The Chernobyl Journal

Volume 8

Posted by elenafilatova 6. Aug 2017

For a long time...

...I thought it would be great, if a real thinker of Plato’s caliber would have visited Chernobyl, for as Schopenhauer rightly said "the… moral and intellectual enormity in this world can be cleaned out only with the besom of philosophy". There is no other way to cure people of the state delusion in which governments and industries deliberately keep us. Philosophy has the power to clear our ideas and put an end to the colossal misconception that nuclear energy is safe. In this volume I will quote applicable thoughts of great minds of all recorded times. Those thinkers are the true teachers of humanity, for they are motivated by wisdom instead of greed. I will only quote thoughts which apply to problems I am discussing. Why I do it? Isaac Newton have explained clearly when he said "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants". I just want to see further than the others. Also I do this, because in my work I seek the support of the highest intellectual authorities. This will help me to cement my observations and turn them into concrete that can outlive the half life of some nasty nuclear isotopes!

July 2017


The great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously said "We live in a system in which one must either be a wheel or be under the wheels". That was true in the 19th century when Nietzsche lived, but now things are different. In the modern world, those who work for the wheel of deadly industries quite often find themselves caught under the wheel. When you tell employees of the nuclear industry that they aren't immune to cancer, leukemia etc. they just look at you with glassy eyes as if they can't understand what you talking about. Indeed, it is impossible to get them to understand something when their wages depend on their not understanding it.

July 2017


All information that comes from Japan about state of the Fukushima reactors actually comes from TEPCO, the for-profit company that owns the tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant. Once in a while, they feed us bullshit videos from some camera onboard a robot vessel and telling some story about minor radioactive water leakage into the ocean. They never mention really important things such as mass die-off of adjacent fisheries in the Pacific or the state of pools with spent fuel rods, or where the nuclear fuel went. Every time TEPCO officials try to put a happy face on things or when they are attempting to seem frank and kind, it looks to me like Frankenstein trying to produce some kind of smile. As for the generosity with which TEPCO shares information with us, I am reminded of Francois de La Rochefoucauld's warning that "What seems to be generosity is often no more than disguised ambition, which overlooks a small interest in order to secure a great one."

July 2017


When government officials with their friends from the nuclear industry are thinking of the best way to make people forget Chernobyl and Fukushima, I'd want them to think about the maxim from Michel de Montaigne: "Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it."

July 2017


Chamfort wrote this more than 200 years ago: "Bodies (Parliaments, Academies, Assemblies) are difficult to deface; they maintain themselves with their bulk, and one can do nothing against them. Dishonor and ridicule skip off of them, like bullets off of a wild boar or a crocodile". This suggests that we fight a battle we cannot win. Chamfort's words tell us that everyone who stands tall against industry is wasting bullets. Well, I cannot disagree with the author, but I don't think the wild boar or crocodile particularly enjoy them bullets skipping off them. Nor do corrupt politicians and the industries they serve. They are not getting deadly wounds but at least we can make their lives uncomfortable.

July 2017


Among many interesting thoughts and ideas written by Jose Ortega y Gasset I remember one where the said: "That science is incapable of solving in its own way those fundamental questions is no sufficient reason for slighting them". At least in Ortega's day science tried to solve problems whereas nowadays science is only slighting those fundamental problems without even trying to solve them.

August 2017


In Voltaire time he suggested that the art of medicine consisted of amusing the patient while nature cured the disease. Well, I am not sure about modern medicine, but the art of government-paid nuclear experts is to do what doctors did during Voltaire's time. Those experts write positive reports while nature heals-up the land. The only problem is that they have to write positive reports for next 600 years.

August 2017


I have to repeat again that on the gates of Chernobyl shall be written what Dante wrote over the entrance to his Inferno: "All hopes abandon ye who enter here". Yet people continue to hope against hope that the gates will open again to humans some day. If harsh realty robs people of a chance for hope in their lives, they will still hope for the lives of future generations, even in the face of widespread environmental catastrophe. Hope is the greatest of all deceivers indeed. In this respect, Luc de Clapiers hit the target perfectly when he wrote "Hope deceives more men than cunning does".

August 2017


At the time of the Chernobyl, the USSR was a totalitarian state and the government had a clear but unstated policy of hiding the truth from the people. Later, after the Soviet Union has collapsed, the people hid the truth from themselves. Telling the truth in a totalitarian state was dangerous - yet it was popular: Many were doing it, but not out of love for the truth, but because it was stylish to do so. Years later, as time went by, Ukraine was transformed from a totalitarian state into a so-called "free state" and the truth completely lost its defenders. Nietzsche explained this phenomena in his chapter "Advocates of truth" when he said: "Not when it is dangerous to tell the truth does truth lack advocates, but when it is boring to do so."

August 2017


I have been watching several videos on YouTube by popular video bloggers who visited Chernobyl and who produced videos of their visits. Those bloggers all had guides from government tourist agency who spoon fed them with the same information and led them through the same sites that the government and nuclear industry opened for view.

This way all their videos are pretty much the same where bloggers were preparing for a deep dive into the sea of new information but instead of that, right from the start, their guides were just taking them away to carry them above the water, above the surface, without touching it. As a result, after watching those videos, the public remains as ignorant about Chernobyl as they were before. Let me summarize this paragraph with a quote – "You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry. Most people do." —Norton Juster

September 2017

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