I Need For You To Find A Common Theme Among These Three Proposals – Research Paper Example
As Edward Said has written, “Human identity is not natural and stable, but constructed and occasionally even invented outright” (Said, 323). In the course of all three of these conflicts, ethnic nationalism—a collective aspect of human identity—plays a very significant role. Each of these conflicts—21st century terrorism, the ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsula, and the conflict in the Middle East—are shaped and motivated by ethnic groups who want to secure their claim to land and history. None of this is new, but in a world as connected as ours, such conflicts are more damaging than ever before in our history.
Because human identities are not stable they can be manipulated by demagogues and bad people. It is easy for propaganda and newspapers to whip people up into an aggressive frenzy. Ethnicity and nationalism can be used to convince people to kill their neighbours, or blow themselves up on buses full of civilians. It can cleave nations in two, and destabilize whole regions.
What is the key to solving these three conflicts? The solution must lie in trying to stabilize ethnic groups’ identities in a way that is inclusive and not aggressive. People have to share more, whether that means land or resources. They cannot define their existence in opposition to another group. Koreans are one people, for example; the people of the Middle East are all Middle Eastern (not Israeli and Arab). They will get nowhere by focusing on what separates them or in what proves their victimhood.
Said, Edward. Orientalism. Toronto: Random House, 1979. http://books.google.ca/books?id=zvJ3YwOkZAYC&dq=edward+said+orientalism&client=firefox-a&source=gbs_navlinks_s