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Interview with Donald Soper, 1986

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Interview with Donald Soper, 1986
Lord Donald Soper was a well-known Methodist minister and a founding member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). In the interview he describes the evolution of the CND and Britain's nuclear program. He credits the 1958 surge of interest in the CND in Great Britain for both the increase in public awareness over time, and a number of political events that demonstrated the danger of nuclear armaments. He argues against those who say nuclear weapons are important as a deterrent, saying instead that while they may briefly prolong peace, they do absolutely nothing to deal with or eradicate violence. He explains that the development of Britain's nuclear program was an attempt to separate the British from the U.S. and establish themselves once again as an independent nation, which Lord Soper thinks puts too much emphasis on political prestige over moral integrity. He does not accept the "so-called logic of the arms race," and thinks that had Britain came out against the bomb, it could have had even greater influence internationally. He explains that the failure of the CND was the result of not enough people believing strongly enough in the issues, as well as people focusing too much on the bomb itself, rather than the capitalist, privatized system in which the bomb exists. (While he holds the socialist bloc equally to blame he freely admits to being generally more sympathetic to a communist approach to society -- at least one that "derives from the Sermon on the Mount" rather than from 19th century philosophy.) He comments on the effectiveness of speaking in a heartfelt, rather than calculated manner about these issue, which helps people realize that the non-violent love of the Christian faith, rather than war, is the only solution.
Soper, Donald, 1903-1998
October 27, 1986
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WGBH Open Vault
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Nuclear weapons
Great Britain
Nuclear disarmament
Hydrogen bomb
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Macmillan, Harold, 1894-1986
United Kingdom
United States
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