fact, I think that there is a problem in my position, logically. And when I first wrote it out for my own purposes, I had to let it sit quite a while because I knew there was a logical problem which somehow did not overpower my convictions on the points of the position. One, I myself have experienced the knowledge that I would not detonate these weapons, but two, when I put myself in the position of a sophist and try to reason my way through to unilateral disarmament, I can’t get there. It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t achieve the objective. There seems to be a connection between these two positions. They seem to contradict each other, and yet, they seem somehow to be basically consonant. So I just accepted these two positions, and waited a while, and this is the resolution, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory, that has satisfied me: The problem is the relationship of a search for personal morality to the problems of power. I had ‘experienced this in my own life with sufficient strength, after, not sufficient, but substantial study, to know that it is a fact in my life. I also cannot reason my way when projecting myself into the problems faced by the leaders of this free country into the imagination that I should proceed to disarm the country unilaterally, so I try to find a constructive relationship between these two clusters of facts, presenting both as where I am. Buckley: I hope I did not give the impression, and I apologize if I did, that these problems are simple. I think if called upon I might be able to show that I have in my thought and in my writing penetrated to depths as deep as those that Mr. Dugger has penetrated. I respect the life of the mind. I try to read right down to the lowest surface that my own natural capacities 16 The Texas Observer will sustain. I’m not saying that the problem is a superficial one. I am simply saying that a relevant answer has been yielded, not merely yielded by those trivial moralizers who like packaged moral thought, but by others who have dived very deep in the waters of conviction, in the waters of self-troublement, and who have come up with decisions that tend to sustain the decisions of people who have agonized morally before us over a period of three thousand years, and come forward to say to us the advent of the atomic bomb does not change the essential imperatives of human life. The ambiguities that Mr. Dugger points to by citing Camus are especially interesting. Neither victim nor executioner did Camus want to be. But it was Camus, was it not, who said, “the only serious and unanswerable philosophical problem that man faces is whether or not to -commit suicide.” That wasand I’m sure Mr. Camus had the faculty for speaking with that tone of humble sincerity that characterizes Mr. Duggerthat was his answer, “I don’t know whether we should commit suicide.” Presumably, taking Camus as his mentor, Mr. Dugger might go on to say, “I don’t know whether we should commit suicide, but if we do commit suicide I know we should not commit suicide by the use of nuclear weapons.” Albert Camus was the supreme literary and philosophical symbol of our time, the man who as a result of an exquisite conscience, of a kind that, and I say this sincerely, Mr. Dugger says, as a result of an exquisite conscience is so tormented by the public and personal dilemmas of our time that he becomes paralyzed as an effective political animal. I wish we could all devote the rest of our lives to sitting and talking about whether or not under certain circumstances we would be prepared to use nuclear arms, but we know that meanwhile somebody has to tend the shop, tending the shop meaning to preserve the situation in which we have left the freedom to discuss with one another. Kissel: We have time for one question or so for each participant. Do you have a question for Mr. Dugger, please? QUESTION: I would like to try to clear up the black cloud on Dr. Teller right now. I’ll have to agree with him in disagreeing with the President’s statement that because we can kill 350 million or billion or whatever the figure was per hour that we should be content and be happy with that, when at the same time, if we are content and the Russians are not content, and they develop an anti-missile missile, we might be faced with international blackmail by the rendering of our arsenal and capacity to kill to exactly nothing by their advancement. Kissel: Before he responds, we’ll be finished in a moment. We won’t go on to the other questions for obvious reasons, since the hour is getting late. Dugger: Well, all I would say to that is that what you raise is a question of fact, the fact area being your assessment of our comparative nuclear capabilities. And I think perhaps, it goes to the root of whom you trust, and whom you suspect. When the President said we had complete power to destroy Russia, I believed him. Kissel: May I have a question for Mr. Buckley, please. Question.. Mr. Dugger has expressed what his moral ambiguities are, but I’d like to ask Mr. Buckley to express exactly what his moral certainties are. Buckley: I suppose I could refer you to the appropriate shelf of the University library, confident that my moral certainties have achieved the distinction of occupying a certain amount of cubic footage there. The only moral certainty that I expressed in this instance is one that has to do with the existential right of a society to use all of its resources in order to survive certain kinds of threats. I would not feel confident in using the atomic bomb in order to escape the Anglicization of the country and if the time were 1776, and Patrick Henry proposed a nuclear bomb on London in order to do away with the Stamp Tax, I’d probably say, “Oh, shut up, Patrick!” My moral certitude as regards the existing situation is very simply’ and clearly limited to the statement that we do face at this time a kind of horror [transcript unclear for a short portion hereed.] to civilization . . . . and so I believe that against this kind of threat, we are justified in using all the weapons at our disposal in order to prevent the eclipse of civilization. Kissel: Regretfully, since the hour is getting late, we have to terminate. I think it is a little ironic that we terminate on this kind of note in terms of nuclear policy and all of the destructive force that has been bantered back and forth, ironic at least for me, to sit between these two emotionally vibrant personalities who are about to go off at any moment. You may not be aware how vibrant they are, but I assure you they were both champing at the bit throughout this entire program. I think that the Texas Observer and the National Review can be justifiably proud in both instances of the editors they do have. I think at this time we should give them a very large round of applause for such a fine effort today. Dialogue Open Ground for Thoughts Please enter a year’s subscription to the Observer. I’ve never been in Texas, but know and work mainly with Texans and thus have become interested and involved in the currents of Texas thought. But it doesn’t take a Texan to be greatly drawn by the quality of writing in the Observer. Its honesty of purpose comes through, an open, uncompromising ground for expressing the writer’s thoughts. Sandra Storm, 7301 Nevis Rd., Bethesda 34, Md.