Discussion Minimization and Avoidance of Inhumanity

March 8, 2022
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Discussion Minimization and Avoidance of Inhumanity

Discussion Minimization and Avoidance of Inhumanity

Choose ONE of the following options and write a three paragraph response making sure to refer to the text. Please also write a short (one paragraph) response to one other student. In every case, be sure to demonstrate that you have done the assigned reading.

What are the logical and practical consequences of what Glover has to say in this book? List three.
Explain the widespread occurrences of inhumanity over the last 100 years. Why has this happened and what can be done about it or said about it?
Formulate policies to avoid or minimize further widespread occurrences of inhumanity.

The Inhumanities Found Within the Last 100 Years Based on Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century by Johnathan Glover


Discussion Minimization and Avoidance of InhumanityAccording to Johnathan Glover’s Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, he discusses the events of Yugoslavia about why it had happened and what can be said or done about it. Glover wanted to emphasize the lack of moral identity of the people of Yugoslavia that caused the events of the genocide. When the civil war took place, the genocide that resulted from the war was due to the lack of morality towards pluralists and tribalists. People were separated in beliefs, ideology, and held racist ideas which caused hostility to break out in the form of a civil war, causing Yugoslavia to fall apart. Ethnic conflict that was stirred up by political leaders, led the people of Serbia and Croatia to hate each other through media war. Basically, the country of Yugoslavia lacked moral identity (or simply morals) and the outcome was the deaths of innocent people. Glover believed that the republics were wrong to ignore their morality and their creation of a media war that spread the ideology of racism was cruel because it led to the genocide of thousands of people due to the media’s propaganda that lowered the morality within the Yugoslavians of the separate republics. The media war was highly effective, as seen in this quote, “Increasingly the media became dominated by racist fanatics. Serbian television gave time to Vojislav Seselj, who thought that all the Kosovo Albanians should be killed” (Glover, 2012, p. 357 Excerpt From: Jonathan Glover. “Humanity.” Apple Books). The quote demonstrates how the media pushed ideas of racism onto the people, causing them to forget their morals and caused the conflict to escalate to full-blown hatred against their own people, even if they are of a different republic. If the republics of Yugoslavia had put aside their conflicts, pluralist states, tribal states, and all republics may have come to stand for a compromise that would end the war that was harming the lives of innocent civilians of the country.

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Another occurrence of inhumanity over the last one hundred years was the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan that caused up to 200,000 deaths and an additional 140,000 from the bomb in Nagasaki. This event took place because there was a need to end a long war since negotiations with the leader of Japan failed and America believed the bomb would be a demonstration that would scare Japan into surrendering. Furthermore, President Truman decided against a harmless demonstration and did not consider whether a harmless demonstration could end the war. He had other plans such as scaring Russia and the lives of innocent civilians in Japan did not come into the discussion. Despite the question of who was at fault, everyone played a role in the incident, from the scientists to the droppers who released the bomb, the military, the President, and even more. It is noted by Glover (2012) that “Distance does not just reduce sympathy. It also reduces the feeling of responsibility” (p. 285 Excerpt From: Jonathan Glover. “Humanity.” Apple Books) which is why the act to kill thousands of people was much easier to do and there was really no one that could have held anyone responsible for such a cruel act. This is due to the causal chain where a lot of people chose the decision to bomb a hundred thousand people, even if they were enemies and there is no actual way to convict these people as they were only doing their jobs or obeying the higher authority. However, if we were to ask “how this could have been prevented?” there is no real answer like I can say “someone could have stopped the plan,” “if only the people had more morality in them,” or “they should have used a demonstration instead,” it will not change that this choice put an end to the Second World War by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki and led to peaceful times for the people in the rest of the world. Although this event is remembered as an inhumane event in history, future generations will use this event to keep in touch with their morality and prevent another tragedy like this one from repeating.

Discussion Minimization and Avoidance of InhumanityA memorable inhumane event remembered from history was the events of Cambodia where Pol Pot’s utopian project took place in order to remove city life aspects away to revolutionize the economy and reconstruct around agriculture (Glover, 2012). There was a complete elimination of foreign influence, private property, markets, and money. It began with Mao in China, as well as, Stalin from Russia, who spread the idea of “year zero” to the Khmer Rouge who took over Phnom Penh of Cambodia who believes that cities were filled with greed and it was only by clearing the land, and harvesting crops that people will learn the true value of things (Glover, 2012). Basically, the goal was to re-create the whole life and the destruction of the whole traditional culture. People were forced to work till they are dead, interrogations were filled with torture and solitary confinement, the civilians starved because there was not enough food to keep them alive. Overall, this project caused the Khmer Rouge to kill at least 2 million people and through Mao and Stalin, who also followed this project, each killed more than Khmer Rouge. This is because these regimes did not care for the people and were experiencing extreme “degree of paranoia about enemies; the obsession with purity; and the related belief in tipping out the fruit basket to start again… The shared central project of the three regimes was the total redesign of society, in ways unrestrained by human feelings or morality” (Glover, 2012, p. 805 Excerpt From: Jonathan Glover. “Humanity.” Apple Books). It was due to the pressure to conform and propaganda that made the people of these regimes follow these leaders without question. The pressure is seen within the education that is received by young children in indoctrination classes. A girl, which Francois Bizot befriended, eventually ended up inserting a finger between his ankle. This demonstrates the regime’s psychology to kill and torture rather than respect or morals. The aspect of propaganda is seen with Mao’s regime where people believed they were triumphant in the war of wheat production against the United States while peasants were dying from starvation or overworking. In order to deal with this issue, Glover thinks the lack of reflection is the issue regarding Stalinism, and the way to overcome this is through the open-endedness of human values (Glover, 2012). Overall, I believe Glover is saying that Stalinism can only be removed by another person’s vision, hopefully, one where the people are valued and taught the values of humanity such as caring for one another. The reason is that people were already influenced by these regimes to follow their beliefs and ethics, so until someone else comes along and gives them a new ideology to follow, they would continue to suffer under the policies of Stalinism.

Works Cited

Glover, Jonathan. Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century. Second, Yale University Press, 2012.

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