CLOV: The end is terrific!
HAMM: I prefer the middle.
In the twenty-first century, although the main players are long dead, the mid-twentieth century dropping of the atomic bomb still has resonance. In particular, the figure of nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer looms large as the archetypal symbol representing both perpetrator – ‘father of the atomic bomb’ – and victim; his fall from grace largely due to McCarthyist forces in 1954. On his death in 1967, an article in Life magazine described him as having been:
one of the most famous men in the world, one of the most admired, quoted, photographed, consulted, glorified … the fabulous and fascinating archetype of a brand new kind of hero, the hero of science and intellect, originator and living symbol of the new atomic age. Then, suddenly, all the glory was gone and he was gone, too: alive … but no longer seen, as if by some newer miracle of science he had been rendered transparent. (Coughlan, 1967: 35)
The discovery of nuclear fission in 1938 set in motion a scientific sequence which resulted in the atomic bomb, which then set in motion a political sequence heralded by the beginning of the Cold War. Michel Foucault posited that with the swing to the Right in the charged atmosphere of the Cold War, the ‘Left’ intellectual was no longer spokesperson for ‘a universal consciousness, a free subject … counterpoised to …those in the service of the State or Capital’ (Foucault, 1980: 127). Instead, Foucault asserts, the Left intellectual had become a political threat ‘no longer on account of a general discourse which he conducted, but because of the knowledge at his disposal’ (Foucault, 1980: 127-8). Foucault specifically singled out physics ‘as the zone of formation of this new personage,’ and in particular Oppenheimer as ‘the specific intellectual … who … has … whether in the service of the State or against it, powers which can either benefit or irrevocably destroy life’ (Foucault, 1980: 127-9). Oppenheimer famously repeated this sentiment after the first successful atomic explosion at Alamogordo, New Mexico, in July 1945, quoting the Bhagavad-Gita as evidence of his betrayal: ‘Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’ (Oppenheimer, 1965). In 1954, Oppenheimer was stripped of his government security clearance and consequently dropped from his position as advisor to the United States Atomic Energy Commission. The Security Board members concluded that ‘the advice of specialists relating to moral, military and political issues, under circumstances which lend such advice undue … weight [should be questioned.] … Caution must be expressed with respect to judgments that go beyond special and particular competence’ (USAEC, 1971: 1016). ‘[S]cientists consider themselves sacrosanct,’ FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover declared, ‘my personal feeling [is] that they [are] no different from anyone else’ (Hoover, 1953).
HAMM: Yesterday! What does that mean? Yesterday! CLOV: (Violently.) That means that bloody awful day, long ago, before this bloody awful day. I use the words you taught me. If they don’t mean anything anymore, teach me others. Or let me be silent.
The question of the socio-political responsibility of nuclear scientists post-the atomic bomb has been a rich interest of playwrights since the end of the Second World War. Plays such as Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Physicists, Heiner Kippardt’s In the matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen have had as their central theme the Faustian bargain nuclear physicists made with society. Arguably the most well-known, Bertolt Brecht’sLife of Galileo, transformed through re-envisioning in 1938, 1947 and 1957, emphasises the historical, political and social relationship of the scientist to society. The nuclear scientist in the race to the atomic bomb as symbolised by Brecht’s Galileo was solely to blame for bringing the world to its apocalyptic midnight. Galileo, the ‘father of modern physics,’ had failed to protect pure science from political influence. In order to devise a ‘theatre fit for the scientific age’, in his essay ‘A Short Organum for the Theatre’ Brecht ironically quotes Oppenheimer’s comment that the scientific attitude ‘has its own kind of beauty and seems to suit mankind’s position on earth’ (Oppenheimer in Brecht, 1960: 74). The moment for revising Galileo, Brecht declares, was ‘[w]hen ‘the “atomic” age made its debut at Hiroshima … [o]vernight the biography of the founder of [modern] physics [Galileo] read differently … The atom bomb is … the classical end-product of his contribution to science and his failure to society’ (Brecht, 1960: 8-10). Echoing Galileo’s recantation and seeming repentance in exile, Oppenheimer retreated to Princeton after the public humiliation of his security clearance withdrawal. The once ‘ubiquitous and influential public figure’ disappeared from public view (Bird and Sherwin, 2005: 556).
