12 September 2008

Barbarism: What are you going to do about it?

Here's the latest from Balochistan, one of the outlying provinces of Pakistan. No other word than "barbarism" suffices to describe what was done. But what are you going to do about it? You actually have every right to say it's none of your business, because no real world government exists to make it your business. Your individual conscience or your aggrieved moral sense have no rights in Balochistan that the locals are bound to recognize. If you want to defend the oppressed women of that land, your choices are to become an outlaw or a conqueror. Mere morality doesn't confer sovereignty on anybody, but action does. People who want to reform such places and bring them "into the 21st century" need to face the implications of their urges. They can't just jump into a village, rescue the maidens, slap around the elders, and tell the rest to go about their business. They have to conquer such places and make their will the law, and they have to be willing to pay whatever price in blood and treasure is necessary to make it happen. They have to be willing to kill those who resist. If they're not willing to take the necessary steps to insure that individuals can live free anywhere and everywhere, unendangered by patriarchy, religion and other backward traditions, then they should learn to suppress their outrage reflex when they read stories like this one.

This is not an argument for conservatism or apathy. I just want to make the choices clear to everyone.

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