Indefensible Weapons: The Political and Psychological Case against Nuclearism

Indefensible Weapons: The Political and Psychological Case against Nuclearism

Indefensible Weapons: The Political and Psychological Case against Nuclearism

Indefensible Weapons: The Political and Psychological Case against Nuclearism

Excerpt

In the early 1980s something extremely important has happened to nuclear weapons. They have begun to emerge from the shadows. While they have been among us since World War II, it is only now that they have become psychologically and politically visible to the common man and woman.

They are no less dangerous to us; they are in fact more dangerous than ever. But it is no longer possible, we believe, to reinstate the universal numbing that has so long maintained such distance between them and us, and at so great a cost.

One result of this welcome exposure is that world leaders feel constrained to address nuclear dangers and to present themselves as nuclear peacemakers. Surely that is a desirable step, because it contains possibilities for treaties that restrict or reduce weapons systems.

But whatever the extent of that kind of reduction, the problem of what we call nuclearism remains. By nuclearism we mean psychological, political, and military dependence on nuclear weapons, the embrace of the weapons as a solution to a wide variety of human dilemmas, most ironically that of "security." Our goal in this book is to explore this fundamental deformation of attitude toward the weapons, as well as their immediate dangers. We are equally concerned with pressing toward the kind of awareness that can reverse, even cast off, this syndrome of nuclearism.

Nuclearism, then, is the disease. Our focus on the underlying disease process does not make us unmindful of the . . .

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