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Published: April 10, 2018 (5 years ago.)
Tags:  History · Oligarchy · Philosophy · Psyop

The book in...
One sentence:
The blueprint for Huxley's Brave New World, both of which were couched as a warning, but in reality are plain-as-day communism.

Five sentences:
This propaganda cloaks itself in the history of science's big names and methods like induction and deduction. It openly promotes a one-world, soviet style, government predicated on a caste system that degenerates into haves/have-nots and finally two different species (Brave New World -> Time Machine). To bring this to fruition there needs to be some irresistible world fighting force (UN?, NATO?, who to fight?) and a system of propaganda, education, indoctrination, endless entertainment, and free sex. The issue of scarcity will be solved with artificial everything: food, wood, rubber, etc. Finally scarcity won't be a long term problem because of population control via sterilization, eugenics, embryology, family destruction, and fleeting hollow (LGBT) relationships.

designates my notes. / designates important.


First off, read this book. Period. Full stop.

Every single page of this book has sentences that will leave most readers slack jawed. Much in the same way as Propaganda, this book (from 1928 and 1931) pulls no punches and is almost laughable at how direct Russell is with his thoughts. He says, point blank, that Hollywood/cinema is used to control the masses by pacifying them while injecting standards they “should” live by.

This was published 4 months before Brave New World, which took 4 months to write, coincidence?

Russell draws an interesting line between the difference in old/Greek way: where through deduction one comes to conclusions taken from obvious truths, to the new/Newton/Galileo way: where through induction one comes to non-obvious truth via observation. I don’t think on is necessarily better than the other, but this delineation in ways of thinking is interesting.

Russell calls much attention to scientists like Galileo, Newton, Darwin and Pavlov, and then also make references to fictional characters like Alice in Wonderland and her Mad Hatter. I find this telling since he also claims that Hollywood (stories) are used to control the masses. Is Alice/Hatter him falling for his own nonsense? Is he using this very work to poison the very well while he explains how to poison the well?

Then he goes on to say that “It is the fashion among intellectuals to regard our age as one of weariness and discouragement … since they have less influence on affairs than they formerly had.” This is right after he claimed that the cinema is more relevant than the church. So which is it? Is the cinema the new arbiter of truth and the intellectuals have fallen to the wayside, or do the “real” intellectuals distribute their messaging via the cinema? Or, when he speaks of intellectuals, does he mean (for example) professors who don’t have much relevance and not the oligarchical intellectuals (like him)?

Russell examines things like productivity, scarcity,competition, and labor in sometimes counterintuitive ways. For example, he states:

“In the absence of competition, the immensely enhanced productivity of labour would enable men to arrive at a just compromise between leisure and goods: they could choose whether they would work six hours a day and be rich, or four hours a day and enjoy only moderate comfort.”

First of all, I ask: how is this not competition? The more you work the more you are rewarded. Second, he later talks about how labor should be bred like horses: for brawn not brain. Does the mule have agency in how it spends it days? Would the future human laborer? No matter how hard the mule works, it will never be rich and certainly not confortable or free.

Then, he essentially extrapolates from controlling individuals (labor) through breeding, punishment, and entertainment to controlling the masses through similar methods at the “organized world state” level.

He claims that this world state will firstly ensure security against war. All of the wasted resources of arms races can be channeled into other, more productive means. Sounds great on paper, but then he immediately reneges on this idea by claiming there would still need to be “a single highly efficient fighting machine, employing mainly aeroplanes and chemical methods of warfare, which will be quite obviously irresistible…” So which is it? And who will this ultra fighting force be fighting against?

This world state will change from time to time via palace revolutions, but the overall state will remain the same. Propaganda of nationalism will become propaganda of the world state. Russell claims that such a state would need only survive for one generation then it would be stable. Later he goes into how those born into the lower class but express intelligence could be elevated to the ruling class if they denouce their old life. If they show devotion to their old life, they must be put to death before they might foment revolution. Literally. If you do as you are told you will be OK, maybe even rewarded. Otherwise? Death.

