jewish God is simply a negation of superstition, an

    imaginary result of its elimination. It is also an attempt to base the moral law

    on fear, a regrettable and discreditable attempt. Yet it seems to me that the

    strong moral tradition of the Jewish nation has to a large extent shaken itself

    free from this fear. It is clear also that "serving God" was equated with

    "serving the living." The best of the Jewish people, especially the Prophets and

    Jesus, contended tirelessly for this.

    Judaism is thus no transcendental religion; it is concerned with life as we live it

    and can up to a point grasp it, and nothing else. It seems to me, therefore,

    doubtful whether it can be called a religion in the accepted sense of the word,

    particularly as no "faith" but the sanctification of life in a supra-personal sense

    is demanded of the Jew.

    But the Jewish tradition also contains something else, something which finds

    splendid expression in many of the Psalms--namely, a sort of intoxicated joy

    64

    and amazement at the beauty and grandeur of this world, of which, man can

    just form a faint notion. It is the feeling from which true scientific research

    draws its spiritual sustenance, but which also seems to find expression in the

    song of birds. To tack this on to the idea of God seems mere childish

    absurdity.

    Is what I have described a distinguishing mark of Judaism? Is it to be found

    anywhere else under another name? In its pure form, nowhere, not even in

    Judaism, where the pure doctrine is obscured by much worship of the letter.

    Yet Judaism seems to me one of its purest and most vigorous manifestations.

    This applies particularly to the fundamental principle of the sanctification of

    life.

    It is characteristic that the animals were expressly included in the command to

    keep holy the Sabbath day, so strong was the feeling that the ideal demands

    the solidarity of all living things. The insistence on the solidarity of all human

    beings finds still stronger expression, apd it is no mere chance that the

    demands of Socialism were for the most part first raised by Jews.

    How strongly developed this sense of the sanctity of life is in the Jewish

    people is admirably illustrated by a little remark which Walter Rathenau once

    made to me in conversation: "When a Jew says that he's going hunting to

    amuse himself, he lies." The Jewish sense of the sanctity of life could not be

    more simply expressed.

    Jewish Youth

    An Answer to a Questionnaire

    It is important that the young should be induced to take an interest in Jewish

    questions and difficulties, and you deserve gratitude for devoting yourself to

    this task in your paper. This is of moment not merely for the destiny of the

    Jews, whose welfare depends on their sticking together and helping each

    other, but, over and above that, for the cultivation of the international spirit,

    which is in danger everywhere to-day from a narrow-minded nationalism.

    Here, since the days of the Prophets, one of the fairest fields of activity has

    lain open to our nation, scattered as it is over the earth and united only by a

    common tradition.

    Addresses on Reconstruction in Palestine

    I

    65

    Ten years ago, when I first had the pleasure of addressing you on behalf of

    the Zionist cause, almost all our hopes were still fixed on the future. To-day

    we can look back on these ten years with joy; for in that time the united

    energies of the Jewish people have accomplished a splendid piece of

    successful constructive work in Palestine, which certainly exceeds anything

    that we dared to hope then.

    We have also successfully stood the severe test to which the events of the last

    few years have subjected us. Ceaseless work, supported by a noble purpose,

    is leading slowly but surely to success. The latest pronouncements of the

    British Government indicate a return to a juster judgment of our case; this we

    recognize with gratitude.

    But we must never forget what this crisis has taught us--namely, that the

    establishment of satisfactory relations between the Jews and the Arabs is not

    England's affair but ours. We--that is to say, the Arabs and ourselves--have

    got to agree on the main outlines of an advantageous partnership which shall

    satisfy the needs of both nations. A just solution of this problem and one

    worthy of both nations is an end no less important and no less worthy of our

    efforts than the promotion of the work of construction itself. Remember that

    Switzerland represents a higher stage of political development than any

    national state, precisely because of the greater political problems which had to

    be solved before a stable community could be built up out of groups of

    different nationality.

    Much remains to be done, but one at least of Herzl's aims has already been

    realized: its task in Palestine has given the Jewish people an astonishing degree

    of solidarity and the optimism without which no organism can lead a healthy

    life.

    Anything we may do for the common purpose is done not merely for our

    brothers in Palestine, but for the well-being and honour of the whole Jewish

    people.

    II

    We are assembled to-day for the purpose of calling to mind our age-old

    community, its destiny, and its problems. It is a community of moral tradition,

    which has always shown its strength and vitality in times of stress. In all ages it

    has produced men who embodied the conscience of the Western world,

    defenders of human dignity and justice.

    So long as we ourselves care about this community it will continue to exist to

    66

    the benefit of mankind, in spite of the fact that it possesses no self-contained

    organization. A decade or two ago a group of far-sighted men, among whom

    Herzl of immortal memory stood out above the rest, came to the conclusion

    that we needed a spiritual centre in crder to preserve our sense of solidarity in

    difficult times. Thus arose the idea of Zionism and the work of settlement in

    Palestine, the successful realization of which we have been permitted to

    witness, at least in its highly promising beginnings.

    I have had the privilege of seeing, to my great joy and satisfaction, how much

    this achievement has contributed to the recovery of the Jewish people, which

    is exposed, as a minority among the nations, not merely to external dangers,

    but also to internal ones of a psychological nature.

    The crisis which the work of construction has had to face in the last few years

    has lain heavy upon us and is not yet completely surmounted. But the most

    recent reports show that the world, and especially the British Government, is

    disposed to recognize the great things which lie behind our struggle for the

    Zionist ideal. Let us at this moment remember with gratitude our leader

    Weizmann, whose zeal and circumspection have helped the good cause to

    success.

    The difficulties we have been through have also brought some good in their

    train. They have shown us once more how strong the bond is which unites the

    Jews of all countries in a common destiny. The crisis has also purified our

    attitude to the question of Palestine, purged it of the dross of nationalism. It

    has been clearly proclaimed that we are not seeking to create a political

    society, but that our aim is, in accordance with the old tradition of Jewry, a

    cultural one in the widest sense of the word. That being so, it is for us to solve

    the problem of living side by side with our brother the Arab in an open,

    generous, and worthy manner. We have here an opportunity of showing what

    we have learnt in the thousands of years of our martyrdom. If we choose the

    right path we shall succeed and give the rest of the world a fine example.

    Whatever we do for Palestine we do it for the honour and well-being of the

    whole Jewish people.

    III

    I am delighted to have the opportunity of addressing a few words to the youth

    of this country which is faithful to the common aims of Jewry. Do not be

    discouraged by the difficulties which confront us in Palestine. Such things

    serve to test the will to live of our community.

    67

    Certain proceedings and pronouncements of the English administration have

    been justly criticized. We must not, however, leave it at that but learn by

    experience.

    We need to pay great attention to our relations with the Arabs. By cultivating

    these carefully we shall be able in future to prevent things from becoming so

    dangerously strained that people can take advantage of them to provoke acts

    of hostility. This goal is perfectly within our reach, because our work of

    construction has been, and must continue to be, carried out in such a manner

    as to serve the real interests of the Arab population also.

    In this way we shall be able to avoid getting ourselves quite so often into the

    position, disagreeable for Jews and Arabs alike, of having to call in the

    mandatory Power as arbitrator. We shall thereby be following not merely the

    dictates of Providence but also our traditions, which alone give the Jewish

    community meaning and stability.

    For that community is not, and must never become, a political one; this is the

    only permanent source whence it can draw new strength and the only ground

    on which its existence can be justified.

    IV

    For the last two thousand years the common property of the Jewish people

    has consisted entirely of its past. Scattered over the wide world, our nation

    possessed nothing in common except its carefully guarded tradition. Individual

    Jews no doubt produced great work, but it seemed as if the Jewish people as

    a whole had not the strength left for great collective achievements.

    Now all that is changed. History has set us a great and noble task in the shape

    of active cooperation in the building up of Palestine. Eminent members of our

    race are already at work with all their might on the realization of this aim. The

    opportunity is presented to us of setting up centres of civilization which the

    whole Jewish people can regard as its work. We nurse the hope of erecting in

    Palestine a home of our own national culture which shall help to awaken the

    near East to new economic and spiritual life.

