Genocide: Simple Solution, Complex Implementation

“Silence provides public space for injustice.”

Genocide has been four times as deadly as war. An upwards of 170 million people have been murdered in genocidal slaughters since the 20th century began.

How do we take a massive problem as complicated as genocide and hope to end it, to resolve it?

In an article, Argumentation and the International Problem of Genocide, taking on a communication and argumentation stance is vital in answering this question. To improve the human condition globally, we must recognize three criteria.

The first of the three is a moral notion to discursive complexity, which is the capacity of a group to allow and encourage dissent. Through a recent epiphany, I realized how fundamental communication, conversation, questions, and awareness are in understanding the way in which people think, behave, understand, and make decisions. Societies with high discursive complexity encourage critical thinking and lessen the expectation and need for violence. The solution is simple then: “…powers that limit free expression should be pressured to allow greater capacities to question authorities about the use of power.”

The second of the three is a “heightened rhetorical sense of the perpetrators to genocide.” Something I really don’t think about right away, as many people don’t, is how linguistics has the ability to limit how and whether we understand an action or idea – a very Burkean standpoint. So, the solution here is also simple: be aware.

The third criterion is the “building of a broad critique of state’s rights.” What this is implying is that a sovereign state’s rights are inherently placed before the rights of an individual. States carry selfish motives to the point that they deem economic, social, political, etc. advances are of greater importance than that of a human life. The solution here is simple: fight against this.

Genocide is complex. The solution in regards to a communication standpoint is simple. But the implementation is difficult.

-Urvi Patel


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