Other Religions Atheism and Agnosticism Einstein Quotes and Views on Society and Government Einstein’s freethought impacted his social, political, & economic opinions Share Flipboard Email Print Other Religions Belief Systems Atheism and Agnosticism Logic Ethics Key Figures in Atheism Evolution Atheism Myths and Misconceptions By Austin Cline Atheism Expert M.A., Princeton University B.A., University of Pennsylvania Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism. our editorial process Austin Cline Updated July 26, 2018 Religious theists who claim Albert Einstein as one of their own might want to take a closer look at his social, political, and economic beliefs. Many of Einstein's opinions would be anathema to conservative Christians today—and perhaps even some moderates as well. Not just an advocate of democracy in politics, Albert Einstein, was a critic of capitalism who strongly favored socialist policies. Some conservatives might attribute this to his denial of traditional religion and traditional gods. 01 of 07 Albert Einstein: Economic Anarchy of Capitalism is the Real Source of Evil Adam Gault/Getty Images "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." Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949) 02 of 07 Albert Einstein: Communism has Characteristics of Religion "One strength of the Communist system...is that it has some of the characteristics of a religion and inspires the emotions of a religion." Albert Einstein, Out Of My Later Years 03 of 07 Albert Einstein: Autocratic, Coercive Systems Inevitably Degenerate "An autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates. For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels. For this reason, I have always been passionately opposed to systems such as we see in Italy and Russia today." Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949) 04 of 07 Albert Einstein: I Adhere to the Ideal of Democracy "I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I well know the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual appeared to me always as the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated." Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949) 05 of 07 Albert Einstein: I Have a Passionate Need for Social Justice, Responsibility "My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities." Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949) 06 of 07 Albert Einstein: People Should be Led, not Coerced "My political ideal is a democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration and reverence from my fellow-beings, through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one man must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader." Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949) 07 of 07 Albert Einstein: Laws Cannot Secure Freedom of Expression "Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty, there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population." Albert Einstein, Out Of My Later Years (1950), quoted from Laird y, ed., "The Degeneration of Belief"