The Earth, „Our ruined lifeless planet”…???

This idea of nuclear weapons of mass extermination is utterly and absolutely horrible. It is a thing which no man with one spark of humanity can tolerate. I will not pretend to obey a government which is organising the massacre of the whole of mankind. I will do anything I can to oppose such Governments in any non-violent way that seems likely to be fruitful, and I should exhort all of you to feel the same way. We cannot obey these murderers. They are wicked and abominable. They are the wickedest people that ever lived in the history of man and it is our duty to do what we can.”

Bertrand Russell, Speech encouraging civil disobedience in support of nuclear disarmament (15 April 1961)

Image: Bertrand Russell upon his release from Brixton Prison. In 1961, Russell, then 89 years-old, was jailed in Brixton Prison after taking part in an anti-nuclear peace rally in London. During his sentencing, the magistrate offered to spare Russell jail if he promised to behave well in the future. Russell replied: ‘No, I won’t’.

You, your families, your friends and your countries are to be exterminated by the common decision of a few brutal but powerful men. To please these men, all the private affections, all the public hopes, all that has been achieved in art, and knowledge and thought and all that might be achieved hereafter is to be wiped out forever. Our ruined lifeless planet will continue for countless ages to circle aimlessly round the sun unredeemed by the joys and loves, the occasional wisdom and the power to create beauty which have given value to human life.”

— Bertrand Russell, Leaflet issued while Russell was in Brixton Prison (1961)

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