John Hazlehurst wrote that “we know” what a post conflict, or endless Depression, America would be like — a place of ruined desolation. And he calls Herman Kahn’s 1960 conclusion that the United States would survive an all out nuclear war “ludicrous.”
Well, as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Staff during 1964 charged with thinking through what would happen in event of nuclear war, we concluded, independently, the same thing. That the United States would, in comparison with totalitarian, brittle, top down nations such as the Soviet Union or Communist China, not only survive but remain politically viable, and even be relatively better off than our enemies, even in much reduced circumstances.
During our studies, I sat across the table from Herman Kahn and saw that we had arrived at the same conclusions, but by other, non-mathematical, paths.
We looked at the American political character, and how it historically reacts to natural as well as man made calamities — war, fire, hurricanes, yes even 9/11. How rather than running amok in the streets, killing and robbing each other, Americans organize themselves, help each other, from the bottom, neighborhood and rural small town up, not Washington bureaucracy down.
I am not sure what John’s reference to extinct Clovis Man means. That we too may become extinct?
If so, I have more faith in the adaptability and character of Americans over the long run than he does. For with my small computer, solar power, wireless and a little boost into space with the last of our fuel my descendents just might thrive on other planets.
I am more worried that we will entertain ourselves to death faster than what a lil’ old depression will do to us.
And if Washington implodes and the Dow Jones crumbles, will that all be so bad?
Dave Hughes, Colorado Springs