This seems very ignorant on Russell’s part. Anyone (or at least any-some) of the intelligent “lower class” would recognize the lethality of solidarity to their class and simply hide it. Or even hide their intelligence. Eventually you would have an uprising. Unless of course Russell’s oligarchy was successful in (Brave New World-style) modifying embryos and creating a literally engineered population.

While that might be possible, he belabors the point that the modern world is induced to uniformity via education, the press, and the media. These tools of propaganda, while powerful, will not be able to command the absolute compliance Russell pines for. At least not in my opinion. Look at the world today (2022). While the media (social and legacy) have done a grand job at confusing the masses, setting us against one another, and distracting us from the ugly side of our brave new world, there are still a great many people all over the world that see through the lies. We have simply not found a way to act. We will eventually be pushed too far (a different point for everyone) and reach our breaking point.

When that time comes the reaction could be anything from building a parallel economy/society to exist outside of the oligarchy’s control grid to lashing out in a lone gunman sense, to full out violent revolution.


Exceptional Excerpts

It is an odd fact that subjective certainty is inversely proportional to objective certainty.

In the name of science we revolutionize industry, undermine family morals, enslave coloured races, and skilfully exterminate each other with poison gases.

indeed, the science of one generation has already become the tradition of the next

When people think of scientific technique they think primarily of machines. It seems probable that in the near future science will achieve equal triumphs in biological and physiological directions, and will ultimately acquire as much power to change men’s minds as it already has power to deal with our inanimate environment.

Love, parenthood, pleasure, and beauty are of less account to the modern industrialist than to the princely magnates of past times. Manipulation and exploitation are the ruling passions of the typical scientific industrialist. The average man may not share this narrow concentration, but for that very reason he fails to acquire a hold on the sources of power, and leaves the practical government of the world to the fanatics of mechanism.

Fortunately, the modern holders of power are not yet quite aware how much they could do if they chose, but when this knowledge dawns upon them a new era in human tyranny is to be expected.

It is likely that this result [modifying embryos] will only be achieved after a number of unsuccessful experiments leading to the birth of idiots or monstrosities. But would this be too high a price to pay for the discovery of a method by which, within one generation, the whole human race could be rendered intelligent? Perhaps by a suitable choice of chemicals to be injected into the uterus it may

Education has two very different purposes: on the one hand it aims at developing the individual and giving him knowledge which will be useful to him; on the other hand it aims at producing citizens who will be convenient for the State or the Church which is educating them.

children in school are taught to believe what they are told and are punished if they express disbelief. In this way a conditioned reflex is established, leading to a belief in anything said authoritatively

perhaps the most important of all the modern agents of propaganda is the cinema. Where the cinema is concerned, the technical reasons for large-scale organizations leading to almost world-wide uniformity are overwhelming.

The great majority of young people in almost all civilized countries derive their ideas of love, of honour, of the way to make money, and of the importance of good clothes, from the evenings spent in seeing what Hollywood thinks good for them. I doubt whether all the schools and churches combined have as much influence as the cinema upon the opinions of the young in regard to such intimate matters as love and marriage and money-making.

The producers of Hollywood are the high-priests of a new religion. Let us be thankful for the lofty purity of their sentiments. We learn from them that sin is always punished, and virtue is always rewarded.

We know from the cinema that wealth comes to the virtuous, and from real life that old So-and-so has wealth. It follows that old So-and-so is virtuous, and that the people who say he exploits his employees are slanderers and troublemakers. The cinema therefore plays a useful part in safeguarding the rich from the envy of the poor.

any defects in the status quo become known only to those who are willing to spend their leisure time otherwise than in amusement; these are, of course, a small minority, and from a political point of view they are at most times negligible.

What would Western Europeans do if deprived of their nightly drug from Hollywood?

Credit has become an immense force controlling the economic life of all advanced communities, but although its principles are fairly well understood by experts, political difficulties stand in the way of the right utilization of these principles, and the barbaric practice of depending upon actual gold is still a cause of much misery.

