The Warring Logics of Genocide

  • Edith Wyschogrod

Abstract

The very mention of genocide usually elicits a shudder, a frisson of horror, psychological revulsion, and moral outrage. Images of mass annihilation, of the dead and dying, evoked by that term are especially troubling since genocidal killing, now endemic in the postmodern world, is grasped as a slaughter of the innocents. It is understood that those earmarked for destruction are selected on the basis of criteria that lie outside the standard rules of conduct in war, even if genocidal events occur in the context of what is designated conventionally as war. Genocidal killing is often justified by its perpetrators not principally on the grounds of what the dead are presumed to have done but rather as required by an ontological flaw, as it were, attributed to the victims.

Keywords

Dispatch Lost Incineration Congo Sudan 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 6.
    James E. Young, Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust: Narratives and the Consequences of Interpretation (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1988), p. 192.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    See Edith Wyschogrod, An Ethics of Remembering: History, Heterology and the Nameless Others (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1998), p. 168.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    Dominique Janicaud, Powers of the Rational: Science, Technology and the Future of Thought, trans. Peg Birmingham and Elizabeth Birmingham (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994), p. 65.Google Scholar
  4. 20.
    Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich, trans. Richard and Clara Winston (New York: Macmillan, 1970), p. 282.Google Scholar
  5. 30.
    Emmanuel Levinas, Existence and Existents, trans. Alphonso Lingis (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1978), p. 58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 32.
    Emmanuel Levinas, Time and the Other, trans. Richard Cohen (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1985), p. 48.Google Scholar
  7. 33.
    Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise Than Being and Beyond Essence, trans. Alphonso Lingis (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1981), p. 161.Google Scholar
  8. 34.
    Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved, trans. Raymond Rosenthal (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), p. 38.Google Scholar
  9. Adriaan T. Peperzak, Simon Critchley, and Robert Bernasconi, eds, Emmanuel Levinas: Basic Philosophical Writings, trans. Alphonso Lingis and Richard Cohen as revised (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996), p. 139.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Edith Wyschogrod 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edith Wyschogrod

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations