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Author Topic: 'Neutrality' in LOK?  (Read 6802 times)
ViridianIV
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« Reply #25 on: Oct 11, 2013 07:28 pm »

^ Being fair to Korra, it is monumentally more difficult for her to focus on anything else but Unalaq since he personally manipulated her while threatening her parents.

From the start Aang knew that his role was to stop the Hundred Year War and restore balance to the world, and he knew that the first step to that was to defeat Ozai. He knew that was his ultimate goal.

Korra is doing her Avatar duty by siding with the South against Unalaq and the North, since he was the one who had upset the balance of the world with his actions. Even at the risk of other nations taking sides in the inevitable tensions that would follow, he did it anyway.

The thing is that the situation and the world itself are also completely different from Aang's circumstances in ATLA.

And its a little iffy if Kyoshi and Roku were only acting against Sozin and Chin's actions rather than the person themselves. Kyoshi only acted when Chin directly threatened her home village and Roku's judgement was clouded by Sozin being a friend of his.
Really? Anyone Aang ever knew and loved, with the exception of Bumi, was murdered. Korra has it infinitely easier than Aang.

Incorrect.  Aang had nothing to lose.  While that absolutely means he's been hurt more, it does however free him from a lot of the fears one can feel from those sorts of attachments.  After that the only people he feared to lose were with him pretty nearly 24/7 where as Korra is continually separated from her 'Team Avatar' and has crap tons to lose, thus potentially making her an Avatar with a vastly increased dose of fear than Aang could ever have experienced.
What are you talking about? Aang had EVERYTHING to lose and lost it. Korra isn't seperated from anyone and she can go see any of her family and friends whenever she felt like it. No one's stopping her and transportation has never been a problem.

Aang faced the genocide of his people. Unalaq isn't on a killing spree. You're priorities are screwed up.

She absolutely has something to lose.  It's a civil War, her parents could easily die.  You misunderstood my post.  I wasn't saying Aang had nothing to lose 'ever in his life' I mean that he had nothing 'left' to lose except the people who were pretty much at his side through the entirety of the series.  I am not at all trying to trivialize the genocide of his people, I'm just saying that at that point in Aang's life he'd already lost everything, which can make somebody a lot more dangerous to their enemies precisely for that fact that there's nothing left you can take from them so to speak.  I sincerely don't believe Aang was ever afraid in the same sense that we now see in Korra's semi-panicked rush to find reinforcements for the southern water tribe.
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Tosh
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« Reply #26 on: Oct 11, 2013 08:42 pm »

Aang talks about the need to be neutral during the Great Divide.
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Mr Grieves
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« Reply #27 on: Oct 11, 2013 10:09 pm »

Aang talks about the need to be neutral during the Great Divide.

Ah. No wonder I forgot about it.
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ViridianIV
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« Reply #28 on: Oct 12, 2013 03:18 pm »

Aang talks about the need to be neutral during the Great Divide.

Yeah but his attempt at being neutral was to walk alone on a rock while Katara and Sokka reinforced either sides notions of their enemies.  If he hadn't come down to 'actively' solve the problem they would have all been bug food.  Sometimes you can remain neutral and find a great middle ground solution but the problems in TLA were often 'set up' to have middle ground solutions the vast majority of problems do not have middle ground solutions and passively removing yourself from the problem wont help solve the dilemma.

It's funny because a lot of the time it feels like people would like Korra better if she was more like Kurik.  "What?  The North Pole invaded the South Pole?  Whatever dude, go with the flow."
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Clowngoon
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« Reply #29 on: Oct 12, 2013 03:29 pm »

Aang talks about the need to be neutral during the Great Divide.

Yeah but his attempt at being neutral was to walk alone on a rock while Katara and Sokka reinforced either sides notions of their enemies.  If he hadn't come down to 'actively' solve the problem they would have all been bug food.  Sometimes you can remain neutral and find a great middle ground solution but the problems in TLA were often 'set up' to have middle ground solutions the vast majority of problems do not have middle ground solutions and passively removing yourself from the problem wont help solve the dilemma.