Oppenheimer’s Manhattan Project colleague Australian physicist Mark Oliphant did not disappear from public gaze. Just as Oppenheimer had engaged with left-liberal politics, Oliphant, as a progressive scientist at Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory and later at Birmingham University during the 1930s, embraced the prevailing socialist ideals permeating through academic circles. Despite having contributed to their development, he continued his political action against war and in particular the proliferation of nuclear weapons throughout his life. In contrast to Oppenheimer’s despairing comments on the dropping of the bomb, Oliphant responded with anger:
There was a feeling of utter frustration that the message hadn’t got across that it had been used and used against civilian cities and that all the moral scruples had been thrown aside … not by the Japanese or by infidels of any kind but by … [so-called] Christian … nations’ (Oliphant, 1991).
Whereas Oppenheimer, since the awarding of the Enrico Fermi medal by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, has been recast as a tragic victim of Cold War politics, his contemporary and Manhattan Project colleague Oliphant is still considered a belligerent nonconformist and a victim of his own hubris. His continued involvement in protesting for nuclear disarmament is considered to have been a radical break from his advocation and involvement in the development of the atomic bomb. Oliphant’s biographical memoir as a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science describes him as being ‘notorious for his sometime public changes of opinion,’ giving as evidence that ‘he adopted a fiercely anti-nuclear stance after Hiroshima’ (Carver et al, 2003). As an alternative to Brecht’s Galileo, Samuel Beckett’s character Hamm illustrates the position of those nuclear physicists such as Oliphant who became, as Theodor Adorno says of Hamm, ‘the key to power and helpless at the same time’ (Adorno, 1961: 143).
HAMM: I love the old questions. (With fervour.) Ah the old questions, there’s nothing like them!
By looking at Oliphant’s actions through a reading of Alain Badiou’s concept of the event, Oliphant’s campaigning for the development of wartime fission research and his anti-nuclear postwar positioning was consistent with his fidelity to the event of nuclear fission, an event constituting a Kuhnian revolution in the project of science. ‘For the process of a truth to begin,’ Badiou states in Infinite Truth (2003), ‘something must happen’:
For a truth to affirm its newness, there must be a supplement. This supplement is committed to chance. It is unpredictable, incalculable. It is beyond what is. I call it an event. (Badiou, 2003a: 62)
One such rupturing eventual supplement was the discovery in 1938 of nuclear fission by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, and theoretically interpreted and named by Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch. This event constituted ‘an illumination’ in Badiouan terms, and the possibility of nuclear energy and the atomic bomb (Badiou, 2003a: 187). However, events are fleeting, and need a subject in order to be ‘fixed’. As Badiou states:
A subject is constituted by an utterance in the form of a wager. This utterance is as follows: ‘This event has taken place, it is something which I can neither evaluate, nor demonstrate, but to which I shall be faithful.’ To begin with, a subject is what fixes an undecidable event, because he or she takes the chance of deciding upon it. (Badiou, 2003a: 62)
In a paradox equal to that of Schrodinger’s cat, Badiou’s event happens independently of any action taken by a subject in a kind of superposition of states where all possible states are possible simultaneously. A subject’s action in response to an event creates a new set of circumstances. ‘A subject,’ Badiou states, ‘measures the newness of the situation to-come’ (Badiou, 2005: 406).
