Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Nationalism gets Ugly
So, in my last post, I asked if nationalism could exist without xenophobia. I guess this is part of where these thoughts were coming from - I've recently been doing a lot of research on some pretty terrible wars (yeah . . . as opposed to those lovely wars . . .). I have learned about atrocities that I am stunned and saddened that people committed, but I can see how it happened. The propaganda made them believe that they had to get rid of "the enemy" or their communities would be threatened. I can see how ordinary people would be led into this thought process. But then, there's the next level of atrocities - where they start wanting to get rid of the threatening "other," and then they end up engaging their basest instincts - I am particularly thinking of the ICTY case where Muslim teenagers were held as sex slaves. How did these men convince themselves that they could do that? Is this the natural place where fear of the other can lead? These crimes were done in the name of something that started out as nationalism - how does this fit into the dialogue on nationalism as I was noticing it in Quebec and Norway? Does it, or is it a completely different world?