Sun, 26 Dec 1999 15:22:36 +1300
First of all, let us not lose sight of the fact that this discussion stems from Roland's belief that Char underwent a drastic personality change in CCA to an extent that he became a 'mad dog that needs to be put down and put down hard'. This, change he believes is due to suffering psychological or physical injury in the battle with Hamarn in Z Gundam.
What I tried to explain was that Char's beliefs and actions in CCA are completely in keeping with his beliefs and actions in 0079 and Z Gundam.
This post is getting a bit long but let us carry on...
Roland Thigpen wrote:
> >complex character and although it seems he became a 'bad' guy in CCA, he was freeing the human race from the minority that ruled from Earth. You have to bear in mind that in the UC world, majority of the human race has been forced, yes forced, by the Earth Federation to move to space. That is to say there are billions of people living in space colonies and only a few million living on Earth. Most of the people that are living on Earth are powerful political,military, corporate elite 'the creme de la creme' of human
> >society and their service personnel. It is these people, most of who have never set foot in space, who are governing the billions in space colonies, making life altering decisions without fully understanding life in space. Forcing these close-minded stubborn elitists to move to space doesn't seem so bad does it?? It was never Char's intention to kill every remaining person on Earth. Yes some lives were sure to be lost in and around the impact sites but the majority of the people on Earth would have been able to move to space. And once this was achieved all of humanity was free to evolve into newtypes and begin a new era of peace and harmony.
> >One of Char's father's beliefs was that the newtypes will help humanity take the next evolutionary step. It is not that Char himself was trying to manipulate humanity for his own pleasure but he felt it was his duty/destiny as a newtype to do so. Although Char had always known, his colleagues in AEUG in Z Gundam convinved Char that he has to step forward and accept leadership.
> >Char didn't go mad, Char wasn't brain damaged, Char didn't go through a personality transplant. Char was just doing what he thought was his duty to his father and the human race.
> >Will you be willing to sacrifice the lives of a few million people to save the lives of billions? Or is value of a single life so important that you would doom the lives of billions to save it ?
> >It is a difficult question to answer, but I guess in a black and white world the hero would always risk his life and those of others to save one life regardless of the consequences...
> Ah, so let me get this straight. You condone the extermination of several million people simply because one side or the other feels they are the imperialist elite?
Answer to the question, you phrased is ofcourse no, but this is not the situation in question.
> Well, I believe history will tell you that such people, be they Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, Ramses, Alexander the Great, Julius Ceasar, Giren Zabi or Char all were corrupt power mongers, who tried to force their beliefs on everyone, no matter the sacrifice in lives and personal freedoms.
I agree. But only Giren, Kishiria, Hamarn and Gremi had such aspirations and Char does not fit in with this group and so the situation does not apply. Any similarity with the rest of the group is merely superficial. For one, Char isn't trying to create an ordered/ideal society at the expense of individual freedom. Char also has no intention of ruling over the human race or moulding it into his own vision. It is his belief that the newtypes lead the way, but once humanity has taken that next step, his responsibility has been fulfilled. He is merely trying to allow nature to take it's course.
In the UC world, newtypes do exist, whether they are officially acknowledged by the Earth's governing body or not. Newtypes have an awareness of people and humanity that normal people can never have. It is not their egotistical belief that they understand the situation best, but reality that they do understand the situation best. The Earth Federation 'oldtypes' cannot accept this and will not tolerate this. There existence is undeniable yet there are many Earthnoids who refuse to believe and enforce this belief, simply because of a lack of empirical data.
> Was the rulership of an elite few from Earth right? No. Could another solution have been found? Yes. The American Revolution proved that. Was the destruction of countless civilian lives worth the eventual outcome? NO!
What if before going to war the Americans had the ability/opportunity to take out the leadership structure of the British Empire with relatively few casualties ? and at the same time not only free themselves from British rule but free the rest of the British Empire as well...
You suggest an alternative but the alternative results in just as much, if not more widespread loss of lives and destruction. The loss of lives is inevitable. If the status quo was unacceptable, and you actually cared about people's lives, you have to consider picking the option with the least casualty,destruction, and disruption to normal life. All newtypes wish to end war, death, and suffering for good, Char is no exception.
> You are saying the ends justify the means, and that will never be true, yesterday, today or hundreds of years from now. I have had this debate with numerous other people and you will never be able to persuade me that such things are neccessary to bring about lasting peace. Such acts can only bread resentment and hatred a!
> mong those involved.
I am suggesting that in the context of the UC universe, Char had good reason for doing what he did and his actions are in no way a radical departure to his beliefs and philosophy in the earlier series.
It seems though that if you were making the decisions at the time of the American revolution, America's independece would have been set back another generation, since remaining under British rule would have been the peaceful option.
