MAD and recent history...

Darin Sunley (
Thu, 10 Jun 1999 23:10:04 -0500

Mark Phillips wrote:

> Will so-called "ultra-rationality" (WHATEVER the hell THAT is!)
> finally bring a halt to such MAD (as it were) escalation(s)?!? Again, one
> would HOPE so!

The problem with Mutually Assured Destruction, tho, is that it works. MAD is in large part responsible for the golden age we find ourselves living in. MAD is what gives you 50+ years of straight economic development capping the 500 years of "20 years peace, 5 years war, 20 years peace, 5 years war" cycle that Western civilization had "enjoyed" since the Renaissance, prior to WWII.

MAD is what allowed technology to develop to the point where, even if there WAS a massive, WWI/WWII style conventional war between the world's major powers, no one would BOTHER calling up hundreds of thousandsd of able bodied males. It simply wouldn't be worth the effort. No modern general would even know what to do with 100,000 barely trained rifle toting bodies, other then tell them to get to the rear and dig foxholes.

All in all, the world came out of the Cold War a much better place then when it went in. Even Russia, which wasn't in great shape when it came out, was in much better shape then when it went in (immediate aftermath of WWII).

Darin Sunley