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Genocide’ Causes and Elimination Essay

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Updated: May 19th, 2020

Introduction: Genocide Definition and Historical Background

This paper provides a review of genocide causes as well as the strategies of its elimination. Global history provides multiple examples of this anti-humanity crime. Although each particular case has its implication, genocide as a notion can be defined as “the destruction of a nation or an ethnic group” (Jones 2010, p. 10). The term was coined by Raphael Lemkin in the 1940s and served as a direct reference to Holocaust. The concept was developed with an advent of the Enlightenment age. According to its doctrines, the world society could be refined through the process of state engineering. In other words, the theory said that such factors as race, character, ethnicity, and social positioning were susceptible to control and reformation. The ultimate goal of the dogma’s supporters was to create a new community of deliberately chosen citizens. As an outcome of this tendency, some ethnic groups such as Armenians and Jews were considered to be the representatives of the inferior community and had to be eliminated by the domineering society (Maritz 2012). These nationalities were identified as the primary targets of genocide.

The ways of conducting genocides differed in their strategic platforms. Specifically, this type of global crime referred not exclusively to killing people but to the society sterilization as well. Moreover, some ethnic group members were exposed to terrible living conditions, which did not leave the citizens any chances for survival. According to the official UN convention that concerns genocide, the act includes the following processes: direct ethnicity eradication through killing people, a transfer of children from the inferior communities into the prosperous ones, inflicting conditions that prevent child-bearing, imposing physical or mental destruction on the members of “worthless” ethnic groups (Genocide Background 2003).

Therefore, in this paper, we dwell on the theories and significant instances of genocide so that to prove that the global eradication of ethnicity is the payoff of psychological disparities both on a personal and on a collective scale. Moreover, in this work, a prevention approach to genocide treatment, which is based on the psycho assumptions, is developed.

Genocide Motives

Originally, genocide roots at the destruction of particular communities. Thus, the history recollects such atrocious ethnic eradications as Moriori Genocide, Irish Potato Famine, Aboriginals’ Stolen Generation, Armenian Genocide, Rwandan Genocide, etc. However, every separate crime roots at the ordinary motives that inflict the deadly consequences for multiple nations. Mainly, all global genocides intersect in four essential factors. Therefore, the primary reasons for genocide are revenge, benefit and convenience, pollution prevention, and fear.

The factor of vindication accounts for the war experiences, which arose between diverse nations throughout global history. Thus, if a particular ethnic group succeeds in gaining much power and dominance or evolves into a stable state community, it is capable of inflicting damage on their rivals. Moreover, the aspect of revenge often concerns the issue of national pride. Typically, the countries that possess powerful military forces, and external support tend to reveal immediate reactions to any evictions of insult that is demonstrated by weak states. Such acts often lead to genocides. The argument can be supported by an example of the Herero genocide that occurred in Southwest Africa at the beginning of the 20th century.

The case refers to the rebellion that was initiated by Herero troops and aimed at the destruction of the German army, which controlled the African colonies. Since the suppressed community was not powerful enough to accomplish the goal, the German government released a fierce reaction to the uprising. Specifically, all inhabitants of the Southwest African colonies were pushed from their homes into a desert, which led to the starvation and subsequent eradication of Herero ethnicity (Chirot & McCauley 2006). Therefore, the revenge factor roots at power and authority of the leading world countries.

Quite often, genocides are predetermined by the issues of convenience. In this case, the powerful states that possess common borders with weak administration units adopt a hostile attitude towards their neighbors. In this way, the domineering government takes precautions against the possible rebellions or encroachments that can come from the side of the nearby communities. Thus, the leading states reveal their absolute imperviousness. The case may be supported by a well-known instance from the history of Normans. William the Conqueror, who took authority over England in the 11th century, managed to produce a striking influence on the British Isles citizens, which worshiped the nobility of a new king. However, the residents of Yorkshire remained entirely unresponsive to the politics of William. Consequently, he decided to inflict genocide on this community since he realized that passive silence could one day turn into fierce opposition.

Pollution is used as a justification for genocide as well. The contemporary history critics claim that some ethnic groups viewed the mere existence of the different nations as a threat. In other words, the biased assumption of certain races and ethnicities being prevalent over the others gave birth to the so-called pollution fear. The leading societies could afford to destroy the rival communities so that to prevent blood mixtures between the members of different ethnic groups. The most evident example of the factor is the issue of Jews. Thus, Hitler claimed that this country threatened the Aryan race, for it was inferior and degenerate. That is why a lot of his military actions were directed on inflicting genocide on the Jewish community.

