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Global Convulsions: Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism at the end of the Twentieth Century
 0791432351

Table of contents :
List of Figures ix
List of Tables xi
Foreword (CAROL EDLER BAUMANN) xiii
Acknowledgments xv
About the Editor and Contributors xvii

Introduction (WINSTON A. VAN HORNE) 1

Part I: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism: Concepts and Images
1 Race and Biology LINDA VIGILANT 49
2 The Bell Curve: A Cross-Century Tradition Concerning Race and Intellect WINSTON A. VAN HORNE 63
3 Race in History MARTIN BERNAL 75
4 Concepts of Nationalism in History BRIAN E. PORTER 93
5 Cultural Foundations of Ethnonationalism: The Role of Religion MARTIN E. MARTY 115
6 Cultural Nationalism and "Internationalization" in Contemporary Japan KOSAKU YOSHINO 131

Part II: National Identity and the Struggle for National Rights

7 Religion and Identity in Northern Ireland MARIANNE ELLIOTT 149
8 Israel and Palestinian Statehood GALIA GOLAN 169
9 Palestinian Statehood MUHAMMAD HALLAJ 189
10 Whither the Kurds? GEORGE S. HARRIS 205

Part III: Nationalism and the Crisis of the Multiethnic/Multinational State

11 The Relentless Pursuit of the National State: Reflections on Soviet and Post-Soviet Experiences MARK R. BEISSINGER 227
12 Nationality Questions in the Baltic: The Lithuanian Example ALFRED ERICH SENN 247
13 Ethnonationalism and the Disintegration of Yugoslavia ROBIN ALISON REMINGTON 261
14 China and the Containment of Ethnonationalism DAVID D. BUCK 281
15 Political Ethnicity and State-Building in Nigeria CLAUDE AKE 299
16 Canada and the Challenge of the Quebec Independence Movement MARC V. LEVINE 315

Epilogue WINSTON A. VAN HORNE 339

Index of Persons, Places, and Organizations 347
Subject Index 357

Citation preview

Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism at tiie End of tiie Dwenaetii Century

EUned by Winston

A.

Van Home

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Copley Square

^^M %:

Global Convulsions

SUNY Series, The

Social Context of Education

Edited by Christine E. Sleeter

GLOBAL CONVULSIONS Race,

Ethnicity,

at the

End

and Nationalism

of the Twentieth

Century

Edited by

Winston A. Van

STATE UNIVERSITY OF

Home

NEW YORK PRESS

Published by State University of

©

New York Press, Albany

1997 State University of New York

All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

No in

part of this

book may be used or reproduced

any manner whatsoever without written permission.

No

part of this

book may be stored

in a retrieval

or transmitted in any form or by any

system

means including

electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical,

photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.

For information, address State University of New York Press,

N.Y, 12246

State University Plaza, Albany,

Production by Cathleen Collins

Marketing by Theresa Abad Swierzowski

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Global convulsions

:

race, ethnicity,

the twentieth century p.

cm.

/

and nationalism

edited by Winston A.

— (SUNY

at the

end of

Van Home.

series, the social context

of education)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-7914-3235-1 alk. 1. I.

(he

:

alk. paper.)

— ISBN 0-7914-3236-X

(pbk.

:

paper)

Race

relations.

2.

Racism.

Van Home, Winston A.

II.

3. Ethnicity.

Series:

4.

SUNY series,

Nationalism. social context of

education.

HT1521.G54 305.8—dc20

1997

96-15321

CIP 10

987654321

J

Cheeks drowned in tears Hands awash in crimson Legs drenched by

rich

translucent, red,

new

blood.

Feet shrouded by death's dark vapors. Last night did

I

behold

Hot violent death, Cold violent death. Strike through vapors sickly sweet.

Crouch bent he stalked, Mighty swift to strike, Upright quick he

fled,

Outstretched

they

still

lay.

Who was he? What was he? Criminal? Revolutionary? Both?

Why

struck he?

To cleanse a wretched

soul.

No! No! No! Never! Never! Never!

Shout of anguish, cry of sorrow,

Never

shall violence cleanse a

wretched soul.

Winston A. Van

Home

http://www.archive.org/details/globalconvulsionOOvanh

Contents

List of Figures

ix

List of Tables

xi

Foreword

CAROL EDLER BAUMANN

XUl

Acknowledgments

xv

About the Editor and Contributors

xvii

Introduction

WINSTON A. VAN HORNE Part

I:

1

Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism:

Concepts and Images 1

Race and Biology

49

LINDA VIGILANT 2

The

Bell Curve:

A Cross-Century Tradition

Concerning Race and

3

4

63

Race in History MARTIN BERNAL

75

Concepts of Nationalism BRIAN

5

Intellect

WINSTON A. VAN HORNE

E.

in History

PORTER

93

Cultural Foundations of Ethnonationalism:

The Role of Religion MARTIN E. MARTY

115

Vll

Contents

viii

6

Cultural Nationalism and "Internationalization" in

Contemporary Japan

KOSAKU YOSHINO

131

National Identity and the Struggle

Part n:

for National Rights

7

Religion and Identity in Northern Ireland

MARIANNfE ELUOTT 8

Israel

and Palestinian Statehood

GALIAGOLAN 9

169

Palestinian Statehood

MUHAMMAD HALLAJ 10

149

189

Whither the Kurds?

GEORGE

S.

HARRIS

205

Nationalism and the Crisis of the

Part EQ:

Multiethnic/Multinational State 1

The

Relentless Pursuit of the National State:

Reflections on Soviet and Post-Soviet Experiences

MARK R. 12

BEISSINGER

227

Nationality Questions in the Baltic:

The Lithuanian Example ALFRED ERICH 1

SE^fN

Ethnonationalism and the Disintegration of Yugoslavia

ROBIN ALISON REMINGTON 1

1

261

China and the Containment of Ethnonationalism DAVID

1

247

D.

BUCK

281

Pohtical Ethnicity and State-Building in Nigeria

CLAUDE AKE

299

Canada and the Challenge of the Quebec Independence Movement MARCV. LEVINE

315

Epilogue

339

WINSTON

A.

VAN HORNE

Index of Persons, Places, and Organizations

347

Subject Index

357

List of Figures

Figure

1.1.

The maternal

Figure

1 .2.

A hypothetical tree representing relationships

inheritance of mitochondrial

DNA

among mtDNAs

58

59

IsraeU Attitudes, 1986-1993

176

8.2.

Arab Aspirations, 1986-1993

178

8.3.

War and Peace, 1986-1993

179

Figure

8. 1

Figure Figure

.

Figure 11.1. Mobilization over State-Seeking and

State-Expanding Issues Figure

1 1 .2.

Violent

at Protest

Demonstrations

230

Mass Events Involving Local,

Republican-Level, and Secessionist Territorial

Figure

1 1 .3.

Disputes in the Former

State-Seeking Mobilization

USSR

at Protest

by Category of Ethnic Group

232

Demonstrations

234

IX

1

.

List of Tables

Religion and National Identity in Northern Ireland

151

Table 15.1.

The June

31

Table 16.1.

Quebec Public Opinion on Independence

325

Table 16.2.

The Linguistic Composition of Montreal

328

Table

7.

1

1 2, 1

993 Nigerian Presidential Election

XI

Foreword

This volume presents the culmination of over three years of on-going efforts planning, organization, and implementation

and Nationalism

''Race, Ethnicity,

at the

—by

on

the sponsors of the conference

End of the Twentieth

Century," and includes

the edited academic manuscripts of sixteen of the internationally recognized scholars

who

participated in that conference.

which has come

to

some

addresses a complex and multifaceted theme

dominate the international relations of the post-Cold War

one of the problems discussed (although

It

progress,

at the Fall

Not

era.

1993 conference has been "resolved"

however tenuous, has been made

in relation to the

Middle

East peace process, peace in Northern Ireland, and the stabilization of Canada), and all

of the issues addressed remain as relevant to national, regional, and international

conflict

and peace as they were when the conference was

It is

first

conceived in 1990.

not an overstatement to say that the conference brought together at the

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (hereinafter

UWM)

an assemblage of impres-

sive international stature

and included some of the most respected scholars of these

The

presentations were of the highest quality originally, and as

issues in the world.

now

edited, they

have benefited additionally from the comments

the time of their initial presentation.

The conference

that

were made

at

also provided a unique

opportunity to address problems concerning race, ethnicity, and nationalism in both their

domestic and international dimensions. The collaboration of the University of

Wisconsin System's Affairs

drew upon

Institute

on Race and Ethnicity with

the resources of both Institutes to

UWM's Institute of World

promote

this national/inter-

national perspective.

The

issues of race, ethnicity,

impact on international peace and

and nationalism are crucially significant for stability not

their

only in and of themselves, but also

because of the compounding effects produced by

their interactions with

one another.

This conceptual and pragmatic linkage was alluded to repeatedly by conference speakers, but

was

particularly stressed

by Martin Bemal

in his discussion

of "Race

in

xiii

Foreword

xiv

History," by Brian Porter in his analysis of "Concepts of Nationalism in History,"

and by Martin Marty

in

his presentation

The Role of Religion

nationalism:

"

on "Cultural Foundations of Ethno-

The case

and the multiplying

effect

it

Middle East

studies dealing with the

and with the former Yugoslavia were especially illustrative of

this multiple

linkage

has had on the beliefs, emotions, and actions of indi-

viduals and nations alike.

Equally significant, however, has been the impact of racial and religious

on the

as well as ethnonational conflicts,

by racial or Union and of Yugoslavia

larly multiethnic or multinational states or those divided

sectarianism.

The

strife,

integrity of the sovereign state, particu-

actual break-up of the Soviet

religious attests to

the pervasiveness and virulence of the emotions attached to these concepts, and the

case studies concerning Canada, Nigeria, and Ireland, as well as Israel and the Palestinians, clearly illustrate the range of to coincide (as they

seldom do) with the

which comprise those

states.

eloquendy by George Harris

Muhammad Hallaj Many have alism.

Still,

nationalism tions

The

problems created when

national, ethnic, racial, or religious groups

plight of stateless nations

in his discussion

is

illustrated ever so

of the Kurds, and by Galia Golan and

in their observations pertaining to Palestinian statehood.

been the costs

that attend ethnonationalism

and

ethnonationalism need not undercut the integrity of the is

state borders fail

by no means synonymous with

fmd good support

in

cultural nation-

state,

cultural chauvinism.

and

cultural

These observa-

David Buck's presentation on attempts

to "contain"

ethnonationalism in China, and Kosaku Yoshino's discussion of cultural nationalism

and "internationalization" In the opinion of

all

in

an ethnically homogenous Japan.

concerned



organizers, presenters, and attendees

ference on "Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism at the

End of

presented an array of thorough and perspicacious scholarly analyses of

and international this

issues.

And

so

it is

with

much



the con-

the Twentieth Century"

satisfaction that

we

vital national

invite

you

to read

book. Carol Edler Baumann, Director

UWM Institute of World Affairs

Acknowledgments

In the fall of 1993, the University of Wisconsin Ethnicity, of Institute

which

was then

I

System

Institute

on Race and

of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

director, the University

of World Affairs, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee jointly spon-

sored an international conference on race, ethnicity, and nationalism at the end of the twentieth century. attended, and

its

The conference was very well received by

value

now

amount of work and time fitting

and proper

It is

the hundreds

persists through the chapters of this book.

that

have gone into making

that thanks should

this

volume

who

Given the

possible,

it

is

be said to a number of persons.

well to begin by recognizing the contributors of the volume's chapters, for

they substantially rewrote the manuscripts which they

initially

presented at the

Many made the Thomas Tonnesen, the Judy Treskow, Thelma

conference, and so to them goes whatever credit accrues to the book.

success of the conference what associate director of the Institute

Conway, and Sandra Director Carol Edler Affairs



Fuller

it

was, most especially

on Race and

Ethnicity,

the staff of the Institute

Baumann and members

of her staff

on Race and

Ethnicity.

at the Institute

of World

—Gareth Shellman, Frances Luebke, and Jane Austen—were

the remarkable success that the conference enjoyed.

invaluable to

The support of President

Katharine C. Lyall and then Senior Vice-President Stephen R. Portch of the University of Wisconsin System, as well as Chancellor John H. Schroeder, Provost

Kenneth Watters, Dean George Keulks, and Associate Dean Robert Jones of

made

UWM

possible resources without which the conference could not have been held.

word of thanks should

also be extended to

A

Kenneth Buelow, Nicholas Schultz, Neil

Mcintosh, and Vicky Everson of the Graduate School. I

should

now

believing that this

like to say a

most generous thank you

to Christine E. Sleeter for

volume would make an important contribution

for the richness of her ideas Priscilla C. Ross, at

and support.

SUNY Press

I

also

would

like to

for her belief in distinction,

to her series,

thank

and the

my

skill

and

editor,

and care

XV

Acknowledgments

xvi

with which she guided

many

this

book.

And

to

Cathleen Collins, the production editor,

thanks for a book well done.

For listening endlessly

to

my

musings about

this

manuscript,

I

say to

—Osei-Mensah Aborampah,

my

Bartholomew Armah, Patrick BellegardeSmith, Lennell Dade, Joyce Kirk, Doreatha Mbalia and Ahmed Mbalia in the

colleagues

Department of Africology, thanks ever so much

word of thanks goes

to



for

your patience and

Kimberly Sampson, the department's student

insights.

cheerfulness with which she undertook the tasks that were assigned to her.

an expansive thank you

to

A

help, for the I

extend

Teresa Shannon, program assistant in the Department of

Africology. With a sound grounding in philosophy, a keen eye for lucidity of presentation as well as conceptual flaws, superb technical skills (which are ever so

evident in the figures, tables, notes, and index of this book), she kept

manuscript was organized for the publisher. Finally,

to

me

Mary Ann, my

sharp as the intellectual

companion and wife for more than a quarter century, and Maxwell my son, to you go the largest chunk of the credit for my intellectual and personal growth across the years

—thank you beyond measure.

About the Editor and Contributors

Winston A. Van

Home

professor and chair of the Department of Africology at

is

the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. For seven years he

was

the director of the

University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race and Ethnicity, and for eight years the

chair

of the

of Wisconsin

University

System American Ethnic Studies

Coordinating Committee, which preceded the formation of the eight books in the Institute's Ethnicity

appeared in

a number of

and Public Policy

journals, including Philosophy

Institute.

series.

His

He

edited

articles

have

and Phenomenological

Research, The Journal of Religious Thought, and the Journal of Caribbean Studies.

He

is

on transforming

currently working

his lectures of twenty years

on urban

violence, both domestically and globally, into a book.

Qaude Ake was

the director of the Center for

Harcourt, Nigeria.

He

Economic and

Social Research in Africa



organization in Africa Association.

Brookings United

UN

He

also

as well



(CODESRIA)

member of

and a consultant

the umbrella social science

as president of the Nigerian Political

was a Woodrow Wilson

Institution, a

States,

Advanced Social Science, Port

served as president of the Council for the Development of

to the

Science

Scholar, a Research Fellow at the

the Social Science Research Council of the

World Bank,

Among

UNESCO, UNDP,

as well as the are:

A

Theory of Political Integration (Dorsey Press, 1967), Revolutionary Pressures

in

Economic Commission on

Africa

{Zi^d.

Press, 1978),

A

Political

Economy of Nigeria (Longman, (Brookings

Institution,

national scholar, a

Africa.

Economy of Africa (Longman, 1981), Political Democracy and Development in Africa

1996). Editor's note: Claude Ake, a distinguished inter-

man of

R. Beissinger

is

numerous publications

1985), and

unusual insight and

humanitarian, suffered an untimely death in

Mark

his

uncommon

November of

courage, and a great

1996.

professor of political science and director of the Center for

Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In

xvii

About

xviii

the Editor

numerous

addition to publishing Scientific

and Contributors

Management,

and book chapters, he

articles

Socialist Discipline,

and

Soviet

the author of

is

Power (Harvard

University

1988), and a contributing coeditor of 772^ Nationalities Factor in Soviet

Press,

Politics

and Society (Westview

Martin Bemal

is

Press, 1990).

a professor of government and an adjunct professor of Near Eastern

Studies at Cornell University. His chief publications are the critically acclaimed Black

Athena: The Afi-oasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, University Press, 1987 and 1991) and the

Cadmean

works have been widely reviewed, won high versy. his

Two

films have been

work has

made about

the

vols.

&

1

2 (Rutgers

Letters (Eisenbrauns, 1990). His

praise,

and engendered intense contro-

academic and

political controversies that

stimulated.

Da\id D. Buck

is

a professor of histor>' at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

and a former editor of the Journal of Asian Studies (1990-95). He specializes in Modem China, and has lived and conducted research in Shandong and Jilin provinces, as well as in Taiwan. His books and articles cover a wide range of topics

including urban development, rural-based popular uprisings, educational modernization and bureaucratic administration in

Modem

China.

He

is

currently working

on

a book dealing with China's role in the world tea trade during the nineteenth century.

Marianne History

Elliott

at the

and French

AHA Leo

Andrew Geddes and John Rankin

the

is

University of Liverpool. She

which have been awarded a number of

history,

Gershoy

prize, the Irish Independent/Irish Life

American Conference of

Irish Studies J.R.

Professor of

Donnely,

Modem

works on

the author of various

is

Irish

prizes, including the

biography prize, and the

Snr., prize.

Her works notably

include, Partners in Revolution, the United Irishmen and France (Yale University Press, 1982) and Wolfe Tone, Prophet of Irish Independence (Yale University Press,

1989).

Her contribution

to this

volume derives from her work

Opsahl intemational commission on Northem

A

Citizens' Inquiry:

writing

A

Ireland,

member

as a

which reported

its

The Opsahl Report on Northem Ireland (1993). She

of the

findings in is

currently

History of the Catholics of Ulster.

Galia Golan

is

Studies at the

Hebrew

the Jay and Loni

Darwin Professor of Russian and East European

University of Jemsalem.

A former chair of the Department of

Political Science, her research focuses primarily

on Soviet foreign

policy.

She

is

frequent commentator on Middle East politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the author of eight

Organizjation:

War Two

to

a is

books including. The Soviet Union and the Palestine Liberation

An Uneasy

Alliance; Soviet Policies in the Middle East

Gorbachev; and, most

recently,

Moscow and

the

From World

Middle East:

New

Thinking on Regional Conflict.

Muhammad

Hallaj

Washington, D.C.

is

He

the director of the Center for Policy Analysis

on Palestine

in

has served as director of the Council for Higher Education in

About the Editor and Contributors

the

West Bank and Gaza,

and as a

visiting scholar at

as the director of the Institute of

Arab Studies

xix

Boston,

in

Harvard University's Center for International Affairs.

He

has taught at Jacksonville University in Florida, the University of Jordan, and Birzeit University in Palestine.

He

member of the Palestinian delemember of the Board of Commis-

served for two years as a

gation to the Arab-Israeli peace talks, and sioners of the Palestinian Independent

is

a

Commission

as well as the Palestine National Council (PNC).

for Citizens' Rights in Jerusalem,

He

has authored eight books on

Palestinian affairs and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and published extensively in Arabic

and English

George

S.

in a variety

Harris

of journals and magazines.

retired at the

end of 1995

after sixteen years as the director

of the

Office of Research and Analysis: Near East and South Asia, U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

He was awarded

the Presidential rank of Distinguished

Executive in 1992 for his contributions to the understanding of that region.

He

has

served as Professorial Lecturer in Middle East studies at the School of Advanced International Studies of at

The Johns Hopkins

University, 1968-81, and intermittendy

the George Washington University Faculty of Political Science.

several books

several

on Turkey, has written numerous

articles

He is

the author of

on the Kurds, and edited

volumes on the Middle East including Law, Personalities, and Politics of the

Middle East.

Marc V. Levine is

an associate professor of history and the director of the Center for

Economic Development numerous scholarly economic trends

gouvemementale

at the

articles

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

on language and nationalism

in Montreal, including

"Au-dela des

et le caractere linguistique

He

has written

Quebec, and on

in

lois linguistiques: la politique

de Montreal dans

les

Contextes de la politique linguistique quebecoise (Quebec: 1993).

annees 1990," in

He

authored The

Reconquest of Montreal: Language Policy and Social Change in a Bilingual City, a revised and expanded French-language edition of which was published in the fall of 1996 by

VLB

Conseil de

de

la

la

He

Editeur of Montreal.

langue frangaise, and

is

has served as a consultant to Quebec's

currently Professeur invite at I'lnstitut national

recherche scientifique-Urbanisation in Montreal.

Martin E. Marty

is

the Fairfax

M. Cone

Distinguished Service Professor at the

University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1963 in three faculties. in

American

religion,

A specialist

he directed a six-year, five-volume study comparing varieties

of militant fundamentalisms around the world, which has been published by the University of Chicago Press. His three- volume

Modem American

Religion

was

also

published by the University of Chicago Press. The third volume. Under God, Indivisible,

covering 1941-60, appeared in 1996.

Brian E. Porter Kent

at

is

Honorary Lecturer

in International

Relations at the University of

Canterbury and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

He

has lectured

in

France, the Sudan, China, Russia, and for twenty years at the University of Wales.

About

XX

Among

the Editor

and Contributors

his publications are Britain

and

Politics

Communist China (1967), and 1919-1969 (1972). He also has con-

historical

works, including "Nationalist Ideals

The Abery^stwyth Papers: International tributed to a

number of theoretical and

the Rise of

New

and Ethnic Realities" in Community, Diversity, and a

Honor of Ms late

L

Martin Wight's celebrated

which took over

World Order: Essays

Robin Alison Remington

is

Theory: The Three Traditions,

lectures, International

five years to reconstruct

and

edit

from

notes.

a professor of political science at the University of

Missouri-Columbia. Since 1970-71 she has been doing fieldwork Yugoslavia, Politics

first

in

Claude, Jr (1994). In 1991 he and Gabriele Wight published the

as an

exchange scholar from

and Economics

in

MIT

in the

former

at the Institute for International

Belgrade, then funded by the American Council of

Learned Societies, the University of Missouri-Columbia Graduate Research Council,

and the Fulbright Faculty Research Abroad Fellowships. She has published

numerous articles and chapters on the collapse of the former Yugoslavia into civil war and subsequent Yugoslav wars of secession. Her latest essay, "The Yugoslav Army: Trauma and Transition," appers in Constantine P. Danopoulos and Daniel Zirker, eds., Civil-Military Relations in Soviet and Yugoslav Successor States (Westview Press, 1996). Her works have been published in Greece, India, Spain, and in the

former Yugoslavia in both Belgrade and Zagreb.

Alfred Erich Senn

and a Foreign

is

a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,

Member

of the Lithuanian

Academy

of Sciences.

He

has written a

number of works on Russian and Lithuanian history. In 1992, a Lithuanian translation of his doctoral dissertation The Emergence of Modem Lithuania (1959) was published. He was in Lithuania in 1988, where he participated in the process of the rebirth of Lithuanian national consciousness

and recorded

his experiences in the

book, Lithuania Awakening (University of California Press, 1990). His most recent book, Gorbachev's Failure

in

Lithuania

(St.

Martin's Press,

1995),

examines

Lithuania's role in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Linda Vigilant is a research associate in anthropology at The Pennsylvania State Her research includes human genetic diversity and evolution, in

University.

particular, using

Most

molecular genetic data to reconstruct the origins of modem humans.

recently, she has

populations.

Her

articles

been analyzing mitochondrial have appeared

in a variety

DNA

variation in African

of publications, notably, Science

and Systematic Biology, as well as the proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America.

Kosaku Yoshino He specializes in

is

an associate professor of sociology

University of Tokyo.

the study of nationalism and cultural identities in Asia. in

(Routledge, 1992, 1995), and

currently working

is

He

is

the

Contemporary Japan: A Sociological Enquiry

author of Cultural Nationalism

industry."

at the

on a study of "the cross-culture

Introduction WINSTON A. VAN HORNE

The tug of the

familiar and the pull of the unfamiliar have fired the imagination and

fashioned the conduct of wo' man over untold generations. In the familiar there reassurance;

unfamiliar

the

in

unfamiliarity, race, ethnicity,

mix with "them," 'They" are

there

uneasiness.

is

their

and nationality both reassure and and we

for "they" stick with "their kind"

different

In

from "us," and "we" are not

like

unsettle.

stick with

"them."

"We"

don't

"our kind."

"We" go "our" way,

and "they" go "their" way. The antinomies here are largely a function of what B. Skinner

mold

calls "contingencies

F.

of reinforcement"' which shape the personalities and

of individuals.

characters

the

is

and

familiarity

Stem have been

the

societal

fault

lines

occasioned by contingencies of reinforcement regarding nationality, ethnicity, and race.

Concerning race

specifically, the following

example, though anecdotal,

is

most

instructive. I recall

more than

my

vividly

acre estate where he

dinner

Dad, George Wilton Van Home,

forty years ago, that a friend of the

at the local

worked

as an overseer told

country club

FF remarked

now

deceased, telling

owner (FF) of the

him

aloud:

that

one evening

"How good

me

thirty-two hundred

it is

just before

to look

around

see a black face." Ironically,

all

of the faces that served dinner were

black (in the American usage of the term);

all

the faces of those

and don't

[sic]

were white; and, excluding the family of FF, the faces of

worked on FF's

estate

were black.

standing as legal testimony, yet not

lie to

my

Dad, who,

in

I

it is

know

FF

who were served who lived and

of those

anecdote just presented has no

ever so poignant. Assuming that FF's friend did

tum, did not mislead his son, one cannot but be struck by

the full force of we/us versus they/them.

very real sense, for

that the

all

that evening,

mornings, black faces were simply

We employ

them, and they work for

and who knows

invisible.

how many

us. In

a

other evenings and

They were seen but not beheld; observed

1

Global Convulsions

but not discerned; apprehended but not comprehended. great twentieth-century I

am

an invisible man. No,

am

Allan Poe; nor

man

American

I

I

novelist, puts

am

Or

to possess a

mind.

people refuse to see me.

.

I .

.

themselves,

surroundings,

who haunted Edgar

not a spook like those

one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms.

of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids

be said

Ralph Ellison, the

as

it:

—and

I

am

a

might even

I

am invisible, understand, simply because When they approach me they see only my

or figments

of their imagination



indeed,

everything and anything except me.

Nor

my

is

my

invisibility exactly a matter

epidermis. That invisibility to which

of a biochemical accident to refer occurs because of a

I

peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with

whom I come

in contact.

A

matter of the construction of their inner eyes, those eyes with which they

look through their physical eyes upon

And

so,

though they serve us dinner, speak the same language as we do, attend the

same church (all

reality.^

same

as ourselves, and generally vote for the

of which, incidentally, were true in relation to these

FF's

political party as

who

estate), they nonetheless are not like us. In the case

numberless ones that

Race and

its

it

represents,

cognate racism are

what

set

among

lived

of FF, as well as the



"them" apart from "us"?

the

at

As Martin Bemal

West. But race did not have

its

wo' man, did obtain

in the ancient

world prior It

Hebrew and Greek

texts as 'black

Sentiments concerning race

500 bce. Yet

to

in the

in the Latin

it

did not ground

—one

Song of Songs

is

in the ancient

world do change

New

starting

way

now

and

in the

observable.

Still,

racial inferiority,

around 500

is

changed

to

to black but beautiful as black,

became "the color and complexion of evil and white

and goodness," says Bemal. Racial prejudice,

in putative racial superiority

which, for

Testament "the description

Vulgate translation of the Song of Songs

'black but beautiful'." Black and beautiful gave

somatic or physical norms, was

in

called in both the

and beautiful'."

BCE, according to Bemal, so that by the time of the

strous head.

them

origin in the fifteenth century.

expressed an aesthetic

example, "[t]he beautiful and erotic lover

unlike heretofore,

true of

points out, a concept of race, in the sense of varieties of colors of

feelings of superiority and inferiority.

of the heroine ...

was

and nineteenth cen-

fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth

turies, especially in the

race.

most malodorous and disgusting con-

cepts with wide currency at the end of the twentieth century, just as the end of the

we do

and worked on

that

of purity

sense of preference based on

malodorous racism, grounded

had not yet

fully reared

its

mon-

Introduction

By

armed with

the seventeenth century, however,

muskets, Europeans

in ships that

Jesus, Brotherhood,

and

Christianity, capitalism

profit that Karl

Liberty' set sail and pillaged with utter rapacity the indig-

Marx diagnosed

modem "has

many

origins in the

European need

it

Bemal

was known

to justify their

the greed, fraud,

is

be believed,

to

in the ancient world,

inhuman behavior

in the

upon peoples of other continents by

genocide, colonialism, and slavery inflicted

dehumanizing them and turning

As

peoples were trampled upon

to slaves or colonial subjects. Indeed, if

racism, not simply racial prejudice as

its

others.

as intrinsic attributes of capitalism conjoined

with the proselytizing religiosity of Christianity,

and reduced either

and

bore such names as John the Baptist, Gift of God,

enous peoples of the Americas and West Africa, among

and

3

their victims into devils or animals."

Brian Porter does not address directly the origin of

modem

prejudice Bemal does, he too notes that "a strong racial in many European societies." But racism never has been, nor .

.

.

.

And

racism in the .

.

exists at a

is it

although

way

that

deep level

now, the exclusive

province of Europeans and their societies, even though over the past five centuries they have constmcted the most elaborate and tortured explanations cations

What grounds

behaviors.

for, racist

continues to overspread the planet?

The

of,

and

justifi-

racism, the sheer racial arrogance that

false belief that race is a biological

phenom-

enon; that "we" are more aesthetically attractive and intellectually endowed than "they" are; that "we" are "their" betters; and that "us" and "them" are never equals,

by nature or by society when

either

it is

properly constituted. Given the persistent

noxiousness of racism, and the deep fault lines that are drawn racially planet,

it is

well to pause for a

In her chapter that leads off this book, Linda Vigilant reinforces

known conceming

seem

species. People

However, evidence of

to

want

The

similarity of all ingly, r]ace is

members of

to believe in uniqueness, if not superiority.

intrinsic, biological superiority is sorely lacking.

human

the entire concept of race as applied to the justifiable.

what already

race as a putative biological phenomenon. She writes: "There

great longing for uniqueness [us/them, we/they] lurking in the

human

over the

all

moment on the phenomenon of race.

species

is

at

humans and

is

biologically,

by definition a biological

and

mid-century through

1

.

it

.

.

.

its

.

has no true justification in tells

UNESCO)

in

had told

derived from the same

common

stock;

and

that

it

The "Statement of

recognizing that mankind

men belong to the same species. Homo generally agreed among scientists that all men all

the

what the United Nations

statements on race of 1950 and 1951.

have reached general agreement

one: that

further

.

[Accord-

in part:

Scientists is

.

not scientifically

socially, inappropriate.

entity yet

the end of the twentieth century precisely

1950" reads

the

sorting of individuals into discrete categories ignores the genetic

Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (hereinafter at

a

is

... In fact,

biology." Regarding a supposed biological foundation for race. Vigilant thus

world

is

sapiens.

It is

are probably

such differences as exist

Global Convulsions

between different groups of mankind are due

to the operation of evolu-

tionary factors or differentiation such as isolation, the drift and fixation of the material particles

changes

in the structure

which control heredity

of these particles, hybridization, and natural

ways groups have

selection. In these

random

(the genes),

arisen of varying stability

and

degree of differentiation which have been classified in different ways for different purposes. 2.

From a

Homo sapiens is made up of

the biological standpoint, the species

number of

populations, each one of which differs from the others in

the frequency of

one or more genes. Such genes, responsible for the

hereditary differences between men, are always the

whole genetic constitution of man and

common

to

all

human

means

belong. This

few when compared

to the vast

to

number of genes

beings regardless of the population to which they

that the likeness

among men

are far greater than

their differences. 3.

A race, from the biological standpoint, may therefore be defined as one of the group of populations constituting the species

Homo

sapiens.

These populations are capable of interbreeding with one another virtue of the isolating barriers

which

in the past

separated, exhibit certain physical differences as a result of different biological histories.

common

by

variations, as

it

somewhat were, on a

theme.

4. In short, the

term "race" designates a group or population characterized

by some concentrations, hereditary fluctuate,

These represent

but,

kept them more or less

relative as to frequency

(genes)

particles

or physical

and then often disappear

in the

and

distribution,

of

which appear,

characters,

course of time by reason of

geographic and/or cultural isolation. The varying manifestations of these

traits in different

each group. What

populations are perceived in different ways by

perceived

is

group arbitrarily tends

is

largely preconceived, so that each

fundamental difference which separates 5.

These are the

which occurs as a

to misinterpret the variability that

scientific facts. Unfortunately,

group from

all

others.

however, when most people

use the term "race" they do not do so in the sense above defined. To

most people, a race cribe as a race.

when

."^ .

.

is

any group of people

[How

powerfully

is

whom

they choose to des-

the last sentence instantiated

Justice Antonin Scalia, in concurring with the

decision in

Adarand

Constructors,

Inc., v.

who have been wronged by unlawful be made whole, but under our Constitution

"Individuals

should

thing as either a creditor or a debtor race. ... racial entitlement

Supreme Court's

Federico Pena,

et ai, wrote:

racial discrimination

there can be

To pursue

even for the most benign of purposes

and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking

that

no such

the concept of is

to reinforce

produced race

\ Introduction

slavery, race privilege

are just one race here.

The "Statement of 1951" 1.

and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we It is

American''^



the

American

race.]

reads in part:

Scientists are generally agreed that

single species,

5

Homo

all

men

living today belong to a

sapiens, and are derived

from a

common

some dispute [which continues into when and how different human groups diverged from

even though there

is

stock,

the 1990s] to this

common

stock 4.

Broadly speaking, individuals belonging to different major groups of

mankind

are distinguishable by virtue of their physical characters, but

members, or small groups, belonging

individual

same major group

the

to different races within

are usually not so distinguishable.

major groups grade into each

other,

and the physical

traits

Even

the

by which

they and the races within them are characterized overlap considerably.

With respect

among

to most, if not

all,

measurable characters, the differences

individuals belonging to the

same race

are greater than the

differences that occur between the observed averages for

same major group. very same point.]

races within the

makes 5.

.

.

this

[It is

.It often happens that a national group

by

terized

would be

may

due

to race. Scientifically,

appear to be charac-

The

particular psychological attributes.

that this is

two or more

well to note here that Vigilant

superficial

however,

view

we realize that

common psychological attribute is more likely to be due to a common historical and social background, and that such attributes may obscure the fact that, within different populations consisting of many any

human

types,

perament and 6.

The

one

will find approximately the

same range of tem-

intelligence.

scientific material available to us at present

does not justify the

conclusion that inherited genetic differences are a major factor in pro-

ducing the differences between the cultures and cultural achievements of different peoples or groups.

major factor

in explaining

It

does indicate, on the contrary, that a

such differences

is

the cultural experience

which each group has undergone. 7.

There

is

no evidence for the existence of so-called "pure"

races. ... In

regard to race mixture, the evidence points to the fact that

human

hybridization has been going on for an indefinite but considerable

period of time.^

at

The UNESCO statements of 1950 and 1951 pertaining some length for two basic reasons. First, I wanted to make

to race

have been cited

crucial portions of their

substance available to the readers of this volume, who, for whatever reason,

may be

.

6

Global Convulsions

UNESCO

unable to get their hands on the important, national

wanted

I

community

1990s concerning

to call out

documents. Second, and

which

that the rubbish

and

racial superiority

is

abroad over

racial inferiority

much

anchored biologically was

rigorous testing and intersubjective corroboration

debunking

was done. Indeed, just

that

In the

the obverse

inter-

of the planet in the

debunked nearly half a century ago, and nothing of scientific repute critical,

critically

from a source bearing the imprimatur of the

—has



that

is,

open

is true.

most comprehensive study of human genetic patterns ever published

single volume, L.

Luca

to

since undercut the

in

a

Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, and Alberto Piazza in The

History and Geography of Human Genes observe the following:

The

proved to be a

classification into races has

already clear to Darwin. in the

hands of

modem

To some

races. ...

Human

taxonomists,

extent, this latitude

who may choose

of the taxonomists,

Statistically, genetic variation

between

races are

who

reasons

futile exercise for

extremely unstable entities

still

to

be "lumpers" or

within clusters

large

is

"splitters."

single genes are considered, and in almost

for classifying

From

human populations

No

is

.

.

that

when are

all alleles

therefore sufficient

into systematic categories

a scientific point of view, the concept of race has failed to

obtain any consensus; none

is

likely,

given the gradual variation in

... By means of painstaking

existence.

populations,

all

single gene

.

compared with

clusters. ... All populations or population clusters overlap

present but in different frequencies.

more

define from 3 to 60 or

depends on the personal preference

we can we

multivariate analysis,

identify "clusters" of populations and order them in a hierarchy that

believe represents the history of fissions in the expansion to the whole

world of anatomically

modem

humans. At no

fied with races, since every level of clustering partition

and there

is

no biological reason

level

can clusters be identi-

would determine a

different

to prefer a particular one.

The

successive levels of clustering follow each other in a regular sequence,

and there

is

no discontinuity

that

might tempt us

to consider a certain level

as a reasonable, though arbitrary, threshold for race distinction.

[Accordingly, t]here

is

no

scientific basis to the belief

.

.

of genetically

determined "superiority" of one population over another. None of the genes that

we

consider has any accepted connection with behavioral

the genetic determination of

which

is

extremely

difficult to

traits,

study and

presendy based on soft evidence. The claims of a genetic basis for a general superiority of one population over another are not supported by

any of our findings.'

What one

learns here

from Cavalli-Sforza, Menozzi, and Piazza

had leamed already from L. C. Dunn, who, writing

and Science

cited earlier, observes:

for the

UNESCO

is

what one

volume Race

Introduction

The judgment of biology

...

of race, founded upon the

known

is

and theories of heredity, leaves the

facts

old views of fixed and absolute biological differences inferior races

old view, without scientific justification. Biologists

belong to a single species.

with other species,

common, having

men

all

.

.

When

the

UNESCO

the races of

founded upon

now

this

agree that

Homo sapiens. As

common

received them from

no justification

finds

among

is

all

the case

share their essential hereditary characters in

persistence of race prejudice where .

The modern view

clear and unequivocal.

man, and the hierarchy of superior and

men everywhere

1

[And

ancestors

so, t]he

exists is a cultural acquisition

it

which

in biology.*

statements of 1950 and 1951 are conjoined with the

observations of Vigilant, Dunn, and Cavalli-Sforza and colleagues, a clear, distinct

and incontrovertible pattern emerges concerning race as a biological phenomenon.

Race

is

not a biological phenomenon;

culture into a biological one.

It

names a

is

it

phenomenon transmuted by

a social

classificatory preference that finds

no sound

empirical mooring in biology. If racial classifications are largely a function of the

"personal preference" of taxonomists, as Cavalli-Sforza and colleagues, believe, or

any group of people

whom

one "choose [s]

"Statement of 1950," calls out, there

was announced

race."^ This truth

is

to describe as a race," as the

UNESCO

indeed "no biological reality to the concept of

to the readers

of The Milwaukee Journal on the

evening of February 20, 1995, in a bold headline that read: Race has no scientific basis in biology, researchers say.

was both pleased and

I

Pleased because a major newspaper

made known

to

its

distressed

well established for nearly half a century; distressed because

many cited,

Ann

times was

among Arbor,

gorize, but

So

Genome

it

it

necessary to rediscover

others, C. Loring Brace,

who

fire

by the headline.

readers a truth that had been I

asked myself

or to reinvent the wheel.

an anthropologist

at the University

of Michigan,

human tendency

to cate-

Unless the world were to learn otherwise from the

Human

observed that "[r]ace

a result of the

is

has no biological basis."'"

there

it

is:

Human Genome

Project and the

Diversity Project that are

now underway,

of the best objective knowledge" that has been extant since the mid-

in the context

twentieth century, race

is

phenomenon

not a biological



neither

is

ethnicity nor

There

is

no superior race biologically; there

race biologically. This being so,

it

would be well were the twentieth century

nationality for that matter.

remembered

as the

one

in

which the biological stake was driven

through the deformed heart of race, and

body burned, the world an

scattered,

and forgotten. But

assumed biology animates

differently, in the all

its

no

inferior

so speak,

be

not likely to be, for

all

around

commonplace understanding of race. Put

commonplace of everyday

comes

to

irretrievably

malformed but tenacious multicolored

alas, this is

the

is

life

concerning race, biological myths

too often overwhelm biological facts, and a sort of mythological biology,

may

how

The paper

to supersede empirical biology.

if

one

Global Convulsions

8

Interesting, here,

is

who

the fact that there are those

claim to believe that race

not grounded in biology yet behave in their daily lives as

if

it

were. In

this,

is

the

empirical reality of what Charles Stevenson called out as a logical possibility nearly

two generations ago comes Stevenson wrote:

namely, a clash of belief and attitude.

into play,

two men should continue

"It is logically possible, at least, that

disagree in attitude even though they had

all their

though neither had made any logical or inductive

beliefs in error, or

to

common, and even

omitted any relevant

evidence. Differences in temperament, or in early training, or in social status, might

make

men

the

even though both were possessed of the

retain different attitudes

What Stevenson said concerning two individuals is true also for a single individual. One always has to proceed with the utmost caution when one uses the term "personal knowledge."'^ Still, I do know, of my own personal knowledge, of individuals who have claimed forcefully that they did not believe that complete

scientific truth."'^

race really had a sound biological anchor, yet continually behaved as

commonly accepted body of scientific beliefs [does have a commonly accepted set of attitudes."'^ Dunn thus

if

did. In

it

short, "a

not necessarily] cause

us to

hits the

mark when he

writes:

We know now why certain fixity

views about race uniformity and purity and the

why

of racial differences were[/are] wrong; and

social

and

political

views of race inequality were[/are] wrong. Since the former were often used as a justification for the that, if

we

we should as reasonable beings like to believe we should thereby cure

latter,

get rid of our biological misconceptions,

the social and political

ills

of injustice and exploitation which appeared to be

based upon wrong biology. Eventually

we

should not forget that the

way

in

we may

expect

this to

happen, but

which human beings as individuals and

more stemmed from feelings and from prejudice than from knowledge.'^ as groups have acted with regard to race differences has

often

Racial prejudice, racial hatred, and boorish racism persist in spite of scientific

knowledge about the biology of social utility.

They

persist

value."'^

and

is

a value



ority

that

tells

which

because of their social value and safety, security,

of the anxiety, insecurity and discomfort of

us that "what

is

familiar, sets

when he wrote

that in the

is it

become a

familiar tends to

apart

from what

unfamiliar,

is

Sidney Willhelm touched a raw

United States "racism

.

.

.

must

taken for a dominant, autonomous social value."'' Mythic biological superi-

and mythic biological

Abraham

inferiority undergird

Lincoln cognizant of this value

purpose to introduce races,"

persist

albeit an ignoble one. In this regard,

nerve a generation ago

now be

in the face

Gordon Allport

Racism bounds

They

because they are perceived to reinforce the

and comfort of the familiar the unfamiliar.

race.

political

and

social equality

and was "in favor of the race

position;" for "[t]here

is

to

racism as a value.

when he made

How

well

plain that he

was

had "no

between the white and the black

which [he belonged] having the superior

a physical difference between the two which

.

.

.

will prob-

.

Introduction

9

ab\y forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality.'"* In the

United

and elsewhere around the world

States,

one observes

at the

end of the twentieth century,

starkly the effects of racism as a social value as those

the beneficiaries of

what

I

who have been

term racial inheritance struggle to maintain what Lincoln

understood to be "the superior position." In the nineteenth century, Arthur

de Gobineau and Charles

Carroll,

among

frameworks based on the supposed biological superiority of

others, constructed

whites and inferiority of nonwhites to justify the social advantages that accrued from

white racial inheritance. At the end of the twentieth century, Richard Hermstein and Charles Murray have imitated de Gobineau and Carroll, though they have been less

conspicuous in calling attention to

men

seek

position

their biological assumptions.

is

—whether

vis-a-vis the global political

hegemony

in the

insti-

North-South divide

economy of which Claude Ake makes mention. But

is

tical, military,

and economic history and to

cultural traditions of countries or groups.

rapidly transient, as history shows, whereas the average genotype

This superiority

is

does not change

rapidly."'^

The critical term here

superior positions that wo' men strive

is

"cultural traditions."

and seek

for,

to maintain,

come

their

not by dint of their racial superiority biologically, but in virtue of the cultural

traditions It is

of these

a political and socioeconomic concept, tied to events of recent poli-

"[s]uperiority

way

all

form of control of major

the superior position takes the

tutions in, say, the United States, or northern

The

What

the continued transgenerational, racial inheritance of the superior

which support and

sustain the biological

machinery they obtained

at birth.

thus well to turn to culture to illuminate race, ethnicity and nationalism, which,

at the

end of the twentieth century, constitute the most explosive

societal fault lines

on the planet.

n Concerning 'The Fate of the Earthy a subheading in his chapter entided "The Biological Consequences of Nuclear War" in The Cold and the Dark: The World after

Nuclear War, Paul Ehrlich

writes:

war scenarios can be constructed

Plausible

dominant atmospheric

effects

virtually the entire planet.

would be

that

would

result in the

of darkness and cold spreading over

Under those circumstances, human

largely restricted to islands

survival

and coastal areas of the Southern

Hemisphere, and the human population might be reduced to prehistoric levels.

.

.

.

[T]here probably would be survivors scattered throughout the

Southern Hemisphere and, perhaps, even

Hemisphere.

.

in a

few places

in the

Northern

.

But one has

to ask

about the long-term persistence of these small

groups of people, or of isolated individuals.

Human

beings are social

Global Convulsions

10

animals. built.

.

.

They .

upon the

are very dependent

The

social structures that they

kind of hunter and gatherer stage. But hunters and gathers

always had an enormous cultural knowledge of

knew how

have

survivors [of a large-scale nuclear war] will be back in a

But

to live off the land.

their

in the past

environments; they

after a nuclear holocaust,

people

without that kind of cultural background will suddenly be trying to live in

an environment that has never been experienced by people anywhere.

groups are small, there

If the

social

and economic systems

of the survivors

state

is

will

is difficult

.

.

be

utterly shattered.

The psychological

to imagine.

[In this context,] the possibility that the scattered survivors

would not be able

.

a possibility of inbreeding. And, of course,

simply

would, over a

to rebuild their populations, that they

period of decades or even centuries, fade

away [cannot be excluded, nor

can] the possibility of a full-scale nuclear

war entraining

Homo sapiens The grim

the extinction of

[be excluded].^

picture painted

by Ehrlich

relation to the biological survival of

biological extinction are but

two

calls out

Homo

most

starkly the cultural imperative in

sapiens sapiens. Cultural extinction and

sides of a single coin. Culture affords individuals

Such adaptation

and groups the wherewithal to adapt to their environments.

the biological survival of individuals and groups, and of culture notes, "[a] person

is

not only exposed to the contingencies that constitute a culture,

he helps to maintain them, and so the culture

The

is

to the extent that the contingencies induce

for

self-perpetuation of a culture presumes that

its

him

to

do

self-perpetuating."^'

survive. "[A] culture," says Skinner,

work

fosters

As Skinner

itself.

some of

survival, or for the survival of

survive. Survival

is

members and it, itself, its members to practices, is more likely to its

"which /cr any reason induces its

the only value according to which a culture

is

eventually to be

judged, and any practice that furthers survival has survival value by definition."^

Moreover, is

good

in

in relation to survival, "[e]ach culture has

one culture may not be good

What

position of 'cultural relativism.' the Trobriand Islander, and that

speaks

is

most

healthy, for

its

is

is

in another.

good

that.""

its

own

set



The

cultural relativism of

[that

is

good

for

which Skinner

recognizes the authenticity, integrity, and intrinsic

own members.

