Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A little matter of genocide?

Claudia Card¹ sez:
Specific to genocide is the harm inflicted on its victims' social vitality. It is not just that one's group membership is the occasion for harms that are definable independently of one's identity as a member of the group. When a group with its own cultural identity is destroyed, its survivors lose their cultural heritage and may even lose their intergenerational connections. To use Orlando Patterson's terminology, in that event, they may become "socially dead" and their descendants "natally alienated," no longer able to pass along and build upon traditions, cultural developments (including languages) and projects of earlier generations (1982, 5-9). The harm of social death is not necessarily less extreme than that of physical death. Social death can even aggravate physical death by making it indecent, removing all respectful and caring ritual, social connections, and social contexts that are capable of making dying bearable and even of making one's death meaningful. IN my view, the special evil in genocide lies in its infliction not just of physical death (when it does that) but of social death, producing a consequent meaninglessness of one's life and even of its termination.
Paul Craig Roberts sez:
Neocon godfather Norman Podhoretz set out the plan for Middle East conquest several years ago in Commentary Magazine. It is a plan for Muslim genocide. In place of physical extermination of Muslims, Podhoretz advocates their cultural destruction by deracination.

Islam is to be torn out by the roots and reduced to a purely formal shell devoid of any real beliefs.
¹ Card, C. (2003). Genocide and social death. Hypatia, 18 (1), 63-79.

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