Linus Pauling: The time has come when we have to rid the world of the great immorality of war, and
I believe that we are going to do it.
You know, we've had war in the world ever since the dawn of civilization. Men have
always been out killing one another: they bash one another in the head with clubs,
or stab one another with spears, shoot one another with bows and arrows, and pretty
soon shoot one another with pistols and rifles, sink one another's battleships. And
of course war was really horrible in the old days, full of savagery and cruelty. When
a city was conquered, all the women and children in it would be killed.
Then of course, man became enlightened and more advanced so that men still went out
in the armies and killed the soldiers on the opposing side, but women and children
Until now we have come back into savagery again, into the old original cruelty where
the women and children and old men and infants, babies, are all killed. During the
second World War, cities in many nations were bombed - women, children, everybody
killed indiscriminately - and then of course there came this ultimate immorality:
sixteen years ago, today, when a bomb exploded over Hiroshima and killed practically
everybody in the city.
And that was only a little atomic bomb. The standard atomic bombs now are a thousand
times more powerful. The three-stage fission-fusion-fission bombs that are piled up
now by the thousands in the arsenals of the nuclear powers. One of these bombs has
the explosive power of 20 million tons of TNT, 7 times the amount of explosives used
in the whole of the second World War. One of these bombs is enough to destroy any
city on earth: London, Berlin, New York, Moscow, Tokyo... might kill as many as 10
million people. One bomb. And thousands of these great bombs are stockpiled in the
arsenals of the nuclear powers now.
We have to decide now, today, on the sixteenth anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima,
we have to decide whether we are going to continue along the path of militarism, continuing
to increase our military budget, increase the stockpiles of great bombs, increase
the size of the military forces, increase the effectiveness of the methods of delivering
the bombs, make more efficient the process of wiping the human race off the face of
the earth. We had the increase just four days ago, by our Congress. Increase in the
military budget of the United States to a level of about $1,000 per American family
for this year.
Or, are we, all of us, going to join together with the people of the rest of the world
in a revolt against militarism in the fight for peace and reason in the world, to
rid the world of the great immorality of war, to get back, to force nations to accept
the ethical and moral principles that are accepted by ordinary individual human beings
all over the world. If we join together in the firm determination to rid the world
of war, then we are going to succeed. We can succeed.