Mis-quoting Bertrand Russell on 'BLACK DEATH' from 'The Impact of Science on Society'

By omitting its intended sarcasm, the famous sentence of Bertrand Russell on “Black Death” from his book “Impact of Science on Society” is easily taken out of context: “If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full.” While Russell's book is clearly intended as a (pseudo) scientifically argued justification by the ruling oligarchy to convince the pseudo learned people of the planet of the necessity of one-world government, which, as Russell argues on page 37: “World government could only be kept in being by force”, an accurate understanding of any text minimally requires that it be parsed accurately in full context. That it not become a Rorschach test for its readers, nor source of deliberate misquotation for its scholars – unless of course practicing deception is the intended purpose. Here, Bertrand Russell makes the argument for population reduction via birth control, the same arguments which were determined as a threat to America's National Security in the White House's classified memorandum of 1974 titled NSSM 200, written by its then Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. Bertrand Russell is quite evidently not arguing for Black Death or any form of bacteriological warfare in the passages from which his statement is often mis-quoted. He, ostensibly, intended that statement on Black Death as sarcasm for those who would oppose the rationality of birth-control in an overpopulated world – the age-old common argument of the ruling oligarchy to rid the world of its “useless eaters” and its “untermenschen”. The sentence preceding the oft mis-quoted sentence makes the intended sarcasm abundantly clear but is never reproduced when misquoting Russell: “There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full.” Below is the full contiguous quote of Bertrand Russell's social Darwinianism laced discussion on over-population from Chapter 7 of the book.

Impact of Science on Society, 1952 Unwin, Chapter 7: Can a Scientific Society be Stable, pages 114–118 (text from the first edition,

[pg. 114]

... What has science done to increase population? In the first
place, by machinery, fertilizers, and improved breeds it has
increased the yield per acre and the yield per man-hour of
labour. This is a direct effect. But there is another which is
perhaps more important, at least for the moment. By improvement
in means of transport it has become possible for
one region to produce an excess of food while another produces
an excess of industrial products or raw materials. This
makes it possible - as for instance in our own country - for a
region to contain a larger population that its own food resources
could support. Assuming free mobility of persons and
goods, it is only necessary that the whole world should produce
enough food for the population of the whole world, provided
the regions of deficient food productions have something to
offer which the regions of surplus food production are willing
to accept in exchange for foo. But this condition is apt to fail
in bad times. In Russia, after the first world war, the peasants
had just about the amount of food they wanted for
themselves, and would not willingly part with any of it for the
purchase of urban products. At that time, and again during
the famine in the early thirties, the urban population was kept
alive only by the energetic use of armed force. In the famine,
as a result of government action, millions of peasants died
of starvation; if the government had been neutral the town-dwellers
would have died.

Such considerations point to a conclusion which, it seems
to me, is too often ignored. Industry, except in so far as it
ministers directly to the needs of agriculture, is a luxory: in

[pg. 115]

bad times its products will be unsaleable, and only force
directed against food-producers can keep industrial workers
alive, and that only if many food-producers are left to die.
If bad ties becomes common, it must be inferred that industry
will dwindle and that the industrialisation characteristic of
the last 150 years will be rudely checked.

But bad times, you may say, are exceptional, and can be
dealt with by exceptional methods. This has been more or less
true during the honeymoon period of industrialism, but it will
not remain true unless the increase of population can be enormously
diminished. At present the population of the world is
increasing at about 58,000 per diem. War, so far, has had no
very great effect on this increase, which continued throughout
each of the world wars. Until the last quarter of the nineteenth
century this increase was more rapid in advanced
countries than in backward ones, but now it is almost wholly
confined to very poor countries. Of these, China and India are
numerically the most important, while Russia is the most
important in world politics. But I want, for the present, to
confine myself, so fas as I can, to biological considerations,
leaving world politics on one side.