    The object which the leaders of Zionism have in view is not a political but a

    social and cultural one. The community in Palestine must approach the social

    ideal of our forefathers as it is laid down in the Bible, and at the same time

    become a seat of modern intellectual life, a spiritual centre for the Jews of the

    whole world. In accordance with this notion, the establishment of a Jewish

    university in Jerusalem constitutes one of the most important aims of the

    68

    Zionist organization.

    During the last few months I have been to America in order to help to raise

    the material basis for this university there. The success of this enterprise was

    quite natural. Thanks to the untiring energy and splendid self-sacrificing spirit

    of the Jewish doctors in America, we have succeeded in collecting enough

    money for the creation of a medical faculty, and the preliminary work isbeing

    started at once. After this success I have no doubt that the material basis for

    the other faculties will soon be forthcoming. The medical faculty is first of all to

    be developed as a research institute and to concentrate on making the country

    healthy, a most important item in the work of development. Teaching on a

    large scale will only become important later on. As a number of highly

    competent scientific workers have already signified their readiness to take up

    appointments at the university, the establishment of a medical faculty seems to

    be placed beyond all doubt. I may add that a special fund for the university,

    entirely distinct from the general fund for the development of the country, has

    been opened. For the latter considerable sums have been collected during

    these months in America, thanks to the indefatigable labours of Professor

    Weizmann and other Zionist leaders, chiefly through the self-sacrificing spirit

    of the middle classes. I conclude with a warm appeal to the Jews in Germany

    to contribute all they can, in spite of the present economic difficulties, for the

    building up of the Jewish home in Palestine. This is not a matter of charity, but

    an enterprise which concerns all Jews and the success of which promises to

    be a source of the highest satisfaction to all.

    V

    For us Jews Palestine is not just a charitable or colonial enterprise, but a

    problem of central importance for the Jewish people. Palestine is not primarily

    a place of refuge for the Jews of Eastern Europe, but the embodiment of the

    re-awakening corporate spirit of the whole Jewish nation. Is it the right

    moment for this corporate sense to be awakened and strengthened? This is a

    question to which I feel compelled, not merely by my spontaneous feelings but

    on rational grounds, to return an unqualified "yes."

    Let us just cast our eyes over the history of the Jews in Germany during the

    past hundred years. A century ago our forefathers, with few exceptions, lived

    in the ghetto. They were poor, without political rights, separated from the

    Gentiles by a barrier of religious traditions, habits of life, and legal restrictions;

    their intellectual development was restricted to their own literature, and they

    had remained almost unaffected by the mighty advance of the European

    intellect which dates from the Renaissance. And yet these obscure, humble

    people had one great advantage over us each of them belonged in every fibre

    69

    of his being to a community m which he was completely absorbed, in which

    he felt himself a fully pnvileged member, and which demanded nothing of him

    that was contrary to his natural habits of thought. Our forefathers in those

    days were pretty poor specimens intellectually and physically, but socially

    speaking they enjoyed an enviable spiritual equilibrium.

    Then came emancipation, which suddenly opened up undreamed-of

    possibilities to the individual. Some few rapidly made a position for

    themselves in the higher walks of business and social life. They greedily

    lapped up the splendid triumphs which the art and science of the Western

    world had achieved. They joined in the process with burning enthusiasm,

    themselves making contributions of lasting value. At the same time they

    imitated the external forms of Gentile life, departed more and more from their

    religious and social traditions, and adopted Gentile customs, manners, and

    habits of thought. It seemed as though they were completely losing their

    identity in the superior numbers and more highly organized culture of the

    nations among whom they lived, so that in a few generations there would be

    no trace of them left. A complete disappearance of Jewish nationality in

    Central and Western Europe seemed inevitable.

    But events turned out otherwise. Nationalities of different race seem to have

    an instinct which prevents them from fusing. However much the Jews adapted

    themselves, in language, manners, and to a great extent even in the forms of

    religion, to the European peoples among whom they lived, the feeling of

    strangeness between the Jews and their hosts never disappeared. This

    spontaneous feeling is the ultimate cause of anti-Semitism, which is therefore

    not to be got rid of by well-meaning propaganda. Nationalities want to pursue

    their own path, not to blend. A satisfactory state of affairs can be brought

    about only by mutual toleration and respect.

    The first step in that direction is that we Jews should once more become

    conscious of our existence as a nationality and regain the self-respect that is

    necessary to a healthy existence. We must learn once more to glory in our

    ancestors and our history and once again take upon ourselves, as a nation,

    cultural tasks of a sort calculated to strengthen our sense of the community. It

    is not enough for us to play a part as individuals in the cultural development of

    the human race, we must also tackle tasks which only nations as a whole can

    perform. Only so can the Jews regain social health.

    It is from this point of view that I would have you look at the Zionist

    movement. To-day history has assigned to us the task of taking an active part

    in the economic and cultural reconstruction of our native land. Enthusiasts,

    men of brilliant gifts, have cleared the way, and many excellent members of

    70

    our race are prepared to devote themselves heart and soul to the cause. May

    every one of them fully realize the importance of this work and contribute,

    according to his powers, to its success!

    The Jewish Community

    A speech in London

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    It is no easy matter for me to overcome my natural inclination to a life of quiet

    contemplation. But I could not remain deaf to the appeal of the O.R.T. and

    O.Z.E. societies*; for in responding to it I am responding, as it were, to the

    appeal of our sorely oppressed Jewish nation.

    The position of our scattered Jewish community is a moral barometer for the

    political world. For what surer index of political morality and respect for

    justice can there be than the attitude of the nations towards a defenceless

    minority, whose peculiarity lies in their preservation of an ancient cultural

    tradition?

    *Jewish charitable associations.

    This barometer is low at the present moment, as we are painfully aware from

    the way we are treated. But it is this very lowness that confirms me in the

    conviction that it is our duty to preserve and consolidate our community.

    Embedded in the tradition of the Jewish people there is a love of justice and

    reason which must continue to work for the good of all nations now and in the

    future. In modern times this tradition has produced Spinoza and Karl Marx.

    Those who would preserve the spirit must also look after the body to which it

    is attached. The O.Z.E. society literally looks after the bodies of our people.

    In Eastern Europe it is working day and night to help our people there, on

    whom the economic depression has fallen particularly heavily, to keep body

    and soul together; while the O.R.T. society is trying to get rid of a severe

    social and economic handicap under which the Jews have laboured since the

    Middle Ages. Because we were then excluded from all directly productive

    occupations, we were forced into the purely commercial ones. The only way

    of really helping the Jew in Eastern countries is to give him access to new

    fields of activity, for which he is struggling all over the world. This is the grave

    problem which the O.R.T. society is successfully tackling.

    It is to you English fellow-Jews that we now appeal to help us in this great

    71

    enterprise which splendid men have set on foot. The last few years, nay, the

    last few days, have brought us a disappointment which must have touched you

    in particular nearly. Do not gird at fate, but rather look on these events as a

    reason for remaining true to the cause of the Jewish commonwealth. I am

    convinced that in doing that we shall also indirectly be promoting those

    general human ends which we must always recognize as the highest.

    Remember that difficulties and obstacles are a valuable source of health and

    strength to any society. We should not have survived for thousands of years

    as a community if our bed had been of roses; of that I am quite sure.

    But we have a still fairer consolation. Our friends are not exactly numerous,

    but among them are men of noble spirit and strong sense of justice, who have

    devoted their lives to uplifting human society and liberating the individual from

    degrading oppression.

    We are happy and fortunate to have such men from the Gentile world among

    us to-night; their presence lends an added solemnity to this memorable

    evening. It gives me great pleasure to see before me Bernard Shaw and H. G.

    Wells, to whose view of life I am particularly attracted.

    You, Mr. Shaw, have succeeded in winning the affection and joyous

    admiration of the world while pursuing a path that has led many others to a

    martyr's crown. You have not merely preached moral sermons to your

    fellows; you have actually mocked at things which many of them held sacred.

    You have done what only the born artist can do. From your magic box you

    have produced innumerable little figures which, while resembling human

    beings, are compact not of flesh and blood, but of brains, wit, and charm.

