PPF - PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
ASPECTS OF AN INTEGRATIVE CONCEPT FOR SOCIAL SCIENTISTS.
Richard Albrecht, PhD.
Historical Genocide, Crime of the State, and Modern Terrorism.
Sociological Sketches on the Policy of Sustainable Destruction Within 20th Century
Biopolitical Destruction: The irrevocable consequences of genocide within 20th century. Another look on Raphael Lemkin´s concept of modern genocide
As a scholar of genocide within 20th century, its aims, measures, and techniques, in general, and the mass murder of the Armenian people as organised by the Ottoman state during the First World War ("Armenocide") especially, I will try to give me best and work out a specific, and ´modern´, aspect according to the basic concept Raphael Lemkin (1901-1959) taught us when defining central features of the most destructive human event -both an outstanding crime against humanity and civilisation- named genocide: the a-priori planned physical destruction of an entire people or ethnic (and sometimes religious) group with its irrevocable consequences over several generations - a sort of extreme and anti-human(istic) dystopia [utopia in the very negative].
This very aspect was, in quite a cynical way, expressed in the well-know rhetorical question Herr Hitler worked out (August 22th, 1939) when adjuring his leading military commanders to attac Poland (as at first planned Aug. 25th, 1939):
"Who the fuck´s still talking ´bout the annihilation of Ottoman Armenians ?"
From my own viewpoint Raphael Lemkins emphasis on the biopolitical dimension and its irrevocable consequences is the most relevant aspect of his ´definition´ of genocide when writing (1944):
"In this respect genocide is a new technique of occupation aimed at winning the peace even though the war itself is lost."
The ´Armenian case´ 1915/18 demonstrates the very relevancy of this ´new aspect´ and what genocide really means as a ´modern´ crimen gentium: Although the battle was lost the fight for annihilating Armenian race, religion, and culture within ´modern Turkey´ after 1918/19 was -and, in a way, is still- successful; and, according to the survivors of the first ´modern´ genocide within the 20th century under the circumstances of the First World War, it lasted several generations, and will still need some more, that the Armenian diaspora enables herself to care about what happened 1915-18 backside in Turkey under the rule of the Young Turks and their destructive ideology, and policy, against an ethnic, religious, and cultural minority.
Interpreting Raphael Lemkins ´biopolitical´ dimension within his definition of modern genocide in this way his basic concept at least means:
(i) the paradox that the actual military, political, and cultural looser could be the prospective biopolitical winner for several generations. This means that any scholarly study of modern genocide, its aims, measures, and techniques, requires a broad/er perspective over generations;
(ii) any scholarly study of modern genocide has, indeed, to do with a basis moral context and dimension: As Albrecht (at first in 1989; vide also Albrecht 1990; 1994; 1995) emphasized the history of modern genocide means working against any "memoria ideologica" and for every "memoria historical, testimonial" (Semprun 1977);
(iii) in the tradition of stigmatising any modern genocide as an outstanding crime against humanity, and civilisation, the author reminds us not only on the historical declaration of the Triple Entente (England, France, Russia; as published in April 24, 1915) but also on a human saving-life-policy our "world community" (Raphael Lemkin) is based upon as a human, and civilised, global event.
As a scholar of the social sciences with strong interest in cultural, and projective, aspects of political sociology I will take the ´Armenian case´ seriously: for I am no longer interested in that rubbish talk and narrow-minded concept of Robert K[ing] Mertons "unanticipated consequences of purposive social action" (1936) which may still represents the mainstream of sociological theory (and its dualism: latent vs. manifest function of social action) I will have another look on the field by applying, methodically, both interpretative and creative methods of sociological impressionism on a broad documentary basis (due to what C[harles] Wright Mills (1961) once called ´intellectual craftsmanship´ including, e.g., also ´Gedankenexperiment´ [experiment in mind] as a genuine sociological method).
The Politics of Denial - Genocide in 20th Century: The Meaning of the Turkish Case: Ideological Fiction & National Myth of "Modern Turkey" after the Destruction of The Ottoman Empire
As a researcher of the social psychology of genocide within 20th century under comparative aspects I feel able to talk scholarly on the first case of ´modern´ genocide, its executional measures, its biopolitical consequences, and, above all, the post-genocidal politics of silence named denial of genocide.
According to me own research work when comparing both central mass-destructive events meanwhile called genocide during both World Wars in 20th centuty, and its common features (Albrecht 1989) - e.g. plans run by elements of ´secret society´, genocidal social milieux and ´marginal-men´-elites within the beaurocratic apparatus, central role of the state apparatus, ´administrative massacres´ as organised by the state himself [Hannah Arendt: "staatlich organisierter Verwaltungsmassenmord"], the conspiracy of acting groups and their specific ´language´, clandestine codes etc. - the basic thesis is that denial after the event itself is a central element of genocide from the viewpoint of the actors (moreover, whenever the denial will succeed in general society as in the Turkish case since 1919, the genocidal syndrom is still incorporated within this society). When studying role and meaning of ´the politics of denial´ from the beginning 20ies till the end of the 20th century you will find out that until now this is a central feature of a society selfnaming herself "Modern Turkey" based on the mass-murder of about on and a half million Armenians, 1915/18, when creating both the fiction of ethnic homogenisation and the myth of a nation named Turkey. This, indeed, means ongoing destructive policy of "taking lives" and not of "saving lives"-policy (Irving L. Horowitz). Moreover, every "politics of denial" according to genocide means a collective mentality of an ´ideological memory´ and not of an ´historical memory´ in the very sense the Spanish writer Jorgé Semprún worked out in his factional memoirs ("una memoria ideologicá" vs. "una memoria histórica, testimonal"; Semprun 1977, pp. 240-41).
International Terrorism at the End of the 20th Century: An Episode from Germany, 1998, or the First Hint for New Tendencies in International Terrorism - Privatezation & Sectezation ?
By no means I will go so far and argue that my short paper/lecture can present the missing link between 20th and 21st century ´grand´ international terrorism. But nevertheless I will discuss, very briefly, what I have read in a basically ´open source´ some months ago...in a way the prelude of that mega-terrorism successfully destroying Twin Towers in Manhatten/N.Y., Septembre, 2001, by islamistic kamikaze pilots.
I have been told that the editors of a small left-wing quarterly (now appearing in the 22st volume, 2003) got in Novembre, 1998, extremely important insight views in a single action planned in Cologne, Germany, by militant islamists: the Kamalettin-Kaplan-circle. The leaders of this extremist sect aimed a mass-murderer in Ankara, Turkey, during the ceremonies due to be hold at the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Pasha (the later "father of all Turks": Ataturk). Whenever this destructive scenario would have been realized by kamikaze pilots thousands of guests and visitors, some of the world-wide most prominent politicians included, might have been killed in an air-raids planned, organized, and run by both private and secteist islamist in Germany.
The author of this text, an exiled Kurd intellectual, fighting for the rights of his people but not living in Germany, was indeed shocked when realising the very non-interest of German security agency acc. to his finding-outs of that project (under the cynical slogan ´Ataturk, we´re on the road to you...´).