Tomdispatch: So, take us on a little tour of our world in terms of nuclear weapons.
Jonathan Schell: The way I think of it, in the Cold War, the nuclear age was in a sort of adolescence. Just a two-power or, at most, a five- or six-sided affair. Now, it’s in its prime. We already have nine nuclear powers, with lots of aspirers to the club waiting in the wings. The nuclear weapon is fulfilling its destiny, which was known from the very beginning of the nuclear age: to be available to all who wanted it, whether or not they choose to actually build the thing.
In a certain sense, we’re just beginning to face the nuclear danger in its inescapable, quintessential form. At key moments in the nuclear age, the public has suddenly gotten very worked up about its peril. Now, if I am not mistaken, could be another such moment. Everybody who has ever marched or spoken up against nuclear weapons should dust off their hiking boots and get back in the fray.