It's funny because a lot of the time it feels like people would like Korra better if she was more like Kurik.  "What?  The North Pole invaded the South Pole?  Whatever dude, go with the flow."
While I still think this was a horrible event that I still think is the worst event in the Avatar World, but maybe that's why the Air Nomads didn't make it through the war. Their passiveness was their greatest weakness, and because of that, they weren't ready for a century long war. They could avoid and evade all they wanted to, but the war would come to them eventually. I guess a similar thing could be said about the SWT. Though the problem wasn't passiveness, but it was more of numbers. It seems that the only reason the SWT was still alive was because they had nonbenders.  Maybe if the Nomads were more like Gyatso, more Air Nomads would've been alive.
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« Reply #30 on: Oct 12, 2013 04:05 pm »

While the avatar has always chosen a side in the conflicts we see, I can easily the Avatar serving as a neutral arbitrator in most disputes - with the promise of kicking the butt of any side that tries anything funny.
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« Reply #31 on: Oct 12, 2013 04:22 pm »

While the avatar has always chosen a side in the conflicts we see, I can easily the Avatar serving as a neutral arbitrator in most disputes - with the promise of kicking the butt of any side that tries anything funny.
I can see Yangchen being like that. People seemed to have feared and loved her.
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« Reply #32 on: Oct 12, 2013 05:11 pm »

While the avatar has always chosen a side in the conflicts we see, I can easily the Avatar serving as a neutral arbitrator in most disputes - with the promise of kicking the butt of any side that tries anything funny.

That's what I'm saying. Not neutral in the sense of just sitting on their butts and doing nothing, but neutral in the sense of giving any side any undue favoritism. Like, there's a trade dispute between the EK and the NWT, but the Avatar wouldn't just side with the EK because their king gives him free stuff.
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HikaruIzumi
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« Reply #33 on: Oct 12, 2013 05:20 pm »

^How would you neutrally handle wars? Avatar has to take sides in order to create balance because imbalance means that one side is stronger/more influential/has advantage. Neutrality is possible only in political disputes where I don't see avatar having much of a purpose. Being bridge between spirits and humans and all, doesn't really sound like a political role.
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« Reply #34 on: Oct 12, 2013 05:27 pm »

^How would you neutrally handle wars? Avatar has to take sides in order to create balance because imbalance means that one side is stronger/more influential/has advantage. Neutrality is possible only in political disputes where I don't see avatar having much of a purpose. Being bridge between spirits and humans and all, doesn't really sound like a political role.

Taking a look at both sides and seeing which solution makes the most sense, is the fairest, or causes the least amount of damage? It's isn't an easy task, but I'm not sure what other role an Avatar would fulfill. [Alternatively, the Avatar could just leave things alone and only step in when major stuff (like genocide, or conquering, etc.) happen.] I'm not saying talking about taking a side at all, I'm talking about taking a side arbitrarily.

And political disputes can evolve into wars, where one side does not necessarily have a greater advantage, there's just conflict. What the WT civil war would be, actually, if the SWT was a stronger tribe.
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« Reply #35 on: Oct 12, 2013 05:32 pm »

I think the real reason Korra should side with the SWT is because of their general disadvantage. They don't appear to be as developed as the NWT so any attacks on them would result in near domination. Having the Avatar on their side would probably prevent them from trying to attack the South. Then again, not many people seem to have a problem with attacking a fully realized Avatar.
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HikaruIzumi
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« Reply #36 on: Oct 12, 2013 05:37 pm »

Taking a look at both sides and seeing which solution makes the most sense, is the fairest, or causes the least amount of damage?
And then what? Use the powers of good intentions and convince everyone that the avatar is right? Do you truly believe if dealing with wars was so easy we would have so many?

I don't think that passive avatar is a good avatar. Even Aang was forced to act and take sides in the conflicts he was part of. You can't create balance by not taking sides, that's the avatar's job not being a political mascot. You create balance by pushing one side down or another side up. You don't argue with both of them to move a little so they would create balance themselves. You don't need a powerhouse to do that. Avatar is a powerhouse for a reason.
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Stupendous
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« Reply #37 on: Oct 12, 2013 08:00 pm »

Taking a look at both sides and seeing which solution makes the most sense, is the fairest, or causes the least amount of damage?
And then what? Use the powers of good intentions and convince everyone that the avatar is right? Do you truly believe if dealing with wars was so easy we would have so many?

