By TFF’s Board
Lund, Sweden August 6, 2014 – Hiroshima Day
The Nuclear Age – risk of omnicide and our new responsibilities
Nuclear weapons came into the world and were used for the first time in 1945. Their specific feature as weapons of mass destruction and “omnicide” – able to kill us all – has changed what it means to be alive on this earth and to be responsible for its existence.
Until nuclear weapons, human beings could not decide whether or not to end project humankind and project planet earth.
Today we know that the arsenals and missile projection methods are such that a few decision-makers, or a technical malfunction, could blow up enough of the world to make the living – if any – envy the dead.
We live in the Nuclear Age. It means living with the permanent daily threat of extinction.
Nuclearism undermines security and democracy
The Nuclear Age has undermined not only security but also democracy.
No nuclear weapons state has ever held a referendum on whether to maintain these weapons or not. There is not a single opinion poll ever made that shows that the citizens of those states want these weapons.
The overwhelming majority of the world’s population want nuclear weapons to be abolished.
In recognition of the fact that these weapons are immoral and useless for any human political purpose, the world’s nations have signed numerous UN resolutions to the effect that we shall seek “general and complete disarmament.”
The nuclear weapons states grossly ignore their responsibilities while pointing fingers at others
The most well-known is the NPT – the Non-Proliferation Treaty (1970). It declares that those who do not have nuclear weapons should abstain from acquiring them and as a quid pro quo the nuclear states should negotiate their arsenals down to zero “in good faith” and assist those who abstained to acquire nuclear technologies to meet their civilian energy needs.
Today the nuclear weapons states have many times more and more advanced nuclear weapons and much more sophisticated missiles, submarines and aircraft to project them to all parts of the world.
Possession – not proliferation – is the essential problem
In short, the main problem is nuclear weapons possession and growth and not – as the media and nuclear leaders want us to believe – their proliferation.
The mechanism is simple: As long as some – mostly Western countries – maintain and develop their arsenals, other will want to have them too.
This argument tends to be ignored when interventions, occupations and bombings are on the agenda, be it Iraq, Pakistan, India, North Korea or Iran.
That Israel possesses 100-300 nuclear weapons in contravention of UN resolutions that declare that the Middle East should remain a zone free of such weapons is equally forgotten.
Thus, while worldwide nuclear proliferation is seen to be the major obstacle to be surmounted, we at TFF argue that nuclear possession is the fundamental problem – as is the perverse thinking it is based upon.
Nuclearism must end – like slavery and cannibalism – and here is how
We insist that nuclearism – the political view that nuclear weapons are essential for the maintenance of national security and international stability – must come to an end and be seen as incompatible with human civilization.
TFF’s pro-peace perspective is three-fold:
a) To abolish nuclear weapons, we need to think of alternative defence, security and peace concepts, policies and strategies that will render nuclear weapons superfluous; and we must undermine the “fearology” and propaganda that makes people believe that nuclear weapons offer security, protection and peace.
b) We must build on the energy and hopes embedded in the fact that so many countries that could have been nuclear weapons states today have made political decisions to abstain from them.
This is the case for Sweden, Switzerland, former Yugoslavia, South Africa, Libya, Austria, Mongolia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.
Hope-inducing is also the fact that 60% of the world’s 193 states are now parts of Nuclear Weapons-Free Zones (NWFZ).
c) It remains essential to educate the general public about the risks of nuclear weapons and what the consequences would be if they were used.
The risks comprise both technical and human failure; moreover, there remain a few elites who believe that for certain political goals the use of nuclear weapons would be justified.
Politicians, schools and media must focus on the end of nuclearism before it ends us all
While public debate and education on nuclear issues were on the world’s agenda in the 1960s and 1980s, this existential issue has virtually disappeared from the radar over the last 20 years.
TFF believes that everything must be done to bring it back to the forefront, but without contributing to the afore-mentioned “fearology”.
The focus must be on the advantages for humankind’s common good if, in the name of civilization, we could abolish these weapons like we have abolished cannibalism, slavery and other inhuman practices.