Mrzutí starci

LONDÝN – Protože už jsem dosáhl důchodového věku, mám nárok být mrzutým starcem. Měl bych nudit své děti a studenty Oxfordské univerzity, kde jsem rektorem, brbláním o tom, jak jde všechno vepsí. Takto se však já na svět nedívám.

Na univerzitě jsem začal studovat v roce 1962. Můj první semestr se časově shodoval s kubánskou raketovou krizí. Zdálo se, že svět balancuje na pokraji jaderné katastrofy. Byly to dny, kdy celosvětový mír udržovala koncepce známá docela příhodně pod zkratkou MAD neboli „vzájemně zaručené zničení“. Byl takový svět horší a nebezpečnější než ten dnešní, v němž je naší hlavní jadernou starostí, jak zabránit šíření jaderných zbraní a posílit úmluvu, která už celou generaci od jejich šíření odrazuje?

Na konci svého studia v Oxfordu jsem odjel do Spojených států a navštívil Alabamu. Možná si vzpomenete na historku, jak se Richard Nixon zúčastnil oslav nezávislosti v Ghaně. Na slavnostní recepci přistoupil k jednomu hostu, kterého pokládal za místního občana, a zeptal se ho, jaký je to pocit mít možnost hlasovat a užívat si svobody pod vládou zákona. „To já nevím,“ odpověděl muž, „já jsem z Alabamy.“

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