Note: this is the text from the 1985 flyer. The quotations are in a separate post.
There is no such thing as nuclear annihilation insurance, and anyone who thinks there could be is tragically deluded. If you have a notion that nuclear war is survivable, if you think there would be anything at the other end worth surviving for, this message is for you.
Oh, you have a shelter? Is your bomb shelter equipped to withstand 30 million degrees F?
At this very moment people are making “contingency plans.” Plans for how to keep your charge account bills coming, through the U.S. Mail which is guaranteed to be up and running with only a single day’s interruption of service. Of course everyone will have an address, due to the marvelous evacuation scheme which promises to get everyone neatly resettled within three business days after global cataclysm.
Sound like a crock? You bet it does. Do you have any conception of how pitifully, laughably inadequate the evacuation plans are? Or any idea how naïve it is to believe there will be anyplace to evacuate to, or any way of getting there? Missiles arrive within thirty minutes of launch. How far can you drive on the San Diego Freeway during the biggest rush hour in history?
Even supposing that evacuation were workable, will you be one of the refugees or one of the hosts? Even if it were possible to survive a “limited” nuclear exchange, would you want to? Will you be among the many thousands of severe burn cases, or among the walking wounded whose job it will be to nurse them?
Nuclear War – If You’ve Seen One, You’ve Seen Them All
It can’t happen, you say? Consider this:
- The nuclear policies of both superpowers rest on the concept of “unacceptable damage” at the very least.
- The purpose of NATO is to initiate nuclear warfare.
- The present administration has ignored or refused six major chances to delay our present course toward apocalypse.
- Some very intelligent people say the chance of accidental nuclear war is quite good. In 1980 it almost happened – because of the malfunction of a 46-cent computer chip.
There won’t be any veterans of WWIII. There won’t be any Time-Life Books series about it. The probability is very high that the beginning of nuclear war would lead inevitably to the end of everything.
Nuclear War – Oh, No, There Goes My Career!
If you’re not horrified by the nearness of total destruction, you haven’t been paying attention. Nuclear warfare is not cost-effective. After it there will be no markets, no goods, no customers, no profits. If you’re concerned about any other issues it behooves you to first be concerned about nuclear war. Of course it has the potential to solve a lot of social problems. No more apartheid No more conflict between pro-choice and pro-life. No choice. No life.
Wasn’t Once Enough?
As Voltaire said after the orgy, when invited to another: No thanks. “Once is philosophy, twice is perversion.” As an anonymous teenager said after trying a popular drug: “Once is curiosity, twice is stupidity.”
The worst thing happening in the world today is the belief people have been brainwashed into, that nuclear war is acceptable, necessary, even inevitable; that the “other side” wants it.
In the street a man is beating his wife. One neighbor turns up his radio and takes care to stay away from the window. Next door someone peeks out through the shade. Another neighbor picks up the phone to call the authorities, realizing too late that the line has been cut. Down the block a man stands on his porch and watches, expressionless. Someone else rushes to intervene, not heeding the risk to himself.
We each have our own way of dealing with the rightly named Unthinkable: the prospect of total devastation of the planet and the death of everything on it. We can throw ourselves into partying and turn our backs on the horror. We can let it into the fringes of consciousness and pay it with nightmares. We can kid ourselves into complacency, blind faith in the leaders who will surely take care of us and bring about a “victory” for our side. We can stare it in the face, numb as rabbits paralyzed by oncoming headlights. We can try to stop it, using any and all means at our disposal no matter how futile or hopeless the task may seem.
Give Peace a Chance
A good place to start would be a weapons freeze: Stop all testing, production, and deployment of bombs, warheads, and delivery vehicles of all types. When you consider that enough nuclear warheads already exist to blow up the world about 70 times over, freeze is not such an unreasonable proposition. Better yet, and the only acceptable course if life on earth is to continue – TOTAL MULTILATERAL NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT. Quite simply, take the weapons down. Dismantle them. We figured out how to put them together, surely we can figure out how to take them apart.
Making a Difference
There is no such thing as Nuclear Annihilation Insurance. Not that we can buy with money. But there are other things we can do. Virtually every profession, religion, and ethnic group has a peace group within. Examples of these specialized groups include architects, atomic scientists, atomic bomb survivors, computer experts, lawyers, Asian Americans, Constitutionalists, mothers, gays, professors, librarians, doctors, teachers, and psychologists. In Los Angeles alone there are dozens of groups working for peace. If your town has more than fifty people in it, chances are there’s a peace group.
We need to find ways to let the politicians and general on both “sides” know they do not have our permission or approval in their insane pursuit of Armageddon. We can view Threads or The Day After to get a real feel for what it is we’re dealing with here. We can educate ourselves by reading some of the many informative books on the nuclear threat and the peace alternative.
Some people create art which expresses their anti-nuclear convictions. Some alter billboards and paint slogans on walls. Thousands of people will interrupt their lives to go on a nearly year-long walk to Washington in 1986, to make the elected officials and the rest of the country and the world aware of the strength of their feelings. Thousands are arrested every year in acts of civil disobedience directed against nuclear warfare preparations. Some have gone so far as to damage missile silos and other military property in protest. Some refuse to hand over part or all of the taxes the government demands to buy our destruction. Did you know the seemingly insignificant federal excise tax on your phone bill is specifically earmarked for military use? If we continue to pay now, we will surely pay later.
There are innumerable ways to make a difference, and all of them worth trying. No idea is too wild when compared to the alternative – the end of life on this planet. One prominent scientist proposed an exchange between the superpowers of millions of children – a war prevention plan which has historical precedent.
Wake Up Today: The Future Can Still Happen
The first and most important step toward turning this mess around can happen in only one place: the mind. Your mind. Believe that reversal is possible and that insanity can be ended. Believe that the people, the citizens, of other nations don’t want nuclear warfare any more than we do. Believe that people can say no. We can say no. And that’s the only insurance we’ve got.
P. Robinson 1985