"They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Denying-History » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:05 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:Mind that genocide under this category would exclude the targeting of a ethnos in part. Seems like it would allow for the targeting of a group in a specific province of a country and not in others to escape the genocide charge. I also don't think I implied that he said all members of the group must die.

But Mann, despite some misgivings, uses a concept of local genocide.


Don't believe I remember you saying this above. Still seems to make the apple fall miles from its original intention for me. The limitation to ethnic and racial (on the assumption he would consider the targeting of a group because of their race as genocide) categorization by Mann seems to push it. I can see the reasoning behind removing religious murders from the 1948 definition, but nationality still is a stickler for me, what does Mann comment about nationalities?

Statistical Mechanic wrote:He says that partial genocide “makes sense only in geographic terms,” that is, as a local action (examples: settler attacks on Indians of Owens Valley in CA in 1851, Turk actions against Armenians in Van and elsewhere prior to Turkish cleansings going over into genocide, localized settler massacres and cleansings in Australia from late 1800s through 1920).

Mann does emphasize the genocide requires intent and (large) numbers. I take it that Mann is making some important distinctions among different kinds of cleansings and mass population destruction whilst conceptualizing a spectrum or continuum of murderous ethnic cleansing.


Mind that Large is most likely within preportion to that population. Do remember I haven't touched Manns writings yet. Though calling it a "local genocide" seems to just be slightly missing that Mann would just describe such actions as genocide. Meaning he agrees with the concept of "in whole or in part".
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:24 pm

>> Don't believe I remember you saying this above.

I didn’t. You’d posted that Mann “doesn't seem to consider intentional partial destruction of groups.” I was simply clarifying that he does so but not in exactly the same way as the UN convention. There are many other critical conceptual points he makes that I haven’t stated outright yet but will if the need arises. My reply was simply to add a layer to the high level definition I did state.

>> what does Mann comment about nationalities?

His understanding of genocide is tied up with the emergence of modern nations, organic nationalisms (itself tied up with the drive for national ethnic homogeneity), and competition of ethnic groups for territory.

>> Large is most likely in preportion to that population

I’m not sure if that is what he’s saying. I will look back to the passage and check.

>> agrees with the concept of “in whole or in part”

So far he hasn’t referenced the UN definitions except to say that certain actions that are not in his opinion genocides and some that are would be prosecutable. I think Mann is working towards a sociological/historical concept of his own and not very concerned with “original intention” of earlier and differently slanted definitions. It's a long time since the ‘40s.
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Denying-History » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:47 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:>> Don't believe I remember you saying this above.

I didn’t. You’d posted that Mann “doesn't seem to consider intentional partial destruction of groups.” I was simply clarifying that he does so but not in exactly the same way as the UN convention. There are many other critical conceptual points he makes that I haven’t stated outright yet but will if the need arises. My reply was simply to add a layer to the high level definition I did state.
Was just saying clarification wasn't there originally.

Statistical Mechanic wrote:>> what does Mann comment about nationalities?

His understanding of genocide is tied up with the emergence of modern nations, organic nationalisms (itself tied up with the drive for national ethnic homogeneity), and competition of ethnic groups for territory.
"Raphael Lemkin, in his 1944 Axis Rule in Occupied Europe," argued genocide was to "forcibly change by a variety of means the national character of a given territory." (James Mace) Mann has adopted from what you have said a similar concept but only limited the term to ethnos. Seems like a dull simplification of the original concept from its original meaning. Also another issue I noticed is his use of "ethnocide" which Lemkin considered to be synonyms with genocide in some aspects.

Statistical Mechanic wrote:>> Large is most likely in preportion to that population

I’m not sure if that is what he’s saying. I will look back to the passage and check.
Its what makes the most sense. If there is a targeted ethnic group of say 500,000 people in europe and 20% of them die, it cannot be ruled out as not being genocide because less then 1 millon died.

Statistical Mechanic wrote:>> agrees with the concept of “in whole or in part”

So far he hasn’t referenced the UN definitions except to say that certain actions that are not in his opinion genocides and some that are would be prosecutable. I think Mann is working towards a sociological/historical concept of his own and not very concerned with “original intention” of earlier and differently slanted definitions. It's a long time since the ‘40s.
If he agrees with the concept of the localization of a genocide this means he agrees part of an ethnos can be killed off from a targeted policy, which is again "in part". Regardless of international law.
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:09 pm

Two things:

1. Mann disintguishes, without hairsplitting, among ethnocide and genocide - because the intent and dynamics are different.

2. He presents a spectrum or continuum of muderous ethnic cleansing without lumping all into a single type.

I’m not tying to defend or argue Mann’s case, just to get out here what it is.
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Denying-History » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:22 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Two things:

1. Mann disintguishes, without hairsplitting, among ethnocide and genocide - because the intent and dynamics are different.
I don't believe I said he didn't. I just said Lemkin's original interpretation leans away from his defintions.

