The Reith Lectures: 1948–2011
BBC Radio 4
My Interpretation and Notes:
Bertrand Russell basically says all the right things, so to speak, and warns about the dangers of modern government, war and totalitarianism. After he has finished talking about the dangers to freedom and individual initiative, and addressing the concerns on listener’s minds about the lack of meaningful roles for the individual and about the lack of democracy, then he explains why we need to have government anyway–especially world government–and then he wraps it up with how everything is going to be OK. Good propaganda requires a lot of truth, so it’s worth listening to.
He mentions how moral advances are jeopardized by modern government techniques, which have made it impossible for moral reformers to influence society.
He mentions how science makes it more difficult for people to escape omnipotent governments.
He mentions how atomic scientists were captured and then made to slave away for one side or the other. He actually says this, believe it or not. Very interesting.
He says he sees no reason to be grateful to Lenin but that we need the qualities of drive and energy that these tyrannical individuals/gangsters have.
A common theme in these talks is about the degree of slavery vs. the degree of freedom.
A basic problem with a lack of freedom is that the purpose of the work we do is separated from our own purposes–for most of us.
I can’t disagree with much of what he says. I think that’s the idea with public speeches made by the elites. They’re going to tell us a lot of truth mixed in with their lies.
He praises Christian ethics (but separate from dogma). A lot of us would be impressed by that apparent concession.
He says that modern man worries about tomorrow (either about savings or debt), contrary to the command of Jesus.
He says that means must be found to restore individual initiative (in things that matter, not just in things that don’t matter).
We need to do something about the impersonal vastness of modern government vs. the role of individuality.
He opposes war but he mentions how war is an energizer.
He uses the word “austerity”–even way back then to refer to how the British are going to have to consume less and produce more, which is the context of these post-War lectures. Unfortunately we have heard the word “austerity” a whole lot in recent years from elite mouthpieces.
He mentions how we tend to look for villains to blame (why not if there are villains to blame?). No, we’re supposed to let the elites (the “governing minority” he calls them) blame us and then introduce the “solutions” for things we never did (like create nuclear weapons). I suppose we can blame ourselves for not lifting a finger to oppose their agenda.
A sense of individual impotence is difficult to avoid.
Self-respect is very important.
Without such understanding we may inadvertently create a NEW PRISON. No kidding.
You can just keep counting an endless list of truisms from Russell.
But he claims there can’t be fruitful societal initiative and universities and publishing without government (which is nonsense in my opinion – sure, it would be very different, but much more fruitful for everyone than the monopolist-controlled system we have).
He presents a pro-government doctrine even though he praises those who try to establish values based on conscience, those who might go against government on occasion.
He inevitably starts lecturing us about conservation and the need to preserve resources (because his masters want to round up all the resources for themselves and stop us from using them–which is what we have today, called “environmentalism”–the King still doesn’t want us catching his fish or hunting his deer (“poaching” the “endangered species”) or breathing his air without permission–sorry, that’s why we have “environmentalism”, so that we stay poor and don’t get too prosperous and end up competing with the oligarchy).
He mentions how he lived in California (like Aldous Huxley). Looks like a favorite spot for elites back then.
He mentions “world government” and that its power should only be to prevent war. “World government,” he says, should just have certain powers, but I guess the idea of world government quickly went beyond that concept.
He suggests that national governments delegate power to smaller governments and groups, and that way gifted individuals will find an outlet for creativity and initiative. I guess what this amounts to in the end is that there will be all of these feudal CEOs, “lords,” “ladies” and “barons” all over the place exercising their “initiative.” This is the flavor of communitarianism and Agenda 21 which we live with today.
He talks about “cultural evolution.” There is a “real danger of complete similarity between one region and another in cultural respects.” As if he wasn’t involved in that change later on through the Macey group, etc.
He actually quotes the concept that we ought to obey God rather than men. Amen to that. There is a higher morality we ought to obey that is independent of government’s made-up laws. I agree, but all this shows is that he understands the problem. Of course he does.
Russell always gets around to telling truths like this: “glorification of the state turns out to be glorification of a governing minority.” There you go. “Governing minority.” So, Bertrand Russell is talking about a “conspiracy.” Maybe we can ridicule Bertrand Russell as a “conspiracy theorist” now and pretend to know better than him. GOVERNING MINORITY. Sorry. He said it.
He attacks the ethic of human survival, which is in line with the constant bombardment of “over-population” propaganda that attacks the fact that so many of us normal human beings are surviving illness sometimes and reproducing and using some resources that the elites want control over. So many people believe this doctrine that it is bad for us to reproduce. So I guess many people will just go along with the levels of cancer and infertility and other crippling diseases that we live with today. So this is certainly a point that goes against Christian ethics, but he doesn’t mention that little disagreement. Does human life have value or not? Is medicine supposed to cure us and help us live happier, longer lives? Some of these Fabian elites seem to disagree. “Pro-choice” advocates talk about reproductive freedom. Will we have any reproductive freedom under a “World State?” In other words, will we be allowed to reproduce? How does this tie in with concerns about radiation and GMOs and vaccines? This story about over-population is just an excuse for a massive power grab–ultimately via “climate change” excuses and other world government “conservation” policies. Aldous Huxley promoted the same policies of “conservation.”
The actual policy over the decades is about taking away our freedoms in order to:
“save our freedoms or give us *new* freedoms”
“control the population”
“build a world government”
He wraps up his talk with some nice language about what engenders a hopeful spirit–having local governments and smaller groups in which individuals can hope to have influence–giving all the little Darth Vaders their free reign I guess.