What is the inevitable result if the increase of population is
not checked? There must be a very general lowering of the
standard of life in what are now prosperous countries. With
that lowering there must go a great diminution in the demand
for industrial products. Detroit will have to give up making
private cars, and confine itself to lorries. Such things as
books, pianos, watches will become rare luxuries of a
few exceptionally powerful men - notably those who control
the army and the police. In the end there will be a uniformity
of misery, and the Malthusian law will reign unchecked. The

[pg. 116]

world having been technically unified, population will increase
when world harvests are good, and diminish by starvation
whenever they are bad. Most of the present urban and
industrial centres will have become derelict, and their inhabitants,
if still alive, will have reverted to the peasant hardships
of their medieval ancestors. The world will have achieved a
new stability, but at the cost of everything that gives value to
human life.

Are mere numbers so important that, for their sake, we
should patiently permit such a state of affairs to come about?
Surely not. What, then, can we do? Apart from certain deep-seated
prejudices, the answer would be obvious. The nations
which are present increase rapidly should be encouraged to
adopt the methods by which, in the West, the increase of
population has been checked. Educational propaganda, with
government help, could achieve this result in a generation.
There are, however, two powerful forces opposed to such a
policy: one is religion, the other is nationalism. I think it is the
duty of all who are capable of facing facts to realize, and to
proclaim, that opposition to the spread of birth control, if
successful, must inflict upon mankind the most appalling
depth of misery and degradation, and that within another fifty
years or so.

I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which
population can be kept from increasing. There are others,
which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would
prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been
disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war
may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread
throughout the world once in every generation survivors
could procreate freely without making the world too full.

[pg. 117]

There would be nothing in this to offend the consciences of
the devout or to restrain the ambitions of nationalists. The
state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of
that? Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness,
especially other people's. However, I am wandering from the
question of stability, to which I must return.

There are three ways of securing a society that shall be
stable as regards population. The first is that of birth control,
the second that of infanticide or really destructive wars, and
the third that of general misery except for a powerful minority.
All these methods have been practised: the first for
example, by the Australian aborigines; the second by the
Aztecs, the Spartans and the rulers of Plato's Republic; the
third in the world as some Western internationalists hope to
make it and in Soviet Russia. (it is not to be supposed that
Indians and Chinese like starving, but thy have to endure it
because armaments of the West are too strong for them.)
Of these three, only birth control avoids extreme cruelty and
unhappiness for the majority of human beings. Meanwhile, so
long as there is not a single world government there will be
competition for power among different nations. And as
increase of population brings the threat of famine, national
power will become more and more obviously the only way of
avoiding starvation. There will there be blocs in which
the hungry nations band together against those that are well
fed. That is the explanation of the victory of communism in

These considerations prove that a scientific world society
cannot be stable unless there is world government.

It may be said, however, that these are hasty conclusions. All
that follows directly from what has been said is that, unless

[pg. 118]

there is world government which secures universal birth
control, there must from time to time be great wars, in which
the penalty of defeat is widespread death by starvation. That
is exactly the present state of the world, and some may hold
that there is no reason why it should not continue for
centuries. I do not myself believe that this is possible. The
two great wars that we have experienced have lowered the
level of civilisation in many parts of the world, and the next is
pretty sure to achieve much more in this direction. Unless, at
some stage, one power or group of powers emerges victorious
and proceeds to establish a single government of the world
with a monopoly of armed force, it is clear that the level of
civilisation must continually decline until scientific warfare
becomes impossible – that is until science is extinct. Reduced
once more to blows an arrows, Homo sapiens might breathe
again, and climb anew the dreary road to a similar futile

The need for a world government, if the population problem
is to be solved in any humane manner, is completely
evident on Darwinian principles. ...