Statistical Mechanic wrote:2. He presents a spectrum or continuum of muderous ethnic cleansing without lumping all into a single type.

I’m not tying to defend or argue Mann’s case, just to get out here what it is.
That is quite fine by Mann's respect and all. I am not trying to force you to defend him ether. But what I get from a statement as follows below:

His understanding of genocide is tied up with the emergence of modern nations, organic nationalisms (itself tied up with the drive for national ethnic homogeneity), and competition of ethnic groups for territory.


Is that Mann says Nationality = Ethnicity. What I was asking is what does Mann label as the targeting of the French nationality for example, meaning all cultures living under the nationality of the French republic.
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:38 pm

Denying-History wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:Two things:

1. Mann disintguishes, without hairsplitting, among ethnocide and genocide - because the intent and dynamics are different.
I don't believe I said he didn't. I just said Lemkin's original interpretation leans away from his defintions.

You wrote not that Mann "leans away" from Lemkin but that Mann’s continuum is a “dull simplification” of Lemkin. That is what I was replying to. Btw I don’t take Mann's argument that way: Mann's is a slightly different way of looking at the issues which presents a distinction, based on intent and dynamics, not included in the UN convention as I understand it (nor in Lemkin IIRC).

I do think Mann, as I reflect, comments on the UN definition directly but I want to look that up to be sure I’m not merging what I am thinking into Levene!
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:55 pm

Denying-History wrote:Is that Mann says Nationality = Ethnicity.

Not really. Mann says that an ethnicity is a group defined (by its own members or by other groups) by having common culture and descent. It is thus defined culturally. A nation is such a group that also shares a "political consciousness" - and a nation-state is an instance in which such a group has a state of its own.

Denying-History wrote:What I was asking is what does Mann label as the targeting of the French nationality for example, meaning all cultures living under the nationality of the French republic.

Not sure I follow exactly but it sounds like you're describing a multi-ethnic or multi-national state.
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:04 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I do think Mann, as I reflect, comments on the UN definition directly but I want to look that up to be sure I’m not merging what I am thinking into Levene!

So far Mann has referenced Lemkin precisely once - and I did recall what he said, in the context of the UN definition. He mentioned Lemkin's 1944 offering of the term genocide; here, Mann expressed his concern with partial genocide in the definition, accepting the term as geographical (as above) and he explained that his focus is the continuum described above - "the worst" part of the continuum, "murderous ethnic cleansing."

What I recalled was that Mann said of the UN convention, stating better than I did some of my concerns expressed in the OP, that its definition is often criticized "because it includes both too much and too little." (That's the phrase that I recalled!) Mann then says that one criticism is, in fact, that in the UN definition "'partial' destruction counts as genocide." (p 17) I've explained above why Mann presents a continuum - which avoids definitional hair-splitting whilst it distinguishes various cases with different intent and patterns.

Btw on this issue Mann aligns well with a point which Nick Terry has already made: "genocidal massacre (killings of an ethnic group in specific localities; would qualify legally as 'genocide', e.g. Srebrenica)."
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:41 am

Mann presents a statistical analysis of perpetrators of Nazi genocide, looking at a large, broad sample as opposed to a case study (e.g., Browning's PB 101). He comes to conclusions that differ to Browning's:
[H]ard-core perpetrators were overwhelmingly drawn from core Nazi constituencies [especially middle class professions, service workers, and those who worked for the state]. . . . The actual perpetrators . . . were disproportionately drawn from lost territories or threatened borders. . . . [M]ost of these perpetrators were probably ideological killers. . . . Many perpetrators were also embedded in institutional and professional subcultures already favorable to tough, physical, legal, and biological remedies for social ills before genocide was requested. Approximately two-thirds of the sample [of perpetrators] had also had full-fledged careers in ascending violence and Nazism,
a phenomenon which Mann describes as "caging." (p 239)
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:17 pm

more later: as one would expect given his conceptual framework, Mann doesn't view the mass deaths caused by the regimes of Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot as genocide; at a high level, he discusses their depredations as combinations of politicide, classicide, and (a new category he introduces in his material on Communist-caused math deaths, pertaining to factionalism, purges and regime/party paranoia) fratricide. In these cases (USSR, China, and Cambodia), the majority of deaths were unintended and resulted from miscalculations and the callous implementation of (mostly) class warfare.

unrelated note: Mann's discussion of the "dirty," hands-on quality of the Final Solution (in opposition to theses who make it synonymous with desk killers and remote bureaucrats) is quite good, as is Mann's manner of sketching out the complexity of perpetration within the framework that the driving perpetrators were ideological killers.
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:49 pm

Two more points from Mann:

1) The Nazis' approach to genocidal orders - allowing significant scope for opting out, even if doing so carried stigma and jeopardized standing - is not the norm in genocides; Mann shows much "tougher" enforcement of orders - including death penalties - among the followers of the Young Turks, Serbian nationalists in the '90s, and Hutu Power advocates. I suspect, and the evidence which Mann cites is very clear about this in the cases of the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, that this was because, in contrast to the Nazis, the genocidaires in the other cases faced clear, often open dissidence and outright opposition to their policy - necessitating cruelty to enforce the policy.

