THE RULE OF FOLLY by James R. Newman


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If this could be put in the hands of the millions who agree that war is madness- but are unable to come to grips with any sort of clarification of their arguments against the ""tidity letha"" arguments of far too many writers and speakers who accept its inevitability, perhaps intelligent man could do something about it. The editor of two symposiums- Wh Is and Science and Sensibility (both Simon & Schuster) -- and one of the editors of The Scientific American, here takes issue with some of the most dangerous spokesmen for this inevitability. Specifically, he shreds Herman Kahn's On Thermonuclear War by logic and ridicule naming it a moral tract on mass murder, how to plan it, how to commit it, how to get away with it and how to justify it. An ""evil book"" he calls it, permeated with blood- thirsty irrationality...He then goes on to the arms control issue of Daedalus, charging it as being an assortment of legal, political and economic oddments in the Kahn key, accepting the concept of limited war and the pros and cons of the hazards to arms control. Fromm almost alone, offers some segment of wisdom (and Fromm has contributed a Preface to this volume, not available at this reading)...Next, he examines three books which at least accept the concept of continued existence of the human species, and sums up the findings of Mills, Pauling and Melman.... For himself, he challenges the validity of the ruling notions on deterrence, claiming as the irreducible truth that we can live together or die together and that we must abandon the current paralyzing mistrust. The final section brings together his letters to the Washington Post- going back to 1954, and Eisenhower's limited approach to atomic agreement, and on down to 1961 and the dilemma of selection if we must have shelters. Plenty of food for thought here.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1961
Publisher: Simon & Schuster