Sociocide: A New Paradigm for Evil

Keith Doubt

in Understanding Evil

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780823227006
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235872 | DOI:
Sociocide: A New Paradigm for                 Evil

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This chapter analyzes the motives behind the burning of so many homes during the war in Bosnia. Not only were houses destroyed, but also the prestige of the home. Not only were women and children murdered, but also the city itself, its rituals and ways of life. Not only were a particular group of people and its infrastructures assaulted, but also its history and collective memory. Not only was a social system demolished, but also society itself. In the first case, the violence is called domicide; in the second, urbicide; and in the third, genocide. In the fourth case, however, it is necessary to introduce a new term, a neologism, sociocide. It is argued that sociocide is an inadequately theorized concept. It is not possible to understand evil as action because, as Aristotle states, action must aim at some good. We cannot directly witness evil because it is empty. We can, though, directly witness the result of evil. The ultimate result of evil is sociocide, whether at the individual or collective level. When society accepts genocide as an efficient means to a particular end, the predictable consequence is sociocide.

Keywords: Bosnia; evil; homes; burning; sociocide; society

Chapter.  6804 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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