There is nothing to fear except fear itself.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Today I took a tour of the disused Nike 88 Nuclear Missile Site on the San Franciso headlands. Apparently it is the only place in the US where you can visit a nuclear missile silo.
Thankfully during the Cold War none of the missiles from any of the Nike sites in the US were used against an actual threat, but the threat that they existed and would be used if needed was there. You can be certain of this because had it happened, we wouldn’t be here today. Each warhead has 2.5 x the power of the Bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
One of the questions raised during the tour was “Is fear a good or bad thing?” For those that lived though the Cold War you probably know this and for those that didn’t a quick Google will inform you that the war as “cold” because it was a nuclear standoff. Both NATO and Russia had missiles that they claimed would be used if the other used them first.
The fear of a nuclear armageddon was enough to stop everyone making the first move. From this perspective, fear seems to be a good thing.
My personal perspective is that reasoned fear is a good thing but irrational fear is a dangerous.
Other perspectives welcome.
Thanks go to my wife for suggesting this as a topic for a post after the tour.