My new article on Linkedin “Playing in a Nuclear Sandbox”
The AUKUS Nuclear Submarine Deal, in which the US and the UK will sell nuclear submarine building technologies to Australia so it can build its own nuclear subs, has made big waves over the past two weeks. There has been much ado over France taking offense with Australia for walking out of a nearly done deal with it to buy similar technology. A lot of money is involved, but pride is more a factor here than money. The frightening thing here is not the nuclear submarines themselves, but the fact that the parties are behaving like kids in a sandbox squabbling over a toy shovel. But in this case, it is a nuclear toy, and the ramifications of these games will impact all eight billion of us.
The bad news is that you cannot stop this madness. If you don’t have nuclear subs, you are powerless and cannot stop those who have them. If you do have nuclear subs, you are powerful and you don’t want to stop.
If an alien came to Earth and watched what is going on here, it would say that our only interest in life is war-games. Moreover, war defines our life here, and the fact that we could end our existence at the press of a button is no one’s concern as long as we can keep playing.
In the 1950s, Baal HaSulam wrote that if humanity doesn’t understand that we cannot live in such a state indefinitely, that we must shift to a considerate way of life where we are responsible for one another, then more world wars will follow and teach us the hard way. “If the total ruin that [nuclear and hydrogen bombs] are destined to bring upon the world is still not evident to the world, they can wait for a third world war, or a fourth one. The bombs will do their thing, and the relics who remain after the ruin will have no other choice but to take upon themselves this work where both individuals and nations will not work for themselves more than is necessary for their sustenance, while everything else they do will be for the good of others,” he wrote in The Writings of the Last Generation.
In the 1950s, everyone was still in shock by the devastation that Little Boy and Fat Man inflicted on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (respectively). But eighty years down the line, the possibility of another nuclear episode seems increasingly plausible. Those two monster bombs may have shocked the world then, but they are nothing compared to the nuclear arsenal that countries have developed since. Moreover, so many countries already possess nuclear weapons that I am not even sure if or how many of us will survive a nuclear world war.
The options are clear and simple: Unite, or the Earth will explode.
If we consider the level of animosity among nations, ethnicities, cultures, religions, or even among regular people, it seems impossible to unite. But this is so only because we are letting our baleful egos drive us to this state. We can decide to let another attitude drive us, a more responsible and considerate one.
If we think only of ourselves, there is no question that a total collapse is just a matter of time. Now that we are approaching it, we can see where we are going and change course. We can determine that we have learned the lesson and start looking at the needs of the entire society as well as our own.
No one says we need to go hungry or deny ourselves the things we need. But if we all strive to take as much as possible rather than as much as we need, we will end up having nothing.
Caring for the well-being of the collective, as well as for our own, is neither an altruistic approach nor an impractical one. It is, in fact, the only realistic and practical approach. This is the only tactic that will allow us to avoid a war that will destroy humanity.