“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 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.”
“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.”
“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”
“Anybody who really wants to abolish war must resolutely declare himself in favour of his own country’s resigning a portion of its sovereignty in favour of international institutions: He must be ready to make his own country amendable, in case of dispute, to the award of an international court. He must in the most uncompromising fashion support disarmament all round, which is actually envisaged in the unfortunate Treaty of Versailles; unless military and aggressively patriotic education is abolished, we can hope for no progress.”
The world as I see it
“To be quite frank, a declaration like the one before me in a country which submits to conscription in peacetime seems to me valueless. What you must fight for is liberation from universal military service. Verily the French nation has had to pay heavily for the victory in 1918; for that victory had been largely responsible for holding it down in the most degrading of all forms of slavery. Let your efforts in this struggle be unceasing. You have a mighty ally in the German reactionaries and militarists. If France clings to universal military service, it will be impossible in the long run to prevent its introduction in Germany. For the demand of the Germans for equal rights will succeed in the end; and then there will be two German military slaves for every French one, which would certainly not be in the interests of France.”
“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.”
“Each of us here for a brief sojourn for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he feels it. But from the point of view of daily life, without going deeper, we exist for our fellowman. in the first place for those on whose smiles and welfare all our happiness depends, and next for all those unknown to us personally with whose destinies was are bound up by the tie of sympathy.”
“I am strongly drawn to the simple life and a often oppressed by the feeling that a engrossing an unnecessary amount of the labour of my fellowman.” “I also consider that plain living is good for everybody physically and mentally.”
“I regard class differences as contrary to justice and, in the last resort, based on force”
“When we survey our lives and endeavours we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires are bound up with the existence of other human beings. We see that our whole nature resembles that of the social animals. We eat food that others have made, live in houses that others have built. The greater part of our knowledge and beliefs has been communicated to us by other people through the medium of language which others have created. Without language our mental capacities would be poor indeed, comparable to those of the higher animals; we have, therefore, to admit that we owe our principle advantage over the beasts to the fact of living in human society. The individual, if left alone from birth, would remain primitive and beast-like in his thoughts and feelings to a degree that we can hardly conceive. The individual is what he is and has the significance that he has not so much in virtue of his individuality, but rather as a member of a greater human society, which directs his material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave.
A man’s value to the community depends primarily on how far his feelings, thoughts and actions are directed towards promoting the good of his fellows. We call him good or bad according to how he stands in this matter. It looks at first sight as if our estimate of a man depended entirely on his social qualities
And yet such an attitude would be wrong. It is clear that all the valuable things, material, spiritual, and moral, which we receive from society can be traced back through countless generations to certain creative individuals. The use of fire, the cultivation of edible plants, the steam engine – – each was discovered by one man.
Only the individual can think, and thereby create new values for society – – nay, even set up new moral standards to which life of the community conforms. Without creative, independently thinking and judging personalities the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the community.”
“I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure characters in the only thing that can produce fine ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and always temps it owner irresistibly to abuse it.
Can anyone imagine Moses or Ghandi armed with the moneybags of Carnegie?”
“However much our political convictions may differ, I know that we agree on one point: in the progressive achievements of the European mind both of us see and love our highest good. Those achievements are based on the freedom of thought and of teaching, on the principle that the desire for truth must take precedence of all other desires. It was this bases alone that enabled our civilisation to take its rise in Greece and to celebrate its rebirth in Italy at the Renaissance”
Source: The world as I see it – By: Albert Einstein
“It is right in principle that those should be the best loved who have contributed most to the elevation of the human race and human life. But, if one goes on to ask who they are, one finds oneself in no inconsiderable difficulties. In the case of political, and even religious leaders, it is often very doubtful whether they have done more good or harm”
“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self”
“Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common.
If you always keep that in mind you will find meaning in life and work and acquire the right attitude towards other nations and ages.”
Source: The World As I See It. By: Albert Einstein
“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”
“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.”
“Let every man judge according to his own standards, by what he himself read, not by what others tell him”
“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”
“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.”