Captain Harmanpreet Singh admitted that his team is not taking any opposition lightly and will enter the game against Korea with a positive mindset.
Bertrand Russell continued his seething attack on the USA for her imperialist intentions and exploitative policies. He spent a number of years in the USA and gave countless TV interviews.
To name a few, there was one in early October 1963, with John Freeman, one in early April 1964, in which Robert Bolt was the interlocutor, another in 1967 with him, and one in September 1965 with Ralph Miliband. Russell got so annoyed with the policy of the British Government on Vietnam that he resigned from the Party in 1965 and tore up his Labour card.
This annoyed many members of the Labour Party in the Parliament. Many charges were laid down against him. But none of these incidents deterred him from making statements against both the British and American governments. Rather, he spent a lot of time in London towards the end of 1966 in order to open the preparatory meetings of the War Crimes Tribunal.
Hundreds of people visited him each day ~ morning, afternoon, and evening ~ to talk to him. On 13 November 1966 in his speech to the first meeting of the members of the War Crimes Tribunal, he vehemently criticized USA’s involvement in Vietnam War in the following words: “Why is this War being fought in Vietnam?
In whose interest it is being waged? We have, I am certain, an obligation to study these questions and to pronounce on them, after thorough investigation, for in doing so we can assist mankind in understanding why a small agrarian people have endured for more than twelve years the assault of the largest industrial power on earth, possessing the most developed and cruel military capacity.” Russell was shocked to discover that the United States conducted war on Vietnam with unprecedented cruelty using new methods of torture. He concluded, after careful examination of the great body of the facts that he and his colleagues had amassed, that the war must be ended quickly and that the only way to end it was to support the North Vietnamese and the liberation front unequivocally.
They feared that so long as the war continued it would be used by America as an excuse for escalation which was likely to end in a general conflagration. Therefore, Russell set up the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, which brought together those groups which saw the Vietnam War as flagrant aggression by the world’s mightiest nation against a small peasant people.
Russell delivered the opening address to the founding of the Solidarity Campaign in June 1966 which sent speakers all over the country together with the Foundation’s photographic exhibition on the war, and formed a nucleus of support in Britain for the International War Crime Tribunal. Slowly and gradually the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation set up its branches in several countries: Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, France, India, Italy, Japan, Philippines and the United States. Russell himself admitted that he soon became aware that it was not only Stalin’s dictatorship which was ruthless ~ America was no less in any way.
The fanaticism of America’s anti-Communism, combined with its constant search for markets and raw materials, made it impossible for any serious neutral to not regard America and Russia as equally dangerous to the world. The essential unity of American military, economic, and Cold War policies was increasingly revealed by the sordidness and cruelty of the Vietnam War.
Russell thus repeatedly warned the developing nations against the impending danger of developed nations’ economic and strategic policies, and how they exploited developing nations for their own development, leaving behind depleted soils, worked-out mines, ravaged forests, and a trail of ecological destruction, all of it cloaked under the veneer of careful, calculated and high sounding moral philosophy.
He emphasized that the White North was steadily expanding its material goods and had reduced the world’s peoples to the status of unskilled or semiskilled workers who merely work to meet the industrial needs of advanced societies. Moreover, the developed nations also spread false propaganda about the economic systems of the North being the most viable, and therefore ones that the south should follow for their economic growth and development.
Russell observed: “Two men have been supreme in creating the modern world: Rockefeller and Bismarck. One in economics, the other in politics, refuted the liberal dream of universal happiness through individual competition, substituting monopoly and the corporate state, or at least movements towards them. Rockefeller is important… through his purely practical grasp of the type of organization that would enable him to grow rich.”
In Russell’s opinion, both of them were responsible for destroying the liberal thread of happiness of all inhabitants of the planet Russell categorically mentioned in this book that “He (Bismarck) had to convert the nation… he had to make nationalism Conservative instead of Liberal, militaristic instead of humanitarian, monarchical instead of democratic”.
Russell makes an insightful comment by saying that though the white North is divided into capitalist and socialist sectors, both are one and same and express their solidarity when they have to confront the south.
This solidarity is both economic and political. The above views, comments and critiques of American and the Western World make Russell stand on a very different footing from his contemporaries. He was no doubt a liberal thinker, but unlike many others, a strong critic of some of the liberal assumptions. He questioned the very institution of private property.
Most of the contemporary thinkers vouched for productivity and capacity for technical improvement, economic security, distributive justice but none of them stood up for advancement of creativity rather than mere possessiveness. Russell, on the contrary, treated the last one as the most important of all (See, Principles of Social Reconstruction & Political Ideals).
He was the one who favoured a liberal society based on decentralization rather than on centralization, participation in place of centralism, industrial democracy in place of industrial bureaucratization, controlled individualism with a balance of individual freedom with collective good, cultivation of creative impulses and a sense of citizenship and social cooperation. In view of the above, Russell can be undoubtedly regarded as an architect of social reconstruction, who was deeply troubled to see the incompatibility between the claims of equal human development and the existing class inequalities of power and wealth and humans being treated as mere consumers and appropriators.
What he actually strove for is the transformation of human life from a nexus of conflicting possessive desires to a centre for a realization of creativity, the elevation of the dignity of labour, and the transformation of social institutions into ones that nurture individuals’ benign impulses.
The best socio-political order for Russell was that unleashes an individual’s creative potential and enables him to lead a life of spirit. Erich Fromm, one of the greatest political philosophers of the present times, has rightly said that Russell was not a priest but a prophet.
A prophet is one who speaks entirely out of the inner need to tell his vision and does not have any narcissistic motivation to prove himself a leader or savior. Prophets always lived what they preached. They did not seek power, but avoided it.
They saw the truth and they felt the responsibility to tell it; they did not threaten, but they showed the alternatives with which man was confronted. It is not that a prophet wishes to be a prophet; in fact, only the false ones have the ambition to become prophets.
(The writer is former Professor and Head of Department of Political Science, Benares Hindu University)