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Taxes, Death, and Nuclear Weapons


Taxes, Death, and Nuclear Weapons

Robert Dodge

We live in a world where as Benjamin Franklin said in 1789, “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” That statement remains true and the paradox today is the amount our taxes pay toward the death and destruction of mankind through the continued funding of nuclear weapons.


With “leaders” who have never experienced world war conditions, war is largely an abstraction–acceptable at a distance. Bush 41 was the last one who truly “got it”. That is why he rightly promised a buffer between NATO and the Russian Federation. Clinton didn’t “get it” and allowed himself to be cowed into breaching that agreement by the hawks. Had the neoliberals not been allowed to pillage Russia et al., there would be much more peace in the world. Neocons make war with tanks while neolibs make war with banks.


I would revise “Every dollar spent on nuclear weapons is a dollar taken away from our children…” to “every dollar spent on” the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC). Wasteful “defense” spending goes way beyond the cost of nuclear weapons.


Of course the author is right about what humanity should be doing to de-nuclearize. But there is something more fundamental here than nuclear bombs.

Imagine, just for the sake of speculation that humans didn’t create the bomb at the end of WWII, and that we still had not. Germany was defeated without the use of it, and there is every indication that Japan also would have been defeated, though at a cost that might have competed with that from the two fission bombs that were dropped.

Would the US and the remnants of the capitalistic West have immediately gone to war with the USSR? Considering the immediate aftermath of real events, it is a very real possibility that would have happened and also the socialist revolution was well underway in China.

Humanity learned enough from the two great wars and other bloodlettings to formulate laws and treaties that would, and could, prevent wars, if only we had also learned how to effectively enforce that learned wisdom. But we had (and have) not. Almost immediately the US (just to use examples I am familiar with) continued its war posture and war economy by engaging first in Korea, and then in SE Asia, not to mention the low-grade wars it was waging all across South and Central America. I don’t know enough about the origins of the Korean war, but I do know that US involvement in SE Asia was built on lies and imperial ambition, and amounted to an illegal aggression upon foreign nations in contravention of all that wisdom we learned, but through already de-legitimized excuses, continued to ignore.

Look at the incomprehensible destruction across Iraq, and now Syria. Do you suppose those that lost everything care that it was not nuclear bombs that destroyed their homes, their lives, their futures? Perhaps more lives would have been lost more quickly, but as most would concede, the bloodletting is far from over.

Perhaps nuclear weapons are the ultimate metaphor of the complete futility of war. If we don’t stop all fighting permanently, we are all likely to end up as smoking cinders on a dead planet.

The laws and treaties exist and are in place. How does humanity unite to enforce that learned wisdom?


Until humankind collectively experiences an awakening to the fact that nothing on Earth has more value than human beings, weapons, and most certainly nuclear weapons will remain.