Sunday, December 5, 2010

Protecting Difference

I do not agree with the idea that Sovereignty protects difference. In a way, sovereignty is an avenue in which difference is exploited and turned into something that is wrong. Sovereignty allows a state or a certain group of people to govern themselves and make their own decisions. It also more clearly establishes the '' them". Different States have different cultures, different rules, and have the right to do so. With sovereignty, there is a certain identity, and nationalist feeling associated. We have become Americans, French, Iranian, not just people anymore. there is nothing wrong with loving where you come from, but there is a problem with thinking that every state that decides to act differently is wrong. The girl in the novel basically suggests that the only way for the space people to best survive is to grant them sovereignty. Without it, they are apart of The united States or whatever other country. that means that if something happens to the people in space, it is the equivalent of something happening in any one of the fifty states today. Yes, they are different phenotypically, but as pointed out in the question, they are genetically the same. human beings. With individual states, we seem to forget that often. Although they may live differently, they are still like "us", they are human beings. When we separate ourselves, it makes it easier for the 'us" and "them" situations that arise when referring to other countries, and different groups of people. People might feel more justified in their belief that they are better, or that other groups of people lack civilization. When thinking of the answer to this question I thought of what we read in Todorov's book. The Europeans came to the America's with no idea of the systems that the native Americans had in place as far as culture and social structures. The difference, for some, inspired the idea that there was no structure present at all, no civilization. Others thought that the system was wrong and inferior and needed to be changed to their own. This mentality is still around today, even more so. America is constantly taking the view that they need to save groups from "oppressive'' systems. The more different the system , the more oppressive it is viewed. Even though sovereign states have a right to govern themselves, other sovereign bodies feel the need to change the systems(I'm not saying human rights violations should not be dealt with though). It almost makes people feel that they have a duty to change everyone else instead of accepting the differences and moving on. When certain ideologies become popular, the sovereign states that do not practice that ideology feel a need to protect their sovereignty, they feel threatened and wish to try to get rid of that which is different. We see it in history between the U.S and Democracy and Communism. The bottom line is, people are more likely to accept difference in their own country and try to protect it more than in another country. (I think I make a little sense)

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