This book is an exposé of humanity’s dirty little mega-secret – genocide is a common practice even in today’s modern world. Worse Than War Genocide, Eliminationism and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen is essential reading. I have read some horrible books but perhaps this is the worst for me! It shoves in my face just how hopelessly out of touch with the real world of geo-politics I am and the public too. This is particularly egregious because I have been vastly more in contact with these issues than the general public. I have been: 1. US Air Force bomber pilot 1960. 2. Intimate with individuals and family members of people who created the atomic super weapons 1960s-70s. 3. Author of the book Tao and War back in 1977 which explores the abstract issues of war and public control and 4. Founder of The EarthArk Project 2010 which is an attempt to save the DNA of the present world before it’s lost. 5. Occasional conversations with high level people currently involved with the problems 1957-2010. And yet with this lifelong interest and more than average contact with people associated with humanity’s problems of mass murder I wasn’t really emotionally in contact with the problem. And, if I wasn’t aware of the magnitude of the problem then certainly the general public was totally oblivious to it. The problem is that in a democratic country like the US, where the President is elected by a 50% plus 1 vote (and it was almost that close several times), with half the voters with an IQ of less than 100 and an exposure to facts limited to popular TV, to elect the best possible person to solve these problems is beyond rational expectation.
I have been somewhat aware of genocide and eliminationism in the world at large but even in what is hypocritically called the world’s happiest country – Bhutan – there is ongoing eliminationism, the exporting of ethnic outcasts. However, Goldhagen’s book makes it unpleasantly clear just how ubiquitous genocide really is even here in the USA which at the moment is a very law abiding and peaceful country, at least internally. However, its 200 year history is rather ugly relative to the native Indians, blacks and currently Mexicans. These days when genocide is mentioned it is always in the context of the WW II Jewish holocaust but this book explores the issue in a much broader context than that typical example. There are probably hundreds of other examples which could be discussed and several of them are more recent than the Holocaust and much larger in terms of humans murdered. But, the American news media barely mentions them and if they are mentioned it is in comparison to the Jewish holocaust.
For some perspective on news reportage consider the big media stories of 2004: 1. The Presidential election, 2. The American occupation of Iraq, 3. Scott Peterson’s murder of his wife Lacie. Rarely mentioned and now all but forgotten was the murder of perhaps hundreds of thousands of Darfur’s people and expulsion from their homelands of many more because of their ethnicity. The exported people were left to their own devices without any means of livelihood which means they wither and die in refugee camps or totally abandoned elsewhere. The US media all but ignored similar assaults in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tibet and Chechnya and North Korea and Serbia and Indonesia and etc., each of which sustained thousands of state sanctioned murders. The American media focus during all of this mayhem is instead on the relatively small number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan. That is miserably sad of course but the point is vast numbers of others are wantonly killed and totally ignored by the media. There is an obvious valuation by the media of different humans as possessing different inherent value. We claim all men are created equal but that is a flagrant lie when you look at how the media presents us with what news is happening in the world today.
This book makes clear that huge numbers of people have been and are presently being slaughtered by their own governments. The United Nations policy is to leave internal affairs to the nations themselves and it rarely intervenes. And even then they don’t intervene in a timely fashion but wait until the media forces them to it and the media is very slow to even mention these kinds of internal affairs. After all if the events don’t sell newspapers or obtain TV viewership and thus advertising dollars there is no motivation to report this type of news. Genocide is ugly and will turn viewers away and advertisers won’t fund unwatched media and so it isn’t reported! News media doesn’t report reality, they sell advertising !
The book’s author Goldhagen is a high ranking professor at the world’s preeminent educational institution for governmental affairs, Harvard University. He is well positioned to make an impact on the political thought of our modern world. That is where our President Obama was trained in Constitutional Law, as was our Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and our newly seated Justice Elena Kagan. Thus two of the three primary branches of government of the most powerful country in the world have as their chiefs persons who were derived and trained by this tiny collection of Harvard Law School people. If Goldhagen can’t make an impression on the genocidal propensities of the world in that venue, what can I do? Very little, but what I can do and have been trying to do is to make preparations for the disaster which they seem to be powerless to prevent. I call it The EarthArk Project. I may not be able to stop or even slow, in the tiniest way, the flow of genocidal ugliness but perhaps if my project is successful, in the distant future, humanity can pick up the fragmentary pieces of civilization, after our present people fail and begin a world which has the possibly of having learned a lesson in what not to do.
Genocide clearly isn’t the answer because within any group of people there will always be some sub group and just killing them off will only set up another sub group for the next round of slaughter.
Read Worse than War, weep a little for humanity, then support The EarthArk Project.