Not long after the discovery of nuclear fission, in early 1939, with war looming and compromising his relative safety in Denmark Otto Frisch worried how long it would last. When British scientists visited Copenhagen, Frisch networked. Frisch spoke to Oliphant, then the director of physics at Birmingham University, saying that he ‘had a fear that Denmark would soon be overrun by Hitler’ and asked if there was a chance for him to get to England (Frisch, 1979: 108). Oliphant was sympathetic. ‘You just come over in the summer. We’ll find you something to do’ (Frisch, 1967). Delighted to have Frisch come to Birmingham, Oliphant stated later that at that time he was ‘immensely interested’ in fission as not only a source of energy but also ‘as a possible high explosive’ (Oliphant in Moyal, 1994: 24). Oliphant scraped together resources and bits of apparatus for Frisch and another refugee colleague, Rudolf Peierls, to begin some initial fission experiments in a disused lecture theatre. Frisch had been thinking of a proposal by Danish physicist Niels Bohr that the rare uranium isotope U235 was responsible for nuclear fission and wondered how much would be needed to start an explosive chain reaction. The subsequent calculations were staggering to the scientists. A kilogram of U235, approximately tennis ball size, would produce 80 neutron generations in less than four millionths of a second. Frisch and Peierls took their calculations to Oliphant who declared their hypothesis ‘absolutely hair-raising’ (Oliphant, 1992). Oliphant asked the scientists to write a memorandum, ‘On the Construction of a “Super-Bomb” based on a Nuclear Chain Reaction in Uranium,’ which he then sent to Sir Henry Tizard, chair of the Aeronautical Research Committee advising the Air Ministry. In his cover letter Oliphant stated:
I have considered these suggestions in some detail and have had considerable discussion with the authors, with the result that I am convinced that the whole thing must be taken rather seriously … In fact, I view the matter so seriously that I feel that immediate steps should be taken to consult with the necessary authorities … I hope you will not think this a hare-brained scheme. It may well turn out to be impracticable, but in any case it is put forward with sincerity by Frisch and Peierls, and with considerable belief by myself. (Oliphant in Clark, 1965: 218)
Oliphant, a colleague stated at the time, ‘has raised the question of the possibility of … producing an atomic bomb. He seems to think this is feasible’ (Thomson, 1940). Most colleagues needed to be convinced of the worth of directing any resources towards fission bomb research but Oliphant was insistent. The British program was spurred on by French intelligence news that a possible German atomic bomb project was underway. When it became clear that Britain did not have the resources to increase the scale of research needed, Oliphant, on a trip to the US to discuss radar equipment production in August/September 1941, pressed the Americans into taking on the bomb project. ‘Oliphant,’ according to American physicist Merle Tuve, ‘raised a stink. He wanted to go after [the bomb] in a big way, and he came over from England in order to do this’ (Tuve, 1967). Oliphant lobbied for the bomb research to be taken up by the Americans, bluntly telling whoever would listen: ‘[You] must concentrate every effort on the bomb,’ he said, ‘[you] have no right to work on power plants or anything but the bomb. The bomb would cost $50 million … and Britain didn’t have the money or the manpower, so it was up to [the US]’ (Allison in Davis, 1986: 112).
The general consensus of American opinion of the value of fission research up to Oliphant’s September 1941 visit can be gauged by various conclusions drawn by American scientists involved in evaluating fission research. In May 1940, Vannevar Bush, director of the US National Defense Research Committee (NDRC), could not see anything lucrative in continuing funding for the research stating: ‘I am puzzled as to what, if anything, ought to be done in this country in connection with it … the whole thing may, of course, fizzle’ (Bush, 1940). Nevertheless a small research program was initiated. By July 1941, Bush had established a review committee of ‘sufficient detachment to cold bloodedly evaluate’ fission research (Bush, 1941). One month before Oliphant’s visit the review committee had decided that a bomb was unlikely: ‘We find it impractical to appraise applications [for atomic fission] quantitively or in an engineering sense at this time.’ ‘The subject,’ the Committee declared:
is highly abstruse … the possibility of a successful outcome [is] very remote. [The Committee could not see a justification,] in view of the apparently remote chance of success, of diverting to the work the efforts of scientists in considerable numbers … [and in] expending public money on what might eventually appear to be a wild search. (NDRC, 1941: 53)
By the time of Oliphant’s visit the NDRC had decided to drop ‘the support of nuclear research as a subject for wartime study’ (Compton, 1956: 7). Yet, immediately after Oliphant’s visit Bush met with President Roosevelt to brief him of Oliphant’s disclosures about the British bomb research laying the groundwork for what was to become the Manhattan Project.
HAMM: What’s happening?
CLOV: Something is taking its course.