Mis-quoting Bertrand Russell on 'BLACK DEATH' from 'The Impact of Science on Society'

Viva Activism: One people divided by an imaginary line on the Grand Chessboard

Sunday, June 27, 2010
The following missive of a Pakistani homemaker of Indian-Kashmir origin appeared in a letter to Editor, The News, Tuesday, June 22, 2010:
I was born in Srinagar and have lived the first half of my life in the same city in very peaceful times. I got married to a Pakistani and I have been living in Islamabad for the last twenty-two years. I have been following the remarkable effort by the two leading newspapers of Pakistan and India which offers a ray of hope for people like me. Though I am a Pakistani national now, every time I have applied for visa for Jammu and Kashmir, it has been a marathon and with each passing mile the intricacies of the procedure have increased. My father is a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. When he was in good health he used to go himself to the secretariat to facilitate my visa. But now he is old and cannot do so. Nobody can realise the plight of women like me who are divided from their families. It's very difficult for them to acquire visa and many years elapse before they get to meet their families. Most of the time it is nirasha rather than asha for us.

I can go to the Indian High Commission even twice a day if I have to as I live in Islamabad. But what about the people who come from far off places? For these poor people even the cheapest fare is too much at times. The embassies of both countries try to give visa on humanitarian grounds on death of a relative depending on the visa officer in charge. But what good is a dead body if we are not able to see the same person alive? What does one have to do to be an active member of the Aman ki Asha? I am not a journalist or a singer or a musician. I am a homemaker whose parents and relatives live on the other side of the Line of Control. And there are many like me, separated from our loved ones by solid, imaginary lines drawn at the cost of our peace of mind. I hope that the leaders and politicians of both countries understand the aman ki bhasha and make this initiative a reality.

