Elaine Scarry and Rachel Ablow in the Boston Review:
Elaine Scarry has been writing about the unique dangers and challenges of nuclear weapons in Boston Review for almost two decades. In the following interview with Rachel Ablow, which took place in 2018 and originally appeared in a longer form in the journal Representations, Scarry highlights a number of her more recent thoughts on the issue—thoughts that are especially relevant given rising tensions with both Iran and North Korea.
North Korea, Scarry points out, has fewer than 60 nuclear weapons. The United States, by contrast, has 6,500. The U.S. population is “sleeping” on the issue for a variety of reasons, ranging from the philosophical and psychological to the logistical. The architecture of nuclear weapons renders the citizenry powerless. It is time to wake up, Scarry argues, and she has some provocative proposals—including embracing the Second Amendment—for reclaiming democratic power.