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Segal, H. (1987). Silence is the Real Crime. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 14:3-12.

(1987). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 14:3-12

Silence is the Real Crime

Hanna Segal

When we look soberly, however hard it is to do so at the moment, at the political situation and the threat of nuclear warfare, we observe a phenomenon that is more like a surrealist scenario, an unbearable nightmare or a psychosis, than a sane world. The Hiroshima bomb killed at one go 140, 000 people and that does not include the many thousands who died from the after effects or the zombie-like existence of the survivors so vividly described by R. J. Lifton in his studies (1982). 'But today, on average, each major city in the northern hemisphere is targetted by the equivalent of 2, 000 Hiroshima bombs' (Barnaby, 1983).

The nuclear arsenal of either Russia or America is enough to blow up the world many times over. And still they both continue to develop and stockpile nuclear weapons and contend that this is needed for security. The foreseeable effects of what is genteelly known as nuclear exchange between Russia and America are well studied and documented by scientists. The medical evidence is that there will be no meaningful survival. There is growing scientific evidence that the exploding of only part of that arsenal will bring about a nuclear winter which will engulf all the northern hemisphere, if not the whole planet. These facts are constantly put before the public. Nevertheless the urgency of the threat to human survival does not seem to have led to a concerted effort to stop what is happening. Indeed, the way things are going, it seems likely that a nuclear war may be an inevitable consequence.

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