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SPACE LIES IN THE FUTURE OF MAN A SERIES
THE FRIENDS OF MAN IN SPACE
COGITATION ON WARS AND THE END THEREOF
William C. Moore
1819 H. Street NW
Preface for Psychologists
"Psychologists could be the most important people in the World, but they are not" according to one of their own, Dr. Maslow He goes on to explain that they are so absorbed in fruitless bickering among themselves that they do not attack in mass and in depth the problems of humanity. To the solution of these problems they could make magnificent contributions; the problem of War among them. (See "Manas")
The Physicist, Robert Oppenheimer, made this explicit to the Psychologists in a speech he gave before the American Psychological Association in September 1955. Therein he made perilously clear that where there is power, such as the psychologists potentially possess, there is responsibility. Said he, the physicists have been extraordinarily noisey about the immense powers which, largely through their efforts, have come into the possession of Man, powers for very large scale and dreadful destruction. We have spoken of our responsibilities in terms which are very provincial because the psychologist can hardly do anything without realizing that for him the acquisition of knowledge opens up the most terrifying prospects of controlling what people do and how they think and how they behave and how they feel.
"Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists", May 1959, p. 214.
"We need an undertaking which would put a group of Psychologists with wide experience and great ability to work full time" on War. Roger W. Russel in "Roles for Psychologists in Maintenance of
The American Psychologist, Vol. 15, No. 2, February 1950.
COGITATIONS ON WARS AND THE END THEREOF
William C. Moore
These cogitations do not pretend to be thought through but merely adumbrations which reasonable men should consider in any serious attempt to solve the problem of War. Such consideration has not been given unto the present.
In these times Man is making a general onslaught upon the deathdealing Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Horseman of Disease is being pushed back by the advance of Medicine so that the individual's life span has been doubled in the United States. Wherever the Horseman of Famine strikes in the World, vast quantities of food are shipped in; yet: "There went out another horse that was red and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth and that they should kill one another, and there was given unto him a great sword"* and even this horrendous Horseman of War, Man is striving to push into the Limbo of the past.
But before penetrating the problem posed by War, something should be said about the premonition of Natural and man-made Cataclysms which will befall our small planet during what is left of the 20th Century. It is predicted that cataclysms will assault Mankind such as he has never before experienced during his entire existence to this day. This may explain why the human population is increasing with unprecedented speed. "The human race in the unconscious recesses of its being "** foresees these decimating events even though demographic experts are blind to them.*** Should the race intuition be wrong, then the earnest admonitions of the demographic experts must be heeded. They say, if we insist on diminishing the ravages of Death in its manifold forms, we must diminish the proliferation of births in the same measure.
To be sure Humanity may be able to migrate into other worlds, or man-made spheres,**** or celestial infinity or resort to
Birth Control, or
Shrinkage of the human form, from five feet six inches to a mere six inches, or
Book of Revelations, Chap. 6, Verse 4.
This is a phrase of the economist-psychologist, J. M. Keynes.
Lewis Mumford spells this out. (Sce The City in History, 1961,
**** Extension of planetary engineering as put forth by Clarke in his "Exploration of Space".
As between cataclysms and war, cataclysms could be so overwhelming that Man will be in no mood to indulge in the internecine pastime of War.
As between War and Pestilence or Famine, it must be confessed that no one ever wrote an epic glorifying either of the latter two. Yet poets have glorified War since the beginning of time.
And do we eventually banish Death and live forever? If the doctors continue to improve their skill, we shall at least live a mighty long time, if not forever. In the United States California and Florida will become ghettos for us "prehistorics' while the more perfect generations of the future will take off for halcyon realms of space. (See "A Glimpse into the Far Future" by W. C. M.)
But how to support all of us oldsters who no longer produce? Will we immortals no longer consume either? Or can a society support a vast incubus of non-producers? This is the stark problem of old
But it is being solved as the machine proliferates production and more is produced than the population can consume in our "surplus economy. That this is a feasible way of life is demonstrated by certain insects species which normally support drones.** The "Affluent Society" of Dr. John K. Galbraith has much to say about this.
With this background, let us proceed to consider the Horseman of War particularly. It is now the month of April when the human race gets restless and wars fulminate. I cannot help but recall the forebodings of that troubled spring before the outbreak of the last World War. How it was said that weapons had become so destructive that the human race would not survive the conflict. This was stated on excellent authority. The human race disregarded this admonition and went to war anyway. What is more, survived the hostilities and is more numerous, more bellicose and stronger than ever. Currently there is expectation of a Third World War during one life-span, an unprecedented exhibition of human ferocity with side effects.
Though the prospect for the complete extermination of mankind has never been more convincing, there have been times long before the Twentieth Century when the doom of the race seemed imminent. It was natural catastrophe that nearly caused it in Noah's time. Albert Schweitzer believed that Jesus Christ grew up in a time when it was thought that the end of the world was at hand. This influenced Christ's thinking. What people think are the facts is often more important than what the facts really are. If Dr. Schweitzer is correct, the generally-held belief of the First Century gave rise to a great religious leader, Jesus Christ, whose influence has stretched over two millenia. It is altogether possible that our times are
* See Introduction to "Communist & Cooperative Societies" by Charles Gide, which suggests that 1/3 of society is not usefully employed. ** See "of Ants & Men".
favorable for another Savious of mankind. He may have already come and gone, with us but dimly aware of him, in much the same way that the Romans were of Christ.
