Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Bomb and Civilization by Bertrand Russell

The Bomb and Civilization  by Bertrand Russell

The Bomb and Civilization 
by
Bertrand Russell 


 Russell's first response to the news of the devastation caused by the first atomic bomb. Though written hurriedly, and in a frantic moment of history, it announces themes that will dominate Russell's political programme for years to come. The article announces the urgency of the search for a structure of world peace, and it reiterates his faith in scientific progress and his hope that the United States will assume leadership in creating the global structures that are necessary for the survival of the human race. Russell's mood is one which combines the composure of the sage and the panic of the prophetic Cassandra. As a man of science he wishes to reassure the public concerning the scientific achievement. He advises his readers that "The atomic bomb embodies the results of a combination of genius and patience as remarkable as any in the history of mankind," that the men whose work made this bomb possible were for the most part "both high-minded and public spirited" and finally that we should not look upon the bomb as a punishment "for impiety in inquiring too closely into the hidden secrets of nature". On the contrary he reaffirms his faith that "Science is capable of conferring enormous boons"

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