Badiou’s wagering or fidelity to a subject as yet undefined can be seen as a practice of science. Contemporary science is viewed as embracing unknowables; for example, the fidelity to theories such as quantum or chaos. Oliphant, as a scientist, was predisposed to wagering on a subject when an event, especially a scientific event, occurs. As Thomas Kuhn stated in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), the success of a scientific revolution ‘is at the start largely a promise of success discoverable in selected and still incomplete examples. Normal science consists of the actualization of that promise … by increasing the extent of the match between those facts and the [revolution’s] predictions’ (Kuhn, 1996: 23-4). More recently Isabelle Stengers describes a scientist’s predisposition as a ‘scientific becoming’:
if the [hypothesis] can be detached from the one who held it and be taken up by others from the moment that they welcome into their laboratory the experimental apparatus whose meaning is given by this detached statement … the fact that they accept it makes them disciples subjected to the unanimity of an idea … [with] ‘nature’ as the authority, as if it was clearly nature that … had dictated its ‘truth’ … The ‘truth’ in the scientific sense does not answer to a positive criterion whereby one could recognize it. It indicates a historical landmark, the recognition that an author’s fiction has succeeded, against a background of a priori scepticism. (Stengers, 1997: 160-1)
According to Alain Badiou, truth-conditions – science, politics, art, love – ‘belong to totally heterogeneous registers’ and ‘think in their own way’ (Badiou, 2003: 33; Bartlett, 2010: 32). The British program of fission bomb research was instigated by physicists, initially by Oliphant, Frisch and Peierls at Birmingham University, and remained an academic inquiry conducted in university laboratories. Academic physicists liaised with government but directed their own research. Unlike the US which followed a policy of compartmentalization where advice was sought from scientists by the military only concerning questions of a scientist’s specialisation, and where scientists inquiring outside their proscribed specialisation were deemed suspect, Lord Mountbatten as Chief of Combined Operations early in the war had issued a directive which became the model for British scientific/military cooperation. Mountbatten’s directive declared that scientists retain their independence but were also to be involved ‘from the very beginning in operational planning so that when their scientific knowledge is required, they may be completely in the picture’ (Mountbatten in Zuckerman, 1975: 471). When the program transferred to the US and was refigured as the Manhattan Project, it was entirely conducted under the control and oversee of the Army. This transference of power pushed academic fission research towards a conflict ‘between an international scientific community pushing the boundaries of science and political decision makers with … national security priorities’ (Lee, 2006: 159). In the immediate postwar period, historian John Krige notes: American authorities moved quickly to capitalize on the scientific and technological spoils of war by limiting their allies’ access to knowledge … This concerted pursuit of a (temporary) monopoly in some particularly sensitive domains [such as atomic research] was rationalized as being necessary to meet the Soviet threat. It was also part of a strategy to propel the USA into a position of global military superiority. (Krige, 2010: 282) The realisation of the atomic bomb created a new political possibility. Initially scientific development was begun in a situation of impending war for the European/British scientists. By the time the bomb was developed it had become a political question and it was at this point, months prior to Hiroshima, that Oliphant and others like him, mainly Left-leaning European scientists, began campaigning against its use. Oliphant’s entering into the political in order to protest the misuse of the fission bomb as he saw it, can be seen as being within the process of fidelity to the event of the discovery of fission. As Badiou sees it in Ethics (2001):
To be faithful to an event is to move within the situation that this event has supplemented, by thinking … the situation ‘according to’ the event. And this … since the event was excluded by all the regular laws of the situation – compels the subject to invent a new way of being and acting in the situation. (Badiou, 2001: 41-2)
HAMM: Look at the earth …
CLOV: (He gets up on ladder, turns the telescope on the without.) Let’s see … Zero … zero … and zero.
HAMM: Nothing stirs. All is—
HAMM: All is … all is … all is what? (Violently.) All is what?
CLOV: What all is? In a word? Is that what you want to know? Just a moment … Corpsed.
