But there are conditions under which genocidal goals would be rational. On the contrary, willingly suffering a perpetual competition with 8-10 billion other people for the planet’s limited resources is generally irrational, given a good alternative.
I am reminded of John von Neumann’s thoughts on a nuclear first strike. From the perspective of von Neumann in 1948, who thought through viable stable states of the world and worked backwards from there to the current state of the world to figure out what actions in today’s world would lead to the stable one, a nuclear first strike does seem to be the only viable option. Though from today’s perspective, the US didn’t do that and we have not (or not yet) all perished in nuclear fire.
From here:> Von Neumann was, at the time, a strong supporter of “preventive war.” Confident even during World War II that the Russian spy network had obtained many of the details of the atom bomb design, Von Neumann knew that it was only a matter of time before the Soviet Union became a nuclear power. He predicted that were Russia allowed to build a nuclear arsenal, a war against the U.S. would be inevitable. He therefore recommended that the U.S. launch a nuclear strike at Moscow, destroying its enemy and becoming a dominant world power, so as to avoid a more destructive nuclear war later on. “With the Russians it is not a question of whether but of when,” he would say. An oft-quoted remark of his is, “If you say why not bomb them tomorrow, I say why not today? If you say today at 5 o’clock, I say why not one o’clock?”
A helpful counterpoint.