The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence
and the Will of the People
by Jonathan Schell (Penguin. £8.99)
Science in the 20th century turned war into mutual annihilation.
According to Jonathan Schell, this broke the link between politics
and warfare for the first time. The end of the cold war could
have heralded an era of co-operation and non-violence. Instead,
post-9/11, we are again poised before the abyss, just as 1914:
"the path to hell on earth and the end of the earth"
Schell offers a brilliant analysis of how we got here and what
we do now. His history of non-violence shows that there is hope
- revolutions can succeed without violence, "structures of
co-operative power" can replace coercion. To wean politics
off violence, Schell wants all weapons of mass destruction abolished:
"A decision for non-violence, in our time, is a decision
to exist. After the overblown rhetoric of the war on terror, at
last someone is exploring solutions that don't involve bunker-busters
or daisy-cutters. A much needed dose of enlightened idealism in
a darkening wor1d.
Review by P D Smith, October 2005