BERTRAND RUSSELL EPUB
Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell. No cover. Project Gutenberg offers free ebooks for Kindle, iPad, Nook, Android, and iPhone. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Problem of China by Bertrand Russell. No cover available.
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Author of Authority and the individual, The ABC of relativity, Autobiography, Philosophical essays, Principles of social reconstruction, The. Since its first publication in Lord Russell's A History of Western Philosophy has been universally acclaimed as the outstanding. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item wildlifeprotection.info: Bertrand wildlifeprotection.infoioned.
General Science. Historical Fiction. Western Fiction. Bertrand Russell a. May 18, - Trelleck, Monmouthshire, Wales Died: The Analysis of Mind. An Appeal to the Intellectuals of Europe. Authority and the Individual. Lecture Five - Control and Initiative: Their Respective Spheres.
Lecture Six - Individual and Social Ethics. Lecture Three - The Role of Individuality. Lecture Two - Social Cohesion and Government. The Effect of Science on Social Institutions. Nevertheless, when he becomes poor through failure of his investment he will be regarded as a victim of undeserved misfortune, whereas the gay spendthrift, who has spent his money philanthropically, will be despised as a fool and a frivolous person.
All this is only preliminary. I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work. First of all: what is work? The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid.
Ebooks by Bertrand Russell
The second kind is capable of indefinite extension: there are not only those who give orders, but those who give advice as to what orders should be given.
Usually two opposite kinds of advice are given simultaneously by two organized bodies of men; this is called politics. The skill required for this kind of work is not knowledge of the subjects as to which advice is given, but knowledge of the art of persuasive speaking and writing, i.
Throughout Europe, though not in America, there is a third class of men, more respected than either of the classes of workers. There are men who, through ownership of land, are able to make others pay for the privilege of being allowed to exist and to work. These landowners are idle, and I might therefore be expected to praise them. Unfortunately, their idleness is only rendered possible by the industry of others; indeed their desire for comfortable idleness is historically the source of the whole gospel of work.
The last thing they have ever wished is that others should follow their example. From the beginning of civilization until the Industrial Revolution, a man could, as a rule, produce by hard work little more than was required for the subsistence of himself and his family, although his wife worked at least as hard as he did, and his children added their labor as soon as they were old enough to do so. The small surplus above bare necessaries was not left to those who produced it, but was appropriated by warriors and priests.
In times of famine there was no surplus; the warriors and priests, however, still secured as much as at other times, with the result that many of the workers died of hunger. This system persisted in Russia until  , and still persists in the East; in England, in spite of the Industrial Revolution, it remained in full force throughout the Napoleonic wars, and until a hundred years ago, when the new class of manufacturers acquired power.
In America, the system came to an end with the Revolution, except in the South, where it persisted until the Civil War. Much that we take for granted about the desirability of work is derived from this system, and, being pre-industrial, is not adapted to the modern world. Modern technique has made it possible for leisure, within limits, to be not the prerogative of small privileged classes, but a right evenly distributed throughout the community.
The morality of work is the morality of slaves, and the modern world has no need of slavery. It is obvious that, in primitive communities, peasants, left to themselves, would not have parted with the slender surplus upon which the warriors and priests subsisted, but would have either produced less or consumed more.
At first, sheer force compelled them to produce and part with the surplus. Gradually, however, it was found possible to induce many of them to accept an ethic according to which it was their duty to work hard, although part of their work went to support others in idleness. By this means the amount of compulsion required was lessened, and the expenses of government were diminished. To this day, 99 per cent of British wage-earners would be genuinely shocked if it were proposed that the King should not have a larger income than a working man.
The conception of duty, speaking historically, has been a means used by the holders of power to induce others to live for the interests of their masters rather than for their own. Of course the holders of power conceal this fact from themselves by managing to believe that their interests are identical with the larger interests of humanity. Sometimes this is true; Athenian slave-owners, for instance, employed part of their leisure in making a permanent contribution to civilization which would have been impossible under a just economic system.
Leisure is essential to civilization, and in former times leisure for the few was only rendered possible by the labors of the many.
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But their labors were valuable, not because work is good, but because leisure is good. And with modern technique it would be possible to distribute leisure justly without injury to civilization. Modern technique has made it possible to diminish enormously the amount of labor required to secure the necessaries of life for everyone. This was made obvious during the war.
At that time all the men in the armed forces, and all the men and women engaged in the production of munitions, all the men and women engaged in spying, war propaganda, or Government offices connected with the war, were withdrawn from productive occupations.
In spite of this, the general level of well-being among unskilled wage-earners on the side of the Allies was higher than before or since.
The significance of this fact was concealed by finance: borrowing made it appear as if the future was nourishing the present. But that, of course, would have been impossible; a man cannot eat a loaf of bread that does not yet exist.
The war showed conclusively that, by the scientific organization of production, it is possible to keep modern populations in fair comfort on a small part of the working capacity of the modern world.
