by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB
John Kenneth Galbraith, Professor of Economics at Harvard, was US Ambassador to India in the 1960s. He is best known for his popular book The Affluent Society.
In 1998 he was enjoying the 40th anniversary of that book. I went to his home in Cambridge to interview him about it. This was two days before his 90th birthday (b. October 15, 1908). He was in good form despite being on crutches from what he said was a severe car accident. He lived till age 97.
I tried to get the interview published at The Age, but without success. And since that was before the days of blogging, I abandoned it. Seventeen years later I’d like to mention an odd remark Galbraith made at the close of the visit. In fact it was so odd I never really dwelt on it till recently.
When I was leaving his house he walked me to the door, but not down the steps to the garden, on account of his crutches. As I got to the bottom step I realized that, being nervous, I had forgot to ask my most important question, which was about the MAI. The “Multilateral Agreement on Investment” was a prototype of the TransPacific Partnership – TPP – that was being studied in Oz in 1998. I had heard about it from Pauline Hanson (my taste in politics being catholic as well as Catholic).
We were very lucky that, in the late 1990s, thanks to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, the Commonwealth Parliament had made it mandatory for treaties to be put out for public comment. I made a submission on the MAI treaty. So did 900 other souls. We each got access to each other’s names. Virtually all were opposed to the MAI, although I recall one submission in favor of it. It came from a committee of Australian university vice-chancellors.
Now back to that moment on Galbraith’s bottom step. I turned around to my host and said “I am worried abut the MAI.” You’d never guess what his reply was. He said, in a fairly serious tone, “Don’t worry about the MAI. Worry about nuclear weapons.”
Mind you, this was eight years after the USSR’s Communist Party had thrown in the towel. I wondered if he thought I was stupid. Nowadays I can see that I was indeed stupid. The hurling of nukes never had to be limited to the Cold War — or as we should call it today, the non-Cold War. (After Antony Sutton’s revelations in National Suicide we can say there really was no war there at all. See Sutton’s comments in a Youtube video.)
I can now admit, in 2015, that John Kenneth Galbraith was no slouch. (To be precise he did slouch a bit, probably because with his six-foot-five height he was rather towering.) He perhaps knew of a real nuke danger to us all.
When I wrote the Gumshoe essay last week about Mr Big, the human god, I had Mr Big say, matter-of-factly, “Pretty soon I will have to go for the nuclear option.”
My ‘source’ for that idea was Dr Day’s 1969 speech. Dr Day had said — as though he were casually discussing the price of eggs – that nukes could be deployed domestically. Here are the exact words of Dr Lawrence Dunegan who leaked Dr Day’s 1969 speech in 1988:
We would bring in the ‘New International Political System.’
“If there were too many people in the right places who resisted this, there might be a need to use one or two or possibly more nuclear weapons.” As it was put this would be possibly needed to convince people that, “We mean business.” That was followed by the statement that, “By the time one or two of those went off then everybody, even the most reluctant, would yield.” He said something about, “This negotiated peace would be very convincing,” as in a framework or in a context that the whole thing was rehearsed but nobody would know it.
Please note that the entire Dr Day speech is printed in our new book, Truth in Journalism, and is also here at GumshoeNews.
So let’s start worrying about nuclear weapons, and the inadvertently suicidal decision-makers who may be truly interested in using them.
— Mary W Maxwell’s latest book is Fraud Upon the Court.