Sample Chapter for Rowe, D.E. and Schulmann, R., eds.: Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb.
June 5, 2007 § Leave a comment
Due to military victory in 1870 and successes in the fields of commerce and industry, this country has arrived at a kind of religion of power, which has found fitting and by no means exaggerated expression in Treitschke. This religion holds almost all intellectuals in its sway; it has eradicated almost completely the ideals of Goethe and Schiller’s time. I know people in Germany whose private lives are guided by virtually unbounded altruism, but who were awaiting the declaration of unlimited submarine warfare with the greatest impatience. I am firmly convinced that this aberration can only be curbed by hard facts. These people must be shown that it is necessary to have consideration for non-Germans as worthy equals, that it is essential to earn the trust of foreign countries, in order to be able to exist, that the goals that one sets for oneself cannot be achieved through force and treachery. Even combating the goal with intellectual weapons seems hopeless to me; people like Nicolai are characterized with genuine conviction as “utopians.” Only facts can dissuade the majority of the misled from their delusion that we live for the state, and that its intrinsic purpose is to accumulate at any price the greatest power possible. . . .