This

a sound term that, regrettably, has been sullied at the

end of the twentieth century by much "missionary zeal

this is to take the

for the Trobriand Islander

value of diverse cultures in terms of the survival of their tolerance of cultural diversity

of goods, and what

To recognize

that

seeks to convert]

is



pejorative

all

is

the very antithesis of the

cultures to a single set of ethical,

governmental, religious, or economic values."^

Vodun,

Christianity, Judaism,

and Islam, for example,

all

serve their believers

equally well, just as Danbala Wedo^"* serves with equal facility the ones in

him

as does Jesus Christ those

who

worship him.

It

was rank

cultural

who

believe

chauvinism

Introduction

impelled European Christians to spread out around the

and imperialism

that, in part,

world to impose

their version

it

was acute

that

myopia

cultural

1

And

of religion upon presumably less fortunate races.

that

moved

the French of the Enlightenment to believe

French-based Enlightenment rationality was the foundation for a world culture.

In this regard, Brian Porter writes that "[t]he French were to be the core nation of a

And

universal republic.

philosophy of

life

membership of that republic was

the criterion for

for a reorganization of world society might

to

be one's

Such a basis

rather than one's ethnic origins or racial background.

have worked had not the French,

in

Martin Wight's words, been 'sublimely incapable of distinguishing between the universal Rights of

Man

and French

culture.'

Napoleon's armies entered the surrounding

countries of Europe as liberators, but to those being liberated

it

came

increasingly to

look like political and cultural imperialism on the grandest scale."

Grand

and schemes, then, are

cultural designs

oppressive, as one culture either

empirical fact that what

makes

is

good

in

is

unmindful

one culture may not be good

imply cultural

and

Vodun,

racial hierarchies

is

serves the tivism.

good of a

Still,

culture

is

"[W]hat

out what

is

and

attributes.

religion that

do not share much,

not the national religion of the United

is,

is

juxtaposed to Vodun to

both are religions, and both serve the

cultures.

Cultural relativism notwithstanding,

These

that all cultures

Here Christianity

of singular importance, that

good of their respective

No

a cardinal truth of cultural rela-

the national religion of Haiti,"^^ according

is

if Christianity is

pretty close to being so.

is

richness and

its

religions. Aliena-

cultural heritage."^

mean

cultural relativism does not

comes

it

and

a bad religion. This

indeed very much, in common. "Vodun to Bellegarde-Smith,

world of

that "[t]hey rob the

by establishing bad and good

tion follows the erosion of one's spiritual

call

in another.

so-called universal religions so pernicious," says Patrick Bellegarde-Smith in

his penetrating discussion of

States

too often repressive and

all

or simply elects to ignore, the

of,

all

cultures share in

are: species life, species being,

common

at least

seven

language, religion, literature-art-

science-technology, institutions, and transgenerational memory.

Species

life is

a unique organic property which only nature itself produces

and reproduces, and without which there

is

no

culture. In this sense, species life is

prior to culture, but without culture, as Ehrlich

vive for a while but

it is

makes

plain, species life

may

sur-

unlikely to persist. Species being entails the ontological

and cosmological percepts and precepts around which species Species being ascribes value and worth to species

life.

life is

organized.

The value and worth

that

ascribes to any life are contingent on the place of that life in the order that creates.

The more

the species life of individuals or groups

species being, the greater

is

the likelihood that the ones

is

it

it

valued in the order of

who

lead those lives will

adapt well to the contingencies of their environment. The sorts of interaction that obtain between species being and species

wo' men and

to grow, develop, adapt, create,

their progeny.

life

thus structure the possibilities for

and reproduce themselves

in their

work

Global Convulsions

12

Over

historical time,

competing, conflicting, contradictory, and asymmetrical

conceptions and constructions of species being have occasioned profound variations

of species

in the valuation life

life

and

products.

its

The value and worth of

the species

of the West African and his descent, both in Africa and in the Diaspora, over the

past five hundred years have been nominal in European constructions of species

being. This opened wide the path to slavery, colonialism, and Jim its

de jure and de facto forms.

indeed be "bought and sold, and treated as traffic,

.

whenever a profit could be made by

.

Crowism

in

both

were "slavish by nature," they could

If Africans .

ordinary article[s] of merchandise and

it."^

Bemal

is

most powerful

here, as he

discusses racism's degradation of the species being not only of Africans, but also of others

who were to

suffer the anguish of European cultural arrogance.

The deformation of the cation for

all sorts

species being of individuals and groups affords justifi-

of conduct that

Thus, for example, in spite of

its

States to agree with William Schockley

deceased



that "the

deficits is hereditary

and corrode

distort, distract

empirical

falsity,

—twice a Nobel

and

intellectual

and thus not remedial

racially genetic in origin,

calls "aversive consequences"^"

[the] environment,"^^ all sorts

come

could

in the

United

laureate in physics, and

major cause of the American Negro's

degree by practical improvements in

their species life.

were policymakers

now

and social to a

major

of what Skinner

to bedevil the species life of African-

Americans.

As one

gazes back over the twentieth century from the vantage point of the

1990s, one cannot but be struck by the expansiveness of cultural aggression in the

deformation of the species being of "them" by "us."

One of

its

most nefarious and

rapacious manifestations, "ethnic cleansing," has reemerged with a vengeance in the 1990s. Marianne Elliott observes that in Northern Ireland "[t]he ERA's border attacks

were seen as

'ethnic cleansing'"

by the

of Dr. Ante Pavelic's "SS [which]

Protestants.

set out

Robin Remington makes mention

on a campaign of

the Nazis controlled Yugoslavia, as well as the "rising

'ethnic cleansing'"

when

body counts, untold numbers of

wounded, and the 2-3 million refugees created by war and

deliberate policies of

ethnic cleansing" that accompanied the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Furthermore, in Rwanda, in three short months between April and July of 1994, the

United Nations estimated that half-a-million to one million persons were killed and

made refugees, in a country of approximately eight Most of those who were killed were Tutsis, at the hands of Hutus.

roughly three and a half million million people.

(The Tutsis

won

the civil war.) This

of the twentieth century, yet

it

is

a former U.S. ambassador call "nasty

hands

in three

without a doubt one of the greatest holocausts

has passed as merely one manifestation of what bits

months was but a nasty

arise: Is racial cleansing to



be next?

bit

of disorder."

A million

lives lost to

I

heard

human

of disorder. Thus the inevitable questions

in spite

of what has been said pertaining to the

biology of race. Given the longanimity of the world community in relation to the evil

of "ethnic cleansing," would

am

like forbearance obtain

were

racial cleansing to

not sanguine concerning the answer to either of these questions.

occur?

I



3

Introduction

One of the means

through which the deformation of species being occurs

use of language. Language may be used

language

is

through

is

It is

the

a well-known adage but worth

a people's mirror. They see themselves in

Images of a people are conveyed

it.

is

to exalt or to diminish. In the texture of their

the species being of a people woven.

Language

repeating:

1

to the

they see others

it;

world through the language by

which they are made known. These images cover quite a spectrum. They may be sharp or blurred, simple or complex, coarse or refined, solicitous or provocative, accurate or distorted, and so on. the

What

mind and leave impressions

that they impress themselves

upon

that incline, guide, and/or occasion conduct.

How

is critical is

well does the African intellectual and spiritual father of the Catholic Church, Saint

whom Bemal

Augustine of Hippo,

European

religion, understand this

mentions

when he

in relation to the

African mind in

writes:

After the state or city comes the world, the third circle of human society the

being the house, and the second the

first

so

larger,

And

it is

here, in the first place,

of languages. For

if

is

separated from

is

to pass, but,

And

on the

the world, as

the

it is

more dangerous.

man by

the difference

other's language, meet,

contrary, to remain in

company,

animals, though of different species, would more easily hold

intercourse than they,

nature

man

two men, each ignorant of the

and are not compelled

dumb

city.

of dangers, as the greater sea

fuller

is

no help

human

common

beings though they be. For their

to friendliness

when

they are prevented by diversity of

language from conveying their sentiments to one another; so that a

would more

readily hold intercourse with his

But the imperial

city has

dog than with a

man

foreigner.

endeavored to impose on subject nations not

only her yoke, but her language, as a bond of peace, so that interpreters, far

from being

scarce, are numberless.^'

Why did the imperial city strive to impose on subject nations not only her yoke make her dictates readily comprehensible. But even more many would discern, understand, and internalize the customs,

but also her language? To important, so that the traditions,

norms, mores, and ethos that animated

to lighten the

Roman

civilization.

Rome

Through her language and her laws, she endeavored conquered participants

in

her culture



to bind, as

to it

make

those

were, their

whom

spirits

she had with her

language and their bodies with her laws. European colonial overlords imitated in

imposing

sought

weight of her yoke through the spread and acceptance of her language.

their

languages on those

never learned well the

art

whom

Rome

they colonized and enslaved. But they

of the imperial city in making "them" truly as part of "us."

Looking around the world, one observes society

bond of peace,"

after society

wedge of

where language,

Language is wedge of ethnic and national discord as it separates individuals and groups, many of whom, if one might borrow from Saint Augustine, would rather hold intercourse with their dogs than with "them," whoever them might be. As one rather than being "a

especially a

is

actually a

discord.

Global Convulsions

14

Elliott, Muhammad Hallaj, George Harris, Mark Marc Levine, Kosaku Yoshino, and David Buck, one a bond of peace and a wedge of discord.

reads the chapters in this volume by Beissinger, Alfred Senn,

observes language both as Hallaj

presence

makes known

in Palestine

.

that

.

schools began to teach

once the

PLO

.

Hebrew

was not merely

It

[a]

them

to Palestinian children to prepare

community

eventuality of coexistence with a Jewish

purpose of this?

accepted "the legitimacy of

Jewish

[and] adopted the democratic-secular state idea,

in Palestine."

that Palestinian

vocabulary and grammar of Hebrew, important though

was.

What was

the

would know the

children this

PLO

for the

It

was, rather, that

who would be the adults of would come to share a common

Palestinian children and Jewish children of today,

tomorrow and the ancestors of

"A common

language.

language

the is

day

after,

not intrinsically one official or unofficial natural

language, but the capacity and ability of large numbers of persons to

sense of a given pertaining to

This

it.

PLO

or range of

common

realized that if a

bond of peace were

instead of merely tolerable order,

it

was

make common

share like sentiments

more

natural languages

sense and [shared] sentiments. '*^^ In

many Jewish

youngsters learn Hebrew, just as

its

phenomena and

so regardless of whether one, two or

is

emergence of such

are used in the

having

phenomenon

to obtain

youngsters learn Arabic, the

between Palestinians and Jews

essential that a

common

language bridge the

Jewish community and the Palestinian community. The bridge of a language would not necessarily conflate the two communities, but

make

assuredly brutalities,

many

less likely the

and horrors

irritations,

common

common

would most

vexations, torments, vulgarities,

that separated them. Policies

development and spread of a

it

and conduct

that foster the

language among peoples thus have

much

to

commend them. The

PLO

sought the evolution of a

than one natural language

is

common

language

in a land

where more

a commonplace. In Northern Ireland, English, a natural

language, serves as a linguistic bridge between the Catholic and Protestant communities, yet by and large no pellingly

is this

common

language obtains between them.

point instantiated by Elliott,

who

observes:

incomprehension of the other community's core values Elliott's chapter]

owes not a

little

to the

way

in

failed for lack of language,' wrote Professor

interparty ta^ks

How

com-

'The kind of mutual

that has

been outlined

which they are expressed. 'The

[in

talks

Edna Longley of the breakdown of in November 1992." The talks

on the future of Northern Ireland

failed not for the lack of a mutually understood natural language but for the absence

of a shared

common

natural languages, yet

of those

who make

language.

A common

one natural language may not

use of

it

in a

given society.

This very point resonates in Yoshino, [t]he nihonjinron

and

may be conflated into many bear a common language for all

language

who

notes that

their popularized cross-cultural

manuals offer abun-

dant examples to suggest that Japanese patterns of behavior and use of

5

Introduction

bom

language are so peculiar that one has be

1

a Japanese to be able to

grasp the intricacy of the Japanese language and the delicacy of the

Japanese

mode of thinking. For example, one

writer observes that, though

he knows of some Europeans whose Japanese

and though some Korean residents

in

their prose or fiction in Japanese,

compose good waka

is

accurate and quite fluent,

won

Japan have

awards for

literary

he knows of no foreigner

who can

(or thirty-one syllable Japanese poetry). This sort of

remark may be taken as suggesting

Japanese language "belongs

that the

exclusively" to the Japanese, in the sense that

it

can truly be appreciated

only by the Japanese.

who

This assessment of Japanese as a natural language precludes those

Japanese from participating in a

common

language through

though a Korean resident of Japan acquires Japanese lives his

whole

participant in the

common

of

.

.

from

the

.

its

modem

ethnicity."

in his childhood, or a

language of the society, and thus

to the Japanese. In this regard. Porter points out that

industrial state," insofar as

The

Japan

is

is

is

European

ever a

full

never wholly familiar

"the notable exception

has not "sought to distance

it

conflation of natural language and

bom

are not

use. In this sense,

Japan speaking flawless Japanese, neither

in

life

its

common

itself

language in

Japanese as "the exclusive property of the Japanese people," to use Yoshino's terms, oftentimes serves to drive a

wedge between

the Japanese and those

speak the natural language but are perceived to lack a

common

as well as foreigners.

it.

But

its

and

their resident aliens,

^^

lost to the

men

was used

the former Soviet Empire, and Russian

constructing

well

the Japanese themselves

the Japanese

The value of a common language was not mled

among

language. Accordingly, a bond of peace

becomes a potential wedge of discord between

who may

sound understanding of

of the Kremlin

who

an instmment for

as

just as the spread of Latin did not bring peace to the

Roman Rome

empire, the spread of Russian did not bring peace to the former Soviet Union.

succeeded more than perhaps any other empire still,

for

most her language,

promote the

like her arms,

It

and order, but

could impose

also did.

It

its

could wield

that well-ordered

wide the gates

part of "us";

an instmment to

failed to occasion

language, and this

its

tme peace. This it

arms, and this too

did. It it

did.

it

could not impose.

could impose

But

it

its

laws, and this

could not impose

concord that binds wo' man to wo' man both near and

its

far,

it

peace,

opening

to shared symbols, myths, values, beliefs, and attitudes conceming

The language

wedge of

order,

As was tme of Rome, the former Soviet Union who fell within its imperial bounds a measure of

the organization of political society, as well as the

conduct.

making "them" a

tranquility of the empire.

did succeed in imposing upon those tranquility

in

was a weapon of

discord,

it

strived to

which was

emerges most forcefully

to

impose was

be of no

in the chapters

little

bounds of right, in reality

import

fitting,

and proper

no bond of peace but a

in its

undoing. This point

by Beissinger and Senn. Moreover, one

Global Convulsions

16

cannot but be intrigued by the fact that problems attending language that so harassed the former Soviet

Union continue

Senn observes

new

to bedevil the

states that

the 1980s Soviet nationalities' policy focused

[i]n

emerged from

it.

that

away with

(merging), an effort to do

on the concept of sliianie

the differences between nationalities

by the general acceptance of the Russian language. Soviet educators advocated "bilingualism," providing children with better instruction in Russian than in their mother tongues. Teachers of Russian, moreover, received higher pay than did teachers of the local language. specialized in the use of language reacted

first

many saw

the cultural elites of the various nationalities

.

.

.

Those who

to bilingualism.

.

.

Within

.

in bilingualism the

decline and even destruction of their basic vehicles of communication.

Thus did reaction against Russian regime

in the Baltics

who saw

between those

and

tranquility.

peace in the sense that "ours";

it

as the language of intruders in the

I

wedged "them"



drive a

make use of an

and ones who perceived the language

wedge

alien tongue

to

be essential

A measure of order and tranquility did obtain, but not

have used the term. Russian was "their" language not against "us" both symbolically and substantively; and so

largely failed to forge a sense of oneness out of

peace of all.

and an occupation

former Soviet Union

themselves as being forced to

for the sake of their well-being, to peace, order



and elsewhere

"we" and "they"

that

it

would bond the

How exquisitely does Senn capture this idea when he makes known that

"[i]n 1988, the

head of the Lithuanian Writer's Union

told [him] of his concern that

the Soviet requirement that dissertations be written in Russian

would undermine the

development of critical thought in the Lithuanian language." Thus "[i]n one republic after another, the local writers'

union took the lead in demanding stronger efforts to

preserve the national language and culture." With lightning speed did the Soviet

Union collapse

in 1991.

Though

its

arms were

still

and

strong,

its

laws

made

less

repressive and oppressive under glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), it

could not withstand the assault of those

and for

whom

Republic

who saw

in its

language no bond of peace,

was no common language. With no common language,

the

fell apart.

There tegrated,

there

is

a truth most old but

very salutary here.

still

The Soviet Union

disin-

most assuredly

was a

and though language was not the

efficient cause,

it

The people

did not share a

common

significant contributory factor.

language as a

bond of peace. Without such a common language, natural languages became wedges of discord the most prominent, of course, being Russian. Today, a markedly



similar state of affairs obtains in In Lithuania, for example,

many of the new

Senn points out language

states

that "Poles

of the former Soviet Union.

have

.

.

.

demanded

official

republic"; and in the

Donbass region of Ukraine, Beissinger mentions

"who

called for the resignation of the

in

that Polish

Vilnius and certain other cities of the

be recognized as an

the miners

Kravchuk government because of excessive

Introduction

taxes and price rises, [and] advocated as well special

region

What

.

is

largely as a

.,

.

autonomous

means of protecting economic

being called out here

that insofar as

is

many

the people of a given state and/or society; insofar as

or

interests

status for the

Donets

and language

rights."

natural languages are

most of them speak

most two natural languages; and insofar as there

at

is

no

17

common

spoken by

fluently

one

language that

binds them together, absent the strong hand of an imperium, language becomes a centrifugal force that impels toward the

organization.

How

the former Soviet

The and the

well

is this

Empire

emergence of ever smaller

observation borne out by what

units

of social

being witnessed in

is

and Senn are most helpful here.

in the 1990s. Beissinger

centrifugal potentiality of language in relation to the cohesion of society

integrity

of the

state,

and the

effort

of states to counter

it,

resonate in the

chapters by Harris, Levine, and Buck. Mindful of the relation between language and

ethnonational identity; aware of the sorts of transgenerational sentiments that are transported through language; sensitive to the costs of inflexible heavy handedness in the suppression

of a language; and conscious of the effect that large minority

populations can have on the stability of the its

state,

Turkey has played the language of

Kurdish minority like an accordion. Beyond the

the 1980s "[l]aws

were passed

But "language

varieties," says Harris.

restrictions already in place, in

further restricting the use of Kurdish in is

any of

its

the surest touchstone of Kurdishness,"

according to Harris, and so as violence by the Kurds mounted

at the outset

of the

1990s, "steps were taken [by the regime in Ankara] to acknowledge Kurdish identity

and

on the use of the Kurdish language

to ease restrictions

matters of language

policy vis-a-vis social cohesion

and the

in publications." In

integrity

of the

state,

draconian heavy-handedness as well as supine flaccidity are formulae for the

The

centrifugal potentiality of language to be unleashed.

who

common

speak different natural languages into a

the surest

means

full

true integration of those

language of political society

is

for a regime to escape the unforgiving trap of either of these

extremes.

Although

Canada

to date

it

has sort of "muddled through," to use Levine's term,

thus far has avoided the regime extremes of Turkey or the state and societal

Why

fragmentation of the former Soviet Union. sible?

I

in spite

them

suggest the existence of a

Levine observes

that

"by the early 1970s

The outcome of

"[f]or the first time in an

party

linguistic trends in

to threaten the cultural survival of Francophones,

1970s ... the most burning policy question policy."

has muddling through been pos-

language that draws Canadians together

of centrifugal forces, language being the most prominent, that would tear

apart.

seemed

common

was

these

was

in

it

.

.

[and]

by the mid-

the issue of language

the 1976 election of the Parti quebe^ois, and

advanced Western democracy an ethnonationaUst

separatist

Canada seemed on

the verge

elected to control a subnational government."

of splitting apart. Yet

.

Quebec [was]

Montreal

did not. Despite Bill 101 and Bill 178 pertaining to language

policy (see Levine), Quebec's desire to be recognized as a "distinct society," and persistent dissatisfaction

among Quebec Francophones over Canada's

constitutional

— Global Convulsions

18

Meech Lake Accord, Canada

misadventures, most especially the held together thus

There

is

far,

and the

something

work here

at

French as natural languages.

nomic

from a sense

there

a

It is

is

state

has nonetheless

has been preserved.

that transcends the

common

and a

interests, political limits,

muddle through where

Canadian

integrity of the

wedge of English and

language drawn around shared ecodemocratic tradition. People can only

liberal

a willingness to do so. Such willingness emanates

work

manner that does harm and promotes as much good as is possible within extant constraints. A common language makes this possible. For it does not compel universal agreement, that things will

out, if not optimally, at least in a

as

little

it

simply inclines the wills of individuals to will within the limits of mutually

acceptable bounds, and induces them to act accordingly. precisely

what the new Communist government

Buck,

cite

it

in

And

a

common

China aimed for

"banned derogatory terminology about minorities

nouncements, improved minority peoples' schools and education languages, and tolerated the practice of differed

my

my

(the year in

minority customs and

much psychological

in the world)

through 2011 set against

the year in

been

The is

common

little

actual physical

Of what

damage

significance

is all

accretion of natural language enclaves in the United States at the end of the is

not a good thing.

potential

Its

harm both

to the state

of great moment. The United States has always been fortunate

language that could sustain

tribulations. Frederick said:

of

said for the United States?

twentieth century society

Rome

which Alaric the Visigoth caused

pain to the imperial city with so

cannot leave the discussion on language without asking:

that has

life styles that

which the Emperor Theodosius boldly proclaimed Christian times



I

published pro-

in their respective

current interest in the United States of 1991 (the year of

throughout the empire) through 410 CE so

is

to

longstanding fascination with comparisons between the United

and Rome, and

America's unchallenged supremacy

390

in

language

1949 when,

from the Han majority."

Given States

many

in

"The

in spite

it

Douglass summoned

it

of

its

after the

many

Dred

in

and the

having a

divisions, trials

and

when he

Scott decision

Constitution, as well as the Declaration of Independence, and the senti-

ments of the founders of the Republic, give us a platform broad enough, and strong enough, to support the most comprehensive plans for the freedom and elevation of all

the people of this country, without regard to color, class, or clime."^

And

Abraham Lincoln invoked it on the evening of June 16, 1858, in the Hall of the House of Representatives in the Illinois State House as he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate, when he declared: "'A house divided against itself cannot stand.' I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.



expect the Union to be dissolved will cease to

be divided.

engaged the same

will

common

Frederick Douglass did. language, as he

It

mocked

I

do not expect

become

language

all

in

one

the house to

fall

but

I

I

do not

do expect

it

thing, or all the other."^'' Lincoln

defense of liberty

But Stephen Douglas tapped deep

in

the Republic as

into another

common

Lincoln in their first debate, concerning the matter of a

Introduction

divided house. Said he: "Mr. Lincoln

permanently into free

same condition

in the

and slave

states.

.

.

.

.

in

Why can

.

says that this government cannot endure

.

which it

it

was made by

framers

its

made

government divided

this

state perfectly free to

on the same

exist

common

do

as

principle

on which our

divided

and slave

fathers

made

it?"^

.

.

.

men

and

states,

Why

of that

each

left

can

Here we have

it

it:

not

two

languages struggling for the soul of one Republic.

The common language emerged triumphant at the

into free states

pleased on the subject of slavery.

it



not exist divided into free and slave states?

Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, and the great day,

19

to

which Lincoln and Frederick Douglass appealed

for seven generations

—using twenty

years for a generation. But

end of the twentieth century, the language of Stephen Douglas has had a new

rebirth,

and one can only ponder what

the front cover of U.S.

News

&

portents for the future of the Republic.

it

World Report of July

10, 1995,

was a

On

likeness of the

We Stand: America's New Cultural New America," the magazine observed that

Statue of Liberty with the caption: "Divided

Landscape." In a story entitled "The

America has always been a divided

E pluribus unum may

nation.

be a

national motto and the melting pot a national metaphor, but the reality has

been

patriots

and Tories, free whites and black

and Tennessee woodsmen, Northem

slaves, Philadelphia bankers

abolitionists

and Southern slave

owners, free silver and hard currency, natives and immigrants. Wall Street

and Main

Street,

Republicans and Democrats, hawks and doves,

liberals

and conservatives. [Christians and non-Christians could have been added.]

Today America once

is

new and

divided in

solidly Democratic, is fast

different ways.

becoming Republican.

.

The South, .

.

African

Americans and Hispanics are divided about affirmative action and welfare reform. There

women who the

is

a gulf between

stay at

home

women who work

with their children.

.

.

.

outside the

home and

"Are we a nation?" are

words of Michael Lind's The Next American Nation. "Social

first

classes speak to themselves in a dialect of their

own, inaccessible

to out-

The Revolt of the Elites. Republican analyst William Kristol warns of "the Balkanization of America." siders,"

wrote Christopher Lasch

We and

can see these

new

in

divisions every day

cultural enclaves; sitting in walled

listening

to

our

own music and



living in geographical

back yards, not open front porches;

watching our

own

cable-television

channels." U.S.

News

&

World Report

is

correct in saying that

a divided nation." But the triumph of the

common

"America has always been

language shared by Frederick

Douglass and Lincoln provided the substratum for a sufficiency of shared purpose which,

in spite

of grave lacerations upon the body

over these past seven generations. But increasingly observes enclave

at the

politic,

has sustained the Republic

end of the twentieth century one

America replacing access America. Enclaves

are not

a

20

Global Convulsions

new

phenomena

social

in the

United States. They have always existed.

is

the doubt that expands ever the

a

common

more concerning

natural languages serve to reinforce the enclaves.

virtual

Tower of Babel. To

where individuals its

common

when

language. This becomes especially troublesome

Angeles alone more than one hundred and

What

new

is

the bridging of these enclaves

It

by

differences in

has been estimated that in Los

fifty different

languages are spoken



the extent that these languages serve to buttress enclaves,

live in the

United States but are

at best

only marginally steeped in

language, they open seams in the tapestry of the Republic.

Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas represent two radically different concepts of America. One is grounded in the belief that a house divided against itself cannot stand. The other is anchored in the conviction that it can. Lincoln carried the day

—even though he

wonder



did not win the senate seat that he sought

emerging victorious

after

all. It is

this writer's

later.

There

a constitutional

is

no need for an

amendment

the obverse effect of

its

to

come

American republic sooner

rather

official natural

make English

gencies of reinforcement for the

common

language in the United States, and

the national language

What

intended purpose.

on the verge of

is

conviction that should Douglas

to supersede Lincoln, Alaric will assuredly visit the

than

yet one cannot but

end of the twentieth century whether Douglas

at the

is

is

have

likely to

needed are expanded contin-

language that knits together the diverse

groupings of the society in a bond of peace. Just as language

And

may

divide or unite the

language of a people

religion. In the

in a divine

is their

members of a

made known.

Godhead, whether within wo' man or without her/him, do

Both Lincoln and Douglas appeal

religions rest.

does

society, so too

concept of the divine

all

God

God. "[A]s

to the Christian

made us separate," says Lincoln, "we can leave one another alone and do one [L]et us discard all this quibbling about this another much good thereby. has

.

.

.

.

.

.

race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore must be placed in

an inferior position. throughout the land,

.

.

.

until

Let us discard

we

shall

all

these things, and unite as one people

once more stand up declaring

that all

men

are

created equal. "^* With equal conviction, Douglas declares: "I do not believe that the Almighty ever intended the negro to be the equal of the white man. ...

belongs to an inferior race, and must always occupy an inferior then,

are

anchored

two

radically different concepts of race in

in the

Godhead can

same

Christian God.

The

crucial point

is

position."^*^

American

society,

that the very

sustain fundamentally different conceptions of

He

Here,

both

same divine

man and

the organi-

zation of political society. Proslavery and antislavery forces solicited with equal

confidence the favor of the same Christian God. Interestingly, on June 20, 1995,

one hundred and

fifty

years after

it

was formed, "the Southern

Baptist Convention,

America's largest Protestant denomination and one founded defense of slavery, voted overwhelmingly

racism of which 'all

we have been

African- Americans '.'"*"

guilty'

and

in the

in

large part in

annual meeting ... to 'repent of

to apologize to

and ask forgiveness from

21

Introduction

Of much

interest here

the fact that ex-slaves in the United States largely

is

retained the religion of their former masters.

demeaned

despoiled, depreciated, and

the

Though Christian slaveholders debased, Gods of the Africans, and strived to

depose ancestral Gods with the Christian God, they did not attempt to extinguish the longing of the Africans for the divine. To the contrary, they sought to tap into the Africans' religion, which "was nature-worship, with

surrounding influences, good and bad, and incantation and sacrifice."^'

Thus were

.

.

profound belief

[a]

[their]

.

worship

.

.

.

in invisible

[was] through

evoke a

slaveholders, for example, able to

sense of sacrifice steeped deep into the psyches of Africans through their intercourse

with the divine.

And

God

despite a substitution of the Christian

which did separate Africans from

for African

Gods,

their archetypes of the divine, their connectedness

with the divine was nonetheless preserved.

How

does

strikingly

Soviet Union

who

this contrast

with communist overlords of the former

sought to extinguish the role of the divine in structuring the con-

tours of their peoples lives. Unlike

American Christian slaveholders who recognized

the value of religion in sustaining organized, legal, and constitutional racial oppres-

communist overlords

sion,

Leninism had much

failed to

do with

to

aside, yet they could not escape

from the Gods

whom

in

they

make use of

this

value of religion. Marxism-

communists sought

this. Ironically,

to set religion

for peoples are not readily severed in their spirits

it;

trust.

The regime

terms with the societal significance of

this truth,

in Beijing

and found

may it

well have

come

to

prudent since 1978, as

noted by Buck, to permit "minority peoples in China ... to revive religious practices previously suppressed."

In in

Our

religion.

study his gods.'"*^ divine

in

them

is life

sustaining hope.

Oriental Heritage, Will Durant vmtes: "[B]eneath and above everything

Egypt was

The

thus well that leaders should recognize that peoples

It is

have need of their Gods, for

is

.

Why

.

.

We

cannot understand the Egyptian

does Durant

stress the relation

the ultimate wellspring of hope. Hope, that

abounds a people

strive;

and

stimulates in

capabilities.

or

man



until

we

balm of

life.

Where hope

where hope evanesces a people atrophy. Hope imbues

individuals with the feeling that they have tinies. It



between wo' man and religion?

some measure of

them a consciousness of their

Hope fosters

in

one a sense

that

control over their des-

abilities, potentialities, capacities

one can master impediments

in one's

transcend given limitations, open up possibilities that have been closed

path,

heretofore,

be present.

and create It

satisfactory,

perhaps even good, options where none appear to

gives one a sense of confidence to believe that one can

happen, and affords reasonable grounds for things happen,

one

is

impelled to

bring them to pass, especially

Hope

if

make

this belief

the sorts of sacrifices

things

make

which are necessary

to

they either are needed greatly or desired strongly.

thus kindles desires and ignites expectations, which,

If the radiance

make

Believing that one can

of hope quickens the

spirit

lessness deadens the soul and discourages.

when

satisfied, reinforce

it.

and encourages, the gloom of hope-

Even

as

hope

lifts

one up, hopelessness

drags one down. Just as hope makes lighter one's difficulties, problems, troubles,

22

Global Convulsions

makes heavier whatsoever

vexations, cares and worries, hopelessness

upon

that

weighs

the heart. Hopelessness magnifies inadequacies and undercuts resolve. Cor-

roding optimism, hopelessness diminishes

This

is

have been accomplished

is

usually

beyond

is

Believing that they have

their grasp.

none over the

virtually

much

future,

and

their control, they often resign

that

is

lacking that which could

Wherever a

unrealized.

left

obtains, individuals tend to believe that

be within

effort.

of the utmost importance, for where effort

of hopelessness

state

control over the present,

little

what

useless to contend against

it is

themselves to what

is,

may

their reach that actually

is

beyond

settling for less than they either

can or ought to secure.

By

constricting sharply images of the possible and conceptions of the probable,

hopelessness undermines the willingness of individuals to

make

sacrifices in the

present for gains in the future. Hopelessness thus fosters and reinforces presentoriented behaviors, as individuals and groups discern rigid limits to their

chances. If wo' man

by nature a creature

is

lessness wars against

human

nature.

For

that works, strives

undermines the striving purpose of

it

wo' man's very being, and so induces individuals

may

to acquiesce to limits

which they

well have the potentiality, capacity, and capability of pushing beyond.

suffocating

creativity,

well

as

dulling

as

life

and creates, hope-

and

insight

foresight,

By

hopelessness

diminishes individuals, and corrodes their self-respect, self-esteem and dignity. In hopelessness does despair inhere, with offshoots of resignation and desperation.

Despair tends to distort vision and skew perception. Those

prone to

all sorts

are played out.

of errors in their reading of the social universe

Upon

these errors

is

in

who

despair are

which

their lives

the flaccidity of resignation oftentimes evinced

And even where those who despair may well sense either that they can do

or the unbridled fury of desperation unleashed.

do read

their social universe accurately, they

nothing to alter their

lot

or they must rage against

it.

Despair thus destroys, either by

corrosive inertia or by violent explosions. It is

human

in the context

survival.

of hope and hopelessness that the divine becomes a nexus of

Gods animate

the

human

joy out of despair. John Blassingame

soon as

I felt in

troubles, earth.""*^

I

loss of fear

is

nected with the divine, and

was

it

spirit,

and bring hope out of hopelessness,

of a slave, William Webb,

who

said:

my heart, that God was the Divine Being that I must call on

heard a voice speak to

A

tells

manifested

in the

me, and from

that time

I

lost all fear

a

commonplace among those who

it

may be put to

feel

of

'"As

in all

my

men on

this

themselves con-

uses that are noble or ignoble. Fiendishly

demolition of the No. 5 bus

in Tel

Aviv on October

19,

The suicide bomber, Saleh Abdel Rahim al-Souwi, left a videotape in which he made known that "[i]t is good to die as a martyr for Allah."^ Diabolically was it instan1994, with the slaughter of twenty-two persons and the wounding of forty-six.

tiated in the shooting spree of Dr.

1994, at the

Cave

Baruch Goldstein on the morning of February 25,

of the Patriarchs,

another one hundred and

fifty

which

left forty

Muslim worshipers dead and

wounded. Goldstein himself was beaten to death by

23

Introduction

some of

who

those

escaped his

According

fusillade.

supporter of Goldstein said that "'[h]e loved Jews.

Another one remarked: '"This

we

will not

remain

which

act,

and watch them

silent

New

He was

and

enveloped the handshake between

that

PLO

13, 1993.'*^

Each time

I

language and

am moved

that

Israelis,

at

in

it

my

historic radiance

the U.S.

clip file

of

White House on

of "historically famous

see the hope of bridging two religious traditions by a

handshakes,"

For

look

I

that

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

Israeli

Chairman Yasir Arafat on the South Lawn of

September

a righteous man.'"

Jewish blood with impunity.""*^

But how much do these abominable deeds pale against the

hope

York Times, one

God's name, shows Arabs

sanctified

spill

The

to

deeply by the fearlessness and courage that

it

common

represents.

handshake symbolized openly and publicly two recognitions: for the

a recognition of the Palestinians as a people, and by extension their right to

self-determination; for the Palestinians, a recognition of the legitimacy of the state of Israel,

and

its

build in hope that

The divine, then, may be used to rend in despair or to weapon of oppression or a tool of liberation. It is to build in hope

right to exist.



a

Golan and Hallaj

writes,

and

of what might be in a land and

in this they stand out beautifully as

among two peoples who

bold exemplars

subscribe to fundamentally

different concepts of the divine.

The praise,

divine implies that which

pure, sacred, holy, worthy of worship and

is

and from which issues precepts

that give

meaning and purpose

to the lives

all

of

whose conduct they guide. The divine unites a people in a shared purpose, and impels them to strive to give it objective form and substance. By objective signs, symbols, and works are individuals and groups bound together in relation to a given those

concept of the divine. This a point of

critical

importance; for those

who

are

bound

together are expected to behave in certain ways.

Thus, are Christians and Muslims, for example, called upon to proselytize their religion, in conformity with their respective precepts of the divine, in order to

redeem and save those who are supposedly

do not serve the one with the one true

behave

from

true

God

of

in clearly defined

And who are the lost? Those who God of Christians is not identical Muslims, and each true God admonishes followers to lost.

God. But the one

true

ways. Herein, then, lay the germs of intolerance emanating

different concepts of the divine, especially in relation to proselytizing religions.

In this regard,

Bemal submits

that

always been a particular Christian

"[s]ome scholars today argue

that there has

[However,

t]his is clearly

affinity for tolerance.

untenable. Believers in revealed religions find error

and

sin.

The Western

liberal tradition

it

hard to tolerate what for them

is

of religious tolerance did not arise from

Christianity. Its origins are firmly linked to

upper class skeptics and deists of the

Bemal goes on to say that "[t]here is no doubt 1100 ce Islam was far more religiously tolerant

seventeenth and eighteenth centuries." that in

its

early

heyday from 650

to

than Christianity," though he does observe tragic examples of intolerance

temporary Islam. What

is

crucial, in

Bemal's view,

is

in

con-

that "[t]he correlation with

tolerance appears to be with having confidence in the success of one's faith. Thus,

24

Global Convulsions

Muslims on

the defensive today, can behave almost as badly as Christians did

Islam tore the heart out of Christendom

seventh century.

in the

.

.

[Yet,]

.

confidence are only necessary and not sufficient conditions for religious tion."

What else

A concept true

is

necessary,

if

amenable

is

none the

to

frame the divine

force

is this

is

particularistically, that

tolera-

.

of more than one

God," or "God's Chosen

inconsistent with mythic constructions is,

there

but one true God. With

is

much

point illustrated in the following passage:

Joshua gathered

all

this

day

Sheehem

the tribes of Israel to

And

themselves before God.

you

to the coexistence

status of "the Elect of

People." Such an open-textured concept that

.

.

not sufficient?

of the divine that

God, and ascribes

when

success and

whom

Joshua said unto

all

.

.

.

and they presented

the people,

.

.

.

choose

ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers

served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the

Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for

me

and

my

house,

we

will

serve the Lord.

And

the people answered and said,

God

forbid that

we

should for-

sake the Lord, to serve other gods. For the Lord our God, he

that

it is

brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of

bondage, and which did those great signs in our the

all

way wherein we

And

all

and preserved us

sight,

the people through

in

whom we

Lord [drove] out from before us

all

the people, even the

we

also serve the Lord;

for

he

is

the

our God.

And

Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord; for he

a holy God; he

is

is

a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions

nor your

sins. If

ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he

turn and

do you

hurt,

And

and consume you,

after that

the people said unto Joshua, [n]ay; but

we

will

he hath done you good.

will serve the Lord.

And

Joshua said unto the people, [n]ow therefore put away

... the strange

which are among you, and

Lord God of Israel.

And

for

among

Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will

passed.

same

went, and

incline your heart unto the

the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our

voice will

we obey."*^

A chosen

people shall serve their

standing.

none other

Ones who is

are

of equal

among

estate.

God

God and none

will

gods

we serve, and his

other; for

the elect shall serve their

none other has the

God and none

For Chosen Jews, Yahweh and Allah

substitutable; for Elect Christians, Jesus Christ

and Danbala

Wedo

other;

are not

are not inter-

Hard mythic boundaries circumscribe these manifestations of the and shape fundamentally the behaviors of those who fall within them. Thus

changeable."***

divine,

did Oliver

Cromwell and John Milton "amongst many

being chosen of God" (see Porter), to

make

at the

others, ... see the English as

very time that Englishmen were setting out

colonial subjects and slaves of peoples around the worid. And, as Galia

25

Introduction

Golan points

out, "the ideologically motivated right

War denied

Arab-Israeli

were not a people, and to his

that the Palestinians

any case

in

all

wing"

in Israel after the

had any claim

1967

to Palestine, since they

the land of Palestine had been "given by

God

Chosen People."

The mythic boundaries of the divine fold believers together, as well as differthem from others. They separate our God from their god; and, in the words of

entiate

Martin Marty, "solidify

tribalist

the 'other,'

.

.

.

members and

.

stress

.

groups and impulses; they do legitimate exclusion of

... the flaws of non-

'difference,' [and] exaggerat[e]

.

the virtues of adherents."

Given

significantly different

images of the

world, expectations framed within these boundaries tend to erect high walls of separation

between "us" and "them," "ours" and

severe, often attends those

who

sometimes very

"theirs." Retribution,

breach those expectations. The murder of Anwar

Sadat after he concluded a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel tressing, yet all too familiar case in point. Also, in

Northern Ireland,

is

Elliott notes that

mixed-religion couples are generally not looked upon with favor. "There hostility to

mixed marriages among

Protestants thinking

el-

but one dis-

is

more

Protestants than Catholics, even liberal-minded

'something that's morally wrong.'" Elliott also observes that

it

"there has always been an inferiority/superiority dichotomy in Catholic thinking, the belief that they hold the moral high ground. inferiority/superiority

more extreme,

this

memory

of disad-

vantage, and any effort to break its

its

elitism.

Republicans are particularly skilled

with

... At

syndrome induces self-righteousness and moral at exploiting Catholic's

away from

it

shared

risks the accusation of selling out,"

potential costs.

As mythic boundaries

are folded around the divine, contending claimants to the

divine divide themselves up into Porter calls the ethnie ethnie, but

Religion

bom. All

all sorts

of groupings. In these groupings are what

religious groupings are not instantiations of the

wherever the ethnie obtain so too do mythic boundaries of the divine.

is

separable from ethnicity, but ethnicity

is

inseparable from religion.

''Myth," says Porter, "not only plays an essential part in group identity, but tinuously created to preserve and enhance that identity."

When

a

is

con-

myth of religion

is

combined with an attachment to language, the life-giving fluid of ethnicity issues



forth

to

be renewed generationally and transgenerationally by kin and quasi-kin

relationships.

For many people, religion is

is

simply a

way of expressing

not the ultimate source of moral authority, and that

that individuals should lead

here,

is

good and decent

lives.

it is

No

the belief that wo' man

right, fitting,

church

is

and proper

needed. Religion,

"ecumenical, rational, reconciliatory, semi-indifferent and tolerant," to use

Marty's terms. For

means by which

many

society

persons, language is

is

purely instrumental.

information. But for the ethnie religion and language entail

much more.

It is,

as

it

It

is

simply a

organized, and individuals and groups transmit bits of

were, that language and religion inhere

much more,

in their

so very

very being, and

as such delimit the contours of their lives. In this context, Marty's concept of

26

Global Convulsions

"'retribalist' religions" is potent; for

it

which

directs attention to the sorts of forces

are at play around the world that have inflamed religious and linguistic passions in

both the ethnie and nations.

An nation the all

is

ethnic group

may

or

may

not be a nation. Interestingly, one concept of a

of "an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking

that

same language

or cognate languages.'"*^ Yet

all

ethnic groups are not nations, and

nations are not ethnic groups. (Despite the troublesome, perhaps even dangerous,

social

and

United

political fraying that is occurring in the

States,

makes

still

it

empirical sense to speak of the Republic as one multiethnic nation.) "In nationalist doctrine," says Elie Kedourie, "language, race, culture, and sometimes even religion, constitute different aspects of the

ethnie not nation that

is

same primordial

entity, the nation."^°

primordial, according to Porter.

But

"What makes them

it

is

the

special,"

says Porter, "is a distinct cultural character usually expressed in language, origins in the remote past, a long-settled homeland, and a sense of kinship."

other hand, calls

is

an aggregation of persons

who

feel

"a national idea," and whose behaviors are animated by

pertains to

what a nation

is



about

for example,

life,

liberty

on the

ness in the case of the Americans of 1776, and

it.

A

liberty, property,

of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789, those

who

were almost solely of European

national idea

and the pursuit of happi-

resistance to oppression in regard to the French of 1789. In the

constitute a nation

A nation,

themselves attached to what Porter

security,

and

American Revolution

perceived themselves to

stock.

It is

a measure of the

of the concept of nation that both the American nation and the French

elasticity

more heterogeneous than they were at the time of their revolutions. Nations can be drawn very broadly or most narrowly. The example, drew the German nation exceedingly narrow. Contrariwise, the

nation of the 1990s are far respective

Nazis, for

American nation

is

thus truly profound essentially a It is

drawn most broadly

when he observes

at the

end of the twentieth century. Porter

that "[t]he

world of nations

is

is

primarily and

world of the mind."

the narrow drawing of "nation" conflated with the ''ethnie'' that

spawns

ethnonationalism. Here the ethnie perceive themselves to be nations, and, con-

comitandy, demand national

The

rise

rights, often including the right

both terms) invariably puts the integrity of the state their

of self-determination.

of ethnonationalism within a nation-state or a state nation (Porter elucidates

own

state either

ethnonationalists

by

when

at risk. Indeed, the

seeking of

when two or more national ideas collide, or by deemed to be essential to their well-being, under-

nationalists

a state

is

cuts the integrity of the extant state of

which they are a

part.

in At

the very outset of his chapter Beissinger cites John Stuart Mill,

the well-being of political society necessitates "that there be in

who adduced

that

the constitution of the

27

Introduction

something which

state

question." integrity

is

The something

something permanent, and not to be called

settled,

constitutes the "fundamental principles"

of the state and the good order of the society

tieth century, in

rest.

in

upon which the

At the end of

the twen-

country after country, and society after society, the questioning of

fundamental principles have become a commonplace, and

much of what was

thought

to be settled has been pried wide open for rancorous disputation. Into oblivion have

many

which, but a short decade ago, few thought would not

states disappeared,

persist for generations. In their place in

many ways

have come new and mostly smaller ones, which

are like rudderiess boats

upon a vast ocean,

as national and ethno-

national groupings have had their claims to self-determination recognized. In the last half of the twentieth century, self-determination has been a battle cry,

the sovereign state the prize. forth an array of

new

The

revolt against Western

states in Africa

and Asia

in the

European colonialism issued

1950s and 1960s.

And out of the

Empire has come many new sovereign

revolt against the former Soviet

"Ironically," says Beissinger, "the revolt against

communism was supposed

revolution against the state, not a struggle for

it."

happened.

And

so, in Beissinger's

was more than simply

But

this is precisely

states.

to

be a

what has

words, "[t]he breakup of the former Soviet Union

the end of a regime.

was

It

the beginning of an era.

