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Bertrand Russell – The Great Game (2)

September 17, 2014

The Great Game was defined in https://ireaddeadpeople.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/the-great-game-1/. In short, find the simplest substitution that converts a historical statement to a depressingly apt statement about current affairs.

The following is from Bertrand Russell’s Reith Lectures, Authority and the Individual:

“’The state’ is an abstraction; it does not feel pleasure or pain, it has no hopes or fears, and what we think of as its purposes are really the purposes of individuals who direct it. When we think concretely, not abstractly, we find, in place of ‘the state,’ certain people who have more power than falls to the share of most men. And so glorification of ‘the state’ turns out to be, in fact, glorification of a governing minority. No democrat can tolerate such a fundamentally unjust theory.”

The substitution is trivial:

’The corporation’ is an abstraction; it does not feel pleasure or pain, it has no hopes or fears, and what we think of as its purposes are really the purposes of individuals who direct it. When we think concretely, not abstractly, we find, in place of ‘the corporation,’ certain people who have more power than falls to the share of most men. And so glorification of ‘the corporation’ turns out to be, in fact, glorification of a governing minority. No democrat can tolerate such a fundamentally unjust theory.”

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