(玉川大学出版部,1981年7月刊。268+x pp.)

* 原著: Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954)
原著者まえがきの一部 n.2

Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954, Preface


Bertrand Russell Quotes 366
Why, then, is there this violent passion which causes people, when they read me, to be unable to notice even the plainest statement, and to go on comfortably thinking that I say the exact opposite of what I do say? There are several motives which may lead people to hate reason. You may have incompatible desires and not wish to realize that they are incompatible. You may wish to spend more than your income and or yet remain solvent. And this may cause you to hate your friends when they point out the cold facts of arithmetic. You may, if you are an old-fashioned schoolmaster, wish to consider yourself full of universal benevolence, and at the same time derive great pleasure from caning boys. In order to reconcile these two desires you have to persuade yourself that caning has a reformatory influence. If a psychiatrist tells you that it has no such influence on some peculiarly irritating class of young sinners, you will fly into a rage and accuse him of being coldly intellectual. There is a splendid example of this pattern in the furious diatribe of the great Dr. Arnold of Rugby against those who thought ill of flogging. There is another, more sinister, motive for liking irrationality. If men are sufficiently irrational, you may be able to induce them to serve your interests under the impression that they are serving their own. This case is very common in politics. Most political leaders acquire their position by causing large numbers of people to believe that these leaders are actuated by altruistic desires. It is well understood that such a belief is more readily accepted under the influence of excitement. Brass bands, mob oratory, lynching, and war, are stages in the development of the excitement. I suppose the advocates of unreason think that there is a better chance of profitably deceiving the populace if they keep it in a state of effervescence. Perhaps it is my dislike of this sort of process which leads people to say that I am unduly rational.