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Additional info for Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curioser and Curioser (Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series)
We live in a time of great decisions, but we’re not making any. Poor Alice: invisible to strange, indifferent forces operating against her will and behind her back. She craved recognition, any recognition, even that of a feckless pawn. Her ﬁctional wish is our unnerving reality: We are pawns—expendable pawns. Herman Kahn (whose avatar is Dr. Strangelove) makes the point in a work praised by Brent Scowcroft and the redoubtable Donald Rumsfeld: The possibility—both menacing and perversely comforting—that even if 300 million people were killed in a nuclear war, there would still be more than 4 billion left alive.
8 And if the Athenians didn’t know what it meant to be good or courageous or just, then they shouldn’t have been running the city. Socrates was against democracy, favoring instead a benign dictatorship under one who knows the correct deﬁnitions of goodness and courage and justice. Although Socrates himself just talked and talked, some of his admirers took action and helped in temporary overthrows of the democracy. For this and much more, Socrates at the age of seventy was brought up on charges of impiety and corrupting youth, found guilty, and sentenced to death by poisoning.
Disconnected from reality, these games move on their own momentum—if only the results were mere confusion. So don’t worry about the facts. There are none. ”6 There are no facts about nuclear war-ﬁghting, and (as we shall see) the “fact” that nuclear arsenals necessarily prevent war is based upon a common fallacy. ”8 Strategists aren’t silent. They call their make-believe stories “scenarios”—it gives them gravitas. Lewis Carroll wrote a similar genre of literary nonsense—but he realized what he was doing.