Bertrand Russell Quotes

Bertrand Russell Quotes 366

The use of self-control is like the use of brakes on a train. It is useful when you find yourself going in 'the wrong direction, but merely harmful when the direction is right. No one would maintain that a train ought always to be run with the brakes on, yet the habit of difficult self-control has a very similar injurious effect upon the energies available for useful activity.
Source: Bertrand Russell: Marriage and Morals, 1929, chap. 21: Conclusion.
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* a brief comment: original text in Japanese, translated with (free version)

This is a famous passage from the final chapter (conclusion) of Russell's Marriage and Morals. The aim is that it is better to 'open up' than to 'restrain' emotions, especially in love and romance! 
However, as with Russell's words, there are many people who interpret the words of famous people in their own way, or use them in less appropriate situations, to foil or camouflage their own words and actions. Both the accelerator and the brake need to be used appropriately. However, just like drivers who misplace the brake and accelerator, there are many politicians who use sophistry and refuse to admit their faults when they cause major problems (political "accidents"). It has become a truism that "politicians are the beginning of liars".