1942 Revolt of the Scientists

With the Third Great War entering its thirteenth year, many scientists assigned to the nuclear weapons projects of different countries felt compelled to protest. Starting in Imperia, a group of 1,279 scientists staged a revolt in the form of a work stoppage.


In an underground manifesto One World or None , the scientists detailed their outrage of their intellect being channeled into weapons of mass destruction, stating:

The declaration sets up an ideal for us to follow, and it lays down guidelines for our actions… Yet a glance at the world of today is sufficient to show that we still have a long way to go before we can achieve this ideal. Not a single country, even the most advanced, can pride itself on fulfilling all the articles of the declaration…. We witness violations of the right to live. Murder and massacre are allowed to pass unpunished. Women are exploited, there is widespread famine, contempt for freedom of conscience and freedom of speech, widespread racial discrimination - all these evils are far too widespread to be overlooked.


Another extract calls for the need for intellectual freedom as a political right, stating:

This is a threat to the independence and worth of the human personality, a threat to the meaning of human life. Nothing threatens freedom of the personality and the meaning of life like war, poverty, terror. But there are also indirect and only slightly more remote dangers. One of these is the stupefaction of man (the "gray mass," to use the cynical term of bourgeois prognosticators) by mass culture with its intentional or commercially motivated lowering of intellectual level and content, with its stress on entertainment or utilitarianism, and with its carefully protective censorship… Another example is related to the question of education. A system of education under government control, separa tion of school and temple, universal free education-all these are great achievements of social progress. But everything has a reverse side. In this case it is excessive standardization, extending to the teaching process itself, to the cur riculum, especially in literature, history, civics, geography, and to the system of examinations.

Furthermore, it is argued:

Modern technology and mass psychology constantly suggest new possibilities of managing the norms of behavior, the strivings and convictions of masses of people. This involves not only management through information based on the theory of advertising and mass psychology, but also more technical methods that are widely discussed in the press abroad. Examples are biochemical control of the birthrate, biochemical control of psychic processes and electronic control of such processes… It seems to me that we cannot completely ignore these new methods or prohibit the progress of science and technology, but we must be clearly aware of the awesome danger to basic human values and to the meaning of life that may be concealed in the misuse of technical and bio chemical methods and the methods of mass psychology… Man must not be turned into a chicken or a rat as in the well-known experiments in which elation is induced elec trically through electrodes inserted into the brain. Related to this is the question of the ever-increasing use of tranquil izers and antidepressants, legal and illegal narcotics, and so forth.

Through the work of Picturephone Rebels, the manifesto of the "Rebellion of Scientists" has spread across the world. Although the scientists in question, were summarily executed by Imperian government officials, the message has served as a manifesto for other rebellions, and for the call to end the war.

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