709 - Facing The Failing Culture Of Control - 2 (Atoms For Profit)

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#705#706#707#708 Episode #709 - Facing The Failing Culture Of Control - 2
(Atoms For Profit)

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Sat 21 March 2015  Elaine Scarry, Greg Mello, Bob Alvarez, Robert Parry
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2 Power "too cheap to meter" offered humanity a whole lot of control, but that hardly describes what the plutonium industry actually delivered. Our continuing examination of the failing culture of control looks an aspect more serious than climate change - the nuclear power/weapons complex. Our first hour focuses on the close connection between the refinement of the technology of murder and the concomitant degradation of the deliberative process of waging war. Our second hour examines the intimate connections between nuclear war and nuclear power and between the privatization of the nuclear weapons establishment and the abandonment of any kind of effective oversight. The disturbing combination of a nuclear complex beyond government control and a commercially-controlled media which refuses to address the issue will be all too familiar to students of Deep Politics.
We build on episode 708, looking this time at the consequences of the collective decision, as happened in the cold war that no amount of force was too extreme for "us" to use on "them". This deeper aspects of this decision were not understood as the cold war kicked off, mired as it was in deception and buttressed by an overwhelming narrative of good guys versus bad guys.

Our first speaker is Harvard Professor Elaine Scarry whose recent book "Thermonuclear Monarchy - Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" highlights the contradictions between the nominally democratic structure of the US state and its the increasingly dictatorial fashion in which it has been waging war as nuclear weapon technology has been developed. Her thought provoking January 2015 talk is intended to give peace activists food for thought, as she argues that nuclear weapons are fundamentally incompatible with two points of the US constitution. Should the President of The United States have the exterminate humanity by letting off nuclear weapons? Why is Obama committed to expanding this complex and what pretexts could possibly be used to try to justify the nuclear complex - arguably more dangerous and demonstrably more expensive than ever? Scarry's talk lasts around 50 minutes and was slightly edited to remove hesitations and misspeakings. The introduction, by Maria Gilardin, picks up on a remark of Richard Nixon to reporters in 1974: "I can go into my office and pick up the telephone, and in 25 minutes, 70 million people will be dead".

The remainder of the show consists of three recordings from the third session of the first day of the 2015 symposium on The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction, organized by Helen Caldicott. We begin with academic Greg Mello, Executive Director of the Los Alamos Study Group on "The Role And Funding Of The US Nuclear Weapons Labs". He notes that the nuclear complex is extremely profitable and that it appears to have successfully removed any autonomy of the US government in decisions pertaining to nuclear matters. Next we hear Bob Alvarez of the Institute of Policy Studies, whose talk entitled "Lateral Proliferation Could Trigger a Nuclear Holocaust", who terms the US nuclear weapons program "a very large and expensive cargo cult". We conclude with Robert Parry of Consortium News on "Ukraine and the Human Factor: How propaganda and passion can risk nuclear conflagration" who looks at the efforts surrounding the Ukraine coup to re-ignite the cold war.
Thanks to TUC Radio for the introduction of the Elaine Scarry talk and to Dale Lehman for recording the symposium and posting the recordings to Radio4All.Net.
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