In the South African philosophy of Ubuntu it’s said that the behavior of others is most profoundly influenced by how you treat them.
But what of the behavior of groups of people or nations? Might this same principle hold true, as well?
Here is a thought experiment: What would happen if the world’s response to the Syria crisis was of shock-and-awe kindness? Planes dropped caviar on one side and champagne on the other. Artillery thundered potpourri into the air. The greatest entertainers performed from aircraft carriers, while airwaves were seized to broadcast their booming their songs of peace.
Fanciful? Of course. But if you haven’t damaged your eye muscles in rolling disapproval, try to imagine a scenario that hyperbolic positivity was doled out. We can speculate on the effect, but we cannot know it with certainty because we’ve never done it before.
If we would risk a military response, what’s the harm in trying something even crazier?