Robert Heinlein, a science fiction writer, idealized the benefits of segregation in a modern futuristic world. His scenarios closely resemble those we currently face today. Separatism as a means to find freedom may be a viable option.
Many of us have been taught the evils of segregation, and we have images of racial busing, prejudice, and social isolation. This is a result of enforced segregation, unlike conscious segregation, which is the focus of this article.
The majority of racial groups already practice conscious separatism to some degree, as can be seen in racially predominant areas of any American city. These people just feel more comfortable being around those of their own ethnic origin. There is also segregation between financial classes, but this is enforced segregation rather than something that is chosen.
In Heinlein’s storyline, society has had great upheaval due to differences in political, religious, and philosophical viewpoints. Sound familiar? There was of course no real resolution to these issues, and as a result, society broke off into individual ideological regions. William Gibson, cyber punk author, had a similar vision.
Imagine if the country were divided up not by state, but by regions representing different ideas. Some regions are represented by those believing in capitalism, some by religion, and others still, by lack of religion. When traveling through various areas, you respect the laws of the area you are in.
Sound preposterous? So does continuing down the road we are on, where left will never meet right, and right will never meet left. We are currently in the middle of the greatest battle this world has ever known… a cultural battle that appears to have no end in sight. When various factions cannot settle their issues, what are the available solutions?
Perhaps the worlds of Heinlein and Gibson will become a reality. In the meantime, we all have to figure out how to live together, in peace.
[tags]separatism, segregation, religion, racial segregation, capitalism, ideology, cultural upheaval, robert heinlein, shadowmyth, lockergnome [/tags]