The Outstanding Nightmares of Bertrand Russell and Some of His Commandments


First 150 years since birth Bertrand Russell, one of the few philosophers who enjoyed the gift of celebrity during his lifetime. Jubilee Russell was an aristocrat by birth and thought, who tried to cover the entire universe with Logic, including Mathematics. But a mortal, after all, even at the age of 98, when he needed money, he composed History of Western Philosophy very far away from him Principles of Mathematicsrecorded, or rather encrypted, with Alfred North Whitehead in 1910.

Let’s just say, basically a liberal grandson Lord RussellPrime minister of government under protective robe Queen Victoria and godson John Stuart Millwas fairly well known in Spain during Franco’s dictatorship because, as an outspoken anti-communist, his political and moral thinking – very hostile to Christianity and religion in general – was tolerated and even encouraged.

But this is not the Russell we want to talk about this anniversary. We are going to give a few strokes about the literary Russell himself (he was a Nobel laureate in literature, like other thinkers, because such an award in philosophy has never been and never is), more precisely, about some of the nightmares that he discovered. and recreated in prominent people, real or not.

For this we use a small book called Nightmares of prominent personalities (“nightmares” are for a British nobleman “guiding paths to sanity”), which begins with a painful dream about queen of sheba after her seduction by King Solomon and end with the fatal indiscretion of the doctor. Southport Wolpes. Follow in them the path of these hallucinatory hallucinations of a number of at least amazing characters.

The first nightmare is queen of sheba riding a white donkey who was returning to her kingdom after being sentimentally kidnapped by the false King Solomon, who told her that everyone should take her to their garden, a trick that the cunning Beelzebub discovers to disillusion her and lure her to Hell. Once there, she told him that she could no longer go outside and Saba, once again betrayed, wakes up horrified, knowing that she is stupid again.

The second refers to the oneiric burden of an amazing real-life character named Thomas Bowdlerwealthy physician and voluntary censor of such works as the finished works of Shakespeare and the famous Edward Gibbon about the decline of the Roman Empire. The persistent moral corrector was determined to make the poet’s books Stratford-upon-Avon they will reach “good” English families without any profanity, swearing or swearing. To do this, he again rewrote it in ten volumes. Shakespeare’s family.

But in a nighttime hallucination of the watchman, Mrs. Bowdler, the axis of her family happiness, heard the guest’s doubt about whether the father had not been allowed the huge time spent by her husband on crossing out, removing borders and obscenities from the works of Shakespeare, children, unless this was parthenogenesis. This word was the source of the wife’s insatiable curiosity, who was looking for the Parthenon and Genesis to see what she had found.

Finally, forgetting about household chores and medical consultations, she stumbled upon the originals of Shakespeare’s works in the secret office of her husband who discovered her. Red-handed and pounced on him: “Don’t you know that poison comes from its pages and that from every letter of it, in the conscience of unsuspecting women, an infection of depraved thoughts jumps out?” She burst into tears, and Bowdler never explained why God punished him. Russell says yes. Ten volumes have been published in London since 1818. can be accessed them.

Third nightmare. psychoanalysis Robert Lindnerauthor rebellion without cause, a little respected book in its film adaptation. Russell, however, refers to his book a recipe for rebellion, dated 1952. I did not find or read it, but it was written that it was an angry book against psychiatric abuse and the misuse of the doctrines of Freud and Jung. Our philosopher says of him: “The fate of the rebels is to found new orthodoxies. How this happens in psychoanalysis is shown convincingly in Dr. Robert Lindner’s book. Recipe for rebellion.

In a nightmare Dr. Bombasticus remembered by the Committee of Six (Hamlet, Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Mark Antony and Romeo) meeting at the Rotary Club of Limbo presided over by a statue of Shakespeare destroyed at the end. To all its members he promised to make their life easier with the only requirement that they lie on the sofa and pay one guinea (one pound plus one shilling) per minute. After the cathartic sessions, five were left in limbo, with the exception of Hamlet, who went to heaven, while Bombastic was left in hell for killing their souls. Ophelia replaced her love in the Committee.

