POLITICS: Re: Avoiding nuclear anarchy

Wed, 08 Jan 97 18:27:36 GMT

Mark Grant wrote:

>generally when you try to use force to prevent the
>development and use of a technology, all you do is give
>people a false sense of security which prevents them from
>adopting realistic defences.

There is some truth in this, but to me it sounds a little
too defeatist. I would rather suggest that we attack this
false sense of security directly, by informing people of the
dangers and persuading them to adopt realistic defences.
Even if the ban must ultimately break down, a delay in the
deployment of new dangerous technologies could give us the
time think out what could go wrong and to develop
appropriate countermeasures. Moreover, nobody knows what the
power balance between offence and offence will turn out to
be with e.g. nanotech warfare. It could be that the
advantage will always be on the side of the destructive
capacities, and in that case a ban is our only hope.

As a clarification I should also say that I do not necessary
propose to prevent the development and use of very dangerous
technologies altogether, but only their use by are not
sufficiently responsible and careful. This does not mean
that the UN would be the only agent that could use this
technology, but it might mean that UN would have the mandate
to prevent rough nations, groups and individuals from
developing them.