Great Stories – Alfred Nobel

Posted on October 1, 2012 by Akashma Online News

by Marivel Guzman

Alfred Bernhard Nobel-Inventor of Dynamite
and known as the father of the peace movement

I starting to get this habit to visit the library and pick the first book I lay my eyes on; today pick was “Dynamite and Peace,” by Ragnar Sohlman and Henrik Schuck.

It is a very interesting story of Alfred Nobel; the inventor of the  dynamite and explosives devises whose inventions are the precursors of the modern missiles, rifles, revolvers, and machine guns.

The story of his oil enterprises in partnership with his brothers are the most astonishing tales of European men with more money they could spend in their life times  and the striking contradictions of this man [Nobel] of war and man of peace; all polished by his humanitarian and altruist soul.

I’m trying to understand this man who tried to influence peace treaties on his life time. A man who was lonely and hungry for everything new; from traveling to inventing new things.
He is really a riddle of a man who describes himself in one of his poems.
“You say, I m riddle-it may be, for all of us are riddles unexplained,”

Nobel was in a continuous struggles trying to balance his enormous power due to his oil enterprises and his war gadgets inventions and at the sane time trying to promote peace.
Enjoy the story of the inventor of the Nobel Prize -Alfred Bernhard Nobel, a peculiar millionaire, that dedicate his life to “War and Peace.”

Nobel was a lonely man who used great part of his day reading letters from stranger people asking for help- he was known for helping strangers but such activity didn’t provide the closeness with humanity. You can perceive that longing for human contact in one letter he wrote to his sister.

“What a contrast between us! You live a warm and glowing life, surrounded by loved ones whom you care for and who care for you; you are anchored in contentment. I drift about without rudder or compass, a wreck on the sea of life; I have no memories to cheer or about myself to satisfy my vanity. I have no family to furnish the only kind of survival that concerns us, no friends for the wholesome development of my affections, or enemies  for my malice.”
“Yet I am afflicted with a bent for self-criticism, whereby every blemish is revealed in all its unredeemed ugliness, and the veil is torn from all my deficiencies, leaving them in all their naked poverty.
Such a portrait is out of harmony in a home of joy and contentment, its proper place is the wastepaper basket, to which it will be consigned.”
Such a portrait is out of harmony in a home of joy and contentment, its proper place is the wastepaper basket, to which it will be consigned.”

Alfred N0bel’s letter to his sister in -law Edla, Ludwing Nobel’s wife.

Alfred Nobel Believes in religion;

“Religion without deeds, is no religion.” He was known for giving money and advice to people around the world, people that wrote letters to him without knowing him by only for his good heart.
He wrote in a letter to one of his friends, a Swedish priest: “Our religious views differ more in form than in substance, for we are both agreed that we should treat our neighbor as we would be treated” . He was an idealist Atheists that gave great respect to spiritual values.”
“Any reflective person must realize that we are surrounded by an eternal mystery, and this is the basis of every religion. What you see through the veil is nothing; what you believe you see is a matter of individual fantasy, and should therefore be confined within the limits of the individual point of viewed.”
He was loved and respected by Christians and Non Christians friends. His philanthropic deeds were known around the world.

Nobel was once described as the Europe’s richest vagabond.  This statement undoubtedly contain an element of truth. He certainly had several homes, but it may also be said that he dad none. He was a lonely man who had struck no root; and he suffered keenly from a melancholy consciousness of the absence of most of those ties by which other men are bond.

Alfred Nobel and his religious views:

Letter to a Friend Swedish Pastor, Paris 1885.

“Our religious views differ possibly more in form than in substance, for we are both agreed that we should treat our neighbors as we would be treated by him. Indeed, I go a step further, for I feel a loathing for myself that I by no means feel for my neighbor. As far as my theoretic religious views are concerned, on the other hand, I admit that they diverge considerably from the regular path. It is just because these questions are so far beyond our range that I refuse to recognize their solution by human reason. In religious matters, to know what one must believe is as impossible as the squaring of the circle; but to distinguish what one cannot is by no means beyond the bounds of what is possible. This boundary I do not cross. Any reflective person must realize that we are surrounded by an eternal mystery and this is the basis for eery true religion. What you see through the veil is nothing; what you believe you see is a matter of individual fantasy, and should therefore be confine within the limits of the individual point of view. But I m losing myself in the realms of metaphysics instead of, as was my intention, expressing my gratitude for your kind letter, and assuring you of my affection and my very special regard.”

Nobel was a philanthropic by nature, and this letter was probably a response to a letter of thanks from a gift. For Nobel religion without a deed was no religion.  Religion and love of mankind were for him as closely interwined as was conceivably possible; religion that did not express itself in deeds was revolting to him, and his opinion of Christian ethics was as high as his opinion of Christian dogma was low.