When

future historians determine the global significance of the chain of events that stretched

from 1988 through 1991 death of

communism

as

in the

former

USSR,

they will be as likely to focus on the

on the phenomenal growth

accompanied communism's demise and the

in nationalist mobilization that

persisting consequences

mobilization has had for the rest of the world."

It is

which

that

in this context that Beissinger

introduces the concept of "state-seeking attitudes and behaviors."

State-seeking attitudes and behaviors encompass

not only the desire on the part of a group for the creation of

independent creation of

state,

.

.

.

[but also] other types of

autonomous

state

demands

formations within another

its

own

as well: for the

state; for

merging

the territory of a group to that of another state; for upgrading the

sovereignty and authority of existing

territorial units

with the purpose of

group empowerment; or for changing the rules of the

state to gain

group

control over access to state resources (for instance, changing the official

language or altering group representation

common torially

in positions

of power). The

on the part of an ethnic or

terri-

based group to gain more direct control over or access to a

state

denominator here

is

the desire

where such control or access had been denied previously. I

have cited Beissinger

at length,

and

in his

own

words, because his concept of state-

seeking behaviors and attitudes helps one to clarify and explain congeries of behaviors that mark national and ethnonational groupings in relation to the Multinational and multiethnic states, that

engender the

loyalties of

if

state.

they are to persist, require institutions

"we," "us," and "our," as well as "they," "them," and

28

Global Convulsions

"their." In these states, the surest

and behaviors

is

means by which

to obviate state-seeking attitudes

who would hold these attitudes and engage in them of their own volition. A colleague of mine now retired,

make

to

these behaviors reject

the ones

and who never received the recognition he deserved the

— —

work on what he termed Soviet Union was fond of

for his

"submerged nations" of Eastern Europe and the

saying that institutional illegitimacy would one day destroy the Soviet Empire. The

submerged

nations, said he,

Neither he nor

I

would

rise

up and claim what was legitimately

expected to live to see that day, but

we

State-seeking attitudes that obtain in a given state

formity insofar as

deemed

it is

to

theirs.

both have.

be unwise objectively

may be masked by to

engage

con-

in state-seeking

behaviors, and this can readily give a false reading concerning institutional

legiti-

macy. Such was the case regarding the Baltic republics of the former Soviet Union, as

one readily discerns

Senn

So

in Senn's chapter.

minorities in the

Intelligence

These national minorities were the very ones nations,

how

and

affairs. In

Agency (CIA) flatly Soviet Union would play no significant

American Central

very wrong was the

P.

1984 an

official

of

predicted that national role 'in this century.'"

whom my colleague termed submerged Masked conformity can be

official.

tive that even as prescient an observer of societies and

Samuel

that, as

Soviet experts in the United States

discounted the national question as a factor in Soviet the

masking be

effective can this

"common wisdom among

notes pointedly,

states

so effec-

around the world as

Huntington, in discussing the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet

Union, would

now

say, in his

Order

classic Political

in

Changing Societies (1968)

community with an overwhelming consensus

that "[e]ach country is a political

among

the people on the legitimacy of the political system. In each country the

citizens

and

traditions

their leaders share a vision of the public interest

and principles upon which

governments

makes it

command

of the society and of the

community

the political

is

based.

.

.

.

These

the loyalties of their citizens."^' Senn, on the other hand,

plain that once "central control faltered," the Soviet regime soon realized that

did not

command

in particular.

The

the loyalties of

Baltic republics

much

of

its

citizenry,

saw themselves

and of the Baltic republics

as being under occupation,

not as legitimate parts of the Soviet Union; and so,

when

and

the opportunity afforded

itself,

they revolted against the Soviet state in order to secure states of their own.

Could

this also

Buck is

Among

happen

in

helpful here.

He

many

China's

certain groups

China? writes:

minorities there



Mongols or Koreans

political order to establish their

own

find control necessary, but is

Moslem peoples of central may try to break the existing

little



states or associate

nation-states. ... In the case of Tibet, for

it

reason to be concerned that

^particularly the Tibetans, the

Asia, and possibly the

culture,

is

with preexisting

example, where the Han Chinese

to praise in either past or present Tibetan

easy to imagine the breaking away of the region as a parallel

29

Introduction

to

Mongolia's independence

why would

can go

in the 1920s. If Tibet

not large sections of Inner Mongolia

own

its

become

way,

part of an

enlarged Mongolian republic, or the Korean minority in Northeast China

be joined

in

some way

to the

burgeoning

of South Korea with

state

all its

wealth and dynamism? Clearly these most populous minority groups, with strong linguistic, cultural, and religious identities able territory, have

who occupy

an

identifi-

the standard markers of ethnonationalism. If political

all

leadership emerges, and the increasingly familiar politics of ethnonationalistic

It is

fragmentation appear, they could break away.

doubtful whether the extant structure of institutional legitimacy

At

strong to prevent such an occurrence.

this juncture,

sufficiently

is

well to pause and ask:

it is

Why is the legitimacy of institutions of such importance? Institutions are patterns of behavior organized

around rules through which they

are replicated generationally and transgenerationally. There "rules" and "patterns of behavior"; each can and

do

is

a reciprocity between

affect the structure

of the other.

Well-established patterns of behavior can be highly resistant to changes in the rules

governing them, and rule changes can

The

alter significandy a

persistence of a given institution, then,

between a

The guities,

set

is

given pattern of behavior.

symmetry

largely a function of the

of rules and the pattern of behavior

it

organizes.

capacity of individuals and groups to cope with the contradictions, ambi-

and vagaries of

social life is in large

measure contingent on the strength of

Legitimacy increases the strength of an

their institutions.

institution.

The legitimacy

of an institution presumes that the rules and patterns of behavior that cohere to form it

and proper. As the strength of

are sound, fitting

their institutions increases so too

does the capacity of individuals and groups to adapt, survive, grow and develop. The obverse also

is

—even though given

true

particular activities

of note. Such

individuals and groups

activities are not,

transgenerationally. Thus, for example, there in the

United States

at the

cessful as entrepreneurs.

were among the

time of Martin Delany, individuals

However, the

failure to

may engage

in

however, readily transmitted free black population

who were

quite suc-

develop institutions whereby their

success could have been replicated transgenerationally makes a paragraph penned by

Delany roughly seven generations ago as poignant 1850s.

in the

1990s as

it

was

in the

He wrote:

White men are producers rent them.

They

—we

are consumers.

raise produce,

clothes and wares, and

we

and

They

we consume

build houses, and it.

we

They manufacture

garnish ourselves with them.

They

build

coaches, vessels, cars, hotels, saloons, and other vehicles and places of

accommodation, and readiness, then as though the

walk

we in,

deliberately wait until they have got

and contend with as much assurance

whole thing was bought

by, paid for,

and belonged

their literary attainments, they are the contributions to, authors

them

in

for a 'right,' to us.

By

and teachers

30

Global Convulsions

of, literature, science, religion, law,

ments times

that the

now makes

world

—we speak of modem

We

of.

other useful attain-

all

have no reference

It is

to ancient

things."

connect individuals and groups not only to

Institutions

to ancient times.

medicine, and

use

modem

things but also

precisely the failure of Soviet institutions to connect Lithuanians,

Estonians, and Latvians, for example, to ancient times that undercut their legitimacy,

and kept state-seeking

attitudes

smoldering

until the

time was propitious for them to

be manifested as state-seeking behaviors. One observes affairs

today in relation to Russia and the Chechens.

And

very

this

same

state

of

as Beissinger points out,

"Chechnya's declaration of independence ... has unleashed other processes of

state-

seeking throughout the northern Caucasus, weakening further Russia's control over

on the other hand, China's economic success has muted

this volatile region." Yet,

state-seeking attitudes and behaviors, at least

Buck

some

notes that "for

growth, combined with the promise of the genesis of central

new

among some of

fiiture, will

ethnonational states. In markets and streets in China's largest

and do business

in

Economic

antidote to state-seeking attitudes and behaviors, but

prosperity, then, can

no

it is

For once the bloom of economic prosperity fades, as

of those

The reality

whom they

institutions of a

and objective

be an

substitute for legitimate

array of societal fissures invariably open wherever institutions loyalties

cities,

If they lost their

China through national separation, they would

lose access to the source of their prosperity."

institutions.

economic

serve as a major break on the

Asian minorities prosper through trade and commerce.

ability to travel

large minorities.

its

large minorities in China, the results of recent

it

always does, an

do not command the

serve.

people bridge not only generations but also subjective

reality.

When

there

is

little

or no incongruity between

how

individuals discem an institution in "their inner eyes, those eyes with which they

look through their physical eyes upon

and what they actually behold with jective expectations

Here

reality," to

it

and objective actualizations conflate

institutions are often able to shut out,

aversive consequences for the ones trariwise,

borrow again from Ralph

their physical eyes,

who

crowd

suffer

is

in institutional legitimacy.

out, or diminish the full

them

in

impact of

a given environment. Con-

where the images of the inner eyes and the physical eyes

over extended periods of time, institutions are put

Ellison,

invariably strong. Sub-

at risk as

conflict sharply

time-honored

beliefs,

conventions, and indeed the fundamental principles of which Mill spoke, are called into question.

As fundamental principles are called into question, and national and ethnocome increasingly to perceive an array of institutions that sustain the extant state as static, ossified and bankrupt, the impetus for new institutional formations tend to become ever the stronger. This does not necessarily mean that the extant state itself is always immediately at risk, even though it may eventually cmmble in consequence of a push for new institutional formations. This point national groupings

1

Introduction

emerges forcefully Yugoslav

framework

left in

republic, as the

parties

troubled deeply by the tattered institutional

place by Josip Tito, and each had declared

Yugoslav

state

began

still

Remington

is

engaged

in

itself to

be a sovereign

"came to the defense of the assume that as late as March 1991

to unravel both

and allows one," says Remington,"

federation, all

Remington's discussion of Slovenia and Croatia vis-a-vis the

in

Though both were

state.

3

to

a choreography of struggle over a shared Yugoslavia." If

correct, as late as

March 1991

the state-seeking behaviors of the

Slovenes and the Croats did not necessarily entail and independent Slovenia and Croatia, even though both

The power of

were soon

independence

to declare their

thereafter.

Beissinger's concept of state-seeking attitudes and behaviors

Had

readily evinced here.

occurred that would have increased the legitimacy of the Yugoslav the Slovenes

for, say,

who deemed

it

neighbors,"

republics

may

state, especially

unduly burdensome and resented "the flow of

Slovene foreign currency to the federal government southern

is

the sorts of institutional constructions and reconstructions

according to Remington,

in the

form of subsidies

state-seeking

to their

behaviors

in

the

well have stopped short of independence, as has been true thus far for

Quebec. The construction of new

institutions, as well as the reconstruction

of old

ones, by changing the rules of the state so the republics and autonomous provinces

could develop a sense of enduring loyalty to the Yugoslav national identities with

graphed Yugoslavia

which they were

to a different

state that

transcended the

may well have now obtains.

largely coterminous,

outcome than

the

one

that

choreo-

Yet insofar as the "republics and autonomous provinces were largely synony-

mous with

national identities," as

and ethnonational cleavages

Remington points

out,

hand of an imperium could keep them

in check,

and insofar as the national

were such

that divided the country

that only the forceful

perhaps no amount of institutional

tinkering could have saved the Yugoslav state. Increased

autonomy

for the republics

and the autonomous provinces would only have widened the emotive distance already existed between them and the

have exacerbated existing tensions.

state,

And

given the national and ethnonational

so,

may

composition of the republics, the die for independence the international environment

became

that

and decreased autonomy would surely well have been cast once

hospitable to such an outcome. For unlike

Canada, a context that was amenable to muddling through just did not

exist.

Thus

did state-seeking attitudes and behaviors destroy Yugoslavia.

The success of state

where

state-seekers, especially

recognized by the international community,

is

this involves

an independent

contingent on the logic of the

domestic situation, as well as the receptivity of the international community. This

emerges with Harris.

striking clarity in the chapters

by Beissinger, Senn, Remington, and

There are twenty million Kurds, who,

in spite

of deep divisions among, as

Harris calls out, desire to see an independent Kurdistan. Harris' chapter that state-seeking critical

than this

among is

the

makes

plain

Kurds covers Beissinger's spectrum. But even more

the fact that the three states



Iraq, Iran,

which the bulk of an independent Kurdistan would have

and Turkey to

—out of

be carved object

32

Global Convulsions

vehemently

any such

to the creation of

and the international community

state,

evinces no disposition to contravene that objection. Thus are the Kurds forced to

employ other paths of state-seeking

On have

short of securing a fully independent state.

the other hand, 1.7 million Slovenes, and 3.675 million Lithuanians each

own

their

independent

This

state.

largely a function of the state of affairs that

is

existed at the time of the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. In the

case of the former Soviet Union, Beissinger notes that other than Stalin's self-serving decisions about which peoples' deserved

own

their

republics and which

republics, there

no

is

would have

justification for

why

units subordinated to union

peoples with union republics

deserve independence and those without do not. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz-

were not originally assigned union republican

stan, for instance,

when

USSR

was

status

created, but

were instead autonomous republics

within the Russian Federation.

Had

they not been separated by Stalin into

union republics

doubtful that they would be independent

the

in

1936,

is

it

states today.

An

accident of history, state-seeking behaviors, and the hospitableness of the inter-

national

community

have come

all

conflated to produce independent states which might not

into being otherwise.

As

for the Lithuanians, the "family of nations"

stood ready to receive them, given what was perceived to be the absorption into the Soviet Union.

And

illegality

of their

Slovenia, like Croatia, with strong backing

from a newly reunited Germany, rode the

tide

of unravelling

communism

to full

independence.

Whether

state-seeking attitudes and behaviors end in full independence,

some

variant thereof, or in misadventure, they point ever so compellingly to the allure of

the state.

Still,

state-seeking and state-acquisition are one thing, state-building and

state-maintenance are another. securing taining

it,

it.

difficult

For the

tive in gaining is

though

sorts

Many

this

of those

who

might have been,

seek a state soon find out that

is

easier than building

and main-

of behaviors that might have been both justifiable and effec-

independence often cease

to

be so once the

demonstrated forcefully and convincingly

be particularly distressing personally, for potential to be to Africa

I

in

state

Ake's chapter.

I

have long believed

and the world what Germany

is

to

has been won. This find this chapter to that Nigeria has the

Europe and the planet

in

terms of prestige, influence and power.

Ake

points out "that the colonial state in Nigeria inevitably relied heavily on

force to subjugate the indigenous peoples and to carry out threatening, and induced

them were driven

some of

its

subjects to regard

to traditional solidarity

groups"

it

its

mission. That

as a hostile force.

—some drawn

centers of resistance,

means of

Many

it

of

along ethnic or

national lines, and others structured in the form of clubs or associations

"became

made

—which

self-affirmation against the colonizers'

aggressive de-culturing of the indigenous people, as well as networks for survival."

33

Introduction

Since "[c]olonial rule was cheap rule," utterly lacking a social welfare system, tradi-

were crucial

tional solidarity groups, particularly in the cities,

individuals. Intense loyalties developed around them,

of

as well as group solidarity against the impositions of an

political participation

arbitrary

to the survival

and "[t]hey became vehicles of

and coercive

state."

Where

groups coalesced persons

traditional solidarity

of the same ethnicity in forming "functional safety net[s] in the face of a predatory

and a

state

total

absence of a social welfare system, they effectively displaced the

state as the primary focus of political loyalty."

overcome

Ake makes ism

this day, the

Nigerian state has not

plain that the nationalist

movement

that struggled against colonial-

evolved as a network of ethnic associations and mass organizations."

"initially

And

To

displacement of loyalty.

this

insofar as ethnicity and region were usually linked, regionalized ethnicity

who

provided the foundation for those

Once

the state

was won,

now had

state-seekers

full

evinced state-seeking attitudes and behaviors.

independence having been achieved and recognized,

before them the task of becoming state-builders. But by and

They were unable

large they proved to be wanting.

alized political ethnicity with a nationalized

The

title

and supplant region-

language.

than being an instrument for the

state, rather

thing to be owned. Possessory interests

to transcend

common

common

good, became a

and ethnic

to the state in behalf of regional

became a norm. Replicating

their colonial predecessors, those

who have

controlled the state have failed to build institutions that were recognized as legiti-

mate and could engender the

of most of the populace. Coupled with the

loyalties

absence of a social welfare system, and the continued reliance of large numbers of persons on variations of the old traditional solidarity groups for their sustenance, "[t]he Nigerian state, already displaced

communities,

is

becoming

by ethnic and national groups and

whether civilians or the military have controlled the be," observes Ake,

"it is

of the same

dynamics.

.

.

.

some

or

many

indications,

all

of

its

it is

far

more

Nigerians think

controls



a 'public'

its is

apparatuses,

its

only nominally a

They share no

it

is

state has lost the bid to

is it

may

is

as

moments

perceived as an

.

.

.

[Moreover,] by

all

quite proper to appropriate and privatize the

Ake conclude

that "[t]he official Nigerian state

enormous power, and state. It is

no

all

of the resources that

res publica. Its citizens

strong sense of corporate identity, and

must now be pronounced a

do not

do not see

commitment.

failure,

it

constitute the state .

.

.

[And

inasmuch as the

be the repository of the primary loyalty of Nigerians to ethnic

and national groups as well as

what significance

true

it

struggle to appropriate and

all

resources.

as a collective enterprise of overriding importance deserving so,] the state-building project

them

useful to regard

enormous powers and

resources of the state." Thus does for all of

"However tempting

[For both,] the Nigerian state

exploitable resource, a contested terrain where privatize

state.

local

is

not very useful to dichotomize between military rule and

civilian rule in the Nigerian context; political

Ake. This

irrelevant except as a nuisance," says

local

communities."

If

Ake's assessment

both for the Nigerian state and others?

is

correct, of

34

Global Convulsions

absent the guiding hand of an imperium, Nigeria could very well go the

First,

way of Yugoslavia forces at

work

have been created a

China the way of the former Soviet Union),

(or

pull in that direction.

commitment

More and more

states,

for the centrifugal

which now number

thirty,

recognition of the social and ethnic plurality of the society, and

in

to the federal character of the national state.

But insofar as these

serve to reinforce local loyalties counterpoised to the national state

predatory force with enormous power" (see Ake)



—"a

they simply reinforce the frag-

mentation of the society. Likewise did the Baltic republics perceive the Soviet and, most perturbing, so too do increasing numbers perceive the American

Second, national institutions that

fail to

states

hostile,

legitimize the state undercut

state,

state.

its integrity.

Herein lay a profound difference between the United States and Nigeria, or the former Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, China, and even Canada for that matter. fraying that

occurring notwithstanding, there

is

the critical national institutions of the

room

to

maneuver

American

of escalating

in the face

is still

This gives the United States

state.

racial

The undeniable

a strong emotive attachment to

and ethnic cleavages

that Nigeria

does not have, and neither the former Soviet Union nor Yugoslavia ever had. Third, perceptions of the state as irrelevant, except as a nuisance, are of the

utmost gravity

in relation to the integrity

extraneous, and

may be gotten

expunged. The more the greater

is

upon by

state is

the likelihood that

it.

its

of the

whatever

rid of;

is

state.

integrity will

macy

are positioned to

of the state. But, in Ake's view, this

one observes the same

troublingly,

mon

United

in the

become

ways

to

feel obliged to

may

it,

befall Nigeria;

it

feel set

erodes the

what obtains

legiti-

in Nigeria,

and

becoming increasingly comno benefits from the its

cost,

state,

and

they

state,

strive to

may have may not

of their perception of the state they

individuals have an obligation to

the obligation

who

is

do something but do

usually fulfilled only grudgingly,

if at all.

A

whereby individuals and groups incur

but

if

they do not feel obliged to

This

is

exactly what befell the former Soviet Union; could very well

it,

state.

Finally,

precisely

increasingly reluctant to pay for

multiply endlessly the rules

obligations to

awaits the

do

and may be

a drain on society's resources

sort of perception

in the context

When

do so."

not feel obliged to state

is

is

circumvent their obligations. Under the rules of the

an obligation to pay, but

irrelevant is

is

irritant,

thus are loyalties eroded.

make use of

States. Perceiving diminishing or

individuals and groups find

who

an

be undermined by those

An extraneous and irritant state is to be shunned;

beneficial only to those

is

perceived as irrelevant except as a nuisance the

Fourth, a widespread perception that the state

and

That which

a nuisance

and even the United States could

and

to

my mind

most important

fall

fulfill

those obligations disaster

victim to

it.

in relation to the

United States, the

expansion of local autonomy with a corollary diminution of central authority, especially

when

this is

accompanied by

unwarranted privilege

at the center,

relentless attacks

on waste, fraud, abuse, and

has the effect of illegitimizing the institutions of

the state and thereby corroding the state itself Federal systems that lack strong, vibrant,

and highly adaptable

institutions are constantly at risk

of ^/^integration.

And

.

Introduction

even a federal system such as the United serve

it

well,

is set at

risk

States, with institutions that

when presumably

settled questions

and legitimate sources of federal authority are reopened, and vexations. Perhaps the most compelling lesson of States, then, is that the

by and large

concerning the legal

eliciting

fearsome quarrels

volume

this

35

for the United

trauma (Nigeria and Canada) and demise (Yugoslavia and the

Soviet Union) of federal systems point to two corollary dangers: an excessive concentration of power, authority, and resources at the center, so that

too intertwined

it is

with the daily lives of the citizenry; and a copious devolution of power, authority and resources from the center, such that

of the populace.

becomes too removed from

it

An old Aristotelian maxim comes

into play here.

the everyday lives

It is

well that states

should strive ceaselessly to strike a sound balance between extremes of too

and too

much

little.

The

timeless

politicians

who

critical costs

Mulroney.

wisdom of

Aristode's admonition

is all

too often unheeded by

seek to advance given agenda. Levine underscores

this in

pointing to

of the conservative agenda of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian

He writes:

Mulroney Conservatives'

attack

on the Canadian

state after

1984

.

.

.

unwittingly helped unleash centrifugal tendencies in the country. Put simply, cutbacks in social programs and, in particular, slashes in transfer

payments

provinces helped lessen the importance of the central

to

government

in the daily lives of

Quebecers (and other Canadians) and

refocused citizens' attention on provincial governments as their primary states. "Fiscal decentralization"

during the Mulroney years resulted in

important expenditure shifts that de-emphasized the centrality of the federal

government

in

Canadian

life.

.

.

Furthermore, the anti-state rhetoric of the Mulroney government depreciated the value of the central government, an approach to political

economy

that

could only enhance nationalists' argument that Ottawa

offered litde of importance to Quebecers.

ment reduced

Each time

Broadcasdng Corporation] or Via

Rail, for

the

— example—

the scope of national institutions

Mulroney govern-

the it

CBC

[Canadian

eliminated

some

of the glue binding together Canada's regions. The Quebec nationalist rhetoric that

"Canada doesn't work anymore," received ample support in Mulroney

the devaluing of the Canadian state that occurred during the

by attacking the state as well as "unloading" social programs on the provinces, Mulroney unwittingly undercut his government's ability years. Thus,

to bridge

Canada's regional/linguistic cleavages.

The relevance and portentousness of Levine's

observations for the United States are

so compelling that no elucidation nor elaboration are needed here. True, the United States does not

now

suffer the sort of linguistic cleavage that continually lurks just

beneath the surface as a threat to the integrity of the Canadian

state.

This could well

36

Global Convulsions

change

in the

years ahead. But

it

my

is

hope

common

that the

language of Abraham

Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, as well as the strength and adaptability of

its

continue to sustain the United States.

institutions, will

Institutions tap old

memories and

new

create

The memories they tap and But not all memories simply handed down by word

ones.

the ones they create help to bridge generations one to another. that link generations are institutional ones.

Many

are

or other sufficient sign generation after generation. These are the transgenerational

memories

that relay

deeds and misdeeds, hopes and

fears, enmities

and friendships,

successes and failures, as well as pleasures and pains of a collective. They shape the live. They mold attitudes They justify conduct. Transgenerational memory is thus a form

legends, customs, norms, and traditions by which a people

and reinforce

beliefs.

of individual and generational immortality, for

and generations

The

live

on

to

do good or

in

it

and through

strength of a generation, an ethnic group, or a nation

abundance

that

each produces but

survive, grow, and develop

hope, induces sacrifice

is

to the

both individuals

is

not the material

capacity to reproduce progeny

its

greater than



it

ill.

its

whose

end of the good and well-being not just of this or

individual but of the collective of which s/he

is

—and

a part

intercourse.

lines of

Where

that

fosters the survival of a

culture. In the context of the survival of cultures, transgenerational

draw unyielding

ability to

own. Transgenerational memory kindles

memories can

demarcation between peoples or open paths of crosscultural

memories draw stem

transgenerational

lines

of demarcation



as

they do, for example, between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, or Israelis

and the Palestinians

in the

—and

Middle East

there are few, if any, insti-

tutions to intersect those lines, conflicts are not readily resolved. Indeed, they

continue for generations, as

Sound Such

is

true both in Northern Ireland

institutions ameliorate the effects of

may

and the Middle East.

bad transgenerational memories.

has been the case in the United States. But defective institutions, or an absence

of institutions, only

compound

the effects of

bad transgenerational memories. The

chapters by Golan, Hallaj, Elliott and Remington are ever so instructive here. Hallaj, for example, writes that "Palestinian-Israeli peace

When

must be understood as a

process of reaching compromises to end a struggle between enemies

who have

compelling reasons to be enemies, not as a process of reconciling estranged lovers,"

he captures with conflict

much

exactitude the

power of

transgenerational

memories

between the two peoples. Their memories of one another are

as lovers. This shapes profoundly the

which they are willing

to trust

Israelis

they perceive each other, and the extent to

one another. In the absence of shared and sound

institutions to ameliorate distrust

memories, the

way

in the

as enemies, not

and suspicions flamed by bad transgenerational

and Palestinians have had

to

employ

truly extraordinary

ingenuity to bridge the differences that have brought them to the point in the peace

process called out by Hallaj and Golan.

Recognizing the effects of the high emotive charge

that attend

bad

trans-

generational memories, both Golan and Hallaj have strived to expand the scope of

37

Introduction

what

is

technical and legal and contract the

domain of germane

sentimental, as they think aloud about matters

And

respective chapters.

so,

that

which

to the

symbolic and

is

peace process

in their

concerning the really thorny matter of the future of

Jerusalem, Hallaj writes: "Even the question of Jerusalem, widely advertised as the

Gordian knot and the obstacle over which peace are

likely to flounder, is not insoluble

.

.

make

efforts to

all .

Israeli-Palestinian

[once t]he problem of

how

to

make

peace becomes essentially a technical one which,

the transition

from belligerency

freed of

emotional burdens, becomes more manageable." Likewise, Golan

its

to

observes: "With regard to Jerusalem, sentiment and symbolism are often stronger

than legalities and technicalities, but

What one

emerges."

it

may

well be through the latter that a solution

discerns here in both Golan and Hallaj

may be

emotions charged by transgenerational memories

a path to outcomes once thought to be unattainable.

is

a formula whereby

assuaged, thereby opening

The same

basic formula

is

applicable to coundess like situations around the world.

Such

is

the emotive

power of

transgenerational

not furnish a desired remembrance,

them by those who wish tional

memory

to

it is

memories

that

where they do

oftentimes manufactured and inserted in

make use of it.

Elliott taps this

in calling attention to the desire

element of transgenera-

of Protestants to secure an "origin

legend" as a counterpoint to that of the Catholics. She notes that "[t]o grow up as a Catholic in Northern Ireland



^particularly in

working class areas



is

to

grow up

convinced that you occupy the high moral ground, as a descendant of the true Gael,

your ancestors were deprived of

their land

are potent memories, especially the particular

memory,

and persecuted for

memory concerning

their religion."

descent.

These

To counter

Elliott points out that "[t]here is already a search

this

underway

among some Protestants for an equivalent origin legend to that of the Gaels for the Catholics. The argument is that Ulster has always been a distinct nation; that Protestants are not Johnny-come-latelys, but descendants of the ancient Celtic people

of Ulster, the Ulaid, the people of the Ulster Cycle and the heroic Cuchullain



the central

theme of which

is

tales

of

the struggle of the Ulster people against

the rest of Ireland." This origin legend provides an alternative "for those arguing for

an independent Ulster against the

territorial

Republic's Constitution. In other words, those of Gaelic stock," says Elliott,

it is

claims over the province the Protestants

who goes on

who

made by

the

are the natives, not

to observe that "[i]t is interesting

that this origin legend should extract similar romantic

views from the past for

incorporation into a future state as the Gaelic revival did for the future Irish notably, a rejection of materialism and an idealization of

life

state,

on the land."

Reason is no match for romance. Transgenerational memories are grounded more in romance than reason. They tend to be the way that those who recollect and make use of them would like them to be. If some memories have little or no foundation

in empirical fact

Thus do Ulster their lead

from

it

matters not so long as their bearers believe they do.

Protestants harbor fears of "'popery,'" since "'Catholics are taking

Rome

and

Rome

is

out to get rid of Protestants,'" and Catholics

Global Convulsions

38

nurse apprehensions about Protestants' desire for "'ascendancy'" over them, says Elliott.

"Originally defined in the eighteenth century to describe exclusive Protestant

rule of Ireland, [ascendancy]

a

new resonance

is

a word

embers of resentment are

embedded

in the Catholic

of the Northern Ireland

after the creation

easily ignited.

little

of transgenerational memory.

It

may

very true

is

the adage:

and the

SDLP and

is to

be found a grave

continue to sustain an enmity and induce

good opportunities

adversaries to continue a fight, missing

acquired

else) against anything savoring of

restored majoritarian Unionist rule," Elliott points out. In this pitfall

It

such memories which unites

It is

Sinn Fein supporters (though they agree on

psyche.

state in 1921,

"The combatants continued the

for

How

cessation.

its

though there was no

fight,

longer a reason to fight."

Bad

transgenerational

memories may be

as important to the survival of a

people and their culture as are good ones. Both

memories are a people's thought, and hopes recorded;

and losses

in

good

fortify the will to persist. In

intelligence, values, pleasant encounters, gains,

bad memories are

their disappointments, fears, tribulations,

recollected. Together, these steel

them against

environment. Grave defeat at a given point in time

is

the vicissitudes of their

often viewed as but a tem-

porary setback where a people are animated by strong transgenerational memories,

which

stretch ever the

more

their horizon

passages that opens Golan 's chapter

1905 that

leader,

the fate of the

"[i]t is

one or the other

who

prevails,"

How

of time.

well

when Neguib Azoury,

Arab and Jewish

which was affirmed

national

in

is this

movements

transgenerational

is

no

alternative but that lives should be lost."

memories

that

gave

rise to these sentiments

The triumph over

makes

value of the handshake between Yasir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin

all

the symbolic

the

more

pro-

historically.

Still,

tion

to fight until

1936 by Arthur Ruppin, a Zionist

stated that "[i]t is our destiny to be in a state of continual warfare with

the Arabs and there

found

captured in the

a Christian Arab, said in

and

bad transgenerational memories do carry the germs of vengeance,

distrust.

This

is

instantiated ever so plainly

and painfully

in

retribu-

Remington's

observation that "Serbian memories of what happened to the Serbian minority in the last

independent Croatia combined with Croatian fears of Milosevic's hegemonic

ambitions to destroy the fabric of Yugoslav national/ethnic coexistence." generational

memories played no

trans-

role in the fragmentation of Yugoslavia,

little

especially as the obviating effects of

Bad

economic prosperity and

leadership, in the person of President Josip Tito, gave

way

to

strong, unifying

economic

distress

and

leadership woes.

As one

reads the chapters of parts

the undertow of transgenerational

n

and TH of this volume, one discerns clearly

memories

in

the state-seeking attitudes

and

who have strived either for greater autonomy within an existing win their own independent states. They strive for the sake of the right and

behaviors of those state or to

freedom

By

their

potentialities

through their work.

to the generations

and the ages. The

to realize their capacities, capabilities

works are peoples made known

and

39

Introduction

and technology of a people lay bare their sense of space and measure and proportion, value and worth, purpose and achievement, the

literature, art, science,

time,

ephemeral and the enduring. In

and

their literature

a people express their sense of

art

the good, the beautiful, and the ugly; in their science and technology they display their capacity to order

and manipulate nature. In

and

were,

a people, as

art

viduality, It is

it



ego, and so forth

their science, technology, literature,



make their nature known to the world.

that

character, personality, indi-

is,

interesting to observe here that in Northern Ireland, for example, according

to Elliott "Protestants think they are culturally

more

inclined to the useful scientific

subjects, whilst Catholics prefer 'soft' subjects like history

divide between Catholics and Protestants

is

the one side, and science and technology on the other. In

have come across anything convincing pertaining tures

and

societies in

with those in which

nology contribute

and

art

either strength or superiority.

its

survival

is

all

of

arts."

art

and

my

literature

is

were

abundance,

cultural

I

on

never

to the putative superiority of culin

comparison

stressed. Insofar as science

this

To loop back

The

literature

studies,

which science and technology were emphasized

to material

sentation, if survival

and the

drawn by

thus also

assuredly

to a point

is

and tech-

no ultimate measure of

made much

earlier in this pre-

indeed the ultimate measure of a culture, whatsoever fosters

of value for that culture. In

talk in terms of cultural superiority

and

this context,

it

serves no useful purpose to

cultural inferiority

based on science and

technology, or any other criteria for that matter.

At the end of

the twentieth century, insidious and pernicious fabrications con-

cerning intellectual deficits and cultural lags are abroad. state

of affairs

at the

dominance of Europeans Asians writ large

One

observes the very same

end of the nineteenth century, especially regarding

at the

at the

end of the twentieth century,

been construed by some to mean

race.

in science

and technology has

that "others" are less gifted, and,

by extension,

cultures less well-developed. This sentiment at the nineteenth century's end,

havoc

to untold

century

at the

numbers of

racial, ethnic,

hands of those

The

end of the nineteenth century, and Europeans and

who

and national groupings

their

wrought

in the twentieth

thought they were superior. This pattern could

well be replicated in the twenty-first century, unless the putatively less gifted take the sorts

of action which demonstrate empirically that they possess the wherewithal to

fight

and succeed

Samuel

P. Yette,

in

any arena. Otherwise, the prospect of indeed becoming what

a generation ago, called "obsolete people"^ looms ever the larger.

IV As

a son of the twentieth century, were

should say: the

taint

I

asked what has been

my

inheritance,

I

of genocidal wars; hard barriers of race, ethnicity, and nation-

alism; and pitiful destitution amidst heretofore

unknown abundance. Mine

unique inheritance, for the century has spread out to

all

that

which

I

is

not a

have inherited.

40

Global Convulsions

In this

it

made some

has

cerning their

and

lots,

with hopelessness and despair, others hopeful con-

filled

others just fed up with what they observe around them.

Golan makes use of the concept of "fed-up-ness," which

In her chapter, to

still

I

find

be most intriguing. She observes that "the most salient effect of the [Palestinian]

intifada

was

its

among

stimulation of a certain realism

called 'fed-up-ness.'

It

was

Israelis,

and what might be

standing or perhaps even sympathizing with the Palestinians; nor was tion of their rights.

It

be done." Fed-up-ness, says Golan,

to

it

under-

a recogni-

was, instead, a sense that matters could not continue as they

were. [Where fed-up-ness obtains, muddling through

had

now

a matter of

not, for the general public,

"is

.

.

.

not an option.] Something

is

akin to the feeling of simply

having had enough."

Something must be done

God and

their

God

overcome the absence of a common language. Our

to

cannot continue to separate "us" from "them." Something must

Weak

be done to overcome the effects of bad transgenerational memories.

concerning attainments

institu-

growth and development. Something must be done

tions cannot continue to stifle

in science

and technology, given

on material

their bearing

abundance. The deformation of species being cannot continue to destroy species I

speak here not of the

many

Israelis

societies of the planet

and Palestinians, but of the untold numbers

who feel

that they

have had enough of racial, ethnic, and

national putrefaction, and things cannot continue the

whom,

way

they are. But how, and by

be changed?

shall they

This question

is

beyond the scope of the

cussed in the volume, yet

I

do

introduction, and

feel constrained to offer

Assembly of

the United Nations.

Most of

not really dis-

is

an observation. In 1995

were one hundred and eighty-five countries represented

there

life.

in the

in

the General

these bear a striking family resemblance



Ake mentions they are not developed politically, and they are not economically viable. Drawn substantially along racial, ethnonational, and national lines, many of these countries are akin to racial and ethnic enclaves in the United States. And just as the United States will not endure to the

now

thirty states

the erosion of

its

of Nigeria that

institutions

and

superhighway notwithstanding,

common

language by enclaves, the information

manner,

in like

of the world will not persist without a

many of the now independent

common

states

language and well-developed

institutions.

A great task of the

moment,

then,

language that abate the hardening of globally. Fed-up-ness could to act,

be a

is

the building of institutions

racial, ethnic,

vital

stimulus to

what was heretofore presumed

to

and national

this.

lines

For insofar as

be intractable

may

well

and a

common

of demarcation it

impels people

become

tractable.





Thus fed-up-ness animated by realism, purpose, resolve, and results has within it the seeds of compromise and reconciliation. Out of these could emerge the formation or re-creation of larger states out of a number small ones that now exist, as more and more people come

to

feel

that

nationally only serve to limit their life

cleavages drawn racially, ethnically, and

chances on the planet.

41

Introduction

There

is

assuredly no one-to-one correspondence between the size of a state

and the well-being of

its

people.

Still,

the travails of

many

a small state around the

globe afford one reasons to believe that they might well have been better off had they been incorporated into

now been

some

larger unit.

Hence do

of larger

set for the reconstruction

entities,

I

believe that the stage has

with substantial amounts of

formal power, that hold forth the possibility of transcending narrow

and national boundaries with purposes

that call out that

one species, though divided by the vagaries of geography and There

assuming

will not

that

it

that year there will

new

absorbed by

and

common

be one hundred and eighty-five countries

persists, in the

be far fewer.

Many

is

but

culture. in the

may be more

United Nations,

before then, but by

small states shall have disappeared, either

imperia or integrated into larger entities whereby shared purposes

interests

can be advanced. Thus

and nationalism

ethnicity,

year 2020. There

racial, ethnic,

Homo sapiens sapiens

shall patterns pertaining to race,

in the twenty-first century

be determined.

Notes

1.

B.

F. Skinner,

Beyond Freedom and Dignity (New York: Alfred A. Knopf,

p. 37.

1971)

2.

Ralph

3.

Vincent Harding, There

4.

UNESCO,

Ellison, Invisible

Man (New York:

Vintage Books, 1972),

p. 3.

a River (New York: Vintage Books, 1983), p. 3. Race and Science (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969),

pp. 496-97. Author's

is

italics.

See "Excerpts From the Decision on Justifying Affirmative Action Pro-

5.

grams," The New York Times, June 13, 1995, 6. Ibid., pp.

p.

A8. Author's

italics.

502-5.

7. L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, and Alberto Piazza, The History and Geography of Human Genes (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994),

pp. 19-20. Author's

italics.

UNESCO,

8.

L.C. Dunn, "Race and Biology," in

9.

The Milwaukee Journal, February 20, 1995,

p.

op.

cit.

note 4, pp. 263, 298.

Al.

10. Ibid. 11.

By

objective knowledge,

mean hypotheses

I

that

have been subjected

to

rigorous, critical scrutiny involving intersubjective testing and corroboration. See Karl

Popper's Objective Knowledge: Press,

1974);

Scientific 12.

An

Knowledge (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1968). Charles L. Stevenson, Facts and Values: Studies in Ethical Analysis (New

Haven and London: Yale University 13.

Evolutionary Approach (Oxford: The Clarendon

and also Popper's Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of

Press, 1964), p. 7.

See Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Phil-

osophy (New York and Evanston: Harper

& Row Publishers,

1964). Polanyi writes:

42

Global Convulsions

We

Knowledge manifested

find Personal

shall

in

probability and of order in the exact sciences, and see

way

extensively in the seurship. this

At

it

on

the descriptive sciences rely

these points the act of

all

the appreciation of

work even more

at

knowing includes an

personal coefficient, which shapes

all

man

can transcend his

own

by

subjectivity

appraisal;

and

knowledge, bridges

factual

doing so the disjunction between subjectivity and objectivity. claim that

and connois-

skills

It

in

implies the

striving passionately

to fulfill his personal obligations to universal standards, (p. 17) 14.

Stevenson, op.

15.

Dunn,

16.

Gordon W.

op.

& Company, Inc., 17.

cit.

note

note 12, p. 8, p.

Allport,

7.

269. Author's

italics.

The Nature of Prejudice (Garden

City,

NY: Doubleday

City,

NY: Doubleday

1958), p. 28.

Who Needs

Sidney M. Willhelm,

& Company, Inc., 18.

cit.

the

Negro? (Garden

1971), p. 2.

"Ottawa: Lincoln's Reply," in Paul

M. Angle,

ed..

The Complete Lincoln-

Douglas Debates of 1858 (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago 1991), p. 117. Author's

19. Cavalli-Sforza, op.

20. Paul R. Ehrlich, Ehrlich, Carl Sagan,

note 7, p. 20.

cit.

'The Biological Consequences of Nuclear War,"

1984), pp. 58-59. Author's

21. Skinner, op.

in Paul R.

Donald Kennedy, and Walter Orr Roberts, The Cold and

Dark: The World After Nuclear War (New York and London:

Company,

Press,

italic.

cit.

note

1, p.

the

W W Norton &

italics.

128.

22. Ibid., p. 136. 23. Ibid., p. 128. 24. Ibid. 25. For an intriguing

and

insightful discussion of

Vodun

in Haitian culture

society, see Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, Haiti: The Breached Citadel (Boulder,

Westview

Press, 1990); concerning

Vodun cosmology

in particular, see pp.

and

CO:

9-22.

26. Ibid., p. 22.

27. Ibid., p. 9. 28.

See the infamous Dred Scott

Civil Rights:

Leading Cases, Derrick

and Company, 1980),

v.

Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857) in

Bell,

Jr.,

ed. (Boston

and Toronto: Litde Brown

p. 6.

29. Time, October 6, 1986, p. 67. This

is

many

a sentiment shared by

in the

society including, perhaps, Hermstein and Murray. 30. Skinner, op.

cit.

31. St. Augustine,

note

1,

p. 35.

The City of God

19.7. Translated

Oates, ed., Basic Writings of Saint Augustine 1948), vol. 2. Author's

italics.

(New

York:

by M. Dods

in

Random House

Whitney

J.

Publishers,

43

Introduction

32. Winston A. Van Home, "Epilogue," in Winston A. Van Home, ed.. Ethnicity and Language (Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race and Ethnicity, 1987), p. 214.

33.

One cannot

wonder about

but

Tokyo subway system on March and

in

March

which

ten people died

1995, p.

24,

language that

is



A4

the extent to

20, 1995

—during

which the the

sarin gas attack

and about 5,500 were injured. The

calls into question the

on the

Monday moming msh

New

hour,

York Times,

expansiveness of the

common

generally presumed to be shared by the Japanese. Since then,

Shoko

Asahara, the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo religious sect which has been charged with responsibility for the attack, has been arrested and, as of this writing in July of 1995, is

awaiting

trial.

"Speech on the Dred Scott Decision,"

34. Frederick Douglass,

Negro Social and

Brotz, ed.,

Basic Books,

Political Thought,

in

Howard

1850-1920 (New York and London:

253.

Inc., 1966), p.

35. "Lincoln at Springfield, June 16, 1858," in Angle, op.

cit.

note 18, p.

2.

The

italics are Lincoln's.

Opening Speech,"

36. "Ottawa: Douglas' 37.

'The

New America,"

U.S.

News

&

in

Angle, op.

38. "Lincoln at Chicago, July 10, 1858," in Angle, op.

One

10, 1995, p. 18.

cit.

note 18, pp. 39, 42.

has here a foundation for the doctrine of "separate but equal," which was consti-

by the Supreme Court

tutionalized

39. "Ottawa: Douglas'

in Plessy

inconsistency between his belief that in favor

of white

by pointing out

that

Ferguson (1896).

v.

Opening Speech,"

the Galesburg debate of October 7, 1858,

was

note 18, pp. 109-10.

cit.

World Report, July

men having

all

in

Angle, op.

cit.

note 18, p. 112. In

Douglas attacked Lincoln for the apparent

men were created equal and

his stand that he

the superior position in society. Lincoln responded

he was mindful of "the necessities

that [sprang]

from the actual

presence of black people" in the society, but were legislation being drawn for "new countries" what he said concerning

all

men

being created equal would stand. See

"Galesburg: Douglas' Opening Speech," and "Galesburg: Lincoln's Reply," Angle, op.

cit.

note 18, pp. 291-94, 299-300.

40. "Baptist

June 21, 1995, acts of evil

p.

Group Votes

to

Repent Stand on Slaves," The

Al. "Further, the resolution

such as slavery from which

we

said,

'We lament and

New

York Times,

repudiate historic

continue to reap a bitter harvest, and

recognize that racism which yet plagues our culture today

is

we

inextricably tied to the

past. "It

asked for 'forgiveness from our African-American brothers and

acknowledging frank, lucid,

that

our

own

41.

stringent than

W

is at

stake'"

(p.

A 13).

sisters,

Here one observes a

and unequivocal recognition of a relation between Christian slavery and

racism in the United States. In

was more

healing

many

important respects, American Christian slavery

Roman pagan

E. B. DuBois,

slavery.

The Souls of Black Folk (New York: The

Library, Inc., 1982), pp. 215-16.

New American

.

.

44

Global Convulsions

42. Will Durant,

Our

Oriental Heritage

(New

& Schuster,

Simon

York:

1954),

p. 197.

43. John

W. Blassingame, The Slave Community (New York and Oxford:

Oxford University

Press, 1979), p. 147.

New

44. '"Living Martyr' Leaves Taped Statement," The 21, 1994, p.

A3.

The New

The red-and-white No. ground, witnesses

20

least

said.

feet into the

dangled there

Dizengoff

at

York Times, October

York Times of October 20, 1994, reported that: 5 bus

The

air,

was rocked so hard that it seemed to leave the away a metal panel that flew at

blast ripped

catching overhead electrical wires as

it fell

and

morning. In one third-story apartment overlooking

all

Hamalka

Esther

blown-out balcony windows flew

Street,

bedroom

across three rooms, scattering across the floor of a

human flesh landed on branches to make sure no body

Pieces of

and

terraces

parts

were

at the

back.

.

.

in trees.

Firemen trimmed

left there.

Rescue workers,

including Orthodox officials from burial societies, sifted through the

wreckage for arms, in clear plastic

legs,

were so overwhelmed 45.

"A

hands

—anything

that they wept. (pp.

fmd

they could

bags so they might be identified



Some

later.

^putting

Al, A7)

Seething Hate, a Gun, and 40 Muslims Died," The

February 28, 1994, pp.

Al A6. The ,

them

police officers

New

York Times,

story reads in part:

The doctor, who was well-known to soldiers and settlers, arrived at the Cave of the Patriarchs at about 5:30 [a.m.], entering through a side entrance and passing by soldiers, who did not challenge him. He moved swiftly toward the door of the

mosque, where hundreds of Arabs were

saying their Friday morning prayers in observance of Ramadan, the

Muslim holy month of penance.

