Posted by Lorelei (188.8.131.52) on January 24, 2002 at 20:15:34:
"We can grow into the many countries we occupy and take the
best from all of them, combining them into a
world-view in which it will not be
necessary to kill another that we may
live...to destroy another civilization
that ours my endure."
If there are a unique set of characteristics that
define Assyrians, then there should be a set of
opposite characteristics that define non-assyrians.
Thus Assyrians really exist because there is the opposite
of Assyrians existing as well. Because, if the world
was made only of Assyrians, that would would lose
its property of uniqueness and will become synonymous
with being human.
Thus for assyrians to exist, again, there needs to be
non assyrians. For the sake of simplicity, lets'
assume that we have a plot of land
where there is only one other set of non Assyrians
called the Chinese. So here on this land we have
two different people. Assuming that both peoples
want to preserve their identity, the Assyrians and
Chinese will segregate into different parts and draw
a line, divide space and say I will live here and you
live there. Though the space does not separate their
characteristic of being human, the space divides
two people with two unique identities defined by different
languages, cuisines, phenotypes, hair texture, etc.
If we make another assumption that people maximize
their interests, and promote their personal welfare
(which can in turn lead to promotion of the family,
community and nation) then there will be inter and
intra national conflicts. I want to maximize
my interests as an Assyrian and you want to maximize
your interests as a Chinese person. Here we have a
It is primarily this scenario that characterizes
history. People trying to maximize their interests
will fall into conflict with others trying to do the
same. And, since land, food, and shelter are scarce
resources and commodities that not everyone can
maximize, then there will be an allocation problem.
How do i allocate this when you want it as well?
Sometimes these inter or intra national conflicts have
been resolved by markets, by in-kind barter, and a lot
of times by war. In fact, i believe war is inevitable.
Why? Because as long as people maximize their interests,
they will want to maximize what they value: scarce
resources, which includes life, liberty and property.
Throughout the course of history people have come into
intra and inter national conflict to seize life, liberty
and property. Colonials enslaved blacks. Romans, Mongols,
Vikings, these peoples all maximized interests and
did so by seizing scarce resources.
So, as long as there are scarce resources, and
people seek to maximize their interests, i argue
that we will never, ever have two different peoples
that do not engage in some kind of war. No way.
WHat if resources were infinite? What if there
were no allocation problems with goods and services
THen, there would be no conflict of interest. People
could continue maximizing their interest and not
have a "Pareto optimum" where one's loss is another's gain.
So long as scarce resources stay that way - scarce
- and so long as people continue to maximize interests,
there will be inter and intra national conflict.
This is why i believe that the above quotation is
an ideal that cannot translate into the world we know
for the reasons outlined above.
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