Tsunami Bombs: A Symptom of a World Gone Mad
From the article:
“A New Zealand author has rediscovered evidence of top secret tests carried out by the United States and New Zealand during World War II. The tests explored the creation of a ‘tsunami bomb’ capable of flooding coastal cities of the Allies’ enemies [and] according to the Telegraph, 3,700 bombs were detonated during testing that took place between 1944 and 1945 off the coast of New Caledonia and Auckland.”
Psychiatrist R. R. Laing was perhaps the most influential psychiatrist of the 20th century, after Freud. And although he was very controversial, he was also brilliant and enlightened and far ahead of his times in virtually every way. Laing came to the conclusion that what is wrong with human society is that it has gone mad, systemically. But it happened so long ago in human history that we don’t see the madness today; we accept it as “just the way things are.” And it can be very hard to get people to see this, because madness has become the norm; and how can anything that’s the norm be considered madness? Normally (no pun intended) we think of madness as being abnormal. But that’s just it: it is sanity that has become abnormal in contemporary society. That’s why it can be so hard to see the madness. It’s like the old expression, “you can’t get there from here.” As long as we see the madness as normal we can’t get to sanity. In fact there’s no reason to think we should even go there if we knew where it was.
It’s obvious that the biggest merchants of madness in the 20th century have been military men. This is the aspect of the legacy of Hitler, Tojo, Mussolini, Stalin, and Mao that people seldom seem to see. Through their actions they sold us on the idea that we had no choice but to become military powerhouses just in case another madman like that came along. That set up escalating and open-ended arms races between competing powers; but it was a dangerous and self-destructive road for every power than participated in it, and for every human being on earth, in the long run. I think the idea of tsunami bombs perfectly illustrates the madness; and that’s not an easy thing to do in a society where madness has become the norm. How can you tell fish that the problem with the ocean is all the water? They’ll think you’re the one who’s mad.
Although I’m definitely a dove and not a hawk, I’m also not naive. Unilateral disarmament would create a power vacuum. Backing away from long-term military policies can be a tricky maneuver. But it would be in the best interests of all major powers to start trying to figure out how to do that. The madness is killing us and military men don’t know the cure. Or not many of them do. But we definitely need them as consultants in trying to reverse the madness.
The ideological animosity and distrust between communists and capitalists after World War II fueled a disastrous arms race that may have been easier to avoid in the first place than to untangle now. Then again, we can be motivated by the hard lessons learned from our decades of folly; and it was hard for them to see where all this madness would lead. But the reason that they went so far down that road of folly is because they too were infected by the madness, just as we all are today. They told themselves that it was only their opponents who were mad, not themselves. But as is true of most systems, the madness isn’t in the parts but in the interactions between them. Both sides of the Cold War created a new kind of madness. They couldn’t see that their mutual interaction was radically escalating the very problem they were trying to solve, for both sides!
I don’t think there’s much doubt that the allies of World War II can claim the higher moral ground. But you must remember that the early proponents of communism felt their ideology was the more moral. They started following it because they thought it was moral. Then they adopted the idea that if you want to make an omelet you’ve got to crack a few eggs, which turned out to be heads. Millions and millions of heads.
I think what history has proved is not that the founding principles of communism were immoral so much as that the system was poorly thought-out and had huge potential for being commandeered by ruthless dictators. Plus the idea that violent revolution may be necessary to bring it about was a seed with potentially dangerous consequences. But that same seed is also in the Declaration of Independence. Capitalism is now suffering from a similar problem, but the corrupting dictatorship is the the money/power complex. Democracy wasn’t the problem. Capitalism, per se, wasn’t even the problem. It was the magnitude of the corrupting tendency of capitalism-out-of-control. Capitalism has always had a corrupting potential. That’s undeniable. So our corrupted version of capitalism has been fueling the madness.
But I can’t think of a better example for illustrating the madness of military thinking in the 20th century than the idea of tsunami bombs. Why couldn’t the military men who started down these roads stop and ask themselves: what are we thinking? It’s easy to see why. They were specialists. Holistic thinking was not in their vocabulary, or it was only holistic in relation all things military. So they were infected by madness and didn’t realize it.
3,700 bombs were detonated during testing?
At first I thought they were atomic bombs, but they couldn’t have been if it was between 1944 and 1945. But how many atomic bomb tests were carried out before we wisely decided to end above-ground testing? This also makes me wonder if a lot of our health problems, like autism spectrum disorders, might not have been escalated by all the pollution in our world, whether from radiation from nuclear bomb tests or from all the chemicals we pump into our ecosphere. It’s a mistake to assume that the negative consequences would be uniform. Some people would be affected more than others.
But before madness can be cured it first has to be identified as madness. And it’s hard to get people to see it. But I think the fact of tsunami bomb research makes a good teaching tool, as do other similar things, like biological warfare.