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In this article, the author praises Mikhail Gorbachev’s renewed call for nuclear disarmament and discusses some of the myths surrounding nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence. Drawing on psychological and psychoanalytical writings he concludes that denial is making us accomplices of the greatest atrocity known to civilisation: failure.
By David J. Franco, 20 Oct, 2011
This morning I read Mikhail Gorbachev’s renewed call for nuclear disarmament. In his article A Farewell to the Nuclear Sword of Damocles former USSR President and artifice of the Perestroika warns that ‘by failing to propose a compelling plan for nuclear disarmament, the US, Russia, and the remaining nuclear powers are promoting through inaction a future in which nuclear weapons will inevitably be used’. As much as I was happy to read that Gorbachev is determined to continue the job he started as a man of power, I experienced a mixture of unhappiness and distaste upon reading the following commentary left by one of the readers:
‘The genie is out of the bottle, and cannot be put back inside.
Nuclear weapons ended WWII and kept the world from WWIII. So long as nations have these weapons, there will not be another World War. The presence of these arms has saved millions of lives. For example, they maintain the relative peace between India and Pakistan – because neither one wants to be bombed. I hope, really hope, that they will never be used, and that there will come a time when they are not needed or present.
As long as humankind insists on not living together in peace, these weapons are needed. I see little hope of changing human nature in the near term.’