World peace through communication? Not quite yet...
Posted by aogSunday, 08 February 2004 at 22:34 TrackBack Ping URL

I was reading this post by an Iraqi making mock of the stories coming out of Iraq via Big Media (it’s hilarious and worth reading).

What struck me, though, is that part of the dream of the all-heart, no-head liberals is that part of their dream of “if we could just talk, there’d be no more war” is starting to come true. The rise of the Internet and weblogs in particular means that personal exchanges between warring countries doesn’t become a dangerous, possibly treasonous exercise but something as simple as posting comments on someone else’s weblog. It’s hard to see support for a war surviving a real exchange of views and opinions, leavened by facts.

However, people being people, this will hardly be a panacea. There will always be many who are so locked in to a world view that they can’t effectively exchange views.

More significantly, any real benefits will happen primarily between two open societies. If one side is closed (as Iraq was before the invasion) then there isn’t going to be much real exchange of viewpoints and there were will be far more difficulty for those in the non-free society to participate. The net effect will probably be twofold:

  • Even more discentive for democracies to war with each other.
  • An erosion of popular support for some repressive regimes in war time.

The latter will be strongly influenced by the fact that the truly oppressed never revolt, only those who are either starting to do well or have had their repression rolled back a bit. A thoroughly repressive regime like North Korea isn’t going to have a revolution - it will simply collapse when its time comes.

This is yet another advantage of the civilized world over the barbarians. Every little bit helps.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
pj Monday, 09 February 2004 at 11:15

A full exchange of views may just prove to people that they must go to war — for it reveals that their views are irreconcilable and mutually threatening. Conversations don’t change minds so much as inform them. The more I learn about Saddam’s regime, the more I support the war; the more I learned about the Nazis, the more I supported WWII.

End of Discussion