Muhammed Abu

Saleh, a guard at the

mosque

door, said that Dr.

Goldstein had demanded to enter, saying he was the duty officer, and that

when Mr. Abu Saleh of his

rifle.

.

objected, the doctor

knocked him down with the but

.

Dr. Goldstein slipped a clip into his assault

rifle,

put on what

witnesses described as protective ear cups to deaden the noise and opened fire

on the Muslims kneeling

The doctor

fired

investigators said. ...

111

As

rows, heads

in tight

bowed

the dead and

wounded

lay

prayer rugs, [some] survivors stampeded for exits

rushed to help the wounded, (pp. 46.

See The

New

headline read: "rabin

gamble'."

to the ground.

rounds from three and a half

on .

.

their .

clips,

.

.

army

blood-soaked

[even as others]

Al A6) ,

York Times, September

14,

1993.

The across-the-page

and arafat seal their accord as clinton applauds 'brave

45

Introduction

47. Joshua 24: 1-2, 15-24, 48.

The King James

Bible.

What

called "God's

I have always found to be most intriguing is not that some people are Chosen People," or "the Elect of God." They simply chose themselves

or elected themselves by their particular construction of the divine.

It is,

rather,

how

they actually got other people to believe that they were chosen or elected, and to

behave towards them as in the context

without treading 49.

if

they were

of earthly gains. in the footsteps

As



especially

where there was no quid pro quo

for heavenly gains, surely those could be

of ones

who claim

either to

made

be chosen or elected.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language: Second Edition

Unabridged (New York: Random House, 1987), 50. Elie Kedourie, Nationalism

(New

p.

1279.

York: Frederick A. Praeger, Publisher,

1962), p. 73. 51.

Samuel

P.

Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies

(New Haven

and London: Yale University Press, 1968), p. 1. 52. Martin R. Delany, "The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States," in Brotz, op. 53.

For the

distinction

critical

between

to

cit.

note 34, pp. 53-54.

have an obligation and

The Concept of Law (Oxford: Clarendon

obliged, see H. L. A. Hart,

to feel

Press, 1961), pp.

79-88. 54.

Samuel

F. Yette,

The Choice: The Issue of Black Survival In America (New

York: Berkley Medallion Books, 1972),

p. 14.

I

Part I Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism;

Concepts and Images

I

.

Race and Biology LINDA VIGILANT

You, created only a

The The

Do To To

lower than

little

angels, have crouched too long in

bruising darkness.

not be fear,

wedded

yoked

.

.

forever

eternally

brutishness.

—Maya Angelou The simplest

definition of race that I could construct

would be a group of people

containing physical similarities generally sufficient to distinguish them from other groups. Unfortunately, this definition

is

vague, subjective, circular and ultimately

useless. In fact, the entire concept of race as applied to the

human

species

is

not

The sorting of individuals into discrete categories ignores of all humans and is biologically, and socially, inappropriate.^

scientifically justifiable.

the genetic similarity

no

A problem with a race concept as applied to the human species is that there are meaningful barriers to the interbreeding of individuals of different races. A defined biologically as the total

species

is

share a

common

members of

under natural conditions.^ The term subspecies there are

a group of populations that

gene pool and actually or potentially interbreed with one another

no geographic

is

not a

synonym

for race. In

barriers for the formation of subspecies,

humans

and physical and

genetic variation fails to consistendy distinguish one population from another.^ Races are not subspecies and are therefore not meaningful biological terms.'* Unfortunately,

a need for organizing information often precipitates the use of racial categorization.' I

the

do not include here pictures of people from

wide range of human

different places that demonstrate

appearance (phenotype).

I

believe that to

do so would

perpetuate the erroneous idea that there are biologically significant differences

between peoples. The phenotypic variation so apparent overall,

and our awareness of

it

clearly

biological assessment. People within our

comes from

own

to us is not very significant

societal

racial division

custom rather than

may be

clearly dis-

49

50

Global Convulsions

tinguished, while ones of other groups "all look alike."^ But our awareness of race

generally does not extend to other species, also be said

I can't define

Scientists,

many

may

of which, like chimpanzees,

to contain races7

and

it,

but

know it when I see it

I

others,

have wrestled with theories on race formation for generations.

Nonscientific ideas with wide currency include the idea that races have independent,

pure origins in the

past.

Some

have a black race

interpretations of the Bible

descending from one of Noah's sons.^ Another confused idea imagines human

from brutish animality

history as a climb

farther along than others.'

Always under

biological theories of race are misled

to enlightened reason, with

appreciated, however,

some

the extent to

is

by the environment and

races

which

social class of the

individual.

Ancient racial prejudices found

their first scientific

home

in the

works of

Carolus Linnaeus.'^ In 1758 he not only classified humanity by color, but also

Along with

personality traits."

"great chain of being,"

classificatory

upon which

all

listed

schemes arrived the concept of the

organisms could be arrayed in order of

proximity to heaven. Caucasoids occupied the topmost

human

The

rung.

their

distance

between the rungs was emphasized by the newly emergent theory of polygenism, or separate origin of the races. Thus, scientific racism

was firmly established by

the

mid-eighteenth century.'^

The in the

myth

racial

myth

mid-lSOOs in

race and

of Arthur de Gobineau and others.

which everything of value particularly

War n had its origin He promoted a

that lead directly to the genocide of World

in the writings

its

in

human

history could be attributed to the white

imaginary Aryan branch. This Aryan population was granted

both superior physical and mental capabilities, and was naturally suited to lead the world. Hitler modified these ideas already in existence to create a justification for his

own tyrannies." The notion of

ideal types for

human

mind. The classification proposed by the German physician

1795

still

has a place in the mind of the public.

casian, Mongolian, Ethiopian,



out

'"*

American and Malay

Polynesians, Australian Aborigines,

sway

races has long held

etc.,

He

F.

Blumenbach

in

divided humanity into Cau-

races. This

—but

J.

in the general

more

scheme leaves many

detailed

schemes

ulti-

mately collapse because of the impossibility of dividing a polytypic, interbreeding

mass of humanity all

into neat

characteristics to

compartments. Classificatory schemes err

be shared by

all

members of

the

unrelated characteristics.'^ Tracing the frequency of a the geographic cline.

One

physical

trait

may

appear

in

same group, and

trait

expecting in

mixing

over space reveals to one

in a distribution

particular classification scheme, only to be contradicted by other

traits.'"

supporting a

1

Race and Biology

5

The Biology of Race The

found

total genetic variation

that

between

humans

in

species. In fact, the genetic distance

markedly

is

less than in other, older

between human and chimpanzee

is

much

less than

It is

the parti-

sibling species of rodents or of Drosophila (fruit flies). '^

human

tioning of the total

Over amount of genetic

genetic variation that

is

of interest

of race.

in discussions

twenty years ago, Richard C. Lewontin demonstrated that the greatest variability is

found within, and not between,

calculations ask for the probability of finding differences in particular grouping.

differences in

different races.

85 percent of

When

human

amount of genetic

More

For example,

it

two individuals from

asks about the relative chances of finding two the

same

genetic diversity

is

found within

races.''

two individuals of found

it is

And

so,

Europeans, Asians and Africans

DNA polymorphisms by Masatoshi Nei

same

is

The

less than the differences

It

and

of the gene differences between

total

race, but the small inter-race differences

about the time of divergence of the races.

found between

indi-

do provide information

has been estimated that these three major

races were in existence about 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. Thus, racial

differentiation in

The

humans

is

a relatively recent occurrence.^'

humans

basis of the racial characteristics observed in

is

genetic response to variable environments.^^ These biological changes tive,

that about

only a small

diversity actually distinguishes races.

others confirm and extend these findings.^

human

race as opposed to

calculations of this type are performed,

extensive studies of nuclear

viduals of the

races."* Diversity

two individuals within a

and enhance the survivability of a gene pool, or random, and

chance. Adaptive

traits

may

the variable

may be

persist

adap-

merely by

include skin color and B-globin genotype, while blood

group characters previously thought

to

be distributed randomly

adaptive value as well.^^ Racial characteristics in

may have some

humans have a

pattern of con-

tinuous variation, rather than appearing in a few alternate forms. For example, skin

color varies widely, and continuously, around the world. Continuous variation result

of multigenic control of

so a wide range of results

is

traits.^

is

the

A large number of genes determine skin color,

possible.^^

With many exceptions,

lightest skin color

is

found

at

northern latitudes with an

progressive increase in pigmentation along a southward cline.^ There are notable exceptions, however. For example, live in equatorial rain forest,

where the

some of

some

the darkest African populations

intensity of the sun

is

less than in the

open

savanna. Similarly, people of the intensely irradiated Kalahari do not possess very

dark

skins.^^

Migrations

generally there

is

Since exposure to

in the past are likely to

explain

some of the anomalies.^

UV

light also varies with distance

from the equator,

hypothesized that skin color varies as an adaptive response to It is

But,

a correlation between skin color and distance from the equator.

variation in quantities of the

pigment melanin

it

has been

UV exposure.^

that

produces variation

skin color.^ Melanin protects skin from deleterious effects of

UV

light

in

exposure,

52

Global Convulsions

including sunburn and skin cancer.^'

hominids

in

The

amount of time spent by

vast

an important selective force against pigmentation,

it is

light skin.^^

a reasonable question to ask

Given the benefits of darker skin

why

humans do not possess

all

amount of photo-protective melanin. One explanation vitamin-D production

The light.

A

D

is

large

the necessity for efficient

from the equator."

in the sun-starved regions distant

principal source of vitamin

Vitamin

fication.

early

Africa hunting and gathering under intense sunlight would have exerted

D is synthesis in the skin upon exposure to UV

promotes calcium absorption from food and controls bone calciD can lead to rickets, a condition that produces

deficiency of vitamin

malformations of the skeleton.^

Although appealing, there

D

for efficient vitamin

no good evidence for the hypothesis

is

that the

need

production in northern climes leads to the development of

on skin pigmentation, Ashley Robins methodically

lighter skin. In his presentation

shreds the claims for the necessity of lighter skin for vitamin-D production." Rickets is

principally a disease of the industrial age, and

early

humans

that spent

sunlight and the reflection of tissues for

many months

it

would have been unlikely

to affect

most of their time outdoors. Also, even cold winters provide

UV light off the snow. Vitamin D can be stored in fatty

as well.

A newer, more substantiated explanation for the evolution of light skin color in northern latitudes proposes that lighter skin

According

to

Army

data, the incidence

lighter-skinned troops. Frostbite

is less

of frostbite

susceptible to injury by cold.^^

higher in darker- rather than

is

would have had a very

deleterious effect

humans moving northward out of Africa, and an advantage conferred by color could have had a significant selective effect. is

the poorer cold tolerance of Caucasians as

One

compared

upon

early

lighter skin

difficulty for this hypothesis to relatively darker Inuit

and

Amerindians." Clearly, the evolution of varied skin color has been a complicated process with

many

selective pressures

and a wide range of genetic responses.

Hemoglobin is the carrier of oxygen in human red blood cells. The hemoglobin molecule is composed of four polypeptide chains: two alpha chains and two beta chains. The beta globin chain contains 146 amino acids. Variants in beta globin chain compositions exist

One of

the

in

humans, and

most

common

affect the functioning

mutations

is

of the hemoglobin.^*^

a substitution of the amino acid valine

for glutamic acid in position six of the beta globin.^*^ This

properties of the molecule and

is

manifested as sickle

cell

change

alters the

binding

anemia. Individuals with

anemia have a portion of red blood cells that is dysfunctional. Inheritance cell trait from both parents is extremely disadvantageous to the indiwho will then suffer from the disease. However, possession of one gene for

sickle cell

of the sickle vidual,

the sickle cell

trait,

that

is,

to

be heterozygous for the

in certain parts of the world.^' Areas of the world

trait,

may

where the

confer an advantage

trait is

common

include

parts of west and central Africa, southern India, and around the Mediterranean,

where the frequency of the Hemoglobin S

The frequency of this by heterozygotes.

allele is

high because

allele

can range as high as 25

percent."*'

of the resistance to malaria experienced

Race and Biology

53

This dramatic case of single gene interaction with an environmentally selective force resulting in advantage to heterozygotes and great disadvantage to homozygotes is

unusual. Possibly, this

a relatively

is

new

response, arising in the last few thou-

sands of years, as agricultural and herding patterns changed and exposed more populations to malaria/^

For many physical potential realized

humans have a

traits,

demanding of living environments

cally

genetic range of responses, and the

depends upon the environment experienced. One of the most physiis at

high

Nonetheless, people have

altitudes.

occupied areas above three thousand meters, such as the Andes, for

Humans have

centuries.''^

a range of adaptive responses to hypoxia, or low oxygen levels in the

body. Physiological features characteristic of high Andes populations, such as barrel chest or comparatively better resistance to cold, are doubtless

traits

selected for

from

generations of mountain dwellers.'^ However, physiological responses to hypoxia,

such as increased red blood altitudes

moving

cell count,

can be

even

elicited

in adults

to the mountains, just as these traits diminish in

from low

mountain dwellers

who leave for the lowlands.'*^

Misuses of the Biology of Race

The

failure to recognize the

genetic background of

tremendous impact of environment upon the complex

human

variation has led in the past,

poor science. Biological determinism

is

and probably present,

the argument that intrinsic qualities of

to

human

groups produce the social and economic differences manifested between different races, classes

couched

and

sexes."*^

Deterministic studies can be difficult to counter, as they are

in putative scientific objectivity,

and are firmly

Racial prejudice has existed at least since natural hierarchy of

human

Plato.'*'

biological inequality of

and immutability

inferior

races.'**

to

it

For centuries, the idea of a

races and classes has held sway.

Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln did not

bility

in line with the prevailing

winds of the day.

political

Thomas

Jefferson,

hesitate to express a belief in the

Biological studies add a depressing note of inevita-

all,

by purporting

were of less intelligence and

to demonstrate that races

deemed

ability.

Before the advent of evolutionary theory, two lines of thinking explained the racial ranking

origin in

of humans.'*^ In one view, monogenism,

Adam

all

humans share a

the races degenerating to different extents,

most

likely

under the influence of

different climates. Polygenism, instead, argues that the races

and

in fact, represent distinct species.

for this argument.

popular

in

single

and Eve. Current social patterns could be explained as the result of

The

interfertility

have separate

origins,

of races presented a difficulty

Polygenism was an idea of American

origin,

and particularly

a nation practicing slavery and forcibly removing the native inhabitants.

Louis Agassiz, a Harvard

naturalist,

was a

stout defender of

polygenism with a

54

Global Convulsions

horror of racial intermixture.^ Yet he amassed no data, unlike the anatomist Samuel

George Morton.

Morton amassed over one thousand

skulls of different races for the purpose of

constructing a hierarchy of races based upon physical characteristics of the brain.^'

He measured of the brain

the it

volume of

the cranial cavity of each skull in order to infer the size

once contained. The

ranked people as follows: Cau-

results neatly

casian, Mongolian, Malay, (native) American, and Ethiopian. Stephen Jay

shown

that

Morton, probably unconsciously, biased

Gould has

measurements and calcula-

his

tions in order to arrive at these socially acceptable results." It is

not true in the matter of brains that bigger

brain size varies with

body

size

and sex." But

in

is

necessarily better; in fact,

brain size must have something to do with intellectual ability.

saw

nineteenth century

ment of the

skull

it was assumed that The second half of the

Morton's time

the development of craniometry, the meticulous measure-

and the brain.^

This field was grounded in the belief that the truth about racial variation

human

through measurement.^^ At the time there was intelligence.

Broca

criticized those

who,

little

Its

and

master

human

exponent, Paul Broca, sought to ascertain the intellectual value of the

and

origins

would emerge from methodical unbiased measurement."

races

doubt of a link between brain size

in his view,

allowed egalitarian views to

influence their science, while being influenced himself by prior, socially acceptable,

conclusions."

Gould has outlined in detail the convoluted path between Broca's exemplary method of data collection and the selective, unconscious manipulation of the data to yield the expected results. ^^ His fundamental error was the assumption that human races could indeed be ranked by intellectual ability. With this as the starting point, it merely remained to bution. Inevitably,

find,

and measure, characters

some of the

that followed the expected distri-

characters did not vary in the expected pattern. Broca

used a variety of ingenious arguments to explain each seemingly anomalous

One of

the

most obvious, and vexing, measurements was

that

result.

of brain

size.

People of Asian origin tended to have brains of surprisingly heavy mass, even surpassing Europeans.^*^ This disappointing result was minimized by instead stressing the importance of a finding of small average brain size in

ment of

large

body

West Africans. The argu-

size correlating with large brain size

finding of larger brain size in

Germans than

was used

in French, but not

to dismiss a

used to explain the

socially acceptable male-female difference in brain mass.'^

The

size of the brain

was not

the only feature

regions of the cortex were believed to be the the posterior of the brain

site

was assigned mundane

deemed

important.

The

anterior

of higher mental functions, while roles in physical function.^'

races possessing a bias towards anterior size or positioning must be superior.

Hence

Many

convoluted arguments were employed to reconcile the results of measurement with expectations.

Broca sought

to rank the

deceased great men.

Some

men of different races, and measure the brains of may have been deemed inferior, but all women

races

— Race and Biology

were

clearly

based upon

subhuman. Broca's support for the

both the smaller brains of

women

natural inferiority of

and a purported increase

A

time.^^

similar brain size in

as evidence that the struggle for existence

passive

women had

in the

male-

difference in

missed out of hand as an explanation for the smaller brains

more

women was

body size was diswomen. The finding of a few male and female prehistoric skulls was interpreted

female difference through evolutionary

a

55

in

had edified and civilized men, while

The difference between men and women, and most of women, was taken as a fact so indisputable that no

stagnated.^^

important the inferiority

analysis of data need even be done.

The concept of recapitulation provided a human races. Extremely popular

attempts to rank

idea proposes that in

its

theoretical underpinning for the in the late nineteenth century, this

development an individual passes through

adult forms.^ Thus, a child of a superior race

would be expected

all its

ancestral

to resemble an adult

of an inferior race. In comparison with a white male child, everyone was inferior

nonwhite

adults, all

women, southern Europeans, Jews, members of lower

and so on. Anatomical data were collected

The

idea

was

classes,

selectively to support these rankings.^^

also popular as a justification for imperialism.^

After almost seventy years, the idea of recapitulation lost favor and was supplanted in the late 1920s by features are those possessed

its

complete opposite, the concept of neoteny.^' Neotenic

by the juveniles of ancestors, but adults of their descen-

Thus the most advanced race would be The data required to support this theory were dants.

promote

recapitulation,

that with the

bom

He

childlike features.

and supporting data were promptly culled.^

In the late nineteenth century, physician Cesare

siology of the

most

exactly the opposite of those used to

Lombroso described

the phy-

criminal and founded the discipline of criminal anthropology.^

claimed, based upon anthropometric data, that criminals are evolutionary

throwbacks. Lombroso also saw a kinship between criminals and races.

inferior,

savage

^"

Despite criticisms, Lombroso's ideas were widely influential, in both science

and

in law. Belief in innate criminality shifted attention

crime and the

life

away fiom

the context of the

history of the individual. Factors such as education, social

standing, or deprivation need not be considered.

Arguments based upon craniometry ministic thinking does not fade

away so

are

now

easily.

a relic of the past. But deter-

The modem

substitute for crani-

ometry, intelligence testing, purports to quantify the innate ability of the brain.'*

Alfred Binet, the parent of intelligence testing, had tried craniometry and been disappointed.'^

were devised

The

tests

he developed

to identify children in

realized that a single

in the early years

number was not enough

intelligence.'^ Nonetheless, within

of the twentieth century

need of additional help to describe

in the

classroom. Binet

something as complex as

twenty years the pervasive misuse of IQ testing

influenced the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, which severely limited the

number of persons

entering the United States from particular countries."*

56

Global Convulsions

The Stanford-Binet originality.

test

developed

in

1916 rewarded conformity and penalized

Correct answers required knowledge of society's conventions.^^ These

were present in The army tests viewed

IQ

given to 1.75 million World

War

characteristics

the

recruits.'^

intelligence as a single, heritable quality unaffected

by environment.

An

tests

individual's allotment of intelligence

was thought

to destine

I

him

to a particular level of society.

The mass

testing of

13 for the

army

had significant

effects upon social policy in was of an astoundingly low mental age of average white male. This finding was seized upon by eugenists eager to

recruits

One shocking

the United States.^

finding

of the native gene pool by blacks, immigrants from eastern and

curtail the pollution

southern Europe, and the prolific breeding of the dimwitted. Eastern and southern

Europeans were judged the bottom of

be duller than northern Europeans, while blacks scored

to

Some used

all.

at

the results to support segregation and the denial of

educational opportunities to blacks. However, the largest impact of the army test results

was

in

immigration policy.

The Immigration Act of 1924

not only limited immigration, but

it

specifically

targeted countries judged to contain genetically inferior people.^* In the years pre-

ceding World

was severely of the army

were without

War

n, the number of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe

limited, with tragic results for some. Ironically, tests

recognized that both the

tests

by 1930 the developer

and conclusions drawn from them

validity.^

Crime and Heredity It is

unlikely that criminal tendencies are genetically determined.

siveness of the topic

is

marked by

The

social explo-

the inability to even hold a conference to discuss

the ethical implications of investigating a link between heredity and crime.*°

conference in question was entitled "Genetic Factors Implications," and

was

to

have occurred

Maryland. The meeting was

to

which suspended, and one year

in

in

October of 1992

be funded by the National later cancelled, the

The

Crime: Findings, Uses and at the

Institutes

University of

of Health (NIH),

funding after adverse

publicity.*'

Experts involved with the conference have obsened that rather than seek to link crime studies.**-

and genes, there would have been discussion of the

In addition,

would be dwarfed

in

it is

commonly accepted

any genetic

ethics of

traits

any such

linked to crime

importance by environmental conditions promoting criminal

behavior. Instead of protecting

some groups

the genetics of criminality, those

them a

that

disservice. Results

who

in society

from

racist investigations

objected to the conference

of

may have done

from the conference reaffirming the overwhelming

and psychological causation of crime, could well have been valuable

social

in relation to

the articulation, design, and implementation of policies that targeted a given range of socially corrosive inequalities.

Race and Biology

I

57

Wanna Be Me There

is

the

human

to believe in the uniqueness, if not superiority,

of their

a great longing for uniqueness lurking in the

species. People

seem

want

to

members of

family, neighborhood, racial group, religious group, country and, of course, species.

However, evidence of intrinsic, biological superiority

common

is

sorely lacking.

ancestor of chimpanzees and humans

likely lived no more The recency of human origin, a fact still only grudgingly accepted by some members of the scientific community, is almost completely

The

last

than five million years ago.*^

unappreciated by nonscientists. Similarly, findings over the cerning the close interrelatedness of

all

human

racial

last half-century

groups are

still

con-

not appearing in

every college biology classroom.^

The

reception accorded

my own

research has impressed upon

me

the strength

human

of people's (erroneous) convictions regarding race, and the origin of the species. Studies of

human

emphasized the recency of

DNA, a modem human origin

mitochondrial

This work has attracted

Africa.*^

like to describe

it

much

special part of our

genome, have

and placed our point of origin

attention in the popular press,

and

in

would

I

here briefly.

Human MtDNA I

am

by training, investigating molecular variation in the human The molecule in use is mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), a small genome

a geneticist

species.

separate from our chromosomes. Mitochondria are the organelles responsible for

energy synthesis for

cells,

and contain

for evolutionary studies in part

mode

due

their

own DNA. MtDNA

to its rapid rate

of evolution and unusual

of inheritance.*^

MtDNA evolves

a rate of about 2-4 percent per million years, or 5-10 times

at

more quickly than single-copy nuclear DNA.**^ This enables us events in

human

MtDNA

has an unusual

of our genes.^ This

tion in people today

number of

human

A (figure

to obtain data

about

history that, in terms of evolutionary time, are very recent.

mode of

inheritance.

nally (figure 1.1), without a contribution rest

has been useful

is

transmitted strictly mater-

It is

from the male parent as

useful for evolutionary studies, for

and trace a maternal family

tree

we

is

the case for the

can look

of the past.

When

at varia-

a large

individuals of different woridwide origin are studied, inferences about

evolution

may be made.

phylogenetic tree relating the 1.2)

has several notable

mtDNAs

features.'*''

found

First,

in

contemporary individuals

individuals are not

all

grouped

according to geographic origin, due to the retention of genetic changes occurring far in the past. tree.

The

Second, there

is

a tendency to find

mtDNAs

from Africa

at the root

simplest explanation for the distribution of individuals seen

is

of the

an African

58

Global Convulsions

Mitochondria

Figure

how the

1.1.

Nucleus

The maternal

the nuclear

inheritance of mitochondrial

DNA of the fertilized egg

is

DNA. The

Egg

illustration depicts

provided equally by both parents while

mtDNA is of maternal derivation.

origin for

mtDNA,

with subsequent migration out of Africa. The individual

deepest branchpoint of the tree us

Fertilized

all,

and

is

inevitably called

The term "Eve"

is

is

the

"Eve"

most recent in the

gives to

actually

no reason

any way

special,

merely lucky

mtDNA ancestor

was

random chance over

in existence at the time,

it

is

persisted through

at the

mitochondrial ancestor of

popular press.

quite unfortunate for

served air of uniqueness. There in

common

its

possessor a rather unde-

to believe that the

the generations.

in that her

most recent

mtDNA

lineage

She was not the only female

and indeed our other genes doubtless trace back

to

many

individuals, male and female, of other generations.

Many, judging by

the

sometimes anonymous and often emotional correspon-

dence received, are uneasy with the implications of the

mtDNA

work. The best

known human fossils are millions of years old, and may or may not be ancestors of any of us. The mitochondrial ancestor is linked to all of us be a distance of only ,000 1

generations. All of our racial characteristics have developed in a relatively short space

of time.

Conclusion

Race

is

by definition a biological

entity, yet

it

has no true justification in biology.

The

need to organize information makes the use of racial terms too often unavoidable. The author of a recent monograph on

human pigmentation had

to regretfully

make use of

Race and Biology



•••

Figure

A

1.2.

00*00



hypothetical tree presenting relationships

contemporary humans. Filled

empty

circles represent

common

circles indicate

59

o o

among mtDNAs found

mtDNA types

in

of African origin, while

non- African types. The arrow points to the most recent

ancestor of all types depicted.

the racial terms Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, and so on, while admitting to the

lack of biological validity to such classificatory schemes.^

Society at this time

by

race, or

culture and

still

pays a great deal of attention to classification, whether

under the guise of ethnic group. The category of ethnic groups invokes

moves

yet further from any purported biological justification.^'

recent U.S. census, in 1990,

became tangled

in questions

The most

of racial background and

ethnic self-designation.^

The U.S. census contained

four basic categories: white, black, American Indian/

Alaskan Native, and Asian/Pacific category.

Many

Islander.

Ten million people checked the "other"

of these people were determined to be Hispanic, which has been an

ethnic category (since 1970) not a race (as before 1930).

groups I

in

and out of racial groups,

am

overall, resembles a tale

The movements of from Lewis

ethnic

Carroll.

unsure whether racial categories will continue to fractionate, under the

pressures of ethnic group pride and affirmative action opportunities, or amalgamate into groups.

Some

respondents with parents of different races describe themselves as

"mixed," a conclusion perhaps cribing

at

once both

most of the residents of this and other

less precise

countries.^^

and more accurate

in des-

.

60

Global Convulsions

Notes

1

Douglas

.

J.

Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology (Sunderland,

in

Maria

R

MA:

Sinauer Asso-

Paul R. Spickard, "The Illogic of American Racial Categories,"

ciates, 1986), p. 109;

Root, ed.. Racially Mixed People in America (Newbury Park: Sage

Publications, 1991), p. 18. 2.

Futuyma, op.

the Species 3.

note

cit.

1, p.

Ill; Ernst

(New York: Columbia University

Mayer, Systematics and the Origin of

Press, 1942), p. 111.

Alice Littlefield, Leonard Lieberman, and Larry T. Reynolds, "Redefining

Race: The Potential Demise of a Concept

in Physical

Anthropology," Current

Anthropology 23 (1982): 641-55. 4. Edward O. Wilson and W. L. Brown, "The Subspecies Concept and its Taxonomic Application," Systematic Zoology 22 (1953): 97-1 1 1 5. Ashley H. Robins, Biological Perspectives on Human Pigmentation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. xi. 6.

Richard C. Lewontin,

Human

Diversity (San Francisco:

W.H. Freeman,

1982), p. 7.

(New

7.

Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee

8.

Robins, op.

9.

James C. King, The Biology of Race (Berkeley: University of California

York: Harper Collins, 1992),

p. 8. cit.

note

5, p. 166.

Press, 1981), p. 111. 10. Spickard, op. cit. note 1, p. 13. 11.

Robins, op.

cit.

note 5, p. 171.

12. Ibid., p. 172.

13. Ibid. 14.

King, op.

15.

Stephen Molnar,

cit.

note 9, p. 111.

Human

Variation

(Englewood

Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1992),

p. 20.

16. Ibid., p.

208.

17.

Futuyma, op.

18.

Richard C. Lewontin, "The Apportionment of

cit.

note

1,

p.

510.

Human

Diversity," Evolu-

tionary Biology 6 (1972): 381-98. 19.

Lewontin, op.

cit.

note

20. Masatoshi Nei and

6, p. 120.

Arun Roychoudhury, "Gene Differences Between Cau-

casian, Negro, and Japanese Populations," Science 177 (1972): 434-36.

21.

Futuyma, op.

22. Molnar, op.

cit.

cit.

note

1,

p.

522.

note 15, p. 3; Lewontin, op.

23. Molnar, ibid., p. 223. 24.

Futuyma, op.

25. Robins, op.

cit.

cit.

26. Ibid., p. 187.

note

note

1,

p. 44.

5, p. 22.

cit.

note 7, p. 65.

Race and Biology

27. King, op.

cit.

61

note 9, p. 140.

28. Ibid., p. 141. 29. Robins, op.

cit.

note

5, p. 189.

30. Ibid., p. 3. 31. Ibid., p. 59. 32. Ibid., p. 189. 33. Ibid., p. 200.

34. Ibid., pp. 197-200. 35. Ibid., pp. 202-8. 36. Ibid., p. 209. 37. Ibid., p. 210. 38. Lewontin, op. 39. Molnar, op.

cit.

cit.

note

6, p. 30.

note 15, p. 106.

40. Ibid., p. 105. 41. Ibid., p. 108; Lewontin, op.

cit.

note

6, p. 29.

42. Molnar, ibid., p. 239. 43. Ibid., p. 215. 44. Ibid., pp. 220-23.

45. Lewontin, op.

cit.

note 6, p. 16.

46. Stephen Jay Gould,

1981),

The Mismeasure of Man (New York: W. W. Norton,

p 20.

47. Ibid., p. 19. 48. Ibid., p. 35. 49. Ibid., p. 39. 50. Ibid., p. 43. 51. Ibid., p. 50. 52. Ibid., p. 54.

53. Ibid., pp. 61-62. 54. Ibid., p. 74. 55. Molnar, op.

cit.

note 15,

56. Ibid., p. 14; Gould, op. 57. Gould, ibid., p. 84. 58. Ibid., pp. 85-105. 59. Ibid., p. 87.

60. Ibid.,

p 104.

61. Ibid.,

p 97.

62. Ibid.,

p 103.

63. Ibid.,

p 104.

64. Ibid.,

p 114.

65. Ibid., p

116.

66. Ibid., p

118.

67. Ibid.,

119.

p

p. 16.

cit.

note 46, p. 85.

..

62

Global Convulsions

68. Ibid., p. 120. 69. Ibid., p. 123. 70. Ibid., p. 125. 71. Lewontin, op.

cit.

Maddox, "How

note 6, p. 92; John

to Publish the

Unpal-

Nature 358 (1992): 187.

atable,"

72. Gould, op.

note 46, p. 149.

cit.

73. Ibid., p. 151. 74. Ibid., p. 157. 75. Lewontin, op. 76. Gould, op.

cit.

cit.

note

note 46,

6, p. 93. p. 194.

77. Ibid., pp. 196-99. 78. Ibid., p. 232.

79. Ibid., p. 233. 80. Daniel

Genes," The

New

Coleman, "New Storm Brews on Whether Crime has Roots York Times, September 15, 1992,

Christopher Anderson,

81

"NIH Under

Fire,

p.

in

CI.

Freezes Grant for Conference on

Genetics and Crime," Science 358 (1992): 357. 82.

Coleman, op.

cit.

83. Satoshi Horai,

Takafumi

note 80.

Yoko

Satta,

Ishida, Seiji Hayashi,

Revealed by Mitochondrial

Kenji Hayasaka,

Rumi Kondo,

and Naoyuki Takahata, "Man's Place

DNA Genealogy,"

Tadashi Inoue, in

Hominoidea

Journal of Molecular Evolution 35

(1992): 32-43. 84.

Leonard Lieberman, Raymond E. Hampton, Alice

Hallead, "Race in Biology and Anthropology:

A

Littlefield,

and Glen

Study of College Texts and Pro-

of Research in Science Teaching 29 (1992): 301-21. Rebecca L. Cann, Mark Stoneking, and Allan C. Wilson, "Mitochondrial

fessors," Journal

85.

DNA and Human Evolution," Nature 325 king,

(1987): 31-36; Linda Vigilant,

Mark

Stone-

Henry Harpending, Kristen Hawkes, and Allan C. Wilson, "African Populations

and the Evolution of Human Mitochondrial 86. Allan C. Wilson,

DNA," Science 253

Rebecca L. Cann, Steven M.

Carr,

(1991): 1503-7.

Matthew George, Ulf B.

M. Helm-Bychowski, Russel G. Higuchi, Steven R. Palumbi, Richard D. Sage, and Mark Stoneking, "Mitochondrial DNA and

Gyllensten, Kathleen

Ellen

M.

Two

Perspectives on Evolutionary Genetics," Biological Journal of the Linnaen

Society^

Prager,

26 i\9S5): 315^00.

87. Ibid. 88. Ibid.

89.

Cann

et al., op. cit. note 85; Vigilant et

90. Robins, op.

cit.

91 Lieberman et

note 5, p.

al.,

op.

cit.

Apn\

25, 1993, p.

cit.

cit.

note 85.

Confounds the Census," The

A3.

93. Ibid.; Spickard, op.

op.

note 84.

92. Felicity Barringer, "Ethnic Pride

Times,

a!.,

xii.

note

1,

p. 22.

New

York

The Bell Curve A Cross-Century Tradition Concerning Race and Intellect WINSTON A. VAN HORNE

Tradition

is

a wellspring of

human

From it issues forth sentiments, beliefs, down by speech, writing or other suffi-

life.

customs, mores, and norms that are handed cient signs

from generation

to generation. Long-established

ways of thinking and/or

acting ground tradition, which shapes the contours of conscious and unconscious, as

well as rational and irrational behavior. tion inhere the best

sapiens.

Through

it,

It

also

is

shaped by these behaviors. In

and the worst of the thought and conduct of

Homo

tradi-

sapiens

guideposts of acceptability and the pathways of permissibility are

made known, whereby individuals are inclined to behave in ways better or worse, when judged against standards of human decency.

make them

that

A tradition that has drawn determinate contours of life in the United States, with searing social effect,

is

racism.

impulses that radiate from society.

They

find expression in articulate, conceptual discourse

inarticulate, discursive diatribe.

Curve

is

The conscious and unconscious, rational and irrational a commonplace in the everyday life of the

this tradition are

masked behind

Richard

articulate,

J.

in

to the mid-sixteenth century

less than in

conceptual discourse, though steeped in an

familiar racialist tradition. Before discussing

back

no

Hermstein's and Charles Murray's The Bell

The

Bell

when Englishmen

Curve direcdy,

first

made

it is

all

too

well to arc

contact with Africans,

order to provide an historical context for the racialist tradition that envelops the

book, in particular, and American society in general.

I*

In his

now

classic

work The White Man's Burden, Winthrop D. Jordan observes

"Englishmen found the peoples of Africa very

different

that

from themselves. 'Negroes*

63

64

Global Convulsions

looked different to Englishmen; of people.'"

It

is

initial

were not without

that Africans

form and substance of the Africans'

I

all

proper to note here that in their

Englishmen observed

Englishmen

was un-Christian; their manner of seemed to be a particularly libidinous sort

their religion

was anything but English; they

living

contact with Africans,

religion;

was

it

just that the

from Christianity with which

religion differed

v^cre familiar.

should like to stress the term familiar. At the very outset of their interactions

with Africans, Englishmen imputed to the unfamiliar countenance and behaviors of Africans

of wretchedness out of

all sorts

their

lack of understanding, and cultural chauvinism.

own myopia, ignorance, arrogance, Many an European has mindlessly

imitated the English in this regard.

was color

Still, it

that

most engaged Englishmen

notes that "[f]or Englishmen,

the

most

in relation to Africans. Jordan

arresting

characteristic

discovered African was his color. Travelers rarely failed to

when on

of the newly

comment upon

indeed

it;

moved

describing Africans they frequendy began with complexion and then

to dress (or, as they saw, lack of

it)

and manners."^ What was

African's complexion that so arrested Englishmen?

it

about the

blackness. Jordan writes that

Its

"Englishmen actually described Negroes as black''^ Given the powerful impact

upon Englishmen,

the black color of Africans had

What were

fitting

it is

the cultural cognates of the term black into

socialized? Again, Jordan

helpful.

is

He

"No

observes:

and proper

that

to ask:

which Englishmen were other color except white

conveyed so much emotional meaning. As described by the Oxford English Dictionary, the

with

meaning of black before the

dirt; soiled, dirty, foul.

.

.

.

sixteenth century included, 'Deeply stained

Having dark or deadly purposes, malignant; per-

taining to death, deadly; baneful, disastrous, sinister. horrible, wicked.

.

.

.

was an emotionally

.

.

.

Foul, iniquitous, atrocious,

Indicating disgrace, censure, liability to punishment, etc' Black

partisan color, the

handmaid and symbol of baseness and

evil,

a

sign of danger and repulsion."^

Jordan continues, "[e]mbedded in the concept of blackness was



site

whiteness.

No

other colors so clearly implied opposition.

connoted purity and ugliness, beneficence

filthiness, virginity

and

evil,

God and

and

sin, virtue

mented by

red, the color of perfect

Negro was

ugly,

.

.

its

direct

oppo-

White and black

and baseness, beauty and

the devil. Whiteness, moreover, carried a

special significance for Elizabethan Englishmen:

contrast, the

.

human

it

was, particularly

when compleBy

beauty, especially female beauty. ...

by reason of

his [black] color

and also

his 'horrid

Curies' and 'disfigured' lips and nose."^ I

have cited Jordan

at

some

length because his observations afford critical

insights into the rise of a racialist tradition in colonial America/the United States.

Given

its

British origins, the

dominance of the English

powerful emotive charge attached to color empirically inescapable that color would

in the

come

society. Insofar as the English conflated color

to

in colonial

America, and the

psyches of Englishmen,

it

was

permeate the culture of American

and race

in relation to

themselves and

The Bell Curve

Roger Taney simply expressed with

Africans, Chief Justice

65

stark forthrightness

sentiments pertaining to racial superiority and inferiority, carried transgenerationally

when he wrote

in the culture,

in the

infamous Dred Scott decision that neither the

Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution embraced the African in the United States



regardless of whether s/he

was enslaved or free. Moreover,

said Taney, blacks

"had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an

and

inferior order,

altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations;

and so

had no

far inferior, that they

respect.

.

.

.

This opinion was

of the white race.

was regarded

It

which the white man was bound

rights

to

time fixed and universal in the civilized portion

at that

as an

axiom

in

morals as well as

in politics,

which

no one thought of disputing, or supposed to be open to dispute.^ There are those

who have

quarrelled with Taney's observation concerning the

axiomatic assumption of moral and political inferiority in relation to black people. Still,

no

less

an intractable foe of slavery than Harriet Beecher Stowe, of Uncle

Tom's Cabin fame, believed that though slavery was morally wrong, a hard boundary of demarcation along the color-line would continually separate blacks and whites, with blacks being the social inferiors of whites.

And Abraham Lincoln,

in the first

of

seven truly historic debates with Stephen Douglas between August 21 and October 15,

1858 (one of the seminal events of the decade prior to the Civil War) observed:

"I will say here

.

.

.

[that] I

have no purpose

between the white and black

which

my

in

judgment

races.

[that

in

I

my

intellectual

and social equality

a physical difference between the two,

I,

as well as

Judge Douglas,

belong, having the superior position. ...

blacks are] not

moral or

to introduce political

is

will probably forever forbid their living together

footing of perfect equality, and ...

race to which

There

equal in

many

respects

I



am

certainly not in color, perhaps not

endowment."^

by observing:

a physical difference between the white and black races which

is

two races

will for ever forbid the

equality.

And inasmuch

in favor

living together

on terms of

as they cannot so live, while they

must be the position of superior and

am

inferior,

and

I

as

much

social

with a group of black

need not discuss, but

believe

political

there

as any other [white]

man

men at the White House after he had become president, we are different races. We have between us a broader dif-

this physical difference is a great

broad continent, not a single

[0]n

this

man

of ours. ... to

I

cannot

alter

it

if I



man

of your race

would. ...

be separated.'"^ What

himself unable to alter? blacks,

I

do remain together

ference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether

therefore,

and

of having the superior position assigned to the white race."^ And meeting

Lincoln said: "You and

I

of the

agree with Judge Douglas

In the third debate Lincoln reinforced the aforementioned points

"[T]here

upon the

in favor

is

It is

a

it is

right or

wrong

disadvantage to us both. is

fact.

made .

.

.

.

.

.

the equal of a single

It is

better for us both,

the empirical fact that Lincoln perceives

the social, political, moral, and intellectual inferiority of

which emanate from a physical difference grounded

in

color

Lincoln's stance concerning white superiority, and his sentiment pertaining to the moral and intellectual inferiority of blacks, merely echoes

Thomas

Jefferson's

— Global Convulsions

66

belief that "[i]n general, [blacks] appear to participate tion.

.

.

.

Comparing them by

me

appears to

much

their faculties

memory

[,says Jefferson,] that in

inferior, as I think

full

it

one could scarcely be found capable of tracing and comin

imagination they are dull,

and anomalous."^"

The moral found

in sensation than reflec-

they are equal to whites; in reason

prehending the investigations of Euclid; and that tasteless,

more

of memory, reason, and imagination,

who

vulgarity of Jefferson saying that a black person could scarcely be

could trace and comprehend the investigations of Euclid, when he

knew

well the stringency of state-imposed sanctions against black people receiving

even the barest trace of an education,

What

is critical

to call out

is

is

so stark that no

comment

is

needed here.

the presumption of white aesthetic, moral, and intel-

and

lectual superiority vis-a-vis blacks,

all

others for that matter, that coursed the

culture and society of colonial America/the United States through the Civil to persist after the Reconstruction

War was

of the Union. The nineteenth century was to close

with the revalidation of the archetype of white superiority in the Supreme Court's Plessy

V.

Ferguson decision of 1896, which constitutionalized Jim Crow

United States through the cunning

—one might even say



fraudulent

"separate but equal." Indeed, Justice Henry Billings Brown,

was

to observe that "[i]f

one race be

the United States cannot put

who

wrote the decision,

inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of

them upon the same plane."" And where

does obtain, such could not pertain to "the white race, [which] acquiesce

The tightly

free

[to]

.

.

.

inferiority

would not

a badge of [racial] inferiority."^^

twentieth century

was

open with the cocoon of

to

racial inferiority

over blacks, and close with the unrelenting struggle of black people

from

it.

in the

doctrine of

But the

full

proven to be a task of

and complete shedding of the cocoon of racial truly

monumental proportions,

for

it

chips

drawn

to break

inferiority has

away

the very

foundations of white racial and cultural hegemony. In the twentieth century, the beneficiaries of racial inheritance iority,

which



carried in the tradition of archetypal white super-

Jefferson, Lincoln, Taney,

and Brown symbolized ever so potently

have fought just as hard, through a range of direct and indirect measures, to assure the persistence of racial advantage.

It is

in this context that

The Bell Curve must be

evaluated.

n The Bell Curve, anchored securely

in the tradition that

has been just called out, rooms

most comfortably with Arthur de Gobineau's The Inequality of the Races (1854) and Charles Carroll's "TTie Negro a Beast"; or, "in the Image of God" (1900). De Gobineau has the dubious and Carroll

distinction of being the father of

was one of Jim Crow's

clarion voices.

modem

racialist theories,

What, then, are the fundainental,

unifying themes of the volumes just mentioned regarding black people?

The Bell Curve

67

Like Jefferson and Lincoln before them, de Gobineau, Carroll, Hermstein and

Murray

posit an intelligence

gap, de Gobineau writes:

gap between blacks and

"Do

men

all

of intellectual development? ... civilize the negro,

and manages

If

it is

to transmit to the mulatto only very



in that case,

I

am

sphere [of

life].

.

.

.

The

gulf

"The negro possesses the

foot, articulate speech,

low order of his mentality is

far too

own

nearer than their father's to

little

and

erect

is withall,

a tool-

him

for the

making, tool-handling animal. These characteristics pre-eminently position of servant, while the

his

cannot really

right in saying that the different races

are unequal in intelligence.'"^ Carroll observes:

hand and

few of

woman

and a white

understand anything better than a hybrid culture, a

posture, a well-developed

power

admitted that the European cannot hope to

characteristics; if the children of a mulatto

the ideas of the white race,

whites. Regarding this putative

possess in an equal degree an unlimited

disqualifies

fit

him

for a higher

wide and deep, which separates between the

mental indolence and incapacity of the negro, which accomplishes nothing, and the flashing intellect, the resdess energy, and the indomitable courage of the white,

which enables him

Murray

to discover, conquer,

"Do Blacks Score

ask:

and develop continents. '""* Hermstein and

Differently

from Whites on Standardized Tests of American

Cognitive Ability? If the samples are chosen to be representative of the

known

population, the answer has been yes for every

meets basic psychometric standards of

reliability

Black-White Difference? The usual answer to In discussing

white

mean

IQ

tests, for

as 100,

this

example, the black

Resonating through the passages just cited

of cognitive ability that

validity.

question

mean

and the standard deviation as

nitive deficit of blacks.

and

test

is

is

.

.

.

How

large Is the

one standard deviation.

commonly given

as 85, the

15."'^ is

the intellectual inferiority or cog-

Given the conceptual and empirical significance of cognitive

what may loosely be called the progress of wo' mankind, one From whence comes the supposed transgenerational cognitive

ability in relation to

perforce must ask: deficit

of black people? Again one turns to the quadrumvirate of de Gobineau,

Carroll,

Hermstein and Murray.

De Gobineau will

observes:

'The animal

stamped on the negro from

pelvis, is

always

move

birth,

character, that appears in the shape of the

and foreshadows his destiny. His

within a very narrow circle.

behind his low receding brow, powerful energy, however crude

in the its

He

is

middle of his

not

however a mere

skull,

we can

Many

unknown

of his senses, especially

to the other

see signs of a

objects. If his mental faculties are dull or

non-existent, he often has an intensity of desire, and so of will, terrible.

intellect

brute, for

taste

and smell, are developed

two races ... the yellow and the

even

which may be called to an extent

white."'^ Carroll notes that

"diminutive brain weights, carrying with them a corresponding diminution of

intelli-

gence"'^ are a defining attribute of blacks. Referring to a study done by Sanford B.

