Feb. 19th, 2015

citrakayah: (Default)
So we were presented this scenario in my history discussion section.

In December of 2014, one of the remote provinces of our nation (the Republic of Tanzarundi) became a zone of conflict with the discovery of a key mineral used in portable communication devices. This resource can be sold internationally for huge profits, and the extraction of this mineral will provide many jobs for citizens willing to work there.

Here’s the problem: People already live in the part of the province where the mineral is located. These people include a few small bands of foragers, who rely on gathering, hunting, and fishing. Transforming this province into an extraction enterprise will certainly disrupt the environments these people need to live as they do now. In fact, it will possibly destroy many of the resources they need (local water supplies and animal habitats, especially) and ruin places they consider sacred. Once the valuable mineral was discovered last November, speculators quickly moved in with the provincial military force somehow getting entangled with different groups of speculators. This led to violence between speculators competing to access the mineral, as well as violence against the local forager groups. When folks throughout our nation heard about this, many went to protest and to create human shields to try to protect the foraging groups and the places where they live. It’s messy with the potential to get really violent soon. But there also appear to be possibilities for defusing the conflict without more violence.

As the advisory council to our national government, we need to determine the course of action for this crisis. Right now the people of our nation are not sure what we should do, and most are likely to support whatever policy we set forth as our course of action. But we have to persuade them that our course of action is ideal for this to work and ensure that we do not set off responses that could lead to widespread disorder and conflict.

Let’s be honest here. This is not really about “jobs/profits vs. environment.” We can let the less civilized nations squabble over such simplistic binaries. And this is not even about protecting the foragers who live there, although we have their most sacred animal as our national symbol on our flag (the irony is just too much, isn’t it?). This is really about us, all the people of the Republic of Tanzarundi, and who we are as human beings. Are we people who satisfy our wants and needs through violence and war because it is a normal (maybe even "natural") thing for human beings to do? Or, are we people who are not prone to make war and can come up with non-violent ways to solve our fundamental problems?

The history of humanity is complicated when trying to determine this matter. We can see conflicting interpretations in the scholarly readings we have to help us craft our policy. This advisory council has designated you as the lead member to define our policy. First, read the scholarly writings on this topic. Second, compose an argument that insists on a military solution using three ideas from Keeley’s writing, or compose an argument that insists on a non-military solution using three ideas from Wells’ writing. Do your best to convince our people that your policy is a true reflection of who we are and who we can be as human beings.


Guess what people in my class defended?

The "Trail of Tears" solution. Because obviously the lives of the tribe doesn't matter compared to the jobs and money.

That was literally their reasoning.

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Citrakāyaḥ

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