Somebody, at some point has to make the 'dirty' decision. Difficult decision are priviledge of high rank and office and when involving matters of life and death, are not taken lightly. Everytime the President of the United States orders a military strike, he has ordered people on the other side of the world to their deaths. But if the security of the American people is at stake he will do so...regardless of how many lives will be lost, and I am sure in every case, in consideration of the people's lives, he chooses the option which achieves the goals and minimises casualties.
In the UC world, there are two types of people recognised by the Earth government, Earthnoids and Spacenoids. The Earthnoids are people who were allowed to remain on Earth while the Spacenoids are people who were removed from Earth by the Earthnoids. The Earthnoids govern the Spacenoids. The Earthnoids number in the millions, the Spacenoids number in the billions. Earthnoids control and hold all the military power until... Side 3 Colonies start a push for independence, at first by peaceful means but to no avail... declare themselves independent, announce themselves as Zeons and try to fight for the right to govern themselves...The Earth government refuses to acknolwedge Side3's independence and the OYW starts...
To use your American revolution analogy, putting aside political regimes, The Earth federation becomes the British Empire and Side 3 is America. At the heart of Zeon movement is the desire for spacenoids to be independent from Earth rule.
> If you can't see that, more's the pity. In CCA, Char is no better than any other tyrant who, given the opportunity and the slightest twisted reason,uses his power and influence to force others to his way of thinking. If this were not so, some of his men would not have turned against him in the end.
Char wasn't trying to force anybody's way of thinking. Like I said, newtypes have the ability to see things well beyond the boundaries of normal people.
It is like two groups of people stranded together in a volcanic ash fallout. The volcanic ash in the air is so thick that people can only see a few feet in front of them. Lets just call the two groups A and B. One person, 'Char', a member of group B has the ability to see right through the ash and lead the way to safety. People convince 'Char' that he must step forward and accept the responsibility of leading the people to safety. Most people in group B will follow 'Char', and so will some people in Group A. But the leader in group A, let us call him 'Fed' is a powerfully built mountain of a man and is very vocal and sceptical of 'Char's ability and insist they stay put as he can detect no sign of danger, and moving around foolishly will probably get everyone killed. Many in Group A do not want to show any disrespect or have the courage to go against 'Fed' so they stay put. Let us call this place 'Earth'.
As 'Char' and his followers begin their journey 'Fed' sends some people to prevent them from going their own way, and something special happens. One of the group A members sent to stop 'Char' suddenly gains the ability to see through the ash. Let us call him 'Amuro'. They all go back to the people at 'Earth' and tell them that they now have two people who can see through the ash. 'Fed' remains unconvinced and refuse to move from 'Earth', thus the others in this group also stay put. 'Amuro' having gained the ability to see, decides he should stay behind and try to convince them to move or be here just in case they do decide to move.
'Char' and his group again begin their journey to safety. After a long and hard journey, they come to a halt. Just in front of their destination is a very large obstruction and there is simply no way around it. The only way to move the obstruction is by collective force but there are not enough people in this group to move it. By this time some of the members of this group has also gained the ability to see. They see how close they are to safety and most people in the group keep their faith. However, some begin to have second thoughts and doubts...and some of the members with newly obtained abilities start developing alternative plans...
Since the only way anybody is going to get to safety is if everyone at 'Earth' helped move the obstacle in the path, 'Char' and his group go all the way back and tries to convince them all to come. On their way back to 'Earth', 'Char' notices that there is a very large slow moving flow of lava heading towards 'Earth'. He can see that as long as group A stayed where they were they would eventually be surrounded by lava and by the time 'Fed' notices it, it would be too late to move, and that would mean they would all be doomed. There is no way of knowing when or if the lava will surround 'Earth' but 'Char' can only see one way out to safety. However 'Fed' maintains his initial stance and refuses to believe. 'Amuro' on the other hand can understand what 'Char' is saying and sympathise with the situation. 'Amuro' can see that 'Char's motives are pure...
When 'Char' realises that nothing is going to convince 'Fed' to move, and hence the rest of group A, he decides to take drastic course of action, and move them by force...but it is not as easy as it sounds. If he uses his group to force the 'Fed' group things will get nasty and many people will be hurt and unable to help move the obstruction...'Char' needs to move as many people to the obstruction site as possible, but at the same time he must minimise casualties. If 'Char' could somehow force group A to move before it became too late to move, and if they could somehow subdue 'Fed' at the same time, there should be no resistance from the remaining group A on moving to safety...