Hunt on

the brain weights of white soldiers and black soldiers at the time of the Civil

War, which found the weights to be 1424 grammes and 1331 grammes respectively, Carroll calls out the diminished intelligence of blacks.

He

goes on to observe that

68

Global Convulsions

and

this

all

other "scientific investigation of the subject proves the

Negro

be an

to

ape; and simply stands at the head of the ape family, as the lion stands at the head of the cat family.

must lead any

.

.

.

And we mind

rational

feel assured that a careful consideration

of

this subject

to decide that the White, with his exalted physical

and

mental characters, and the Negro, with his ape-like physical and mental characters, are not the

follows

made

same progeny of one primitive pair." He continues: "This being true, it White was created 'in the image of God,' then the Negro was some other model. And a glance at the Negro indicates the model; his

that, if the

after

very appearance suggests the ape."'*

Concerning the intelligence gap or cognitive whites, Hermstein and

Murray note

that

it

of blacks in relation to

deficit

cannot be wholly explained by social and

environmental considerations. They observe that "whites are characteristically stronger than blacks on subtests involving spatial-perceptual

memory, both of which involve

retention

and

retrieval

blacks are

ability,

characteristically stronger than whites in subtests such as arithmetic

and immediate

of information."'^ (Jefferson's

remarks concerning memory, reason, and imagination should resonate loudly here.) This difference, along with a host of others pertaining to cognitive result of biased tests in the ordinary sense of the term.

[It]

may

ability, is

well include

"not the

some

(as

unknown) genetic component, but nothing suggests that [it is] entirely genetic."^ The term entirely is critical here. It plays the customary role of a hedge word. The yet

cognitive deficit of blacks

This

may

not be entirely genetic but

the only sound conceptual inference that can be

is

Hermstein and Murray

—assuming

that they

at least partially so.

it is

drawn from the language of

do not play Alice

in

Wonderland with

the use of words.

And Carroll,

comes the

so,

God and

nature afford the racist answers adduced by de Gobineau,

Murray and Hermstein

them

to a question that unites

the transgenerational cognitive deficit of black people?

view "that between some human races and the

From whence

all:

De Gobineau

larger apes there

is

rejects

only a slight

difference of degree, and none of kind [a belief shared by Carroll, as] an insult to

humanity, [though

it is

his conviction] that

human

races are unequal."^' Hermstein

and Murray share de Gobineau's sentiment pertaining races



they prefer to speak of ethnic groups

differences in cognitive ability.

They do not



dirty

at

to the inequality

least

in

relation

of the

to putative

themselves with Carroll's diatribe

concerning whites being God-like, and blacks being ape-like. Yet, intriguingly, insofar as intelligence and cognitive ability ground the fields of is

equipped, and the spheres of

come mighty It is

life

work

for

which one

properly open to one, Murray and Hermstein

close to Carroll.

Carroll's belief that "scientific research demonstrates that [the white]

whom God designed, descended

to savagery.

White, becomes

'a

man,

equipped, and clothed with authority to subdue the earth, never

On

the other hand, the Negro,

mere wanderer

in the

upon the spontaneous products of

when

uncontrolled by the

woods,' and like any other animal, subsists

the earth, and the proceeds of the chase. This

The Bell Curve

indicates that the natural relation

and servant.

.

.

.

between the White and the Negro

White

the creature

is

whom God

designed to perform the manual

Gobineau, blacks lack the

intellect to

fill

whom de

true also for

is

a variety of societal roles. Cognitive deficit

One

finds in Hermstein

similarity.

"Inasmuch as cognitive

ask:

the creature

is

For Carroll, as

labor."^^

chances, and their proper place in society.

life

and Murray a remarkable

They

of master

designed should perform the

mental labor necessary to subdue the earth; and that the Negro

delimits their

that

[The] mass of scriptural and scientific evidence clearly indicates that

the pure-blooded

God

is

69

job performance and as

ability is related to

minority workers[, especially blacks,] are entering professions with lower ability distributions than whites,

is

there evidence of lower average performance for

minority workers than for whites?"^^ Calling attention to affirmative action, for

example, they observe that "the same degree

may

not have the

same meaning

blacks. Latinos, and whites in terms of cognitive ability. ... In the

NLS Y

for

[National

Longitudinal Survey of Youth], the black- white differences for every educational

from high school diploma

level,

difference of

1

.2

to Ph.D., are large, with the smallest being a

standard deviations."^ Given these differences in cognitive

and given the correspondence between cognitive "[p]art of the reason

.

.

.

that

employers hire blacks and whites of differing cognitive

[may be] because of pressures brought on them by government

ability

ability,

and job performance,

ability

policies

regarding representation of minority groups. Without such pressures and in a raceblind labor market, blacks and whites should be equal in those

on the

predict performance ities, if

job."^^

Absent governmental pressures

traits that

to hire

best

minor-

a disproportion were to obtain between blacks and whites in job categories

that are cognitively

"'correcting'

it

demanding, such disproportion would be

—making

it

proportional

—may

[well]

fair,

and attempts

at

produce unfairness along

with equal representation."^

Like de Gobineau and Carroll before them, Murray and Hermstein perceive the majority of blacks to

fit

most neatly

into societal roles that

do not make weighty

cognitive demands. Indeed, one observes in their text that of the approximately thirty million blacks in the society as of 1990, only 100,000, or 0.33 of

"Class dull],

I

of

[their] five

cognitive classes [Very bright, Bright, Normal, Dull, Very

IQ plays

for

Hermstein and Murray the very same pseudo-scientific role

that the since long-discredited brain

weight did for Carroll

teenth century, namely, providing an anchor for a

blacks and whites.

And

so, the sort

inequality of the races that

they

percent, fall into

with IQs of 125 or higher."^^ In a very real sense, at the end of the twentieth

century,

found

1

in

at the close

intelligence

of the nine-

gap between

of racial stratification grounded in the putative

one observes

Hermstein and Murray,

presumed

in

who decry

de Gobineau and Carroll, also can be

antidiscrimination laws that sunder what

deem to be the proper relation between cognitive ability and societal role. The societal costs of cognitive deficit are profound, the quadrumvirate believe.

De Gobineau

informs us that "[m]ankind

is

.

.

.

divided into unlike and unequal

70

Global Convulsions

parts, or rather into a series

differences of intellect. [and]

none can

.

.

.

of categories, arranged, one above the other, according to [Moreover],

exist without

its

help,

white peoples in the whole field of only

that this It is

so far as

[in]

group

it

.

civilizations derive

intellect,

.

.

from the white

immense

[given the]

.

and a society

.

is

race,

superiority of the

and

great

preserves the blood of the noble group that created

brilliant

provided

it,

belongs to the most illustrious [white] branch of our species."^

itself

de Gobineau's belief

that civilizations

dominance through what he strictly

all

.

calls "the

speaking, blood does not mix.)

have been degraded by the loss of white

(We know today

mixture of blood."^^

He

that,

notes that "[t]he small have been raised

[through the mixture of blood]. Unfortunately, the great have been lowered by the

same

process; and this

men

mediocre

is

an evil that nothing can balance or

bom

is

.

.

[W]hen

.

.

.

a confusion which, like that of Babel, ends in utter impotence, and

down

leads societies

.

combine with

grow ever more and more

other mediocrities, and from such unions, which

degraded,

repair.

are once created at the expense of the greater, they

whence no power on

to the abyss of nothingness

earth can

rescue them."^*^

Sharing de Gobineau's sentiments, Carroll writes: [m]ixed-bloods are "an unnatural production," and being altogether "out

of the

what

who

common

order of nature," they are simply monstrosities, no odds

their social, political, or religious standing

denies the existence of

natural law".

.

.

.

we

[Accordingly], so long as

amalgamated progeny imposed upon us

his

with

may

be.

who we may

equality, just so long will will these

on terms of

associate

we

Even

the atheist,

the inspiration of the scriptures, will

an amalgamation between Whites and Negroes

insist that

and

God and

"a violation of

is

[whites] allow the negro

men,"

as "lower races of

social, political,

and religious

labor under the curses of God, just so long

degraded creatures have

long will the youth and the

political

manhood of

domination over

us, just so

the land be debauched by

amalgamation, just so long will the chastity of our wives and the virginity of our daughters be subjected to their brutal

De

Gobineau's and Carroll's sentiments find expression

Murray's theme of dysgenics. They graphic trends are exerting ability in the

write:

downward

"Mounting evidence

Herrnstein and

demo-

United States and that the pressures are strong enough to have social

the distribution of intelligence

question,

"Can we

is

in

American

changing, more than

find evidence that dysgenesis

citing a range of data) they observe: "[T]he case

worrying about

phenomena

in

indicates that

pressures on the distribution of cognitive

consequences. ... In trying to foresee changes

own

assaults.^'

that

is

happening

is

is

life,

w/z>'."^^

what matters

In response to their

strong that something worth .

.

.

The

have been so worrisome for the past few decades may effect.

It

how

actually happening?" (after

to the cognitive capital of the country.

degree already reflect an ongoing dysgenic

is

is

in

social

some

worth worrying about, and



The Bell Curve

trying to

In this regard, they note, for example, that there

do something about.""

"kernel of evidence that must ... be acknowledged

black immigrants

71

.

are, at least in the short run, putting

.

is

a

[namely,] that Latino and

.

some downward

pressure on

the distribution of intelligence."^

The dysgenics of Hermstein and Murray

nothing but a late twentieth century

is

version of de Gobineau's racial degradation from the mixing of blood, and Carroll's

They

"unnatural production" of blacks and whites.

all

perceive blacks to be not only

an intellectual drag on white society but also corrosive of

This

is

especially troublesome, insofar as they

and

levels of cognitive ability to reproduce quicker

with higher levels of cognitive

more

likely to be,

citizenry;"^' if blacks

were

to

them; and

if

as well as civilization itself;

is

in greater

civilization.

numbers than those

to the persistence

a

"[a] civil

cognitively gifted

to

of civil order,



more

into,

have been ascribed

deficits that

most conducive

follows that a

it

and

and more capable of being made

have the cognitive

a highly civil society

civility

as Hermstein and Murray opine,

ability. If,

is

smarter population

its

perceive individuals with lower

all

less

black

society ought to be a goal of sound public policy in the United States. Thus, for

example, public policy should be designed to discourage cognitively deficient blacks

from procreating

and

as quickly,

numbers, that they do. The objective

in the

necessity for this sort of public policy has been shrouded by "[t]he ideology of equality,"^

which now guides the behavior of policymakers

Hermstein and Murray

in the

United States,

believe.

Like de Gobineau and Carroll before them, Hermstein and Murray believe inequality as an organizing social principle. .

.

.

that

human

De Gobineau

races are unequal."" Carroll states unequivocally: "[I]t

social equality with the negro

which brought

social equality with the negro

and the

keeps sin

in the world."^*

Gobineau or

evils

in

says explicitly: "I believe

sin into the world;

and

was man's it

is

which inevitably grows out of

man's it

that

Hermstein and Murray are not as blunt as either de

Carroll.

With more

racial circumspection, but

with the same rancid

effect,

they posit:

"Cognitive partitioning [of the society, which has been ongoing] will continue.

It

cannot be stopped, because the forces [especially the natural ones, to wit, genetic differences] driving

it

cannot be stopped."^^ There

is

an iron determinism here. The

continued cognitive partitioning of the society

is

endowments, including

[Moreover, t]rying to pretend that

intelligence,

is

a

reality.

inevitable, for "[i]nequality of

inequality does not really exist has led to disaster Trying to eradicate inequality with artificially

again

manufactured outcomes has led to disaster

to try living with inequality,

Given the Hermstein claim

intelligence

as

life is

It is

time for America once

livedy^

gap between blacks and whites

to exist; given

what they deem

to

that

Murray and

be the inevitable partitioning of

the society along the cognitive-line; and given the correspondence between the cognitive-line

and the

color-line, differential cognitive ability

for the racial stratification of the society. Put differently,

becomes a justification

on grounds of purported

72

Global Convulsions

racial differences in cognitive ability, the call that

live with inequality

is

America should once again

try to

nothing but a not too subtle admonition to keep black people

in their place.

What Hermstein and Murray

either

may be

ignorant of, or conveniently elected

to ignore, is the historical fact that of the approximately eighteen generations of

black people in colonial America/the United States since the 1630s floor

is

used for generation

the Civil Rights

—each and every

Act of 1968, passed

its life



a twenty-year

one, barring the generation

bom

since

under state-imposed inequalities, under-

girded by an extremely color-conscious culture. For black people, then, there absolutely nothing to be desired, or live

desirable, about

is

America

trying

once again

is

to

with inequality.

But there

Murray are Taney was

at

is

an equally compelling point to be made here. Hermstein and

war with

the very foundations of the

Independence nor the Constitution envisaged a whites,

it is

American

republic.

Though

correct in observing that neither the framers of the Declaration of

of equality between blacks and

state

nonetheless the case that the United States committed

itself to principles

of equality, and not inequality. The Republic did live with inequality, but always within the framework of principles of equality. There was, then, a persistent contradiction between the egalitarian principles of the Republic and

its

inegalitarian

practices, especially in relation to black people. Since the mid-1960s, the United

States has strived hard to

In admonishing

conform

America

egalitarian principles with egalitarian behaviors.

to try living with inequality again,

Hermstein and

Murray would have the Republic undercut its efforts to harmonize its principles and its practices. Indeed, one may well say that they would organize it around principles of inequality, which would be transformative of its original conception. In this regard, Hermstein and

era, but

are radicals at

incommensurate with

Hermstein and Murray claim be able

war with the

ideals of the United

agenda are commensurate with the practices of the society

States. Their racial

bygone

Murray

to lead lives

its

that

it

of dignity. However,

is fitting it

is

and proper

that individuals should

not the business of the

formulate and implement policies designed to give people dignity, the leading of lives with dignity "accessible to

ever be delimited by differences in cognitive

between blacks and whites. Here, then,

is

Such

all.'"*'

ability, for

black people in

spheres of social is

supposedly

life that

fair

and

weight of cmcial govemmental

of inequality.

And

in cognitive ability

ground the

so, the

are cognitively demanding. Since such

just,

it

is

institutions

assumed

to

be right and proper

be brought to bear

in the

defense

pseudoscience of Hermstein and Murray, like that of de

Gobineau and Carroll before them, undergirds a marginalization.

accessibility, though, will

example, that which obtains

of American society, and legitimizes the under-representation of

all

underrepresentation that the

govemment to it is to make

rather,

the hard edge of the racial politics of

Hermstein and Murray. Presumed natural differences racial partitioning

in a

ideals.

politics

of perpetual-black-social

The Bell Curve

73

m In conclusion,

well to

it is

make

the following points. First,

The Bell Curve

is

simply

a late-twentieth-century version of the well-worn theme of the racial inferiority of

black people. Second, unmasked of

its

academic

regalia.

The Bell Curve bears a

The Inequality of the Races Third, Hermstein and Murray

striking family resemblance to the discursive diatribe of

and "The Negro a Beast; " or "In the Image of God.

room comfortably Finally,

in the racialist tradition

and most important, The Bell Curve

black people

at the

"

of Jefferson, Taney, Lincoln, and Brown. a gauntlet thrown

is

end of the twentieth century.

It is

down

before

an attack manifesto. The

—with

challenge to black people in general, and to black politics in particular assistance of those tracted



is

whose sense of proportion

to continue, resolutely

make

the

not skewed, distorted and dis-

and with unflinching courage, the

implementation of measures designed to egalitarian principles

is

articulation

and

ever the more commensurate the

and practices of the Republic.

Notes * Portions of this section will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of

Black Studies. 1.

Winthrop D. Jordan, The White Man's Burden (New York: Oxford Univer-

sity Press, 1974), p. 4. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid.

4. Ibid., p. 6. 5. Ibid. 6.

Dred

Civil Rights:

1980), p. 6. 7.

Scott

v.

Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857), in Derrick A. Bell,

Leading Cases (Boston and Toronto:

Author's

Little,

Brown and Company,

italics.

See "Ottawa: Lincoln's Reply,"

in

Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (Chicago

Paul

M. Angle, ed.. The Complete The University of Chicago

& London:

Press, 1991), p. 117. Author's italics. 8.

9.

See "Charleston: Lincoln's Opening Speech,"

ington, D.C.," in

ibid., p.

235.

Committee of Colored Men, WashAbraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1859-1865 (New York:

See "Address on Colonization

to a

The Library of America, 1989), pp. 353-54. Author's italics. 10. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, William Pede, Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1954), p. 139. W.Plessy

V.

Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896),

ed.

(Chapel

in Bell, op. cit. note 6, p. 71.

12. Ibid. 13.

Count Arthur de Gobineau, The Inequality of the Races (Los Angeles: The

Noontide Press, 1966), pp. 155, 179.

Global Convulsions

74

14.

Louis,

Charles Carroll, "The Negro a Beast;"

MO: American Book and Bible House,

15.

Richard

J.

De Gobineau,

op.

17. Carroll, op. cit.

18. Ibid., pp. 19.

Life

cit.

(New York: The Free Press,

1994), p. 276.

note 14, p. 109.

87,90.

Hermstein and Murray, op.

De

Image of God"

note 13, p. 205.

20. Ibid., p. 312. Author's 21.

"In the

Gobineau, op.

22. Carroll, op. 23. Hermstein

cit.

cit.

cit.

note 15, p. 302.

italic.

note 13, p. 73.

note 14, pp. 101-2.

and Murray, op.

cit.

note 15, p. 492.

24. Ibid., p. 502. 25. Ibid., pp. 488-89. 26. Ibid., p. 501.

27. Ibid., p. 278. 28.

De Gobineau,

op.

cit.

note 13, pp. 181, 210, 207, 210. Author's

29. Ibid., p. 209. 30. Ibid., pp. 209-10. 31. Carroll, op. 32.

cit.

note 14, pp. 116, 291.

Hermstein and Murray, op.

33. Ibid., pp. 345,

cit.

note 15, p. 342.

364^5.

34. Ibid., pp. 360-^1. 35. Ibid., p. 266. 36. Ibid., p. 533.

37.

De

Gobineau, op.

38. Carroll, op. 39.

cit.

cit.

note 13, p. 73.

note 14,

p.

219.

Hermstein and Murray, op.

40. Ibid. Author's 41. Ibid.

(St.

Hermstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and

Class Structure in American 16.

or,

1900), p. 99.

italics.

cit.

note 15, p. 551.

italics.

Race in History MARTIN BERNAL

At

the outset,

I

anthropologists,

I

should like to

make

it

clear that following nearly

do not believe that "race"

place, the genetic

make up of

all

humans

physical

a useful biological concept. In the

is

quite exceptionally similar. There are

fewer genetic differences among us than there

human

smaller population of gorillas. Second,

all

is

first

within the far

are, for instance,

populations do not vary sharply or

neatly but with gradations. These are sometimes steep but

more

often they are

gradual and inconsistent. Nevertheless, race, based arbitrarily and very loosely on physical appearance, to

make

clear, this

is

enormously important today as a social construct. As

has not always been the case, but

we

live in

I

hope

an age and society in

which race has become obsessional and has pervaded every nook and cranny of our social life

and

When

culture.

considering the

title,

"Race

in History," I

have found

tinguish between "race" in history and "race" in historiography.

mean

the thinking about and writing of history.

The

historical

By

it

useful to dis-

historiography,

I

and historiographical

aspects are, of course, intertwined. Writing about places and periods in which the

concept of race has been important about them.

From

is

bound

to influence one's historical writings

the other side, racist and ethnic histories have themselves been

emergence of racism and ethnocentrism as

major factors

in the

forces.

believe that the distinction between the history and the historiography

Still, I

of race

is

worth making,

if

only because attitudes that

racially prejudiced or ethnocentric full

I

shall

should

recognize as

the seventeenth century; while systematic racist

some 180 years ago

in the early nineteenth century.

begin with the concept of race in history but before

to try to distinguish ethnicity

now

have existed for more than two thousand years, and

blown racism has existed since

historiography only emerged

we

social or political

from racism. The word

ethnicity

I

is

do

so,

I

should like

commonly used

to

75

— 76

Global Convulsions

denote the consciousness of solidarity beyond shared symbols or images (a particular but above

etc.),

all, it

based on

can come from a shared language. In a wonderful book entitled

my

Imagined Communities, this

real or fictitious kinship,

territory, history, religion, flag, currency, law,

kind of nationalism

is

colleague

at Cornell,

Benedict Anderson, maintains that

a positive force inspired by love and

is

completely unlike

the evil racism.' I

many

cannot accept attractive

magnificent

this

features.

artistic

sharp distinction. There It

is

no doubt

that nationalism has

can inspire great and moving heroism as well as

Above

achievements.

all

it

can provide purpose and dignity to

However,

lives that are often desolate in every other respect.

own nationality without it. As we can see only too

I

do not believe

in

who do

well today, nationalism

not "belong" to

that

some way deprecating those

people can celebrate their

—some-

times combined with racism, but often without the slightest indication of physical difference



One

leading to the committing of frightful atrocities.

is

of the shared images or symbols of ethnocentricity

which can

national physical type,

is

frequently the ideal

easily lead to racism. Yet, nationalism, unlike

racism, has the possibility of open-endedness. That

is

to say, in certain societies, if

someone lives in a territory, knows its culture, and speaks its language fluently he can be accepted as one of the community regardless of physical or more likely she



appearance. This appears to have been the case in ancient Egypt, Iroquois, other North

Until recendy, ethnicity

American

was

it

nations,

largely true

even

and

—with

limitations

in France.

and physiology has usually been the

result



in the

among

This lack of overlap between

of the "national" culture being

shared by peoples of varied physical appearance. In theory this should provide

hope for the United flexible.

Someone who

ideal type

American In

States.

is

Unfortunately, though, racist nationalism

differs substantially

and can never

not,

many

cultures, people

from the Northern European physical

be, fully accepted in

some

who

German,

North

British, or

vary gready from the somatic or physical

are especially respected, but

with corrosive scorn. Despite the biological imprecision, racial prejudice.

phenomenon, its

some

not so

is

societies as they are presendy constituted.

are treated differently,

has

the

Arab world.

But "racism" of the

sort that is

until quite recently restricted to

origins in the

European need

more this

can usefully be called

experienced today

is

their

modem

a

peoples of European descent.

to justify

norm

often they are treated

It

clearly

inhuman behavior

in

the

genocide, colonialism, and slavery inflicted upon peoples of other continents by

dehumanizing them and turning

As most

features that are picked out skin, hair

their victims into devils or animals.

populations vary a great deal

and eye

color.

most frequently

According

in

height and body build, the

to define a race are facial features

to the social psychologist

two and

Kenneth Gergen, and

Carl Degler, an historian, the contrast between black (evil) and white (good)

human universal, because all peoples prefer day to night, milk to dirt, and so They go even further to claim as universal the application of this abstract

is

a

forth.

color

Race

scheme

to

what the

author, E.

M.

in

11

History

Forster, described as the "pinko-grey" skin color of

Northern Europeans and the shades of brown of other peoples.^ The structural anthropologist Edmund Leach pointed out

codes and opposition between colors are important in

that although color

do not

societies, they

all

necessarily have the values white equals good, black equals bad. For instance, in

East Asia and

many

white or paleness

other cultures, including Europe before the late Middle Ages,



—symbolizes

the color of corpses

gained from exposure to the sun,

death, and the darkness,

virility.^

Clair Drake, the great anthropologist and historian, attacked the ideas

St.

associated with Gergen and Degler both on these grounds and by using historical

counter-examples.

He showed

have been major

that there

which there

societies in

has been no social or religious hierarchy associated with color or physiognomy."*

most

significant of these

was ancient Egypt.

of the country by the First Dynasty around

society, beginning with the unification

3,400 BCE, and there

is

no trace of any

The

We have considerable knowledge of this

racial preference, let

alone prejudice in

for

it

the next 2,900 years.

The population of Ancient Egypt was extremely mixed. Nubia and Upper civilization was formed, had a basic population very similar

Egypt where Pharaonic to that

of the

modem

Nubians, that

Lower Egypt had

admixture.

to say East African with Central African

is

a basic population of North African "Caucasoids."

millennium bce

was

from that of northwas separated from the rest of Africa by the growing Sahara, the Nile continued to link Lower Egypt to the rest of the continent. The mixture of populations between Upper and Lower Egypt accel-

However,

after the fifth

this

west Africa or the Maghreb, because while the

differentiated

latter

erated with the establishment of a single Egyptian state.

Lower Nile Valley became extremely moved down the Nile and

After unification, the population of the

heterogeneous. This was not only because Southerners

Northerners

moved

up, but also because of immigration into

even more from southwest Asia. The Pharaonic civilization and the

of today

is

rise

latter

Egypt from Nubia and

process intensified after the

of

fall

of Islam in Arabia; thus the Egyptian population

almost certainly lighter and more "Caucasoid" than

it

was 2,000 years up the

ago.^ Nonetheless, the old pattern survives to the present in that the further

Nile one travels, the darker and more "Negroid" the population becomes.

Ancient Egypt was extremely ethnocentric. For Egyptians of that time, speaking Egyptian and worshipping the Gods of Egypt were of

more, Egyptian

artists tried to

critical

importance.

What

convey "Egyptianness" by representing a more or

is

less

homogenized population of red-brown men and yellow-white women. They played

down

the huge variety of physical types actually present, as indicated by

and other physical remains. The confused with southwest Asians,

were generally portrayed

As

artists

who were

stereotyped as pale, and Nubians,

as black with broad noses

and

was

who

tight curiy hair.

elsewhere, there was a strong symbolic color code in Egypt.

color of the desert and death, while black

mummies

did this so that Egyptians should not be

that of fertility, life,

and

Red was

rebirth.

the

Egypt

Global Convulsions

78

itself

was known

as

this referred to the

Kemet, the Black Country. There

black

soil

of the Nile Valley.

On

or

"black people." Nonetheless, there

Negro appearance. There

is

is

no doubt

Kemet

determinative or symbol for people, the word literally

is

that at least in part,

the other hand, written with the

meant "Egyptians"

also

no sign of preference for black skin and

absolutely no indication that any hierarchical social

value was placed on skin color or facial features. Egyptian Pharaohs and slaves alike

could be black, brown, or olive with Negro, East African, or Mediterranean features. This also seems to have been the case in early southwest Asia, which

examine from the regional culture which we know there

were people of African appearance

in

Ancient

best, that Israel.

of

I

The name Pinchas comes

from the Egyptian P3 Nhs "The Nubian" and Sim(e)on may well come from

"Upper Egyptian."^ This does not

necessarily

mean

that the individuals so

were themselves black; but the names do indicate both, this

type in Israel

and that they

differed

—a

Sm3w named

had been people of

that there

from the southwest Asian norm.

Old Testament, the predominant color of

In the

blood and sex

shall

Israel. It is clear that



sin is scarlet

doubt that black had unfortunate associations

in ancient Israel. It

the color of

And

tradition preserved today in the color of the devil.

there

was used

is

no

to portray

psychological as well as natural gloom. But black also had positive connotations.

It

could represent night as a relief from the heat of the day and the color of the clouds that

rain. The beautiful and erotic lover in the Song of Songs is Hebrew and Greek texts as "black and beautiful."^ White also had

brought the precious

called in both the

both negative and positive connotations.

It

was sometimes

the color of purity; but

was

also the color of leprosy. In the labelling of people, the ambivalence

still

more acute by

it

was made

the uncertainties involved in transposing the abstract color to

human complexions. Ancient Greece too had conflicting color codes. There was certainly no prejudice against

men who had

beautiful," noble

there heroically

was known by

and Homer, who lived as to

whether

Memnon was Homeric

the earliest

there

is

Memnon,

no doubt about

"the most

to Troy's rescue

Greek poets whose works There

an Asian "Ethiopian" or an African

is

and died

survive,

Hesiod

some confusion

one.*^

But "Aithiops"

his pigmentation.

not the only Ethiopian to play a prominent and positive role in

epics. In the first

book of

feast with "the blameless Ethiopians."'*^

them." Thus, for

who marched

in the tenth or ninth centuries bce.*

Memnon was

meant "black," and the

dark brown or black skin.

and brave Ethiopian prince

the Iliad,

Zeus goes with the other Gods

The Odyssey opens with Poseidon

Homer and presumably

to

visiting

other Greeks of his time, the Ethiopians

were seen as a particularly virtuous people with especially close associations with the Gods.

Eurybates,

Homer also saw Africans in Greece. For example, Odysseus' herald who accompanied him on important missions, was described as having

"black skin and woolly hair"'^

There was a lord called Aigyptios on Odysseus'

island, Ithaca.

others suggesting African origins also have been found in Bronze

This

Age

name and texts

from

Race

Greece before 1200 bce. As

was

also an ambiguity about

in

79

History

such evidence indicates both that Egyptians

in Israel,

and other Africans were present

in

Greece, and that they were unusual there. There

Greek color codes. There

is

no doubt

that at least as far

back as Homer, blackness was associated with night and death, as well as with the terrors that these inspire. Yet, black also

had positive aspects

in early

Greece.

It

was

seen as the color of bravery and manliness, while white was that of effeminacy and lily-hvered cowardice.

Asian and European attitudes towards Africans and skin color appear

begun

to

have

change around 500 bce. The favorable impression of Egyptians and

to

Ethiopians did not disappear immediately. Herodotus, the earliest Greek historian

whose work

extant, wrote in the fifth century

is

bce

meant the Nubians of the Upper Nile) were "said people in the world.""

By

this

that the Ethiopians (by

to

be the

tallest

which he

and best-looking

time though, a prejudice against both darkness of skin

and "negroid" physiognomy was growing around the Mediterranean world and a

began

clear association of blackness with evil shift

took place in the Hebrew

tradition.

By

had become the color and complexion of ness.'^

The

shift is

symbolized by the

to

be established

the time of the

evil

and white

in Greece. '"*

New

that

A similar

Testament, black

of purity and good-

fact that in the Latin Vulgate translation

of the

Song of Songs the description of the heroine is changed to "black but beautiful." It was also around this time that the long and sickening tradition began in which people with dark skins were patronized by others or excused themselves with the

argument

The

that their souls biblical story

were white.

of Noah's punishment of his son

son Canaan, had originally been used to justify the

Ham, by a

Israelites'

curse on

Ham's

extermination and

enslavement of the Canaanites. In both Jewish and Christian biblical interpretations, written in the

new atmosphere around

the beginning of the

Common

Era, the curse

was transferred to Ham himself, the African, and was believed to have taken the form of "ugly" blackness and perpetual slavery.'^ What had caused this change of attitude? The standard explanation is that it was the first encounter between Mediterranean peoples and black Africans. This does not work, because of the evidence of substantial contact between the two

groups during the Bronze

Age and

the period

up

to

500 bce. There

are

two other

explanations for diminution of the positive connotations of blackness and the

exaggeration of the negative ones around this time. The

Greeks,

is

that

when

first,

which only applies

to

they began to dominate darker peoples in southwest Asia and

Egypt during these centuries they found complexion a useful marker and justification of their

rule.

The second explanation

is

for themselves

influence from Persia.

During the second millennium bce Indo-European speaking invaders, calling themselves "Arya" or Aryans, invaded the older civilizations of Elam

now in

Iran)

(in

what

and the Indus Valley from the north. The "Aryans" were generally

color than the natives,

During these struggles, a

who seem cult

to

is

lighter

have resembled the South Indians of today.

of lightness, associated with the sun and the sky grew

Global Convulsions

80

up.

The Hindu Vedas

or scriptures contain violent images of the destruction of

natives described as "darker" and were clear-cut in their preference for the invaders

own

lighter skins,

though black has continued

to

be valued

some

in

Indian culture.^^ Although the linkage between caste and skin color

word

Sanskrit

scheme

for "caste" Varna

means "color" and

is

respects in

now

loose, the

Hindu symbolic color

in the

the higher castes are associated with lighter colors.'^

between the

In Iran, these struggles

lighter invaders

and the more civilized

natives were integrated into the Zoroastrian religion. This, like

Manichaeism, sees the whole universe as a

between the forces of good and be transposed

finely balanced

evil seen as those

branch

later

its

and perpetual conflict

of light and darkness, which can

to skin color.

In the sixth century bce, Persia erupted into the Mediterranean, conquering the

Levant and Egypt, as well as many of the Greek

on the value and moral querors and to Greeks,

superiority of lightness

who

city states. In Egypt, the

was

played an increasingly important role there even before

the conquest by Alexander the Great and the establishment of the

Greek Ptolemaic Dynasty

Lower Egyptians

paler

there around

introduced a

300 bce. This preference

new

^to

Macedonian or

for the invaders

the art of the great southern dynasties in

among Egyptians

to

Upper Egypt, and

to

an image of a dark Nubia as a source and refuge for true Egyptian culture.

These new

"racial" attitudes also spread into

Greece

itself. I

that the prejudice against people of evident African descent

was

time,

qualitati\'ely different

from the "caste racism" found

The presence of many Africans numbers of blacks represented slaves,

must

ait.^

though,

insist,

which grew up in the

modem

in classical antiquity is indicated

Greek and Roman

^^

We know

at this

world.

by the large

that

some were

although most slaves of the period were of Mediterranean or northern

European best

in

and

sense of "race" to Egypt. Resistance to the

Persians and later to the Greeks involved a cultural "return"

African blackness —

emphasis

useful both to the Persian con-

origin.

Some

Africans were important free craftsmen. For instance, the

known and most admired

potter in fifth century Athens,

had the Egyptian name

of Amasis and was portrayed by a rival as a black African.-' Blacks also were

admired and feared as warriors. The bulk of Hannibal's Carthaginian army, crossed the Alps and invaded

Italy,

that

was African and some were "Negroid." The coin

struck to pay the troops and symbolizing his army, had a

Negro head on one

side and

an elephant on the other.This leads us to consider Greek and Egypt. The at the

a

name

southern end of the

euphemism

Roman

Red

Sea. In

Roman

for the hated Carthage, for the territory

playwright Terence (190-159 bce),

tion of Latin

was bom

in

who

lived

and

live

times, however, "Africa" was used as

these northern "Africans" played significant parts

Roman

beyond

relations with Africa

"Africa" probably comes from the Afar people,

who

we now call Tunisia. Some of in Roman history. The early

played a central role

in the

forma-

drama from imperial times to the Middle Ages, was sumamed Afer and North Africa. The Severans, the Roman imperial dynasty, who ruled the

1

Race

empire from 193

to

235

ce,

were originally Punic or Phoenician

in History

in culture

8

and came

from the coast of what is now Libya. A number of the most important Christian church fathers came from northwest Africa, the most important of whom was St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 ce), the chief founder of the theology and philosophy of the

Roman Catholic

Church.

For the Romans and Greeks, there were three types of blacks.

who

those

who were

lived within the empire,

generally,

First, there

though not always

were

in the

lower classes. Then there were the admired civilized and philosophical "Ethiopians,"

who were

usually located in the

Nubian

The name "Ethiopia" maintained

From

who

resisted

modem Khartoum. modem period. There was

of Meroe near the

nomadic "Ethiopians" of the desert from Egypt

also a third type of black, the fierce to the Atlantic,

state

high status into the

this

Roman

attacks

these and from black forces in the

and raided

Roman

cities

within the empire.

legions, Africans

had a reputation

for soldierly qualities. In Christian times, the patron saint of soldiers

Maurice, a soldier from Upper Egypt of the third century ce,

became

who was always

St.

por-

trayed as a "negro."^

Ptolemy, the mathematician and astronomer of the second century ce, was also

an Upper Egyptian, and

known

Arab

to

writers as a black.^ Thus, despite the

widespread fear and suspicion of blacks among Western Europeans of the Middle Ages, the dominant figures or authorities in their theology, warfare and science, namely,

Augustine,

St.

were generally held

Some

Maurice, and Ptolemy were Africans, and the

last

two

scholars today argue that there has always been a particular Christian

affinity for tolerance.^ it

St.

be blacks.

to

This

is

clearly untenable. Believers in revealed religions find

hard to tolerate what for them

religious tolerance did not arise

is

error

from

and

sin.

The Westem

liberal tradition

of

Christianity. Its origins are firmly linked to

upper-class skeptics and deists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, tolerance and the separation of church and state as a

way

who saw

to avoid religious up-

heavals and preserve social order.

There

more

is

no doubt

that in

its

early

heyday from 650

religiously tolerant than Christianity. This

was

to

1100 ce, Islam was

far

partly the result of historical

chance, Islamic armies conquered Christian countries, not vice versa. Thus, while Christian communities have always existed under Islamic mle, no

Muslims were

The communities shown when the Caliph Omar and the Kurdish mler Saladin took Jemsalem in 638 and 1 187 ce respectively, as opposed to the massacres of Muslims and Jews

tolerated in

European Christian countries

until

the late nineteenth century.

contrast can be seen in the tolerance and sensitivity towards other religious

that followed the Crusaders' conquest

This

is

not to say that Islam

One can

is

of the city in 1099 CE.

inherently

more

tolerant

on religious issues than

examples today

in the

Sudanese

U-eatment of the non-Islamic South, the

Christian

Timorese, and the fatwa against

Muslim Indonesian massacres of Salman Rushdie. The correlation with

tolerance

Christianity.

readily observe tragic counter

Global Convulsions

82

appears to be with having confidence in the success of one's

faith.

Thus, Muslims on

the defensive today, can behave almost as badly as Christians did the heart out of Christendom in the seventh century.

and confidence are only necessary and not

I insist,

when Islam

tore

however, that success

sufficient conditions for religious or other

toleration.

By

contrast, there is

than those of Christianity.

no doubt

The

that.

all men are among people are not those ones of gender and religion, men/women, Muslim/non-

equal in the face of Allah, and that the

of physical appearance, but

Islamic attitudes on race have been better

basic reason for this

is

the insistence that

critical divisions

Muslim, Peoples of the Book/nonbelievers. Still,

affected

in spite

by the

attention has

of the Prophet's special relationship with Ethiopia, Islam was

earlier

developments of color prejudice

been directed already. What

is

in

South West Asia, to which

more, stereotypes of and prejudices

against Africans were intensified by the increase of slavery in

Africa under the

Muslim

caliphs.

But slavery was not

Mesopotamia from

restricted to Africans, there

were also white slaves from the Caucasus and Europe, though they were

less dis-

criminated against than the blacks.^ In the Christian world, there persists a tension between the official view of

black as the color of evil and the folk belief found earlier in Egypt, of black as the color of

life

and

fertility.

This tension

is illustrated

by the

conflicts

between peasants

most Catholic countries with a passionate attachment to Black Madonnas and the church authorities who constantly want to destroy or whiten them.^^ in

Blacks were to become associated with the hated Muslims, and the images of

St.

Maurice and the Christian Nubians, who aided the Crusaders, would be overshadowed by those of the Berber and black Almoravids from Senegal, who massively defeated Spanish Christian kings and Crusaders

in the twelfth century. In

modem Greek

and

Russian, the words for "negro" are Arapes and Arap, and the association between

black and Muslim can

still

be seen

in

England today, where the pubs named 'The

Turk's Head" have as their sign the head of a stereotypical West African.

Modem Racism Racism of the

modem

type only began in the fifteenth century,

power by sailing round immediately began kidnapping anybody they could started to outflank Islamic

Portugal to sell as slaves. Their justification for this

when Portuguese

the coast of find

was

ships

West Africa and

and taking them back that those

who were

to

taken

were prisoners of a just war, and any war fought by Christians against non-Christians qualified as a just war. Quite soon however, a new justification grew up, that of racism. Africans were claimed to be "slavish by nature."

The new concept was powerfully

reinforced by developments in America.

By

the

end of the

fifteenth century,

America, where within a century

—aided by

Europeans were disease



in

Central and North

they succeeded

in obliterating

Race

90 percent of Africans. This

To begin

the population.

Americans, but

this

was quickly found

commonly

is

be

importing

far less profitable than

explained in racial terms, that Africans were physio-

and psychologically suited

logically suited to hot climates

some

83

with, they attempted to enslave native to

primitive Americans could only resist or die. There intense genocide

in History

native

American

no doubt

is

societies simply

where the

to slavery,

that during periods of

gave up. But many African

slaves also committed suicide.

There

is

much

a

simpler nonbiological explanation for the successful exploi-

tation of African slaves in

America.

cost of preventing this could easily

If slaves

become

could run

home

they would, and the

prohibitive. Thus, chattel slavery

was

usually only economically possible on an extensive scale where the slave owners controlled the sea passage. In this case, slaves had only four unpleasant choices: (1)

run to hostile natives whose language(s) they did not understand; (2) rebel knowing it

to

be

commit

futile; (3)

been genocide, the

first

suicide;

and

On

(4) acquiesce.

option was not available, and

it is

islands

where there had

remarkable

how frequently

slavery has flourished on islands.

The connection between tinuing slave plantations

ancient and early capitalist slavery were the con-

on Cyprus. In the

fifteenth century,

Spanish and Portuguese

massacred the populations of the Canaries and Madeira and imported slaves. This can be seen as a rehearsal for slavery there

from the beginning, but

in the

was not

it

West

until the

Indies.

Black slaves were brought

end of the seventeenth century

the enslavement of whites stopped and slavery as

an

institution

became

that

identified

with Africans.

Middle Ages, Christians had seen Islam as both the location and the

In the

source of pure

own

evil.

This type of projection of the ugly and fearful aspects of one's

character and society onto others

was now

systematically applied by Euro-

peans, calling themselves white, in relation to Africans, "black." Whites

saw blacks

particularly vicious because

worst white It is

is

it

as the epitome of evil.

whom they labelled modem racism

Hence,

as is

maintains absolute lines of caste and insists that the

better than the best

non white.

precisely in the period of the establishment of race-based slavery, in the

1660s, that scholars tried to provide academic rationality for these beliefs and to establish racial

schemes dividing humankind

Asiatic races.^

It

was widely believed

into

must have been "polygenesis" or many separate tive to those

who wanted

European, African, American, and

that the differences

to justify slavery,

were so extreme

that there

Though extremely attracsuch speculation was handicapped by creations.

both Christianity and nature. The

new

ideological requirements. There

was an emphasis among Christians

racists tried to enlist religious

backing for their in the

seven-

teenth century for the Talmudic interpretation of the story in Genesis mentioned earlier,

Canaan,

in

which

it

was Ham,

who had been

the ancestor of the Africans, and not

cursed by his father

Noah and

that the curse

blackness, ugliness, and the fate of perpetual slavery. Yet there

Ham's son

had consisted of

was no

getting around

Global Convulsions

84

the biblical insistence that that there

people were the children of Adam. Thus, suggestions

all

had been multiple creations were clearly

heretical.

who were

and those

not led

many

Even

who were

desire for a categorical distinction between peoples

scholars and others to be

so, the passionate

of European descent

drawn

to the idea

of

polygenesis.

Another strategy

dehumanize Africans and other non-Europeans was

to

scheme of a "great chain of being." According begin with

God and

His angels going

down through

the

one could

to different versions of this,

white men, to white

women,

Asiatics, Africans, apes,

and so on. This hierarchy blurred the category of "man"

which philosophers

John Locke, who was personally involved with American

slavery,

like

found extremely

inconvenient.^'^

The

"great chain of being" too

was unac-

ceptable to orthodox Christians, because of the categorical distinction between created in the image of God

The natural

and with a

difficulty the racists

soul,

and

had

to face,

all

other creatures.

was

new taxonomy of

that the

animals into species was defined by what could or could not produce offspring.

As

all

humans were only too capable of

subclassification of "race"

had

to

this,

the

Blumenbach, who attempted a

much

fertile

less well defined

be employed. This problem came out clearly

of the eighteenth century in the work of the

last quarter

men

"scientific" study of

human

German

professor,

in the J.

F.

races along the lines set

out by the Swedish scholar Carolus Linnaeus in the 1750s for the classification of natural history.

Blumenbach did not

believe in

human

progress or polygenesis.

He

maintained, with complete religious orthodoxy, that there had been a single creation

of a perfect man. Blumenbach's explanation for what he perceived as important racial differences

followed the Eurocentric pattern

century by the French naturalist

normal type of species found

that the

set out earlier in the eighteenth

Comte Georges de Buffon. De Buffon had argued in

Europe had degenerated

in other continents

because of their unfortunate climatic conditions. Species had become too

big, too

small, too weak, too strong, too brighdy colored too drab, and so forth.

Blumenbach was

the

first to

the white or Caucasian race

which

all

was

publicize the term "Caucasian." According to him, the first and

most beautiful and talented

race,

from

become Chinese, Negroes, and so on. He justiname "Caucasian" on "scientific" and "racial" grounds, since he Georgians to be the finest "White Race." However, there was much

others had degenerated to

fied the curious

believed the

more

to

it

than

that. First, there

Ark, which the Bible also a

tells

Romantic tendency

like those of the Nile

There

is

was

the religious belief that people

us landed on to see

Mount

human and European

and Euphrates, but

in

origins, not in river valleys

own

completed what became the academic bible of racism, he

blacks life

life,

in that after

fell in

he had

love with a black

little book of the biographies of The most notable of these was the Ethiopian Abram Hannibal, who became the leading military

in

Switzerland.

who had succeeded

story of the

He

the

high and imposing mountains.^

a wonderful irony in Blumenbach's

midwife he saw

emerged from

Ararat in the Caucasus. There was

in

then wrote a

European

society.

Race

in

85

History

engineer of Peter the Great of Russia. After Blumenbach's book was completed,

Abram Hannibal was

immortalized

in a

biography by his great grandson, the Russian

poet Aleksandr Pushkin. Blumenbach's change of heart did not lessen racist reliance

on

his earlier larger

work

to provide

Although Blumenbach and

academic backing for his

remained central

original Caucasian

their ideological position.^'

scheme of decline from the

retrogressive

to racist thinking in the nineteenth century, the

concept of race was also taken up by progressives. This division overlaps the racial aspects of the conflict between the Enlightenment and Romanticism.

Enlightenment valued natural species

and permanence. For them, the

stability

The men of the

classification of

and human races was part of the project of establishing timeless con-

ceptual order. This fitted well with their general racism, but their racism conflicted

men

with their overall view that reason was accessible to

of

all

cultures. (I use the

word "men" deliberately because they tended to be extremely sexist.) The Romantics opposed the Enlightenment and insisted that reason was inadequate. They believed that what really mattered was feeling. Thus, the conflict between racism and the enlightened belief did not exist for consistent Romantics.

bound together by emotions and

that "all

They saw

feelings,

mankind

are brothers plighted"

nations and races as communities

which by definition could not be shared

with others.

Where

the Enlightened were concerned with space. Romantics

were obsessed

by time. The passage of time could be seen as a decline or as progress, and both views appear

one could

in

Romantic racism. Thus,

call optimistic

racists," I raise

in the nineteenth century there racists.

As an example of

were what

the "optimistic

Robert Knox.

