Genocide and Modernity Essay

Genocide and Modernity Essay

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The crime of genocide is one of the most devastating human tragedies throughout the history. And the word genocide refers to an organised destruction to a specific group of people who belongs to the same culture, ethnic, racial, religious, or national group often in a war situation. Similar to mass killing, where anyone who is related to the particular group regardless their age, gender and ethnic background becomes the killing targets, genocide involves in more depth towards destroying people’s identity and it usually consists a fine thorough plan prearranged in order to demolish the unwanted group due to political reasons mostly. While the term genocide had only been created recently in 1943 by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish legal scholar, from the ancient Greek word “genos” meaning race and the Latin word “cide” meaning killing , there are many examples of genocide like events that occurred before the twentieth century. And this new term brings up the question as whether genocide is a contemporary description defined through current perspectives towards the crime act or is it just a part of the inevitable human evolutionary progress caused by modernity.

From a number of past genocide examples, historians have discovered the relationship between genocide and modernity, however since the word modernity comprises a vast range of aspects about the new changes and developments in a society, therefore it is hard to pin point the link between the two and thus making the term more ambiguous when attempting to explain. Nevertheless, what we are certain is that the significance of modernity that acts as a fuse in genocides that had cost millions of lives and this explains their strong association with each other evidently. Looking ...


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...onassohn. The History and Sociology of Genocide: Analysis and Case Studies (Durham: Yale University Press, 1990) 249

Henry Morgenthau. Quotes stated by the Witnesses of Armenian genocide, Armenian National Committee of America, http://www.anca.org/genocide/quotes.php

Inara Walden. To Send Her to Service: Aboriginal Domestic Servants, Austlii, http://austlii.law.uts.edu.au/au/journals/AboriginalLB/1995/52.html

Jens-Uwe Korff. Aboriginal timeline (1770-1899), Creative Spirits, http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/aboriginal-history-timeline-early-white.html

Raphael Lemkin. Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944) 79

Roderic H. Davidson. Turkey (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1968) 109

Sean Sheehan. Face the Facts: Genocide (Chicago: Raintree, 2005) 4-5

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