by J.B. Gerald / July 27th, 2018
Of genocide one thing becomes clear: the perpetrators are usually governments. The perpetrators may be cliques within the government, using the government, but the organization of such cataclysmic events is beyond the skills of amateurs. So it isn’t a surprise that the domain of preventing genocides is as tightly controlled as the mechanisms of punishment. A control not entirely foreseen by the conceptual author, Raphael Lemkin, was written-into the Convention on the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, with the support of countries which had risen to power through colonialism. It is the word “intent” as in “intent to destroy”, which is now considered a requirement, if any attempt to destroy a “national, racial, ethnical or religious” group of people is to be considered a genocide.
The mass killing has to provably have the intention of destroying one of these groups protected by the Convention.
The vagaries of “intent” and the difficulties of ever proving “intention” deep within a perpetrator’s mind is a domain claimed by the government’s policy makers, academics, inevitably psychologists, and the judiciary, who keep the Convention on Genocide basically out of the hands of the people. The people are universally the victims.
To move beyond this control we might put aside nationalism and look at governments on one hand, and peoples on the other as not always having the same interests.