Thursday, December 14, 2006

winning wars

Over the shoulder of a woman on the subway, I glanced at a practice test she was taking. The first question was:

"Why did the North win the civil war?"

The train doors opened. I looked up, watching people get on and people get off. When I looked back she'd turned to the answers. I expected a lengthy one but there was just one simple line:

"Because the South lacked supplies and soldiers."

I almost laughed out loud. You see, I guess I've always assumed that when it comes down to it, when something comes to fists, somehow the good prevails. The simplicity of the answer made me see how absurd my assumption was - childlike almost. If 'the good guys' pull through (and the very existence of the good guy is arguable), it's just a coincidence. When it comes to war, it has nothing to do with the moral goodness of your stance. It is simply a question of supplies and troops (and a little strategy).

How is it that I only figured this out at 32?

3 comments:

Lx said...

nothing is that absolute.
and i learned that waaay before 32.
re-consider your lesson, please.

Rachel said...

Are you suggesting a different way of looking at it?

While I tend to see and feel things in black and white, I do understand nothing is absolute. I think I had a romantic sense about it until now. I guess this just makes me see how diplomacy makes more sense.

Lx said...

well, i was thinking more along the lines of people writing and re-writing history (tests) based on ideologies and allegiances. i suppose no one can truly stay neutral--and the fundamental flaw, then, is if historians don't, then we're doomed. i live in the South of the States now, and they STILL call that the War of Northern Agression. i guess in any war (including that of Love), answers cannot be as simple as that.