If, at the end of the war, the scientific organization, which had been created in order to liberate men for fighting and munition work, had been preserved, and the hours of the week had been cut down to four, all would have been well.
Instead of that the old chaos was restored, those whose work was demanded were made to work long hours, and the rest were left to starve as unemployed. Because work is a duty, and a man should not receive wages in proportion to what he has produced, but in proportion to his virtue as exemplified by his industry.
This is the morality of the Slave State, applied in circumstances totally unlike those in which it arose. No wonder the result has been disastrous. Let us take an illustration. Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working say eight hours a day. Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price.
In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before. But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt, and half the men previously concerned in making pins are thrown out of work.
There is, in the end, just as much leisure as on the other plan, but half the men are totally idle while half are still overworked. In this way, it is insured that the unavoidable leisure shall cause misery all round instead of being a universal source of happiness.
Can anything more insane be imagined? The idea that the poor should have leisure has always been shocking to the rich.
When meddlesome busybodies suggested that perhaps these hours were rather long, they were told that work kept adults from drink and children from mischief. When I was a child, shortly after urban working men had acquired the vote, certain public holidays were established by law, to the great indignation of the upper classes.
They ought to work. Let us, for a moment, consider the ethics of work frankly, without superstition. Every human being, of necessity, consumes, in the course of his life, a certain amount of the produce of human labor.
Assuming, as we may, that labor is on the whole disagreeable, it is unjust that a man should consume more than he produces.
Of course he may provide services rather than commodities, like a medical man, for example; but he should provide something in return for his board and lodging. I shall not dwell upon the fact that, in all modern societies outside the USSR, many people escape even this minimum amount of work, namely all those who inherit money and all those who marry money.
I do not think the fact that these people are allowed to be idle is nearly so harmful as the fact that wage-earners are expected to overwork or starve.
If the ordinary wage-earner worked four hours a day, there would be enough for everybody and no unemployment — assuming a certain very moderate amount of sensible organization.
This idea shocks the well-to-do, because they are convinced that the poor would not know how to use so much leisure. In America men often work long hours even when they are well off; such men, naturally, are indignant at the idea of leisure for wage-earners, except as the grim punishment of unemployment; in fact, they dislike leisure even for their sons.
Oddly enough, while they wish their sons to work so hard as to have no time to be civilized, they do not mind their wives and daughters having no work at all. The wise use of leisure, it must be conceded, is a product of civilization and education. A man who has worked long hours all his life will become bored if he becomes suddenly idle. But without a considerable amount of leisure a man is cut off from many of the best things. There is no longer any reason why the bulk of the population should suffer this deprivation; only a foolish asceticism, usually vicarious, makes us continue to insist on work in excessive quantities now that the need no longer exists.
In the new creed which controls the government of Russia, while there is much that is very different from the traditional teaching of the West, there are some things that are quite unchanged. Industry, sobriety, willingness to work long hours for distant advantages, even submissiveness to authority, all these reappear; moreover authority still represents the will of the Ruler of the Universe, Who, however, is now called by a new name, Dialectical Materialism.
The victory of the proletariat in Russia has some points in common with the victory of the feminists in some other countries. For ages, men had conceded the superior saintliness of women, and had consoled women for their inferiority by maintaining that saintliness is more desirable than power.
At last the feminists decided that they would have both, since the pioneers among them believed all that the men had told them about the desirability of virtue, but not what they had told them about the worthlessness of political power. A similar thing has happened in Russia as regards manual work.
In Russia, all this teaching about the excellence of manual work has been taken seriously, with the result that the manual worker is more honored than anyone else. What are, in essence, revivalist appeals are made, but not for the old purposes: they are made to secure shock workers for special tasks.
Manual work is the ideal which is held before the young, and is the basis of all ethical teaching. For the present, possibly, this is all to the good. A large country, full of natural resources, awaits development, and has has to be developed with very little use of credit. In these circumstances, hard work is necessary, and is likely to bring a great reward.
But what will happen when the point has been reached where everybody could be comfortable without working long hours? In the West, we have various ways of dealing with this problem.
We have no attempt at economic justice, so that a large proportion of the total produce goes to a small minority of the population, many of whom do no work at all.We see that men's political dealings with one another are based on wholly wrong ideals, and can only be saved by quite different ideals from continuing to be a source of suffering, devastation, and sin.
The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
I cleaned up an OCR copy, re-added italics, added hyperlinks, and so on. Western Fiction. Project Gutenberg 59, free ebooks 15 by Bertrand Russell. Whatever merit there may be in the production of goods must be entirely derivative from the advantage to be obtained by consuming them. Because work is a duty, and a man should not receive wages in proportion to what he has produced, but in proportion to his virtue as exemplified by his industry. Modern technique has made it possible to diminish enormously the amount of labor required to secure the necessaries of life for everyone.
Lecture Two - Social Cohesion and Government.
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