Friday, December 19, 2014

NEEDED: Heroes to Bring About Nuclear Disarmament

Is anybody else out there connecting these dots?

For six years, we've been frustrated with Obama. (Hell, I even revoked his Nobel Peace prize!)

But maybe he's in a different place then he's been up until now. Maybe he can do some things?

Exhibit 1:

For Obama, 
More Audacity and Fulfillment
of Languishing Promises
(New York Times, December 17, 2014)

Barack Obama announces action on Cuba

"President Obama’s decision on Wednesday to radically shift United States policy toward Cuba is the latest and most striking example of a president unleashed from the hesitancy that characterized much of his first six years in office . . . . "

What this means to me is: all bets are off.  There's almost no limit to what Obama might do.

Similarly, the last couple of years of deteriorating relations with Russian might make people despair that the U.S. will follow through with the nuclear weapons reductions everyone knows we need.

(Let's not even start on how circular these arguments are: we can't talk to the Russians because we're at odds with each other about the things we can't talk to each other about because . . . )

But things can change in a day.

Exhibit 2:

Economic Fears May Push
Russia Into Ukraine Deal
(New York Times, December 17, 2014)

Time for a "new heroic, patriotic deed" ?

"Analysts said President Vladimir V. Putin could seek a compromise on Ukraine to relieve some of Russia’s economic turmoil . . . "

Wait: so, suddenly, instead of Ukraine being the reason we can't make progress on anything, there's going to be an outright deal on Ukraine itself? Just like that?

I guess it goes to show that all the excuses don't really matter, once there's a shared interest in doing something.

Well . . . if people are in the mood to make deals . . . .

Here's a winning proposition for both these two leaders: Deliver a massive reduction in nuclear weapons to their respective populations. 

Now that would be a "heroic, patriotic deed"! 

But let me make myself perfectly clear . . .

I do not believe the decision about eliminating nuclear weapons belongs to these to leaders. It belongs to us -- the people. Obama and Putin are just the messengers.

Put another way: the hero is us.

Exhibit 3:

The Matter, Forme,
and Power of a Common
Wealth Ecclesiastical
and Civil

Remember this image.

You may wish to go to the online images accompanying Elaine Scarry's book, Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom.

Look at the high resolution reproduction of the original image from Leviathan.

Zoom in . . . look at individual faces . . . .

As Elaine explains, "the outward-looking faces of the drawing . . .  successfully convey Hobbes’s central thesis that the Leviathan is constituted by our own bodies." (emphasis added)

We are the common body - the community, the commonwealth, the society, the nation, it is us.

The decision about whether to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation is our decision.

And that is why the entire country is mobilizing for mass action for nuclear disarmament in 2015.

Are we capable of making sure the messengers -- Obama, Putin, the other agents of government -- hear their instructions from us clearly?

Exhibit 4:

New York City, Central Park:  No Nukes Mobilization, 1982

We can do this thing . . . .


* Go to the 2015 calendar of
and commit to participating.

* Tweet every Tuesday on 
#NoNukesTuesday to build 
the snowball effect.

* Spread the word!
Get others to take these actions, too!

Related posts

In light of the upcoming review of the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and the fact that organizations throughout the country and worldwide are organizing to press the U.S. to substantially reduce its stores of nuclear weapons, it seems like a good time to use social media to get EVERYONE on board!

(See 5 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference on #NoNukesTuesday )

There are three centers of power that will impact nuclear disarmament: the President, the Congress, and the people. One of them will have to make nuclear disarmament happen.

(See Countdown to U.S. Nuclear Disarmament (With or Without the Politicians) )

How do you formulate a statement that can somehow convince the United States to eliminate its threatening nuclear weapons?  How do you formulate the 10th request? Or the 100th? Knowing all the time that the United States is in the position -- will always be in the position -- to say, "No" ?  At what point does it dawn on you that the United States will never give up its nuclear weapons, because it has the power and the rest of the world doesn't?

(See 360 Degree Feedback in New York (2014 NPT Prepcom and How the World Views the United States))