Finally, the factor of fear refers to the most common explanations of genocide. It dwells on the multiple political disparities among the world states and identifies the leading powers that rule the subordinate communities and destroy the threatening ones. Despite the fact that the peril may be imagined, the very existence of certain state formations is damaging for the well-being of dominating countries. Since the whole world traced the consequences of the bloody Rwanda genocide, the global community is well-acquainted with this factor. In this case, the government of Hutu took a direction on the eradication of Tutsis in 1990 since the conflict between two communities seemed rather unresolved after the Belarus ruling campaign. Thus, the Hutus launched a genocide against their old rivals so that to exclude the possibility of future political conflicts.

The Principal Genocide Theories

The theorists of all times have been seeking for some consistent platforms that rule the behaviors of people, who become the initiators of genocides. As a result, a variety of approaches have been created which verify the social, moral, and historical backgrounds of the criminal act.

The principal theory of genocide is a comparative doctrine, which integrates the major factors that influence decision-making in the context of anti-humanity crimes. The argument relies on three categories that concern the individual and group motives, the patterns of structural destruction as well as the identity interest. Due to the first principle, genocide is stipulated by group action that arises as a payoff of a certain decision of an individual. In this respect, one may refer to the theories of monarchism ad absolutism, which predetermine the usage of collective power as a tool of personal manipulation. Second, there is the idea of structuralism, which regards the complex integration of several influencing factors that include social positioning, ethnicity concerns, the concept of race, regime, and ideology disparities, etc. Finally, the category of identity construct refers to the study of the origins of genocide as a consequence of human belonging to particular state formations (Hiebert 2008).

In contrast to the comparative genocide theory, which concerns logical explanations of genocide in their integration, Waller’s theory target the behavioral specifications of communities that launch genocides. In his theory, the scientist reflects the patterns of social behavior that show the process of genocide initiation. Waller does not regard the issue of character in his work, though. He rather dwells on behavior since the expert considers that the acts of genocide are initiated by people who are ‘purely evil.’ Thus, he concludes that there is no use in contemplating their morality or psychological abilities. In other words, the author regards the leaders of dominating states as the machines that perform the anti-humanity crime. He dwells that it is impossible to justify genocides. Therefore, Waller aims at exploring the patterns of genocides evolution so that to create preventive plans for the future. The scientist differentiates three dimensions of human behavior that stipulate genocide inclinations.

First, he dwells on personal predispositions that identify ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and dominance desire as the driving forces of community destructions. Waller argues that these traits are inborn and can not be cultivated in the course of one’s personal development. Second, the expert states that there are some cultural clichés and trite beliefs that provide a favorable ground for the arousal of genocides. These are rationality concerns, striving for authority, and moral disengagement. Third, Waller refers to separate institutes that support the idea of genocide and assist the leading states in fostering anti-humanity crimes. The domains are mass conformity, personal role in society, and occupational socialization. In addition to three categories, the author adds the dimension of the identification of victims as ‘the others’ (Adelman 2005).

Although it is acknowledged that the two mentioned theories constitute a fundament of genocide analysis, this work emphasizes the doctrine of psychological disparity, which is a subject for arguments among the leading historians and scientists. Due to the theory, the guiding force of any genocide is a manipulation of global thinking. Thus, it is claimed that the authorities of certain countries, as well as individual citizens, tend to divide the world society into few parts. Among these parts, one always finds the communities that are regarded as ‘foreign’ or ‘rivaling.’

The payoffs of such divisions can be quite contrastive, while the states with human social values tend to connect to their rivals so that to create a mutual collaboration between the leading communities, the countries of disruptive and cruel philosophy aim at destroying the opposing groups. It is claimed that genocide-prone states are underestimated by the dominating communities since the latter position their ethnicity as superior. Due to the psychological theory of genocide, the tendency is a direct consequence of the political leaders suffering from megalomania. It is well supported by the politics of Nazi propaganda, which revealed the extensive imposing of Nazi values on other countries as well as the suppression of the marginalized states.

Besides, the factor of psychological cognition explains the social biases that separate concern states create the imitation patterns for the world communities. In other words, the community members that are often victimized by one state are likely to become a target for the global society. This factor accounts for the tendency of attribution error as well as the desire to blame the victims of genocides. Thus, the concept of anti-humanity crime is not solely a consequence of arguments between separate communities but a general psychological marginalization idea. For instance, the community of Jews, the status of which was disrupted by Nazi propaganda, turned in a social target for the whole world and had remained a victimized group until today.

