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In Praise of Idleness By Bertrand Russell

This Political Description of a Hypocrite, may (for ought I know) be taken for a new Doctrine by some of your Readers; but let them consider, that . 'Tis not inconsistent with Charity to distrust a Religious Man in Power, tho' he may be a good Man; he has many Temptations "to propagate for and Security": And if his Natural Temper be covetous, and his Actions often contradict his pious Discourse, we may with great Reason conclude, that he has some other Design in his Religion besides barely getting to Heaven. But the most dangerous Hypocrite in a Common-Wealth, is one who : A Man compounded of Law and Gospel, is able to cheat a whole Country with his Religion, and then destroy them under : And here the Clergy are in great Danger of being deceiv'd, and the People of being deceiv'd by the Clergy, until the Monster arrives to such Power and Wealth, that he is out of the reach of both, and can oppress the People without their own blind Assistance. And it is a sad Observation, that when the People too late see their Error, yet the Clergy still persist in their Encomiums on the Hypocrite; and when he happens to die without leaving behind him the Memory of he shall be sure to have his Funeral Sermon stuff'd with which he dropt at such a Time, and at such a Place, and on such an Occasion; than which nothing can be more prejudicial to the Interest of Religion, nor indeed to the Memory of the Person deceas'd. The Reason of this Blindness in the Clergy is, because they are honourably supported (as they ought to be) by their People, and see nor feel nothing of the Oppression which is obvious and burdensome to every one else.

This Political Description of a Hypocrite, may (for ought I know) be taken for a new Doctrine by some of your Readers; but let them consider, that . 'Tis not inconsistent with Charity to distrust a Religious Man in Power, tho' he may be a good Man; he has many Temptations "to propagate for and Security": And if his Natural Temper be covetous, and his Actions often contradict his pious Discourse, we may with great Reason conclude, that he has some other Design in his Religion besides barely getting to Heaven. But the most dangerous Hypocrite in a Common-Wealth, is one who : A Man compounded of Law and Gospel, is able to cheat a whole Country with his Religion, and then destroy them under : And here the Clergy are in great Danger of being deceiv'd, and the People of being deceiv'd by the Clergy, until the Monster arrives to such Power and Wealth, that he is out of the reach of both, and can oppress the People without their own blind Assistance. And it is a sad Observation, that when the People too late see their Error, yet the Clergy still persist in their Encomiums on the Hypocrite; and when he happens to die without leaving behind him the Memory of he shall be sure to have his Funeral Sermon stuff'd with which he dropt at such a Time, and at such a Place, and on such an Occasion; than which nothing can be more prejudicial to the Interest of Religion, nor indeed to the Memory of the Person deceas'd. The Reason of this Blindness in the Clergy is, because they are honourably supported (as they ought to be) by their People, and see nor feel nothing of the Oppression which is obvious and burdensome to every one else.

In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays by Bertrand …

In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays - Revolvy

These, and many others, very sinful, devoid of righteousness, certainly go on the Way of Yama, weeping day and night.

Only ten thousand or so were slaughtered in the initial stage of the Red Terror, which accompanied Lenin’s German-assisted coup d’état in Russia, a hundred years ago. This first slaughter was selective, and personal; the Bolsheviks had made lists. We commemorate not a “revolution” but a successful putsch, in which one faction (the most fanatic, violent, and evil faction) appropriated a Russian Revolution that had already been started by others. Their targets were mostly Tsarist officials, already displaced with Tsar Nicholas and family.

I had no sooner left this Set of Ramblers, but I met a Crowd of and their Doxies, link'd to each other by the Arms, who ran (by their own Account) after the Rate of and bent their Course towards the Common. Their eager and amorous Emotions of Body, occasion'd by taking their Mistresses they call'd : And as a Pair of them happen'd to trip and come to the Ground, the Company were call'd upon to for that Jack and Betty were . But this Fleet were not less comical or irregular in their Progress than a Company of Females I soon after came up with, who, by throwing their Heads to the Right and Left, at every one who pass'd by them, I concluded came out with no other Design than to revive the Spirit of Love in Disappointed Batchelors, and expose themselves to Sale to the first Bidder.

"In Praise of Idleness,The Case for Socialism" - Ditext

I cannot pretend to account for the different Effects of Liquor on Persons of different Dispositions, who are guilty of Excess in the Use of it. 'Tis strange to see Men of a regular Conversation become rakish and profane when intoxicated with Drink, and yet more surprizing to observe, that some who appear to be the most profligate Wretches when sober, become mighty religious in their Cups, and will then, and at no other Time address their Maker, but when they are destitute of Reason, and actually affronting him. Some shrink in the Wetting, and others swell to such an unusual Bulk in their Imaginations, that they can in an Instant understand all Arts and Sciences, by the liberal Education of a little vivifying or a sufficient Quantity of other exhilerating Liquor.

