Reprint: The real problem is in the hearts of men, by Albert Einstein, No Date.
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'The Real Problem Is in the Hearts of Men' By Albert Einstein In an interview with Michael Amrine As Chairman of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, with headquarters at Princeton, N.J., Professor Einstein recently invited public support for "a nation-wide campaign to let the people know that a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels." Here Professor Einstein gives his ideas on how to meet the threat of the atom bomb. Many persons have inquired concerning a recent message of mine that "a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels." Often in evolutionary processes a species must adapt to new conditions in order to survive. Today the atomic bomb has altered profoundly the nature of the world as we know it, and the human race consequently finds itself in a new habitat to which it must adapt its thinking. In the light of new knowledge, a world authority and an eventual world state are not just desirable in the name of brotherhood, they are necessary for survival. In previous ages a nation's life and culture could be protected to some extent by the growth of armies in national competition. Today we must abandon competition and secure cooperation. This must be the central fact in all our considerations of international affairs; otherwise we face certain disaster. Past thinking did not prevent world wars. Future thinking must prevent wars. Modern war, the bomb, and other discoveries present us with revolutionary circumstances. Never before was it possible for one nation to make war on another without sending armies across borders. Now with rockets and atomic bombs no center of population on the earth's surface is secure from surprise destruction in a single attack. America has a temporary superiority in armament, but it is certain that we have no lasting secret. What nature tells one group of men, she will tell in time to any group interested and patient enough in asking the questions. But our temporary superiority gives this nation the tremendous responsibility of leading mankind's effort to surmount the crisis. Being an ingenious people, Americans find it hard to believe there is no foreseeable defense against atomic bombs. But this is a basic fact. Scientists do not know any field which promises us any hope of adequate defense. The military-minded cling to old methods of thinking and one Army department has been surveying possibilities of going underground, and in wartime placing factories in places our population centers into "linear" or "ribbon" cities. Reasonable men with these new facts to consider refuse to contemplate a future in which our culture would attempt to survive in ribbons or in underground tombs. Neither is there reassurance in proposals to keep a hundred men alert along the coasts scanning the sky with radar. There is no radar defense against the V-2, and should a "defense" be developed after years of research, it is not humanly possible for any defense to be perfect. Should one rocket with atomic warhead strike Minneapolis, that city would look exactly like Nagasaki. Rifle bullets kill men, but atomic bombs kill cities. A tank is a defense against a bullet but there is no defense in science against the weapon which can destroy civilization. Our defense is not in armaments, nor in science, nor in going underground. Our defense is in law and order. Henceforth, every nation's foreign policy must be judged at every point by one consideration: does it lead us to a world of law towards anarchy and death? I do not believe that we can prepare for war and at the same time prepare for a world community. When humanity holds in its hand the weapon with which it can commit suicide, I believe that to put more power into the gun is to increase the probability of disaster. Remembering that our main consideration is to avoid this disaster, let us briefly consider international relations in the world today, and start with
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