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Bertrand Russell, the greatest philosopher of 20th century,

A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is
erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
He is regarded as the greatest philosopher of 20 th century.
His contribution to philosophy is tremendous. He wrote for
more than 65 years over a wide range of subjects like
mathematics, logic, philosophy, education, science, politics,
religion, ethics, and sociology. He applied his mind to various
fields of quest. Being a mathematician, he believed in reason
and considered it a clear-cut way to reach the conclusion.
He had little belief in revelation or intuition because he could
not find them within the sphere of rationalism. He was
different from traditional philosophers whose premise chiefly
remained vague. They could not imply any way to implement
them in practical form. Russell is the first one to work out
substantial method to materialize his theories in matter-of-
fact form.
War has been a chronicle issue causing much havoc.
Various philosophers, intellectuals and leaders have been
speaking against war but all in vain. Man has been fighting in
spite of his march of civilization. Russell, in the essay,
‘Future of Mankind’ lays down the way to establish peace
and order in the world of men who are far from being angels.
His counsel appeals to mind though it suppresses emotions.
But Russell believes that war is to be avoided with reason
and without sentimental.
At the very outset of the essay, he says that before the end
of 20th century one of these possibilities is likely to happen.
He does not know which of them will fall within the sphere of
certainty but he has little doubt of their happening. First
possibility is that all life will come to an end. Second
possibility is that human civilization will collapse though
human race may survive. The third one is the establishment
of a single government for the whole world. First possibility
seems imminent as nuclear weapons will annihilate all life
from this globe. He plays down the idea that enlightened
man of to day will not war. Man has been fighting and he will
fight whenever he finds the occasion, rather he will invent
the circumstance to suit his whim. Drawing room wits may
say that extermination of life is skeptic and blown up
surmise. Man survived even when his number was so small
in the world then how war can wipe out billions of human
beings. Moreover, war is imperative to prove the worth of
heroism without which men feel depression. Russell says
that such people live in fool’s paradise. They do not discern
the destructive power of modern weapons. It is not the age
of arrows, swords and guns. The use of WMDs will liquidate
life and this unfortunate planet of rocks and fields will revolve
about the sun aimlessly. Russell says that this may not
happen in the next world war if it takes place soon. But the
losers will attempt to get horrible weapons to retaliate their
foes. Man may survive the next world war abut the
subsequent period will see massive preparation of fatal
engines of war which will burn the world to ashes.
The second possibility is return to barbarism. Man may
survive in a small number but all resources will be destroyed.
Smart weapons will destroy labs and factories. The present
fabric of civilization will collapse. All the technologists,
engineers and men of science will be killed. Human
population will be drastically reduced. Remaining people will
be unable to keep up present status of life. They will return to
the Stone Age. They may regain present standing in the
distant future but the upshot will again be the same and
destruction will hunt man now and then.
Russell foresees this inevitable as the necessary
consequence of longstanding follies of man. Therefore, the
third possibility seems to be the only hope. It may be
realized in various ways: by the victory of the United States
in the next world war, or by the victory of the USSR, or by
the agreement and alliance of nations. Russell considers it
an imperative for the future of mankind. It is because the
world is awash with weapons and the world organizations
like the UNO will fail to reconcile the political and ideological
issues between the nations. Present political system of the
world has seeds of destruction. Almost all the countries have
well-trained armies and causes of war. Nationalism seems to
invite war. Only way out is to end geographical boundaries
and merge all the nations into one world government.
Russell admits that there are various arguments against the
project of a single government of the whole world.
The commonest is that the project is
utopian and impossible.
Some favour the idea but they tend to think that it will be
reached by agreement. But Russell maintains that mutual
suspicions between Russia and the West make it futile to
hope for and genuine accord in the near future. Therefore he
is convinced,
A world government will have to be imposed by
Those who deem its imposition by friendly ways are grossly
mistaken. Russell does not mean the theoretical realization
of the world government, no, he speaks of CONSTRUCTIVE
VISION. It means some concrete measures are needed to
achieve this object. It calls for strong determination as well
as wisdom. The world mind should know that,
Great wars can only be brought to an end by the
concentration of armed force under a single
After this realization, the first step is the alliance of like-
minded countries which according to Russell are English
speaking countries like America and the British
Commonwealth. They should unify their military powers.
Then they should offer to other nations the option of entering
into the Alliance which will involve a
Pooling of resources and mutual defense
against aggression.
Some reluctant nations will be dealt with the rule of CLUB
AND CARROT. It simply means inducements to some and
threat to others who refuse to be induced. Russell favours
the use of power against those nations which refuse to join
the Alliance. When the Alliance is strong enough, it will
challenge Russia. Then Russia may not dare war against the
whole world. If a world war breaks out, Russia will be
vanquished. America will suffer minimum damage because it
will be the war of the world.
Russell is of the view that the United States should establish
the world government. It Russia does so, peace may prevail
but the future of the world will be dark and grim. It is because
Russian Orthodoxy does not allow any free inquiry, much
needed for the progress of civilization. It can be seen in
Poland and other countries conquered by Russia. Stalinism
halted all mental progress and free thinking. But it is
otherwise with America. America will not put any restrain on
intellectual growth of culture or literature. It will not interfere
with life-style of the vanquished nations. They may continue
with their religions and culture but no one will have weapons.
Only central government will have monopoly over weapons.
Thus, future wars will be impossible. The greatest danger
faced by man will be overcome and a golden future will be
waiting for him.
After the establishment of the world government, all
resources will be used for the betterment of man. A new
world will emerge form the old one. It will not be threatened
with nuclear annihilation. In the beginning, the subjugated
nations will feel shame and misery. They may not be treated
equally. But, as Roman did, they will be offered citizenship
after two or three generation and then all will enjoy the fruit
of progress and prosperity. Future of man will be secure for
good. It this hope is realized, the world will be far better than
the previous period. If not, there will be utter disaster.