I don't think that passive avatar is a good avatar. Even Aang was forced to act and take sides in the conflicts he was part of. You can't create balance by not taking sides, that's the avatar's job not being a political mascot. You create balance by pushing one side down or another side up. You don't argue with both of them to move a little so they would create balance themselves. You don't need a powerhouse to do that. Avatar is a powerhouse for a reason.

I... think we're arguing about two different things.

I'm not disputing the fact that the Avatar will sometimes have to take sides. I'm saying that to be a neutral Avatar, you have to be willing to take both sides into account, not side with wherever your loyalties lie. That's what I think Unalaq was hinting at (but in this case, he was just manipulating Korra). One side is not always going to be completely wrong, nor will one be completely right. Sometimes a little nudge and a shove is needed, other times (like in the case of the FN) a powerhouse is needed. There's no need to completely forgo nuance.

Also, note, I'm not making a comment about what Korra's doing. I think she should help the SWT out. I'm just commenting about the nature of the Avatar in general.

How is simply strong-arming everyone into behaving even that helpful, anyway?
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ViridianIV
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« Reply #38 on: Oct 12, 2013 08:49 pm »

How is simply strong-arming everyone into behaving even that helpful, anyway?

Only if your a Tyrant with good intentions and ideas, which are so rare as to be nonexistent.
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« Reply #39 on: Oct 13, 2013 02:28 pm »

To me this whole "neutrality" thing was just Unalaq plainly manipulating Korra. Truth be told, there are circumstances when the Avatar should remain neutral, such as when both sides of the argument are clearly in the wrong. But there are situations when one side is clearly been abusive to the other one and the Avatar clearly must take sides. The reason Unalaq insisted on this, was because he knew Korra would defend the South, especially because the South is in a weaker position. When the rebels tried to kill Unalaq, I believe Korra did the right thing by stopping them. But it's rather obvious by now that she can't remain neutral in this conflict, because the North is in wrongdoing.
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« Reply #40 on: Oct 14, 2013 08:06 am »

To me this whole "neutrality" thing was just Unalaq plainly manipulating Korra. Truth be told, there are circumstances when the Avatar should remain neutral, such as when both sides of the argument are clearly in the wrong. But there are situations when one side is clearly been abusive to the other one and the Avatar clearly must take sides. The reason Unalaq insisted on this, was because he knew Korra would defend the South, especially because the South is in a weaker position. When the rebels tried to kill Unalaq, I believe Korra did the right thing by stopping them. But it's rather obvious by now that she can't remain neutral in this conflict, because the North is in wrongdoing.

Yeah. Its pretty clear from everything that happened, that while Unalaq may have been the "chief" of the SWT, his position was  basically ceremonial. If the people of SWT truly considered him their leader, Unalaq would never have had to bring troops to violently occupy the south. And there would not have been the kind of opposition there was. When we add to this the fact that SWT had their own representative in the council during book 1, its pretty clear that SWT was basically independent in all but name, and Unalaq is basically invading what is for all intents and purposes, a foreign nation. If the Fire Nation suddenly decided that it would be a good idea to restart the war and attacked the Earth Kingdom, do you think it would be proper for the Avatar to say "ohwell, better stay neutral here and let the world descend into total war again".

Now granted, I don't think Korra is really thinking it through properly (I think perhaps that she is on the side of SWT more due to her parents, than any belief on her part about the moral rightness of the SWT cause). She is also acting a bit irrationally in trying to force RC troops to invade, which might just make things worse by causing the war to escalate. She should have sought out diplomatic solutions first, or tried to convince the other nations to use sanctions/other pressure to force Unalaq out. Granted, that probably would not have worked since Unalaqs goal at this point seems to be something to do with the spirit world (and he is more interested in the portal than anything else), but Korra would not have known that at the time.

