Thursday, March 31, 2005
The Einstein-Freud Correspondence

Have you read the published correspondence between Einstein and Freud? It was Einstein who first sent a letter to Freud in 1931 or early 1932. The basic message was simple - why do we tend to use violence and what rights does political leaders/governments have.

:: Einstein:
"...Political leaders or governments owe their power either to the use of force or to their election by the masses. They cannot be regarded as representative of the superior moral or intellectual elements in a nation..."

The reply from Freud in September 1932 goes in the same attitude that indeed the importance of pacifism is and will be one of the key issues in the world. He goes one small step further and link it to why the human instinct is to use violence.

:: Freud:
"...You begin with the relations between might and right, and this is assuredly the proper starting point for our inquiry. But, for the term might, I would substitute a tougher and more telling word: violence..."

How right these great men were. This is a highly present issue in the world of today. I can not stop thinking about George W(ar) Bush - what right did he have to force people, a nation, into war and go against what most nations expressed concerns about, the use of violence.

Here you can read most of the Correspondence!

Comments, thoughts?

I don't buy pacifism a primary principle, but I buy self-defense and self interest, and persuasion as the means of aquiring assistance in those matters. Government is a short-cut in persuading others, but it's not the primary.

I'm afraid that none of that convinces me Bush was absolutely wrong to do what he did, but I'm never surprised to find people who disagree.

Good thing we have a voluntary Military.

But will their joining in with the Collective solve our problems or make them worse?
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