|“But we must never forget what this crisis has taught us – – namely, that the establishment of satisfactory relations between the Jews and the Arabs is not England’s affair but ours. We – – that is to say, the Arabs and ourselves – – have got to agree on the main outlines of an advantageous partnership which shall satisfy the needs of both nations. A just solution of this problem and one worthy of both nations is an end no less important and no less worthy of our efforts than the promotion of the work of construction itself. Remember that Switzerland represents a higher stage of political development than any national state, precisely because of the greater political problems which had to be solved before stable community could be built up out of groups of different nationality”||The world as I see it|
|“The difficulties we have been through have also brought some good in their train. They have shown us once more how strong the bond is which unites the Jews of all countries in a common destiny. The crisis has also purified our attitude to the question of Palestine, purged it of the dross of nationalism. It has been clearly proclaimed that we are not seeking to create a political society, but that our aim is, in accordance with the old tradition of Jewry, a cultural one in the widest sense of the word. That being so, it is for us to solve the problem of living side by side with our brother the Arab in an open, generous and worthy manner. We have here an opportunity of showing what we have learnt in the thousands of years of our martyrdom. If we choose the right path we shall succeed and give the rest of the world a fine example.”||The world as I see it|
|“Certain proceedings and pronouncements of the English administration have been justly criticised. We must not, however, leave it at that but learn by experience. We need to pay great attention to our relations with the Arabs. By cultivating these carefully we shall be able tin future to prevent things from becoming so dangerously strained that people can take advantage of them to provoke acts of hostility. This goal is perfectly within our reach because our work of construction has been, and must continue to be, carried out is such a manner as to serve the real interests of the Arab population also.”||The world as I see it|
|“Among Zionist organisations ‘working Palestine’ is the one whose work is of most direct benefit to the most valuable class of people living there – – namely, those who are transforming deserts into flourishing settlements by the labour of their hands. These workers are a selection, made on a voluntary basis, from the whole Jewish nation, an Elite composed of strong, confident, and unselfish people. They are not ignorant stein labourers who sell the labour of their hands to the highest bidder, but educated, intellectually vigorous, free men, from whose peaceful struggle with a neglected soil the whole Jewish nation are the gainers, directly and indirectly. By lightening their heavy lot as far as we can we shall be saving the most valuable sort of human life; for the first settlers’ struggle on ground not yet made habitable is a difficult and dangerous business involving a heavy personal sacrifice. How true this is, only they can judge who have seen it with their own eyes. Anyone who helps improve the equipment of these men is helping on the good work as a crucial point.
It is, moreover, this working class alone that has it in its power to establish healthy relations with the Arabs, which is the most important task of Zionism. Administrations come and go; but it is human relations that finally turn the scale in the lives of nations. Therefore to support ‘Working Palestine’ is at the same time to promote a humane and worthy policy in Palestine, and to oppose an effective resistance to those undercurrents of narrow nationalism from which the whole political world, and in a less degree the small political world of Palestine affairs, is suffering.”
|The world as I see it|
|“Your letter has given me great pleasure. It shows me that there is good will available on your side too for solving the present difficulties in a manner worthy of both our nations. I believe that these difficulties are more psychological than real, and that they can be got over if both sides bring honesty and good will to the task.
What makes the present position so bad is the fact that Jews and Arabs confront each other as opponent before the mandatory power. This state of affairs is unworthy of both nations and can only be altered by our finding a via media on which both sides agree.”
|The world as I see it|
|“The distinguishing feature of the present political situation of the world, and in particular of Europe, seems to me to be this, that political development has failed, both materially and intellectually, to keep pace with economic necessity, which has changed character in a comparatively short time. The interests of each country must be subordinated to the interests of the wider community. The struggle for this new orientation of political thought and feeling is a severe one, because it has the tradition of centuries against it. But the survival of Europe depends on its successful issue. But the survival of Europe depends on its successful issue. It is my firm conviction that once the psychological impediments are overcome the solution of the real problems will not be such a terribly difficult matter..”||The world as I see it|
|“As regards this most important need of the age of inhabitants of a small state are better placed than those of a great Power, since the latter are exposed, both in politics and economics, to the temptation to gain their ends by brute force. The agreement between Holland and Belgium, which is the only bright spot in European affairs during the last few years, encourages one to hope that the small nations will play a leading part in the attempt to liberate the world from the degrading yoke of militarism through the renunciation of the individual country’s unlimited right to self-determination.”||The world as I see it|
|“If one would estimate the damage done by the great political catastrophe to the development of human civilisation, one must remember that culture in its higher forms is a delicate plant which depends on a complicated set of conditions and is wont to flourish only is a few places at any given time. For it to blossom there is needed, first of all, a certain degree of prosperity, which enabled a fraction of the population to work at things not directly necessary to the maintenance of life; secondly, a moral tradition of respect for cultural values and achievement, in virtue of which this class is provided with means of living by the other classes, those who provide the immediate necessities of life.