However that portal fact makes the whole neutrality argument moot in my opinion anyway, considering that we viewers atleast now know that Unalaq is running around in the spirit world doing who knows what, using the portal he tricked Korra into opening. Since the Avatar is supposed to serve as a bridge or "ambassador" between humans and spirits, I would argue that the mere fact that Unalaq is running around in the spirit world gives Korra the right to investigate and intervene, if she has reason to believe that Unalaqs actions may be harmfull.
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« Reply #41 on: Oct 14, 2013 09:45 am »

No one seems to realise part of the blame for the United Forces disaster is Tonraq. It was his idea to get to the United Republic. Korra was only following her fathers wishes.
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« Reply #42 on: Oct 14, 2013 11:27 am »

No one seems to realise part of the blame for the United Forces disaster is Tonraq. It was his idea to get to the United Republic. Korra was only following her fathers wishes.

I've said it a bunch of times, but no one really seemed interested in that line of discussion.

If Tonraq didn't lead Korra to believe she needed to get troops for him post-haste lest Unalaq kill him (and Senna and the rest of the tribe) she probably wouldn't have been quite so rash.
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« Reply #43 on: Oct 14, 2013 11:51 am »

^ She was already acting rash before though. I had the impression he was sending her away to prevent her from escalating things further.

Of course, he should have thought about the effect his words would have.
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« Reply #44 on: Oct 14, 2013 01:54 pm »

^That's actually a really good  point... it's something I didn't realize.

Unalaq is notably not bothering with the rebels. Maybe Tonraq thought that if Korra was there, she would unnecessarily esclate things into bloodshed. Maybe he hoped that with the UNF behind them, the NWT would back off.

I don't know, I should rewatch that episode.
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« Reply #45 on: Oct 14, 2013 03:28 pm »

^That's actually a really good  point... it's something I didn't realize.

Unalaq is notably not bothering with the rebels. Maybe Tonraq thought that if Korra was there, she would unnecessarily esclate things into bloodshed. Maybe he hoped that with the UNF behind them, the NWT would back off.

I don't know, I should rewatch that episode.

I don't think Tonraq realized that Unalaq was going to back off. Otherwise, he shouldn't have let Korra think he was in so much danger.

As for using the UF to scare Unalaq off, that seems unlikely given that he was talking about winning the war. Remember, Tonraq wants the throne now. Forcing Unalaq out of the South isn't good enough anymore.
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« Reply #46 on: Oct 14, 2013 03:44 pm »

Honestly, I think Tonraq has a really mixed up idea of how the United Republic works, as well as Korra's significance there. He's probably thinking of it as an ally to all nations and something designed to keep the balance, and it very well could have been that back when it had the Council, but now that the UR has its own self-elected president, it's much more like a sovereign nation. And Korra has no official position, there, compared to Aang, who has statues all over the place.
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« Reply #47 on: Oct 14, 2013 04:04 pm »

Honestly, I think Tonraq has a really mixed up idea of how the United Republic works, as well as Korra's significance there. He's probably thinking of it as an ally to all nations and something designed to keep the balance, and it very well could have been that back when it had the Council, but now that the UR has its own self-elected president, it's much more like a sovereign nation. And Korra has no official position, there, compared to Aang, who has statues all over the place.
Makes me wonder if Aang will take over Korra at some point to try to settle things much like how Kyoshi and Roku did.
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« Reply #48 on: Oct 14, 2013 04:18 pm »

I think the Avatar's neutrality has more to do with avoiding personal biases when intervening than not intervening.  So let's say Tenzin decided to concur republic city and force all of it's citizens to become air acolytes and make delicious fruit pies.  Korra helping him because he's her buddy and Naga loves fruit pies obviously wouldn't be neutral but so is not doing anything, a whole country is getting negatively impacted.  There is a need for neutrality, but allowing things to happen is not what it means, but Korra was being used.
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« Reply #49 on: Oct 14, 2013 05:18 pm »

I think the Avatar being "Neutral" is simply going to the weaker side in order to prevent one side from overtaking the other. That would be a good reason for Korra to side with the South. Not for personal reasons, but because they'd be curb-stomped if fighting does occur.
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