[演讲词] Albert Einstein

Peace in the Atomic Age

    I am grateful to you for the opportunity to express my conviction in this most important political question.

  The idea of achieving security through national armament is, at the present state of military technique, a disastrous illusion. On the part of the United States this illusion has been particularly fostered by the fact that this country succeeded first in producing an atomic bomb. The belief seemed to prevail that in the end it were possible to achieve decisive military superiority.

  In this way, any potential opponent would be intimidated, and security, so ardently desired by all of us, brought to us and all of humanity. The maxim which we have been following during these last five years has been, in short: security through superior military power, whatever the cost.

  The armament race between the U. S. A. and U. S. S. R. , originally supposed to be a preventive measure, assumes hysterical character. On both sides, the means to mass destruction are perfected with feverish haste----behind the respective walls of secrecy. The H-bomb appears on the public horizon as a probably attainable goal.

  If successful, radioactive poisoning of the atmosphere and hence annihilation of any life on earth has been brought within the range of technical possibilities. The ghostlike character of this development lies in its apparently compulsory trend. Every step appears as the unavoidable consequence of the preceding one. In the end, there beckons more and more clearly general annihilation.

  Is there any way out of this impasse created by man himself? All of us, and particularly those who are responsible for the attitude of the U. S. and the U. S. S. R. , should realizethat we may have vanquished an external enemy, but have been incapable of getting rid of the mentality created by the war.

  It is impossible to achieve peace as long as every single action is taken with a possible future conflict in view. The leading point of view of all political action should therefore be: What can we do to bring about a peaceful co-existence and even loyal cooperation of the nations?

  The first problem is to do away with mutual fear and distrust. Solemn renunciation of violence(not only with respect to means of mass destruction) is undoubtedly necessary.

  Such renunciation, however, can only be effective if at the same time a supre-national judicial and executive body is set up empowered to decide questions of immediate concern to the security of the nations. Even a declaration of the nations to collaborate loyally in the realization of such a“restricted world government ”would considerably reduce the imminent danger of war.

  In the last analysis, every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondly on institutions such as courts of justice and police. This holds for nations as well as for individuals. And the basis of trust is loyal give and take.

[参考译文]

原子能时代的和平

 

  感谢你们给我机会就这个最重大的政治问题发表意见。

  在目前军事技术如此发达的状况下,企图通过加强国家军备来保障安全,是一种幻想,会造成灾难性的后果。美国尤其容易产生这样的幻想,因为美国是第一个成功地制造了原子弹的国家。绝大多数人似乎都相信,最终美国可能取得决定性的军事优势。

  这样,任何潜在的敌人都会慑服,而为我们所有人所热切期待的安全就会来到全人类中间。过去五年里我们一直信守的格言,一言以蔽之,就是:不惜一切代价,通过军事力量的优势保障安全。

  美国和苏联之间的军备竞赛,原来是一种防止战争的措施,现在却带有歇斯底里的性质。在各自秘密的幕墙后面,双方都以狂热的速度改进用以大规模杀伤的手段。在大众眼里,制造氢弹已是可能达到的目标。

  如果氢弹制造成功,那么放射性物质对大气层的污染,以及由此引起的地球上生命的灭绝,在技术上都将成为可能。这种发展之所以让人恐惧,在于它似乎具有不可遏止的特点。每一步发展都是上一步发展不可避免的后果。越来越清楚,这最后将导致全人类的灭绝。

  人类自己走进了这条死胡同,我们还能走出去吗? 我们所有人,尤其是那些应该对美国和苏联的立场负责任的人,都应该认识到,我们也许可以战胜外部的敌人,但我们却不能消除战争带来的精神创伤。

  如果我们在采取每一项行动时都考虑到将来可能发生的冲突,那么和平就不可能实现。因此,一切政治行动的首要观点应该是:我们怎么做才能够带来国家之间的和平共处,甚至真诚合作?

  首先,要去除对对方的恐惧和不信任。为此,有必要郑重宣布废除武力(不仅仅是大规模杀伤手段),这一点毫无疑问。

  然而,只有同时建立一个高于国家的司法和行政机构,使之有权决定与各国安全直接有关的问题,这样废除武力才能奏效。甚至只要各国宣布在成立这样一个 “权力有限的世界政府” 中真诚合作,这也会大大缓解越来越逼近的战争危险。

  总之,一切人类和平合作的基础首先是相互信任,其次才是诸如法庭和警察这一类的机构。对于个人是如此,对于国家也是一样。而相互信任的基础是在给予和索取时要出于真心。

[背景介绍]

    本文是爱因斯坦 1950 年 2 月 12 日在美国的电视讲话。讲话处处流露出他对世界人民幸福与安危的关心。爱因斯坦在讲话中不仅以科学的态度说明了原子弹等武器会给人类带来的灾难,而且驳斥了通过加强军备保障安全的说法,提出了废除武力的方法。这篇讲话言辞恳切,感情真挚,有理有据,是这位大科学家一篇难得的演讲。