Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bertrand Russell and the War on Terror

     I have still been reading Power by Bertrand Russell and ran into a section that I wondered whether people thought were descriptive of the War on Terror.  He is describing the leader and the situations that are best for the maintenance of power.  He writes:

"The best situation is one in which there is a danger sufficiently serious to make men feel brave in combating it, but not so terrifying as to make fear predominate -- such a situation, for example, as the outbreak of war against an enemy who is thought formidable but not invincible.  A skilful orator, when he wishes to stimulate warlike feeling, produces in his audience two layers of belief:  a superficial layer, in which the power of the enemy is magnified so as to make great courage seem necessary, and a deeper layer, in which there is a firm  conviction of victory.  Both are embodied in such a slogan as 'right will prevail over might'.
"The kind of mob that the orator will desire is one more given to emotion than to reflection, one filled with fears and consequent hatreds, one impatient of slow and gradual methods, and at once exasperated and hopeful."(pg. 17-18)

Any comments?

1 comment:

  1. What about a run-up to a war with Iran?