Monday, November 9, 2015

Manic Monday: A Whovian take on war and revolution


I'm a Whovian.  For the ignorant and/or uninitiated, 'Whovians" are fans of the BBC science fiction program "Doctor Who".  The Doctor, as he is known, is a time lord who travels throughout time fighting enemies and helping people.  There have been twelve doctors in the 52-year history of the program.  The latest Doctor is played by Peter Capaldi.

The Doctor traditionally travels with at least one companion, and that companion is, more often than not, female.  His most recent companion is Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman.

In the Doctor's latest adventure with Clara, his enemy is an alien race call the Zygons.  As part of the plot, one of the Zygons has commandeered Clara's face and is looking for something called the Osgood box.  In the climax, there are two Osgood boxes with two buttons:  Truth or Consequences.
Push the wrong button, and serious consequences would ensue for either the Zygons or the humans.

The fake Clara and another character, Kate, are facing each other, ready to push the button.  

And at that moment, the Doctor delivers one of the best speeches I have ever heard on war and revolution:





I found a transcript of the Doctor's speech that someone posted at Reddit.com, and I'm using it as part of this blog post:

The Doctor: Ah. And when this war is over, when -- when you have the homeland free from humans, what do you think it's going to be like? Do you know? Have you thought about it? Have you given it any consideration? Because you're very close to getting what you want. What's it going to be like? Paint me a picture. Are you going to live in houses? Do you want people to go to work? What'll be holidays? Oh! Will there be music? Do you think people will be allowed to play violins? Who will make the violins? Well? Oh, You don't actually know, do you? Because, just like every other tantruming child in history, Bonnie, you don't actually know what you want. So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours. When you've killed all the bad guys, and it's all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?
Bonnie (fake Clara): We'll win.
Doctor: Oh, will you? Well maybe -- maybe you will win. But nobody wins for long. The wheel just keepts turning. So, come on. Break the cycle.
 * * * * * * * * *
The Doctor: Because it's not a game, Kate. This is a scale model of war. Every war ever fought right there in front of you. Because it's always the same. When you fire that first shot, no matter how right you feel, you have no idea who's going to die. You don't know who's children are going to scream and burn. How many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill until everybody does what they're always going to have to do from the very beginning -- sit down and talk! Listen to me, listen. I just -- I just want you to think. Do you know what thinking is? It's just a fancy word for changing your mind.
Bonnie: I will not change my mind.
The Doctor: Then you will die stupid. Alternatively, you could step away from that box. You could walk right out of that door, and you could stand your revolution down.
 * * * * *
The Doctor: I don't understand? Are you kidding? Me? Of course I understand. I mean, do you call this a war, this funny little thing? This is not a war. I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know. I did worse things than you could ever imagine, and when I close my eyes... I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count! And do you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight... Til it burns your hand. And you say this -- no one else will ever have to live like this. No one else will ever have to feel this pain. Not on my watch.

Here's what got my attention:  What happens when "it's all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it"?
What happens with those who support Bernie Sanders, an avowed Socalist, when they have it "perfect and just and fair", the way they define "perfect and just and fair?"
Or what happens with those who support Hillary Clinton, and who support what she thinks is "perfect and just and fair"?
What about the conservatives in the Republican Party, and their definition of "perfect and just and fair"?
Each group can get their world "perfect and just and fair", but what do they do with the troublemakers?  What do they do with those that don't agree?  What do they do with the people that don't think that everything is "perfect and just and fair?" 
Right now, according to the coundown on my blog, there are 364 days until Election Day in the United States.  Although I say "each side", as if there were only two sides to this election, there are really multiple sides right now.  I'll address this to all sides:  
You have your definition of what is perfect and just and fair . . . but what are you going to do with those that don't agree with your definition of perfect and just and fair?  Because right now, on all sides, there are people who don't agree, don't even like, other's definitions of perfect and just and fair. 
Face it, there will be no definition of perfect and just and fair that is going to make everyone happy. Not with conservatives, who are unhappy with the current state of affairs in the Republican Party. Not with moderate Republicans, who think conservatives are too rigid.  Not with Republicans vs. Democrats, who both see the world through their own particular lens and believe that if one or the other party is elected, the United States of America is headed for certain doom.  Not with differing wings of the Democratic Party, with Bernie Sanders as a socialist and Hillary Clinton defending her record as a Senator and Secretary of State.

We may think that war and revolution are going to solve everything.  Each party, or group, may think that when they're in charge, the world is going to be perfect.  Socialists believe that if everything can be divided equally, then the world will be just and fair and perfect.  Conservatives believe that if everyone is given the opportunity with as little government interference as possible to better themselves, the world will be fair and just and perfect.
I happen to fall into the latter category.  Socialism has not worked in the countries where it has been tried.  I believe we all are intelligent enough to take advantage of opportunities and that we have the responsibility to help others along the way, without being coerced by a law that will force us to do so. True charity comes from the heart.
But on both sides, there are the "troublemakers".  There are those who don't think that conservatism is fair, just, and perfect; just as there are those who don't think that socialism is fair, just and perfect. And that's because no system is fair, just, or perfect.  Not even systems I believe in, such as conservatism, or democracy, or the US Constitution.  
The Doctor spoke more about war than I have covered in this blog post.  My question to consider is: Do we really think that the world is going to be perfect, just, and fair when we get everything exactly the way we want it?
Answer:  No, it will not; because we will always have the dissenters and the troublemakers.
How, then, do we learn to work together?
That's a question that only we can answer when we, as the Doctor has said, learn how to think.
Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

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