Europeans Are Responsible For The Holocaust

I was just reading that the Iraqi government is sponsoring a money-for-land program to de-arabize the northern city of Kirkuk, which had been arabized under Saddam Hussein. This reminded me of Israel/Palestine, Yugoslavia, and other areas in which the model of the nation-state and its historiography demand displacement, correction, disagreement, competing narratives, gendered violence, and other things.

I don't really have anything else to say about this except that it sucks. Why doesn't someone do some work about how to navigate having multiple "nations" living in the same space and competing for the same land? It seems like this could be broadly studied and positive conclusions could come out of some of the academic work that resulted from this. Moreover everyone hates genocide, "ethnic cleansing," or whatever other word you want to use for it.

There's obviously something structural about what's going on and it would honestly be an immense relief for my own selfish purposes to be able to read about Northern Ireland or Kosovo or anywhere else without having to hear about "conflicts that go back hundreds of years" and how things are unsolvable. Particularly if someone can come up with a structure for a solution besides genocide. And not make me read a 300 page book.

Scoring system:

-5 points for anything moronic (this will be established by a consensus among relatively smart people)
0 points for mentioning Partition or assuming that everyone should share your views on Israel/Palestine without a need for defense of the same by you (the latter really should go in the -5 category; as always, I'm being charitable)
5 points for intelligent discussion
10 points for knowing about Ottoman empire genocide of Armenians in 1915
15 points for not reducing this to a discussion about American identity politics or one of its morphs around the world
20 point for good satire, parody, or other such entertainment.  Self-parody does not count.

Feel free to keep score for yourself. We can compare notes!!!!

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Comments

Good question. I have been

Good question. I have been thinking (very basic thoughts, really) about this lately, and I think you really need to have some mechanism to resolve the major disputes of the past in a way that isn't the oppressed taking over and butchering their once oppressors. Maybe it takes a truth and reconcilliation commission a la South Africa. Of course, all parties would have to agree that this process would mark the end of "grudges" (as long as reparations, apologies, etc are part of the bargain). It's a tremendous leap of faith to begin with, but I guess we'd have to be hopeful.

And then, the constitution should probably integrate the understanding that within the project of a nation-state, there are other nations and groupings of people who require some degree of autonomy and self-control, while also having representation in a federal system of government (perhaps a confederacy of smaller nations within a nation-state). I'm thinking about moving beyond a "multicultural" constitution that recognizes group cultural rights, to one that recognizes internal boundaries, jurisdiction, authority, and self-governance.

But I don't know how this would work out - I keep thinking of post-Franco Spain, though I don't know a lot about it, just because I read a history of the Basques that pointed to the loose links that bind the nation-state together, with Catalonians and the Basque people (in addition to others, of course) demanding more and more autonomy.

It's this "nation-within-a-nation" model that's interesting and, to me, quite complicated. I think that there are advocates for something similar in the case of Hawai'i, where the sovereign right of Hawaiians to be independent was taken from them by an American military operation in the nineteenth Century. Some folks want independence, some folks want to remain a state, and some folks advocate for Hawaiian sovereignty within the context of the broader American national project (not sure if this is a native homelands approach, but it is modeled after the continental Native American tribal sovereignty, where the boundaries of the native Hawaiian "nation" would not be coterminous with the boundaries of the state of Hawai'i (well, islands and waters surrounding them, I guess).

I don't know... now I'm rambling. How do you make it work?

Dr. Anon when i refer to

Dr. Anon

when i refer to nationalist historiography (or rather nation-state historiography), I’m talking about mainstream press articles that have the same problems over and over.

What do you mean as mainstream press articles? As in Associated Press articles that give a recount of an event (which definately are not unbiased since things are excluded, omitted, etc for the sake of space, time, etc) or commentary in mainstream press?

I somewhat agree that there is little offer of solutations in mainstream articles. However, I also think that there is much literature, analyses, etc that DO offer solutions, except that the powers to be don't really want to listen and take the time to implement them because it would alter and minimize the powers of those folks. It's not that these solutions don't exist, it's that the general public doesn't know about their existence, or doesn't read them.

the point is not establishing that there are situations like this or that they’re fucked up but trying to come up with effective solutions.

But you can't get away from establishing what the situation is like or that they're fucked up if you want to come up with effective solutions. How is one to devise a solution if they don't know what is going on?

And that is one of the centers of the problem: that there are several versions of what the situation is like, whether it even exists at all.

If you have names of specific articles, books, etc., on genocide studies that would be relevant,

I know of tons, but right now I don't have the time to put them here. It would be a long bibliography :) When I do get the time, I will definately list them here (some of the sources I have in mind are not American and not even in English, so I don't know about the accessibility.)

rage i agree with you that

rage i agree with you that some model of shared sovereignty (perhaps CPI(M)/American bias towards federalism on my part) is the way I lean. But that doesn't establish the effective mechanisms of how to defuse a situation. btw, i don't agree that they're "disputes of the past." Every dispute has a history--the fact that these are anchored in history is part of the problem. "History" is like "God"--can't argue with it.

Quebec might offer a decent example, in that, instead of taking the bait, the majority attempted to placate the nationalist movement. But that's a very specific context, largely outside of the kinds of spaces (read: imperially produced by other peoplel) that are subject to these kinds of problems.

di, i read a lot for someone as dumb as me. when i refer to nationalist historiography (or rather nation-state historiography), I'm talking about mainstream press articles that have the same problems over and over. Those are the things that reflect and reinforce the supposed intractability of these problems, not Sugata Bose or Partha Chatterjee. the point is not establishing that there are situations like this or that they're fucked up but trying to come up with effective solutions. Everyone sensible believes there wasa a pogrom in Gujarat with state complicity, the same way that many believe the same thing about congress and the massacre in the Golden temple (and probably other things). That doesn't help me deal with the underlying problem--how to defuse and ressurect a situation wherer conflicting soveriengties reach a boiling point that leads to little productive solution other than singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday."

If you have names of specific articles, books, etc., on genocide studies that would be relevant, let me know, but please do so by listening to this clarificatiion of the post.

I don't really get the

I don't really get the meaning of the title in conjunction with the post, but hey.

read about Northern Ireland or Kosovo or anywhere else without having to hear about “conflicts that go back hundreds of years” and how things are unsolvable.

You seem to be reading the wrong kinds of books :) Many of the "explanantions" which reach back "hundreds of years" are really obfuscating the present, and are often used to justify injustice presently.

0 points for mentioning Partition or assuming that everyone should share your views on Israel/Palestine without a need for defense of the same by you (the latter really should go in the -5 category; as always, I’m being charitable)

Wow... er, ok. Freedom of opinion, I guess.

And not make me read a 300 page book.

There are lots, lots, and LOTS of human rights reports, fieldwork assessments, organization reports, and so on that are not 300 page plus books, but could give you concrete facts to come up with an explanation on your own. Sure, we should always be mindful and critical of what type the organizations, commissions, etc are and should try to see what is left out/inlcuded. And reading books helps out a lot, too.

You can google search various reports.

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