• RolandTyme
    47
    Hello,

    The cause of nuclear abolition is seen more readily in left-leaning circles, but I'm wondering whether this is maybe exaggerated, or if it should be.

    Considering that a nuclear exchange between NATO and Russia - whether by accident or design - would basically destroy our civilisation - including all non-belligerants and third parties, leaving only a few survivors proportionately, I'm surprised that more people on the centre and the right don't advocate strongly for nuclear dis-armament.

    This is surely a lot more important even than alot of the issues we disagree and fight over.

    So this is a question for people on the right, or in the centre. Are you for abolishing nuclear weapons (and I don't just mean "in theory, but" - I mean practically, now, making first concrete steps)? If not, why not? And if you are, why don't we hear from you on the anti-nuclear Left, in order to make a broad coalition?
  • Nickolasgaspar
    724
    Are you familiar with the realization that we don't have wars between western military powers since nuclear weapons first came to the picture?
  • RolandTyme
    47
    I am familiar with that - thanks very much for your response Nickolasgaspar,

    I've got three immediate responses.

    1. That's only considering the situation over a very short period of time - not even a century. If we are concerned with the long term future of the human race, we want, I think, to think much more in the long term. It would only take one nuclear exchange to destroy our civilisation. Odds on that never happening in 1000 years? What about 10,000 years? Etc.

    2. Russia isn't a western military power. Neither is China. My point isn't dunk on these states. The risk is between exchanges between any nuclear powers of sufficiently sized arsonals (it's not clear if China is in the running here, from what I remember - but it could always expand it's nukes, technically at least (I'm not an expert on China so I have no idea what Beijing is thinking with regards this)

    3. I'm not as concerned about wars as I am about large scale nuclear exchanges. W\ars are horrible but they don't last forever. We have peaces and then wars - in most countries as well. I'd rather have millenia of war than obliteration.
  • Christoffer
    1.4k


    The problem isn't the nukes, the problem is if someone gets into power who just doesn't care about obliteration. Rational states use Nukes as a deadlock for deterrent use, but just as we see people conduct acts of destruction with little intention of safety for themselves or others, the problem is with such people. If they reach levels of power that can initiate nuclear attacks then they are the threat to the world.

    Since disarmament of nuclear weapons globally is a utopian dream that will never come to pass, the solution is to develop advanced defensive weapons that can automatically spot, track, and disarm/shoot down any nuclear weapon missiles. Such technology would be a safeguard for everyone, if any nation with nuclear weapons has these defenses, then the deadlock is fixed and there's no point in shooting anything since everything gets shot down.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    Are you for abolishing nuclear weapons (and I don't just mean "in theory, but" - I mean practically, now, making first concrete steps)?RolandTyme

    Anyone sane is in favor of abolishing nuclear weapons.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.4k
    the solution is to develop advanced defensive weapons that can automatically spot, track, and disarm/shoot down any nuclear weapon missiles.Christoffer

    What would happen to a nuclear missile that got shot down?
  • Bitter Crank
    11.1k
    IF the missile's command /control system were damaged, then the least that one would get is an impact-driven release of plutonium--never a good thing. If the damage to the missile was slight, the missile might miss it's target, but still deliver a nuclear blast--on someone. Never a good thing.

    If a large number of missiles were launched (which we or they might as well do, considering the likely result) most of the missiles will succeed in blowing up their targets.

    Einstein said WWIV would be fought with rocks.
  • Christoffer
    1.4k
    What would happen to a nuclear missile that got shot down?Metaphysician Undercover

    It either won't activate and dud out, maybe create radioactive contamination at the very location, but very local compared to the spread of fallout if it went off, or if it would activate and blow up, it would blow up at a remote location far from any highly populated areas. The natural counter to this would be a military operation. If everyone can counter nuclear weapons, then it won't be a counter with nuclear weapons, but instead, the act of a first strike would trigger a global initiative to invade the guilty nation and remove the people who took that decision. Bottom line, there will be an opening to remove the leaders who wanted to kill millions of civilians in other nations. For instance, if Russia were to do this and their missiles were shot down at their borders, then a global offense would most likely invade and remove the government in Russia. It would be considered a third world war, but not in a destructive way like a nuclear war would be and Russia wouldn't have the manpower, tech or military power to defend against a global offensive against them. If the US would, for some reason, do the same, then it would most likely trigger an exclusion from Nato in which all the rest of the nations in that alliance would ally with other nations of the world to remove US leaders. It would be a much different battlefield and more destructive. It would, however, trigger civil war as well since it's impossible to ignore how diverse the US population is. At least half would probably ally with the remaining Nato members and the US might even be split up just like how the Soviet Union broke apart when it fell.

    But all of this is speculative of a scenario that really doesn't make sense. No one would fire off nukes if they know it's impossible to penetrate defense systems, it would be total stupidity of the most moronic kind. Not even the most stupid leaders of today would make that call since the backfire of such an action would be only severe to the nation making that decision. This is why such a defense system would be the most "peaceful" deterrent until the next world-ending weapon is developed.
  • RolandTyme
    47
    So, lots of points here, so thank you everyone.

    The first thing I would like to note is that no one seems to be engaging with one of my main interests - are there many conservatives who are also advocates of nuclear disarmament?

    To move onto the responses - Given that my main concern here is avoiding Nuclear armageddon, I don't think I could have an objection to some powerful nation (at least powerful in a kind of crude, violent sense) creating an impregnable weapons system. Even if it only protected a reasonably large part of the world, that would be part of the world. I don't really agree with one, or a group of countries, having this kind of pre-eminent position, but in terms of long term species/biosphere protection, beggars can't be choosers.

    It may be utopian to get rid of the nuclear weapons. Looked at another way, it may be utopian to have the kind of world-wide social change which would probably be required to remove the incentive from states to develop or keep such arms.

    However, I don't think the response to this is to say "We will never get rid of nuclear weapons, therefore it's best that my country keeps nuclear weapons." You need additional premises to claim that, in your country's hands, they will never be wrongly used. I don't think it's easy to claim that.

    Another point is that: no leader, even despotic ones, want to kill millions of citizens of opposing nations. Why not? Because strategically it makes no sense. You don't want to get into that situation - you want to win out, or at least reach a stalemate, without this happening. Because if you are in that situation, you are already in extreme danger. The reason I'm saying this is that it's a lazy gloss to see even dictators in these terms. For the vast majority of cases, even if these people are insane, they aren't malicious in this way, but rather ruthless and paranoid. It plays into a simplisitic good and evil narrative to say this - where as the more nuanced good and evil is when we see that we, as easily as the enemy, may be the source of the evil. In my world view, with regards the current situation - which I don't want to focus on, admittedly - both Russia and NATO are both my enemies, because both possess the power and the motivation to use these weapons if they deem the situation warrants it. But they are mutually enforcing each other in this regard, and so they are both responsible. I would fight in a war against an agressive Russian Federation without these, but I won't fight in the current situation, as I don't believe you can justly - or even rationally - fight for a side which is willing to use weapons of mass destruction.

    The sad thing in this, for me, is that people are currently being sold the idea that nuclear weapons keep them safe. They do not. If they go up, it's the end of Europe, North America, and Asia, at least. Fighting a war - even losing a conventional war - is nothing in comparison. The costs on the latter are genocide, displacement, massive casualties plausibly, loss of some or all homeland. But the alternative is literal obliteration.

    I won't comment on the technicalities of whether a missile defence system can work or not - I was a moral philosopher, not a ballistics expert.
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