Neil Baumgardner (email@example.com)
Sun, 26 Dec 1999 18:15:55 -0500
Well, despite trying to steer this ship back on course, it seems to have taken a different 'tack,' and some some reason I feel I must respond.
> <snip>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.
But its nature as he sees it. His 'belief.' What evidence is there that Newtypes are the 'chosen people.' Smacks of elitism to me.
> 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.
Coming myself from a democratic tradition, I cannot accept this. Basically, even if they do 'understand the situation best,' doesn't mean they should lead. The same argument could be made today for restricting the franchise to only the upper crust, educated populace who 'understand the situation best.' However, again, from the past 150+ years of liberal (in the old sense of the word) democratic tradition, the people 'ruled over' are the ones who should have the last say. John Locke, Social Contract, etc.
> 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...
I would tend to believe they would not have on two points. One, the idea of such political assassinations was abhorrent at the time. Two, due the isolationist nature of the country at the time, they would not have taken it upon themselves to take such an action on the behalf of the other ruled peoples. It was up to those other ruled peoples to free themselves. The French Revolution on the other hand....
> 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.
Sorry, cant agree to the genocide of millions (at the least), many of whom are innocents, for the sake of a few thousands.
> 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.
I'm still not convinced that he didn't have a sort of 'leap of faith,' but without firm evidence on my side (as yet), I'll concede this one for now.
> 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.
Nope, totally different. How many people in Great Britain were killed as a result of the American Revolution: not many if at all, probably none. The revolutionaries defeated the British troops on American soil. Certainly, there were British loyalists (or 'tories'), and they were forced to join the new consensus. The equivalent would be freeing Side 3, not sending colonies to Earth. That's the Gundam equivalent of chem-warhead bearing Scud missiles.
> 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.
True, but generally, we do not commit wholesale destruction of civilian areas under any circumstances (now awaiting very OT Kosovo debate to begin...).
> 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.
Actually, I would say Zeon was more like the French revolution, which sought to expand the revolutions against the monarchies across Europe. Similarly, Zeon sough to expand its spacenoid freedom to other colonies, whether they wanted it or not. Note that much of the Gundam sage is Side 3 vs Earth, with the moon and other colonies saying 'just leave us alone, take it elsewhere.' ZZ was a very good example of the other colonies indifference to the Zeon ideology. Zeon was also very much like the French revolution in terms of its ruthlessness (reign of terror, colony gassings).
> 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.
Again, they way _they_ see it. Until they form a majority, its still a minority trying to impose its beliefs on the majority. Heck, where's the evidence that what they 'see' is the true future?
> 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'.
Reminds me a lot more of Plato's analogy of the people trapped in the cave, who believe that the real world is the shadows they see, since they have no light. Who's to say that Char is right, rather than seeing what he 'believes' to be the truth?
All dependent on the assumption that Char and his group truly sees the truth.
> 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.
Sounds a lot more like Hitler in his bunker in 1945 sentencing the German people to pointless destruction because they were not good enough to rule. Very Darwinian - only the 'free' survive, with the weak destroyed.
> People on Earth had the ability to move to space in the billions, most of them would have fled to space unharmed.
Most of them would be already dead.
> 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.
To quash rebellion is the nature of any government, its responsibility in fact. Striking the balance is where the difficulty lays. Is this a 'Waco rebellion,' a small minority of self-justified people, or a true oppressed group. The difference often is in the tactics exercised by the government. In this case, I would tend to agree it was the latter, the Federation oppressing Side 3/Newtypes (notice there is a difference). Side 3 was justified in its rebellion and even independence if it so wished, taking that war to innocents on Earth is not.
> 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.
I don't think that was his intent. To sacrifice yourself and 'defeat' the instruments that oppress you is justified, to murder their families is not.
> Again Char wasn't trying to exterminate anyone.
Still the end result.
> Mankind has disrupted nature and have/and are continuing to destroy the Earth's environment.
Nature as he sees it.
> 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.
Peace and harmony at what price? You know, there probably would have been a lot of peace and harmony if Hitler won WWII and ruled the Earth. The question must always be peace and harmony for whom?
> 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.
So what you're essentially saying is, the ends justify the means.
> 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?
History is replete with examples of freedom triumphing over oppression. Through civil disobedience, continual rebellion, etc, it could have been done. Don't tell ne the Federation has the resources to perpetually rule over hundreds of colonies (no, that's not imperial overstretch ;) against their will. The Federation would fatigue, not be able to stand the casualties, and eventually give in. It might take a while, but it would happen.
> 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.
Revolution from within is definitely the preferred solution as long as the methods of government will allow for it.
> 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?
To the first, probably yes, to the second, maybe not.
> Char might have been slightly misguided, but his motives and intentions were pure..Amuro knew this too.
Pure to whom? Pure to whom? Char, Amuro and a few million? Also, if Amuro knew this, what was with the debate between the two of them at the end of CCA?
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