    And yet in a way they are more human than we are ourselves, and one almost

    forgets that they are creations not of Nature, but of Bernard Shaw. You make

    these charming little figures dance in a miniature world in front of which the

    Graces stand sentinel and permit no bitterness to enter. He who has looked

    into this little world sees our actual world in a new light; its puppets insinuate

    themselves into real people, making them suddenly look quite different. By

    thus holding the mirror up to us all you have had a liberating effect on us such

    as hardly any other of our contemporaries has done and have relieved life of

    something of its earth-bound heaviness. For this we are all devoutly grateful to

    you, and also to fate, which along with grievous plagues has also given us the

    physician and liberator of our souls. I personally am also grateful to you for

    the unforgettable words which you have addressed to my mythical namesake

    who makes life so difficult for me, although he is really, for all his clumsy,

    formidable size, quite a harmless fellow.

    72

    To you all I say that the existence and destiny of our people depend less on

    external factors than on ourselves remaining faithful to the moral traditions

    which have enabled us to survive for thousands of years despite the heavy

    storms that have broken over our heads. In the service of life sacrifice

    becomes grace.

    Working Palestine

    Among Zionist organizations "Working Palestine" is the one whose work is of

    most direct benefit to the most valuable class of people living there--namely,

    those who are transforming deserts into flourishing settlements by the labour

    of their hands. These workers are a selection, made on a voluntary basis,

    from the whole Jewish nation, an élite composed of strong, confident, and

    unselfish people. They are not ignorant labourers who sell the labour of their

    hands to the highest bidder, but educated, intellectually vigorous, free men,

    from whose peaceful struggle with a neglected soil the whole Jewish nation

    are the gainers, directly and indirectly. By lightening their heavy lot as far as

    we can we shall be saving the most valuable sort of human life; for the first

    settlers' struggle on ground not yet made habitable is a difficult and dangerous

    business involving a heavy personal sacrifice. How true this is, only they can

    judge who have seen it with their own eyes. Anyone who helps to improve the

    equipment of these men is helping on the good work at a crucial point.

    It is, moreover, this working class alone that has it in its power to establish

    healthy relations with the Arabs, which is the most important political task of

    Zionism. Administrations come and go; but it is human relations that finally

    turn the scale in the lives of nations. Therefore to support "Working Palestine"

    is at the same time to promote a humane and worthy policy in Palestine, and

    to oppose an effective resistance to those undercurrents of narrow nationalism

    from which the whole political world, and in a less degree the small political

    world of Palestine affairs, is suffering.

    Jewish Recovery

    I gladly accede to your paper's request that I should address an appeal to the

    Jews of Hungary on behalf of Keren Hajessod.

    The greatest enemies of the national consciousness and honour of the Jews

    are fatty degeneration--by which I mean the unconscionableness which comes

    from wealth and ease--and a kind of inner dependence on the surrounding

    Gentile world which comes from the loosening of the fabric of Jewish society.

    The best in man can flourish only when he loses himself in a community.

    73

    Hence the moral danger of the Jew who has lost touch with his own people

    and is regarded as a foreigner by the people of his adoption. Only too often a

    contemptible and joyless egoism has resulted from such circumstances. The

    weight of outward oppression on the Jewish people is particularly heavy at the

    moment. But this very bitterness has done us good. A revival of Jewish

    national life, such as the last generation could never have dreamed of, has

    begun. Through the operation of a newly awakened sense of solidarity among

    the Jews, the scheme of colonizing Palestine launched by a handful of devoted

    and judicious leaders in the face of apparently insuperable difficulties, has

    already prospered so far that I feel no doubt about its permanent success.

    The value of this achievement for the Jews everywhere is very great. Palestine

    will be a centre of culture for all Jews, a refuge for the most grievously

    oppressed, a field of action for the best among us, a unifying ideal, and a

    means of attaining inward health for the Jews of the whole world.

    Anti-Semitism and Academic Youth

    So long as we lived in the ghetto our Jewish nationality involved for us

    material difficulties and sometimes physical danger, but no social or

    psychological problems. With emancipation the position changed, particularly

    for those Jews who turned to the intellectual professions. In school and at the

    university the young Jew is exposed to the influence of a society with a definite

    national tinge, which he respects and admires, from which he receives his

    mental sustenance, to which he feels himself to belong, while it, on the other

    hand, treats him, as one of an alien race, with a certain contempt and hostility.

    Driven by the suggestive influence of this psychological superiority rather than

    by utilitarian considerations, he turns his back on his people and his traditions,

    and considers himself as belonging entirely to the others while he tries in vain

    to conceal from himself and them the fact that the relation is not reciprocal.

    Hence that pathetic creature, the baptized Jewish Geheimrat of yesterday

    and to-day. In most cases it is not pushfulness and lack of character that have

    made him what he is, but, as I have said, the suggestive power of an

    environment superior in numbers and influence. He knows, of course, that

    many admirable sons of the Jewish people have made important contributions

    to the glory of European civilization; but have they not all, with a few

    exceptions, done much the same as he?

    In this case, as in many mental disorders, the cure lies in a clear knowledge of

    one's condition and its causes. We must be conscious of our alien race and

    draw the logical conclusions from it. It is no use trying to convince the others

    of our spiritual and intellectual equality by arguments addressed to the reason,

    when their attitude does not originate in their intellects at all. Rather must we

    emancipate ourselves socially and supply our social needs, in the main,

    74

    ourselves. We must have our own students' societies and adopt an attitude of

    courteous but consistent reserve to the Gentiles. And let us live after our own

    fashion there and not ape duelling and drinking customs which are foreign to

    our nature. It is possible to be a civilized European and a good citizen and at

    the same time a faithful Jew who loves his race and honours his fathers. If we

    remember this and act accordingly, the problem of anti-Semitism, in so far as

    it is of a social nature, is solved for us.

    A Letter to Professor Dr. Hellpach, Minister of State

    Dear Herr Hellpach,

    I have read your article on Zionism and the Zurich Congress and

    feel, as a strong devotee of the Zionist idea, that I must answer

    you, even if it is only shortly.

    The Jews are a community bound together by ties of blood and

    tradition, and not of religion only: the attitude of the rest of the

    world towards them is sufficient proof of this. When I came to

    Germany fifteen years ago I discovered for the first time that I

    was a Jew, and I owe this discovery more to Gentiles than Jews.

    The tragedy of the Jews is that they are people of a definite

    historical type, who lack the support of a community to keep

    them together. The result is a want of solid foundations in the

    individual which amounts in its extremer forms to moral

    instability. I realized that the only possible salvation for the race

    was that every Jew in the world should become attached to a

    living society to which the individual rejoiced to belong and

    which enabled him to bear the hatred and the humiliations that he

    has to put up with from the rest of the world.

    I saw worthy Jews basely caricatured, and the sight made my

    heart bleed. I saw how schools, comic papers, and innumerable

    other forces of the Gentile majority undermined the confidence

    even of the best of my fellow-Jews, and felt that this could not

    be allowed to continue.

    Then I realized that only a common enterprise dear to the hearts

    of Jews all over the world could restore this people to health. It

    was a great achievement of Herzl's to have realized and

    proclaimed at the top of his voice that, the traditional attitude of

    the Jews being what it was, the establishment of a national home

    75

    or, more accurately, a centre in Palestine, was a suitable object

    on which to concentrate our efforts.

    All this you call nationalism, and there is something in the

    accusation. But a communal purpose, without which we can

    neither live nor die in this hostile world, can always be called by

    that ugly name. In any case it is a nationalism whose aim is not

    power but dignity and health. If we did not have to live among

    intolerant, narrow-minded, and violent people, I should be the

    first to throw over all nationalism in favour of universal humanity.

    The objection that we Jews cannot be proper citizens of the

    German State, for example, if we want to be a "nation," is based

    on a misunderstanding of the nature of the State which springs

    from the intolerance of national majorities. Against that

    intolerance we shall never be safe, whether we call ourselves a

    "people" (or "nation") or not.

    I have put all this with brutal frankness for the sake of brevity,

    but I know from your writings that you are a man who attends to

    the sense, not the form.

