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Lecture 11

HREQ 2010 Lecture 11: January 09

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Human Rights and Equity Studies
HREQ 2010
Paul Brienza

Genocide II: -this era is an important shift in emphasis and understanding in that it creates the modern contemporary understanding of what constitutes genocide -it presents a very clear example of genocide and provides a detailed analysis and set of records that were preserved by the German state, a set of historical witnesses: videos and films also contributing to our knowledge -that also means that it becomes the kind of beginning of the modern UN and the entry into the modern consciousness of the idea of genocide -the development of this particular form of genocide at the international level -the use for political and economic reasons of particular group of people who serve the interest of those often in political power -Holocaust: the highest-level state actors, from leaders of the government to military officials, participating in highly criminal, murderous acts -state, state actors, politicians, have killed more people in the 20th century than any individual criminal -leaders in political power in some strong measure have more responsibility and guilt than the average person: this is a shift in the traditional notion of what crime and murder is -those with the most power have the most guilt -shift in attitude in who is responsible for these kinds of crime -genocide is perpetrated by states: state and state actors -by that definition, states and state actors, politicians, etc. have killed more people in the 20th century than any other actor -they’re much more dangerous -discuss this within the context of Germany -displays many crucial features of what a genocide is Anti-Semitism: The Roots of the Holocaust: -this is a kind of general hatred of Jews, particularly beginning in the religious tradition and being tied to whole forms of cultural, economic and political expressions -in Europe and in countries such as Germany, Russia, and the Eastern region, there was a long-standing hatred of Jews: extends back to the time of the rise of Christianity: religious issue: 1) The Jews were blamed for the death of Jesus: they turned against Jesus and condemned Him to death or at least allowed Him to be condemned to death: there are several lines in the Bible, the new Testament, that give people some sense of that belief -Christianity develops out of Judaism: Jesus was a Jew and earlier followers of Jesus were Jews as well -those who became Christian were very close to Jews and Judaism in the beginning: there was a common tradition -Jews and Christians share a large percentage of scripture and that kind of closeness also brings a certain level of hatred, particularly around the second issue 2) The Jews refused to accept Jesus as the only and final messenger of God: potentious religious issue: whose message is correct? -various passages in the New Testament that blame the Jews for not accepting Christ -there was a long tradition that the Great Prophets of Judaism were rejected by the Jews -the New Testament, the beginning of the Christian faith, adapts that notion, that Prophets are often killed by their own people: this theme is carried over to the New Testament -long tradition in Europe, in which, as throughout the Middle East, Jews are exiled from what is now Israel: they relocate to different places in the Middle East and take on a minority position -the Roman Catholic Church had this ban on usury: pay interest for your mortgage: making money off of interest -it was not something that was prevalent/common -minority group: inhabited many of these cities, towns, and areas ^-they were not Christians and thus could fulfill the role of lending money often for interest that Christians could not do with each other -it establishes this notion that Jews are to be associated with these nefarious financial transactions: they dominate banking: others couldn’t participate in this interest banking -Shylock: Merchant of Venice: Shylock is a Jew-someone in the play owes him money: if they can’t pay him back, he will take a pound of flesh -very nasty image of the Jew as a kind of predatory, aggressive, financial snake, is very much engrained in Western culture -there is this ban on usury that opens doors for Jews, which begins this negative association that we still have today with Jews -Hitler talks about this as well: how Jews control capitalism and political leaders of the US and Britain -this kind of association between capitalism and financial markets with banking that comes from this kind of notion: these are not honourable people -there is this inbred, longstanding notion that this is what this group of people are like -Inquisition: Spanish Inquisition: key element is that Jews, in religious terms, were always seen as an internal enemy that threatened the Church because they did not acknowledge the primacy of the Church and the Church’s belief system -it made them prone to what was known as heresy: in the Medieval times to Renaissance and Early Modern Era: heresy was not only known as wrong beliefs and ideas, but was also a legal term: canon law courts -canon law courts: run by the Church -King’s law, secular law -under heresy, one could be charged for improper, incorrect, or dangerous beliefs -1492 -in Spain, there was a newfound