Nazima Babar Reshi

Ms. Reshi, unwilling to remain a silent bystander when both her ailing parents needed her urgent presence with them in Kashmir, followed up her letter to editor with the following online petition to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan on behalf of the divided families of the two countries:
The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan
Mr. Manmohan Singh and Mr Yusuf Raza Gilani
We, the undersigned, are sending this petition to you on behalf of the divided families of the two countries.
Here are some facts about our mutual visa regimes that leave much to be desired:
It takes too much time.
* For a Pakistani, a normal visa to any city in India takes three to four weeks to process. But visas for the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir take a year to process. The clearance has to come from J&K state police and IB department in Srinagar. Then it goes to Delhi IB and to the Kashmir desk (North block, New Delhi). It is forwarded to Ministry of Home Affairs, (MHA) Foreigners section. And then it is conveyed to Indian High Commission in Pakistan. It is almost the same for Indians applying for Pakistan. Please do something to reduce this excruciating time frame.
There is too much paperwork involved in applying for a visa.
* We need an affidavit, valid only for forty five days, which has to be obtained from the city to be visited.
* We need any two current [utility] bills.
* An English translation of the NADRA ID card, and
* Finally, a no objection from the organisation you are working for or if self employed then your business registration letter.
We are positive something can be done to reduce the paperwork and make things easier for people. Some points are listed below.
* Infants and children under thirteen should be exempted from police reporting.
* There should be Indian and Pakistani consulates in other cities besides Delhi and Islamabad only.
* The visa fees are only about fifteen rupees on both sides. But getting to the respective embassies costs many times more. If one piece of paper is incorrect or missing, applicants have to come again and again, which is particularly disheartening for the poor and unlettered.
* India has introduced a condition that restricts foreigners from returning to India for sixty days unless they visit a neighbouring country and have a valid ticket back to India. There is no concept of re-entry to India otherwise.
* In both countries, visa extensions and long term visas are very difficult to obtain. This makes life particularly difficult for married women with families across the border.
* If a mother has Indian or Pakistani nationality, her children should be given visas to her home country without any obstacles no matter what their nationality.
* Visas of Pakistani and Indian nationals married to each other should be made easier. The requirement of getting names of spouses added to the respective passports is another tough task.
* Pakistani nationals living in other countries, even if they have citizenship of another country and are living abroad, find it very difficult to obtain visas for India, and vice versa.
* Exit and entry points are fixed. These are changed with great difficulty. If the places to be added or visited not in the order that is on the visa, that is another ordeal. Please make travel more flexible as upheavals of nature can strike any time any place.
* Functioning of embassies and consulates should be like well oiled machines which are regularly updated. Clerical errors which cause undue problems to the applicant should be rechecked and avoided. There should be a 24-hour helpline to give information as required.
These are some totally avoidable obstacles faced by the people who live on the opposite sides of the fence. We request the leaders and those at the helm of affairs to step into our shoes and feel the pain of the divide. Only by empathising can these shortfalls be corrected.
In anticipation of redress for these easily rectifiable problems, we thank you.
When Ms. Reshi sent me a copy of her petition, I was both pleasantly surprised and incredibly impressed that an ordinary Pakistani housewife had chosen this extraordinary path of activism while realizing fully well the tortuous ground realities between India and Pakistan. Instead of the usual influence peddling – which is the norm in Pakistani society – she had chosen to address the problem for the benefit of all peoples sharing in that similar predicament. When I initially reminded her of the lack of efficacy of any petition-writing, and especially of one addressed to Pakistan's Prime Minister by coldly suggesting:
A problem that has lingered for sexagenarian years isn't going to be solved by petitions – and at this stage in Pakistan's dismemberment on the Grand Chessboard. Visiting India is the least of Pakistanis' problems today. A more daring petition-letter might be addressed to Obama instead of Gilani – for that would at least indicate that you know who is running Pakistan”,
Ms. Reshi immediately responded:
“Who other than I would know the futility of this petition. There is no solution for this problem because both the nations will never compromise their national security for few thousand people. And imagine if there is permeable border. What chaos for ISI and RAW. Any solution, if at all possible, is if America intervenes. And that is possible only if we strike oil the size of Saudi Arabia in the whole region of Jammu and Kashmir in India and Pakistan. My family [also] keeps telling me that visas are not given to peace activists. Inspite of that I am willing to take the risk and have started the awareness among peoples of the world.” --- Nazima Babar Reshi
Despite cognitively knowing that no change may materialize by the mere petition-writing of the ordinary homemaker, Nazima Babar Reshi still went ahead with it! She took that plebeian's first incorrigible baby-step to stop being a silent spectator waiting for Allah, to stop being an idle bystander looking from the side with the oft recited proclamation 'what can I do!', and took a public position to boldly seek her problem resolution from the very mercurial rulers who whimsically decide the fate of nations! Viva Activism!
Foreign ministers to consider petitions against visa restrictions - Pakistani housewife Nazima Reshi, author of petition Milne Do (Image via Aman Ki Asha)
Appreciating this extraordinarily bold and rational step by an ordinary and traditional Pakistani homemaker, Project Humanbeingsfirst has decided to support her petition. One envisions for the peoples of the sub-continent – victims of divide et impera of yesteryear – the Milne Do:
Pakistani school children with flags of India and Pakistan overcoming the imperial 'divide and conquer' at the Friends Without Borders function in Lahore, 2006 (Photographer Zahir Ebrahim)
Imagine if a million such ordinary peoples got out of their shells of apathy and began to take extraordinary public stances on their daily troubles, hopes, and aspirations!
Imagine that they not only rationally articulated the problem domain as Nazima Babar Reshi has done above, but also outlined sensible resolutions to those problems just as she has done?
Imagine that they followed up with the next baby-step of forming public-interest organizations capable of pushing those solution-spaces nationally and internationally?
Imagine that they purchased media time and brought their conversations to the forefront of public discussions?
Imagine that they took the next baby-step of mobilizing both peoples and financial resources to drive the issues to the point that the politicians who turn on a dime could not ignore them?
Imagine that they learned to harness the same courts used by the state-actors for legalizing their oppression of the peoples?
Even the all powerful history's actors – expert at pitting nations against nations and peoples against peoples in world wars by diabolically sewing Machiavellianly constructed revolutionary times with fabricated enemies, artificial threats, contrived dangers, and of course the shock and awe visitations by both the emperor's pirates and his imperial storm-troopers as the Hegelian pretexts for justifying Global Governance in baby-steps designed to culminate in a one-World Government – surely could not withstand such a determined onslaught by a million resolute homemakers in the United States of America!
And ten million homemakers worldwide getting out of their kitchens of apathy and onto the trail of activism, well, might just change the world!