So 'Char' comes up with a plan to direct a narrow fast flowing lava stream at 'Earth' to force group A off 'Earth' and if 'Fed' refuses to let go of his stubborn attachment to 'Earth' then he can die. This lava flow will get to 'Earth' much quicker than the larger flow and it is narrow enough and slow enough to allow people to move away from 'Earth' in time. However 'Amuro' aware of 'Char's persistence to move group A and not knowing for sure whether the large lava flow will ever get to 'Earth', or whether everyone is indeed suppose to get to the safe place beyond the obstruction decides to confront 'Char' and prevent unnecessarily endangering the people of group A at 'Earth'...
Ofcourse from the point of view of the group A people, 'Char' looks like he is trying to kill them but when you can see the whole picture, you know that what 'Char' is doing isn't illogical or crazy. And it is not surprising that some of the people in group B who had doubts about 'Char' would try to prevent the lava flow from harming the group A people.
> What Char was attempting to do has already been tried by numerous other leaders throughout history. Granted it was never on this scale, but in every instance, this line of reasoning can not be viewed as anything other than evil. You are saying that Stalin was right in his quote, "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic". I realize that there is no true black and white in the world, but there are definate areas of deep grey, and Char's actions in CCA fall in this area (as would, I admit, acts like America's use of nuclear weapons to end WWII. This might have saved countless millions that would have died had we invaded, but it doomed several hundred thousands innocents to death). I may not agree with the rule of billions from by some few imperialist elite, but neither do I agree with the wholesale slaughter of a world to move humanity to its next evolutionary step. That is something Hitler believed in.
I think you misinterpret what Char was trying to do. As in the example given and like I said before 'Char' wasn't trying to slaughter anyone on Earth, he was trying to save and free everyone. People on Earth had the ability to move to space in the billions, most of them would have fled to space unharmed.
> You ask if I would sacrifice the few to save the many? If m!
> y people were being actively hunted and killed, yes, unless there was another way.
Many defenceless spacenoids were hunted and killed in the miillions by Titans an arm of the Federation military especially created to put down any independece movements. Londo Bell is a more humane version of Titans, but still it exists to put an end to the Zeon /spacenoids independence movements. The existence of such a branch of service is an indication that the Federation will not tolerate any colonies from declaring independence.
> If the enemy is just attempting to rule from afar? Well, as I said before the American Revolution proved we don't have to exterminate the people or destroy the land of those ruling over others.
True, but you still had to go to war and accept widespread destruction and heavy casualties on all sides which you stated was not worth the price of freedom or independece.
Again Char wasn't trying to exterminate anyone. Mankind has disrupted nature and have/and are continuing to destroy the Earth's environment. One of the original excuses used by the Federation to move people to space was to save the Earth. Asteroids have collided with Earth with devastating results in the past and will do so again in the future. Without the presence of mankind, the planet will be able to renew itself with time. Removing mankind from Earth is probably the best thing you could do for it.
> You might say that the cenutries of technological difference affect this, but I say no. It only makes it easier to chose your targets with precision. If the people of Earth wished to remain there, that is their perogative. Forcing them to declare the colonies independent would achieve your goals just as well. There is no need to destroy a world to achieve your goal.
But independence of the colonies from Earth was not the only thing Char was trying to achieve. Leading the human race to an era of peace and harmony was his primary goal and is the goal of many newtypes depicted in the UC series. All the newtypes realised that as long as mankind was attached to Earth, this could not be achieved. Transformation into newtypes requires fully embracing space and to be completely free in mind,spirit, and body from Earth's gravity.
Your suggestion that the colonies fight for their freedom independently certainly sits better than dropping an asteroid on Earth but you forget that the colony defence forces are virtually ineffective and are ill prepared for waging a war against the mighty Federation. Even with Side3 which initially possessed great technological military advantage over the Federation forces succombed after one year, followed by the failures of two Axis/Neo Zeon movements lead by Hamarn and Gremi.
And also don't forget that each individual colony is a 'world' of its own. How many of these worlds would be lost in another all out war ? Is the Earth 'world' more valuable than a colony 'world' ? There is no longer an imbalance in military technology that existed in 0079, Char's not stupid, he knows he can't take on the Earth Federation and come out on top, there simply are too many Federation forces.
So what could he have done ? How could he force the Federation to declare the independence of the colonies without starting and winning an all out war?
Or alternatively what could he do to make the Federation a space based organisation so that space based colony life is fully understood and appreciated.
How could he set humanity free from the grasp of Earth's gravity to set in motion the complete transformation of mankind into newtypes ?
Was Char's attempt at dropping an asteroid on Earth, to force the remaining people and the Federation to move to space an action of a 'mad dog who needs to be put down and put down hard' and contrary to Char from 0079 and Z?
Char might have been slightly misguided, but his motives and intentions were pure..Amuro knew this too.
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