The primitive peasant may be almost entirely self-directed; he produces his own food, buys very little, and does not send his children to school. The modern man, even if he happens to be an agriculturist, produces only a small proportion of what he eats … In his buying and selling he depends upon immense organizations which are usually international; his reading is provided by the great newspapers, his amusements by Hollywood, the education of his children by the State, his capital, in part at least, by a bank, his political opinions by his Party, his safety and many of his amenities by the Government to which he pays taxes. Thus in all his most important activities he has ceased to be a separate unit and has become dependent upon some social organization.

In a great many respects national boundaries have become a technical absurdity, and further advance demands that they should be ignored.

I am not anxious to appraise the good or evil in the Soviet system, but merely to point out those elements of deliberate planning which make it so far the most complete example of a scientific society. In the first place, all the major factors of

We must therefore increasingly expect to see government falling into the hands of oligarchies, not of birth but of opinion. In countries long accustomed to democracy, the empire of these oligarchies may be concealed behind democratic forms…

Quite apart from war, an international organization of credit and banking is necessary to the prosperity not only of some countries, but of all.

Economic motives will be employed to regulate population,

Children in excess of the licensed figure will presumably be subjected to infanticide. This would be less cruel than the present method, which is to kill them by war or starvation.

all real power will come to be concentrated in the hands of those who understand the art of scientific manipulation.

On those rare occasions when a boy or girl who has passed the age at which it is usual to determine social status shows such marked ability as to seem the intellectual equal of the rulers, a difficult situation will arise, requiring serious consideration. If the youth is content to abandon his previous associates and to throw in his lot whole-heartedly with the rulers, he may, after suitable tests, be promoted, but if he shows any regrettable solidarity with his previous associates, the rulers will reluctantly conclude that there is nothing to be done with him except to send him to the lethal chamber before his ill-disciplined intelligence has had time to spread revolt.

Fathers would, of course, have nothing to do with their own children.

Table of Contents

· Preface

page vii:
page xv:
page xviii:
page xix:
  1. Dissent is suppressed, workers are forcibly sterilized, individuals are tortured in the name of scientific research.
page xx:

· Introduction

page xxiv:

Part 1: Scientific Knowledge

· 01: Examples of Scientific Method

page 25:
page 28:
page 32:
page 34:
page 36:

· 02: Characteristics of Scientific Method

page 37:
page 38:
page 42:
page 43:

· 03: Limitations of Scientific Method

page 49:
page 50:
page 52:
page 56:
page 58:

· 04: Scientific Metaphysics

page 67;

But now the sun is nothing but waves of probability. If you ask what it is that is probable, or in what ocean the waves travel, the physicist, like the Mad Hatter, replies: “I have had enough of this; suppose we change the subject.”

page 68:
page 69:

· 05: Science and Religion

page 75:
page 93:
page 94:

Part 2: Scientific Technique

· 06: Beginnings of Scientific Technique

page 100:
page 101:
page 102:
page 105:

· 07: Technique in Inanimate Nature

page 106:

page 109:
page 110:
page 111:

· 08: Technique in Biology

page 120:

· 09: Technique in Physiology

page 123:
1870 .. 22.9 per thousand
1929 .. 13.4 per thousand
1870 .. 35.3 per thousand
1929 .. 16.3 per thousand
page 124:
page 125:
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· 10: Technique in Psychology

page 131:
page 135:

· 11: Technique in Society

page 138:
page 139:

page 140:

page 141:
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page 143:

page 144:
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page 146:

Part 3: The Scientific Society

· 12: Artificially Created Societies

page 149:
page 150:
page 151:
page 154:

page 155:

page 156:
page 157:

page 158:

· 13: The Individual and the Whole

page 164:

page 165:
page 166:

· 14: Scientific Government

page 169:
page 175:

page 176:
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· 15: Education in a Scientific Society

page 182:
page 183:
page 185:

page 186:

· 16: Scientific Reproduction

page 187:
page 188:
page 189:
page 190:

page 191:
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· 17: Science and Values

page 197:
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