About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Two Solutions to Political Conflict

Offering "peace" or "justice" is never a Political Solution, where a conflict is in play. All sides are always in favor of general ideals, which have universal appeal. The Nazis and Saddam Hussein constantly invoked Justice, and Pol Pot made a "theme" of Peace, a leitmotif of the Killing Fields.

Conflicts tend to break down into two competing strategies, both equally available to all sides: Unity and Partition. All sides will invoke both strategies. Both sides attempt to "unify" enough people to prevail, and to "separate" themselves from those they want to be seen as fighting.

It turns out as a matter of genes, "personality" profiles, and even "culture", a person will have more in common with a large segment of the population in any part of the world, than with his or her immediate neighboring group. In other words, if you take a statistically significant group of people out of ANY fighting element, many of the individuals will have MORE IN COMMON with their assigned "enemies" than with their designated fellow-combatants.

This is why UNITY almost always makes the most "scientific" sense. However, where there is injustice, there is always the tendency to revolt, and this leads to revolution, the "separation" dynamic. For people to be free, they must free themselves FROM a coersed "unity".

In spite of the fact that the "groups" overlap, Partition remains a vital strategy, and in the absence of a political opportunity for participation of a minority group in the Unity, it should be recommended. Partition was used by European colonial powers in 1920 in Ireland, in South Asia in 1947, in Palestine in 1948, in Cyprus in 1974, and in the Balkans in the 1990's. Should it be used in Iraq? Sudan? Chechnya? Montana?