Can you give the Nobel to an inanimate object?

Heck if I know. I’ve read a little about other potential candidates, none of whom I’d ever heard of before.

But this is an interesting idea:

As bad as they are, nukes have been instrumental in reversing the long, seemingly inexorable trend in modernity toward deadlier and deadlier conflicts. If the Nobel committee wants someday to honor the force that has done the most over the past 60 years to end industrial-scale war, they will award a peace prize to the bomb.

That’s David von Drehle, writing in Time. I remember, in high school history class, lessons about the 1950s and 1960s, the Cold War, the Iron Curtain: it was a little odd sometimes, trying to balance the ludicrousness of massive nuclear stockpiles (that’s how our teenaged selves saw it, anyway) with the “mutual assured destruction” policy, which even the history books gave credit for preventing another major war.

As von Drehle writes, nukes have hardly prevented all wars; all conflicts; all violence; all human-caused human suffering. The questions is whether they’ve prevented even more.

(The TrogloPundit, a.k.a. Lance Burri, blogs at The TrogloPundit)

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