For my first document of learning for Socials, I have here my creative, photo-shopped conversation between Christopher Columbus and his subordinate, more specifically Rodrigo de Triana.
My question is: Is it possible to rule or conquer without violence?
This piece of media reflects Columbus’ opinion on this question knowing what we know now after reading Howard Zinn’s work. What I felt from reading this was that Columbus never considered another option other than killing to get what he wanted. He was introduced to a culture and a life that he never knew and his first reaction was, “Where’s the gold?!” throwing his manners completely out the window (if he had any in the first place). Seeing the gold worn by the people so casually provoked him to find the source of it and this may have directed the course of action he took afterward, committing mass murder due to the fact that he was not aware of what the Arawaks had to offer and could offer. So clearly in Columbus’ case the answer was no because he came to the Arawaks with the intention of subduing them for the gold with violence, but what if he took a different path? Would the answer have been yes? If Columbus had stumbled upon the Arawaks without the desire to kill and subdue them for gold and perhaps the desire to learn instead, what might have happened? I believe that if Columbus took a deeper look at himself while re-analyzing the situation he may have been able to notice the Arawak’s kindness to its full degree and live in harmony. If only he was willing to negotiate and talk over this situation, it could have turned out for the better.
This still doesn’t answer the question though, because if he re-analyzed the situation, he may not have been the ruler anymore. I strongly believe that it is nearly impossible for one to rule or conquer without violence or sacrifices due to the fact that it is human nature to dislike being subdued. If the Arawaks had not opposed Columbus’ word and if they didn’t mind being subdued, sure the situation would have resulted in Columbus reaching a ruling status without violence, but it is in human nature to fight back if the situation proves the need to and it has been like this since the beginning of time. I believe that for someone to rule without violence, they must also have an opposing party that doesn’t mind being ruled over, but finding such a situation on our Earth would be quite nearly impossible.
A comparison to our modern day society would be when we are able to freely travel in space. We are bound to encounter other life forms and in that case, the situation would be quite similar to when Columbus first met the Arawaks. It would be this sensation of being introduced to a new culture and a new way of life. As much as it is in human nature to fight for your belief, it is also in our nature to rule to support that belief. We have clearly proven this through our evolution on Earth, so what’s stopping us from conquering the next race we may see out in space? For example, if this alien race may prove to be a threat to us, history has shown that we will most likely use violence to get rid of this threat. By doing so, wouldn’t you agree that we are also conquering that race. I truthfully believe that you can’t avoid ruling or conquering, whether it is a ruler of a certain race of people or a ruling race that stands above all, and coincidentally with this package comes violence. Although this may not be the only answer to this question as someone else’s opinions may provide a different insight on this topic, I believe that in the case of Columbus, his ruling power had to come hand in hand with violence due to the varied beliefs of both races.
Hopefully this question reflected my media choice and the explanation wasn’t too confusing, because I found myself to be confused while writing parts of this at times.
Also, one cool fact about the media. The heads were purposely placed in that manner to reflect the inverted question and exclamation marks that are in the Spanish language because both the people in my media were related to Spain and of course they were asking questions.
Thanks and more updates coming soon!