    Letter to an Arab

    March 15, 1930

    Sir,

    Your letter has given me great pleasure. It shows me that there is good will

    available on your side too for solving the present difficulties in a manner

    worthy of both our nations. I believe that these difficulties are more

    psychological than real, and that they can be got over if both sides bring

    honesty and good will to the task.

    What makes the present position so bad is the fact that Jews and Arabs

    confront each other as opponents before the mandatory power. This state of

    affairs is unworthy of both nations and can only be altered by our finding a via

    media on which both sides agree.

    I will now tell you how I think that the present difficulties might be remedied;

    at the same time I must add that this is only my personal opinion, which I have

    discussed with nobody. I am writing this letter in German because I am not

    capable of writing it in English myself and because I want myself to bear the

    76

    entire responsibility for it. You will, I am sure, be able to get some Jewish

    friend of conciliation to translate it.

    A Privy Council is to be formed to which the Jews and Arabs shall each send

    four representatives, who must be independent of all political parties.

    Each group to be composed as follows:--

    A doctor, elected by the Medical Association;

    A lawyer, elected by the lawyers;

    A working men's representative, elected by the trade unions;

    An ecclesiastic, elected by the ecclesiastics.

    These eight people are to meet once a week. They undertake not to espouse

    the sectional interests of their profession or nation but conscientiously and to

    the best of their power to aim at the welfare of the whole population of the

    country. Their deliberations shall be secret and they are strictly forbidden to

    give any information about them, even in private. When a decision has been

    reached on any subject in which not less than three members on each side

    concur, it may be published, but only in the name of the whole Council. If a

    member dissents he may retire from the Council, but he is not thereby

    released from the obligation to secrecy. If one of the elective bodies above

    specified is dissatisfied with a resolution of the Council, it may repiace its

    representative by another.

    Even if this "Privy Council" has no definite powers it may nevertheless bring

    about the gradual composition of differences, and secure as united

    representation of the common interests of the country before the mandatory

    power, clear of the dust of ephemeral politics.

    Christianity and Judaism

    If one purges the Judaism of the Prophets and Christianity as Jesus Christ

    taught it of all subsequent additions, especially those of the priests, one is left

    with a teaching which is capable of curing all the social ills of humanity.

    It is the duty of every man of good will to strive steadfastly in his own little

    world to make this teaching of pure humanity a living force, so far as he can. If

    he makes an honest attempt in this direction without being crushed and

    trampled under foot by his contemporaries, he may consider himself and the

    community to which he belongs lucky.

    --end



  • 发表时间:

    我们这些总有一死的人的命运是多么奇特呀!我们每个人在这个世界上都只作一个短暂的逗留;目的何在,却无所知,尽管有时自以为对此若有所感。但是,不必深思,只要从日常生活就可以明白:人是为别人而生存的——首先是为那样一些人,他们的喜悦和健康关系着我们自己的全部幸福;然后是为许多我们所不认识的人,他们的命运通过同情的纽带同我们密切结合在一起。我每天上百次地提醒自己:我的精神生活和物质生活都依靠别人(包括活着的人和死去的人)的劳动,我必须尽力以同样的分量来报偿我所领受了的和至今还在领受的东西。我强烈地向往着简朴的生活,我认为阶级的区分是不合理的,它最后所凭借的是以暴力为根据。我也相信,简单淳朴的生活,无论在身体上还是在精神上,对每个人都是有益的。

        我完全不相信人类会有那种在哲学意义上的自由。每一个人的行为,不仅受着外界的强迫,而且还要适应内心的必然。叔本华(Schopenhauer)说,“人能够做他想做的,但不能要他所想要的。”这句话从我青年时代起,就对我是一个非常真实的启示;在自己和别人生活面临困难的时候,它总是使我得到安慰,并且永远是宽容的源泉。这种体会可以宽大为怀地减轻那种容易使人气馁的责任感,也可以防止我们过于严肃地对待自己和别人;它还导致一种特别给幽默以应有地位的人生观。

        要追究一个人自己或一切生物生存的意义或目的,从客观的观点看来,我总觉得是愚蠢可笑的。可是每个人都有一定的理想,这种理想决定着他的努力和判断的方向。就在这个意义上,我从来不把安逸和快乐看作是生活目的本身——这种伦理基础,我叫他猪栏的理想。照亮我的道路,并且不断地给我新的勇气去愉快地正视生活的理想,是善、美和真。要是没有志同道合者之间的亲切感情,要不是全神贯注于客观世界——那个在科学与艺术工作领域永远达不到的对象,那么在我看来,生活就会是空虚的。人们所努力追求的庸俗的目标——财产、虚荣、奢侈的生活——我总觉得都是可鄙的。

        我对社会正义和社会责任的强烈感觉,同我显然的对别人和社会直接接触的冷漠,两者总是形成古怪的对照。我实在是一个“孤独的旅客”,我未曾全心全意地属于我的国家、我的家庭、我的朋友,甚至我最接近的亲人;在所有这些关系面前,我总是感觉到有一定距离并且需要保持孤独——而这种感受正与年俱增。人们会清楚地发觉,同别人的相互了解和协调一致是有限度的,但这不足惋惜。这样的人无疑有点失去他的天真无邪和无忧无虑的心境;但另一方面,他却能够在很大程度上不为别人的意见、习惯和判断所左右,并且能够不受诱惑要去把他的内心平衡建立在这样一些不可靠的基础之上。

        我的政治理想是民主主义。让每一个人都作为个人而受到尊重,而不让任何人成为崇拜的偶像。我自己受到了人们过分的赞扬和尊敬,这不是由于我自己的过错,也不是由于我自己的功劳,而实在是一种命运的嘲弄。其原因大概在于人们有一种愿望,想理解我以自己的微薄绵力通过不断的斗争所获得的少数几个观念,而这种愿望有很多人却未能实现。我完全明白,一个组织要实现它的目的,就必须有一个人去思考,去指挥,并且全面担负起责任来。但是被领导的人不应该受到强迫,他们必须有可能来选择自己的领袖。在我看来,强迫的专制制度很快就会腐化堕落。因为暴力所招引来的总是一些品德低劣的人,而且我相信,天才的暴君总是由无赖来继承,这是一条千古不易的规律。就是这个缘故,我总是强烈地反对今天我们在意大利和俄国所见到的那种制度。象欧洲今天所存在的情况,使得民主形式受到了怀疑,这不能归咎于民主原则本身,而是由于政府的不稳定和选举中与个人无关的特征。我相信美国在这方面已经找到了正确的道路。他们选出一个任期足够长的总统,他有充分的权力来真正履行他的职责。另一方面在德国的政治制度中,我所重视的是,它为救济患病或贫困的人作出了比较广泛的规定。在人类生活的壮丽行列中,我觉得真正可贵的,不是政治上的国家,而是有创造性的、有感情的个人,是人格;只有个人才能创造出高尚的和卓越的东西,而群众本身在思想上总是迟钝的,在感觉上也是迟钝的。

        讲到这里,我想起了群众生活中最坏的一种表现,那就是使我所厌恶的军事制度。一个人能够洋洋得意地随着军乐队在四列纵队里行进,单凭这一点就足以使我对他轻视。他所以长了一个大脑,只是出于误会;单单一根脊髓就可以满足他的全部需要了。文明国家的这种罪恶渊薮应当尽快加以消灭。由命令而产生的勇敢行为,毫无意义的暴行,以及在爱国主义名义下一切可恶的胡闹,所有这些都使我深恶痛绝!在我看来,战争是多么卑鄙、下流!我宁愿被千刀万刮,也不愿参与这种可憎的勾当。尽管如此,我对人类的评价还是十分高的,我相信,要是人民的健康感情没有被那些通过学校和报纸而起作用的商业利益和政治利益加以有计划的破坏,那么战争这个妖魔早就该绝迹了。

