Thursday, April 25, 2013

Genes-o-cide only covers some of the crimes of Hitler,Stalin and Tojo : Triage-cide instead ?

It was Stalin who got the West to agree that the UN definition of genocide shouldn't including killing everyone belonging to a political, economic or social group.

(Clever - because that was exactly the sort of mass killing that Communists, rather than Fascists, much preferred ---- not that Communists didn't kill ethnic groups like the Poles as readily as Hitler killed economic groups like German trade unionists.)

Gene-o-cide or Genetic-cide betrays its dusty old Modernity roots : the focus on the "fact" that people are fixed forever by their forebearers' genes, so as to remain your enemy even into future unborn generations.

Hitler acted upon those ideas - insisting that killing Jewish and Roma babies would prevent them coming back as adult destroyers of the Aryan race.

Stalin, too, often killing the children of those he deemed traitors claiming they were tarred by their erring parents' brush.

The Soviets definitely won this dictionary war ---- today most of us limit genocide to killing people related genetically, rather than seeing it extends to masses of murdered people only related by all holding the same party or trade union or football team card.

Raphael Lemkin the Jewish Polish lawyer who first coined the term genocide more than 75 years ago, wanted it to encompass the mass killing of any group that had something in common - in both their eyes and in the eyes of their killers.

His occupation - he was a Polish lawyer - was a favorite group to kill, much sought out by both Germans and Russians : for being ethnically Polish and for being economically upper middle class and for being intellectuals and for being potential leaders.

Thrown in being Jewish as well and presto : you have five good reasons to want him dead.

Unfortunately for academics doing head counts, you can only kill someone once - so what column of dead exactly would you have placed Mr Lemkin, if he had been killed in Timothy Synder's Bloodlands during WWII ?

Triage-cide  rather than genetic-cide ?

He would have been, above all else, yet another individual killed by global Modernity's craving to mass triage its way into a permanently perfectly frozen Utopia.

Triage-cide might well be a more accurate word to describe the intent behind all of these highly varied killings done by all these highly varied killers, all of whom saw themselves as modernists .....

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