It is now relevant to turn to the realm of Science and to note the philosophy which moved one of the leading scientists of our era to work on the development of the atom bomb. I refer to Dr. Leo Szilard, who named a remarkable book as inspiring his career. In his youth he read a volume published in 1913. Its title was "The World Set Free". It predicted the atom bomb, described an atomic war, including the destruction of the great metropolis of Paris, together with atomic fall-out and its death-dealing results. Even though written before the First World War and therefore even before airpower had been used in war, it foretold an atomic war with bombs delivered by airplanes -- and missiles. But most intriguing, it predicted the atomic bomb would in fact bring about the abolition of war forever and lead to the establishment of a World Government. And this is what prevailed upon Dr. Szilard to pursue his research on the atom. The book was written by H. G. Wells. Thus science fiction, if you wish to call it such, influences the history of Man and prophesy is self-effectuating because it sparks its auditors to action. (See New York Herald Tribune 5/4/60 - p. 15.)
Szilard tells of Einstein looking at him sadly and saying, see the ancient Chinese were right. One must not ever do anything. (See New York Herald Tribune 5/4/60 - p. 15.) As I looked at a Chinese junk and was apprised that its design had been developed a thousand years ago with its numerous inventions: stabilizers, a hull which does not collect barnacles, a rudder which acts as a center board in deep water; and as I thought of gunpowder, paper, the compass, yes, even rockets, all of which were conceived in China long ago, I could see that the wisdom of the Chinese had revealed to them what a pandora's box they would open if they proceeded further with inventions. We of the West did nothing more than tell our children the Pandora legend and let it go at that. The Chinese decided not to do anything more, as Einstein pointed out. The reckless Western World has gone careening on, the Holy Church notwithstanding,** and has created the cobalt bomb. There are other things to come, which will make the cobalt bomb seem like a toy. They will be even more difficult to live with. Parenthetically the dormant energy of China has now been roused by the West. The giant which the sages put to sleep has been awakened. So this circle will be complete. (See p. 160 "Man the Bridge between Two Worlds" by Franz Winkler.)
This is in line with the general philosophy of the East down to this day see the "Taming of the Nations", F.S.C. Northrop, p.
71, et seq. ** Recalling how the Catholic Church suppressed Galileo, Roger Bacon, Copernicus and other inquisitive and fertile minds. The Church did this in the belief that it was right--even to the extent of Torture and Death. We are taught in this "Enlightened Age" that the Church was wrong, but were they? Were they? One of the great problems of Mankind is to have progress move in step along many fronts --the Air Age, the Atomic Age, the Space Age coming upon us pell mell tends to throw homo sapiens off balance. How fast can a 30c1ety made up of average humans, for the most part, adjust to change?
But to return to Szilard and Wells. Here you have the thinking of advanced and perceptive minds on atomic war. They hold that it is the way to permanent peace. Whether such intuitive conclusions are sound, I leave to others. The hero of Wells' book says, "It is difficult to understand the motives which plunged mankind into the wars which filled the history of the middle decades of the 20th Century. It must be remembered that the political structure of the world was everywhere extraordinarily behind the collective intelligence for making war among other things. "The atomic bomb burst our way to freedom"* This is an extraordinary phrase to come down
from the year 1913!
Turning to Government and politicians may not be the answer. Regarding the "political structure of the world" mentioned above, Mr. Buckminister Fuller has this comment, "As of 1959 the problems of the world's peoples have been entirely entrusted to its political masters. The political masters ever and anon meet and get pushed by their respective sides into a word-punching ring called 'summit', only to discover that they cannot resolve anything by political statements simply because the world's problems are not political". ("The Dymaxion World of Buckminister Fuller" by R. W. Marks, p. 53.) What one of these problems, the problem of war, is, we shall glimpse as we proceed. Now we shall turn to the attitude of a large portion of the American people.
Currently Americans go right on preparing for war planning the use of the cobalt bomb and other death-dealing instruments kept in the wraps of secrecy. Just a few cobalt bombs will annihilate all life upon this small planet, the authorities say. If this is the prospect, it appears that a large portion of the human race is adventuresome enough to risk it Just once more. Despite eloquent warnings, it has gotten away with it before.
It has been pointed out that in the Twentieth Century only when the United States has a Democratic President have we engaged in war. The American people have now gone ahead and elected another Democratic President. In his strong Inaugural Address (January 20th 1951) President Kennedy has shown no aversion to Brinkmanship. This is the venturesome spirit risking war. This is not just the President, it is the American people, for he was widely applauded.
There is considerable talk about the atomic war of the future being much more terrible than the mere shooting wars of the past. So the human race cannot face up to the prospect. This would be to the point if War was a matter for the intellect, but it is not. War is a matter of the emotions. Yes, it will be much more horrible, but it will be much more thrilling too!
*This is one aspect of the well-known sociological lag whereby the social sciences (politics, sociology, law, government) lag behind the physical sciences. This causes educators mistakenly to put the emphasis on the humanities rather than the physical sciences but educators overlook what a mishmash the humanities are. In their present confusion they offer few answers.