Knox was an became notorious Hare.

and pessimistic

anatomist

at the

University of Edinburgh in the 1820s.

as the patron of the grave robbers

When Knox

complained

He

and body snatchers Burke and

that the bodies they delivered

withered, Burke and Hare turned to murder to provide

were too old and

him with

fresh ones. Both was merely obliged by He then went on to become a dis-

eventually were caught and hanged. Knox, as a gentleman, the

bad publicity

to resign his

academic

chair.

tinguished writer on race. Taking the exterminations of the American and Australian

populations to be natural and desirable, he believed that what he saw as the superior

white race should complete the job in Africa and Asia. Indeed, he even congratulated his contemporaries for living in an

fascinating

An

human

age when

it

was possible

to collect so

many

specimens.^^

outstanding example of a pessimistic racist

is

Knox's younger contemporary,

Comte Josephe-Arthur de Gobineau. De Gobineau saw Caucasian man as having originated somewhere in the cold parts of Asia. He then saw three branches, the Hamites, the Semites, and the Indo-Germans having divided very his idiosyncratic history, the

Hamites went south

they were corrupted by the blacks.

scheme required

that Africans

De Gobineau

to Palestine

early.

According to

and North Africa where

claimed religious orthodoxy, but his

were descendants of a

different creation.

Sometime

Global Convulsions

86

later,

the Semites followed their brothers, where they too were

now

the blacks and the

had stayed in

made impure both by

thoroughly corrupted Hamites. Only the Germanic peoples

and had thus preserved

in the cold north

their purity.

Now they

too were

danger of mixture and corruption from the Semites.

For de Gobineau, there was the unbearable paradox inferior ones

in

that superior races lost to

any competition.^^ As with Knox, de Gobineau 's

racial

imagery had

The Caucasians and Germans were male and the lesser races somehow female. However, where Knox saw virility at least when armed clear connotations of gender.

with guns





as invincible, de

could sap the

Gobineau believed

manhood of the

The congruence

poor, pure white males.

or overlap between the social constructions of race and gender

remain centrally important today.

above

all,

more

fight

a close relationship

there

is

some

fundamental

often accepted by

it is

biological basis for

to, if

women

women's

and

women

not control by, their emotions and is

caring.

men

not only an image seen by

and blacks themselves.

But

I

am

It

may be

that

convinced that the

come from power and

similarities in the attributes

qualities of blacks

and

fiercely than Africans

social supportiveness, intuition, artistic

biology are attributed to Africans and women. This

and Europeans;

men

widely believed that Europeans and

It is still

more rationally, work harder, and women. The qualities of human warmth,

think

creativity, and,

that the soft seductive black forces

the lack of

it.

The

are those helpful for living a satisfactory life in a

position of relative or absolute powerlessness.

Moves towards

equality reveal that qualities of both types are far

more evenly

sexual and racial

distributed throughout

humanity than has been conventionally supposed.

To

return to

Knox and de Gobineau. These two

white

men

also illustrate

another major pair of strands in nineteenth century racism, namely, anatomy and language. Steven Jay Gould has

how

early-nineteenth-century

amount of time and inequalities

debacle.^

they

The

to

exist

between

races.

would be comic were

motivating them, and the uses that racists

De Gobineau

The Mismeasure of Man,

brilliandy, in his

effort trying to provide scientific

knew

story

shown

anatomists and physiologists spent an inordinate

relied heavily

on

it

evidence to back the huge

Gould demonstrates

their total

not for the powerful social forces

made even of their

linguistics, the other

failures.

prop of racism. His three

groups came, of course, from Noah's sons. However, by the 1840s these had become linked to language families. Hamitic

was

the

name used

for

what we now

call the

Afroasiatic language family, including: the Cushitic languages of East Africa, Hausa,

and other languages

in

Chad and Northern

Africa, and Ancient Egyptian. Semitic

Nigeria, the Berber language of northwest is

the family including

Babylonian, South Arabian, and Ethiopian languages. Today a single branch of the Afroasiatic family. The

Gobineau was concerned was

this is

Hebrew, Arabic, considered to be

other language family with which de

the recently discovered Indo-European. This includes

the languages of northern India, Iran, and nearly

all

of Europe.

De Gobineau

accepted the conventional view of the time that the purest Indo-Europeans were

first.

Race

in

the speakers the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, who, sadly, had

corrupted by

speakers. But de Gobineau, like

most of

become

Second were the pure Germanic

the dark natives of the subcontinent.

from language

87

History

his contemporaries, slipped all too easily

and speakers of the "pure" Indo-European were often

to physiology,

seen as the Aryan race.

Anti-Semitism

Blumenbach had

classified Jews, Arabs,

and other speakers of Semitic languages as

"Caucasians." Moreover, a number of mid-nineteenth-century thinkers, denying the

massive evidence of African, East Asian, and American

and the Aryans as the joint creators of

all

human

saw the Semites The Semites had con-

civilization,

culture.

and a noble simple poetry, while the Aryans had given

tributed monotheistic religion

the world politics, the arts, science, philosophy, and heroism. All the time, though,

was

there

the feeling that this

were made

efforts

was granting too much

to the Semites; thus great

up alleged Persian and Greek influences on Judaism and

to build

Christianity.

Religious hatred of and intolerance towards Jews In general, however, the converted

fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Spain the

Jews,

many of whom were

—sometimes

there

rightly

rich, talented



almost as old as Christianity.

and

as a Christian.

mass conversion of influential, led to

those of Christian ancestry against the so-called

pected

is

Jew was accepted

"New

of carrying on Jewish

large

in

a violent hostility by

Christians."

rites in secret;

grew up the notion of Jewish "blood" which was seen

Still,

numbers of

They were

sus-

but beyond that,

be polluting Spain.^'

to

This idea remained a minor strand in European thought until the intellectual

triumph of racism that came with the dominance of Romanticism century.

By

to include not

merely the distinctively dressed Orthodox Jews

Europe, but also the assimilated Jews and those

who had

had become completely secularized. Believers

in

particularly evil

in

of,

or ft-om. Eastern

converted to Christianity or

European purity saw the

and threatening precisely because they were

1890s, racial anti-Semitism had

merely

in the nineteenth

1870, the idea of a Semitic race was generally accepted. This was seen

become a major

cultural

invisible.

and

latter as

Thus, by the

political force not

Eastern and Central Europe, but also in Western Europe and America.

Fears of assimilated and converted Jews were intensified by the fact that

some

of them were extremely successful

in business, particularly

lectuals. In fact, their position in but

not o/ nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe

gave them a marginality

that

allowed them a radical stance, and provided

insights not so easily available to other Europeans.

Sigmund Freud and Albert Marx. There

came from

is

no doubt

banking, and as

Two obvious examples

Einstein. Politically, by far the

that the

paroxysm of anti-Semitism

fruitful

of this are

most important in the

intel-

is

Karl

1920s and 1930s

a horrified reaction to the Russian Revolution of October 1917.

Its

leaders

Global Convulsions

88

claimed to have been inspired by Marx and many of them, including Leon Trotsky,

were Jewish.

And

most rightwingers saw communism as a Jewish conspiracy

so,

against the European order that had been widely believed to exist since the 1880s.

There was another source of anti-Semitism in

Germany during

America

in the

that

whom

destroy the "pure" Europeans

it

Europe and

had caused these economic catastrophes

responsible for their

unemployment and hunger,

were putatively trying in this

to subvert the

atmosphere

to

they so hated. Thus, the "National Socialist"

ideology of the Nazis could be against both Jewish

was

particularly attractive

Depression of the 1930s. This was the belief that a Jewish conspiracy

controlled the financial world, and that

It

became

the hyperinflation of the 1920s, and throughout

Aryan

capitalists,

as well as

who were

supposedly

Jew-Communists who

order.

that the ultimate absurdity of racism

was achieved,

was physiologically and phenotypically surrounding population. This construction was able to

the intellectual construction of a "race" that

indistinguishable from the strip

some Europeans of

their

Europeanness. Previously, Jews had been victims of

massacres and pogroms, but something qualitatively different Holocaust, Jews were treated in a

way

that

non-Europeans: the Spanish and English genocides

genocide

in Australia, the

now

took place. In the

Europeans had previously reserved for

German genocide of

in the

Americas, the British

the Herero in Namibia, and the

Belgian genocide in the Congo. Since the end of the Second World War, while anti-Semitism there has been a general reclassification of

is far

from dead,

Jews as Europeans, which has been

accelerated by the role and style of Israel as a bastion of European civilization in the so-called Third World.

Historiography

I

should

1760s a

now like to focus attention on the role of racism in historiography. In the new movement began among some German historians to leave the listings

of kings and battles to look or races



at social history,

their birth, rise,

and the

stories or biographies

and decline. This approach, which was the

Romantic concerns with the community, or

Volk,

was

intensified

of nations result

of

and altered by con-

temporary historical events. In the 1780s, just before the first French Revolution,

some French

aristocrats,

finding their extreme privileges difficult to defend in the rational atmosphere of the

Enlightenment, were driven to the extraordinary expedient of trying to justify them

on grounds of the

right

of conquest. They maintained that they were the descendants

of the Germanic Franks, 1

who had conquered

now

called France

some

earlier.

especially

when

were able

to rally the population

it

the territory

The tactic proved disastrous for the French aristocrats, was combined with their flight to Germany. The revolutionaries

,300 hundred years

by calling themselves the true

patriots

who wanted

Race

to drive out the

German

invaders. Ethnicity also

became

89

in History

central to the

wars fought

in

Russia, Germany, and Spain against the occupying Napoleonic armies. In each case, resistance based tion

its

popular appeal on Romantic nationalism. Thus, both the revolu-

and the reactionary wars against

them, were seen by

many

it,

which traumatized those who lived through

as national or racial conflicts,

and

this

had an impact on

all

historiography.

In early nineteenth-century

cocted by the French

grew

up. According to this, the

Britain, the

Franks

cultural

races

Germans, through

their tribes, the

in France, the Visigoths in Spain,

the true aristocrats of

and

Germany and England, the historical myth conon new life, and a new Germanic ideology

aristocrats took

all

Anglo-Saxons

and the Lombards

Europe. They were seen as responsible for

in Italy,

all

in

were

the military

achievements of Europe. The view that social classes originated from

was taken up by

the

man who

is still

generally considered to be the founder of

modem "critical" historiography of the ancient world, Niebuhr. Niebuhr argued, for instance, that the

the

Roman

Germany than the plebeians. new world of systematic racism, such

German

historian Barthold

patricians

had come from

farther north in

In the

ideas were quickly taken

up by

other historians such as Jules Michelet in France, and Niebuhr's translator into English,

Thomas Arnold,

the

famous Dr. Arnold of Rugby

in

Tom Brown's

School-

new

days.^ For them and their pupils, race and ethnicity became the exciting principles of historiography that previous historians

had missed. They saw

racial

competition and conflict as the motor of historical progress. This notion had a crucial

impact on both of the major theoretical developments of the nineteenth century. Charles Darwin extended racial conflict to what he saw as the struggle between species in natural history, and Karl

Marx removed

the alleged racial origin of social

classes to posit class conflict itself as the engine of human history.

The

idea that history should consist of the "biographies" of superior races

flourished throughout the nineteenth century.

wider public, instantiated

in the

immense

It

has survived even longer

of the English-Speaking Peoples. The wider concern with ethnicity and alleged purity of Europeans, was

still

present in

modem

European influences on Europe or

its

among

popularity of Winston Churchill's

A

the

History

race, especially that

of

historiography in the denial of extra-

development. Historians have consistently

underplayed the importance of such outside inventions as Arabic numerals, optics, perspective, the compass,

gun powder, paper,

printing, sugar, pasta, the potato,

and

maize. Their foreign origins are conceded singly. Moreover, their cumulative impact, not merely on the European material progress, but also on the cmcial concept of

progress

itself,

tends to be neglected or denied altogether.

A particularly

crude form of history glorifying Europe, and by implication the

"white" race, was promoted under the Reagan and Bush administrations of the

1980s and early 1990s. European history was seen as a succession of glorious

moments: Periclean Athens, Renaissance Florence, the seventeenth-century

scien-

.

90

Global Convulsions

German

revolution, the French Enlightenment, the

tific

Philosophers, Victorian

England, and twentieth-century America. Each of these was seen as having been built

upon the

were assumed

others; they

be purely European phenomena. This

to

splendid sequence was perceived as a sacred shrine of "Western Civilization" to be

worshipped, treasured, and defended

at

any

cost.

Moderates have been pushing for a more of non-European

European

civilizations.

civilization has

Even

they,

critical

"moments." Ancient Greek language, all

particularly true of the glorious

is

and science

religion, art, politics, philosophy,

massively influenced by Egypt and Semitic-speaking southwest Asia.^^ The

Florentine Renaissance and tian

at the idea that

always been heavily dependent on other cultures, both

materially and intellectually. Interestingly, this

were

approach and an appreciation

however, tend to balk

Hermetic

tradition.^*

humanism were

The

heavily indebted to the Ancient Egyp-

scientific revolution

depended

substantially

on Islamic

mathematics and astronomy. Hermetic influences, development and application were

made wealthy by the exploitation of America and other The leaders of the French Enlightenment constantly looked to China for The later "moments" took place in European societies in which explor-

only possible in a Europe continents. ^^ inspiration .'•^

ation, conquest,

and exploitation of other continents were central

economical, and

cultural

impossible to have a

It is

full historical

understanding of any culture without

taking external influences into account. Yet this

have been doing for the past two hundred that mixture is a far

more

one recognizes an equal

to their political,

life.'*'

is

what most

historians of

effective stimulus to innovation than isolation

potential in all

Europe

years. In general, historians should realize

human

beings,

it is

and

purity. If

not only socially immoral,

but also historically mistaken, to treat Europeans as the sole actors on the historical stage, rest

and

to privilege

Europeans and peoples of European descent above those of the

of the world.

Notes

1

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and

Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso, 1987). 2.

Kenneth Gergen, "The Significance of Skin Color

in

Human

Relations,"

Daedalus 96.2 (1967): 390-407; Carl Degler, Neither Black nor White: Slavery and

and the United States (New York: Macmillan, 1971), p. 211. 3. Edmund Leach, Culture and Communication: The Logic by which Symbols are Connected (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), pp. 57-74. 4. St. Clair Drake, Black Folk Here and There. 2 vols. (Los Angeles: Center

Race Relations

for

in Brazil

Afro-American Studies, 1987-90), Vol. l,pp. 146-332.

5. Shomarka Keita, "Studies of Ancient Crania From Northern Africa," American Journal of Physical Anthropology 83 (1990): 35-48; "Further Studies of

Race

Crania from Ancient Northern Africa:

An

in

History

91

Analysis of Crania from First Dynasty

Tombs, Using Multiple Discriminant Functions," American Journal of Physical Anthropology 87 (1992): 445-54; and "Black Athena: 'Race,' Bernal and Snowden," Arethusa 26.3 6.

(Fall 1993):

295-318.

For other names, see Frank Snowden, Blacks

in Antiquity

(Cambridge,

MA:

Harvard University Press, 1970), pp. 16-18. 7.

Drake, op.

8.

For

note 4, p. 307.

cit.

Martin Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of

this dating see

The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987), pp. 86-88. 9. Snowden, op. cit. note 6, pp. 15 1-52 and Bernal, Black Athena: The Classical Civilization. Vol.

1:

Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. Vol. n. The Archaeological

and Docu-

mentary Evidence (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1991), pp. 258-60. 10. Bernal, op. cit. note 8, pp. 423-24. 11. Ibid., pp.

22-24.

mad, 2.184, 9.170 and Odyssey 19.245; Snowden, op. cit. note 6, p. 102 and Drake, op. cit. note 4, pp. 318-19 accept the plausible argument that Eurybates was black. The latter also shows the contortions made by some white scholars to 12.

avoid

this unpalatable conclusion.

13.

Herodotus

3. 20.

14.

Drake, op.

cit.

note 4, pp. 31-34.

15. Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 4-5. 16. Ibid., pp. 15-23. 17. Ibid., p. 309. 18.

Benedict Anderson, "Race and Descent as Social Categories in India,"

Daedalus 96.2 (1967): 444-63. 19.

Drake, op.

20.

Snowden,

note 4, vol.

cit.

op.

cit.

note

1,

pp. 259-65.

1,

pp. 214-20.

6.

21. Ibid., pp. 16-17. 22. Ibid., pp. 70-71. 23. Drake, op.

cit.

note 4, vol.

24. Martin Bernal, "Animadversions

on the Origins of Western Science,"

Isis

83.4 (December 1992): 596-607, 606. 25. Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism

and The

Politics

of Recognition (Prince-

ton: Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 62.

Race and Color in Islam (New York: Harper, 1970). Fan Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin (London: Arkana, 1985); and Lucia Chiavola Bimbaum, Black Madonnas: Feminism, Religion & Politics in Italy (Boston: 26. See, Bernard Lewis, 27.

Northeastern University Press, 1993). 28. L. Poliakov,

The Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalist Ideas

Europe (London: Chatto and Windus, 1974), 29. Bernal, op.

cit.

note

8, pp.

202^.

p. 143.

in

92

Global Convulsions

30. Ibid., pp. 219-21. 31. H.

W. Debrunner, Presence and

Prestige: Africans in Europe:

A

History of

Africans in Europe before 1918 (Basel: Easier Afrika Bibliographie, 1979), pp. 140-45. 32. Robert Knox, The Races of Man: A Philosophical Inquiry Over the Destinies of Nations (London, 1862). Race of

33.

Bemal, op.

cit.

note

8,

34. Stephen Jay Gould,

into the Influence

pp. 240-45, 338-64.

The Mismeasure of Man (New York: W. W. Norton,

1981). 35.

See Ronald Sanders, Lost Tribes and Promised Lands: The Origins of New York: Little Brown and Company, 1978), pp.

American Racism (Boston and 17-29,65-91. 36.

For Michelet, see Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station (New York,

1940); Bemal, op. 37.

cit.

note

8,

pp. 297-308, 317-20.

See David Pingree, "Hellenophilia Versus the History of Science,"

(1992): 554-63; and Bemal, op.

Egyptian Justice politischer

in

Denkens

cit.

Ancient Greece," pp. 241-61, in

Isis

83.4

notes 8, 9, 24; idem, "Phoenician Politics and in

Kurt Raaflaub

ed.,

Anfdnge

der Antike: Die nah-ostlichen Kulturen und die Griechen

(Munich: Historisches Kolleg, 1993). See also Walter Burkert, The Orientalizing

Near Eastern Influence on Early Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992). 38. See Eric Iversen, The Myth of Egypt and its Hieroglyphs in European Tradition (Copenhagen: Gad, 1961); "God and Egyptian and Hermetic Doctrine," Revolution: The

Opuscula Graecolatina, Copenhagen: Supplemental Musei Tusculani, 27 (1984); and Frances Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (London: Roudedge and Kegan Paul, 1971). 39.

See Yates, op.

Mathematical Astronomy Berlin: Springer, 1984).

cit.

in

note 38, and N.

Copemicus's

See also

J.

M.

De

M. Swerdlow and O. Neugebauer, (New York and

Revolutionibus, 2 pts.

Blaut, 1492:

The Debate on Colonialism,

Eurocentrism and History (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1992). 1: De V empire romain a Leibniz De la sinophilie a la sinophobie (Paris: Gallimard,

40. See S. Etiemble, L' Europe chinoise. vol. (Paris:

Gallimard, 1988); and vol.

1989); and G. Blue,

2:

"The Chinese Presence

in

Europe," Comparative Criticism 12

(1990): 283-98.

41. See 1993).

Edward

Said, Culture

and Imperialism (New York: Alfred A. Knopf,

Concepts of Nationalism in History BRIAN E. PORTER

Nationalism

is

both a conscious movement or doctrine and part of the instinctive

group behavior of mankind. In the

first

sense

it is

comparatively new, in the second

very old. People were behaving like nationalists long before nationalism was ever

heard that

is

of, let

much

as

alone investigated and analyzed.

the subject of this chapter.

of the recorded past as

study of this scope, however, will find evidences

ethnic group, in

may

some

nationalism in the behavioral sense

is

inevitable.

An

illustration. In

a

historical sociologist

fierce, loyalty to the nation, national idea,

parts of the world,

or

and from ancient times, but for our pur-

pose, and as a help to understanding what this loyalty its

own, and the "history"

are our

prove helpful as source or

limitation

of strong, even

many

It is

The "concepts" then

is,

and involves, we

shall trace

development chiefly through the history of Europe since the early Middle Ages.

Origins

The was the

basis of

Roman

society

was

citizenship. This, with

the link between the individual and the state. But

rights

its

when

a

and obligations,

Roman

looked

Germans, he saw no equivalent. North of the Alps there was no

state,

at,

say,

only a

number of tribes characterized by common language, religion and customs. Germans were Germans not by legal status, as Paul of Tarsus was a "Roman," but by being bom German: they were a natio. Throughout the Dark and Middle Ages, "nation" continued to have this inherentiy ethnic meaning. certain cultural affinities,

It

involved awareness of

and a degree of xenophobia towards those of

alien cultural

or racial background (as between, for example, the Anglo-Saxons and the Celtic British).

None of

this

implied political obligation. For

many

centuries this remained

the highly personalized leader-follower relationship characteristic of

all

primitive

93

— 94

Global Convulsions

societies

and signified

in the early

forms of royal

titles:

king not of the land but of

rex Anglorum or rex Francorum.

the people

However, as the early kingdoms became more developed and stable, the people and the frontiers fixed, with written laws and titles regulating the whole, so land itself became the basis of the social structure and hence of political obliga-

less mobile,

Anglorum

the rex

tion:

estates

was

was the kingdom. Such a system tended

was then

identity

and the greatest of the

to cut across the nationality principle

were acquired by conquest,

lesser estates

the rex Angliae (king of

to the lord of one's estate,

even though the sense of national

and

became

(king of the English)

England).' One's prime duty

Kingdoms, duchies,

inchoate.

grant, or marriage, with the conse-

was as often as not a foreigner. Thus throughout the was ruled by French-speaking kings and in the latter part of that century about half of all Frenchmen found themselves living in the French domains of the king of England. Meanwhile the Normans, the supreme "go-getters" quence

that one's feudal lord

twelfth century England

of the time, the conquerors of England, southern political influence

paralleled

and vast

estates in Scotland

Italy

and

began

to acquire

—a type of

enterprise

Sicily,

and Ireland

by the movement of land-hungry German warriors and

sparsely populated Slavonic lands of the Baltic

settlers into the

littoral.

Everywhere the land was tamed, and so were the people. Dynasticism, the

rule

of family and the politics of family aggrandizement, was the form of governance

produced by a land-based economic and

social system.

Middle Ages dynasticism held the

then encountered a force which had long

field. It

been developing and which ultimately proved

when

1918,

until

dynasticism,

fell

before this force

Union, successor

know

the Austro-Hungarian

its

For the remainder of the

undoing. The battle was not over

Empire, the

—or even,

last

great expression

a great dynastic empire, suffered a like

state to

when

perhaps, not until 1991

fate.

of

the Soviet

This force

we

as nationalism.

The essence of

nationalism

all

is

the emotional identification of the individual

with the nation or the national idea, but the degree to which political consequences

flow from

this will

nationalism polity

it

may

will

depend upon a

exist,

but until

it

society's political culture

can be focussed

in a

and

structure.

A nascent

kingdom or other form of literary expression. The

remain largely the preserve of cultural or

process can be seen in the early development of English nationalism. In the eighth

and ninth centuries England was divided

kingdoms, the ruler of each of which could mobilize allegiance of his subjects, yet there reflected in the

two major

literary

was a sense

of,

in his

into several warring

own

dynastic interests the

indeed pride

in,

"Englishness" as

products of the time: Bede's Ecclesiastical History

of the English People and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The position was not unlike that of Greece in the age of the city-states, or the Arab world today, with a consciousness of a

when

common

cultural, linguistic

and religious heritage, and the

facing an alien threat, of short-lived political cooperation.

of these kingdoms under the House of Wessex that allowed

this

It

was

possibility,

the unification

rudimentary national

Concepts of Nationalism

feeling to develop further, for not only

was

95

History

there the psychological bonding of living

under the same laws, fighting the same wars and engaging

and pride

enterprise, but loyalty to the dynasty

in

in the

in the nation

same

could

political

now

merge.

Nonetheless, the one great obstacle to the evolution of nation-states throughout the

Middle Ages, and indeed

in

some

cases up to the early nineteenth century,

was the

inherent contradiction between dynastic and nationalist principles and objectives.

Dynasticism by

its

very nature was transnational. Kings acquired alliances, and

often territory, by marriage, or

owing even

went

war

to

in pursuit

of dynastic claims. Moreover,

to their links with other royal families, their friends, servants, advisers,

and

their tastes

culture,

power-base almost invariably lay

character. Yet their

and

were not infrequently of a foreign or cosmopolitan

to ignore or alienate national sentiment

was

in

some

particular nation,

and

to incur unpopularity, even, perhaps, to

was lost to a rival claimant. For the most part, medieval was a force that could be exploited, and which it might be risky to ignore, but was not the governing principle of politics. This lay with the rivalries and ambitions of the magnates and the loyalties they could command, and operated as the extent that the throne

nationalism

well on the international as on the domestic stage, as witness the claim of the

Duke

of Normandy to the throne of England in 1066, and that of the kings of England,

from 1340 on,

to the throne of France, both

pursued on dubious dynastic grounds. In



the case of the latter claim, the victories of the Plantagenets over the French Poitiers,

—were popular with

Agincourt

their place in the national

Crecy,

the English of the time and have retained

mythology. Yet, had Edward in or Henry

V

been

ulti-

mately successful in their dynastic conquest of France, England would have become a mere appendage of the larger and richer kingdom, a fate which befell

following the

Norman conquest of England. Thus would

Normandy

the national principle have

been undermined. Medieval nationalism,

was

in short,

because dynasticism was the dominant

itself feeling

political

and reacting dynastically

mode. That

this

was so

is

strikingly

revealed in the career and outlook of Joan of Arc. She was engaged in what today

would be

called a

campaign of national

her as "one of the

medieval in

its

first

liberation, leading

Bernard Shaw

to describe

was

essentially

apostles of Nationalism."^ Yet her attitude

focus upon kingship. Her loyalty was directed above

to her

all

sovereign as God's regent upon earth, but she also held, and this was a sign of change, that

he should be master That

in

in his

own

estate: France.

medieval western Europe nationalism was not subverted by dynasti-

cism but was able

to run, if

sometimes uneasily,

in harness

with

it,

was owing

to the

ultimate success of the French and Scots in resisting the English crown's attempts at

dynastic conquest, an outcome itself largely attributable to the growth of national feeling aroused in those sanguinary and protracted struggles.

the

Muslims had a

like effect in Spain,

The long wars

against

where national unity was achieved through an

opportune dynastic marriage followed by the conquest of the remaining Moorish south. Henceforth strong national monarchies

were

free to develop in geographically

— 96

Global Convulsions

consolidated areas where single languages, or groups of related dialects, provided the required degree of cultural cohesion. In central Europe, partly to

its

on the other hand, owing

falling less naturally into regions delimiting state

archaic feudal structure of the Holy

Roman

power, and partly to the

Empire, dynasticism was successfully

able to frustrate the fulfillment of the national principle until comparatively recent times.

The Rise of Modern Nationalism Medieval nationalism

in the

main

related to the

kingdom much

as today's

average student relates to his university or college: great loyalty, especially in the field

of organized physical combat with traditional

appointment of the

institution's governors, or

sion, or termination

—although he might have

were ultimately any concern of until a class

had arisen

that

was

his.

rivals,

indeed

its

but no thought that the

continuance, merger, divi-

strong opinions on such matters

Nationalism could

make no

further

headway

sufficiendy self-confident and economically power-

ful to challenge the dynastic principle as a political, legal,

and psychological

force.

This began to occur, particularly in some of the trading nations of northern Europe, in the latter half It is

of the sixteenth century.

seen in the successful revolt of the Dutch against the Spanish crown and in

the increasing restiveness of the political class in late Tudor and early Stuart

England. The Reformation greatly helped the process, for

it

emphasized theocratic

was weakened.

rather than dynastic values, with the result that dynastic authority

Monarchs remained generally dynastic in astute amongst them saw the wisdom of

more

their outiook, but the

identifying with this

sentiment and placating the rising urban class which chiefly manifested

of France did

England did

when he

this

this in

Henry IV I

of

adopting a national brand of Protestantism and in expressing and

to her subjects she said: I

it.

declared that Paris was "worth a Mass"; Elizabeth

symbolizing the nation's defiance of the might of Catholic Spain. In her of my crown, that

politically

growing national

"Though God hath

raised

me

high, yet this

I

last

address

count the glory

have reigned with your loves."^ Her whole method of governing,

particularly in her approach to the marriage question,

may be

seen as a cunning bal-

ancing of nationalist and dynastic expedients with the aim of extracting the greatest

advantage from each. Nonetheless, with a sure

political instinct, she

remained

at

heart a nationalist and thus secured her place in the national pantheon as perhaps the

most popular and successful of English

The

Stuart kings

who

rulers.

followed her, with their dynastic notions of divine

failed to understand the strong

sion in the cause of Parliament, and which gave a mortal

English Civil War. Indeed, the party that

won

the

which found expres-

blow

to dynasticism in the

war even replaced

of kings with the divine right of the nation. Charles

I

right,

tide

and irreversible nationalist

was executed

the divine right

for having

made

.

Concepts of Nationalism

in

97

History

war upon the people of England, deemed by the Puritans to be a sort of reincarnation Israel. The intense nationalism of the ancient Jews proved to be a

of the Children of

heady brew

to a

Milton, amongst

people steeped

many

in the

Old Testament, led Oliver Cromwell and John

others, to see the English as being the

chosen of God,"* and had

an influence which, passing through Puritanism across the Atlantic (a latter-day Red Sea), eventually

formed a potent ingredient

in the

American

national consciousness,

as well as ensuring the development there of an essentially republican spirit and outlook.

But even

England with

in

for good, as the brief

its

long tradition of monarchy, dynasticism had gone

and disastrous reign of its

British sovereigns ever since

last

exemplar, James U, demonstrated.

have been of a very different order from

and Renaissance predecessors: reigning by parliamentary

tide,

medieval

their

and as symbols and

expressions of a national identity which alone conferred legitimacy upon them.

A

sense of national identity seems to have been maturing and deepening in

Europe through the eighteenth century. In the Protestant north it no longer had theological implications, except in the universal form that the God of Battles was always besought to favor the national side or cause, and was invariably rewarded with a Te

Deum

should victory be forthcoming. "Neo-Israelite" nationalism passed

with the age of religious wars, surviving only consciousness, and in

more

pristine

at

a deep level in the American

form with the Cape Dutch who,

less affected

by

the Enlightenment, also found their circumstances to parallel the Biblical experience.

In Europe, on the other hand, the growing sense of nationhood

encouraged by participation

in the balance

was undoubtedly

of power wars which intermittently con-

vulsed the Continent throughout the century. These wars, protracted in today's terms, usually lasting seven years or longer, invariably began as "policy conducted by other

means" but changed

in character, inspiring that spirit of patriotic solidarity

one aspect of nationalism, as the struggle wore on and

were threatened. Thus

particularly if the

which

is

homeland

1709, with Marlborough and Eugene at last poised to

in

invade France, the French fought with a desperate resolve the Allies had not before

encountered in eight years' campaigning, making Malplaquet the bloodiest battle of the century. In Winston Churchill's words, "[t]hey had a feeling that they were fighting not only for their

King but

for their country."^

A like development is apparent in the wars in which the Russians were engaged against Napoleonic France. sian approach to the

into something altogether

morphosis which Tolstoy's

is

From being

professional, strategic, "dynastic," the

Rus-

war was transformed, when the French marched on Moscow,

more

basic and instinctive, indeed "nationalistic," a meta-

one of the most profound and brilliandy handled themes

War and Peace. These wars were

like

hammer blows

dynastic states into nation-states, but the mutation

was

in the

in

Leo

slow forging of

rather in the psychology of

the wider political class than in the narrow political structure. Except in England,

where dynasticism petered out as Jacobitism

(to

win a posthumous

literary victory in

the realm of romantic lost causes), and in Holland, the dynastic order remained in control until the French Revolution.

— Global Convulsions

98

The Revolution not only

represented the overthrow of absolutism and aristo-

cratic privilege, but released a spirit of

nationhood so

stirring

and powerful

(as cap-

tured and evoked by that most electrifying of national anthems, the "Marseillaise") that

some have supposed

nationalism

itself to

have been

new

Revolutionary nationalism had, indeed, certain

bom

features.

at this time. It

French

marked a cleaner

break with dynasticism than had been the case with the British and the Dutch, breathing defiance to the whole dynastic order.

come

This did not

house was part of Initially,

that order, yet for

XVI was

though largely stripped of his powers, Louis

moderate revolutionaries as part of tide

The monarchy posed a problem. The royal many was integral to the very idea of "France."

immediately.

"King of France," implying

seen by the more

their nationalism, as "their" king.

that the

The

whole country was a royal

dynastic

estate,

was

replaced by the older form, "King of the French," stressing the link between

monarch and people. Anti-dynastic Antoinette

hostility

'Ha chienne autrichienne"

was

directed in the



main against Marie

foreign consorts being favorite targets of

was found by Charles Fs Henrietta Maria,

nationalist intolerance (as

Victoria's

Albert in the war hysteria of 1853-54, Frederick Hi's Victoria, and Nicholas

II's

Alexandra).

But any hope

that the

monarchy could become a popular

Great Britain, was

had happened

in

quacy for the

role,

fatally

To

but also by the emigre factor.

the nationalist, to flee one's

country for any reason other than the imposition of foreign rule before the nation's interest:

the

it is

supreme

national symbol, as

undermined not only by Louis' inade-

betrayal. This

of the aristocracy, and by the king's youngest brother.

is

to put self-interest

had been done by many

When

the king sought safety

with his wife's family in the abortive flight to Varennes, he stood revealed not as a nationalist but as a dynast,

and

this sealed his fate.

With the deposition and execution

of the king, the struggle between revolutionary nationalism and dynasticism was internationalized.

No crowned

head could

feel safe

while the Revolution survived;

nor could the Revolution feel safe while the dynastic order remained. "The coalised

Kings threaten us," cried Danton; "we hurl

at their feet, as

gage of battle, the Head of

a King."^

The

nationalism forged in the Revolution was different in other ways, indeed

different in kind,

nationalism,

it

from any

that

was imbued with

had gone before. Like American Revolutionary

the ideas and ideals of the Enlightenment: Liberty,

Popular Sovereignty and the Rights of Man. But universal.

American nationalism, which took time

alisms of the former colonies, did not stock.

core nation of a universal republic.

was

to

at first

French Revolutionary nationalism went be one's philosophy of

And

life

it

was more thoroughgoing and

to supplant the individual nation-

embrace any but those of European further.

the criterion for

The French were

to

be the

membership of that republic

rather than one's ethnic origins or racial back-

ground. Such a basis for a reorganization of world society might have worked had not the French, in Martin Wight's words, been "sublimely incapable of distin-

.

Concepts of Nationalism

guishing between the universal Rights of

Man

and French

in

99

History

culture."^

Napoleon's

armies entered the surrounding countries of Europe as liberators, but to those being liberated

came

it

on the

increasingly to look like political and cultural imperialism

grandest scale. It

was

ironic that at the

same time

and

artistic attack. Particularly

that the

was

this

so in Germany, where Johann Gottfried von

Johann Gottlieb Fichte with

his idea of "national genius" {Volksgeist),

Herder with his doctrine

cultural

whole eighteenth-century dynastic

acterized the

hegemony was being hegemony which had charorder was coming under intellectual

as French political

imposed upon continental Europe, the French

of the need for inward-looking polities united by language and his desire

German

nation should be raised to a moral ideal, as well as the

in folklore, philology,

and the roots of national

new

interest

culture, chiefly associated with the

names of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, all helped create a consciousness of "Germanness," which was to provide German nationalism with its intellectual and cultural justification.^ To these currents was added the emotive ingredient of Romanticism, a cultural

movement which many young German

writers

and

embraced with

artists

enthusiasm, and which was seen as releasing the imagination from the constrictive discipline, formality,

period, notably in

and symmetry of French classicism. Some of the poets of the

Johann Christoph von Schiller

England, championed in their writings

Germany and George,

in

—and Byron

Lx)rd

Byron

in active participation



the

made a great appeal to the youth of the was to make to young people throughout

cause of small, oppressed peoples. All of this time, as the nationalism of radical protest its

subsequent history.

Napoleonic imperialism acted as a catalyst to the growth of nationalism Europe, partly because certain of

Kingdom of

the Rhine, the

Italy,

its territorial

in

arrangements (the Confederation of

Grand Duchy of Warsaw) went some way

the

to

meeting national aspirations, and partly through arousing strong national and patriotic feelings in the

were

common

fulfilled in the peace.

struggle against France.

But few

nationalist

The conservative statesmen who gathered

at

hopes

Vienna were

resolved in the main to restore the dynastic order of the eighteenth century. Kings

and petty princes were put back on ruler or that

their thrones.

Whole peoples were

on the principle of rewarding the

allotted to this

victors, or strengthening barriers

against France, regardless of their sentiments or opinions. Nationalism, and liberalism,

were

even attempted

to play

to create

no part

in this

world restored. The

czar, in his

its

twin,

Holy Alliance,

an interdynastic community of Europe.

Forces such as nationalism and liberalism, however, could not be repressed indefinitely.

The expansion of

tions, the drift

class

trade

from the countryside

which increasingly chafed

and

industry, the

to the towns, all

development of communica-

made

at the multiplicity

for the

growth of a middle

of customs barriers and other

feudal restrictions, and which aspired to political influence

commensurate with

economic strength and educational attainments. The upheavals of 1830 and, more, 1848, and the struggle for the Reform

Bill in

England

in

1832,

mark

its

still

the

Global Convulsions

100

efforts of this class to

come

into

its

own. And

western Europe success was

in

achieved; the liberal nation-state was launched. In central, southern, and eastern

Europe, however, those bastions of dynasticism, the great military monarchies of Austria, Prussia, and Russia, proved everywhere too strong.

not only for hberalism, but also for nationalism.

The

The

Czechs, and within a few years the Poles, were thwarted

Germany

determination, and in state

was a setback

result

Italians, the

Hungarians, the

in their bids for self-

the efforts of the bourgeoisie to achieve a unified

under the aegis of the king of Prussia were rewarded with the contemptuous

"would not pick up a Crown from the gutter."^ The Continental nationalisms of the first half of the nineteenth

reply that he

intellectuals

century, led

by

and supported chiefly by the middle classes and the urban, student

young, were a far cry from the "Rule Britannia," bellicose, xenophobic nationalism of Hanoverian England. They were movements, founded to achieve certain goals:

and

constitutional government, national unity,

alism had no such need;

it

cultural awareness. English nation-

was never a movement, but a

robust, all-pervasive

patriotism, suspicious of outsiders, hostile to the traditional enemy, the French,

and

emotionally focussed upon that mythological entity called "England," or affectionately

"Old England." Horatio Nelson touched a profound chord with

Trafalgar signal, "England expects ..." centuries within the state and In contrast,

have were not

champions of the

fraternal, dynasties

and dynastic

Mazzini,

"all

famous

perfectly geared to the requirements of the state.

theirs

states

either

had no

state,

or such

by preference. Indeed, the view held by the

nationality principle

hence a prime source of wars.

his

nationalism like that had matured for

most Continental national movements

states as they did

early

was

A

was

whereas nations were naturally

that

were inherendy martial and combative, and

When

nationality

had triumphed, said Giuseppe

cause of war would disappear, and in

place arise a spirit of

its

brotherhood and peaceful emulation on the road of progress."'" This naive view,

which not

only, like

most Utopian

notions, tended to discount the dimension of

power, but also ignored such insoluble problems as two peoples claiming the same territory,

was never put

to the test.

When

the next great advances in the furtherance

of the nationahty principle took place, the unifications of Germany and

were accomplished the

power and

less

by the

will of the peoples, present

policies of governments, by, in fact, blood

though

and

this

iron.

Italy,

they

was, than by

The

"fraternal"

nations of Europe, instead of taking over and transforming the states of Europe, were rather taken over

and transformed by them.

The period 1870-1914 saw must have gone "core" nation

into the process

—became

the apotheosis of the nation-state.

by which the

state

become

sufficiently

middle classes, and increasingly the urban working

were

still

barriers

its

nation

integrated to an unprecedented degree.

munications, particularly railways, had

local or provincial

and

scope for their

which the

lives,

Many



factors

or at least

its

Economies and com-

developed to give the

class, a national rather than a

but not yet an international one; frontiers

vast majority never crossed. Moreover, the old feudal

Concepts of Nationalism

and religious

in

History

1

1

and deferences were becoming weaker, often leaving an

certainties

emotional void, or psychological insecurity, which loyalty to the nation-state or to

much

the national idea did

to offset.

Add

changes the steadily enlarging

to these

sphere of state activity and responsibility, the impact of official propaganda and indoctrination over an increasingly literate public, and the effects of conscription in all

the major powers of

Europe except Great

Britain,

and a good part of

spread sociopolitical

phenomenon might be accounted

most people's

and most people,

lives,

alienated, subject nation, its

found

in return,

for.

The

state

this

wide-

had come into

provided that they were not of an

and emotions were bound up with

that their pride

it,

achievements, performance in war, and international standing.

This was a time, too,

which heightened

when each

nation

sense of identity,

its

seemed

develop some characteristic

to

individuality. Britain, long imperial,

its

discovered imperialism. Russia was in process of making one of

swings away from took pride in

its

Western and back to

new

its

its

long pendulum

its

Slavonic-Byzantine heritage.

empire's military pre-eminence, which

many

Germany

believed, in the

thinking of the time, to prove a moral preeminence. France, long riven by the antithesis of

— Revolutionary-urban-secular and —found some measure of both a

two national

its

conservative-rural-Catholic

the

traditions

unity

for revenge for the humiliating defeat of

1870-71 and

allegorical statue of Strasbourg in the Place

crepe),

and

in pride in the empire-building

Third Republic.

Italy,

de

la

and

in

the

patriotic desire

loss of Alsace-Lx)rraine (the

Concorde was thenceforth veiled

brilliant cultural

in

achievements of the

almost as though unable to believe that unification had been

achieved, and perhaps uneasily aware that without the help of foreign powers

could not have been done, erected to commemorate the Risorgimento a

it

monument

of towering ostentation in the heart of Rome. The Austro-Hungarian Empire remained an anomaly in

accommodate race, its

it

all

this, for

although, as

name

its

the status and nationalistic pride of

indicated,

its

Magyar

it

now

attempted to

as well as

its

German

yet denied an equal role for the other, chiefly Slavonic, peoples constituting

population.

The

in the venerable

well as in

last

its rich, if

some of which

of the great dynastic

states,

it

even took pride

in the fact,

dynasty which, with incredibly rigid protocol, presided over not always overserious culture; but unlike

its

and

it,

as

fellow powers,

it

did not even have the makings of a

Europe

identified with their respective states,

retained dynastic trappings,

nation-state.

To

the degree that the peoples of

so were they, particularly

in the

case of the major powers, affected by the fortunes of

those states within the international system. Although governments in the nationalistic countries (as with the British in

feelings

had occasionally

in

1739 and 1853-54, and the French

in

July 1870), strong public

were now becoming a potent and permanent feature of international

Rulers and governments were

still

in

more

times past been vulnerable to war-fever

politics.

charge of the diplomatic game, but increasingly

they found themselves in the position of captains and teams playing in a vast stadium

thronged with phrenetic supporters and equally passionate opponents. Pride and

Global Convulsions

102

jealousy were excited to an unusual degree and the drive for overseas possessions

new

provided a

After the

field for rivalry

fall

and contention.

of Prince Otto von Bismarck

in 1890, the

remaining conservative

restraint

went out of the system, and diplomatic

hitherto

had been part of the normal working of the balance of power process could

either

retreats

and accommodations which

no longer be made by governments or made only

weakening

their

own

The

prestige and authority.

at the cost

of gravely

effect, in the years prior to the First

World War, was a "peace" characterized by growing grams

that

tension, by armaments prowere supported, and sometimes demanded, by the publics, and by

diplomatic crises any of which might have thrown Europe into war. a

monopoly of this

excitable, irrational

as in the "jingoism" of the British militaristic posturing

mood.

music

It

No one class had

penetrated to the bottom of society,

halls,

and to the very

top, as in the

and chauvinistic speechifying of the German Kaiser.

Kaiser Wilhelm H, intellectually superficial and psychologically insecure though

he was,

is

of historical significance for reflecting, almost in caricature, that strange

mixture of envy, aspiration and suspicion, infused with a hubris that had grown with

which then characterized the collective mood of large German people. But all the major nations of Europe shared in varying and each in its own way, the pride and arrogance of the powerful, for were

the strength of the state, sections of the

degrees,

they not the lords of the greater part of the earth?

The fering

First

from

its

World War was precedented predecessors in

its

general nationalistic orgasm. Such

of President in

May

Woodrow

scale;

was

it

in

being a balance of power war,

was unprecedented

in

dif-

being also a sort of

the mental climate of the time



in the

words

Wilson's envoy. Colonel Edward House, writing from Berlin

1914, "militarism run stark

mad""



that

had not the heir

to the Austrian

throne been assassinated by a Bosnian Serb in Sarajevo on June 28th, then

some

other inflammatory incident would undoubtedly have sparked off the war a year or

so

later.

For long an explosive force

bom

of the pride, passions, and frustrations of

great populations had been building up in Europe, and Sarajevo provided a release.

Never was war entered upon with such

The hopes of some their proletarian brothers

patriotic enthusiasm.

socialist leaders that the

working classes would not

fight

were immediately and cruelly dashed. In London the

veteran Labour leader Keir Hardie, in attempting to

make an

anti-war speech in

Trafalgar Square, was howled down. Nationalism, which had been the bane of the European "establishments" only two generations earlier, now came to their aid, indeed swept along all classes in one great unity of purpose. The governments that

had launched the war side

all

believed they had embarked upon a conflict which their

would quickly win and

then, as in a prenationalistic age, conclude with a

negotiated peace; they soon discovered that they had unleashed vast primal forces

which they could not

control, but which, in effect, conU-olled them.

Any chance

of a

reasonable accommodation was out of the question; the war had to go on until one side gave

up through exhaustion and

loss of hope,

and the settlement imposed by the



Concepts of Nationalism

victors could only

103

in History

be draconian and humiliating. In 1815 the dynasts had treated the

vanquished with comparative leniency;

1918-19 nationalistic vindictiveness,

in

inflamed by the huge losses sustained, would countenance no such outcome.

State Nationalism

The nationalism

found

that

concomitant of the love

had since the

its

affair

ultimate expression in the First

with the

late sixteenth century.

state,

Beginning

advanced and hopeful development for It

was favored by

anarchy and dynastic privilege and taxing power;

internationalist claims

Moreover,

it

was

the

and

German

it

state,

but

of the

Roman

ecclesiastical

all that

who

to diose of privileged birth, or

imperium.

working class for giving rootiess

and insecure

growing body of middle-class people

whom

(like

education had fitted to serve in the

were, with rare exceptions, excluded in preference

having superior social connections, from service in the

average ancien regime. For the middle liberal principles,

Protestants

countering the residual

revolutionaries of 1848)

highest positions of

embraced

was championed by

way of

what had become for many a

was desired by

and material

intelligentsia as a

political influence

role in

most

means of curbing both feudal

attractive to a post-rural, post-religious

them a focus and a existence;

and

it

had

Europe, the

this class as the

internal order, external security,

the mercantile class as a

and by an increasingly secular

political class

in Protestant northern

was seen by

sovereign, centralized, cohesive nation-state

prosperity.

