“For the sake of simplicity, in the discussion that follows I shall call “workers” all those who do not share in the ownership of the means of production—although this does not quite correspond to the customary use of the term. The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist. The essential point about this process is the relation between what the worker produces and what he is paid, both measured in terms of real value. Insofar as the labor contract is “free,” what the worker receives is determined not by the real value of the goods he produces, but by his minimum needs and by the capitalists’ requirements for labor power in relation to the number of workers competing for jobs. It is important to understand that even in theory the payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.” — Albert Einstein, Monthly Review, May 1949
Albert Einstein wrote in 1939:
“There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people. Despite the great wrong that has been done us, we must strive for a just and lasting compromise with the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”
Einstein was opposed from the start to the setting up of a Jewish state and to mass emigration into Palestine. He was also one of the signatories to an Open Letter to the New York Times in 1948 denouncing the terrorist activities of Menachem Begin and the massacre carried out in the Arab village of Deir Yassin.
This new series and blog is about people (living or dead; famous, infamous, or behind the scenes) that have inspired my work for peace.
“I am not only a pacifist, but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.”
— Albert Einstein
Being a peace advocate during times of war or times of peace takes its toll on even the hardiest of us. In most cultures, working for peace is very counter-cultural and, in my opinion, peace advocates have had and do have the absolute highest moral stance and should be treasured, not scourged.
1949. How young we were then; so innocent, so simple, so monochromatic. Looking back, it appears as though those times are long gone, who could have predicted the mess we’d eventually get ourselves into? Try, one of the smartest men to have ever lived. It will take you about 10-15 minutes to read Einstein’s essay “Why Socialism?” but afterward you’ll see he understood more than theoretical physics, he could editorialize about social organization and modernity. Continue reading