One year before the release of Stanley Kubrick’s film mankind faced the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 2022 the world entered another turbulent phase.
The characters try to find common ground in Stanley Kubrick’s political anti-war satire. The threat of nuclear catastrophe pushes them to do it. It could happen any minute. But it turns out that by this point the alienation of the people has become irreversible. In such a situation, the speech of each participant looks absurd to the others. Accordingly, the entire society finds itself in a ridiculous situation. The general shoots his soldiers symbolically, recognizing them as enemies. In Dr. Strangelove, the biblical theme reproduced the Confusion that leads to the world’s end.
The memory of solidarity is not yet lost. And it would seem that the world has been saved. More and more events occur as a burp of alienation with the desire for communication. The world is perishing. The nuclear bursts of beauty look like the salvation of the universe from corrupted humanity in the film to pleasant music. Probably, this explains the second part of the film’s title: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
Seemingly the reason lies on the surface. It is the elites, the generals, who are either insane or self-serving and narrow-minded hopelessly. But the generals are not really the point. They are agents only. The system creates an irreversible mechanism of self-destruction in which the human factor cannot step in. Communists create an automatic reaction system in the case of a nuclear threat. The U.S. strategic bomber self-destruct mechanism becomes a response image and rhyme. It fails to activate comically, but the crew makes a heroic effort to complete their mission: to drop the bomb and die.
Self-destruction is an inherent part of human nature. Therefore, World War III is the logical culmination of human civilization. It would seem that Stanley Kubrick is at peace with the Armageddon taking place, inviting the viewer to resign himself to a hopeless future. Through the irony and satire, one sees not only a desire for revenge but also a statement of helplessness of the social change in the face of human nature.
Even though the film’s protagonists are in a mode of struggle and continuous tension, their being, and their activities are imbued with pathology. Psychologically traumatized people occupy important positions and they implement an unconscious program of death.
The film is something akin to a petition for bankruptcy of the present world order. As we know bankruptcy is the initiation of a debtor’s liquidation. It can be a painful but necessary procedure, ignoring which can lead to the collapse of the economy. The film is a warning, as far as the compelling footage of our planet’s destruction machine launching. Dr. Strangelove is a call for a liquidation balance sheet that exposes the derivative bubble of the contemporary hierarchy.