Scientist and philosopher, Paul Feyerabend, argues that the separation between science and art is ‘not only … erroneous, but also dangerous,’ as it prevents ‘the exploitation of all the possible means to reach knowledge of nature and the world’ (Feyerabend in Frazzetto, 2002: 818). Badiou, not only a philosopher but also a playwright, has written extensively on Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. Although never acknowledged by Beckett, there exists a general consensus that his playEndgame addresses itself to an apocalyptic vision of the world in the aftermath of the atomic bomb. In his analysis of the play Theodor Adorno stated:
In Endgame, a historical moment is revealed … After the Second World War, everything is destroyed, even resurrected culture, without knowing it; humanity vegetates along, crawling, after events which even the survivors cannot really survive, on a pile of ruins which even renders futile self-reflection of one’s own battered state. (Adorno, 1980: 122)
In 1945 at the end of the Second World War, Beckett, working as an ambulance driver for the Irish Red Cross in France and having worked for the French Resistance during the war, found what he described as ‘a vision and sense of a time-honoured conception of humanity in ruins, and perhaps even an inkling of the terms in which our condition is to be thought again’ (Beckett in Smith, 2007: 117). Where Adorno forces our gaze on the ruins, Badiou sees a different insight in Beckett as he states: ‘We must repudiate those interpretations of Beckett that are filtered through [nihilism] … Beckett speaks to us of something far more thought out than this two-bit, dinner-party vision of despair’ (Badiou, 2003a: 3-4). The ‘true destination’ of Beckett’s plays, Badiou insists, is ‘a powerful love for human obstinacy, for tireless desire, for humanity reduced to its stubbornness and malice’ (Badiou, 2003a: 75).
The consequence of wagering on fission was the post-bomb apocalypse. Endgame opens with the line ‘Finished, it’s finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished’ (Beckett, 2009: 6). As Beckett makes clear, this is not the final scene; instead it is the last stage in a game of chess which will end in a stalemate. Hamm narrates the story of the madman ‘who thought the end of the world had come’. In an echo of Oppenheimer’s oft-quoted comment ‘I am become Death,’ Hamm tells us:
I used to go and see him in the asylum. I’d take him by the hand and drag him to the window. Look! There! … All that loveliness! … He’d snatch away his hand and go back in the corner. Appalled. All he’d seen was ashes. (Beckett, 2009: 28)
Andrew Gibson states that many of Beckett’s plays depict ‘a fruitless endeavour to transform a situation’ (Gibson, 2006: 243). Where Oppenheimer only saw corpses Oliphant, like Hamm, insists there must be more to see, and hope for some meaning. Oliphant, determined not to concede, continues to participate, as Hamm does, in a game Beckett described as ‘lost from the start’. Beckett said of Hamm:
From the start he knows he is making loud senseless moves. That he will make no progress … Now at the last he makes a few senseless moves … Each of his gestures is one of the last useless moves which put off the end. (Beckett in Cohn, 1974: 152)
Despite the futility of continuing to protest against the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the political climate of postwar McCarthyism, a situation of political repression, especially for those scientists on the Left, Oliphant persisted. Oliphant’s dilemma echoes the paradox in the closing words of Beckett’s The Unnamable: ‘You must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.’ Days after the bomb was dropped on Japan Oliphant declared ‘the use of the bomb against cities [was] a tragedy’, stating: ‘If scientists had controlled the use of the bomb it would never have been used’ (Oliphant, 1945: 4). In London delivering the 1948 Halley Stewart Lecture for the Royal Society Oliphant called for a return to the ideals of science as progress:
In order to enjoy these fruits of scientific inquiry it is necessary that the raw materials of this advance – uranium and thorium and the endeavours of men of science – should not be deviated to warlike uses … Thinking man will surely put aside this foolishness and by positive co-operation for good ensure that ‘the scientific achievement’ of atomic energy is a decisive step towards a better life for all. (Oliphant, 1948: 30-1)
Oliphant’s sense of duty as a public intellectual in continuing to vocalise the positive benefits of nuclear research while at the same time condemning nuclear weapons resonates with Hamm’s aside: ‘Ah the creatures, everything has to be explained to them’ (Beckett, 2009: 27). Hamm pleads his case for the pursuit of reason, ‘that he speak with the “voice of a rational being”’ only no one is listening (Adorno, 1961: 143). Unwilling to give up, Oliphant’s perseverance reverberates in Hamm’s appeal: ‘To think perhaps it won’t have all been for nothing!’ (Beckett, 2009: 22). In November 1945 Oliphant pleaded with the political leaders in Britain to ‘play a part in the future in holding the balance between the unbridled extremes of American capitalism and Russian Communism’ (Oliphant, 1945b: 1). By 1948 Oliphant’s statements already deemed subversive by those on the Right, now represented a political threat. ‘Russia,’ Oliphant declared:
(may) have one or two small atom bombs but nothing to compare with America … the worldwide rumours of immediate war with Russia had no foundation … there was too much senseless talk of war … nations should get together … to eliminate such … propaganda. (Oliphant, 1948: 2)
In 1951 Oliphant was blacklisted by the US and refused a visa by the State Department to attend an international physics conference in Chicago. This setback did not preclude Oliphant from continuing to speak for nuclear disarmament. Oliphant aligned himself with Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell and joined with them in their fledgling Pugwash movement dedicated to eliminating war and nuclear weapons. By contrast, Oppenheimer, in an address in Switzerland held by the Congress for Cultural Freedom in 1959 rejected the pacifist ethic of protesting scientists such as Einstein, Russell and Oliphant:
These people want heaven and earth too. They are not in any way talking about deep ethical dilemmas, because they deny that there are such dilemmas. They say that if we behave in a nice way, we will never get into trouble. But that, surely, is not ethics. (Oppenheimer, 1960: 22)
CLOV: What is to keep us here?
