Review: End the Arms Race

End The Arms Race, Fund Human Needs

Edited by Dr. Thomas L. Perry and Dr. James G. Foulks, Gordon Soules Book Publishers, Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Spring, 1987.

As the title of this book suggests, we all face the quandary of whether we favour guns over butter. Since the historic gathering of expert talent in Vancouver, 1986, which makes these proceedings essential reading for all concerned with the preservation of peace, the dilemma then posed has been rendered more acute by the various initiatives taken by the new leadership in Moscow. The general pattern of dictatorships has been in favour of guns over butter. It was so under Stalin and under Brezhnev. A regime of reform, such as that launched by Gorbachov, just as distinctly prefers butter to guns. The traditional stumbling block for any reform in the USSR has been the military dominance of the Soviet economy, paralleled by the Pentagon in Washington. Not only has it prevented allocation of resources to butter over guns, the core of reform, it has also generated a militaristic spirit ruinous for the spirit of liberalization.

So far the response from Reagan’s Washington has been to dismiss the Gorbachov proposal to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2000 as utopian and dangerous to the “deterrent”. But as Rear-Admiral Carroll explains in Chap. 2, nuclear deterrence has a dark underside. Preparations for nuclear war increase the danger of nuclear war by accident. Since civilization may not survive if the nuclear machinery is set in motion, the threat of using nuclear arms makes the policy of deterrence risky and unconvincing, and flawed as a long-term policy of preventing war.

This reasonable thesis and alternative thinking about ways of striving for peace are fully examined in this book. It merits the attentive reading of all members of Science for Peace. In fact, it should be read by every Canadian who wants an update on what some of the best minds consider to be an agenda for reducing the nuclear dancer.

George Ignatieff

Thorburn, N.S. After reading an installment in Youth Science News concerning Science for Peace, I am interested in learning more about your organization. I would appreciate any information you can provide me with. As a teacher I firmly believe that the key to universal peace will be found in the enlightenment of our youth.

Dan Bourque