The psychology of genocide is based on a stable scheme of violence increase, which dwells on seven stages. The steps are typically realized by the governments of the dominating states that target genocide development. In this respect, the states go through the following procedures:

  1. The stipulation of negative attitudes towards outer social groups.
  2. We are closing the access to essential community services for the outcasts.
  3. You are depriving the marginalized state citizens of fundamental civil rights.
  4. We are providing administrative isolation for the victims of genocide.
  5. You are depriving the citizens of the primary human rights, which are education, health care, and provisions.
  6. They are performing the actual genocide actions that include murder or sterilization.
  7. You deny the existence of genocide (Woolf & Hulsizer 2005).

Genocide Prevention: Exploring Complex Plan of Destroying Mass Violence

The core of prevention programs aims at the development of stable legal state systems that would not allow the political leaders to manipulate the military forces of the countries with the aim of destroying separate communities. Thus, the central world initiative that targets genocide elimination includes several steps. First, it emphasizes the significance of impunity ended. In this way, it is claimed that any anti-humanity outrage has to be properly investigated, which implies the necessity of inflicting guilt on people who are accountable for the act. Moreover, the program of prevention usually contains the issue of warning systems setup as well as the usage of military forces with the aim of protection from genocide attempts (Outreach program on the Rwanda genocide and the United Nations 2003).

In this work, the adaptation of the typical genocide prevention plan is verified against the principles of psychological theory. Thus, the ultimate component of the genocide eradication project accounts for value fostering. In other words, it is crucial to initiate ideological movements within separate states that would target the policies of social inclusion and challenging life conditions treatment. Moreover, it is important to develop a culture of diplomacy and positive orientation so that to exclude the possibility of inter-state conflicts. Since the primary source of genocide initiation is the problem of collective thinking, the project of eradication should foster the improvement of individualism. Thus, world education has to take an orientation on the learner-centered approaches (Staub 2013).

It is acknowledged that the individual political boundaries of any state are comprised of a congregation of separate institutions functioning. Therefore, the efficient program of genocide eradication has to involve the reformation of every social, economic, and ideological dimension of the country. Specifically, one may refer to the media instructions that support piece and positivism as well as political organizations mentoring, which aims at the creation of consistent work principles that stipulate peace and justice (Staub 2006).

The development of a successful prevention project might include the inclusion of Special Advisors into the work of particular state organizational units, who would monitor the values of every public statement as well as assess and report the risks of genocide eruptions.

Conclusion: Summarizing the Anti-Genocide Values

The work evaluates the principles of genocide development as well as reviews the typical patterns of anti-humanity behavior. The complex of ultimate motives that stipulate abnormal genocide inclinations is assessed. The paper differentiates the ideas of fear, pollution prevention, revenge, and community as the principal reasons for genocide initiation. Moreover, in this work, we evaluate three main theories that explain the origins of anti-humanity criminality. In this context, the doctrine of psychological specifications is claimed to be the primary stimulator of genocide behavior. Finally, the study provides a final prevention project that targets the principles of genocide eradication. The central schemes of prevention programs are taken into consideration. On the basis of the general control techniques, the paper dwells on personal and community psychology as the basic sources of monitoring practices. As the outcome of this theory, it was concluded that the principles of just and learner-oriented education, as well as the peaceful values support, can account for successful genocide prevention.

Reference List

Adelman, H 2005, ‘Theories of genocide: The case of Rwanda’, Emeritus York University, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 1-59.

Chirot, D & McCauley, C 2006, Why not kill them all? The logic and prevention of mass political murder, Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Genocide background 2003, Web.

Hiebert, M 2008, ‘Theorizing destruction: Reflections on the state of comparative genocide theory’, Genocide Studies and Prevention, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 309-339.

Jones, A 2010, Genocide: A comprehensive introduction, Routledge, London. Maritz, D 2012, The main causes of genocide, Web.

Outreach program on the Rwanda genocide and the United Nations 2003. Web.

Staub, E 2013, ‘A world without genocide: Prevention, reconciliation, and the creation of peaceful societies’, Journal of Social Issues, vol. 69, no. 1, pp. 180-199.

Staub, E 2006, ‘Reconciliation after genocide, mass killing, or intractable conflict: Understanding the roots of violence, psychological recovery, and steps toward a general theory’, Political Psychology, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 867-894.

Woolf, L & Hulsizer, M 2005, ‘Psychological roots of genocide: Risk, prevention, and intervention’, Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 101-128.

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