This is, by far, my favorite post on this blog ever.
It may help your readers to have a transcription.
Betrand Russell's words are pretty terrific in this interview from a BBC television program called "Face-to-Face" in 1959.
He was asked by the interviewer to offer a message to future generations--a few stirring words of wisdom. He offered just two ideas, one, as he said, would be "intellectual" and the other "moral."
The intellectual message first:
“When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts, and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or what you think could have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only and surely at what are the facts.”
Then he offered his moral message:
"Love is wise. Hatred is foolish. In this world, which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other. We have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don't like. We can only live together in that way. If we are to live together and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance, which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet."
Posted by: brenda | Aug 2, 2011 9:12:39 AM
Love, love, LOVE this and thank you so much, Andy, for posting this.
There are so, so few public intellectuals like Bertrand Russell nowadays (well, esp. in the US but even Great Britain doesn't churn them out like they used to).
Posted by: Chitown Kev | Aug 2, 2011 11:44:06 AM
Just wonderful. 'Love is wise. Hatred is foolish.' Prescient of and pertinent to today.
Thank you, Andy, and thank you, Brenda, for the transcription. I don't hear well and missed a few words in the clip.
Posted by: RichardR | Aug 2, 2011 1:16:29 PM
Thanks for posting this. It's been years since I read it, and I'd no idea there was footage of him saying it.
But why stop here? Your readers might enjoy a little more information about him, and might also benefit from an op-ed piece pointing out that a mature LGBTQ community would be more concerned with its practice of tolerance than whether or not it receives it.