Dec 6, 2013
The U.S. Government Is Metamorphosing Into the Borg
Posted on Jul 22, 2013
By Subhankar Banerjee, ClimateStoryTellers
In 1961 the U.S. government initiated Project Plowshare to develop “techniques to use nuclear explosives for peaceful construction purposes” to benefit humanity. Due to public opposition the program was terminated in 1977. One of the first proposed Plowshare nuclear experiments was Project Chariot. In 1958 Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb, went to Alaska to unveil the project: a plan to blast six large thermonuclear bombs at Point Thompson, between two Iñupiat villages (Point Hope and Kivalina) in the Arctic, to carve a new harbor on the Chukchi Sea coast. Because of the courageous and creative efforts by the Iñupiat people of Point Hope, two University of Alaska biologists William Pruitt and Leslie Viereck, who were fired for speaking out against the plan (and three decades later were honored by the Alaska State Legislature for the same act), and a handful of conservationists, Project Chariot was stopped, preventing the U.S. government “from inflicting a catastrophe worse than Chernobyl on its own land and people,” as was noted in historian Dan O’Neill’s groundbreaking book, The Firecracker Boys. While the larger experiment was stopped, Point Hope–based Iñupiat conservationist and Goldman Prize winner Caroline Cannon wrote in her testimony in the anthology, Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point (which I edited):
I wrote in a recent article that the human mind is like a boomerang. Its ingenuity and the deviousness are two sides of the same coin. In the future, no one should be surprised if Atlases get deployed on the streets to crush popular resistances against American tyranny, both at home and abroad.
We don’t need robots. Instead, we need to “move in the opposite direction” that Schumacher suggested. We need to care for each other and give space to nonhuman biotic communities to thrive on this Earth.
Capitalism thrives not by addressing the causes of injuries, but by constantly producing new Band–Aids for sale. Atlas is more than capitalism though. It is also about militarism. We would do well to pay attention and challenge its construction, rather than wake up later and see massive destruction.
Equipped with Atlases on the ground, drones in the sky, and realtime global surveillance, the U.S. government will soon be ready to say: “Resistance is futile.”
What once lay only the realm of science fiction is increasingly becoming reality, and we have to contend with it. We would do well to pay attention to journalist Chris Hedges’ premonition that “Revolt Is All We Have Left.”
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