Friday, August 31, 2007

The 8 stages of Genocide

There are stages through which the causes and conditions for genocide develop and gradually end in manifest genocide, as developed by Gregory H. Stanton. Assuming that the government is authoritarian or totalitarian, such stages are as follows.

1. Classification: People are typed, categorized, and classified into different groups, such as whites, blacks, Asians; or into Christians and Jews; or into communists, leftists, or rightists.

2. Symbolization: Different groups are given names, such as Chinese, Jews, Hindus, or Marxists." Particular clothes, (like a Turban), food eaten (like rice), physical characteristic (like long noses), or behavior (like inscrutable) may become ways of stereotyping the group's members. Classification and symbolization are common to all societies and while necessary for genocide to occur, do not foretell that it will; or that the next stages will follow.

3. Dehumanization: Members of the out-groups are dehumanized, as in calling them apes, monkeys, cockroaches, parasites, rats, vermin, and the like. In this way, members of the out-group are made to appear clearly outside of "our" moral universe. As vermin and such, members of the out-group have been stripped of the moral in-group protection against extermination.

4. Organization: Officials, sympathetic in-group leaders, and intellectuals organize to repress, murder out-group members, or entirely destroy the dehumanized group. Weapons are stacked or handed out; militia, security forces, or military are selected and trained; preliminary plans are made.

5. Polarization: Officials, extremists, propagandists, or demagogues undertake a systematic campaign to maximize the social, psychological, and moral distance between "us" and "them." In this stage, moderate intellectuals and leaders are silenced either through intimidation, beatings, arrests, and outright assassination.

6. Preparation: All is ready for genocide and the final step is to tag those to be killed. They may be forced to wear identifying clothing, symbols on their clothing, or be segregated in ghettos. Lists of those to be killed may be prepared for killing squads, and the out-group may be systematically deprived by law and weapon roundups of any weapons. Those who might lead the resistance to genocide, such as young males, may be conscripted into the military and segregated for subsequent execution, or simply jailed.

7. Genocide: For whatever motive, the final decision is made to attack and destroy those in the out-group, or to destroy the group as such. It may be justified as a righteous campaign to exterminate vermin or cleanse the society of filth, to recover ancient greatness or save the nation's race, to revenge past wrongs, and so on.

8. Denial: The final stage is the perpetrator's denial of their genocide. They destroy or hide the relevant official evidence, burn bodies, leave unmarked graves, or invent a reasonable rational for the killing ("they were in rebellion," "were killed during the civil war," or "were helpmates to our enemies."). Moreover, the perpetrators may harass those who claim that a genocide occurred. The most coherent and far reaching official denial today is that of the Turkish government that the murder of over a million Armenians during World War I was genocide. According to the Turks, they died as a result of a civil war, an invasion by Russia, and the attempt of the Young Turk government to deport potential and actual hostile Armenians to a different part of the country for their own protection.


Cem said...

Interesting article.
Last years, I talked a lot about this. Still confused. But this posting opens my eyes.

Tufan said...

Thanks for the info.
Gives me more insight.

mirdifderya said...

Thank you bringing up Dafur subject here, which most of us know aware of!

Too busy with Armenian Genocide which happens 90 years back, but real Genocide is happening right in front of us, what the world doing? Will talk 90 years later blaming people whose fault was it?

mirdifderya said...

Sorry for the sentence mistake:

' Thank you for bringing up Dafur subject here which is most of don't aware of it'

Too early to comment I guess:)

Sean Jeating said...

it's time that I do not keep this thought for me. :)

Sometimes, I think: Wooaaah, why so impulsive? So aggressive?

But when keeping cool, when delivering facts/logic, I am lifting my imagined hat: Chapeau.

Hans at his best.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

thanks for all the nice and interesting comments you made today, Sean..)))

Jess said...

Coincidentally, just finished Philip Gourevitch's book on the Rwandan genocide: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families.

Dovetailed with what you said here.

Excellent book, by the way. Well-organized, clear, and critical.

Hans said...

Derya, Jess, I wrote something about Darfur on April 29..))
The guy was responsible for Darfur was that idiot Jan Pronk, a Dutch, who wanted to create 'safe zones' like in Srebenica, you see my point?..((