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TIL Einstein supported a one-world government and was a Socialist
from Braincrave Second Life staff
Aug 23, 2011
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Today I learned Albert Einstein supported a one-world government and was a Socialist.

Einstein's passionate commitment to the cause of global peace led him to support the creation of a single, unified world government. Einstein thought that patriotic zeal often became an excuse for violence: "As a citizen of Germany," he wrote in 1947, "I saw how excessive nationalism Zoom in on document can spread like a disease, bringing tragedy to millions." To combat this "disease," Einstein wanted to eliminate nationalistic sentiments-first by erasing the political borders between countries and then by instituting an international government with sovereignty over individual states. During World War I, Einstein supported the formation of the "United States of Europe." He later endorsed the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. But Einstein worried that the United Nations did not have enough authority to ensure world peace...

Einstein saw world government as the only way to ensure lasting world peace. But he was skeptical that an organization like the United Nations-which answered to the national governments of its member states-could prevent future wars. In Einstein's view, world peace would be guaranteed only when the leaders of individual nations answered to a single, supranational government.
Einstein - World Government
Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is...

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor-not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules...

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

The situation prevailing in an economy based on the private ownership of capital is thus characterized by two main principles: first, means of production (capital) are privately owned and the owners dispose of them as they see fit; second, the labor contract is free. Of course, there is no such thing as a pure capitalist society in this sense...

Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.

This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?
Why Socialism?

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