“If only you could understand,” he wrote in a German letter, “That one can help a human being without any ulterior motive! Amongst the Israelites this suggested itself to only one person, Christ, and so strange was the idea that he was awarded the diploma of divinity.”

The ironic life of Alfred Nobel was that being so connected with his human sideband being so attracted to altruism, he developed many patents on explosives, nitroglycerin, explosive gelatine, and he actually  be considered the inventor of dynamite and was one of the first weapons manufacturers: Firearms, rockets, projectiles and detonators.

He very well be considered the father of war gadgets due to his numerous inventions in the field of explosives, projectiles, rockets and gas delivery methods. With more than 100 patents recorded on the field of explosives and detonators.

It seems inconsistent that a man who devoted so much energy to warlike inventions should at the same time have been pronounced pacifist.

Nobel’s first invention, ‘dynamite’, was not intended for military purposes, but was essentially meant to be a scientific aid in industrial undertakings and mines.

Alfred Nobel did not believe in disarmament but in the unity of an armed force that keep the belligerent nations at bay. In my opinion his approach to peace was bigotry because he was profiting from war, and even thought he wanted to live in a world of peace, he dedicated his life to the war industry.
He is known as the father of the peace movement and in his letters to Bertha Von Suttner he explains his position and alternatives for peace. None of which were really aimed to disarmament of nations, which in our modern time, will be the only solution to achieve peace. So I consider him to be the precursor of the armament race.

On October 15, 1892 Nobel wrote to a Belgian Pacifist:

“I m gradually familiarizing myself with what has been done; and I have also got an intelligent diplomat to investigate the question (Aristarchi Bey- made his assistant)Such specimens exist although they are rare. He has pointed out to me, and this is indeed the crux of the problem, that the reason the governments are not prepared to admit the principle of undertaking to attempt to settle disputes by arbitration, is that they fear thereby to damage their interest if a pacific solution should ultimately not be achieved.
There are governments which believe, rightly or wrongly, that they can mobilize more speedily than others, and they are unwilling to sacrifice the great advantage over the enemy accruing from the extra time gained.

I m beginning to believe to believe that the only true solution would be a convention under which all the governments would bind themselves to defend collectively any country that was attacked. Such treaty migh lead gradually to partial disarmament, which is indeed the only kind of disarmament possible, for it is necessary that there should be an armed force to maintain order.”

“I should like to allot part of my fortune to the formation of a prize fund to be distributed in every period of five years (we may say six times for it we have failed at the end of thirty years in reforming the present system we shall inevitably revert to barbarism) .

Bertha von Suttner, Austrian novelist, radical pacifist, and the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize

This prize would be awarded to the man or the woman who had done most to advance the idea of general peace in Europe. I do not refer to disarmament, which can be achieved only by very slow degrees. I do not even necessarily refer to compulsory arbitration between the nations; but what I have in view is that we should soon achieve the result-undoubtedly a practical one-. That all states should bind themselves absolutely to take action against the first aggressor. Wars then will become impossible, and we should succeed in compelling even the most quarrelsome state either to have recourse to a tribunal, or to remain quiet. If the Triple Alliance instead of comprising three states were to secure the adherence of all, secular peace would be insured for the world”

Letter to Bertha Von Suttner; Bertha Felicitas Sophie Freifrau von Suttner was an Austrian novelist, radical pacifist, and the first woman to be a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

He was a virtuous no doubt, he knew 5 languages; Russian, Swedish, French, English and German. He wrote some poetry when young, and intended to publish but death came first.

He become pacifist of some sort, and wrote a some novels that were never finished or published; “In Lightest Africa”, “Sisters and Brothers”. Wrote Satiric comedy; “The Patent Bacillus”, and A Drama novel; : A Victim of Imagination”, and a Tragedy: “Nemesis” …
In a passage of one of his unfinished novels he wrote:
“Christ preached the rights of mankind and universal brotherhood; his ministers and their hypocritical following practice every kind of torture and baseness that the human animal can devise.”

Is there then no hope for humanity: “Yes” answers the philosopher, ” a ray of light pierces the terrible darkness of Europe; a more humane outlook is beginning to prevail in all classes. The magic glow of a world that is past illuminates our thought today; and we may take pride in the fact that our country raised the standard of civilization. I was our Columbus, our Galileo, our Leonard, our Bruno, our Campanella, our philosophers, poets, and artists, that first directed men to nobler ends than to burn their fellows and rot their intellects.”

Nobel Dynamite and Peace –  The Nobel Foundation -Ragnar Sohlman and Henrik Schuck

The Journal – Society of Chemical Industry
Vol  XVIII-1899
Nobel patents on explosive are clearly imprinted and recognized.
His Company Nobel brothers – Oil and explosives.
He himself was a scientist inventor, most of this
patents are related to explosives,  gases, weapons and measurement devices.
Nobel has close to 150 patents registered in the European Patent Office, and 355 in different countries.

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