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Lev Navrozov Archive
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nano-weapons research booming in China with an assist from the USA

Lev Navrozov emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1972. He chaired the "Alternative to the New York Times Committee" in 1980, challenged the editors of the New York Times to a debate (which they declined) and became a columnist for the New York City Tribune. His columns are today read in both English and Russian.

One of our family’s reasons for immigrating from Russia to the West (in 1972) was the danger to the free West from totalitarian societies like Russia and China. But hey presto! In 1986, Eric Drexler had finished a cycle of his nano research and published the results in a volume, entitled “Engines of Creation” and containing a chapter entitled “Engines of Destruction,” such as weapons that can destroy a country without the latter’s retaliation, that is, without “mutually assured destruction.”

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What is “mutually assured destruction”? Every powerful nuclear country can prepare a secret depository of nuclear bombs. After an enemy nuclear attack, these secret nuclear bombs go into action and destroy the enemy country. Hence the name — the nuclear destruction is mutually assured.

Drexler’s molecular nanotechnology came from the realization that molecules have enough space within themselves and hence can be converted into supermicroscopic (“nano”) machines, able in particular to seek out the enemy secret depositories of nuclear weapons and thus preclude the enemy’s retaliation.

However, it was necessary to convert Drexler’s ideas into products, just as the ideas of E. Fermi, L. Szilard, and some other scientists named by Einstein in his letter to President Roosevelt of August 2, 1939, were converted into nuclear bombs as a result of the “Manhattan Project,” the allocations for which — the original $6,000 authorized — had grown by the spring of 1945 to $2,000,000,000.

In 1986, when Drexler’s book was published, he and his wife Christine Peterson founded the Foresight Institute for nano research. The trouble was that Congress was to finance from the same annual sums of nano allocations both the nano research of the Foresight Institute and the production of commercial nano products. This intensified the attempts of the “nano business” to discredit Drexler’s book.

But today, about 22 years later, the word “nano” is as well known and respected as was the word “microscopic” after the invention of the microscope or the word “atomic” after the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japanese cities in 1945

The 20th anniversary edition of Drexler’s book was published in 2006, and I received a copy through my computer — free of charge.

Well, I counterattacked all attempts to compromise Dr. Drexler’s molecular nano research. Nano weapons were not finished products. But before 1945 nuclear weapons were not finished products either. But if Hitler had devoted his time and energy to the production of nuclear bombs (rather than devoting his time and energy to the seizure of the still free area of Czechoslovakia, then to the seizure of Poland and France, and to the preparation of his war with Soviet Russia) he could have been the dictator of the world instead of a suicide.

To what extent are nanoweapons finished products in America and China today?

The CNET networks, engaged in exchanging the information among 120 million monthly users, cites the following opinion:

    You won’t find any company in the U.S. doing nano-weapons research . . . . You have to go to China, where the government has been sinking billions into nano-weapons research since the 80s."

As I have said, the Foresigt (Nanotech) Institute was founded in 1986 by Eric Drexler, the founder of nanotechnology, and his wife Christine Peterson. She had a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from MIT. In 1991 she coauthored “Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution” (Morrow) and in 1997, “Leaping the Abyss: Putting Group Genius to Work”.

As for Eric Drexler, it is worthwhile to recall his dictum that a country ignoring the development of its nano weaponry is preparing its suicide.

What is necessary to develop nano ideas of genius into finished products — nano weapons? Financial allocations from whoever rules the country. If Hitler had been sufficiently generous in financing his development of atom bombs, and his atomic project had outstripped its U.S. “Manhattan” counterpart, the defeat or the suicide of the free world would have been inevitable.

Meanwhile Drexler left Christine Peterson and married a businesswoman named Rosa Wang. He is no longer a member of the Institute he had founded, and Rosa Wang’s money could not substitute the Congressional or governmental allocations required to create a new Foresight Institute and obtain finished nano weapons out of nano ideas.

The free West continues to surrender, but without the exchange of hostile expletives that was characteristic in the previous decades. On the country, the kindness of the free West toward the dictatorship of China seems to be helpful to the growth of China’s military might.

Many Americans seem to have forgotten that they were contemporaries of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and others much like them. In their perception, mankind consists of polite, gentle, kind children. The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology was asked ( why do they have their materials translated into Chinese? The center answered 6/2/2008:

    Because over a billion people in the world speak Chinese, and because advanced nanotechnology may first be developed in China. We are very grateful to Dr. Sinclair Wang, who volunteered to perform this translation for us.

Imagine over a billion Chinese-speaking people left in ignorance of advanced nanotechnology, developed in the USA! Have the milk of human kindness and offer the Chinese translations of it! Surely the dictatorship of China will share advanced nanotechnology with the USA if such nanotechnology is first developed in China! What a pity that Falun Gong victims may, instead, be tortured to death — the dictators of China may be not in the mood to help belated American nanotechnologists with advanced nanotechnology!

Lev Navrozov can be reached by e-mail at
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