Blogs of political scientists

Ruslan Bortnik: “Intellectual racism” does not allow building a successful society and state

Ruslan Bortnik: “Intellectual racism” does not allow building a successful society and state

In our society, we endlessly and fiercely discuss issues of history, language, writers, culture, religion, and so on..., always relying on the past.

For an intelligent and honest person, the complete senselessness of arguing about the past, about which we know so little and almost never know the truth, is obvious from the point of view of building the future. After all, the political “sellers of the past” - now in the present - are simply trying to take away freedom from society in building the future, imposing the often fictitious fears, traumas, restrictions and goals they created. These “salesmen” and “history teachers” are simply trying to manage and manipulate people in order to achieve their goals.
They are the ones who give rise to injustice, wars and tragedies.

But THEY are just a manifestation of a more dangerous process that regularly puts people, societies, states and civilizations on the brink or beyond the brink of existence - “intellectual racism”, manifested in arrogance, feelings and demonstration of one’s superiority over other people - “all these”: “ barbarians”, “non-believers”, “victims of colonization”, “backward”, “soviet”, “Russified” or “Ukrainized” and so on. It is the sense of one's own moral, political or economic superiority over others - not like us - that is the fuel for all the tragedies of our time.

And, unfortunately, most systems of our time (and even those that call themselves “democratic” or “liberal”) continue to produce this “intellectual racism” through education, the media, and cultural patterns, creating the ground for new human tragedies in the future.

In his famous and one of my favorite books, “The Lucifer Effect,” Philip Zimbardo explores the causes of the genocide in Rwanda and perfectly describes how this is translated into practice:

1. “Group Dynamics and Deindividuation”: Zimbardo addresses how group dynamics and processes of deindividuation can weaken the moral constraints of individuals and facilitate the commission of violence. In the Rwandan context, this aspect could manifest itself in the form of increased ethnic identity and negative perceptions of “others” as enemies.

2. “Power and Authoritarianism”: Zimbardo also draws attention to the role of power and authoritarianism in shaping social relations and institutions. In Rwanda, there has long been a system of power that can support and even encourage violence and discrimination.

3. “Propaganda and manipulation”: the influence of propaganda and manipulation of mass consciousness on the formation of hostile stereotypes and bias. In the case of Rwanda, propaganda could be used to incite violence and attract the masses to the destruction of a particular ethnic group.

4. “Individual and Collective Responsibility”: Zimbardo emphasizes that although circumstances and social factors can have a significant influence on behavior, each individual still bears personal responsibility for his actions. It encourages awareness of one's own moral responsibility and critical thinking regarding social processes and stereotypes.

By the way, “activists” play a special role in such processes.

For example, Pauline Nyaramasuho, also known as Pauline Mukagabo, was a Hutu activist and one of the key figures in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. She was a social worker and lectured on women's rights, then a member of the government and served as Minister of Family and Women. Her role in the genocide was to organize and actively participate in the mass rape, murder, torture and execution of Tutsis and moderate Hutus... the details of which are described in the book, I cannot give you here.

“Intellectual racism” not only does not allow building a successful society and state, or leads to their destruction, since it pits some social groups against others, creates significant sections of society “alienated” from common goals and objectives; leads to large-scale human tragedies; but it also makes any human society a toy in the hands of those who control key sources of information (the media, including their modern forms).

Remember, friends, that any knowledge in our society is multifaceted, and anyone who claims to know the truth and demands its uncritical perception, and some actions based on this on your part and the victims, is simply a moral aggressor and invader who encroaches on Your money, life goals, and often Life itself.

This entry is also available in Facebook the author.

 About the Author:
RUSLAN BORTNIK
Political scientist, candidate of political sciences
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