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The Genocide Is An Extreme Form Of Identity Politics Politics Essay

Info: 1353 words (5 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Politics

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The political landscape has been overwhelmed by the identity politics over the last decades throughout the globe. The identity politics integrate an extensive range of political activities embedded in the collective experiences of injustice among the members belonging to a specific social constituency (Kuper, 1981: 78). There has been great debate on the extent of connection between identity politics and genocide but a detailed overview of historical evidences, and an insightful look into the current fanatic happenings at the political forefront reinforce the idea that genocide is definitely an extreme form of identity politics. The most comprehensive definition of genocide has been provided in the Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) of the 1948 as ” any of the acts committed with intent to destroy, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” (Bauman, 1989: 7). The CPPCG included following acts under the umbrella of genocide:,, killing and causing physical or mental impairment to members of another group, distorting the group conditions of life intentionally, aimed to destruct the other group completely or partially, imposing preventive measures to halt the births in group and shifting children of the group to another group with the use of power “ (Bauman, 1989: 7).

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Identity political orientations are mainly aimed at sustaining the political liberty of a typical social constituency (Kuper, 1981: 80). The constituency endeavor to affirm an environment of individuality that puts the repressive characterisations in a challenging zone focusing on the reinforcement of self determination. Identity politics mainly refers to the political disputes centralised around the interests and perceptions of distinct social groups and their own ways of moulding the political frameworks with respect to their identical attributes of race, religion, class, gender or traditional hegemony (Kuper, 1981: 81). The identity politics has

always remained obvious but the later part of twentieth century turned identity political into a social tragedy by transforming into the more intense occurrences related with Genocide (Bartrop, 1981: 520).

Genocide is an Extreme form of Identity politics

Political Upheaval

The identity politics are main propellers of political upheaval in any society. Navigation from the overall political welfare of the state to the more limited and narrowed objectives distorts the political quo of society which lies at the base of violent activities integrated in the genocide (Shaw, 2003: 85). There are strong set of minds acting as a driving force behind every political unrest to sustain the individuality of the respective social constituency. Long term contradiction between the various social constituencies results in the emergence of a series of acts aimed at suppressing the threatening forces that ultimately result in burst of genocide.

Elite Ideologies and Autocracy

If the ruling party of state adheres to various tactical means for dominating or neutralising the opposing political entities, the political landscape of the country takes an autocratic pace then. The potential for genocide becomes more obvious when the state leaders manifest an exclusionary or distinct ideology which shows repression objectives for the restriction, elimination and persecution of specific groups of people who do not have a definite affiliation with the political elites (Shaw, 2003: 54). The practices of elite political entities structured around identify politics increase the prospects for genocide because autocracy always end up with a massive rebellion.

Mass Psychology, Identity politics and Genocide

Group dynamics and mass psychology shaped by the perpetrators of identity politics are the main contributors towards the segmentation of society in various groups on the basis of similarities and differences in their marginalised identities (Bartov, 2000: 146). The confirmation with a group grabes the sense of moral conduct from people especially in political terms because affiliation with a particular group makes an individual feel less responsible for his harmful actions (Bartov, 2000: 48). The group dynamics push individuals to get absolved in any type of violent and degrading activity as far as it is concerned with safeguard of their collective prestige. This is how even the law lasting and peace loving people join the killers during the genocide because they do not feel any guilt for harming the people who are threatening the stability of their social characterisations (Bauman, 1989: 10).

Historical Evidences

Rwandan Genocide

The genocide in Rwanda has been regarded as the most tragic event as it affected more than one million people (Bartov, 2000: 154). If we trace the root causes of genocide in Rwanda, it becomes clear that it was an ultimate outcome of massive identity politics in Rwanda mainly focused on the gender and ethnic identities (Shaw, 2003: 57). The ethnic composition of Rwandan society has been overwhelming its political arena since the colonisation era (Kuper, 1981: 79). The fragmentation in gender and ethnic identities in Rwanda asserted as being Muhutu, Intrahamwe or Mututsi resulted from the social discrimination in society (Bartrop, 1981: 525). The Rwandan genocide was basically a consequence of drastic politicisation of ethnic discrimination in Rwanda. President Habyarimana who was a Hutu himself, had remained harmful towards Tutis throughout his government by using ethnic identity as a tool of discrimination (Bartrop, 1981: 527). According to the Chalk & Johanson (1990), the Rwandan genocide was basically prompted and staged by the political authorities who connected the assassination of President Habyarimana with Rwandan Patriotic Front and declared an open killing of Tutsis (Chalk & Johnson, 1990: 55).

Holocaust and Genocide

Another destructive genocide of twentieth century was the Nazi Holocaust which ended up almost 6,000,000 lives during the period of 1938-1935(Chalk & Johanson, 1990: 65). The key figure for holocaust was Adolf Hitler who consistently blamed Jews for the German beat up in World War I and economic recession resulting from that defeat (Bauman, 1989: 13). Hitler came up with various racial theories context to the domination of German race over others (Bauman, 1989: 24). Hitler and his political alliances always considered Jews as a contradictory race that has been plan a conspiracy against the Germans because of its racial dominance (Chalk & Johanson, 1990: 71). The racial prejudice overwhelmed the European politics with the disorder of many laws and policies that completely put the Jews at a corner. The holocaust actually commenced with the murder of a German diplomat at Paris Ernst Vom Rath, which was used as an excuse by the Germans to start the brutal killing of Jews for wiping them out of Europe (Shaw, 2003: 53). The holocaust genocide in detail exemplary the role of race oriented politics that urged the Germans to become intensively detrimental and violent towards the Jews. The massive killings, mass deportation and oppression of Jews in each and every manner was just because the Germans wanted to eliminate every single threat posed to their racial stability which gradually resulted in the historical destruction caused by Holocaust.

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Conclusion

Hence it can be concluded that genocide is an extreme form of identity politics in terms of the extensive impact of identity politics on mass psychology, group dynamics, political riot and social discrimination which highlights in the enter of genocide. The navigation of political arena from state welfare and national identity to safeguarding the group politics to dominate the contending alliances solves the masses towards genocide. Hence genocide is a subsequent stage of identity politics or an increased transformation of identity politics into strict violence.

 

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