        我们所能有的最美好的经验是神秘的经验。它是坚守在真正艺术和真正科学发源地上的基本感情。谁要是体验不到它,谁要是不再有好奇心也不再有惊讶的感觉,他就无异于行尸走肉,他的眼睛是迷糊不清的。就是这种神秘的经验——虽然掺杂着恐怖——产生了宗教。我们认识到某种为我们所不能洞察的东西存在,感觉到那种只能以其最原始的形式为我们所感受到的最深奥的理性和最灿烂的美——正是这种认识和这种情感构成了真正的宗教感情;在这个意义上,而且也只是在这个意义上,我才是一个具有深挚宗教感情的人。我无法想象一个会对自己的创造物加以赏罚的上帝,也无法想象它会有象在我们自己身上所体验到的那样一种意志。我自己只求满足于生命永恒的奥秘,满足于觉察现存世界的神奇结构,窥见它的一鳞半爪,并且以诚挚的努力去领悟在自然界中显示出来的那个理性的一部分,即使只是其极小的一部分,我也就心满意足了。


  • 发表时间:

    ZYuCannon:中文及国学对逻辑思维和科学的阻碍

    发表于   辰思

     

    现在死灰复燃吹捧的“国学经典”除了诗歌、部分励志和部分道德的说法有些价值外,很多说法都停留在形象思维而缺乏逻辑性和公平正义等普世价值,是中国不能产生正确思维和科学的首因。爱因斯坦说中国没有发展出科学是没有古希腊式形式逻辑和文艺复兴发展的科学方法。其次,古代中文字体复杂逻辑性差且缺乏符号,也无法进行逻辑运算,因此古代中文象形文字限制了中国古代科学和思维的发展。

    中国古代虽然有局部的成就包括四大发明等技术进步,但是中国并没有出现科学,横向比较就知道,即使中国古代的数学也远没有达到古希腊毕达哥拉斯、阿基米德特别是欧几里德和丢番图的水平。现在吹嘘的所谓中国科技实力基本是技术模仿包括盗窃而没有原创(德国每年都评选一次世界剽窃排名,而中国年年拔得头筹),其道路受到自由民主社会的一致抵制,但厉害国缺乏正确思维认为是发达国家要遏制其强大而不是自己本身的问题,所以做出根本性改变来接受民主自由似乎不大可能。

    中国总体思维受制于国学的专制和像形中文而倾向于形象思维而缺乏逻辑思维,国学和马列这二座独裁专制大山压坏了统治阶级的大脑,加上既得利益难以舍弃,所以短期内中国难以走向民主自由和科学,唯一的希望似乎是用生命科学来改造民族的大脑,才能使中华民族真正焕新

    1 象形中文文字的缺点

    中华文明复兴也是个伪命题,首先是因为中文文字本身存在极大的缺陷。中文每个字基本都是代表一个形象的事物,如马、羊等,这些象形文字很适合于诗歌创作,因为它容易构成完全对称的排比对仗等,所以中国古代从《诗经》到唐诗宋词出现了那么多优美的诗词。汉字的笔画也很有特色,草书可以写出绚丽多彩的舞姿来,就如李白等人赞扬怀素草书所说的,或如龙飞凤舞,或如风疾雷电。

    但是这些都属于形象思维的范畴,与其它的字母文字相比,中文文字笔画太多关联性差,记忆需要占用大量的脑容量,学起来费力耗时。最近的中文国标GB13000规定的近万个汉字,需要4个计算机字节来编码表达,而像英文这种字符文字的编码只需一个字节,这是中文比英文难记的最直接证据。结果可想而知,中文特别是早期的甲骨文、繁体字等象形文字被掌握的效率低,影响到其使用国的整体思维效率,对社会经济和科技发展有严重的拖累作用。

    或者说,中国古代如果改用了字母组合的文字系统,其科技和经济可能会发达的多。后来演变出来的一些字有些有规律性,有些则在词义和读音上没有多少规律性,所以会产生望文生义、念白字的现象,如著名的“鸿鹄之志”里的“鹄”字,一种规范的读法是hú而不是hào;但是,如果开始就定义此组合字的读音为其前部的告(gào),那记忆起来也就容易多了。古代中文要是有规律些,也不至于闹出如很多大学校长念白字的笑话来。上小学时我曾故意读“瞠”成“堂”,老师纠正说该读“chēng”;我问老师“为什么这么读?读‘堂’多容易记啊?”老师就瞪我一眼说“就你事多”。

    对中文文字最大的批评是,它不像字母组合字那样便于联想,这方面有很多的论述。很多学者如鲁迅等都对中文文字的缺陷发表过批评。外国人认为汉字是文字中的珠穆朗玛最难攀登,如密歇根大学汉语中心的大卫.莫索(D.Moser),认为汉语之所以难学出自于如下问题:没有如英文A、B、C等字符文字(词)的简单组合和派生规律,读音和字形没有一定的规律,没法从同源字猜出生字的意思等九条。

    比如“屁股”的屁字,“尸”字头加个“比”,这让老外很挠头,难道中国人认为屁股是死的尸体么?这对屁股也太不尊重了吧!用“尸”来表达身体确实缺乏美感。按莫索引证另外一个汉学家的说法,他们学习一门字符组合为主的语言如西班牙或俄语等只需约不到两年的时间就能熟练读写3000个字,而熟练掌握3000个汉字则需要约七年多的时间。

    汉字很多缺乏逻辑性或有血腥味。据考证“民”字起源于“眼睛被刺瞎的奴隶”,所以“民”今天还是房奴,且“民”没有口所以没有发言权。“取”字来源于剁“民”的耳朵,也很血腥。中文忽视女性直到1925年才有“她”,还有一个不好的现象是很多贬义字与女性有关。这显然是男权社会歧视妇女的结果,而与逻辑似乎没有关联。就拿这个“奸”子来说,它原由三个“女”字组成“姦”,后来简化为“奸”,明显地把与“奸”有关的坏事与女性挂钩。

    但是,从历史的角度来看,男人显然与“奸”有绝对更多的关联,如“奸污”、“奸臣”、“奸商”、“奸雄”、“奸诈”、“奸贼”、“汉奸”、“老奸巨猾”、“强奸民意”等等大都是男性的标签,让女性来背锅不仅不合逻辑且缺乏公正。所以,从统计逻辑来说,这个“奸”字最好改成“男干”,或者改成一个无性别的字。

    总之,科学已经证明文字语言和思维互相影响,象形文字之国形象思维多逻辑思维少。记忆中文占有大量大脑空间,毫无疑问压缩了中国人的逻辑思维空间和能力。

    2 缺失符号拖累了科学逻辑表达

    中文过去连标点符号都没有,容易引起歧义和判断混乱,但其最大的问题是没有可用于命题表达和逻辑运算的符号,这妨碍正确思维且制止不了诡辩、循环论证等危害,也给数学和科学模型的表达与正确的演绎推理带来了很大的障碍。让我们看看丢番图墓碑上的数学题如下:

    “墓中安葬着丢番图,令人惊讶呀,它忠实地记录了所走过的道路
    上帝给予的童年占六分之一
    又过了十二分之一,两颊长了胡须
    再过七分之一,点燃结婚的蜡烛
    五年后天赐贵子
    可怜迟来的宁馨儿,享年仅及其父之半便进入冰冷的墓
    悲伤只有用数论的研究去弥补,又过了四年,他也走完了人生的旅途。”

    要求解丢番图的年龄,如果用中文文字求解,则很累赘;但是如果我们引入数学逻辑符合x来表达未知的丢番图岁数,再引入其它的符号如加“+”、减“-”、除“/”、等于“=”、括弧“()”和隐含的乘“”,则丢番图的岁数求解就可以简单的表达为一个线性等式方程(丢番图的伟大贡献就在于此):x-(1/6)x-(1/12)x-(1/7)x-5-(1/2)x-4=0。经过简单运算即可得出丢番图活了84岁,儿子出生他38,儿子死时他80岁。

    这只是一个bu复杂的列子,如果看看秦九韶的中文数学表达,现代的中国人估计绝大多数都会一头雾水。让我们拿其求三角形面积的试题为例:《数书九章》卷五中第二题,原文如下 : “问有沙田一段有三斜其小斜一十二里中斜一十四里大斜一十五里里法三百步欲知为田几何答曰田积三百一十五顷术曰以少广求之以小斜幂并大斜幂减中斜幂并半之自乘于上以小斜幂乘大斜幂减上以四约之为实以为从偶开平方得积”。这里“答曰”是答案,“术曰”是求解方法。如果用a、b、c和S来分别表达该三角形的短边、中边、长边和面积,则面积可以简单的表达为一个简单的海伦公式(据传古希腊叙拉古国王海伦二世(Heron)发明了该公式有兴趣的读者可以在网上查阅该公式)。

