(Chapter 1: Boris Mikheyev)
Guns in the Closet
War has never been in society's interest, and much less so, thermonuclear war. When the novel, Brighter than the Sun, was written the world had 65,000 nuclear bombs deployed against human living, with delivery times in the range of 45 minutes, via the big intercontinental missiles. Today, fewer bombs are deployed, with a combined destructive force that still adds up to roughly 500,000 Hiroshimas. This enormously destructive force exceeds what is imaginable. All acts of war in history combined, pale as insignificant in comparison with what humanity has prepared for its future against itself. Insanity is too soft a word to describe it, as its likely outcome is universal extermination.
The nuclear-war game has become so insane that it has taken on a mythological flavour. I recognized recently that a close correlation exists between the 4-part chapter, "A Weapons Mythology," of my novel, The Flat Earth Society, and the first 4 chapters of my novel, Brighter than the Sun that deals with the nuclear war game in a minimalist fashion. The first chapter of this novel begins here. It, too, has a somewhat mythological flavour; a dangerous flavour that has lost none of its scary 'taste.'
The massively destructive modern weapons that are now held all over the world, by more countries than ever before, with some of the being shared, make a joke out of the concept of security. No nation on the planet can speak of security in the face of this proliferation. In addition, the advertised delivery times from launch to impact, have now become as short as 5 minutes in the case of closely positioned launch bases that encircle Russia and China. In these respects the prospects for a human future have drifted far away from the 'good old days' when a measured reaction against a global nuclear war was still possible.
In today's world, with the empire of oligarchy collapsing, the quest for nuclear war is being pushed forward with evermore insane reasons driving the game, such as the dream that nuclear war is technologically winnable, while at the same time an increasing number of institutions are in an all-out fight to assure war-avoidance.
While war-avoidance has remained successful to date, the desperation is increasing, both for and against war, so that anything that one can imagine is possible, especially now that the imperial policies for mass depopulation, from 7 billion to 1 billion, are unfolding in the background as a factor that can no longer be ignored either.
With today's nuclear-war danger being many times greater than it had been in the Cold War years when the writing of the novel was started, the novel remains nevertheless useful to explore in a minimalist fashion the otherwise unimaginable horror that humanity allows to be prepared against it, by its indifference to the dynamics of nuclear war and its consequences in the human sphere.
The same type of indifference, only still more so, is also evident in society's pathetic response to the Ice Age Challenge. The tragedy that society would suffer, when the next Ice Age begins with society being unprepared for it, is on the same scale of devastation than that of a full nuclear war.
Actually, the start of the next Ice Age is more predictable than the non-occurrence of the prepared-for nuclear war, under the current circumstances. For as long the driving force to war, the system of empire, is not purged from the human fabric, the near extinction of humanity is assured, since the machinations of empire are the root for the danger on both fronts. Until this root is eliminated, nuclear war remains on the agenda, and preparations for the coming Ice Age in possibly 30 years, will not be allowed to proceed. This means, that to avoid certain doom, humanity has no option but to seek its security on the platform of the Principle of Universal Love whereby society develops an uplifted value in itself that assures its self-protection, rather than its self-surrender to annihilation.
The dialog presented here is of the first chapter of the novel, Brighter than the Sun, by Rolf Witzsche.
When night falls a new dawn begins at some distant place on our planet. A faint hue appears on the horizon. The river is calm. A flock of birds can be seen among the rushes. There is an intense immediacy in the air. Everything happens now. Everything is vital. Everything counts. The bird's voices ring clear and shrill. What happens each morning speaks louder than all that has lingered from the day before, orchestrating new perceptions, feelings, struggles, hopes, victories. But the night is laden with fears; a wilderness haunted by doubts, insanity, and tired emotions that keep the mind slow, rigid, locked onto tradition. The sound of a siren cuts through the dark of midnight; it cuts into the mind, sharp, harsh, it echoes in thought, but it comes as no surprise to Boris
Mikheyev. He raises his head. The practice alert has begun, the one he was awaiting for. He knew it would be called.
To the others at Lenin Base the call of the siren is little more than another disturbance in a long train of impositions that the men have taken for granted as a part of life. To Boris its pulsating sound brings on a feeling of being intensely alive. The timing is perfect! The alert came as though it was written into a script. He is alone in the pit. He is ready. For days, every step of the plan has been rehearsed, timed, and re-timed, and then committed to memory. He puts his lunch on the ground, quickly, and then starts running towards the bulldozer. The eerie whine of the siren stirs an uneasy feeling as he climbs into the cab. The feeling is quickly suppressed; he starts the engine. This is no time for emotions, he tells himself. He knows that he has less than five minutes to prevent the shutdown of the automatic firing sequence that he knows will be initiated during an alert procedure. He moves the bulldozer to where a stone marker lines up with the trunk of a tree. He cuts back to idle and waits.
From the political and romantic fiction novel by Rolf A. F. Witzsche
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