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World Year of Physics

2005 is World Year of Physics.

Physicist Albert Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 is displayed on the 508 meter- ((1,679-foot-) tall Taipei 101, the world's tallest building, as fireworks are set off during an event entitled 'The World Year Of Physics 2005,' Tuesday, April 19, 2005, in Taipei, Taiwan. The display is part of a worldwide campaign in memory of physicist Albert Einstein and marks the 100th anniversary of Einstein's publication of his Theory of Relativity as well as the 50th anniversary of his death. (from Yahoo News)

Since one recent post here was (partly) about Einstein and another was about socialism, I thought I would throw in some quotes from Einstein about socialism and related issues.

This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of the herd nature, the military system, which I abhor. That a man can take pleasure in marching in formation to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all the pestilent nonsense that does by the name of patriotism—how I hate them! War seems to me a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business.

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules.

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.

... it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured? ... Clarity about the aims and problems of socialism is of greatest significance in our age of transition.

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