Genocide and its tactics have been making something of a comeback, and it is all too often the victims in one generation who become the perpetrators in the next, transmuting “never again” into a rallying cry for the next act of mass violence. Few can keep their hearts open amid an endless fusillade of sorrow, so most just deny it is happening. But all too many find themselves eager to get in on the action and it is easier now than ever before. The mass murder of innocent civilians has long brutalized both victims and perpetrators alike, but now it does the same to its innumerable witnesses, standing transfixed before unspeakable crimes. Videos of the killings and human rights violations inure us to violence, while real time debates on social media make participants of us all. It is a globalized war from below, for the hearts and minds of humanity and the decency of the world order, which is dissolving before our eyes.
This book is a panoramic excursion through the murderous new milieu, which ranges across Israel and Palestine, Syria and Iraq, Bosnia and Burma, Yemen and Nigeria. It is a vivid dissection of violence and a probing exploration of its causes, an erudite inquiry into the legacy of collective trauma and a magisterial overview of the new brutality peering through the cracks of a disintegrating international order. Sweeping in scope and striking in its originality, it will open your eyes and awaken your moral intelligence to the subterranean depths of ethnonational animosity today.
Theo Horesh is a freelance journalist and the author of Convergence: The Globalization of Mind and The Inner Climate: Global Warming from the Inside Out, a series of dialogues with leading climate thinkers, like George Lakoff, Frances Moore Lappé, Paul Ehrlich, and Peter Senge.