World War was a

which the emerging

class, the

modem

state, particularly if it

provided an opportunity to achieve status and secure a

comfortable living.

Out of the

state nationalism

which these

social

developments engendered,

together with the growth of empires, and of navies to defend them, grew the cult of

imperialism. In part this reflected pride in the possession of vast territories, pro-

claimed on the world

map

in the national coloring, giving

even small countries

like

Holland, Belgium, and Portugal the status of world powers, and arousing (especially the British

Empire which looked even more immense

jealousy and envy amongst the

Germans and

in

Mercator's projection) great

who had come

Italians

too late upon

the scene to acquire what they considered to be their fair share of the world. In part, too, imperialism reflected the fact that overseas possessions provided a field for politically

unhindered commercial expansion and exploitation. They also afforded

career opportunities, which were not always available at home, for service officers, administrators, and professional people generally, together with a lifestyle for the

middle classes previously enjoyed only by the aristocracy. Even those serving

—Rudyard

lowest ranks of the imperial power

were caste,

rarely

Kipling's

untouched by the experience of belonging,

and tended

to

become confirmed

of the "liberal intelligentsia"

nationalists

in Britain,

and

Tommy Atkins if

and

in the

his like

only temporarily, to a ruling

imperialists.

To

the

amazement

popular support for Prime Minister Anthony



-

'

— Global Convulsions

104

Eden's disastrous Suez venture actually grew as the

members

families in the country had not had

world wars, or

in the

Gyppos" had

seized "our" canal, revealed

crisis

developed, but then few

serving in Egypt, in one or other of the

seventy-year occupation, and resentment, even anger, that "the

penetrated and affected

how

deeply colonialist attitudes had

levels of British society.

all

State nationalism in the Western world has long been the virtual preserve of the political right. Indeed,

always force.

so.

When

it is

now

an element

in the definition

of the

the dynastic order held sway, state nationalism

But with the eventual triumph of the

nation-state

The

force, designed to bolster the status quo.

it

political left,

right.

This was not

was a revolutionary

became a conservative whose function it is to

overturn the status quo, tends therefore to be uneasy about the state and deeply suspicious of the type of nationalism which sustains party meetings that the dais table

is

proceedings conclude with the National as in the United States

America"

it is

that the Stars

more

It is

it.

not at Labour but at Tory

customarily draped with the Union Jack and the

Anthem be

likely to

Hope and Glory," just homes of Reaganite "Middle

or "Land of

at the

and Stripes would be seen giving a

front porch or garden flagpole. Moreover, in

patriotic signal

most countries the

from

right sees itself as

the custodian of the military tradition, the left turning instead to internationalism, to

disarmament, even,

meant the country

at times, to pacifism.

Yet by "the

which

state,"

is at

issue here,

is

as a political entity in the world, together with those attributes

army, navy, public pageantry, architecturally resplendent capitals, prestige abroad,

and good order

at

home

—which enhance

its

other chief sense, government control over

self-regarding nature.

its

citizens

expense of market forces, does not usually find favor with the capitalist

condemnatory of the

attempts to promote economic justice,

Support for the

right.

its

at the

Indeed, in the

state in the first

is

state in this sense as the left, in

usually in favor of

themselves to constitute, the ruling class

though they have arrogated

its

it.

of these senses, and hence state nationalism,

who

frequendy class-based or otherwise sectional. Those

as

state" in

West, other than in those societies where a tradition of feudal paternalism

persists, the right is as

is

"The

and over the economy

constitute, or

in a country, tend to see the state as theirs.

to themselves the

view of the

state

once

is

who deem It

restricted to

absolute monarchs, and declared, 'Tetat c'est nous'' This in part explains the association of state nationalism with the political right, the conservative element in society usually being the classes, sects or parties

Reformation

most powerful and wealthy. But which achieve power

in Scotland, the Presbyterian clergy

even the sovereign as one

who

saw

should be their subject

that they dispensed with the sovereign altogether)

contemporary

Iran. In this last case, as in that

tionary France, Bolshevik Russia, Nazi the chief examples, the state

becoming

their instrument

it

also true of those

Thus



a situation paralleled (except

by

their Shi'ite equivalents in

of Cromwellian England, Revolu-

Germany, and Communist China,

little

after the

the state proprietorially, with

was completely remodelled by

and bearing

is

after a revolution.

relation to

its

the

new

predecessor.

to

name

but

ruling party,



Concepts of Nationalism

some

In

states,

usually ones

whose population

in History

105

lacks ethnic or ideological

cohesion, as well as the focus and continuity that monarchy or other constitutional structures

of long standing provide, the army has

embodiment or custodian of the republics, notably Chile

army power

in the

national idea. This

wake of

the Falklands fiasco, one

astonishing to any Anglo-Saxon, all

we have done

Third World

to

see itself as the

American

and Argentina. In Argentina, following the overthrow of

such families forming a closely knit society

so after

come

true of certain Latin

is

"How

for them?"'^

member

at the officer level

can these people"

It is

of an army family

—made

(i.e.,

the

comment,

the citizens) "treat us

many

a pattern likely to be repeated in

a

state of recent origin.

World War,

In consequence of the First

state nationalism

decline and a revival. In liberal, democratic Europe,

lost

it

underwent both a

much

of

its

force, a

war but to the values and mental climate which were thought about. The effect in the United States was less traumatic, but even

reaction not only to the to

have brought

it

there the naive stridency of that type of nationalism of

the personification, even though force,

was never

victorious

quite repeated.

from the war

But whereas

somehow

intensity

felt

saw

degree from the high peak

which had suffered

defeat,

they had lost the peace, state nationalism returned with redoubled

else these

two creeds

conmion: each was a

values,

this day, in those

vital

which emerged

under Bolshevism and Fascism.

Whatever this in

in those countries

this decline, to a greater or lesser

of pre- 19 14 nationalism, remains true to or

which Teddy Roosevelt was

American nationalism remains a powerful and

fierce

and the class which produced

had

in their various manifestations were, they

and virulent reaction to liberalism, it

and prospered by

it.

And just

its

system of

as liberalism

the state primarily as the protector of the individual, the guardian of that order

under which the rights and

interests

of the citizen were maintained, the

totalitarianism, in contrast, exalted the state

and

its

new

ideological expression, the party,

and a Moloch for whose sake alone the individual existed. So complete has been the downfall of Fascism, and now Bolshevism,

into a totem

may be

in

that

we

danger of forgetting the potency of the social and psychological forces

which they owed

their birth

and

rise,

inadequacy of the Western idealization of private thoroughly bored with a

humdrum and

to

as well as of ignoring the psychological life.

Periodically

man becomes

routine existence and has an overpowering

urge collectively to do spectacular, even violent things. Western democratic liberalism, unless, despite

itself, it

becomes caught up

in war, offers little

opportunity for this to

happen. But the type of regime usually thrown up by a great revolution, or one

any

rate inspired

myriad impulses become focused and directed. The

human

at

by some impelling belief or cause, can be the means by which these result

is

the release of colossal

more heavily phenomenon which Tolstoy called "the swarm life of mankind."'^ Nothing that human beings experience can compare with the intoxication which comes from feeling oneself to be part of some great heave of energy, invariably expansionist, whether into wilderness or, in

settled regions, into neighboring countries, a

Global Convulsions

106

from an awareness

history,

whole community

that the

the French felt during the Napoleonic period, the

War and Joseph

more so under

still

the Nazis,

patriotism which

Germans before

associated with such upheavals

in liberal societies,

something greater even than time

when men look

forward;

renounced or derided. To win

in

all

which can have the

all

before

will to is

do something

mould

the world anew. This

it;

fate

a

to lose fosters a bitterness, a frustra-

The Nazi movement grew

in

programme of collaboration.

in common."^'* It is

such circumstances

state nationalism in

Ortega y Gasset's conclusion that the

when

...

It is

pure dynamism

state



the

that will is lacking that the state, if

not ethnically homogeneous, will be in danger of falling into

Such was the

is

and thwarted dreams of Europe's most powerful,

to bear out the truth of Jose

plan of action and a

often

is

exalted to a

thoughts are of the future with the past usually

dynamic, and expectant people. The role of

"is a

is

the state as the instrument of

direst political consequences.

large part out of the injured pride

would appear

Worid

such circumstances stimulates an exhilarating sense

of destiny which for a time carries tion,

is

it

the impulse to

itself:

was what

the tyranny of

infused with ideological or religious fanaticism, and although the state

degree never approached

It

the First

many Russians even under

commonly

is

on the move.

phase of their Islamic republic.

Stalin, the Iranians in the initial

The

is

its

it

constituent parts.

of the Soviet Union. The regime did not lack the coercive means

had gone, and so had the

to hold the state together, but confidence in the future

will

to continue.

The Nationalism The world of

of the National Idea

nations

is

primarily and essentially a world of the mind.'^ Yet so

powerfully and intimately do nation-states impinge upon the lives of their citizens, influence their attitudes, and engage their emotions loyalties or arousing their hatreds

of what

is

that

few

there are

—whether by who

new

historical

perhaps subdy modifying, the whole. shared by, and influences, the

and

cultural experience adding to,

And upon

the extent to

It is

support

it,

whom

it

offers patronage, to develop

idea, as Virgil with singular success

many

artists

gave universal currency

have no shared view, no collective image,

country of which they are citizens, that

Sometimes, however, weakness

many new

and

intellectuals

and publicize the national to the idea

parts of the worid this process has not even begun, and

their peoples

and

this idea is

therefore in the interests

of the ruling political class, and of those writers and other or to

which

depend the cohesion of the

total population, will

nation and hence the inner strength of the nation-state.

who

enlisting their

recognize the true nature

happening. In every nation-state there will slowly have evolved a view of

a "national idea," each

itself,



it

is

of Rome. In

to the fact that

either of themselves or of the

states

owe

their chronic

weakness.

arises in another way. If the national idea

seen too closely to serve the sectional interests of the ruling establishment, an

is

alter-

Concepts of Nationalism

native one

may be

loyalty to

which nationalism

Each

wars.

side

is

patriotic but

is

patrie and what

adopted by a

it

stands

rival or dissenting class

prone.

Hence

the passionate

all

the extreme bitterness of

most

Israel" that

was

England was

the Puritan

hardly likely to be the England of the Stuart court. Indeed, national ideas

become

civil

each has a vision very different from the other of the

The "new

for.

and given

107

History

in

polarized, and induce explosive mutual antagonism

may

well

on the part of those who

hold them, long after the social fracture which originally gave rise to them.

Throughout the nineteenth century and for most of the twentieth, France was

On

riven in this way.

the one

hand was the France of 1789, of rationalism and

clericalism, a tradition fostered

was

by the

radical intelligentsia of Paris;

Catholic, conservative, primarily rural France. This

down

was a

split

nation can be divided by ideas, so too can

it

be reunited.

was

It

and on the other

which went

and

to village level with the proverbial rivalry of schoolmaster

anti-

right

But

priest.

if

a

part of the political

genius of Charles de Gaulle, perhaps the supreme statesman-nationalist of the twentieth century,

if

only because his goal of national unity and renewal was

achieved in the face of almost impossible odds, to contrive a vision of France which previous traditions. That vision embraced greatness and "/a gloire''

subsumed

all

outsiders,

and indeed

to

such anarchic insiders as the Parisian

appeared somewhat ridiculous, but

it

was a means by which

French history could contribute to the national

founded

in

1958 linked two

traditions in that

all

it

the major figures of

identity, just as the it

To

satire industry,

was republican

regime which he

in

form yet mon-

archical in spirit.

Benjamin rich

Disraeli spoke of England's

"two nations," by which he meant the

and the poor, yet pace Karl Marx, even gross

inequalities of wealth

prevented a people from feeling loyalty to a national idea provided that

have rarely

this

enshrined

values with which they were in sympathy. Before the Civil War, Americans,

although united over those principles which had led to their independence, could not

complete

their nationhood,

come of age

as a nation, so long as slavery constituted an

untenable ethical ambiguity. After the Civil

War

the

way was

so long delayed, a cohesion paralleled by that of the state

clear for the cohesion

itself,

with the very

name

"United States" thenceforth given a singular rather than plural meaning.

Even though in the

the national idea

world of

to extend into the

ideals,

may

represent a coherent set of values,

even of dreams,

if

it is

to establish

its full

it

psychological bonding of a people. Thus central to every nationalism

One can see come to have

nationalist's country, ideally conceived.

certain countries.

Thus "America" has

this in the alternative

for

needs

potency is

the

names of

Americans associations and

resonances that are hardly conveyed by "United States."

And

for an

Scotsman and Welshman, "England," "Scotland," and "Wales"

Englishman,

will strike

deeper

chords by far than the comprehensive and originally geographical term "Britain" or

"Great Britain," to say nothing of the

official

designation of the

state,

usually

abruptly shortened to "U.K." Indeed, the political conception of a nation tends to

lack

all

mystique.

The Bolsheviks

tried to transcend nationalism

by

setting

up the

Global Convulsions

108

world's workers'

own

state,

unique

Yet although the Soviet Union

some

having no geographical reference

in

made

alienated proletarians and disaffected intellectuals in other lands,

the defence of "the workers' paradise," but to that of

was impelled

to rally the

people

in

1941.

The

"home," has an even greater hold upon the exilic writings

in its title.

a strange psychological appeal as a Utopia to

was not

it

"Mother Russia"

to

that Stalin

ideal motherland, often referred to as

exile.

"Jerusalem" features as such

in the

of the Old Testament, and has played a comparable role in the main-

tenance of a Jewish identity throughout the long centuries of the Diaspora. To those

who have

stayed put after a political upheaval, the emigre has forsaken his nation; to

the emigre himself, he has taken intense nationalist of them

it

with him. The emigre, or exile,

is

often the

most

all.

Nations and Ethnie

Undergoing a

common

collective experience nearly always leads to the

bonding of

those involved. Going to the same school or college has this effect, as does service in the

same regiment, and

is also, therefore,

consciousness of those living within

even

at

When, during

times out of those

Army

who might be

the First

visited prisoner-of-war

anger and

when

They experience

camps

in

the

is

Sir

Roger Casement,

Germany with

to the anti-British cause,

history of

same govern-

the

same

the state nation formed,

expected to be resistant to

World War,

The

the state goes to war, share the

of purpose, and defeats or triumphs. Thus

pull.

the British

action or campaign.

the story of the development of a group

borders.

its

ment, live under the same laws, and, sacrifices, sense

same

particularly in the

the evolution of the state

its

psychological

the Irish nationalist,

aim of recruiting

Irish soldiers

of

he met with scant success, indeed with

hostility.

Yet the attempt was not ill-conceived; even while he was so engaged, plans

were being made

in

Dublin for a rebellion against British

end

to

be unassimilable, showing

proved

in the

torical identity, usually associated with

tive faith or state.

tive

is

tribe, nation,

Most of

the Irish his-

branch of religion, can be proof against the integrative effects of the to signify "state nation," an alterna-

required for the category just described. English has no appropriate

word. The German "Vo/^" expresses the idea, but

Hence some

rule.

an overpowering sense of

an ancestral language and perhaps a distinc-

Because "nation" has increasingly come

term

that

scholars have borrowed the French

is

too suggestive of German-ness.

word

ethnie (from ^"Gvos



race,

people) to meet the need.'^

Compared with nations in the original

nations, ethnie are primordial, or rather they correspond to

Roman

sense.

What makes them

special

is

a distinct cultural

character usually expressed in language, origins in the remote past, a long-settled

homeland, and a sense of kinship.

may be

derived

Some

more from myth than

of the beliefs an ethnie holds about

reality: the

itself

idea of the Founder of the People, a

Concepts of Nationalism

Abraham

Father

medieval Celtic

British,

that identity.

for the

As any

109

History

Romans, and

of descent from fugitives from Troy. Myth,

plays an essential part in group identity, but

enhance

made

or an Aeneas, or the claim,

in

for the

in fact, not

only

continuously created to preserve and

is

movement knows,

student of a nationalist

the ongoing

mythologizing of history can produce a psychological unity of fearsome potency.

That ethnie have not been given the attention they deserve as components of world

politics is largely

them. Indeed,

it

be subsumed

in

its

been marginalized in

many

owing

modern

to the

state's rarely

being an expression of

often ignores or discounts their existence, preferring that they should

own

Moreover, the concept of ethnicity has usually

state-nation.

to minorities

states, as in the

of alien background,

it

seldom being considered

people, too, have an ethnic side. With the notable exception of Japan, the industrial state has sought to distance itself

from

its

the primitive, or the rural, flying in the face of

all

only was

it

not founded upon ethnicity,

it

was a

all

living contradiction of

model by governments anxious

ment, or increase the labor force, as

when

Germany admitted

1960s, Western

period, and Australia

Britain

its

The

multi-

territories in the

1950s and

numbers of Turkish guest workers over the

large

abandoned

it.

to foster develop-

and other European colonial powers

former overseas

their

this

great countries, not

ethnic state has thus been taken as a

encouraged immigration from

of

notions of progress, modernity,

oudook. The richest and most commercially successful of

same

modem

ethnicity, seeing this as a relic

and internationalism. The example of the United States has encouraged

mobility,

that

long-established nation-states of Europe, the indigenous

white Australia immigration policy in 1973.

Ethnic Nationalism

The imperviousness of many modem

states to ethnic realities has led to a

cence of ethnic nationalism. This essentially of the ethnie, although the form circumstances.

It

will

it

may be

takes and the ends

be convenient, however,

recmdes-

taken as the self-assertiveness

it

seeks will vary with historical

to divide the

phenomenon

into "hard"

and "soft" ethnic nationalism.

Hard ethnic nationalism question:

"Who

what land?" and because believes

it it

gets

is

the

most basic of

what land?" But

"Who mles what

has been driven out of

this, too,

land?"

its

An

all politics,

may be

reducible to the simple

divided into,

"Who

settles

ethnie seeking land to settle, either

own, or through overpopulation, or because

it

has an historic or even divine claim to pursue, can behave with great

mthlessness. Indeed,

some of

the

most

intractable political conflicts the

world

now

faces have their origins in the intrusion of one ethnie into the territory of another.

This

is

currently occurring in Bosnia, but perhaps the

century has been the influx of Jews into Palestine.

most prominent example

Any hope

this

that the passions

aroused and the implacable hatreds engendered will fade with the passage of time

seems hardly home out by the experience of Northem

Ireland,

now

an "Israel" of

1

Global Convulsions

10

And

nearly four centuries' standing.

over Palestine in 1993 and for tactical reasons

of heart. That

remains true despite the "peace" arrived each case

in 1994: in

and through exhaustion rather than through any of situation

this t>'pe

few of

fact that

this

Northern Ireland

in

not

is

more prevalent

largely

is

the worid's ethnie have acquired their present

expelling, enslaving or slaughtering the previous inhabitants. sur\'ived in

quendy

any numbers, and not

lost their

language and

at

came about

this

significant

owing

change

to the

grim

homelands without

And even when

these

just as anthropological curiosities, they not infre-

their culture.

Such genocidal happenings are usually a

breakdown of an imperium or other established where civilized control tends to be weak.'^

feature not of settled times, but of the

system, or of an advancing frontier

Ethnie in a "state of nature" fmd their

empires or of

ment

own

balance, but the imposition of

no way correspond effect, and one likely

state structures that in

patterns will have a distorting

live in areas they

would

to their strengths or settle-

grow

to

as groups begin to

fear to inhabit without the order ensured

by the imperial

power The disappearance of an empire

thus has the effect not unlike that of the staff

departing from a zoo after leaving

the cage doors open.

sacres

which took place

British

power

in 1947,

all

in Calcutta, Delhi,

and the Punjab

The widespread mas-

after the

withdrawal of

and the "ethnic cleansing"'* following upon the disintegration

of Yugoslavia (which one might see as a delayed outcome of the

fall

of the Ottoman

Empire) are examples of the bloody process by which a new ethnic equilibrium established.

A new political strucUire will inevitably follow:

drawing up of frontiers Ethnic extremism sity

and

in the

to reflect the

may

irrationality, to a

form of a

new

the creation of states

reality.

also be the response,

sometimes paranoiac

perceived threat to the national identity. This

class of people

deemed

is

and

to

in its inten-

may be

seen

be permeated with foreign influences, and

only with their utter elimination can the purity and security of the ethnie be ensured against the surrounding enemies.

By

such drastic means,

depopulation of the capital, Phnom-Penh, did the attempt to maintain the integrity of the nation it.

A

it

seems, including the

Khmer Rouge regime

at the cost in lives

similar explanation lies behind Robespierre's Terror: no-one

wholly committed revolutionary could be guaranteed not

enemy powers now ranged against France. The impulse to preser\'e the ethnic identit>' sometimes

to

of Pol Pot

of a large portion of

who was

not a

have traitorous links

with the

to recover the "national soul"

from the "pollution" of

Thus Mahatma Gandhi preached peasant values, echoing

the

in this the

need

takes the form of seeking

internationalist materialism.

to return to the spinning

wheel and humble

philosophy of Tolstoy before him;

Eamon De

Valera sought a return to an Ireland that never really was except in the imaginings of late Celtic

romanticism; and Welsh nationalists of the 1930s advocated, under a

similar influence, the pastoral ization of their country

by the miners of South

Wales.'''

The most

striking



a proposal not well received

manifestadon of

this

hosdle reac-

tion to materialist values has been the populist anti-Western character of a revived

Islam, the force behind the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the

more

secular, pro- Western

regimes

in the

Moslem

now

worid.

actively

undermining

1

Concepts of Nationalism

The most

direct

way of

preserving the ethnic identity

in

History

by disallowing

is

mixture by natural means. Religion has historically been a prime factor that marriage

was confined

continuous existence over

among

groups

others. In the

in

inter-

ensuring

community, and has largely made possible the

to the

many

1 1

centuries of the Jewish people living in small

same way,

the

two major communities of Northern

Ireland have preserved their separate identities by religious difference: marriage

across the religious, and hence ethnic, divide

is still rare,

and

lower levels of

at the

society can lead to ostracism or even danger. Usually, the force of public prejudice

a sufficient deterrent to mixed marriages where there

when

ness but sometimes, and particularly

Such was

by law.

it

had been

earlier

by

indeed being expressions

of, ethnic

may have been

regimes other than the Nazi

involved, these will be prohibited

Hitler's Reich.

These two regimes have been exceptional tering,

is

is

a strong ethnic conscious-

by the South African Nationalist regime during

the policy enacted

the apartheid period, as

race

is

modem

in

Western history

in fos-

nationalism in an extreme form. Fascist ultra-nationalist but they

were not

ultra-

was bom out of a fear of losing power to, or being submerged by, the much more numerous nonwhite population of the country. But in Germany there was no such fear, only a strong racial or ethnic preethnicist. In the case

of South Africa,

many European

judice that exists at a deep level in sions of

Jews had occurred

this

intermittently through

Massacres and expul-

societies.

European

history,

sometimes led

or abetted by the authorities, but often spontaneous and popular. Until the Holocaust, the worst

modem

incidents

were the Russian pogroms of the 1890s, occurring

village level but officially encouraged

and leading

to the

mass

flight

at the

of Jews to

Westem Europe and America. Such racialism had rarely been expressed as declared govemment policy, at least in modem times, but in the Nazis a class that shared these sentiments at last came to power. In the bid for revolutionary power they possessed a trump card. The racial creed made a seductive appeal to those who were lowly placed, yet by nature "upwardly mobile." The humblest clerk, provided he was of good Aryan stock, now had the priceless advantage of "blood": from being a nobody under the Kaiser, he now became, in Hitler's system of racial values, one of the lords of Creadon.

Whereas "hard"

ethnic nationalism insists

segregation {apartheid) or by the

more drastic

mination, "soft" ethnic nationalism able, with cultural liberal

autonomy or

is

Not

last

its

own

nationhood than

to

name

and

is

the

century and

more populous "core"

achieved either by

or, if that is

region.

came

into

surprisingly, ethnic nationalist

minority ethnie within a larger state are invariably

political

purity,

content with sovereignty,

privilege within

democratic movements of the

settlement of Versailles.

on ethnic

"ethnic cleansing" of expulsion or exter-

more

It is

its

unobtain-

a product of the

own

with the peace

movements

arising

from

self-conscious about their

nation within that state.

cultural nationalisms of the Catalans, Basques, Bretons,

Hence

the vibrant

Welsh, and Scots,

but a few, whereas ethnic "English nationalism," except in marginal cultural

ways, can scarcely be said to exist

—perhaps because

it

does not need to.^

1

Global Convulsions

12

Thus

we have looked

far

space. There

stances, needs

in politics. It adapts itself to different

and goals. There are times when

then, to universal surprise,

view,

of nationalism over historical time and

at varieties

no more protean force

is

it

will ignore or discount

circum-

appears to be a spent force, and

springs back with redoubled fury. In the present writer's

the ethnie that are the true realities of

it is

it

them

African and Middle Eastern

states,

much of

the worid, and the worid

Already they have torn

at its peril.

and

in

to pieces several

where kinship counts for

cultures

everything and allegiance to an inherited, rather than indigenous, state-system or nothing, the political superstructure looks

alism of nation-building

may

more and more

vulnerable.

little

The nation-

save something from the impending wreck but time

is

running short and the omens are not propitious r^

Upon

Communist order

the collapse of the

seem prematurely

to

have held

be taking a new and alarming

turn.

in

1989-91, there were those

had ended.

that History

On

the contrary,

Out of the anarchy and turmoil of

it

the

Dark Ages

a feudal order of dynastic kingdoms at length arose. This in turn gradually gave to a

new

who

appears to

way

order of nation-states, a process fired by nationalism and marked by the

wars, revolutions and upheavals that characterized especially the period from the

French Revolution

to the

Second World War and

its

anti-imperial aftermath.

The

twentieth century has seen the nation-state almost everywhere prevail. Indeed,

it

model which the former colonial world was bequeathed and expected

to

became

the

operate and prosper by. But no sooner had the idea of the nation-state achieved

worldwide currency, than a new type of polity founded upon kinship, appeared to be struggling to be

Yugoslavia; the genocide in states; the

ethnicity, tribalism,

bom. The bloody events

Rwanda and

of other African

virtual disintegration

reappearance of a virulent anti-semitism in Russia; the

hostility,

times murderously expressed, towards poor immigrants flooding, often

Western Europe and the United their identities

States;

fierce

by hitherto quiescent minorities

states; all these indicate that the race is

for the future

and the

in certain old established nation-

and the soul of the worid. Which of these two great

seeing the birth pangs of a

upon ethnicity?

fate

Is the

new world

some-

illegally, into

for the recognition of

on between ethnicism and

forces will triumph? Just as the dynastic state gave

momentous

demand

and

former

in the

way

state

social

nationalism

and

political

to the nation-state, are

we

order structured less upon nationalism than

ethnic state the state of the future? This

political question facing the

coming

century, for

is

probably the most

upon

its

outcome

the

of millions will be decided.-

Notes

1

.

The change of

title

from king of the people

England with the accession of John until the

union of the crowns

in

(1 199),

to king

of the land came

in

but in Scotland, with rare exceptions, not

1603, hence "Mary,

Queen of

Scots." This indicates

Concepts of Nationalism

the persistence of the archaic Scottish view of

monarchy

in History

as a relationship

1

13

between

chief and kindred. 2.

Bernard Shaw, Saint Joan,

3. J.

first

paragraph of the preface.

B. Black, The Reign of Elizabeth 1558-1603 (Oxford: Clarendon Press,

1936), p. 194.

See John Milton on God's choice of "His Englishmen"

4.

to achieve divine

Everyman edn., Book of Martyrs and the Elect Nation 1967), chap. 7, "The Elect Nation," espe-

purposes: Areopagitica in Milton's Prose Writings (London: Dent, 1958), p. 177. See also William Haller, Foxe's

(London: Cape, Bedford Historical Series, cially pp. 5.

1947

237^1, Winston

edn.), 6.

book

Thomas

245, 249. S. Churchill,

2, p.

Marlborough: His Life and Times (London: Harrap,

562.

Carlyle,

The French Revolution (London: Chapman and

Hall,

1900

edn.), p. 609. 7.

Martin Wight, International Theory: The Three Traditions (Leicester and

London: Leicester University 8.

soldiers, see 9.

Press, 1991), p. 91.

A cheap edition of the Nibelungenlied was published in The Fall of the Nibelungs (London: Dent, Everyman

1815 for the use of edn., 1908), p. vii n.

K. R. Minogue, Nationalism (London: Methuen, University Paperback

edn., 1969), p. 70. 10.

Bolton King, The Life ofMazzini (London: Dent, Everyman edn., 1911),

p.

310.

The Intimate Papers of Colonel House (London: Ernest Benn, 1926), vol. 1, 255. House predicted "an awfiil cataclysm" which no one in Europe, where there 11.

p.

many jealousies," could avert. many commentaries on Argentine society made in the aftermath of the Falklands War of 1982, but not now attributable. 13. The phrase occurs in book 9, chap. 1, of War and Peace but the idea is is

"too

much

12.

hatred, too

Cited in one of the

expounded

particularly in chap.

1

of the

first

epilogue and at greater length in the

second epilogue of the novel. 14. J.

Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses (London: Allen

&

Unwin,

1961), p. 124. Note also de Gaulle's observation "that only vast enterprises are cap-

able of counter-balancing the ferments of disintegration inherent in [the French] people; that our country danger. In short, to

my

.

.

.

must aim high and hold

itself straight,

on pain of mortal

mind, France cannot be France without greatness.": Charles

de Gaulle, War Memoirs. Vol.

1:

The Call

to

Honour— 1940-1942

(London: Collins,

1955), p. 9. 15.

Two

of the most perceptive books on

this

theme are C. A. W. Manning,

The Nature of International Society (London: Macmillan, reissued edn. 1975), and Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983).



1

Global Convulsions

14

See Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986), pp. 21-22, and E. J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780 (Cam16.

bridge:

Cambridge University

17.

Press, 1990), p. 160

and

Wight, op.

cit.

note

7,

Chap.

4,

24.

"Theory of Mankind: 'Barbarians,'" section on

Realism, pp. 50-66. 18.

n.

For examples of "Frontier" genocide, with further references, see Martin

This phrase

''ciscenje''

in

Serbo-Croatian

—was

first

Vojislav Seselj, a Serbian politician and extreme nationalist

were responsible for driving people from

their

As one

at

bloody shepherds!" 20.

a public meeting robustly put (told to the writer

The English

in

1991 by

paramilitaries

homes. Report from Belgrade by

Louise Branson, Sunday Times (London), July 26, 1992, 19.

used

whose

it,

p. 23.

"So you want

to turn us all into

by an eyewitness).

are the only indigenous people of the British Isles not to

produced a nationalist

party, although

some might argue

that they

have

produced the

nationalist parties of all the rest.

21. 22. fully,

The

italics are

I treat

the editor's.

of the developing contest between nationalism and ethnicity more

and with particular respect

to Africa,

Europe and the United

States,

in

and a by Kenneth W.

"Nationalist Ideals and Ethnic Realities," chap. 6 of Community, Diversity

New

World Order: Essays

in

Thompson (Lanham, New contribution may be regarded

Honor of Inis

L. Claude, Jr, edited

York, London: University Press of America, 1994). That as a sequel to the present chapter.

Cultural Foundations of Ethnonationalism The Role of Religion

MARTIN E. MARTY

An Assessment of the Current Scene

A goal strong

of

this

volume

phenomenon

is

to

at the

throw various

lights

on ethnonationalism, a surprisingly

end of this century. This implies understanding the role of

"ethnos," the people or peoplehood in the aggregates that cases, or

which

is

nations in others.

The assumption

features that might otherwise

tivism there

is

make up

a nation, in

some

seen to be coextensive with the political boundaries of particular is

that

some comparative study

will help bring out

go unnoticed or uncomprehended. With

also an effort to isolate

some

this

compara-

variables, in this chapter, the role of

religion.

Let

me

quote for openers one of the more eloquent assessments,

this

one by

Harold R. Isaacs:

We

are experiencing

on a massively universal scale a convulsive ingath-

ering of people in their numberless grouping of kinds



tribal,

racial,

linguistic, religious, national. It is a great clustering into separateness that will,

it is

or keep

it

thought, improve, assure, or extend each group's safe or safer

obviously no

new

from the power,

threat, or hostility

power or

place,

of others. This

chapter of the old story in which after failing again to find

how

co-exist in sight of each other without tearing each other limb

Isaac and Ishmael clash and part in panic and retreat once

is

most inclusive

condition, only the latest and by far the

they can

from limb,

more

into their

caves.'

115

1

Global Convulsions

16

Ethnonationalism

— we have

expression

now

is

the "ethnos" feature here in

and rendered more

intensified

and weaponry. Once upon a time, the could engage

would

retreat

mind

from the beginnings of recorded

religious base, has been present

lethal,



often with a

history.

quasi-national groups on one side of a

little

—while

went on,

the rest of the world

At mid-century the favored of Churches, ecumenism,

it

creates.

symbols indicated convergence,

elite

petalism: the United Nations, United

indifferent to or ignorant about

a part of geopolitics; cheap weaponry

is

and even nuclear destruction are part of the specter

World Federalism,

interfaith agencies,

UNESCO,

religious syntheses (in

internationalism, racial integration,

this

and

ethnicity

ethnonationalism

century the symbols point to divergence, centri-

on gender,

fugalization: particularisms based

all

itself,

Arnold Toynbee, Julian Huxley and Teilhard de Chardin)

were dominant. At the end of

combined with

centri-

a World Council

"the family of man," "global village," "spaceship earth," even the nation

Not

hill

warfare with those on another until one would prevail or both

in tribal

the event. Today, however, ethnonationalism

religion

Such an

new technology

thanks to

class, region, ideology,

and race have come "natural,"

is

can be contrived.

it

and most of

all,

to dominate.

Max Weber

ad-

dressed the definition and distinctions helpfully:

Any

aspect or cultural

trait,

Almost any kind of

superficial,

attract or repel

regardless of whether

it

other.

.

.

.

—because of

The

relationship, tive

political

is

community. Those

similarities or physical type or

shall call 'ethnic' groups, regardless

blood relationship exists or

somehow

common

not.

.

.

.

Behind

all

de-

customs or both, or



in

way that communal

such a

important for the continuation of non-kinship

we

.

belief in tribal kinship,

because of memories of colonization and migration this belief is

.

has any objective foundation, can have important

groups that entertain a subjective belief in their

scent

.

and of habits

or disaffinity exists between

tribal affinity

each

consequences especially for the formation of a

human

can serve as a

tendency to monopolistic closure.

similarity or contrast of physical type

can induce the belief that a

groups that

how

no matter

starting point for the familiar

of whether an objec-

ethnic diversities there

naturally the notion of the 'chosen people,'

which

is

nothing

else but a counterpart of status differentiation translated into the plane of

horizontal coexistence.

from the

fact that

member of the

We is

element

idea of a chosen people derives

its

popularity

can be claimed to an equal degree by any and every

mutually despising groups.^

note Weber's double use of the word "objective": he observes that there

may be no there

it

The

objective foundation or objective blood relationship. People presume that

one, or that in

it

can be fabricated. Religion, as

we

shall see,

can be a potent

developing the mythic structures that stand behind ethnic groups and

ethnonationalism.

Cultural .Foundations of Ethnonationalism

Those who study

1

religion in international aifairs will instinctively correlate

these political situations with cultural, including religious, phenomena. Religion

more

visible

17

and potent factor

some

in

situations than others.

is

a

Wherever the word

'Islam" or "Israel" shows up, the public begins to think of Shi'ite and Sunni Islamic

fundamentalism versus

Emunim,

Israeli

movements

like the

or the tribalism of the Haredim. India

Bloc of the is

may

Hindu, and Sikh fundamentalist-like movements that constitutionalism.

Quebec and

Canada

for

Gush

jeopardize inherited

troubled by phonic and religious cultures between

is

the rest of the nation. In Northern Ireland the partisan boundaries

and Catholic. "Muslim Bosnia"

religious terminology: Protestant

name

Faithful, the

today torn between Islamic,

match

the standard

is

one of the beleaguered areas of what was Yugoslavia, and the word

Christian or Orthodox or Catholic gets associated with Serbian, Croatian, and other areas there.

Meanwhile

in Nigeria,

groupings marked by what used to be called "animisms"

define themselves between and alongside rival Islamic and Christian proselytizing

movements. In South Africa, the Inkatha party and the Zulu movements connect with symbols that are vasdy different from those that give old Dutch

Reformed Church's former

religious racism in white populations are well

New

evident, also, for example, in the spiritual definitions

life to

the

ANC. And

known. The

role of intense religion

on

all

task

is

is

Christian Right in the United States, or the

of African-, Native-, Asian-, or Hispanic/Latino-

(to

say nothing

of sundry Euro-) Americans in the United States, and provides more close to access to ethnonational elements.

the

legitimation of apartheid, as well as English

home

We leave to specialists the assessment of particulars

these regions, including where religion does or does not play a major role; our anticipatory, inclusive, comparative,

and

synthetic.

What We Make of the New Situation It is

as foolish to overestimate the religious factor in ethnonationalism and conflict as

it is

dangerous to underestimate

it.

Much

of the sense of identity and purpose within

groups would exist apart from anything approaching religion. There are ageless ele-

ments of human individual and group aggression,

little

understood (or

at least pro-

ductive of few shared explanations), which inspire bonding apart from sacred

symbols. People strains, as

may be

some of

the

out Oedipal impulses; there are

The

some

expressing heritages of particularly violent simian ancestral

more extravagant

new

issue of personal

and

social identity^ has

When

grown acute

the empire subjugated "you,"

you and your group were. You gained

When

territory.

But

features.

post-Cold War circumstances.

the foreign devils.

may be working

another option, merely seeking turf and

or, as

particular

ethologists claim; or they

identity

in postcolonial,

you knew who

by facing off against the barbarians,

they went home, you were

left

without that

foil for self-

1 1

Global Convulsions

8

and began

definition

to

redraw the boundaries of the nations

that they

had

artificially

drawn and produced. The American could wake up any morning from soon 1945

who

1989 and know

until

s/he was, because the "evil empire" over there

everything that a U.S. citizen was not. But Berlin Wall life.

new

fell,

was

the Iron Curtain

was

torn and the

questions arose as people had to ask what defined geopolitical

modem

Of course,

when

after

were not the dominant

ethnonationalism existed where colonialism and imperialism

and tribalism lived on among peoples remote and not

factors,

immediately affected by the Cold War. But the changed international situation has

made

these forces more vivid, more vital, more visible than before. The question of identity links with questions about whom one

the continuities in

my

life;

who

altruism;

can

I

bond

life

for

me

me; who guides

protects

simplify

tribalist offers to

whom

with

my

trusts;

where are

security or the expression of

through the mazes of

life?

The

by making ethnicity and meaning roughly coexistent

and coextensive. And as the ideologies associated with imperialism and the Cold

War were found which

be ineffective or obsolete,

to

They could

to believe.

at least reject

it

left

and draw themselves together

universalist impulses

millions without something in

cosmopolitanism, internationalism, and in support

of themselves, their

meanings.

tribes, their

Modem

ethnonationalism with

moves toward

its

religious dimensions

power vacuums or rearranging

filling

polities.

is

also expressive of

Where

the ballot does

not serve, the bullet may. This version of ethnicity includes aesthetic elements and

belongs

at least to the

decor of

life, if

not to

its

substance. Folk song, popular dance,

the stories told, the posters and images projected, have great appeal

force the tribe(s) to

when

which one belongs. And ethnonationalism seems

to

they rein-

be growing

as part of a revolt against bureaucratization, remoteness, impersonality, and decisionat-a-distance. be,

is

The

ethnic group, the subnation, or even the nation, as the case

may

close at hand, observable, possibly malleable to the purposes of ordinary

participants.

For

all

these reasons ethnonationalism

reinforcement; but

it

is

and would be strong without religious

has religious reinforcement or impulse in surprising abundance

and variety today.

The Surprise Factor:

Why Religion, Why Is It Overlooked?

A fissure runs through world cultures, nations, ethnic groups, and ethnonationalisms. On one

side are those

something

where

that

religion

is

is

where

religion

waning and

will

is

seen as a "private

affair," a

presumably disappear.

On

manifest, visible, palpable, flaunted as a force in

institutions are massive;

its

hold and demands pervasive;

its

secondary

factor,

the other are those

human

affairs. Its

symbols are public and

proudly displayed. The contrast would be most visible to someone

who compared,

for instance, the physics or biology department of a typical state-sponsored univer-

9

Cultu ral Foundations of Ethnonationalism

sity in

Europe or America with a

circle

1 1

of Islamic fundamentalist partisans in a city

square in Algeria. In the case of inhabitants of the Western university world, they religious by moonlight, spiritual on their own time, pious in private. But in few overt ways could anything even reminiscently or vestigially religious be seen as integral to the processes that constitute academic investigation, research and

may be

teaching. In the case of the Algerians, hitherto relaxed and semi-secular

Muslims

have foregone further intrusion into the camps of modernity. They have redonned garb that signals Islamic culture, including the chador or

They

veil.

are punctilious

about attending to prayer and worship. They study the scriptures and take signals

from

its

expounders, being unsatisfied with secular explanation.

Not only

there a fissure through cultures; ethnonationalism also has elicited

is

or produced a situation in which there tions of those fired

by

who

is,

To

modem

elites

of the motiva-

the ethnonationalist

university, clinic, broadcasting studio, legislature, or

through ignorance or malevolence, incapable of understanding the

True Way. To the

modem

caster, the ethnoreligious

an earlier

understanding by

lead or follow in the path of the Other.

religion, the

social circle

is litde

human

academic, clinician, laboratorian, politician, or broad-

group moved by a sacred scripture looks

condition or situation; a pocket of people

the signals of change; an

embodiment of

up with the forces of modemization and

like a vestige

who have just

cultural lag that sooner or later will catch

secularization.

What

has led to the second

of these two, a characteristic stance that has excluded religion from

concem? To most

observers, the key

would be

the afterglow of the Enlightenment. For science,

and a belief

interpreting

life.

the shaping of the

religion

was a

modem

common

university in

two centuries people moved by reason,

in progress, helped develop reflexive

To them

of

not gotten

set

ways of doing and

of practices or ideologies which must

all

but inevitably wane. For Auguste Comte, religion, like metaphysics, belonged to an earlier stage

of humanity, and would be replaced. For Karl

Marx

it

would wither

away

as the

Max

Weber, though an acute observer of religions everywhere, saw the

communist process and philosophy of

history unfolded

and triumphed.

modem

scene as one of Entzauberung, disenchantment, rationalization and not a response to revelation.

Sigmund Freud

located religion in quasi-mythical layers of the troubled

psyche.

Today

how

critical analysts

speak of

this intemally contradictory cluster as

sharing in "the Enlightenment project," which

the horizon of

postmodem

times. Critics

that failed.

Many

presumed

to

be

some-

in trouble at

from within have questioned the presump-

tions behind the face of reason. Science has

God

is

produced mixed

believe that this project

is in

benefits. Progress

trouble, but

was a

have not come up

with altematives, and tend to act on the effects where the founding assumptions have all

away and that was a less which would endure

but disappeared. Along with the belief that religion would go

nationalism, ethnicity, or

some

other force

would by

itself prevail, there

clearly voiced implicit belief that while religion survived, that

1

Global Convulsions

20

would be necessarily concessive, adaptive uprooted from

tribalist bases.

Its

to international

and cosmopolitan forces,

professors and confessors

would be empathic,

responsive, ecumenical, interfaithed, tolerant people. Conversation, dialogue, and

openness would accompany the religion

What was overlooked

now

that survived.

in these projects, as

both like to point out,

is

that

stantive philosophy of history.

postmodernists or

critical rationalists

Enlightenment modernism was

The

rationalists acted as if they

another sub-

still

knew something

about the secrets of the future, about outcomes. Also overlooked was the ideological tendency, often unrecognized by the secular observer. In the eighteenth century, the

movements and

knew the future: reason would prevail. In the nineGods would die because social and psychological forces would

their leaders

teenth century, the

make them unnecessary and

irrelevant. In the twentieth century, the

human Theater

of the Absurd would convince people that religious explanations were

and

Yet religion

illusion.

or turning private, as

it

in its ever-adaptive

does not

in

all bad faith ways (sometimes by going underground

ethnonationalisms) outlasted most of the prophets

and prophesies.

Who

is

surprised? Paradoxically and ironically: the leadership in the very

agencies which are supposed to monitor antennae,

its

comers of

human

impulses.

The academy, with

in order to

it,

understand ethnonationalist movements, there has been

considerable recovery of interest. But the academy, which should be the

measure, was sometimes the nationalist religion.

who

to

account for the scope of ethno-

The mass media of communication,

it

did appear.

Commerce

national labels on stocks and its

how

last to learn

may be

clients

goes about

its

is

often in the hands of people

are

secularly ecumenical: there are no

most bonds. The

struggling with the

business the same

Those who

way whether or

making claims

fail to

religious themes, ordinarily

not religious meanings exist.

for their ethnonationalist tribes

see what motivates them. While

dominant one,

demands

religion

is

do not have the

A volume

such as

this

in

others

it

Ethnonationalism

one could hardly

ethnonationalism. Thirty years ago

now. That situation

religion.

how

not the only factor and not always the

sufficiently integrally related to ethnonationalisms that

What It Is and Does

is

is

fresh inquiry.

Religion:

it

it

reli-

denomi-

modem hospital or clinic, even though

most profound

luxury of overlooking and underusing religion; nor do they understand

can

first to

did not share the ecologies where religion prospered, were dismissive of

gion where

its

social scientific fabric, largely has marginalized religion. In selective

it

fail to

would

may have been

scrutinize the religious

dimension of

have been easier to neglect religion than

the result of indifference to, or ignorance of,

The Western academy and media, where pluralism and

blunted the force of religion or the comprehension of

it,

secularization have

often overlooked the role

it

1

Cultural Foundations of Ethnonationalism

played under the noses of observers or

in

why

"We

worked against our purposes.

observed

We

all

forces and elements that could have

watched banking, education, mores, costume,

entertainment, technology, family-life, media, and more.

in the

Agency had to The regular

they had been caught off guard by the Ayatollah Khomeini.

answer, paraphrased, was:

was

attention to

2

remote cultures. After the Iranian revolu-

tion in 1979, high operatives in the United States Central Intelligence

explain

1

modem

religion,

presuming

that

The only

we

thing

paid no

everyone knew that religion had no power

world."

may be

Today, while religion

and as a segregated

treated in isolation

anyone in government, the media, or the academy

who

wants

do

to

topic,

full justice to

ethnonationalism has to include observation of religion. But the ability to do so has

been atrophied, or rendered with definition.