58. Thus quarrelling, they are taken hold of by the messengers, by order of Yama, and thrown into the dreadful hells, Tâmisra and others,

I shall here present your Readers with a Letter from one, who informs me that I have begun at the wrong End of my Business, and that I ought to begin at Home, and censure the Vices and Follies of my own Sex, before I venture to meddle with your's: Nevertheless, I am resolved to dedicate this Speculation to the Fair Tribe, and endeavour to show, that Mr. Ephraim charges Women with being particularly guilty of Pride, Idleness, &c. wrongfully, inasmuch as the Men have not only as great a Share in those Vices as the Women, but are likewise in a great Measure the Cause of that which the Women are guilty of. I think it will be best to produce my Antagonist, before I encounter him.

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Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays (1935)


In Praise Of Idleness And Other Essays - Internet Archive

Some I perceiv'd took to Merchandizing, others to Travelling, some to one Thing, some to another, and some to Nothing; and many of them from henceforth, for want of Patrimony, liv'd as poor as Church Mice, being unable to dig, and asham'd to beg, and to live by their Wits it was impossible. But the most Part of the Crowd went along a large beaten Path, which led to a Temple at the further End of the Plain, call'd, . The Business of those who were employ'd in this Temple being laborious and painful, I wonder'd exceedingly to see so many go towards it; but while I was pondering this Matter in my Mind, I spy'd behind a Curtain, beckoning to them with her Hand, which Sight immediately satisfy'd me for whose Sake it was, that a great Part of them (I will not say all) travel'd that Road. In this Temple I saw nothing worth mentioning, except the ambitious and fraudulent Contrivances of Plagius, who (notwithstanding he had been severely reprehended for such Practices before) was diligently transcribing some eloquent Paragraphs out of Tillotson's &c., to embellish his own.

In Praise Of Idleness And Other Essays ..

But let us bring our discussion back again to the examples of noble deeds. Acertain man once kept striking Socrates, the son of Sophroniscus, in the face,yet he did not resent it, but allowed full play to the ruffian's anger, so thathis face was swollen and bruised from the blows. Then when he stopped strikinghim, Socrates did nothing more than write on his forehead, as an artisan on astatue, who did it, and thus took out his revenge. Since these examples almostcoincide with our teachings, I hold that such men are worthy of emulation. Forthis conduct of Socrates is akin to the precept that to him who smites you uponthe one cheek, you shall turn the other also —thus much may you be avenged; the conduct of Pericles and of Euclid alsoconforms to the precept: 'Submit to those who persecute you, and endure theirwrath with meekness;' and to the other: 'Prayfor your enemies and curse them not.' Onewho has been instructed in the pagan examples will no longer hold the Christianprecepts impracticable. But I will not overlook the conduct of Alexander, who,on taking captive the daughters of Darius, who were reputed to be of surpassingbeauty, would not even look at them, for he deemed it unworthy of one who was aconqueror of men to be a slave towomen. This is of a piece with the statement thathe who looks upon a woman to lust after her, even though he does not commit theact of adultery, is not free from its guilt, since he has entertained impurethoughts. It is hard to believe thatthe action of Cleinias, one of the disciples ofPythagoras, was in accidental conformity to our teachings, and not designedimitation of them. What, then, was this act of his? By taking an oath he couldhave avoided a fine of three talents, yet rather than do so he paid the fine,though he could have sworn truthfully. I am inclined to think that he had heardof the precept which forbids us to swear.

in praise of idleness and other essays | Download …

"My Design in troubling you with this Letter is, to desire you would begin with your own Sex first: Let the first Volley of your Resentments be directed against Vice; let Female Idleness, Ignorance and Folly, (which are Vices more peculiar to your Sex than to our's,) be the Subject of your Satyrs, but more especially Female Pride, which I think is intollerable. Here is a large Field that wants Cultivation, and which I believe you are able (if willing) to improve with Advantage; and when you have once reformed the Women, you will find it a much easier Task to reform the Men, because Women are the prime Causes of a great many Male Enormities. This is all at present from Your Friendly Wellwisher,

In Praise of Idleness And Other Essays by Bertrand Russell

As for Idleness, if I should Quaere, Where are the greatest Number of its Votaries to be found, with us or the Men? it might I believe be easily and truly answer'd, . For notwithstanding the Men are commonly complaining how hard they are forc'd to labour, only to maintain their Wives in Pomp and Idleness, yet if you go among the Women, you will learn, that ; and that a &c. But however, Suppose we should grant for once, that we are generally more idle than the Men, (without making any Allowance for the ) I desire to know whose Fault it is? Are not the Men to blame for their Folly in maintaining us in Idleness? Who is there that can be handsomely Supported in Affluence, Ease and Pleasure by another, that will chuse rather to earn his Bread by the Sweat of his own Brows? And if a Man will be so fond and so foolish, as to labour hard himself for a Livelihood, and suffer his Wife in the mean Time to sit in Ease and Idleness, let him not blame her if she does so, for it is in a great Measure his own Fault.

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