Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Summary Edition of "Thermonuclear Monarchy"

No US president acting alone -- be it Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or anyone else -- can be trusted with the sole power to launch nuclear weapons.

Summary Edition of
Thermonuclear Monarchy:
Choosing Between Democracy and Doom

by Elaine Scarry
A Summary Edition of Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom by Elaine Scarry (my sister) is now available and is being widely used in educational, policy, and other settings. It contains the full introduction to each of the main parts of the complete edition of Thermonuclear Monarchy.

In a recent Huffington Post article, John Carl Baker discussed the current state of affairs in the US -- one that many US citizens are finally waking up to: "In the United States, the president has the absolute authority to launch a nuclear attack. He or she doesn’t have to seek approval from the legislative branch, the public, or anyone else. If the president wills Armageddon, there’s effectively no way to stop it from happening." Baker continues by saying,

Harvard professor Elaine Scarry dubs this authoritarian state of affairs a “thermonuclear monarchy,” and she argues that it calls into question the United States’ foundational republicanism. You can probably see her point. For a country that fought a war of independence against tyrannical King George, it’s a bit strange that we give a single individual total control over an arsenal of apocalyptic death machines. But legally, there are no constraints on the president’s ability to launch a war that could wreck the planet for generations. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like it here - shouldn’t we at least get to vote on that?

(See "Beyond Clinton or Trump: Nuclear Weapons and Democracy")

Contents for the Summary Edition of Thermonuclear Monarchy:

Introduction: The Floor of the World
Part One: The United States Constitution Outlaws Nuclear Weapons
Part Two: The Social Contract Outlaws Nuclear Weapons
Part Three: Everyday Consent and Emergency Deliberation
Conclusion: Against Us All

Get a copy of the Summary Edition of Thermonuclear Monarchy today, and maybe even give one to a friend. (Your member of Congress?)

More . . .

Elaine Scarry demonstrates that the power of one leader to obliterate millions of people with a nuclear weapon - a possibility that remains very real even in the wake of the Cold War - deeply violates our constitutional rights, undermines the social contract, and is fundamentally at odds with the deliberative principles of democracy.

(See Reviews of "Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" by Elaine Scarry )

Representative Ted Lieu and Senator Ed Markey have introduced the "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2016."  Here's how you can get on the phone to your member of Congress to demand their support . . . .

(See NUKES: Your Call to Your Congressman Matters)