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We are now and then told by arms experts that it is increasingly easy to build devastating weapons. What are the long-term consequences for our survival and economic activity if it is indeed the case that small groups could wreak immense havoc on anyone else (let’s say, when 20 determined men could cause millions of deaths). See the attached word document, where I argue that the most likely scenario is that those with the power to do so will eventually eradicate all others perceived as potential threats when a really devastating threat materialises. I argue that the best approach the current stable nation states could take is probably to embark upon a second pacification wave. In any case, the complete dismantling of the notion of privacy seems likely.
Ian McDonald of the University of Melbourne has kindly formalised many of these arguments in the attached word document and has added to them the idea that small groups are more prone to allowing psychopaths to rise to the top than others, because small groups may have less checks and balances, less developed procedures for organising political activity, and, perhaps most important, less intelligent leaders. Thus the ability of small groups to get control of nuclear weapons increases the likelihood of catastrophe.