Friday, 18 April 2014

Post-Apocalyptic A to Z: Nuclear Annihilation

The quickest and easiest way for us to destroy civilization is to nuke one another. This has been a very real possibility for 60 years now, but I don't think it will happen. The rich and powerful who run the world's nuclear powers know that they would be as screwed as the rest of us, so nobody dares push the button. This is the same reason that rulers don't order assassinations on their rivals--that weapon, once used, would soon get out of hand and endanger the entire privileged class.

Of course some crazy terrorist group would love to get their hands on a nuke, and would have no qualms about using it, but while this would be one of the greatest tragedies the world had ever seen, it wouldn't end civilization.

The Cold War saw an entire subgenre of Atomic Scare books. My favorite is Level 7, by Mordecai Roshwald. It takes place in a bunker after a nuclear war, and the author is careful never to make any reference as to which side the characters are on. As the protagonist comes to the slow realization that the world is destroyed forever, and that radiation is leaking in, we realize that it doesn't matter which side he's on. Both sides have lost.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

6 comments:

Sioux said...

Sean--I hope you're right. I hope no one is indeed stupid enough to push that button/set those dominoes in motion...

However, we don't have a shortage of stupid in this world, so I wonder...

R Scott Amsbaugh said...

I loved your take on the post apocalyptic and the connection between art and life. Hope to read more. Good luck with the A-Z!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's why the movie War Games showed that there would be no winners.

stu said...

The danger comes from the possibility of a rogue state using them, and the well established ideas of mutually assured destruction kicking in.

Tara Tyler R said...

you never know....... kablooie!
i thought of war games too - live within 3? miles of a major city so you wont become a zombie!

happy a to z-ing!

Fe said...

So much truth in that but there are still stupid people who don't realise it.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.