Because, as well as being a pioneering logician, Russell was an uncompromising freethinker—and an early advocate of free love. Russell helped establish the analytic tradition, which rejected grand dogmas in favour of clear and precise inquiry, and became the basis of most university philosophy courses. But I could give you a minimum estimate. RUSSELL: I said at Trafalgar Square that we would need luck as things were, and we have been extremely lucky so far. I supported the war against Hitler, and have become a pacifist today largely because of the destructiveness of nuclear warfare. I am also pleased with the aftermath of my campaign for women’s suffrage and my efforts to secure a more enlightened sexual morality and behavior. There are military commanders in power on both sides, and their vested interest is in exercising that power. You would have to work it out with a view to making it more or less equally balanced in population. But they have not fully assimilated them. Another matter to which I have always attached great importance in education is that schools ought not to teach nationalism. It could so easily happen, in a day, in a moment . The only important matter is to find some way of compromise between them which will avoid war. The first interviewee in the magazine to comment on foreign political tension was British philosopher Bertrand Russell, who was interviewed in its March 1963 issue (41-52), only a few months after the dangerous escalation during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. Up to the time of Stalin’s death, it was really quite horrible. There are all these different possibilities. That year has passed, and nuclear holocaust has not yet overtaken us. I recognize that if you go outside the law you cannot complain if it is made a little awkward for you, but it ought to be possible to do so. When I was young, one talked to a woman in a different language than when talking to a man. But he has also been reviled as an enemy of religion and the flag; jailed for his ringleadership of passively nonviolent demonstrations against nuclear armament; and variously extolled and execrated for his contentious convictions on free love, women’s suffrage, sex education, pacifism and preventive war. They believe what I do not believe: that it is wicked to take part in any war, however righteous the cause. I still believe exactly what I said when I was 80, when people were asking me much the same question. Six years have elapsed since then without a noticeable decline in global strife and division. RUSSELL: They have made a contribution toward informed opinion. In the case of the Cuban crisis, on the other hand, Khrushchev has shown himself to be less belligerent than Kennedy, and in effect, at a crucial moment last October, was responsible for avoiding a war of nuclear devastation. I was rather pleased. PLAYBOY: You were recently threatened with expulsion from the Labor Party for urging Western representatives to attend a Moscow “peace” conference and state their views. But the Pugwash meetings have not accomplished as much as one might have hoped. I want to see individuals retain the kind of personal flexibility and initiative that they ought to have. I think that if the West were to voluntarily divest itself of nuclear weapons as a token of its peaceful intentions—this would greatly impress the Russians. Once, at a dinner, the young Russell “was left tête-à-tête” with William Gladstone, the “Grand Old Man” of British politics. 3. “I was only 17 and very, very shy, and it was by far the worst experience of my life,” Russell recalled. And he was a famously committed atheist, using his formidable rhetorical skills to prosecute that cause. On both sides they consist of people with interests in armaments and all the apparatus of preparation for war. Within hours of my communication, 12 Soviet ships had turned back from their Cuban destination and Khrushchev had stopped further shipment. One appreciative listener has commented: “Imagine if this guy had a podcast.” The informal online archive will have to suffice. RUSSELL: We should not interfere with conventional weapons unless there is general nuclear disarmament. What I am saying is this: When two great powers disagree about anything—it doesn’t matter what—they must find a way to settle it somehow by arbitration or by negotiation, not by war or threat of war. RUSSELL: Though they have mattered differently at different times, the question of international peace certainly transcends any I have ever been concerned with or any issue that previously excited me.

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