Disclaimer: I'm having a hard time in writing this question in a non-opinion based format. Any suggestion to improve it will be welcome.

I was thinking that most, if not all, weapons are merely some sort of energy delivery system (from clubs to ICBMs). Considering the massive energies demanded for spacefaring (relativistic speeds for even small mass drones or the "slow" few hundred miles per second for a massive sized generation ship).

This leads to a problem: A nation capable of building and putting in orbit some sort of engine with that order of magnitude energy output can easily create a doomsday device.

Considering our species' actual fractured political system and the fact that we are still wasting time making nonsense polarized discourses like left vs right, for the sake of this question, assume we are not merging in a unified planetary system nor stopping from greedily pursuing any form of domination in the next couple of centuries.

At the same time consider we are creating technologies like efficient fusion power in this century and maybe anti-matter drives in the middle of the next century. For the sake of the question assume we can double our energy capacity each decade and in a couple of centuries we can build a one million times more energetic power plants (compared with actual nuclear fission ones).

In this scenario, actual techs like making nukes and ICBM can be achieved, after a couple of centuries, at lower costs and all the science and engineering behind it become trivial. For the sake of the question consider, at the begin of sec XXIII, a group of engineering students can easily design an ICBM and a thermonuclear device and a small nation can easily build them (without a super potency help).

The question is: How can we, reaching high tech without reaching a global peace, still avoid MAD?

Obs: Not cold war again please I prefer to avoid things like: this, this and any of this


I can accept any answer really:

  • new Anti-weapons systems,
  • Strong International Organization,
  • major powers cooperation (by "force", like in a game theory),
  • new government dynamics and even new forms of government, etc.

I can even accept an "It cannot be done" answer if it's very well explained.

@Krateng Bad example: History of Colonization of Americas is bloodbath between European Powers, indigenous people and late between colonists themselves. IMHO we managed to get from small familiar groups to big nations (some more developed than others) for a motive. I'm not naive enough to believe in billions of people giving free hugs but your alternative is unlikely in the long run and even more cheesy.

IMHO mankind history can be described as:

  • group conflicts,

  • groups merge,

  • bigger group centralize power,

  • internal power struggle erodes bigger group,

  • or bigger group finds out sharing power helps solve power struggles and mitigates erosion.

Note we cannot reach this point without the last one (yeah I still hold faith in democracy). So yes I believe we can invent some sort of decentralized and high collaborative new form of government and apply it a planetary scale. But actually our science development outpaced our social development and it is going to kill us unless we reach a compromise while we catch up.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Renan, L.Dutch, Vincent, Mołot, EveryBitHelps Jul 6 '18 at 14:10

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Just as a heads-up, if you're having trouble wording a question and would like feedback on it, we have a Question Sandbox on Meta that can help you with that. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Jul 6 '18 at 12:59
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ You propose a strange game. The only winning move is not to play. $\endgroup$ – Renan Jul 6 '18 at 13:07
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ How is this different from what we have now? Nuclear MAD is contentious at best, and relies on several flawed assumptions. Kinetic Impactors do not change anything here, except that you can strike without causing radioactive fallout. But the fact that with KIs: you can strike without warning; attribution may be flawed or even not possible; "everyone" can do it... those are problems that already exist with atomic, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. So how does this change the situation? $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Jul 6 '18 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelK Scale! In the future we will have lots more players and bigger toys making the problem worse $\endgroup$ – jean Jul 6 '18 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ @jean So? We already have too many players today. Radiological ("dirty bombs"), biological and chemical weapons can already today be created by "everyone", they have even already been deployed. It is not as if we now live in some paradise where we are safe from such attacks. We most definitely are not safe there. I can think of dozens of scenarios where a surprise attack with homebrew WMDs cause utter havoc and makes 9/11 seems like a minor inconvenience. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Jul 6 '18 at 13:23

There is no such thing as global peace because independent action is not limited to any level of entity. When all the governments unify into a world government, their subfactions are in conflict with each other, private companies are in conflict with each other - in short, as long as resources are limited, people have reason to be in conflict. They don't need official approval as a "state" or even a "corporation" to band together in factions and take hostile actions against their enemies. This idea of the world being "unified" to explore space is tropey, cheesy, and in my opinion stupid and unnecessary.

America wasn't colonized by unified Europeans. They could have used their ships and soldiers directly against each other, but saw more profit in colonizing with some of them. Why do we do anything when the work and capital needed for it could have instead been used to obliterate our enemies?

So to answer the question "How to avoid that?" - You don't need to actively do anything to do so. Humans don't spend every minute of their being trying to kill their enemies, it's simply a means to an end to improve their situation. Acquiring new resources from space is likely more profitable than conquering all your enemies, losing a lot of capital and manpower in the process, then having to establish an administration for enemy territories and having to deal with that administration's own power and the local population's dissent.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.