Nuclear weapons are one of the most imminent dangers to the continual survival of humanity as we know it. Never before in history has a technology had such a potential for mass death and destruction. According to estimates by the Federation of American Scientists there are over 20,000 nuclear weapons across the globe, 8,500 of which are the property of the United States government. Currently at least eight nations have first strike capability and more have begun the process of developing nukes. For any nation-state that wishes to be a political power in the current international community, possession of or access to a nuclear arsenal is a must.
After the detonation of the first nuclear bomb in 1945 humanity was promised that nuclear technology would change our world for the better. Nuclear weapons represented the pinnacle of scientific progress, and some believed that they would prevent another world war. The possibilities seemed limitless. Over 70 years later many of the promises made regarding nuclear technology have failed to come true. Instead, we have been left to contend with the most lethal military technology ever produced in history.
The destructive nature of nuclear weapons demands they be contained within an authoritarian, hierarchical system, to ensure proper care, maintenance, protection, and possible utilization. Nuclear weapons can not exist securely in a democratic system, in fact their hazardous qualities would increase exponentially if their use was subjected to the democratic process. Nuclear weapons have an inherent political ideology, and that ideology is authoritarian. In the United States, as in all nuclear-weapon states, control of the nuclear arsenal rests in the hands of the military, which is itself a hierarchical and undemocratic organization, and not in the hands of the people or their elected representatives.
I believe humanity should live in a world free of nuclear weapons. No technology of such a destructive nature should exist, and no government should possess such a technology. The United States and the global community must work towards the goal of total nuclear disarmament. Americans, as the citizens of a nuclear-weapons state, are living in an authoritarian technocracy. This country is subject to the authority of a single technological entity and as long as our government continues to hold nuclear weapons they will dominate our politics and policy.