    让我们再来看看中国古代所谓的商高定理(即直角三角形定理)。首次提到这个“定理”的是经典古籍《周髀算经》,就是其中关于勾三股四弦五的叙述。现传的各种版本的《周髀算经》都加有后人的注解,而注解方面以三国时代吴国人赵爽的注解最流行。仔细考察一下周髀算经这部分的原文有助于我们对这个问题的全面了解。

    原文为:“故折矩以为句(勾)广三股修四径隅五既方之外半其一矩环而共盘得成三四五两矩共长二十有五是谓积矩”。由于古代中文没有标点符号,句子的断法就不止一种,比较合理的断法可能是“故折矩,以为句(勾)广三、股修四、径隅五。既方之外,半其一矩,环而共盘,得成三四五。两矩共长二十有五,是谓积矩。”意思是说,折一个直角尺的形状,如果两条直角边的长度分别为三和四的话,那么尚未作出的斜边的长度即为五,且直角边3的平方+直角边4的平方等于斜边5的平方。

    但是,这只bu过是勾股定理的一个特例,并不是数学界所认可的那个真正的、完备的直角三角形定理(或称为毕达哥拉斯定理,不知道的读者可以查阅在线资料)。这个直角三角形定理有如下特点:1)符号化;2)通用化; 二个直角边a、b和斜边c可以取0到无穷大之间任意有限实数值,而不是只限制于3、4、5 三个整数。3)严格的几何证明该定理的普遍性(毕达哥拉斯自己有严格的几何证明),这个是中国古代数学里最缺乏的。

    如果我们要完全用中文来表达著名的麦克斯韦电磁方程组,中文就更显得无能为力了。杨振宁说麦克斯韦运用了归纳法和推演法才得出了这组奠基现代化的方程组,而《易经》没有推演法,所以中国不能出现科学(本文作者注:“文王拘而演《周易》”,还是有推演或演绎法的,只是其演绎恣意妄为没有严密的逻辑性,如用八卦来断凶吉等)。

    3 古中文缺乏形式逻辑阻碍科学的发展

    墨子试图发展逻辑和辩证法,但是似乎成效不大,远没有达到古希腊的水平,且被后世的儒学彻底压制了。古希腊则完全不同,那里有众多的先哲从事逻辑思考;从亚里士多德的逻辑三段论出发,欧几里德整理的古希腊数学从公理到定理的严密逻辑推理尽量满足相容性、独立性和完备性,是人类认识史上一件革命性的大事。数学的公理逻辑体系自然导致对社会公平正义的思考和诉求,而中文国学则不可能有这种思维。

    我们还是先看看自然科学吧:牛顿等近代科学巨匠无一例外都是运用这套形式逻辑来取得自己的光辉成就、改变人类命运的。虽然上世纪发现欧式推理不一定都满足这三性,但是它在数学和人类认识史上的巨大作用是不可存疑的。古中文没有发展严密的逻辑是最大的缺憾,加上没有数学运算符号,导致中国古代的数学和其它工程问题只能用文字表达

    这样一来,数学和其它方面就缺乏方程式及其推演,导致其归纳、演绎推理和证明都不能有效开展,遇到复杂问题时这个问题就更突出。再举一个流体动力学的例子,是在航空航天广泛应用的N-S方程, 即著名的粘性不可压缩流体的动力学偏微分方程,它定义该流体为粘性牛顿流体,包括水和啤酒(CND 不能接受带方程的文件,有兴趣了解该方程的读者可参阅有关资料)。

    和牛顿一样,N-S方程组的发明人就是运用从旧定理到新定理的严密逻辑来推导出该方程组的(这些旧定理的著名发明人包括从古代的阿基米德到近代的牛顿、欧拉、拉格朗日、拉普拉斯等)。这在古代没有逻辑运算符号及其严密逻辑推理的中文体系里,是不可能完成的。我们对计算机习以为常,但是很多人不知道其基本理论是建立在布尔代数逻辑上的,而不是某些中国人认为的是建立在《易经》那八八六十四卦上的。

    诺奖得主、数学和哲文学家罗素说过:“(欧氏)几何学对于哲学和科学方法的影响一直是深远的。它影响了柏拉图、康德等大部分西方哲学家。…牛顿的《原理》一书,尽管其材料是经验的,但它的形式却完全是欧几里德的公理体系模式。”“数学是我们信仰永恒的与严格的真理的主要根源……数学与神学的结合开始于毕达哥拉斯,它代表了西方宗教哲学的特征”。

    古希腊先贤们钟情于建立逻辑理论和数学模型,这是完全不同其它种族的高级智慧,所谓高智商的古代中国人和犹太人都不行,爱因斯坦承认这一点,中国人也没有啥不好意思承认的。古希腊的毕达哥拉斯说“一切都是数”,这虽然有些夸张,但是,世界上几乎所有的规律都可以用数学模型来表达,这是不争的事实。

    建立数模也是近几十年来科技发展的一个大趋势,这种能力是核心竞争力之一。国际上权威科技杂志里几乎所有的文章,包括过去主要靠定性分析为主的经济学等,都流行数模和定量分析(虽然大部分都没有实用价值);即使在传统的政治学、社会学等领域,数模的建立和运算现在都已经常态化,而不仅仅是在物理学、化学和工程学等领域。中共体制下的科研基本是技术的追求,在基本理论方面没有什么投入,所以没有原创的东西,即使在AI这种应用技术里,中国也没有数学家参与其中的基础算法研究(见徐匡迪院士在上海2019年院士沙龙会上的发言)

    4 中文国学对社会科学进步的阻碍和解决之道

    没有自然科学的国学属于社会科学,但是更缺乏“科学”性,“万经之首”的《易经》以类比推论为主,演绎推理则没有建立在严格的逻辑学上,比如其主要论点阴阳生二仪到四象生八卦的推演就是随意的,包含着大量的巫术和迷信。社会科学应该有一个公认的标准,即社会科学的最优目标,它应该是使所有人的幸福感达到最大化。

    国学经典鼓吹独裁王道违反了这个最优目标,甚至连公平、正义、自由的概念都没有,而中共鼓吹新威权主义,和旧王道专制独裁没有本质区别。中国在汉代后的封建奴隶混合制大一统下,国学“经典”被抬高到新的高度。不能否认,这里有很多励志和其它的光鲜言论。

    但是,这不足以整体衡量其学术水平。从学术来讲,国学很多内容定义缺失概念不清,容易导致误解和迷失,比如说“仁”就有多重含义且包含着矛盾,“仁者爱人”是爱谁?儒学有“亲亲为大”爱血亲,“克己复礼为仁”爱帝王,与博爱是矛盾的,且没有公平正义就是最大的不仁。

    《论语》里很多带“必”字的断论都存在逻辑性问题。即使被很多人吹捧的老子《道德经》,也存在这个问题,人们不知道老子的“道”到底是个什么定义,是事物的规律呢?还是道路?“道生一,一生二,二生三,三生万物”是其关于宇宙的理论,概括一句话乃“道生万物”,本质上就是玄论(道德经说“道之为物惟恍惟惚”)。

    《道德经》治民之道曰:“古之善为道者非以明民将以愚之”,和儒家、法家愚民思想差不多,都是养猪之道,只是养瘦猪和养肥猪的差别。《易经》里这种模糊不清的玄论就更多了,包括其中的算卦等迷信和巫术,以至于过了三千年中国人还搞不清楚其中的含义(《易经》的阴阳图很有创意,但是流于迷信)。

