Monday, June 06, 2005

Louis J. Halle

Louis J. Halle (1910–1998) was a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, besides holding other academic posts. He was a member of the Policy Planning Staff in the U.S. Department of State from 1952 to 1954. He is the author of Men and Nations, The Cold War as History, The Ideological Imagination, Out of Chaos, and other works. He is a naturalist, an historian, a philosopher, and a foreign policy specialist. He is a Renaissance man of the 20th Century. He has been quoted extensively. Below is one of his most renowned quotes.

It is the nature of slavery to render its victims so abject that at last, fearing to be free, they multiply their own chains. You can liberate a freeman, but you cannot liberate a slave.

One of Halle's interest was the colonization of space, which he says has a precedent: the colonization of land. A quote:

Up to 350 million years ago, after 3 billion years of evolution, life was still entirely confined to the waters of the earth, which constituted its only natural habitat. But those waters were becoming increasingly crowded. Looking back from our present vantage point we can see that the spreading life of this time was destined to emerge into the "unnatural" environment of what was, for it, the equivalent of outer space, the dry land and aerial atmosphere that stretched above them.

Halle contends that humankind owes its existence to the colonization of land, and future generations will owe their existence to the colonization of space. Another quote:

One can imagine an intelligent fish of the time revolting at the thought of abandoning its familiar water for the "unnatural" and hostile environment of outer space. But it would have been wrong; for the emergence of life from the water, which we may now regard as destined, added immeasurably to its potentiality for further expansion and development. Indeed, as hindsight now enables us to see, all the hopefulness of life turned on this emergence from a traditional confinement. I surmise that all the hopefulness of life now turns on its emergence from its earthly envelope.

Evolution continues.