Authoritarian governments are on a rise in the world. And while we all somewhat remember the worse possible outcome such governance (1930s Germany), not many of us know or understand how things went from being where they were to the killing of 6 million jews.
Well, Brynn Tannehill, a former Naval Aviator and Trans activist, who has been studying the conditions leading up to genocides, has put up a Twitter thread explaining the subject.
I study genocide. It’s been a theme in my academic endeavours for nearly 30 years. More accurately, I study the conditions in the lead up to genocide, be they cultural, social, political, economic, etc… 1/n— Brynn Tannehill (@BrynnTannehill) January 23, 2020
There’s common themes and patterns. Usually it happens in an economically distressed country with falling standards of living for most people. Rising infant mortality is a good indicator variable. 2/n— Brynn Tannehill (@BrynnTannehill) January 23, 2020
Tannehill talks about politicians acting as populists benefiting from stirring a ‘Us Vs Them’ narrative, placing the blame for the hardships of the population on those they deem less worthy. She says that these politicians also ‘yearn for a mythological past w/o these people’.
Then it comes down to shutting down the sympathetic voices by labelling them as supporters of these ‘horrible people’, and then it is followed by modifying the courts to ensure that none of their actions are being stopped.
In countries where there is still something resembling a functional (ostensibly) elected government, the phases are slower. First, there’s the propaganda, supported by things like government reporting of the crimes committed by the people they target. 7/n— Brynn Tannehill (@BrynnTannehill) January 23, 2020
Then there’s public safety measures. Removing them from the military, and from federal service. Revoking clearances. Egging on stochastic intimidation and violence and failing to prosecute people who commit it. 8/n— Brynn Tannehill (@BrynnTannehill) January 23, 2020
This is followed by the revoking of civil rights and establishing that the target population has fewer rights, makes them second class citizens.
This is done to keep the said group out of educational systems and to deny them healthcare and sometimes making them carry IDs identifying them as the ‘others’.
(If this sounds familiar, the Germans modeled their 1930’s laws on those used to keep the US South segregated.)— Brynn Tannehill (@BrynnTannehill) January 23, 2020
Police harass and target the minority, and they are often arrested and abused with little reason. People disappear into the system. The goal of this is two fold 11/n
And this is where the genocide actually begins!
Whether it’s acts of military aggression, bellicose leaders, assassinating journalists, putting foreign nationals in filthy over crowded camps that are black holes; the country on the verge of genocide is looking to see if they can provoke a reaction. It almost never comes 14/n— Brynn Tannehill (@BrynnTannehill) January 23, 2020
Now, once the government decides that nobody is coming to intervene, it then commences on the plans about getting rid of the target population.
How they carry out mass killing is irrelevant, in the sense that it’s way too late to do anything by this point, and that it doesn’t follow a pattern. Sometimes it’s camps and neglect. Guns. Machetes. Killing fields. Death marches. Sometimes it’s all of the above. 17/n— Brynn Tannehill (@BrynnTannehill) January 23, 2020
You can read the entire thread here.
Read this and more. Understand the state of the world, its painful and atrocious history. And then maybe, take a look around.