Comfortable Lunacy

Post war reality

We’re happy with this possibility.

A – for me – familiar circumnavigation of Reading – nowhere further north than Caversham; nowhere further south than Swallowfield.

Going past the back of AWE, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (which has its own web site, complete with address and postcode, but which is still not mentioned on the OS maps, such is the state of British officialdom), and initially, it struck me how insane that establishment is.

I’d say human nature and geo-politics are both as they are. While nuclear weapons may have taken things to a whole new level, I’m willing to be convinced that Mutually Assured Destruction has been a good thing on balance. That said though, if you stand back for a moment, then yes, it’s both easy and tempting to conclude that the fact that a place like AWE exists, quite openly, is insane. ‘Hello. This is where we make weapons that could wipe out humanity’.

But as I rode on and kept thinking about it, then I came to suspect that what AWE actually is, is a measure of collective human nature. If you think that AWE is insane, then by the same criteria we must be insane for developing it, tolerating it, funding it and so on. The reality is that, the relatively small protests against it aside, we are collectively comfortable with that lunacy. That’s sobering.