Nuclear Weapons and Law

By Arthur Selwyn Miller; Martin Feinrider | Go to book overview

14.

Commentary on the Constitutional Debate *

Ovid C. Lewis**

Given the complex nature of nuclear weapons strategy for instituting W.W. III, —a subject (survival) for which most of us display intense feelings that tend to cloud our objectivity—I decided to ask my illustrious friend Dr. Jeremiah Pangloss, to write an introductory piece for this symposium. I know no more versatile dilettante. Not weighted down with the myopic effect of very much knowledge, he is able to see the big picture, identifying the worst and the best in any given scenario by employing the simple Procrustean strategy of ignoring the finer points of argumentation. Also, I knew that his distress over the death in 1876 of the last Tasmanian, Lalla Rookh, —an event he perceived as a manifestation of the global movement toward cultural homogeneity and concomitant loss of alternative cultures—made him acutely sensitive to the nuclear threat to our collective existence. 1 Unfortunately, I was unable to convince him to write an introduction but he did read the symposium articles and was willing to permit publication of our subsequent discussion.

OL: Dr. Pangloss, what makes you think that you possess the requisite expertise to evaluate something as technologically complex as nuclear weapons strategy? 2

JP: Well, first I would point out that my legal education has enhanced

* Reprinted, with permission, from Nova Law Journal, Volume 7, Number 1 (1982), where it appeared as “An Interview with Jeremiah Pangloss—A Prelude to the Constitutional Debate.”

** Dean, Center for the Study of Law, Nova University.

1. See Lewis, Universal Functional Requisites of Society: The Unending Quest, 3 CASE W. RES. J. INT'L L. 360 (1970).

2. The problem of evaluating the risks in nuclear power generation is equally complex.

Even if the complex facts [concerning nuclear power] were completely exposed and explained by a neutral group of experts, there is little indication that the public could develop a consensus. For example, little capability exists to weigh the tradeoffs between cheaper electricity produced by nu

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