2) The lack of a master plan (and with it the absence of a predetermination to do away with the "enemy" ethnic group) on the part of the Nazis, on the other hand, is typical of the genocides which Mann analyzes as escalating and radicalizing phenomena. As Mann writes about Rwanda, citing the testimony of PM Kambanda, "the cabinet had not planned genocide beforehand, but once it began, they met regularly to discuss its progress. They organized distribution of arms [to special forces and helpers], roadblocks, and visits to stiffen the resolve of laggard prefectures." (p 456) (We've seen something similar - although not by any means identical - in the Nazi case; in fact, Mann's phrase about "stiffening" reminded me of Himmler's later summer 1941 visits to the East, which we've discussed in the EG threads.)
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:37 pm

And five more points from Mann:

1) As with the Nazis, and counter to convenient stereotypes and jeremiads, perpetrators of murderous ethnic cleaning are not mainly déclassé or lumpen; they are instead drawn from across social classes, united by ethnic fear or grievance or assertion (usually, as Mann says, a feeling of threat and humiliation overcome by retaliation and righteous anger). At the same time, ethnic groups are not monoliths; there is usually a class hierarchy within the perpetrating community, from desk murderers and order givers, along with "ethnic entrepreneurs" (militants and ideologists), to paramilitaries to foot soldiers - and often dissenters, bystanders, etc who do not actively support the militant ethnic program. Still, murderous ethnic cleansing is a collective, social and structured activity (which is organized in certain conditions), neither the essence of an ethnic group nor the sum of individual predilections or bad dispositions of some of its members.

2) The preponderance of perpetrators in all Mann's cases were male, usually youngish. Men have also been the most numerous victims of murderous ethnic cleansing. Police, athletes, ex-soldiers, and criminal gang members are enlisted in great numbers; perpetrators from borderlands and with refugee backgrounds are overrepresented. But also students and professionals often are in the forefront. This is true even of ethnic rioters in cases where the rioting fails to escalate to murderous ethnic cleansing.

3) Mann's ideal case has two ethnic contenders at loggerheads over who will rule territory (although he discusses other interethnic conflicts), both with plausible ideological cases and both with force to back its claims (that is, the goals of both ethnic groups are achievable); in this, the Final Solution diverges, of course, from the ideal case. Where one side is internally weak, it may count on its ethnic allies from a neighboring country or territory ("homeland state abroad") to give its claims clout. Both ethnic groups in conflict, thus, feel threatened and empowered; this is the general toxic condition which can lead to escalation.

4) It is where states are weak and divided, or at least factionalized - opposite to the stereotype of the strong totalitarian state - that Mann sees conditions for escalation to genocide as ripest. In his view, genocide usually arises from democratic pressures, or in democratic or factionalized contexts, often where democratic aspirations (majoritarian democracy) are connected to organic views of the nation-state. Strong authoritarian states, in contrast, have the ability to step in and control escalating situations - or to prevent escalation at the outset. Mann's purest case, Rwanda, includes a moderating Rwanda government that was undone by war and assassination. The Rwanda state's eventual weakness was a factor in the escalation as moderates had became unable to block ethnic militants (Hutu Power advocates), and the international community failed to read the situation well and step into the gap. (Levene's discussion of Stalinist cleansing during and after WWII differs dramatically to Mann's argument here.) For Mann, it is clashing sovereignty claims (point 3 above) + internal political stability / geopolitical stability which trigger murderous ethnic cleansing, including genocide.

5) Implicit throughout Mann's discussion of genocide is that genocide is not, as in the UN definition, either killing the members of a group or causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group or inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part or prevention of births within the group or forcible transfers of children from the group; the way in which Mann discusses genocide implies that for him it is a combination of such elements always including murderous ethnic cleansing; therefore, genocide is characterized but not fully defined by mass murder (p 474). Again, Mann views murderous ethnic cleansing as a continuum.
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Re: "They might have left some babies cryin' on the ground": what is genocide?

Postby Denying-History » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:43 am

Started reading Mann a few days ago. About half way through his second chapter on Armenia, its an interesting read so far. So far his concept that, democracies are most likely to fall victim to committing an act of genocide than authoritarian states is definitely quite interesting. His mentioning of Justin McCarthy has been rather annoying, knowing some of his writings. For the Armenian case he has been known for arguing that the deportations were not genocide but were in reality a civil war, or was a case of "double-genocide" by both parties. This concept of "rebellions" being created has been heavily disputed by Vahakn N. Dadrian. The The Naim-Andonian Documents hardly allow for such a conclusion. Terner Akcham from memory also pointed out that the "Yozgat rebellion" (the Young Turks primary justification for the deportations) had no basis in reality and was deliberately fabricated. Though perhaps I misunderstand what he meant.
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