Nuclear Testing Risks Societal Fallout
On August 6, 1945, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-29 dropped a newly invented bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing perhaps as many as 70,000 civilians and 20,000 soldiers. The new weapon was called an atomic bomb. It marked a milestone in modern science, which had recently discovered the inner workings of the atom. Tampering with the atom’s “nuclear” forces unleashed destructive power.
The atom has a long history. The ancient Greek philosopher Leucippus and his student Democritus believed that the world is made of atoms, from a Greek word meaning “uncuttable.” Their theory lacked empirical proof, but it had adherents over the centuries.
Modern science, of course, has confirmed the ancient atomic theory. In 1897, J. J. Thompson discovered the electron; in 1909, Ernest Rutherford discovered the atom’s nucleus. Protons and neutrons were soon discovered to make up the nucleus, and then sub-atomic particles were discovered, and so on.
The atom is still considered the basic unit of the various chemical elements, and from them numerous compounds can be made. For example, two atoms of hydrogen plus one of oxygen make H2O, water. Many compounds occur in nature, but others, called synthetic compounds, have been made by man. But we cannot create the atomic and sub-atomic building blocks. The atom remains the fundamental unit without which compounds cannot be made.
So much for matter. What about human society? Societies, like chemical compounds, may be constructed in many forms. There are tribal societies, for example, as well as communist, capitalist, socialist, totalitarian, imperial, colonial, feudal, theocratic, even criminal and philanthropic societies. In each case, a member might have to explain to an outsider how his kind of society works. Its nature cannot be assumed.
Just as the various elements and compounds are made up of atoms, all viable societies are built from social atoms, which we call families. Individuals encountering each other from different societies do not have to explain to each other what a family is. They already know. A mother, father and child are the natural and universal building blocks of the family.
The natural family—founded on the conjugal union of the husband and wife and encompassing the new lives their union is empowered to procreate—is irreplaceable. The forces binding men and women together in matrimony are like nuclear forces; they lie at the atomic level of all human society. They precede the existence of and are prerequisites for any society, tribe, nation, or state. Families give a society its future existence.
The existence of the atom we call “family” also has been known since ancient times, and not merely as a theory, but as an empirical reality. It was never questioned—until now. Perhaps success in nuclear physics has tempted people to think they can likewise tamper with the nuclear family and with sexual differentiation, which empowers it.
Their new theory is that the family and “gender” are just “socially constructed.” Modern elites imagine that the natural family, rooted in purposeful (procreative) sexual differentiation and complementarity, can be set aside. And they call any critique of their theory, such as you will read in Salvo, hatred.
While you can build useful chemical compounds from various atoms, if you disintegrate the atoms, you no longer have elements to build with. The family contains an irreducible nuclear power that builds and holds societies together. If you wish to build or maintain any society, you must keep the ongoing natural family at its core. If a society doesn’t protect the family, it will fall.
Salvo promotes the natural family, because without it, none of us would be here.James M. Kushiner
is the executive editor of Salvo and Touchstone magazines.This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #49, Summer 2019 Copyright © 2019 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo49/the-atomic-family