This thread is in indirect response, to a left-wing documentary, called “Surviving Progress” www.youtube.com...
If you could go back in time, and kill every reoccurring inventor, of the nuclear bomb, would you do so? I used to think “yes”
now I think very differently…
World War Two is widely believed to have killed 50 million people. Had the leaders of East & West not known that a war between them would be suicide,
it seems more than likely (when using history as a guide) that there would have been a conventional war between the two sides, and as conventional
killing technology had greatly improved (on both sides) since WW2, it is perfectly possible that a 50 million death toll, would have been a
Therefore chances are, that many of us alive today would have widely different parents-grandparents i.e. because the other or both would have died,
long before meeting one another.
Wikipedia does a list of wars by fatalities…
Not a single
one of these wars has occurred between two sides armed with nukes (or even with nuclear energy). Here is a far more extensive list
-same fact remains: www.scaruffi.com...
There are only 9 states with Nukes en.wikipedia.org...
But there are 30 nations (i.e. 21 extra nations) with nuclear energy…
Again: Not a single one of these nations has gone to war since becoming nuclear capable.
But it’s not like they didn’t used to fight each other often e.g.
1. Napoleonic Wars = Mostly France & Britain (1799 to 1815)
2. Boer Wars = Britain & South Africa (1880 to 1881, and again from 1899 to 1902)
3. Russo Japan War 1904 to 1905)
4. Sino Soviet Conflict (1929)
5. World war one: Germany, France, England, America, most the EU,
6. World war two: Germany, France, England, America, most of the EU, Japan, China
In fact there are many, many wars between 1900 and 1944 involving nations that today have a nuclear weapons capability.
And not a single repeat (between any of them) since.
Reassuringly: This means if we go to war with Iran, it will be a first in history. We won’t of course
, not least because this really would be
the end of Israel (if not with nuclear weapons, then with biological for sure).
Then I thought: “What about India & Pakistan?”
1947 to 1949 = 1500 to 3152 killed.
1965 = Around 15,500 killed (on both sides in total)
1971 = Around 4000 to 9000 killed
Then in 1999 around 980 killed
Only in 18th May 1974 did India become a nuclear power,
And only on 28th May 1998, did the Muslim country of Pakistan finally catch up in copying Western technology, by doing the same.
In 1999 India and Pakistan become the first nuclear powered countries in history, hot-headed enough to fight a conventional war
with each other.
The war they fought was tiny, and far smaller than those they had fought before.
My Eccentric Conclusion…
Just as nuclear electricity appears bad, until you study deaths per terra watt hour, and view how even hydroelectric dam bursts have killed far
Could it not also be, that the inventions of nuclear weapons appears bad, until you look at how many (have historically) been killed by a human brain
that hasn’t changed much in 10,000 years?
The Relationship Between Technology & Politics…
I loved learning, in history, how (for example) the reason why we have democracy & freedom today, ultimately starts with James Watt inventing the
first (proper) steam engine www.bbc.co.uk...
Which itself starts with him as a boy, noticing how steam was strong enough to lift a lid…
The lad lifted the lid and peeped inside again. He
could see nothing but the bubbling water. The steam was not visible until after it was fairly out of the kettle.
"How queer!" he said. "The steam must be very strong to lift the heavy iron lid. Grandma, how much water did you put into the kettle?"
 "About a quart, Jamie."
"Well, if the steam from so little water is so strong, why would not the steam from a great deal of water be a great deal stronger? Why couldn't it
be made to lift a much greater weight? Why couldn't it be made to turn wheels?"
When the steam engine was invented it greatly improved the economies of Britain & France, both of whom pioneered the technology. It also necessitated
that the peasants become educated enough, to work in complex factories, which in turn meant some of these peasants become rich, yet unable to either
vote or be directly represented before the king, because they were not of Noble blood.
This created social-political pressures for change.
Then you had the French Revolution. (With social conditions being near identical in both France & Britain) this had our aristocracy scarred of being
the next to have their heads forced in a guillotine by peasants who could now read & write.
Before steam (and therefore before the Industrial Revolution) history showed how the aristocracy could treat the peasants pretty much, however they
liked, and still get no rebellion. For example…
You could starve them because of crop failure, whilst you ate like the king-lord you were in your palace. Even during the Napoleonic Wars
the way food was rationed in Britain was through price i.e. the rich could eat however much they liked, whilst the poor starved.
Burn the peasants homes for not paying their rent, on land you owned, and they worked as rent.
You could even sell a man & wife, to separate estates where they would never see each other again –just like cattle. This white slavery,
was called “Serfdom” and was only abolished in Russia in 1861 en.wikipedia.org...
You could do all these things, and more, and get away with it, without a revolution, because so long as they couldn’t read & write, they couldn’t
spread their ideas any more than they could store them. They were good for one thing, and that was brutal work, drowned only by poor alcohol at the
pub, and religion on Sunday’s.
Other countries like Russia, tried to delay steam technology in their country. The problem was, the other countries around them (who had embraced it)
could afford superior militaries, from steam fuelled factories able to mass produce their goods. So in the end, the Russians had to let the technology
in –something which a few decades later caused the Russian revolution.
It is possible that the computer will be the opposite for freedom than the steam engine, as far as making the kind of mass, totalitarian surveillance,
of George Orwell’s 1984 possible (i.e. tracked by phone, tracked down the road by license plate recognition, tracked by face recognition when you
use public transport).
Paradoxically it may also extend freedom by encouraging & then enabling revolution (like the Arab Spring), or by enabling, and putting pressure for,
partition’s to government.
We live in a civilisation that will destroy itself, unless recycling & sustainability can be reached. The challenge is that our society is motivated
only by profit. However surely that makes technology the best solution? E.g…
Several nuclear reactors, that can not
go into meltdown already exist (They are: The Pebble Bed Reactor = outdated, Integral Reactor = current,
The Thorium Reactor = doable but delayed by TPTB), others (called Fast Neutron Reactors) can destroy the most dangerous waste.
Rather than throw our hands up, and say “the world is going to end” (like the Left did after the detonation of the first Soviet Nuclear bomb)
perhaps they are wrong to do it now (as the creators of Surviving Progress) would like us to do. All btw to serve an undemocratic ideology, apparently
in the name of the “Greater Good” –just as the Left’s, other recent “ideological abortion” (Communism) was & still is (in practice at
least) another undemocratic ideology, apparently in the same ideals name.
Ultimately I am sure the solution lies in the right technology, and the right politics to assist that technology (wind doesn’t count!). If we can do
that (i.e. be politically brave through being pragmatic) then we can probably have a world of ever increasing living standards, yet still well suited
to our 10,000 year old brains!
What do you think?