‘Decivilization‘ has been studied by social scientists such as Norbert Elias and Zygmunt Baumanand others. Elias began a trajectory in his civilization theory and processes, that others have since continued. ‘At the core of Elias’ ideas on the civilizing process is an implicit assumption of minimal equality, of some measure of equal treatment and equal esteem. Such a modicum of equality means that people identify with all others in their society as beings that are more of less the same as they are themselves'
Often in times of duress, war, famine, or social stress, the process of ‘compartmentalization’ begins and continues as a targeted population becomes exempt from various rights the rest take for granted. As George Orwell would have said. ‘All men are created equal, just some are more equal than others.’ Decivilzation involves a process whereby the state monopolizes violence while a high degree of civilization is maintained in almost all respects for the vast majority of the population, and a target group is compartmentalized through ‘disidentification’. After, barbarism is provoked, and allowed to be expressed against the target group that now has become exempt from all state protection.
Germany has begun to trend towards the far right movement of the Dutch PVV leader Geert Wilders past it’s already present ultra-right wing parties such as the NPD , with the recent emergence of the ‘Freedom Party’ under the direction of Rene Stadtkewitz and encouraged by Thilo Sarrazin‘s book ‘Germany To Abolish…’ (Deutschland Scafft Sich Ab) which is a full on challenge of immigrants-Muslims in particular, and heatedly opens up the immigration integration debate. While a frank discussion on immigration is welcomed by many Germans, the current course of discussion that Thilo Sarrazin is talking about feels like he is trying to start the disidentification process. That Islamists are very different from Germans, and should be treated differently to promote their developing more to his liking.
A quote from his book:
“All clans have a long history of inbreeding and a corresponding number of disabilities…one could come up with the idea that genetic factors are responsible for the failure of parts of the Turkish population in the German School system”
Also from his book:
“The readiness to breed for working parents to combinations of exemption rules and replacement will be encouraged by appropriate…”
After the recent shooting of a Democratic Senator in Arizona the Financial Times Deutschland wrote the following:
“No one who is politically active can claim that words are not blameworthy. After the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Gillfords, US politics have become a matter of how much guilt can be assigned to words: At issue is whether the radicalization of the political debate played a role in the actions of what was likely a mentally disturbed lone actor.”
” Regardless of the motives of the assassin, the debate is urgently needed. The political radicalization in the US has reached a point that is unworthy of a democratic state. More than any others, the Tea Party movement made rhetoric of war into normal discourse….”
“It speaks volumes that Tea Party members and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin removed crude imagery from their websites in a hurry on Saturday…”
” And instead of shaking their heads about the US, Europeans should think about their own verbal arsenals. Right-wing populists, for example, are involved in turning Islam into the face of the enemy. Their words are also not without blame.”
During this time of duress, fear can make many look at others as the cause of their current difficulties. People often regress into primitive tribal groups or family groups to cope. It is also often a time when fundamentalist/extremist beliefs can be polarized from a generally indifferent population. It only takes one unstable person to act in malice, and it only requires the process of compartmentalization of the ‘bad’ group for an otherwise civilized society to act maliciously towards them. It behooves us to guard against this underlying tendency, and to prevent and speak out, lest all men be created equal, just some more then others.
- Fueling “harmful stereotypes, discrimination and xenophobia” in Finland and elsewhere (nemoo.wordpress.com)
- Democracy Reaches Its Limit (businessinsider.com)
- The Man Who Divides Germany. Again. (theglobalmail.org)