Link fix November 16, 2016

Viva Activism: One people divided by an imaginary line on the Grand Chessboard

Letter to Jeff Blankfort in response to 'Chomsky and Palestine: Asset or Liability?'

Letter to Jeff Blankfort in response to 'Chomsky and Palestine: Asset or Liability?'

Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

July 22, 2010

Via comment: http://palestinethinktank.com/2010/07/21/jeff-blankfort-chomsky-and-palestine-asset-or-liability

Hi Jeff Blankfort –

I don't have your email address or I would have emailed this comment to you directly. Since I no longer read this website and came by only accidentally, please also reply to me directly via email if there is communication to share: humanbeingsfirst@gmail.com

In my view, regardless of why Prof. Noam Chomsky is against BDS, BDS itself has no efficacy. It is entirely a calculated red herring. See a cursory examination here:


A House of Rothschild project cannot be even touched by BDS, never mind impacted. If interested, please see this:


and this:


From the Balfour Declaration to the Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv (from where the state of Israel was declared), and to the Rothschild's built Knesset and the Rothschild's built Supreme court in Jerusalem – all owned and operated by the machinery which runs the world's private central banks, all G-7 national debts, and all developmental loans worldwide through WB-IMF. The coordination and control of economies of all nations by controlling the interest rates (the discount rate) and availability of loans, through control of BIS in Basle – Bank for International Settlements located in the same city where Theodor Herzl Declared Der Judenstatd – can be understood in Carroll Quigley's 'Tragedy and Hope' (wherein, unfortunately, the imperial scholar calculatingly also tried to downplay the role of the Rothschilds).

Why does most everyone in the West ignore or outright downplay the Rothschilds' role in current affairs?

It's not like their role in modernity over the past several hundred years is a hidden well-kept state-secret!

What is even more absurd – well, I have done the following experiment countless times – asked Palestinians, Arabs, and Palestine Western sympathizers the question: to whom is Balfour Declaration addressed?

More often than not, they do not know the answer, never mind their asking the obvious question: why should the Balfour declaration be addressed to a Rothschild?

Valuable bandwidth spent focussing on red herrings like on my erudite professor Noam Chomsky's foibles and speeches, is valuable bandwidth spent not zeroing in on the real prime-movers of Zionistan.

Anyone seriously suggesting BDS as an antidote to Zionism and Israeli oppression of the beleaguered Palestinians, is either grossly misled (as I once was when I too questioned Noam Chomsky on his brazen hypocrisy – see here: http://humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2007/03/endless-red-herrings.html only to realize later that I had spent precious time on a red herring), or, is misleading others to focus on red herrings.

A study of intelligence assets, especially the Mighty Wurlitzers in the mainstream and alternate press, can go a long way in understanding the silence about the Rothschilds in the news media, press, infotainment, etc. Understanding the role of privately funded foundations and think-tanks in generating social engineering agendas and pop culture can go a long way in understanding why Rothschilds and the oligarchy are kept out of any reference in the pop culture – they fund the social engineering through the hundreds of tax-exempt foundations which are beneficiaries of the windfalls from the private central banks! Who owns the FED for instance? Who funds the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Endowments, and the CFR?

Is all this a kookish conspiracy theory? Or is it a verifiable fact?

