The fear, the cold fear of nuclear fire. Now there would be only a careful bureaucratic withdrawal of boldness, of pride, of public demonstrations of force. Now there would be UN test ban treaties, UN restrictions, UN inspections. The international forum would be the stage where the best and the worst of diplomatic assertions would be viewed by the world. The poised Adlai Stevenson, reading from prepared notes. The raucous Nikita Khrushchev, pounding tables with his shoes. The contemplative and tragic Dag Hammerskjold. The world held its breath and prayed that every meeting would bring about the erasure of the nuclear terror. But it would not disappear. It was a reminder of doom, one whose spectre hung over the head with every breath. One awoke each morning with the fear of it. The poison had to be daily buried by its priests.
National policy on the international scene ridiculed reason. While protesting those additional nations who sought the development of their own nuclear arsenals, military built up an arsenal which defied logic. More bombs, bigger bombs, silos, Trident missiles, SAC headquarters, a proliferation on the one side of the mouth, while demanding peace from the other. Indeed, handling radioactive materials had become as routine as making automobiles. The bombs came in different polished colors. Polished and sleek, like cars coming off the assembly fine. Some yellow, others red, yet others black. The mass production techniques were exactly the same, adaptations of industry to nuclear war. Whether or not they recognized it, the working class had been tied to the task of working for a nuclear factory. A nuclear war had indeed already occurred in the mind of the world at large. In the future, the social stresses would prove too much to bear.
The society began to fracture and liquefy. Out from this amalgam of despair and fear came mutations on a grand social scale. Nuclear stimulated mutations. The White House was draped in black. The music grew loud, the hair fell long, the clothes of the peaceful resistance were surplus military, and the winters were white. All the while, the military laboratories built up an arsenal which was measured in terms of how many times over the world could be destroyed. The Soviets did the same. Now the world could be destroyed so many times over, times two. Adding up the combined nuclear arsenals of the other members in the “Nuclear Club”, it might have become times three. So, the world powers knew that the whole global expense could be blasted beyond memory…a hundred times…times three.
The intellectual factions in society observed this ineffectual and idiotic thought mold, recognizing the aristocratic hand in all the nuclear proliferations. That dispassionate and shallow inability to create anything original, or to solve any problem in a new way, was showing through all the teleprompted media readers who droned on and on. The nuclear circus was a show which the intellectual turned off. When the youth severed their relationship with the national program, the police were called out But when the working class elders severed their relationship and participation in the bureaucratic dictates, the oligarchy was taken aback. Here was a revolution which swept the entire pyramidal base, shaking the power at its point to and fro. Deep in the center of all these pyramidal happenings, military branches each came to grips with the fact that nuclear weaponry, in its then present form, could never be used in war scenarios. To do so would spell the ruin of all futures. No one would stop making the weapons, but recognized that they could not be used. Methodically stockpiled on the one side, military strove to develop the antidote on the other. Nuclear induced madness. Humankind seemed lost in a labyrinth of uranium, a maze from which there seemed no escape.
Effort was continually applied toward discovering antidotes to the poison of nuclear weaponry, a poison which had spilled everywhere. The antidotes would necessarily have to be as frightening as the nuclear threat itself, but with none of the hazards involved in purifying, shipping, handling, assembling, storing, and actually using the weapons. Military wanted weapons they could use. If potentials for the development of such weapons existed, they would be found. Projects were initiated in every academic institute, the development of new weaponry and weapon systems being the sole effort of the day. In accord with these developments, science was applying itself to the sundry problems of nuclear age espionage. Information itself was a weapon. Acquiring information, clear photographic information of every Soviet weapons complex was another aim, a research avenue ultimately leading to space technologies. Knowing the potentials of one’s avowed enemies was of prime importance in possible future confrontations. Paths spread out in a thousand different directions, the researchers leaving nothing to chance.
Now there were more stringent demands placed on military laboratories and technology-related industry. One could not simply investigate the endless inventions and hardware of the creative working class experimenters, whose work was once distorted ever so slightly to produce “safe” weapons. In a world where any such weapons potentials might appear again in a future conflict, military was compelled to thoroughly examine and develop far more than the chance invention or hardware having weapons potential. Now, every systems-potential phenomenon had to be examined. Soviet scientists were searching through the same natural world for secrets, secrets to use in war.
One could never leave any stone unturned. One had to be alert, contemporary, almost futuristic. Cold War researchers had to see through every natural display which might be an advantage against the “other side”. Both sides however played this game, constandy imagining what the other had or had not researched. Military used the very best minds which money could buy in order to assess and determine the relative worth of natural anomalies which began appearing during their own research progress. No phenomenon, no special effect, however minor, could be overlooked now. Any one of these strange and vague phenomena might provide the answer to their search for an escape from the present nuclear dilemma. A nuclear escape. Small research teams, having as their goal the thorough examination of academic and even of private experimental findings has been a constant and routine feature of military bureaucracy since this time period.
- CHAPTER 3
- CHAPTER 5