power and religiosity that wanted to control all religions and faiths by punishing 5) the desire to employ the label “otherness” creates the bedrock for the many genocides..there is a parallel of existence: differences between groups of individuals -there is a strong process and tendency in all societies to -the desire to label people as separate from the community is a very strong tendency that seems to exist in virtually all societies, which creates the bedrock for many genocides Racial Science and Ideology: -there is a whole series of pseudo-scientific changes during this time -from the 20th century: there is a remarkable rise in science and technology -there is a whole series of things are combined to create a racial science, that is wedded with ideology -what made modern Anti-Semitism and racism was a combination of traditional forms of hatred with modern scientific tools and historical circumstances -what we have then is traditional hatred: religious -however, religious hatred can be overcome by converting: Jews to Christians -the problem arises with the racial element, which adds a different element, which argues that because of their genetic structure, people have something genetically disposed in terms of racial characteristics -there is a growth of empire and colonialism: there is a sense that certain nations in Europe became incredibly powerful: recognized as the leaders, having conquered a huge empire, at the very forefront of the Industrial Revolution, led the way in terms of science, and they conquered 20% of the globe -they combined military power, technological advancement, scientific advancement, cultural achievement, and political power -these superior-minded individuals, Europeans, began to see themselves as special and different -they came to the realization that they were “different” or “superior”: China and India had large populations, but still failed to conquer the world, thus feeding into the notion of superiority -this feeds into the evolutionary theory developed by Charles Darwin: his views of evolution and race -people who followed in his footsteps began to see a correlation: how did the Europeans conquer the world? They must be a higher and different species, and thus, there must be something genetically and racially superior about this group of people..this theory became known as Social Darwinism -Social Darwinism: his main argument was that species that are most adaptable to their environments survive: survival of the fittest -being stronger does not translate into superiority, but does translate to power and strength -example: Europeans > Natives -modern nation-state brings together a combination of a linguistic cultural group with a political, legal entity, which people would trace through the French Revolution, the idea of the nation -being a member of a particular nation-state brings with a particular racial, ideological, cultural identity -creates, in a sense, a basis for exclusion -if we associate that identity with a sense of identity, we have a clear sense of who is not part of that identity and thus, undeserving of membership -phrenology: part of pseudoscience: study of the human skill: direct link between the shape of one’s skull and their morality, intelligence, and character -systematic killing of Jews -preserve skulls of Jews to demonstrate what their “species” was like and why they were dangerous -the use of genetics as an instrumental tool -bell curve debates: Rushton: scientists who made the argument , based on their analysis of education in the US, that certain races were less intelligent than others: based on genetics: some people argued that this could be traced to a racial hierarchy -purports a relationship between race and genetics -Rushton had a similar argument: intelligence is connected to genetics -however, there is no scientific validity proving their argument to be true -Cesare Lombroso The Rise of Nazism: -political movement born at the same time of numerous other movements, particularly the rise of Socialism -prior to the rise of Socialism in Europe in the 19th century, politics was an elite practice (behind closed doors) -mass public rallies were born of this time, which became larger and more powerful -Socialism thus became a powerful political force -the Nazis became aware of the appeal of mass rallies and its ability to move people, and thus, they were able to take advantage of that -Socialists’ innovation, politically, brought average people into politics -their goal was to bring others into politics to advocate for workers’ rights and bring about Marxist revolution -mass politics could also be used for more Conservative, right-wing issues, which is exactly what they did -what they did was combine Socialism, this concern for the common person and worker, with a nationalist ideology -they integrated the two as a means to improve the nation in its power and status, which many were attracted to -this is a new combination born of that time, a very powerful one -lebensraum: Germans should expand into Eastern Europe and colonize it: create a new German empire in the East: Why do they need this to expand in? It was simply because they were a superior race: they developed a whole ideology around this notion: the Aryan race was the original race, the race in which all other races developed, which was the b
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