And from that day on, the “Clone Wars” became an annual event… and peace spread throughout the galaxy once again.
Well, that’s how it would have happened. This week’s topic is something I think I touched on a little some time ago but deserves further review. That is, the ethics and morality of waging war. No no, this isn’t about some sort of political thing or if it’s right to fight at all, rather, how the forces are assembled is my concern with this report. Let us take for instance, oh, I dunno, the Clone Wars! A few years before a “long long time ago”, the Republic got sucked into a galactic war (yeah, again) with a group called the Separatists… a group that I just call Empire Jr. cause well, Sithy and all that. Anyways, neither side likes each other, both are run by idiots, yada yoda yada, I covered that one with my Picking Sides comic. What is problematic for me is how they choose to stock each side.
See, the Republic created a super army of soldier. No, not a typo, they were clones of one guy. So we’re talking millions (guessing) of clones of the same person here. These clones, albeit very good at what they do, are mass produced for war and combat. They are even aged at an accelerated rate; something like twice the normal speed or something. With this in mind, I can’t help but wonder if it’s really not just an army of brainwashed slaves. Crude logic yes, but think of it this way; if even the original was a willing participant and supporter of the Republic, does that give claim to subsequent copy as a proponents of the original? Meaning, do the copies have to follow whatever the first did? Do they even have the choice to become Empire Jr.? Grown and groomed for solitary purpose is beyond reprehensible. It removes all free will and gives it to the masters. Where are the clones that want to be musicians? Where are the clones that want to be dancers? Where are the clones that want to be accountants? Well, to be fair nobody wants to be that last one, but where is the choice?
I’ve caught a few episodes of the official cartoon (not bad btw… Druds, I’m lookin at you! Go watch it!) and there is an absolute commonality with the clones and that is a massive identity crisis! Right away I noticed that you have bouts of individuality springing up, with names, colors on the armor, hair styles, and even tattoos. And this fits in with general human nature; our quest for individuality and identity. Look at twins. They sure do look alike and many times have similar personalities, but they are completely different people. So back to clones, no matter what genetics, no matter what training, no matter what (I assume) downloading of memories, these people will develop identities and become individuals. It is nature… well, nurture. We are not the automatons enslaved by the functions of our DNA; we are the sum of all of our experiences. Those experiences shape and mold us, and they make us different. So no matter how many copies you make, not one will be the same.
That is why I do not agree with the Republic using clones. It is mind bogglingly immoral. Life is not replaceable. Life is not to be used as pawns, to send wave after wave of men into battle until the enemy runs out of bullets. That is not strength of leadership. It is beyond the drafting and conscription of civilians. Even that I have less of an issue with (but uh… still got an issue). It is more akin to the ancient Romans, plowing through civilizations and not merely burning them out of history, rather, absorbing and adapting them into their culture and, more importantly, their armies. Heck, it’s even worse than that! It is basically akin to the abuse of a (human) life and using it as mere fodder. The message from the politicians and leaders is this: you’re life is meaningless and you are replaceable. To me, that’s not really very Jedish… Just sayin… doesn’t sit well with me.
And what of the Separatists? I can understand rebellion from a political system you’re not really into. Sure you might not have many members to start, but that’s what rebellion is all about! So instead, they proceed to make an army of droids. While this might not get too many of you all teary eyed, I also take issue with this. If you look at the social interactions of the droids between themselves, others, and the environment, you can make a great leap of judgement to reason that these droids are without a doubt, alive. The distinction between flesh and steel isn’t that big of a deal when you consider the function of each. We, as people, are machines. No matter how you look at it, our bodies are perpetual entrapments of ongoing Rube Goldberg machines that run processes and routines on a chemical level rather than that of metal and oil. They are beautifully complex machines mind you, but they serve a function to which they perform. The mind, however, that’s another story. Really really complicated stuff up in that squishy blob! But when you get right down to it, it’s no different than a computer; collecting, processing, and reacting to information. We all have consciousness and individuality yes, and whether that’s a purely human thing or not is a question beyond the scope of this program, but for all intensive purposes, we are, again, the sum of all our experiences and with a similar computing power and ability to learn and adapt, one can only speculate that both conditions are just side effects from the software. (yikes, runon sentence… the english teachers are going to feel this one) Long story short, if computer smart as brain and can learn, it will have soul. There, argue that if you will, but the droids, at least in the Star Wars universe, show signs of consciousness and self awareness. Thus life, thus manufacture for war equals bad. (see rant above for why)
So yeah guys, both sides bad for using slave labor to fight their wars. I mean, couldn’t they get the same results by resolving their differences with Halo team matches? It’s almost like having your disagreements solved with Fantasy Football (huttball, sorry). There’s no reason to endanger other lives with this nonsense. And it’s not worth the moral bankruptcy of messing with lifeforms. I mean, what happens after the war? Droids get repurposed? Disposed of? Clones go into retirement? Granted, most of em get killed off, but still. It’s a big dilemma. So until either side starts ponying up their own lives for the fight, nobody has a moral high ground to stand on.
Heh, so how’s that for a rant from a comic essentially about mud wrestling! >)