Nuclear Awakenings

In "Awakenings", Oliver Sacks tells the remarkable story of a group of patients suffering from encephalitis lethargica, the mysterious disease which reduces humans to a near vegetable state. After many experiments, Dr. Sacks comes up with a drug which brings these lost souls back to life: They read, they talk, they play music, they reason. A few months pass and, to their horror and that of those who have read the book or seen the movie, they revert to their previous state. "Awakenings" is a paradigm for the campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons…

The half century during which the campaign has been waged by millions of people throughout the world is punctuated by events which temporarily open a window of reason on the insanity of nuclear deterrence… Each time, however, the policy makers and some of the citizens slipped back into their lethargic groove, as if driven by some irresistible force to desist from doing what had to be done. . . .  At some point, hopefully before that feared nuclear exchange takes place, the small group of civilian and military policy wonks who hold the fate of the earth in their hands, are bound to awaken long enough to do something about it.

Excerpted from "Holocaust by Inertia and How to Prevent It" by Peter Weiss

The full article can be viewed at Nuclear Watch, a new cybermagazine.

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