Was Albert Einstein all that bright?

Albert Einstein at the chalkboard“The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil… 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.”

Socialism is not inherently totalitarian. To advocate for an equitable distribution of wealth, to look after the poor and feeble, to provide health, education, and opportunity for all, is to be a socialist. Not by coincidence, these are the very reasons socialism is feared by capitalists and slandered by their educational system. The Red Scare was not about Commie infiltrators but a creeping social consciousness. “Democrats” are the lip service which corporate power has to pay to keep human beings from wising up and demanding their due.

Is there a single humanitarian whom you admire for his/her brilliance and grace, who advocates capitalism? Albert Einstein was a socialist.

9 thoughts on “Was Albert Einstein all that bright?

  1. Certainly, the main party of the left in most continental Western European countries is a “Democratic Socialist” party, which, while to the left of the Democratic party (the entire U.S. political spectrum leans right on most issues, although there are a few issues that are exceptions that prove the rule), so socialism is nothing to cower in the closet in fear of.

    On the other hand, there are certainly plenty of matters outside of physics upon which I wouldn’t dream of taking Einstein’s advice, marriage and child rearing, for example, or how to be an ethical academic mentor. One can be a genius without being a polymath. Hell, he wasn’t even a world class mathematican and needs massive collaboration simply to understand the mathematics behind his own physics.

  2. understanding the physics beyond the ability to express them in Algebraic terms…

    (mathematic shorthand which is, once mastered, the Ultimate Human Language)

    (seriously, how do you think a computer program like BabelFish actually works? it’s a machine counting and doing 64 bit algebra in Binary… nothing more)

    is something I can relate to… I can’t even map out a “Train Formula” using algebra.

    One thing, though, Einstein MUST have deliberately bollixed the formula for the Grand Unified Theory of Everything.

    Simply because he knew who was financing the research, and knew that the dumbass bastards were only going to use it to make a gun that would destroy the entire universe… and then they would, perhaps not in the first generation mind you, but eventually, some jackass would be given the key to the trigger to Fire That Gun.

    There’s undoubtedly a way to map that out mathematically, but damned if I can do it.

    If I ever gain that skill I probably won’t use it like that, for the same reason Einstein didn’t.

    Incidentally, it’s the Far Right Lunatic Fringe who say shit like “Einstein was just a math teacher, for Gawd’s Sake”

  3. Albert Einstein was a great scientist, an avowed pacificist early in life, an ardent Zionist (he helped found the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in the 1920’s after Britain got Palestine from the Turks at the end of WWI), but relaized later that refusal to bear arms against agressors (like Hitler) was also wrong. He refused to sign an appeal from the pacifist Henri Barbusse, who glorified Soviet Russia, writing that “at the top there appears to be a personal struggle in which the foulest means are used by power-hungry individuals acting from purely selfish motives. At the bottom there seems to be a complete supression of the individual and of freedom of speech. One wonders what life is worth under such conditions.” He left Germany for good in 1933, eventually becoming an American citizen. He wrote to FDR in the later ’30’s suggesting that America had to use his theories of relativity to create atomic weapons, eventually becoming a major contributor to the Manhattan Project. “Einstein…The Life and Times” Ronald W. Clark (1971). One can’t walk softly unless one carries a big stick.

  4. Destroying our own (and our ONLY) corner of the Universe would not be “carrying a stick”, it’s more like gross insanity.

    There’s no evidence beyond the assertions of the War Department that nuking Japan actually saved “a million Allied lives”.

    Germany and even Sweden were far ahead of America in Nuclear Physics.

    The notion that Atomic and Nuclear devices were strictly an American innovation is as absurd and tragic as the Propaganda Use of that notion to burn at the stake a Jewish Couple (literally) in order to make the American people feel better once the Soviets demonstrated that they, too, could develop nuclear weapons.

    i guess the Jingoistic notion that the Soviets were so backward they couldn’t possibly have anything without “stealing” it from us would be comforting to Some People.

    Didn’t last, did it? As I recall, it was less than a decade later that the American Team, which was really a German Team who had been granted provisional amnesty with regards to their war crimes, was left eating Soviet Rocket Dust.

    kinda blows the whole “backwards Soviets, who were the scions of the Inferior Peasant Class” notion clean out of the water… at least for people who don’t make their decisions based on Right Wing fearmongering.

    The Ministry of Truth is currently trying to spin that to come out as the Soviets had “captured” one of the Peenemunde Team and “forced” him to work for them.

  5. As Herr Doctor Einstein stated in a letter declining to address a world peace congress in 1939, “A strange breed of pacifist, you will probably say to me! But I cannot shut my eyes to realities. It is no exaggeration to say that the British and, to some extent, French pacifists are largely responsible for the desperate situation today because they prevented energetic measures from being taken at a time when it would have been relatively easy to adopt them.”

  6. Like Nuking Iran? oops I mean “Germany”.

    The war would have been just as bloody and just as unholy no matter which side started the shooting.

    Strangely, just like our present age.

    How many deaths were actually prevented by the Pre-emptive strike on Iraq?

    or will be by a “pre-emptive” strike against Iran as proposed by the Current Lunatic-in-Chief…

    one which could only be accomplished with nuclear arms.

    I invite, once again, a quick glance at the map of Iran and specifically, its borders.

    Nearby countries, those within range of the missiles, and which will undoubtedly losing many of their citizens and lands to “collateral damage” from the Bush War Crimes, like India, Russia, China, Pakistan… perfectly capable of launching a retaliatory strike against the U.S., which conveniently has parked the vast majority of its military resources right where it’s a a huge target with a big ol’ sign on it saying “Nuke Us, Our President is a Dictatorial Idiot”

    The Air Force likes to boast that now, with the Star Wars gadgetry, only about a fifth of the nuclear weapons launched at us will reach their targets.

    So, which exact 150 American Cities are You, personally, willing to see vaporized?

    and of course our standing army which is currently standing well within range of those missiles which AREN’T covered by Star Wars.

    Which is the current crisis. And which is being aggressively aggravated by people of questionable sanity who keep bringing up the Chamberlain/Churchill comparisons in order to justify bringing on World War Last.

    Michael, I’ve heard that you’re actually smarter than that, and wouldn’t actually join in with the Lunatic Fringe.

  7. And that is the whole point, B.J….each of us is smart about one or two things (if we’re lucky), and dumb about a whole lot of stuff. Even Eistein said “I know a little about nature; about people, not so much.” Eric’s point apparently being “see, a smart guy like Einstein was a socialist!”, but as you can see from his own quotes, contradictory and befuddled on many issues (which points taken as being befuddled dependent on the frame of reference of the observer, a relativistic view of which Einstein would no doubt approve).

  8. Michael, it just pisses you off so that Einstein was so much smarter than you on a whole lot of things including politics, doesn’t it? And that Eric pointed that out in his own way. It was personally offensive to you even.

    So go back to your adolescent Ayn Rand stuff then, Atlas. And please don’t let reality stop you. Andale! I’m sure that the ‘Free Market’ can meet all your own personal needs.

  9. One sure fire way to drive the apologists for American Right Wing Excesses nuts is to remind them that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by an avowed Socialist.

    It’s like tossing half a goldfish in a pool of sharks.

    Another way is to point out that the Progressive Income Tax was first implemented not by Karl Marx or Lenin but instead by Abraham Lincoln.

    You simply can’t put people into little boxes.

    They don’t fit, unless you break either the person, or the box, or both.

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