    起源于《易经》“一阴一阳谓之道”的中医的阴气和阳气就是模糊不清的,拿它们来解释病情往往似是而非(更不幸的是,Tao Shen等人今年6月发表在消化领域权威杂志《Gastroentrology》的研究结果表明,中药毒性一直是造成中国人大规模肝损伤的主因)。中国人爱祖宗,祖宗的鸡脖子也是好的,虽然没有什么肉且有毒瘤,但是他们说这里深藏着特高级的理论,还有无数的粉丝和信徒。

    国学经典最大的特点是为皇权服务,但是为了不太招人侧目,则对其加以复杂化的粉饰,其中很多内容是愚民的,这是邪恶的罪恶的,这种愚民传统经久不衰、老而弥坚,现在又花样翻新利用高技术搞全面言论思想控制和愚民,实在是这个国家的悲哀。中共治民之道也就是养猪之道,只不过是在养瘦猪和肥猪之间摇摆。

    社会科学最重要的目的是研究一个机制来使整个国民的智慧和才能最大化。“公平”“正义”“民主自由”等都是促进国民才智发展的手段。柏拉图的《理想国》有这么点意思,比如定义“正义”为各尽其能各司其职,比如由最不自私且智慧的哲学家来当国王。但是柏拉图还远远没有系统阐述完善这个最重要目的(他对民主不感冒)。

    而鼓吹愚民的国学,其很多内容都是与这个最重要目的不相容的,更没有公平正义民主自由这些重要概念。中国半封建半奴隶社会长久,可能在极个别年代不怎么愚民(据说为拿破仑推崇的隋文帝比较开明,他创立了科举制选民为士且开启了用纸擦屁股的卫生革命),其它年代只是愚民程度不同,且愚民的主要手法不外乎“教育”、欺骗、经济手段和暴力等,而国学在愚民教育、欺骗方面起到了关键作用。

    愚民的要害是为了维护帝王和极少数人的私利,包括他们的纵欲和腐败,和动物世界的统治结构差不多,是非洲野狗类的政法,是从野蛮人时代继承来的传统,比如头兽占据一切包括食物和交配优先权,《礼记》就规定王可以娶几十上百个妻妾嫔妃等并且规定需得和每个女的五天一次性交 – 这简直是要国王性自杀,哪能有效治国理政啊?除非他偷工减料(国学这方面的设计还不如伊斯兰教)。“公平”在中国历史上也短暂出现过,但不是出自于中文古典而是鲜卑人的北魏开启的均田制,即男、女、良人、奴婢都享有分田地的权利,遗憾的是这个创举并没有延续太久。

    国学经典里面除了最重要的目的缺失、严格定义少模糊多外,还存在把类比归纳作为其主要的论证方法的问题,错误类比推论比比皆是,导致很多谬误。举个《易经》里例子:“枯杨生华,老夫得其女妻,无不利”,意思是说老杨树发新枝和老男人娶和女儿一样年青的妻子,都是有利的!

    这个类比推论是极其荒唐的,男人最佳生育年龄是20-35,超过这个岁数生缺陷孩子的概率明显增加。国学特别是儒学有个“公理”,就是把帝王类比为“天子”,代表天意,由此类比论证其代表天意来统治臣民的正当性并拥有至高无上的特权,这当然是违反逻辑的;这种设计的本质是使皇帝为全民公敌,以至于连其血亲老子或儿子都要谋杀他,所以虽然中国有几百个皇帝但是很少有后代(说中国人都是炎黄子孙更是荒诞不经的谎言,除非当时所有的女人都只给炎黄二帝生孩子,这当然是不可能的)。

    再看看“亚圣”孟子错误类比论证的例子:他与告子展开了婴儿人性善恶的论战,告子主张人出生时性本无善恶,善恶出于后天的教育和影响。为了论证他的这个观点,告子作比喻说:人之初性本无善恶,这好比是一池的水,挖开东边水就往东流,挖开西边水就往西流,水本身无本性,东流或西流是由于外在的引导。告子的论证是先有结论,后拿比喻来强化其结论。孟子反驳说,你说水不分东西,但难道也不分上下吗?水总是往下流的,所以人本性都是善的。

    当然,孟子的比喻论证“水往下流”来导出“人本性善”是荒诞不合逻辑的:水的行为与人刚出生后的本性没有逻辑上的可比性(这个类比似乎来源于《道德经》的江海“以其善下之,故能为百谷王”的非逻辑性类比)。还有庄子与惠施辩论鱼是不是幸福,王蒙早就说庄子用诡辩术,但多年被作为国学经典名篇之一。国学经典缺乏正确逻辑推理,已经影响了中国几千年,所以中国没有出现真正的哲学和科学,现在还是没有。

    国学里面重要的新概念不多,误论、玄论、迷信和巫术不少,儒学最重要的特色就是复古扼杀创新,而这么点东西居然让中国人学了几千年,学到最后要么成了庸人、脑损或复古狂,要么成了巫婆神棍 (所以从正国级统治者到最低层百姓都信风水和黄道吉日)。

    中国的问题不仅是在古典国学存在着各种问题,而更严重是在现代文明融合科技如此进步的今天居然还在政府主导下盲目吹捧甚至神化国学,这就更脑残了。这几年我们经常看到中国人发表无知的言论,用所谓的民族自豪感为由来拔高自己的成就、贬低甚至否定古希腊和其它民族的成就,甚至胡说只有古中华文明延续到现在,这是极其愚蠢的,本质上是狭隘排外的井底之蛙之见识。

    古希腊的科学民主是现代社会的主流意思,意大利文艺复兴口号之一就是回归希腊古典,古罗马人不否定他们有个希腊化的过程,德国人、英国人、法国人、俄罗斯人、印度人、阿拉伯人伊朗人、美国人等都不否定且拥抱古希腊的伟大哲学和科学成就,阿拉伯和伊朗人还以保护古希腊哲学典籍而自豪(阿拉伯世界有过百年翻译史,其中大部分是欧洲的古典文献)。但是还有那么些中国人说古希腊哲学、逻辑学和数学等光辉成果是后人伪造的,由此来说明中国古代的比古希腊的先进。

    中国在2013年后逐步加紧舆论控制,在那里出任何有创新思想或者质疑批判的书都是不可能的,而法国一个华侨居然写了本古希腊文明伪造论的书拿到中国发表,可见中国出版界是多么堕落。还有更堕落的:今年7月在北京召开的“中国国际前沿教育高峰论坛”上,湖南大学法学院教授杜钢建居然发表讲演说“英语是汉语的一个分支”,因为英语的发音都能够找到对应的汉语,比如“Yellow”来自“叶落”,“Shop”来自“商铺”!他还出版了《文明源头与大同世界》一书,声称古希腊、古罗马、日耳曼、高卢、印第安人统统来自中国,把中国人的自大精神发展到极高峰,这真是中共70周年国庆最大的笑话和愚蠢。

    中国人的自大来源于过去自己周边局部的历史经验:古代汉人的文化和科技总体来说比周围的邻居要先进些,于是误以为自己是世界的中心。当发现世界其它地方还有远比自己更先进的古代文明时,这些自大者的精神就直接奔溃了,非要找个安慰自己的理由。

    但是,真正的智慧是承认自己的不足并找出自己落后的原因和迎头赶上的最佳策略。中国人排外的狭隘心理来自于国学经典,孔子有非中原民族“有国君等于无君”之评价,《诗经》里有华夏之国是中国(中心或中央之国)。这当然是没有逻辑的,因为他们没有做过充分的类比分析:即没有去了解世界上所有未知之国如古希腊、古罗马、古埃及、古巴比伦、古印度等。

    他们的经验来自于眼前和近邻而缺乏空间想像力,不像毕达哥拉斯那样能用和谐论来想象出天体圆周运动律和天外有天。这种自大排外的东西在明朝达到了第一次高峰,皇帝们喜欢花大钱制造万邦来朝的假象(给中国介绍欧几里德《几何原本》的利玛竇就说明朝的万邦来朝实际是中国向外国进贡);

    而满清时代达到了第二次高峰,其中包括乾隆高傲无知地对待发达西欧的来使和后来的极端排外的愚蠢拳民,这些拳民不知道中国的问题和他们自己的灾难主要是满清政府腐败人民愚昧而不是洋人的入侵造成的。当然,中国文革时期的排外可能是中国排外时期的最高峰,其愚昧做法包括把民国时期否定的义和团运动提升为伟大的爱国行动。