During the past century Germany has been one of the countries in which both conditions were fulfilled. The prosperity was, taken as a whole, modest but sufficient; the tradition of respect for culture vigorous. On this basis the German Nation has brought forth fruits of culture which form an integral part of the development of the modern world. The tradition, in the main, still stands; the prosperity is gone. The industries of the country have been cut off almost completely from the sources of raw materials on which the existence of the industrial part of the population was based. The surplus necessary to support the intellectual worker has suddenly ceased to exist. With it the tradition which depends on it will inevitably collapse also, and a fruitful nursery of culture turn to wilderness.”
|The world as I see it|
|“My personal opinion is that those methods are preferable which respect existing traditions and habits so far as that is in any way compatible with the end in view. Nor do I believe that a sudden transference of the control of industry to the hands of the public would be beneficial from the point of view of production; private enterprise should be left its sphere of activity, in so far as is has not already been eliminated by industry itself in the form of cartelization.
There are, however, two respects in which this economic freedom ought to be limited. In each branch of industry the number of working hours per week ought so to be reduced by law that unemployment is systematically abolished. At the same time minimum wages must be fixed in such a way that purchasing power of the workers keeps pace with production.
Further, in those industries which have become monopolistic in character through organisation on the part of the producers, prices must be controlled by the state in order to keep the creation of new capital with reasonable bounds and prevent the artificial strangling of production and consumption. In this way it might perhaps be possible to establish a proper balance between production and consumption without too great a limitation of free enterprise, and at the same time to stop the intolerable tyranny of the owners of the means of production (land, machinery) over wage-earners, in the widest sense of the term”
|The world as I see it|
|“The free play of economic forces will not by itself automatically overcome these difficulties. Regulative measures by the community are needed to bring about a sound distribution of labour and consumption goods among mankind; without them even the people of the richest countries will suffocate. The fact is that since the amount of work needed to supply everybody’s needs has been reduced through the improvement of technical methods, the free play of economic forces no longer produces a state of affairs in which all the available labour can find employment. Deliberate regulation and organisation are becoming necessary to make the results of technical progress beneficial to all.”||The world as I see it|
|Page 13 & 14||“Everybody acts not only under external compulsions but also in accordance with inner necessity. Schopenhaurer’s saying that ‘a man can do as he wills, but not will as he will’ has been an inspiration to me since my youth”|
|Page 14||“To inquire after the meaning or object of one’s own existence or of creation generally has always seemed to me absurd from an objective point of view. And yet everybody has certain ideals which determine the direction of his endeavours and his judgements. In this sense I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves. The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness and Beauty. Without the sense of fellowship with men of like mind, of preoccupation with the objective, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific research, life would have seemed to me empty. The ordinary objectives of human endeavour – property, outward success, luxury – have always seemed to me contemptible.”|
|Page 17||“Let every man judge according to his own standards, by what he himself read, not by what others tell him”|
|page 13||“what is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? to answer this question all implies religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? i answer, the an who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life”|
|Page 32||“With primitive man it is above all fear that evokes religious notions – – fear of hunger, wild beasts, sickness, death. Since at this stage of existence understanding of casual connections is usually poorly developed, the human mind creates for itself more or less analogous being on whose wills and actions these fearful happening depend”
“I am speaking now of the religion of fear. This, though not created, is in an important degree stabilised by the formation of a special priestly caste which sets up as a mediator between the people and the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis. In many cases the leader or ruler whose position depends on other factors, or a privileged class, combines priestly functions with its secular authority in order to make the latter more secure; or the political rulers and the priestly caste make common cause in their own interests.”
Source: Albert Einstein – The World As I See It