— Max Born physicist 1882 - 1970
Physics in my generation (1956)
Kontext: America has grown by expansion in a practical vacuum; the pioneers of the West had to overcome terrific natural obstacles, but negligible human resistance. The Russia of today had to conquer not only natural but human difficulties: she had to break up the rotten system of the Czars and to assimilate backward Asiatic tribes; now she has set herself the task of bringing her brand of modernization to the ancient civilizations of the Far East. For this purpose it is indispensable to have a well-defined doctrine full of slogans, which appeals to the needs and instincts of the poverty-stricken masses. Thus one understands the power which Marx's philosophy has gained in the East.
What can we scientists do in this conflict? We can join the spiritual, religious, philosophical forces, which reject war on ethical grounds. We can even attack the ideological foundations of the conflict itself. For science is not only the basis of technology but also the material for a sound philosophy.