Friday, 19 December 2014

Kill the intellectuals

With reference to yesterday's post, there is one respect in which the most recent genocides differ from those of the 20th century. Along with the ideological drivers, the regimes of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and a few others mobilised a visceral hatred of intellectualism.

Stalin eliminated swathes of writers and artists. Composers escaped with their lives, possibly because Stalin enjoyed music, but were much circumscribed. Jews in lands which came under Hitler's sway certainly suffered because of traditional racism but also, I would suggest, because they were the culture-bearers in those nations. Pol Pot, of course, singled out intellectuals specifically for "re-education".

Having written the above, it has just occurred to me that the latest genocide took place in a school.

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