Sunday, June 17, 2007

Civil War & Israel.

Upon consideration, it seems to me that the Civil War might have been a mistake.

Essentially, there were 3 possible ways the struggle over slavery could have been resolved:
1. One side forcing the other to comply.
2. Splitting the union in two.
3. Letting the south decide for itself whether it should legalize slavery or not.

Was option number 1 the best one to pick? Options 2 or3 would have saved the 100,000 or so soldiers who died in the war. Furthermore, I have a feeling that international political developments and trends would have effectively forced the South to end slavery eventually.

Why is it so obvious to Americans that the best way to handle the slavery crisis was with option 1?

Taking analogy to the present political situation in Israel, we are presented with the same 3 options. It seems obvious to the global audience, and the Israeli government, that the proper way to handle the crisis is via option 2. Option 1 is ruled out due to the negative effects of war.

What's wrong with option 3?
Neither Israeli's or Palestinians like #3 because both prefer segregation over coexistence. Option 2 is impractical because the geographic areas involved aren't big enough, or naturally distinguished.

I think that highlights the main difference between the Civil War and the Israeli crisis:
Israelis don't like Arabs, and Arabs don't like Israelis. On the other hand, Northerners didn't have a problem with Southerners, it was just a relatively superficial policy they didn't like.

While I'm on the topic, I'd like to point out that the Civil War really highlights the fact that much of what the US has come to stand for didn't really exist until recently. The constitution should have implied a ban on slavery, but didn't. In fact, the ideals of equality for all weren't really implemented until the '60s. It took America 200 years to figure out what it stood for. (?)

That said, it seems to me that the discovery of the American style government, with a constitution, checks & balances, and democratic representation was stumbled upon not because of the great moral vision of the founders, but only because the practical situation necessitated it. The situation of 13 weak colonies desiring independence obviated the need for such a system. Without that system, the colonies wouldn't have been able to band together despite cultural, religious, political and geographic differences like they did.

Going back to Israel, we can arrive on a couple of points:
1. It can take a long time for a country find itself.
2. Twisted morals and gross errors can thrive for long times too.
3. I'll leave this one for the next blog.

1 comment:

Lesa said...

Good for people to know.