Elements of Genocide: Collective Behaviour and Acting Crowd

analytical Essay
1304 words
1304 words

Collective behaviour can be separated into two divisions, crowds and masses, which can be further subdivided, one of the most dangerous being an acting crowd. During World War II, an acting crowd known as the Nazi party brought forward the massacre of millions. After the war, in 1943 Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish-Polish lawyer, created the term genocide to describe the mass extermination of various groups. He combined Latin word “genos” (race or tribe) with another Latin term “cide” (to kill). After the holocaust, Dr. Lemkin fought for the recognition of genocide under international law. Thanks to his efforts, the UN Convention of Genocide was created. (Analysis: Defining Genocide 2) Today, genocide is seen as one of the most heinous crimes against humanity. This essay will discuss the essential elements needed for all genocides by first exploring the role of instigators in violent behaviour and how it connects to psychology. Next, a detailed overview of how human behaviour is impacted during havoc will be discussed relating to the ideas of a group ideology. By doing so the correlation between instigators and group visions will be clear. Finally, the importance of an identifiable minority will then be discussed. It will be clear from this that all components in this criteria must be met in order for genocide take place.
Mass crime like, self-driven crime has instigators. Turmoil in the form of war, poverty, politics, economics, societal change and diminishing life conditions are common instigators. (Staub 305) When these factors are placed between basic survival and psychological needs such as food, shelter, and security the individual or in this case, a group feels threatened. For instance the situation in Darfur, the Sudanese gove...

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...): 519-32. Web. 7 Jan. 2014.
"Genocide in Darfur." United Human Rights Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2014. .
" Stanton, Greg H. "The Ten Stages of Genocide." Genocide Watch. N.p., 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. .
Staub, Ervin. "The Origins and Prevention of Genocide, Mass Killing, and Other Collective Violence." Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 5.4 (1999): 303-36. Print.
Maritz, Dominique. "What Are The Main Causes of Genocide?" EInternational Relations RSS. N.p., 12 July 2012. Web. 06 Jan. 2014. .
"What Leads People to Commit Genocide?" Discovery, n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2014. .

In this essay, the author

  • Explains how collective behaviour can be divided into crowds and masses, and how raphael lemkin created the term genocide to describe the mass extermination of various groups.
  • Explains that mass crime like, self-driven crime has instigators, such as war, poverty, politics, economics, societal change, and diminishing life conditions.
  • Explains that the human psyche is influenced easily in times of war. the rwandan genocide shows that an instigating factor is present if an event like the holocaust is seen as a precedent of mass murder.
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