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Does Life or Death Govern the Universe? Part 4: Bertrand Russell, Nihilist Priest of Entropy and the Roots of Transhumanism

By Matthew Ehret

Whether we review the growth of eugenics or even the growth of modern ecologism and transhumanism out of cybernetics, the seeds of Aristotle’s oligarchical cosmology can be felt viscerally.

In part three of this series, we were introduced to the growth of modern liberalism and Malthusianism as the outgrowth of the core fundamental axioms contained in Newton and Locke’s philosophical descriptive systems of mankind and the universe. We explored some of the leading voices who resisted this liberal Malthusian paradigm of social engineering with particular attention paid to the figure of Abraham Lincoln’s trusted advisor Henry C. Carey. We ended that section by discussing a new innovative adaptation which Malthusianism and Newtonian mechanics took in the late 19th century under the label of “Entropy”- also known as “the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics”. This system was popularized by a mathematician named Rudolph Clausius and based itself on a sleight of hand that took the obvious properties of heat powered machines made by humans which necessarily tended towards heat death over time, and extended these properties to the entire universe. The outgrowth of the social application of this dismal theory of a dying universe took the form of a neo-Malthusianism called eugenics.

A leading high priest of both eugenics and entropy who took these systems to new heights during he 20th century was a man named Bertrand Russell (1872-1970).

Lord Bertrand Russell had put himself to the task of becoming a grand strategist on behalf of the oligarchical system which he was born into and published Critical Expositions of the Philosophy of Leibniz (1900) where he won acclaim among the upper echelons of the British intelligentsia by systematically skewering Leibniz’s entire life and philosophy. Throughout this hack job, Russell turns Leibniz inside out, portraying him as a dis-genuine flatterer crafting flowery arguments to win favor among princes while not even believing in his own theories.

Russell’s devotion to a closed system of entropic mathematics soon found its full expression in his 1910-1913 three volume opus Principia Mathematica (co-written by fellow Cambridge Apostle Alfred North Whitehead and named in honor of Sir Newton’s Principia). This work which proclaimed to reduce the entire universe to a limited set of logical axioms and postulates allowed no space for creative change, or a reasonable living Creator.



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