Ideologies and illusions

Ideologies and illusions
June 18, 2015 Dave Fullerton
In ideas, social cohesion

In his superb but harrowing book, A time for machetes. The Rwandan genocide: the killers speak, Jean Hatzfeld records an interview with one of the perpetrators of the genocide.

“You will never see the source of a genocide,” he [Joseph-Desire] says. “It is buried too deep in grudges, under an accumulation of misunderstandings that we were the last to inherit. We came of age at the worst moment in Rwanda’s history: we were taught to obey absolutely, raised in hatred, stuffed with slogans. We are an unfortunate generation.” 

Links to RwandanStories

Real differences: history, inequality and oppression: Until the late 19th century, which is to say, until European colonization, Tutsis (the minority) represented the aristocratic upper classes; Hutus were the peasant masses. The Europeans brought with them an idea of race science…

What’s this Hutu Tutsi thing?  The genocide was the result of high-risk politics in Rwanda, rather than some revival of “ancient tribal hatreds”. But the roots of those politics reach back into the country’s history…

Colonialism:  How did Rwanda get to the point where tens of thousands of people were prepared to brutally murder their neighbours? This section looks at what happens when people in power decide to use inequality and prejudice for their own benefit. Sometimes the blatant racism is easy to spot; other times it’s more subtle…