    《1001项改变世界的发明》一书指出,400来年的近现代有800多项重大发明,而中国是零蛋。但中国人没有认真反省,反而对自己眼前的经济成就沾沾自喜,认为是党的正确领导和自己努力的结果,《厉害国》把西方“吓尿了”(吓尿体)。这是愚昧的认识盲区,与过去的排外情绪一脉相承,完全不承认被接纳为WTO成员、外资和外国技术的利用等关键作用(现在还在享受每年数亿美元的各类援助)。

    中国的经济成果与中国人的勤劳有一定关系,但是其中相当一部分是违反知识产权而得,包括制造世界上约85%的假货,而美国则指控近年来的千多件盗窃知识产权案件里中国占比高达80%多,还有更多的强制转让或“赠与”技术的案例(中国人大肆吹捧原铁道部长刘志军软硬兼施利用假市场份额骗取外国高铁技术的网文很多,就知道他们在这方面的小聪明是发挥到了极致)。

    中国政府也不愿承认,中国的经济发展离不开几亿农民工及其孩子们的牺牲:这30来年因为中国为了政府的经济利益而剥夺农民工带孩子进城受教育的权利导致了数亿留守儿童,其中有无数的女童被强奸,还有无数留守儿童患有各种心理疾病甚至自杀(贵州毕节4 兄妹的自杀就是典型例子)。中国为了经济利益把几十万残疾儿和女婴交给发达国家抚养,也是一个经济动物的行为为人不齿。

    当然,还有是牺牲环境和得到了天时:2001年的恐怖袭击使得西方专注反恐而忽略了中国违反自由市场的一贯行为(当时无数中国人欢呼恐怖分子干得好,因为恐怖分子确实帮了中国大忙)。但是,现在情况不一样了,反恐基本过去,自由市场体系开始反思认为可以用市场来诱导中国民主的幼稚并抵制中国式国家专权资本主义,中国式发财道路不可持续,好日子到头了。中国在技术应用方面确实有很大进步,但是并没有多少关键技术,腾讯的马化腾就多次说中国的技术是建立在沙滩上的,一推就倒。原科技部长徐光华近日就说中国没有什么原始创新。

    再说,人如果不是猪,也不会认为吃饱了吃好了就是幸福生活,追求自由和潜能发挥是人的天性。而中国很多很多人,包括有些在自由世界生活几十年的人,还在鼓吹吃饱肚子的猪论。这里我们不得不又提到国学里的民以食为天,据说来自于易卦,说民众最大意愿就是吃,即猪论的始祖。

    中共的主要认识盲区是认为只要强调技术就能够强盛,而社会科学则可以由帝王一言堂高独裁专制,这和前苏联领导人的想法一致,是行不通的,因为自由和宽松的社会环境是发明的沃土,而独裁专制只能造就思想的贫瘠和荒漠。这几年中国大肆鼓吹国学,有百家讲坛和经久不衰的帝王剧,还大肆提倡民族复兴。

    从前几年迫害诺贝尔和平奖得主刘晓波至死,关押迫害维权律师,铁腕镇压异见人士和合理诉求的示威民众,用西方的技术大搞舆论控制和监视等等,都说明他们在复兴国学药方里的独裁帝王专制的社会,而不是他们在所谓的“核心价值观”里表述的民主、自由、公正。

    他们不能客观看待历史,认识不到国学那一套并没有给中国带来运气反而使自己做了亡国奴,中国人大肆吹捧的大汉王朝,其实一直给北方游牧民族进贡几百年(汉武帝倾举国之虽然击败了匈奴但国立大衰“人口减半”,后世又恢复了进贡,包括把王昭君进贡给匈奴王)。

     

    五胡乱华时汉人女人被掳掠无数,据记载有“晚上奸淫白天杀了吃肉”的恐怖血腥!即使在中国人自豪的盛唐则长期给吐蕃等进贡,很多老百姓每天只能吃二顿饭。中国人爱吹捧的儒学立国的宋朝更是糟糕透顶,居然让人口占统治地位的汉人做了金人和蒙古人的下等奴隶。华人或汉人的国学没有占人口绝大多数的他们带来好运,在秦朝大一统后的二千多年里,有一大半时间是给游牧民族进贡甚至做奴隶(板上钉钉的残酷血泪史,所以元朝和满清都喊驱逐鞑虏还我中华,孙中山也明白无误地说中国亡国了二次)。

    这绝不是历史虚无主义,中国历史一再表明:儒学越大,愚民越多,智慧越少 – 儒学立国的宋朝是中华民族倒霉厄运的开始,在儒学普遍流行的满清,中国人则退化到极端愚昧无知的地步。满清时中国曾有一段时间的GDP世界第一,占比估计达32%(麦迪逊的研究),但是由于其半封建半奴隶制的腐败统治,最终还是被历史潮流淘汰了(注1)。

    所以,短时间有钱说明不了什么,即使中国GDP恢复到占比32%也不能保证会持续繁荣,而长期坚持让人们有智慧才是长久强盛之道。“民族复兴”是个实实在在的伪命题,中国领导人并没有认识到这个问题的严重性,是国之不幸。我一直怀疑中国人是不是大脑结构有什么缺陷,不然怎么会从战国时期的百花齐放、人才辈出的时代,退化成元朝和清朝那样的殖民地;不然现在为什么还实行独裁专制那一套以控制言论和思想为荣而不是为耻。长期大一统独裁专制使中国人的性格严重退化,不仅鲁迅,蒙古族历史学者张宏杰教授也认为,华人的性格从战国时期的侠勇严重退化到元明清的顺奴,不禁使人倒吸一口凉气。

    在中文“国学经典”和马列专政双重包袱压迫下的民族,短期内还真解决不了独裁专制。从长远的观点来说,我们得寄希望于中国突破禁忌大力发展生命科学,包括基因工程,用来改造中国人,改造其大脑,特别是搞科学发展和国家管理的那帮人的大脑。

    这对中国人尤其重要,因为基因工程和脑科学、AI等结合可以把中文的记忆外置,从而解放中国人记忆中文的繁琐(一万个字的中文可能几天就学会了,而不是现在这样需用毕生的精力来记忆),使他们更多勤于逻辑思考和创造。

    中国人基本不信教,坠胎多,而早期婴儿大脑的神经元密度大可以被有效提取利用,这里面机会多且代价不高。爱因斯坦大脑容量不大但是其单位神经元超多且连接紧密,这给大脑的改造提供了思路。生命科学和技术正在改变人体本身,其目的是造化未来的超级人类,毫无疑问这是人类历史上最伟大的革命。这些超人起码具备雄鹰般的肌魄和超级大脑,就看他们是不是中国人了。

    后记:中国二百年前极端愚昧,现在的进步速度远不理想。拿法理举例,古罗马就实行无罪推定,定罪要翔实可靠的证据;而中国一直推行有罪推定,流行包括扒皮抽筋类严刑逼供冤案层出不穷,直到最近才考虑推行无罪推论。政治思维更远落后于经济进步,总是在接受和拒绝世界先进文明方面摇摆反复,这几年在明显倒退,吹捧国学并发扬独裁专制,这是中共给执政70周年最坏的礼物。

    专制和特权播种仇恨,导致中国几千年的王朝更迭和屠杀报复,毛泽东知道问题严重,其受益者中共的接班人也该意识到问题严重并逐步改进和过渡到民主自由。海外知识分子必须帮助中国在接受普世价值方面起更多的作用,包括质疑、批判、谏言,而质疑和批判中国人骨子里固有的中华文明先进性而拒绝普世价值,则是至关重要的。记住我的话:吹捧即害,批判即爱!

    注1.汉人引以为傲的“成就”之一是用文化同化了满族人,这完全是自嗨的意淫。当年不足百万人的满族人是善于学习的,包括改进红衣大炮击败人数多出百倍的汉人明朝。但是满清在国学特别是儒理学的熏陶下逐步退化腐败,极端独裁自大且愚昧,他们因拒绝先进文明而导致自己灭亡。

    作者投稿