11.16.2016 03:07 PM

Bertrand Russell writing, years ago, to the fascist Oswald Mosley

…but it could have been written this week to Trump and his cabal. 

All of us, in this era, will be somehow judged on how we responded to Trump. 


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    dave constable says:

    A bit bothersome seeing the names of the characters either already named, or being mooted, as cabinet, appointees and advisers.

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    monkey says:

    I wish I could be more optimistic but with each day passing this is starting to look more and more like the 30s. Sure Justin Trudeau defies the global trend, but even if we don’t follow everyone else, we cannot help but not be affected by this. We already have Trump like autocrats as leaders in Russia, Hungary, Turkey, and Philippines and what is scary is in all four countries their leaders are wildly popular. Likewise in Austria, France, and Netherlands, you have far right leaders are either tied or leading in the polls. If anything it feels like people are made and willing to blow things up without thinking about the consequences. Sure the elites have sometimes been tone deaf and sure some things haven’t worked as promised, but in the US and Western Europe, most people including even those struggling enjoy a higher standard of living than the vast majority of people globally and are some of the luckiest people to have ever walked this earth. So making changes of what is not working, not blowing it up is the solution.

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    pat says:

    Sometimes people feel power when on the side of cruelty, and that’s especially true when they’re powerless in themselves. In their life they’re powerless, and jingoism helps them to belong, and feel some influence and power in their powerless state. But the cure is a disease in and of itself – Ethnic nationalism in one kind or another always leads to the other side suffering – this is true in recent history, and ancient history too.

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    Ridiculosity says:

    And there lies the real issue…

    The “intensity of this conviction” – on both the Left and the Right – “are so distinct, and in the deepest ways opposed, that nothing fruitful or sincere could ever emerge from association between us.”

    Anyone believing otherwise is delusional.

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    pat says:

    It’s like the lord of the flies – the chanting, the slogans, the ranting, the anger, and the cruelty. Maybe something simple like that is easier to understand, and look at what happened to reason in the midst of emotional chaos. People all deserve a chance to have a goods life, but cruelty and hate will just create chaos.

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    Sam T. says:

    Within two months of the surrender of Japan Russell publicly called for a defensive policy against Stalinism.
    His fear of the extension of the Soviet sphere of influence was not groundless: Communist regimes became established in Bulgaria and Albania in 1946, Poland in 1947, Czechoslovakia and Romania in
    1948, and Hungary and East Germany in 1949. Also in 1949 the Communist army finally defeated Nationalist forces in China.


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    rww says:

    They are not demonstrations against democracy but against the result and then ONLY IF you accept that the American election process was democratic in more than just name.

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    Eeeeetienne says:

    The about-half of the population that don’t like Trump (and what he stands for) needs to learn to speak to the other half that made it happen. It seems to me that there are too many of us that are quite happy speaking up in echo chambers of like-minded people. This is one of the things I’ve appreciated about WK: he goes to the front lines and engages with the other side, and he seeks out Joe and Jane Frontporch, to borrow from his text. Not a lot of Libs wanted to be on Sun News or the right-leaning talk shows. It’s important that we do that if we want to see things change. The fact that the result of this election came as such a surprise to so many suggests that we have become comfortable in our assumptions that old battles won need not be fought again. But we do need to fight them again. And that fight wont be won by those who can scream loudly with outrage at the other side, but by those who can listen, speak softly and find useful ways to invite them to do something as terribly difficult as changing their ways.

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    Innocent III says:

    On a side note, given the big to-do about this year’s laureate, it’s worth remembering that The Right Honourable The Earl Russell was himself awarded the Nobel Prize for literature 1950. Public intellectuals of such distinction are warmly welcomed into the arena. Thank you for posting this, dear Magus.

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