Here is a mail from a friend.
It's a small book of Bertrand Russell written in 1917 titled "Political
It says very clearly very important things.
It anticipates profetically themes that are tremendously important today.
Some excerpts follow.
We may distinguish two sorts of goods, and two corresponding sorts
impulses. There are goods in regard to which individual possession is
possible, and there are goods in which all can share alike.
There are two kinds of impulses, corresponding to the two kinds of goods.
There are possessive impulses, which aim at acquiring or retaining private
goods that cannot be shared; these center in the impulse of property. And
there are creative or constructive impulses, which aim at bringing into the
world or making available for use the kind of goods in which there is no
privacy and no possession.
The best life is the one in which the creative impulses play the largest
part and the possessive impulses the smallest. This is no new discovery. The
Gospel says: "Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we
drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?"
What we shall desire for individuals is now clear: strong creative
overpowering and absorbing the instinct of possession; reverence for others;
respect for the fundamental creative impulse in ourselves.
Political and social institutions are to be judged by the good or
they do to individuals. Do they encourage creativeness rather than
possessiveness? Do they embody or promote a spirit of reverence between
beings? Do they preserve self-respect?
But security and liberty are only the negative conditions for good
institutions. When they have been won, we need also the positive condition:
encouragement of creative energy.