HAMM: The dialogue.
In an essay in New York magazine, ‘The year it came apart,’ Arthur Miller described the impact of the beginning of the Cold War and the onslaught of McCarthyism as a ‘political surrealism [which] came dancing through the ruins of what had nearly been a beautiful moral and rational world’ (Miller, 1974/1975: 32). Nuclear physicists, notwithstanding ethical intentions, played their part in the ruining of Miller’s ‘moral and rational’ world. Left-leaning scientists occupy an ambivalent position with regard to the atomic bomb. It cannot be downplayed that fission for physicists at that time represented a rich new field of research; as Oliphant commented to a colleague ‘the problem intrigues me very much, and is just on my lines’ (Oliphant, 1943). Yet, those same scientists who created the bomb campaigned against nuclear weapons and against war once the scientific aspects of the project had been realised. The hounding of ‘fellow travellers’ during the Cold War reduced all dissent, whether legitimate or otherwise, to a simplistic ‘you are either with us or against us’ argument which has its own reverberations in the twenty-first century. As Badiou states:
The United States has become a hegemonic power in and through war … the USA won the day in the Cold War against the USSR … by the imposition of an exhaustive armament race … This should remind us … that power continues to be … military. (Badiou, 2003a: 154-5)
‘Science itself,’ as one Manhattan Project physicist put it at the beginning of the Cold War, ‘[has] been bought by war, on the installment plan’ (Morrison, 1946: 6). Despite the apparent demise of the Cold War, an echo of its rhetoric continues to marginalise Mark Oliphant. On a history of atomic physics website funded by the United States National Science Foundation Oliphant is included on a page listing Soviet atomic spies without any evidence surfacing for this claim (Rossenfeld, 2011).
Badiou, it has been said, ‘reads Beckett’s work as a project of thought … whose implications are ultimately ethical’ (Gibson, 2003: 121). The development of the atomic bomb was a truth, a consequence, created through fidelity to the event, the birth of a new subject. Conceived by European and British scientists in the early months of the Second World War, the atomic bomb project was initiated as a reaction to the fear of a German bomb. Nuclear scientists such as Oliphant believed their involvement in the development of the atomic bomb was an ethical response to the impending war in Europe. The triumphalism of the Right during the Cold War and especially since its culmination has resulted in an illusory representation of Left scientists in general and in particular seems willing only to recognise as worthy the outwardly defeated and contrite such as Oppenheimer. Where Brecht’s portrayal of Galileo reflects the mythopoeia of atomic socio-political culture, the familiar trope of the scientist as Dr Frankenstein, Beckett’sEndgame , written post-Brecht’s Life of Galileo, offers an alternative way of looking at the Left nuclear scientist, the ‘scientist as idealist’. Badiou in On Beckett (2003) asserts that Beckett displays ‘a powerful love for human obstinacy, for tireless desire, for humanity reduced to its stubbornness’ (Badiou, 2003b: 75). Oliphant continued to campaign for nuclear disarmament within a climate of stifling political conformity at considerable cost to his career and reputation. Beckett’s play is elliptical. There is no resolution. There is no transformative arc. Hamm is as obstinate at the end as he was in the beginning; the stalemate continues.
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