The next nightmare is what of the metaphysicalhis friend – not deciphered this time – Andrey Bumblovsky. This professor again dreams of an almost Dante-like hell, where, among others, thinkers, David Hume. The Devil is described and identified with denial, and in their debate he decides never to say the word NO. Satan reigned because of a flawed habit of language. “Take away the word ‘no’ and his empire will end.” And so it was, although the delirium did not end. Something was something.

happened to you existentialist’s nightmarewho thought but did not exist until he realized that he was suffering, which made him exist, and at the mathematician Skverpunt, alleged friend of the astrophysicist Arthur Eddington, in which his special number, the prime number 137, rebelled against the bureaucracy of ordinary numbers and even others like Pi himself, and rumbled against the idealism that protects the value of the individual from government domination. There was no ideal sky of numbers, but there were real numbers, consisting of matter itself. He woke up jaded by such Platonic numbers, accusing them of being nothing more than a “symbolic coexistence” just like Plato himself.

If I understood correctly, Stalinist nightmareswhich follows the previous ones and was written during the life of the monster, has to do with the kindness of the naive, who believed that they could turn him into good. In Eisenhower’s nightmaretraces the features of the anxious 21st century, in which the convergence of the policies of communist and capitalist leaders in the face of Malenkov D McCarthy they shake hands. Even the Republican Party remains the only party in the US.

“In the new world created as a result of a great deal, there were many material comforts, but there was no art, no new thinking, and little new science. Of course, nuclear physics was completely banned.” Like the poets who defended freedom. Of course, “some misguided romantics looked nostalgically at a past that had great individualists, but if they were sensible, they tried not to let their regret betray themselves.”

The penultimate nightmare is Dean Acheson’s nightmare., a real-life character, adviser to four successive US presidents and developer of the Truman Cold War Doctrines. As yet another prophetic fallacy, I will only emphasize that Russell foresaw that “the Russians … made the unfortunate peoples of Western Europe suffer a fate which their misguided love of self-preservation made inevitable” and that “Latin America, from the Rio Grande to Cape Ornos adopted the communist faith,” as did all of Asia, with a few exceptions.

In the end, the hammer and sickle were swung over the Capitol because of the patriotic and moral, but ineffective and suicidal policies of the president. Bismarck A. Maxaft, that he ignored the art of comforting the weak and “pro-Russian” Truman, Eisenhower and others. The hero took out the US flag from his hiding place, which perished along with the US, becoming, yes, a beacon for future generations. It’s a terrifying sight acheson was presented as evidence of insanity by his lawyer, but the consultant woke up denying that he was insane.

ultimate nightmare What happened in Russell’s mind takes place in the midst of World War III. In the tunnel, they dream of meeting two robotic scientists, Southport Wolpesfrom the west, and his opponent from the east, Finnichovsky Stukinmudovich. They tried to replace imperfect people with intelligent and intelligent machines and loved the war for the freedom that it gave them. “After all, almost everything was done by robots.”

In the apotheosis of their social engineering, they even say to themselves: “People are random, often insane or cowardly, sometimes driven by state ideals. How different are our robots! In them, propaganda always has the desired effect… the most ardent moralistic desire that we have not fulfilled? Man is prone to sin, robot is not.” An excellent summary, although the story ends badly for these engineers.


In addition to these terrible dreams and his few literary works, Bertrand Russell urged his contemporaries to get rid of dogmas, irrational or unfounded beliefs and religions. A lover of freedom and challenges, exhibitions and scandals, he published in 1951, shortly after my birth, liberal decalogue and pragmatic in The newspaper “New York Times.

Here are some of his commandments:

1. Don’t be absolutely sure of anything.
2. Do not think that it is worth continuing to hide the evidence, no doubt the evidence will be found …
6. Do not use force to suppress opinions that you consider harmful, because if you do, opinions will suppress you …
8. Enjoy intelligent disagreement more than passive agreement, because if you judge intelligence correctly, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even when the truth is inconvenient, because hiding it is inconvenient.
10. Do not envy the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool believes that this is happiness.

What is the problem? His belief in the ultimate reality of verifiable facts. I will give an example which, I believe, clarifies the orphanhood of ordinary citizens regarding the veracity of facts. The final evidence of the superiority of Einstein’s theory of relativity over Newton’s theory was obtained precisely in 1979!

Eddington provided several photographs of the bending of light from a group of stars in 1919 during a solar eclipse, which were inaccurate and of poor quality, but were accepted despite not specifying whether Newton or Einstein should be elevated to the top scientific category. The facts were unclear, but Einstein won.

Now think about social, historical, political facts. Of what can we, mere mortals, be sure? Perhaps, yes, from our nightmares.


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