Anti-genocide: Building an American Movement to Prevent Genocide
This book is a frank and hopeful meditation on the recurring tragedy of genocide that should be read by anybody who cares about its prevention. Hirsch argues if we are to successfully confront, prevent, or control the most egregious aspects of genocidal violence, we must create containing political institutions and social mechanisms. But ultimately human nature must change to temper the worst excesses of genocidal violence, given its long and intractable historical presence. Hirsch looks hard at complex realities and proposes how to build a politics of prevention. Focusing on the United States, a political movement must be built that supports the politics of prevention in the international realm. Long-term prevention depends on changing how humans view each other, though. Creating a new ethic of life-enhancing behavior based on the ideology of universal human rights that is passed on from generation to generation via the process of political socialization ultimately is our best hope of preventing future genocides.
This book begins with the fact that there is apparently nothing historically unique about human beings killing one another in relatively large numbers. Genocide appears to be a phenomenon that has been a part of human history since we began to record our worst excesses. Certainly it has been in the forefront of human consciousness as the last century came to its bloody conclusion. It is not an intractable problem. A mass movement to prevent genocide can be built, and once created it should pressure the federal government to focus its foreign policy on the prevention of genocide.
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