Pervasive fear of nuclear war

An atmosphere of fear is the natural result of living under the threat of nuclear war. Fear makes the maintenance of objectivity more difficult, and can lead to a rejection of reality and a retreat to false solutions based on distorted facts. When facts are distorted, freedom of expression may be misapplied, leading to pathological group action even on a national scale. Although concern about nuclear war and the arms race is reasonable and natural, it can lead either to a feeling of individual futility and impotence or to a rejection of social roles; such reactions contribute to increases in drug dependence and in the suicide rate.
The present arms race is a threat to the survival of humanity on this earth, including the people concerned with inventing and producing arms. Man may divert his aggressive instinct into remote control destruction which may ultimately destroy him because he does not have enough balance and insight to realize the result of his actions. Yet the recognition of the destructive capacity of modern weapons has created a mental stress which is undeniable, though not easy to assess in precise terms. Mass demonstrations against war increasingly reflect the anxiety of the world population.

The US-led diplomatic campaign to thwart North Korea's nuclear ambitions has been guided by an over-riding fear of the catastrophic consequences of even a nonnuclear war.

An armed world, stocked with enough lethal power to wipe out all human life, always adding to its potential for conventional and mass destruction; a world spanned by modern surveillance systems; a world aware that no part can be protected from direct attack by nuclear missiles; is a fearful place for hundreds and hundreds of millions of peoples who strive to better their lot. The fear and tension which this induces is a factor which inflames conflicts between groups and between nations.
Broader Problems:
Nuclear war
Nuclear legacy
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
23.08.2001 – 00:00 CEST