I am watching an excellent although very disturbing PBS documentary called "Worse Than War."
It is an in depth examination of the psychology and roots of genocide. The documentary looks at Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Kenya, Turkey/Armenia, Bosnia/Serbia, Cambodia, Guatemala, and others. It also expsoses the ineptitude of the UN in dealing with genocide.
One of the salient points the documentary makes is that genocides are not actions of spontaneous emotional reaction, but rather cold, calculated, acts of political
orchestration. Therefore, what I took away from it is that be they spawned from the Left or the Right, acts of genocide are always the ultimate result of political fervor and fanaticism.
Some of the looming questions in my mind are these:
-Are we immune from committing genocide?
-What makes us think that we as individuals or groups are incapable of comitting such atrocities ourselves?
-What exactly is the defintion of "genocide?" Is genocide defined by motive, by intent, by the numbers of the victims, by the innocence and helplessness of the victims, or by all of the above?
-Every act of genocide is predicated upon a perceived or real prior injustice against those who then perpetetrated the genocide against their former ostensible or actual oppressors. So, what is the best means of executing justice and establishing equity after a people or group have suffered unspeakable evils against them?
My own conclusion in considering all this:
The root of all genocide is the concept of "us" and "them." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfGJUIWlfHQhttp://www.pbs.org/wnet/worse-than-war/