by Joe Scarry
More Audacity and Fulfillment
|Barack Obama announces action on Cuba|
“President Obama’s decision on Wednesday to radically shift United States policy toward Cuba is the latest and most striking example of a president unleashed from the hesitancy that characterized much of his first six years in office . . . . ”
What this means to me is: all bets are off. There’s almost no limit to what Obama might do.
Similarly, the last couple of years of deteriorating relations with Russian might make people despair that the U.S. will follow through with the nuclear weapons reductions everyone knows we need.
(Let’s not even start on how circular these arguments are: we can’t talk to the Russians because we’re at odds with each other about the things we can’t talk to each other about because . . . )
But things can change in a day.
|Time for a “new heroic, patriotic deed” ?|
“Analysts said President Vladimir V. Putin could seek a compromise on Ukraine to relieve some of Russia’s economic turmoil . . . ”
Wait: so, suddenly, instead of Ukraine being the reason we can’t make progress on anything, there’s going to be an outright deal on Ukraine itself? Just like that?
I guess it goes to show that all the excuses don’t really matter, once there’s a shared interest in doing something.
Well . . . if people are in the mood to make deals . . . .
Here’s a winning proposition for both these two leaders: Deliver a massive reduction in nuclear weapons to their respective populations.
Now that would be a “heroic, patriotic deed”!
But let me make myself perfectly clear . . .
I do not believe the decision about eliminating nuclear weapons belongs to these to leaders. It belongs to us — the people. Obama and Putin are just the messengers.
Put another way: the hero is us.
|L E V I A T H A N
The Matter, Forme,
and Power of a Common
Remember this image.
You may wish to go to the online images accompanying Elaine Scarry’s book, Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom.
As Elaine explains, “the outward-looking faces of the drawing . . . successfully convey Hobbes’s central thesis that the Leviathan is constituted by our own bodies.” (emphasis added)
We are the common body – the community, the commonwealth, the society, the nation, it is us.
The decision about whether to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation is our decision.
And that is why the entire country is mobilizing for mass action for nuclear disarmament in 2015.
Are we capable of making sure the messengers — Obama, Putin, the other agents of government — hear their instructions from us clearly?
|New York City, Central Park: No Nukes Mobilization, 1982|
We can do this thing . . . .
In light of the upcoming review of the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and the fact that organizations throughout the country and worldwide are organizing to press the U.S. to substantially reduce its stores of nuclear weapons, it seems like a good time to use social media to get EVERYONE on board!
How do you formulate a statement that can somehow convince the United States to eliminate its threatening nuclear weapons? How do you formulate the 10th request? Or the 100th? Knowing all the time that the United States is in the position — will always be in the position — to say, “No” ? At what point does it dawn on you that the United States will nevergive up its nuclear weapons, becauseit has the power and the rest of the world doesn’t?