New Hopes for a Changing World

New Hopes for a Changing World

New Hopes for a Changing World

New Hopes for a Changing World

Excerpt

The present time is one in which the prevailing mood is a feeling of impotent perplexity. We see ourselves drifting towards a war that hardly anyone desires -- a war that, as we all know, must bring disaster to the great majority of mankind. But like a rabbit fascinated by a snake, we stare at the peril without knowing what to do to avert it. We tell each other horror stories of atom bombs and hydrogen bombs, of cities exterminated, of Russian hordes, of famine and ferocity everywhere. But although our reason tells us we ought to shudder at such a prospect, there is another part of us that enjoys it, and so we have no firm will to avert misfortune, and there is a deep division in our souls between the sane and the insane parts. In quiet times the insane parts can slumber throughout the day and wake only at night. But in times like ours they invade our waking time as well, and all rational thinking becomes pale and divorced from the will. Our lives become balanced on a sharp edge of hypothesis -- if there is to be a war one way of life is reasonable; if not, another. To the great majority of mankind such a hypothetical existence is intolerably uncomfortable, and in practice they adopt one hypothesis or the other, but without complete conviction. A youth who finds scholastic education boring will say to him-

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