While I can understand the silence of assets and sayanim, I don't quite understand the silence among the non-assets, like the victimized peoples, the Palestinian activists, genuine Palestinian scholars, and dissenting Western intellectuals – as noted in my response article to Salman Abu Sitta noted above.

Why this silence?

It's almost as if uber intelligent peoples have been brain-washed, or are willingly participating in a conspiracy of silence!

How comes?

The name Rothschild is almost a litmus test of co-option, at least to my mind. See who omits any analysis of the role of the Rothschilds; see who mentions them but not in current modernity context – only in past historical context like most anyone who dares mention their name today, including Quigley; and see who mentions them but also sullies their own punch – like the proverbial toad in a punch-bowl – by interjecting specious speculations and kookish conspiracy theories of blood-drinking lizards (David Icke), merovingian blood-lines (Grace Powers), gross generalizations of 'sky is falling' while blow-horning revolutions (Alex Jones), etc., as per the analysis disclosed in:


thus causing all legitimate discussions of the role of the House of Rothschilds in creating Zionism and World Government to also be dismissed as kookish even for some inquiring minds pursuing alternate sources of information but still too lazy to think for themselves.

Then what does pass that “Rothschild” litmus test?

Well, very very few people in the entire Western World, and mostly those only living in history books in libraries. Who visits libraries anymore in these times of television, internet, and a fast world? The Eastern world of victims has already been neutralized/marginalized by getting them busy in 'waiting for Allah' who will deal with the devils of this world, while many among the Western world are kept occupied in various bread and circuses, especially when they are not being goaded into la mission civilisatrice upon the East, or in bringing on the devil sooner to hurry up with the Biblical Rapture to save the world from the Islamofascists.

So who are these very few people – and why aren't there more? How to create more? How to get people to stop wasting time on low order bits of the matter and get them to concentrate on the highest order bits?

In my view, unless these oligarchs are neutralized very soon by astute full spectrum “Mens et Manus” – Mind and Hand, MIT's motto – faits accomplis already long under construction will seal the fate of all of world's peoples for eons to come. Conversations like these will lead one to mental institutions if not outright to a concentration camp (see the revised DSM IV manual which labels non-conformance with status quo as “Antisocial personality disorder”, “oppositional defiant disorder”, “negativistic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures”, i.e., as mental illness).

I hope any near-future analysis on these matters by others, as well as your good self – before DSM IV can be legally put into practice as “1984” – will dare to probe deeper into the role of the real prime-movers in shaping modernity, its disaffections, its wars, its crimes, its manufactured consent as well as its manufactured dissent, and stop wasting precious time on has-been intellectuals like Noam Chomsky who, as paid assets from the same coffers, proudly adorn the mantle given them by empire's own instruments as “arguably the most important intellectual alive”.

How many crappy books rehearsing the overt crimes of empire while staying silent on the prime-movers, has the intellectual been able to sell because of that New York Times benefaction and being an MIT professor? Witness it here: http://hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/6222 . Why waste time on him? As I wrote recently to another up and coming scholar of empire from MIT being set up as dissent-chief:

This announcement is most impressive: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/johnson-award-1217.html . However, I will share with you a piece of general folk wisdom which often guides me in matters of political science: when empire's instruments give out awards to dissent chiefs, run like hell.”

That letter can be read here if there is interest, as it points to some of the omissions which are also characteristic of professor Noam Chomsky as well as all the other lauded dissent-chiefs:


The only contemporary to talk of this stuff freely, and whose every book I have read with much interest, was the late Eustace Mullins. We need a thousand more like him to take his place and carry the struggle forward. I have yet to find a single one among the Palestinians in Diaspora.


Zahir Ebrahim

Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

Source URL: http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2010/07/let-jeffblankfort-rothschilds-palestine.html

Source PDF: http://humanbeingsfirst.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/let-jeffblankfort-rothschilds-palestine.pdf

Letter to Jeff Blankfort in response to 'Chomsky and Palestine: Asset or Liability?' By Zahir Ebrahim