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Political Ideals

Bertrand Russell

Book Overview: 

This is a book by the famous 20th century British philosopher Bertrand Russell on Political Ideals. It was written during the course of World War 1 and contains a critique on the politico economic situation of then Europe. What is interesting is that some of his beliefs are still relevant today.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .in matters which do not really concern the majority. We should none of us like to have the internal affairs of Great Britain settled by a parliament of the world, if ever such a body came into existence. Nevertheless, there are matters which such a body could settle much better than any existing instrument of government.

The theory of the legitimate use of force in human affairs, where a government exists, seems clear. Force should only be used against those who attempt to use force against others, or against those who will not respect the law in cases where a common decision is necessary and a minority are opposed to the action of the majority. These seem legitimate occasions for the use of force; and they should be legitimate occasions in international affairs, if an international government existed. The problem of the legitimate occasions for the use of force in the absence of a government is a different one, with which we are not at present concerned. . . Read More