We know

difficult,

—beginning

by the complexity of the subject

what weapons do; we can observe troop movements;

not difficult to define boundaries like rivers; there

is

much

it is

experience in the

understanding of constitutionalism and economics. But religion

is

diffuse, hard to

may be epiphenomenal, which means attached to a force that anyhow; or it may be the main motivating force. It may be explained

grasp, hard to isolate;

it

would be there away through reductionism: "nothing but" superstition,

Yet after religion?

all

religion of the sort that inspires ethnonationalism

—economics, psychology,

this or that

and

who knows what

else, are called into

play as explanatory factors.

the reducing and explaining, something remains.

What

What

is,

some

broad that they virtually are coexistensive with

phenomenology of

enhance and

illustrate the

football, the

Miss America

all

religion

"Religion

is

tive purposes there confuses

commonsensical

human

reality.

by showing

professional

and Mardi Gras are

But each use of the term

is

what one finds

Many

attend

in

thus

tribalists

on the

whose

the Catholic

Church

in

Northern Ireland often works to

bring ecumenical concord and civil peace. Unchurched peoples

who may seldom

is

not even frequent institutions of the faith under

identified only with the institutions of organized religion.

names they move. Thus

reli-

for illustra-

uses.

the other end, the definition can be too narrow: religion

may

did

Thus one can

how

phone book's Yellow Pages under "Churches and Synagogues," and

ethnoreligious scene

what

we

definitions of religion are so

contest, bull-fighting in Spain,

gious; they certainly have religious dimensions.

At

meant by

into a multimillion word, sixteen-volume encyclopedia, as

with The Encyclopedia of Religion'' That

the

is

is it?

An open-textured way of bringing focus to the topic is to say: you would put

is

magic and

sociology, status,

mass or other

rites

named

Catholic,

of the church, are described as both

"religious" and ethnonationally militant.

Rather than attempt to construct purposes,

will

I

student of tribalism. to provide.

I

my own

definition of religion for present

simply borrow some pointers used by Harold Isaacs, a pioneer

quote:

He

defines religion functionally, by pointing to what

it

sets out

.

.

1

.

.

Global Convulsions

22



a powerful personal-individual-emotional-subjective experience



a powerful institutional-social-historical-objective actuality



a



a provider of a set of explanations for the inexplicable ... a source of

way of dealing with

the

awesome

forces of nature

meaning [Weber]

way of ordering

the vagaries of misfortune and

good fortune



a



a supplier of significance for the insignificant



a source of solace



a source of authority, of commanding law to be obeyed



"a dramatization on a cosmic plane of the emotions, fears, and long-

.



.

.

.

.

.

ings" stemming from each person's

and mother

.

own

.

.

relations with his/her father

([Freud,] Ernest Jones)

as sanction and upholder of temporal authority, providing the halo of

divine origin for earthly rulers, defining and defending norms, public

morality and obligations, a bulwark against anarchy/evil, the indispensable bonding cement in the social order,

God

"symbol of society"

as

(Durkheim) •

as tool of power, blesser of banners of conquerors



or, contrastingly, religion as

the

many

.

millenarian revolutionary movements.''

Instead of defining religion, one

common

.

source of challenge to authority as ... in

consent, have

come

to

may

effectively point to

be seen as possessing

work

phenomena which, by

qualities that

would, indeed,

The Encyclopedia of Religion. This nominalist-of-a-sort approach means, for me, that one watches for:

lead to their being included in a

''Ultimate

most

concern^ Paul

attached, in

Tillich's

called

term for whatever

which they are grounded; not

all

it is

to

which humans are

ultimate concern

religious, but all religion is expressive of ultimate concern. Tribalists

sons out as part of a

move

human

is

necessarily

who

send their

chain to walk across landmined areas so troops can

safely, believe that they serve the

purposes of Allah and will be rewarded

in

Paradise so they are not deterred by the attractions of proximates. They are wrapped

up

in ultimacy, to the point

of the sacrifice of life.

Experience of the sacred. hears a scripture that

is

One

hears the voice of

God

Rudolf Otto called a sense of the mysterium tremendum 'Take the shoes off your ground." The

call

feet, for the

more

likely,

reads or

While ultramodern

is

what

is

et fascinosum, a mystery.

ground on which you are standing

of the ethnoreligious militant

Socialization.

or,

conceived of as an utterance of the divine; there

holy

is

to serve sacral purposes.

religion, for

example American

style,

and

some earlier religion, including nonmonastic and noncommunal Buddhism, might make room for solitary spirituality, for "privatization," most experience of the sacred or devotion to ultimate concern leads people to build community. religious

movements employ

Some

the religious vision to deepen socialization;

begin as socialized religious responses which then impel action.

ethno-

some

Cultural Foundations of Ethnonationalism

123

Preference for mythosymbolic expression. The connections between religion and myth are profound, and most religious reinforcement occurs through symbols. Religious people by and large prefer not to use abstract or scientific communication; they cherish mythic accounts of origin and destiny. Thus most ethnoreUgious tribes,

from animists

in

Africa to civil religionists in the United States, have

myths. ("Fourscore and seven years ago,

." .

some founding

Lincoln could have said "Eighty-seven

.

years ago," and sounded like the drafter of an article for an encyclopedia entry on constitutionalism or war.

He invoked

rhetorical strategies that his hearers associated

with the fabric of sacred scriptural voice.) Rite

and ceremony. Religious people

though some anthropologists see a religious dimension

monial

activity.

But

the passages of

religious people in almost

life,

engage

in rituali-

in all ritual

and cere-

are not the only ones to

zation,

cases do engage in ritualization of

all

Even highly

the elements of their bonding.

rationalized

humanistic religions like Unitarian Universalism and Ethical Culture find to

provide

rites after birth

nationalist groups

enhance

and for marriage or

their life

Quasi-metaphysical appeal

together with

Some

at the

it

and

valuable

time of death. So ethno-

ritual.

religions are frankly metaphysical

and argue

more economical about philosophical claims. But most of them suggest that something is going on behind the scenes; there is a backdrop to history. Thus ethnonational groups, however small they be, are contheir case philosophically; others are

vinced that they are acting out divine purposes that can be

known through

scripture,

charismatic leadership, or meditation.

Behavioral correlation. Everyone behaves;

would be

it

religion alone stands behind moral expression in specifics

religions

all

do make

certain

and do not eat

eat this

observe

that;

demands: they

ask,

silly

and action

to claim that in general.

But

do you believe thus and so? Then

bring up your children thus; wear that; worship here;

this season. Ethnonationalists

when

they are informed by religion

make

moral demands on insiders and prescribe action against outsiders.

Why

do they

act religiously?

For

at least these five reasons. First,

they have a

sense that they have had an encounter with the Other through revelation, disclosure,

What

scriptural study, reason, nature, or rhetoric.

passing,

total.

It

must be acted upon. Second,

is

disclosed

this

Other

is

is

demanding, encomperceived as

Spirit:

transcendent, sacred, divine, uncanny, not easily accessible, not available to the outsider. Third, this

Other imparts some sort of inside knowledge, gnosis, particularized

interpretation of experience. in extraordinary action,

of

this

Be equipped

knowledge connects with power.

Finally, the encounter with the tive to

with

this

knowledge and one can engage

can interpret success and failure It

alike. Fourth, the

issuance

legitimizes action and grants authority.

Other implies a

call for the individual or the collec-

be agents of the sacred and the divine. They are elect people, selected for

mission.

Religion on these terms, then, gives people an identity and sense of belonging and, in almost cases, a network to which to belong.

The

benefits of belonging

may

Global Convulsions

124

include encouragement for healing, inspiring, enabling, and providing interpretation. In

ethnonationalism, religion

and shun

why

others,

versely, religion

tells

w h\

an instrument

is

a group

came

w h\ one should respond

to be,

there should be consequent action to the point of death. in separation.

Over

Western Imperialist, the Barbarian Muslim,

s\Tnbolizations of evil help die ones to act against those

Some

who

stand in the

who \v a\"

belong remain

dents.

deserves separate obsenation and analysis.

of Religion[s]:

such

If religion as

is

one

many

Much

of Western Europe,

linle

more than

and monasteries, now empty,

to reinforce tribalism? Obviously,

situation, as

a

site

and tolerance come

to

Enlightenment prophesies

and harder-line

Some

called a "withering"

remembrance, something after a

that has left cathedrals

passage tiirough the Enlightfaith to

be appreciated and evidenced. But ecumenical,

and

semi-indifferent,

ever\where

of them have. Forces

of historic Christendom, has seen church-

monuments. Or

as

many

w hat Marx

enment, some of these religions saw the aggressi\e elements of

tition

historical prece-

an unexpectedly powerful agent on the ethnonationalist scene,

of secularization ha\ e often led to a diminishing or

ciliator)',

broadly defined

vers-

A Fundamentalist Outlook

through modemirv and into the postmodern

become

these and similar

have undergone great transformations as they moved into and

historic religions

religion



lo\al, the acti\'ists are inspired

late in the twentieth centur\. \\i\h

one must ask which forms of religion do die most

of religion.

Great Satan, the

tiie

Jew

tiie

religions fulfil tiiese purposes bener tiian others;

impulse has arisen

The Power

Con-

of die group and the di\ine.

st\le or It

it

against the true believers there are

the false; against the orthodox are the heterodox and the heretics; .\ntiChrist, the

to

in the

tolerant religions are precisely those that despite

tiiat the\'

w orld,

be moderated,

rational, recon-

would

prosper, ha\"e not

done

so. In

open compe-

they are no match for aggressive, assertive, imperial,

religions.

of these spiritual impulses have few immediate

tribal, etiinonational,

or

belligerent implications. .\s one example, within Christianity various sorts of pente-

costalisms and charismatic

and converts without

in

mo\ ements

ha\ e transformed the lives of their advocates

even, case turning political.

sociologists of religion like

Emile Durkheim

tiiink

They

of as "effenescences." They

be coping devices for the oppressed and poor, signals of hope less

world.

They may

ser\e as

economic moves. They sene

They provide

make

legitimators for people

to ritualize the

dignity and hope.

Such

passages of

religions

and

sense of the universe around tiiem. and

personal or small and local

communal

life,

in

who

may

an otherwise hopeare

making new

the seasons of the year.

spiritual forces help individuals

fultll

or exhaust themselves on

levels.

Alongside such exuberances. howe\er. there are neoreligious forces motivate aggression; they do solidity

what

are outbursts of

tribalist

that

groups and impulses; they do

do

legiti-

Cultural Foundations of Ethnonationalism

125

mate exclusion of the "other," the stress on "difference," the exaggeration of the flaws of non-members and of the virtues of adherents. They might be spoken of as "retribalist" religions.

A code-name for many of them

that has inspired considerable curiosity attention, in a

is

fundamentalism,^ a subject

and scholarly inquiry, as well as media

world where many thought religions would decline and disappear.

Fundamentalisms, movements bearing family-resemblances to fundamentalism, fundamentalist-like forces,

demand and deserve

(The use of the term 'fundamentalism'

moment

spend a

analysis for their role in ethno-

we shall spend some time exploring them

nationalism, and

discussing and qualifying

is

its

under whatever name.

sometimes controversial, so

use.

The term was invented

I

shall

early in

twentieth-century American Protestantism, after a series of pamphlets called The

Fundamentals, a "World's Christian Fundamentals Association" founded

and an

editorial

by a Baptist editor

in 1920. It

was

in 1919,

associated with intraProtestant

batdes over biblical criticism, evolution, apocalypticism, and general modernist trends.

The hallmark became a

doctrine of "biblical inerrancy," and for decades

European dictionaries equated the doctrine with the term. For those reasons, nonProtestants and non-Christians have sometimes rejected the application of the term, seeing

be "linguistic imperialism" by the West. Various substitutes have been

to

it

offered, for

example "Radical Reformist" or "Reformist Revolutionary"

Islam, in the case of one

phenomenon.

It is

sometimes mentioned

that

Shi'ite

Arabic and

Jewish dictionaries do not include cognates to the term fundamentalism. However, the use of the term by media, publics, and academics around the world, has grown.

The term

is

exportable and used for comparative purposes, for example as in the

case of "nationalism," "liberalism," "conservatism," or whatever. Scholars tend to be cautious in the use of the term, not ready to equate

"extremism." But

it is

it

with "militancy" or

likely to survive as the designation for the kind

which can move from passivism toward the impelling of activism

Not

alism.

all

ethnonationalism

is

religious

and not

all

of religion

in ethnonation-

religious ethnonationalism

is

fundamentalist. But the connections are sufficiendy widespread that examination of the fundamentalist

phenomenon

is

in place.)

Students of the current subject, religious ethnonationalism, have increasingly

come to

the observation that the "old-time religion" appearance and self-advertisement

of these movements in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and more,

can throw one off the

They appear

trail.

mere

to their adherents as

conservatism, or orthodoxy. However, the fundamentalisms are

traditionalism,

distinctively

modem,

dynamic, and innovative movements. Indeed, the term 'fundamentalism' was coined

by some adherents precisely

were seen as too

to set themselves off

quietistic, too

ready to

let

reactor, a participant in confronting modernity,

and refurbishing symbols of the

know

s/he

other,"

it

is

is

a

traditionalist;

necessary to

old.

It

once one

work

is

and apart from conservatisms, which

the world pass

it

by.

The fundamentalist is a new while retaining

an inventor of the

has been said that a true traditionalist does not self-aware, thanks to a confrontation with "the

at traditionalism, to

make new

things out of

it.

Global Convulsions

126

The

ethnoreligious fundamentalisms, therefore, take rise only after modernity

(under whatever description and name) and modernism as a religious adaptation to

it

have threatened members of a conservative movement. They must perceive modernity as a total threat to their personal and social identity; unless they respond, its pluralism, relativism, and "worldliness"

may

be corrosive and potentially overwhelming

young and

well be lures for their

to

all.

They must

react.

This

is

will

the point

which "old-time" elements, the "fundamentals" from purportedly pure pasts, pure better moments, clearer laws, come to be invoked. Karl Rahner, a Catholic theologian, has spoken of "selective retrieval." Fundamentalists selectively at

scriptures,

retrieve "fundamentals"

from a presumed

past.

They

are practical, choosing those

most help ward off threatening forces of the other and

what

will

their

groups together. This means that they create boundaries, distance themselves

from

others, eliminate the

that will

most keep

compromisers, adapters and moderates, and magnify their

difference from others.

When instructed,

the group, cell,

movement, or

been fashioned, motivated,

tribe has

and reinforced, fundamentalist ethnonationalisms regularly express a

sense that they have a mandate from God, from suprahuman or supernatural forces or powers or persons, to carry out a sacred will. With the mandates and

commands

come

how much

promises: be the agents of the divine in history and, no matter

travail adherents

undergo and however much frustration there

pation will be rewarded

—perhaps through

may

be, the partici-

ultimate earthly victory or through final,

postdeath compensation. Such a religious ethos imparts a sense of knowledge about

where

history

is

going.

It

dence with an awareness

how

to attain

it.

So

has a that

telos,

a goal, an end.

he or she knows what

militant

there are all-purpose explanations for

morale-building elements to help set things

There are local

The

that goal

variations,

is,

moves

in confi-

and something of

what goes wrong, and

right.

depending upon the religion and the poise of the

Thus American Protestant fundamentalists have little immediate hope of capturing the polity. They can influence it, through constitutional revision and local reform. American fundamentalisms may produce tribes, but they have rarely motivated armed conflict. They provide symbolization for patriotic "hyper-Americanism" followers.

and ordinarily identify with the secular simple ethnic

lines.

political right, but rarely

Hispanics and Anglos

may

Alabamans and Arizonans who never meet each

do they follow

belong to the same movement; other, never

form a

circle,

never

shoulder weapons together, and thus are hardly ethnonationalists, can share a militant religious vision and

win

parts of a polity.

In other polities, such as Arabic Islamic states, where "church and state,"

"religion and regime," have never been "separated" as

separated them, religious ethnonationalists can polity.

This they have done

in

Iran,

American constitutionalism

more credibly

picture taking over the

the Sudan, and elsewhere. In Algeria, for

example, secular-military regimes of nominal Muslims are on the defensive against

now

majority fundamentalist militant parties. Small groups of these threaten the

Cultural Foundations of Ethnonationalism

semisecular ruling party of Egypt. If and to see to

it,

and sometimes succeed

when

they prevail, these

1

movements attempt

have the boundaries of the

in their endeavors, to

nation-state coincide with their religious rule. This gready inconveniences ethnic

one thinks of the Kurds and Baha'i

religious minorities;

In other cases, subnational tribalists are agents of religious disruption. slavia

artificial national fabrication; as

was

it

free to disintegrate

been forced into federation, so Yugoslavia broke

had great

which

apart. Similar

officially held together but

working peaceable

difficulty effecting a

Yugo-

became

it

clear that Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Islam had reinforced the peoples

vailed in Lebanon,

and

religionists in Iran as

by nationwide ethnonationalism.

particularly threatened

was an

27

who had

circumstances pre-

has been torn by warfare and has

polity.

The Central Asian

republics

of the former Soviet Union and Afghanistan are further examples of the ways militant religion, often frindamentalist, tears at or sunders the larger nation.

The

battles

between Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and other belligerent forces threatens secular constitutionalism in India. In

summation: "ethnonationalism"

one's tribe with religious truth even

may

not find

its

identification of

borders coexistensive

can also mean that a whole nation converts

it

and policy expressive of such a religious element. Such forces are

to a polity

turbing

unit

if that

with those of a whole nation-state. But

may mean

to,

and disruptive

of,

which by

republics,

groups. In fundamentalism, the agents of

They

prevail in their sacred cause.

God

will not

dis-

definition are aggregations of

must, no matter

be talked out of

how

it,

long

takes,

it

compromised, or

mannered. Their moment will come; the Lord, by whatever name, has told diem

so.

Prospects for the Future

For

all

the

dreams

that, after the

Cold War and with the implosion of ideological

Communism,

systems such as Soviet

there

would be a period of

relative peace,

look into the twenty-first century with equanimity or hope. During the Cold

few

War a

kind of rationality marked the irrationalism of weapons build-ups, espionage, propaganda, and expression of suspicion. That the

two major players

is,

the Soviet

Union and

the United States,

in everyone's conception of international

confrontational

games, were highly aware of the costs of adventurism. They knew that capabilities rendered their

limited.

While they used

where, both seemed to retrospect,

it

may be

their

know

that

power around their limits

the globe, taking sides in conflicts every-

and the

risks of

pushing the other too

each overestimated the aggressive

may have

fallen victim to their

Cold War

will

own arms

be seen as having had

industries

irrational

Today, while there are

still

instincts

far.

In

of the other They

and paranoia: for

that reason the

dimensions. Yet calculation and an eerie

sense of rationality characterized and qualified the

internal upheavals in

their nuclear

freedom of movement on the global scene complex and

moves of the superpowers.

armaments and there

is still

wariness, and while

an unstable Russia or assertiveness in China, North Korea, or

— Global Convulsions

128

other polities

may

destabilize situations elsewhere, the eyes of people in statecraft,

media, and the academy have turned and will continue to turn to the ethnonational

and what

I

have called the

An

tribalist scene.

observing world, looking on

first at

Lebanon and in recent years particularly at Afghanistan, the former Yugoslavia, the Arab-Israeli Middle East scene, Nigeria, Sudan, the republics of the former Soviet Union, and

many

other scenes,

is

more wary and watchful, more ready

powerless and frustrated, as smaller-than-national groupings of people

to feel

them-

set

selves over or against others.

The

racial, ethnic, tribal,

and religious memories and resentments are so deep,

so incapable of being restrained, corrected, moderated, or put to positive use, that no

moves by superpowers seem effective. The United Nations may do and has been in some of these areas, but the nations who provide troops cannot do

doing policing

so for decades or even centuries. Resources and resolve run out. retreat

from the scene, repressed ethnonational ist and

themselves, with battles fought to a draw or until there

even

at the

expense of "ethnic cleansing"

is total

that takes

The moment

they

religious tribalism reassert

victory of

one side

on the character of

virtual

genocide.

Over

the course of the next century,

new unforeseen

upon the scene. One observer came up with economic forces

the picture of

that tend to impel interactions

which might compensate.

It

may be

that prophets

forces will no doubt

"Mac World,"

come

a network of

and produce transethnic impulses,

on the

may be

religious scene

able

to reach into heretofore overlooked elements of the various traditions as they give

voice to universalism, ecumenism and reconciliation, impulses currently obscured.

It

could be that a "neo-Enlightenment" could arise to promote some measure of

The

rationality in the interactions.

historian has seen too

"never" about recoveries and changes

However, on the shorter range,

in political

say,

many

surprises to say

and humanistic energies.

through the next couple of decades, one can

expect ethnonationalism, reinforced with or motivated by religious and mythical interpretations, to continue to cause tension

and upheaval.

of surveillance will be developed further

order to limit the terrorist possibilities of

tribalist

poor

groups.

It is

in

almost certain that munitions makers,

ones, will continue to find the supply of

to international boycotts to

grow.

More

weapons

be so profitable that the

to

It is

in rich nations as

One can

many

well as

even those forces subject continue to

lethal threat will

than likely, mistrust of the possible agents of the

high, forcing invasions of privacy in

likely that techniques

tribalists will

remain

areas.^

chart the course of the occasional utopian-sounding

book

that foresees

concord: each gains

some

notice and following, but after the publishing season in

which

over,

all

it

appears

is

traces of

disappear. In universities there

is

what

it

envisioned and proposed tend to

some growth of

studies in areas like Religions-

wissenschaft, "history of religions," comparative religion, and the

advocates making the claim that

academic pursuits

will lead to a

like.

Some

growth

tolerance, and reconciliation, or at least a minimization of bloodshed.

in

of their

empathy,

But the hearts

Cu Itu ra I Foundations of Ethnonationalism

of the scholars do not seem to be

in their

endeavor

move beyond

to

1

29

inquiry and

understanding, conferences and consultations notwithstanding, and public expectation of results is minimal.

Now

to the hope that some new Gandhi or exemplar of reconciliatory resources, will appear in some Schweitzer or King, various cultural contexts. The religious texts speaking of transcendent and transtribal concord are rich and available. They can stir conscience and promote moral vision. It

would be and to

and then someone gives expression

abandon hopes

foolish to

self-interested tribalisms

for reaching into

and offering

and beyond the self-enclosed

larger visions.

But

it

also

would be foolish

expect reconciliation and rationality to be strong enough visions and forces to

counter the threats that disturb the peace as

this

century and millennium

come

to an

end.

Notes

1.

Harold Isaacs, Idols of the Tribe: Group Identity and Political Change

& Row,

York: Harper 2.

vol.

1

Max

Weber, "Ethnic Groups,"

(Glencoe,

3.

On

Free Press, 1961),

II:

(New

1975), p. 10. in Talcott

Parsons

et al..

Theories of Society,

p. 305ff.

Thomas Luckmann, The Invisible Religion: The in Modem Society (New York: Macmillan, 1967), e.g., p. 97.

the identity theme, see

Problem of Religion 4.

Harold Isaacs, op.

5.

Some

cit.

note

1,

pp. 31-32.

elements of what follows parallel argument in Martin E.

Mary and

R.

Scott Appleby, Fundamentalisms Observed (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,

1990.) 6.

Editor's Note:

The

detention and interrogation of Abraham

Ahmad,

a thirty-

one-year-old United States citizen of Jordanian birth, by British authorities at



the day after the bombing of the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City instantiates powerfully Marty's observation. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of Tuesday, April 25, 1995,

London's Heathrow Airport on April 20, 1995 Alfred

P.



reported the following:

Ahmad

.

.

says he thinks his Middle Eastern appearance and

.

plus the fact that he ities to

.

.

.

detain him.

"People automatically think that the person

Middle

name

was coming from Oklahoma City prompted author-

But

East.

I

didn't think that the

who

did this

FBI would

is

from the

think so," [said

Ahmad]. When British immigration officials discovered [that Ahmad] was from Oklahoma City, he was handcuffed and questioned for four or .

.

.

The worst part of the ordeal, Ahmad said, was when the him back to America. They marched him tired, hungry, handcuffed and ashamed through [a] crowded airport.

five hours.

.

.

.

British authorities sent





Global Convulsions

130

He

said he

was flown under armed guard

to Dulles Airport near

Washington. After several hours, the agents in Washington told that

he was free

to go.

Ahmad

Cultural Nationalism and "Internationalization'' in

Contemporary Japan KOSAKUYOSHINO

Whereas the state,

the development of nationalism has often been associated with the role of it

may

also be argued that nationalism

cesses. Nationalism

is

essentially a dual

is

formed through informal pro-

phenomenon

supervised process and an informal process, by which supervision by the

state.

Most previous

consisting of a formal stateis

meant the absence of direct

studies of nationalism are limited in their

scope in that they confine themselves to the process by which elites

political

produce national myth and ideology and by which the

myth and ideology

into the

and

cultural

state inculcates

such

masses through formal education. This study explores

the characteristics and workings of informal cultural nationalism, inquiring into the

informal process by which ideas of national distinctiveness are "produced," "distributed,"

and "consumed"

from Japan

in the "market."

The study draws

empirical material

its

1970s and 1980s, a period which saw a resurgence of

in the

cultural

nationalism or reaffirmation of an active sense of Japanese uniqueness. Japan's cultural nationalism

of

this period,

it

will

to "internationalize," paradoxical as

it

be found,

may

is

closely associated with

its

desires

sound.

This chapter begins with a brief mention of Japan's formal nationalism with the

aim of showing why the perspective of informal contemporary Japan. Analysis

will then

cultural nationalism

be provided of the ways

concerning peculiarities of Japanese society and culture nihonjinron

—have been produced,

distributed



and

cultural nationalism.

is

relevant in

which ideas

generally referred to as the

and consumed

in

Particular attention will be given to the paradoxical relationship tionalization"

in

The case of businessmen

Japanese society.

between "internain their role

model

as "social bearer" of this type of cultural nationalism will be examined.

131

Global Convulsions

132

Definitions of the terms nationalism, political nationalism, and cultural nation-

alism should

first

be made. Nationalism comprises both the sentiment among a

people that they constitute a community with distinctive characteristics, as well as the project of maintaining and enhancing that distinctiveness within an state. Political

by achieving a representative

tical reality

autonomous

nationalism emphasizes the nation's collective experience as a polistate for its

community. Cultural nation-

alism regenerates the national community by creating, preserving or strengthening a people's cultural identity

when

is felt

it

to

be lacking, inadequate, or threatened.

Moreover, cultural nationalism regards the nation as a product of

and It

culture,

and as a collective

solidarity

its

unique history

endowed with uniquely shared

attributes.

thus fundamentally concerned with the distinctiveness of the historical and

is

community

cultural

often

do It

as the essence of a nation. Pohtical and cultural nationalism

coexist, but the

should be

made

two should be distinguished

for their different purposes.

clear at the outset that this chapter does not

overview of contemporary Japanese nationalism,

let

aim

to furnish an

alone a historical survey of

nationalism in Japan. Nationalism works differently for different groups and for different individuals,

and diverse processes are

of nationalism. Discussion in

this

at

work

in

forming the phenomenon

chapter will be restricted to one of such processes.

The State and Formal Cultural Nationalism

A perspective that pays "market"

is

attention to the distribution

people's participation in cultural nationalism state.

and consumption of ideas

is

no longer

explicitly supervised

Zigmunt Bauman makes a relevant point when he observes

interest

in the

necessary for an analysis of contemporary Japanese society, where

of the

state in culture

faded

(i.e.,

by the

that "[a]s the

the relevance of culture to the reproduction

of political power diminished), culture was coming within the orbit of another power the intellectuals could not measure

up



to

the market

More and more

the culture

of consumer society was subordinated to the function of producing and reproducing skillful

and eager consumers, rather than obedient and willing subjects of the

Bauman ture,

is,

however, on

less firm

which has been "freed from

ground when he argues

direct supervision

by the

state."'

that the area of cul-

state," is

"now reduced

to

things of no concern to political powers."- Although cultural nationalism in contem-

porary Japan

under the

may be

generated in different ways from the time

state's direct supervision,

one should not

when

culture

was

totally neglect the state's interest

in cultural nationalism.

Even one

today, the state's interest in cultural nationalism

is

evident.

To give but

example, the Ministry of Education's guidelines on the content and goals of

school curriculum, announced in 1989 and put into effect stronger emphasis on nationalism.

The

in

1992, reveals an ever

guidelines reflect conservatives'

demand

for

the removal of Occupation-imposed elements of the education system and a return to

Cultural Nationalism

traditional values as a

main emphasis

is

way of

"Internationalization "

and

restoring appropriate attitudes

on moral education from primary

by education authorities as a remedy for problems

syndrome" and bullying among

war

at

to high school, a at

whose

mote militarism

flag to be displayed state also requires

exploits in the Russo-Japanese

in textbooks during the

system actually

regarded

and the Kimigayo anthem

to

primary school curriculum on

Admiral Togo

War (1904-05) were used

to pro-

Second World War. Despite the Education

Ministry's claim that the system for authorizing textbooks control, the

move

The

school such as "school refusal

history to include forty-two selected historical figures including

Heihachiro,

the youth.

33

pupils. Also, the state, for the first time in the post-

Hinomaru school ceremonies. The

period, requires the

be sung

among

1

is

a process of quality

entails control of content.

do not know whether the role of the state has increased, for it may be that the is only responding to the change in the public's perceptions of national identity, I

state

pride,

and confidence. These

are, in turn, closely associated

with other factors such

and reassertion of Japanese uniqueness, as well as

as thinking elites' rearticulation

the sentiment and activities of other educated sections of the population to

such thinking

find

it

elites' writings,

which

main themes of

are the

difficult to assess the effectiveness

who respond

this chapter. I also

with which the state enhances national

sentiment compared to social groups such as intellectuals, media people, business-

men, and so on.

some of

It is

essential to observe here that although there is

little

doubt that

the symbolic rituals of "old" nationalism often "function" to enhance

national solidarity, nationalistic rituals also

work

in the opposite

way.

Robert Bocock makes an interesting point when he notes that

make some groups

feel less part

rituals

"may also made

of the national group in that they are

conscious of the fact that they do not share some of the values which seem to

behind the group's virtues.

He

ritual,"

lie

such as respect for established authority and military

goes on to point out, for example, that some groups in Britain find their

sense of separateness from the "mainstream" society enhanced and their disrespect

of established authority and military values reinforced when they witness involving the Royal Family

(e.g..

rituals

Trooping the Colour, the Queen's Christmas Day

speech, and the State Opening of Parliament).^

The same

occasions in Japan. There always have been, and

still

is

true with similar ritual

are, significant

numbers of

people whose opposition to nationalistic values are reinforced precisely because of the existence of these "nationalistic" rituals, such as the display of the "national" flag

and the singing of the "national" anthem Foundation Day," cabinet ministers'

at

school ceremonies, the "National

visits to the

Yasukuni Shrine (where the war

dead, including war criminals, are enshrined), and so on. For them, such rituals are

nothing but a reminder of their opposition to nationalism. Restraints on any explicit expressions of nationalism are

still

very strong

among

substantial

numbers of the

Japanese. It is

well to observe here that precisely because state-initiated cultural nation-

alism centers around obviously nationalistic ideas and symbols



nationalistic in the

Global Convulsions

134



classic sense

it

fails to elicit

voluntary and positive support from large sections of

the population. Anti-war and anti-nationalist sentiment

among

the majority of the Japanese,

who

is

noticeably strong

still

disdain sacrifice of their personal lives for

the sake of the nationalistic projects of the state. Strict

adherence to the classic view of nationalism, which focuses on the

initiated production of nationalist ideology and

state-

dissemination through formal

its

number of relevant issues of cultural The following discussion presents another type

education, will result in failure to recognize a

nationalism in contemporary Japan.

of cultural nationalism

in

market-oriented process.

contemporary Japan, generated through a more informal,

We

shall see that this type

of informal cultural nationalism

can be promoted paradoxically through an attempt to "internationalize" one's knowledge. "Internationalization"

is

an agenda that appeals favorably to

contemporary Japanese society

would not wish

that

"narrow-minded" nationalism of the prewar

type.

I

many

sections of

to see a recrudescence of the

will

one should not overgeneralize, those who make apparent

even maintain

that,

though

efforts to "internationalize"

can ironically end up being agents of informal cultural nationalism.

Informal Cultural Nationalism

What

I call

informal cultural nationalism, has developed mainly in the 1970s and

1980s in relation to the vast amount of publications which Japanese "thinking

produced acter.

to define the

elites"

uniqueness of Japanese society, culture and national char-

This type of literature

is

commonly

referred to as the nihonjinron (literally,

discussions of the Japanese). Discussions of Japanese uniqueness appeared in popular editions of books,

and occasional essays

in

newspapers and general

zines. Reflecting the competitive market for such works, writers

buzzword

after another to describe

The thinking

elites,

Japanese uniqueness

broadly defined,

who

in

interest

maga-

came up with one

order to attract readers.

participated in the nihonjinron

were not

confined to academics but included thinkers of various occupations such as journalists, critics, writers,

A

and even business

elites.

detailed description of the content of the nihonjinron

here since

it

has been the subject of

briefly the three First,

Japanese society

vertical stratification in contrast to

many

other

main themes frequently discussed is

society,

dispensed with

Suffice to

summarize

in the nihonjinron.

characterized by groupism or "interpersonalism,"

(intracompany

Western

studies.'*

may be

solidarity),

and dependence (other-directedness)

which has the opposite

characteristics of individualism,

horizontal stratification (class-based solidarity), and independence (self-autonomy).

The nihonjinron

describe the Japanese as a group-oriented people acting within the

framework of a group

(typically, a

company). Such a Japanese group

is

hierarchically

organized based on affective social relations between superiors (parent-role players)

and

their subordinates (child-role players).'

The theory of

vertical

and group-oriented

Cultural Nationalism

social structure finds

emphasis

in the

"Internationalization "

and

psychological theory of

amae

1

35

(dependence),

according to which the socialization process in Japan encourages dependence on very close emotional bonds, thereby enabling the persistence of group-oriented,

Some

vertical social structural features (such as quasi-parent-child relationships).^

argue that the concept of groupism, often contrasted with individualism, does not accurately describe Japanese social reality, because groupism implies unilateral

influence or control by society over individual behavior These theorists argue that

"interpersonalism" (kanjinshugi)

is

a

more appropriate concept here

in that

it

gives

the highest value to interpersonal relationships, not to society as a moral constraint.^

Second, the nihonjinron frequently discuss unique Japanese patterns of communication, which are supposedly characterized by a lack of emphasis on logical

and

linguistic presentation in contrast to the

Western patterns

that attach

utmost

importance to the use of dichotomous logic and eloquence (linguistic expression). is

a popular theme in the nihonjinron that essential communication

It

performed

is

nonlogically, empathetically and nonverbally such as, for example, through haragei (the art of tions,

communicating between persons without the use of

and

mutual

is,

incidentally, often a

sensitivity

found

way of

direct verbal asser-

The

achieving a difficult consensus).

Japanese

in the social interaction of the

is

considered to

obviate the need for explicit verbal communication.* Finally, the uni-racial

Japanese society interrelated: the

logic

is

minzoku) and homogeneous composition of

Japanese patterns of communication which discourage dichotomous

and verbal confrontation are closely related

and harmony

in interpersonal relations,

communication are believed

Given criticisms

vailing

their pervasive

to

to the high valuation of

and empathetic,

affective,

it

be a product of a largely homogeneous

society.

in the 1980s.

that the nihonjinron constitute a nationalist ideology

to instill a sense of cultural superiority

groups generated nationalism from above

claimed, similar

elite

consensus

and nonlogical

impact on perceptions of the Japanese, a number of

and interpretations of the nihonjinron appeared

view has

have used elite

(tan'itsu

widely assumed in the nihonjinron. These three themes are closely

groups produced

in

among

One

which

the Japanese.^ Just as ruling

prewar and wartime Japan, so

literature

pre-

elites

on Japanese uniqueness

temporary Japan with the intention of manipulating mass psychology

in

it is

con-

in the direction

of nationalism. Critics saw the nihonjinron as an attempt to attribute Japan's eco-

nomic success and

its

apparent lack of serious social problems

social divisions) to the unique virtues of Japanese society

(e.g.,

crime, drugs,

and national character The

nihonjinron were thus considered to present the view that Japan's economic and social success is a cultural victory of the Japanese. '°

simplistic to suppose, as

many

critics

However,

have done by holding the

it

would be grossly

classic

assumption

associated with formal nationalism, that cultural and political elites consciously

form of the nihonjinron with the intention of

produced nationalist ideology

in the

manipulating mass psychology

in the direction

It

is

of nationalism."

not the concern of this chapter to explain

produced theories of Japanese uniqueness. Rather,

I

why

professional thinkers

should like to explore the

1

Global Convulsions

36

effects, intended or unintended,

which the thinking

ideas of Japanese unique-

elites'

ness have had on the rest of the population in relation to the promotion of cultural nationalism.

I

"consumed"

in

shall scrutinize

how

these ideas of Japanese uniqueness have been

Japanese society and

cultural nationalism

how

in this



among

ordinary people

process such ideas have promoted

ordinary in the sense of not being

professional thinkers. In so doing, attention will be paid to the workings of informal

"markef'-based cultural nationalism compared with those of formal,

state-initiated

nationalism.

The Consumption of Ideas In order to inquire into

of Japanese Uniqueness

who "consumed"

and why and how they

ness,

did, I

vincial city with a population of several

1980s.'^ I focused

since the

thinking

conducted

elites'

hundred thousand

on educators (school teachers and

in central

principals)

two groups have a profound influence on Japanese

former by way of formal socialization of youth, the large

ideas of Japanese unique-

field research in a fairly large pro-

Japan in the

society at large; the

by virtue of the

latter

late

and businessmen

fact that

numbers of the population are employed by companies.

The respondents' consumption of the nihonjinron stemmed from

their practical

own immediate surbe prevalent among respondents:

concerns to understand and solve concrete problems in their roundings.'^

Two

types of concern were found to

and organizational.

cross-cultural

'"*

The nihonjinron provided

cross-cultural contacts with supposedly useful ideas

on

those interested in

cultural differences.

The

nihonjinron also attracted their readers by providing them with ideas and insights

considered useful for their organizational concerns at the work place since in the nihonjinron Japanese social characteristics are frequently discussed in the context of

employment

practices,

industrial

relations

and decisionmaking processes. These

concerns were especially relevant to businessmen (of the two groups on which

conducted research).

By businessmen

I

mean "company men"

I

or "salarymen,"

including those of the managerial class, employed by large companies, not owners of

small and medium-size businesses.

A significantly larger number of businessmen than

educators actively responded to and "consumed" the nihonjinron.^^ Although research

was

restricted to the

two groups, these concerns

my

are certainly not specific to

businessmen. For example, cross-cultural concerns can be expected to be shared by

anyone this in

as to

interested in international contacts such as students

tourists.

Bearing

mind, inquiry into businessmen's concern with the nihonjinron provides hints

what types of people with what types of concern are

elites'

and even

ideas of Japanese distinctiveness.

their role

model

Before

likely to

consume thinking

therefore, deal with

businessmen

in

as the "social bearer" of informal cultural nationalism.

we examine

useful here to

We shall,

businessmen's place

compare what

I

call

in cultural

nationalism,

it

may be

primary and secondary nationalism with regard to

Cultural Nationalism

the channels through

By

which national

"primary" nationalism

national

in

identity,

is

meant

is

"Internationalization "

disseminated

among

37

the population.

original nationalism as concerned with creating

an already long-established nation. In

in

1

"secondary" nationalism which preserves and

contrast to

enhances national identity

identity

and

actuality, the

boundaries between primary and secondary nationalism cannot be drawn with precision because of the difficulty of deciding

among

established

when

national identity has been

numbers of a population, and what precise value

significant

should be appended to the term significant. Yet a working distinction might none-

be proposed.

theless

Primary nationalism normally attaches utmost importance to formal education,

which

is

often conducted, as

The school

state.

is

was

the case in prewar Japan, through the

a powerful agent for injecting national

spirit,

power of the

and the

state

inculcates national values through formal education. Primary cultural nationalism

usually occurs as part of nation-building which involves the process of absorbing individuals into the organic state, the politicized aspect of the national

nationalism in Japan

was

Another important point about primary nationalism myth. The

spirit.

Primary

essentially formal nationalism. is

the role of ancestral

stages of the formation of national identity center around the dis-

initial

covery or rediscovery of the mythical history and ancestral culture of the nation, for

which reason "historians" and

distinctive history

are given an important place.

communal

fosters a feeling of

emperor system

tion of the

traditional familism

A sense of having a common

and ancestral culture unites successive generations, and uniqueness. For example, the invention of the tradi-

in the early Meiji period

and State Shinto and thereby

was intended

to stress the

to

combine

unbroken imperial

lineage from time immemorial, as well as the unity of Japanese subjects based on the

invented historical vision. Parallels are found from around the world. '^ In secondary nationalism, ancestral

which

where a sense of belonging

myth or

to

a historical nation already exists,

historicist vision is less relevant.

to reaffirm a sense

More

relevant as a source with

of difference for the contemporary audience

is

the nation's

contemporary "social culture." The writers of the nihonjinron are "popular sociologists" or the type of thinking elites

who

are interested in discussing exacdy this sort

of social culture. If

may

we

consider this point about different types of ideas of national identity,

understand

why primary

nationalism attaches importance to formal education.

Ancient history or ancestral myth has, "ordinary" people through the

in a sense, to

medium of

be taught unilaterally

formal education.

porary social culture, an important source of national identity already empirically

alism,

is

elites

here

is

to

we

known

to ordinary people,

By in

contrast,

to

contem-

secondary nation-

and the role of thinking

provide them with perspectives from which to think more

systematically about their society and behavior. Thus, the readers of the nihonjinron

did not respond positively to them in order to "be taught" about their society unidirectionally

by the

elite but, rather,

because they wanted

to

endorse what they already

Global Convulsions

138

knew and

about their society and behavior. They regarded the nihonjinron as

felt

"social theories" they could use to consciously organize their thinking about their

everyday patterns of behavior and thought. It

may be

knowledge



argued that the approach that assumes unilateral transmission of

and, therefore, explicit ideological manipulation

propriate as a perspective alism.

The case of

on the workings of ideas

in

—from above

is

inap-

contemporary cultural nation-

the nihonjinron suggests that the workings of ideas concerning

national identity can be

more

examined by paying

insightfully

attention to the

informal, "market" process in which producers, distributors and consumers of ideas

of national distinctiveness participate.

The Reproduction of Ideas Let us

now

Edward

return to the case of businessmen.

may

intellectuals

of Japanese Uniqueness

of

Shils' classification

usefully be applied to characterization of businessmen's place in

relation to the nihonjinron. Shils classifies intellectuals into "productive intellectuals,"

who produce

intellectual

works, "reproductive intellectuals,"

the interpretation and transmission of intellectual works, and tuals,"

that

who

who engage

"consumer

read and concern themselves passively with such works. '^

businessmen were keen consumers of the nihonjinron.

of the business basis of their

elite

own

When

We have

leading

in

intellec-

seen

members

publish their ideas of Japanese business and social culture on the

become "productive intellectuals." One might Made in Japan or Matsushita Konosuke's On Interestingly, many of my respondents classified leading

experiences, they

think, for example, of Morita Akio's

Japan and

the Japanese. ^^

members of

the business elite as thinking elites because they are both practically

experienced and highly knowledgeable about Japanese society. Leading business elites are well

aware through

their frequent contacts with

non-Japanese that the

Japanese are the subject of conversation abroad, and they generally

know how

to

"present themselves" to the rest of the world, thereby taking on the role of spokes-

men

for the majority of ordinary Japanese.

What

is

particularly important in the context of the present study

Japanese business

elites as

"reproductive" intellectuals,

theories of Japanese society and culture, rephrased

which ordinary people could presumably put to the other sections of the population. This

them

who

is

the role of

interpreted academics'

as popular "social theories"

to practical use,

and disseminated them

was an important channel through which

the academics' nihonjinron were distributed to a wider readership.

Many

of

my

respondents familiarized themselves with academic works on Japanese distinctiveness (such as Nakane's "vertical society" theory) through reference to such theories in business elites' writings. S. N. Eisenstadt

makes a

relevant point

("secondary intellectuals"

remarks that "reproductive"

intellectuals

words) "serve as channels of

institutionalization,

in

when he his

own

and even as possible creators or

Cultural Nationalism

new

and

"Internationalization "

1

39

types of symbols of cultural orientations, of traditions, and of collective and

cultural identity."'**

Japanese companies have played an interesting part nihonjinron by publishing what

may be

disseminating the

in

called "cross-cultural" manuals, that

is,

handbooks, glossaries and English learning materials which describe the distinctiveness of Japanese patterns of behavior in the contexts of intercultural business negotiations, business

and management

lifestyle, "untranslatable"

practices,

company employees' everyday

Japanese expressions, and so on.

One might

mention, for

example, Mitsubishi Corporation's dual-language Japanese Business Glossary,

Nippon

Steel Corporation's dual-language

handbook Nippon: The Land and

People (which summarizes a wide range of subjects dealt with such as the nonassertive

mode of communication, group

mentality,

management and employment

relations);

and Taiyo Kobe Bank

Ltd.'s

number of

other similar

company

behavior,

practices, decisionmaking,

The Scrutable Japanese

company employees

portrays the lifestyle of Japanese

Its

in the nihonjinron

(a

communal

and

industrial

handbook which

in English).^

There are a

publications such as Skills in Cross-cultural

Negotiation by Nissho Iwai Corporation and Toshiba's Practical Cross-cultural

Dialogues by the personnel development department of Toshiba Co.^* In these cross-cultural manuals, the nihonjinron are popularized in such a

consumers may apply them

that their

to practical use.

way

The general manager of

the

corporate communications office of Mitsubishi Corporation explains the aim of their

handbook

as introducing "unique Japanese business practices

light but informative form."^^ Similarly, the president

menting on the reaction anxious to

in English."^^

in a

handbook, remarks that "Japanese students were

to their

know how customs and Considering that the

cultural differences are regarded

and expressions

of Taiyo Kobe Bank, com-

practices unique to the Japanese

ability to

were described

use practical English and knowledge of

by many well-educated Japanese as two necessary

conditions to be a kokusaijin (international person), most of these cross-cultural

manuals are intended

to serve both as English language leaning materials

guidebooks on cultural differences the

following quotation from

at the

same

time. This point

Talking about Japan,

is

and

illustrated well in

by Nippon Steel

Human

Resources Development Co. Ltd., in which the three main academic theories on the distinctiveness of Japanese behavior (nihonjinron) discussed earlier in this chapter,

are

summarized and presented

Mr

in the

form of English dialogues:

Suzuki (a Japanese businessmen): Most Japanese tend to avoid doing

anything that sets them off from others. They worry about what others think and change their behavior accordingly.

Mr

Jones (an American): That's probably one of the reasons

talk

about Japanese groupism.

why

people

Global Convulsions

140

Mr. S:

It's

a factor.

It's

also

why

We tend to speak and act only

Japanese are poor

at asserting

themselves.

after considering the other person's feelings

and point of view. Mr.

J:

You

can't say that for

most Westerners. In America, we

our children to be independent, take individual responsibility. try to train

them

to think logically,

and learn

how

try to teach .

.

.

We also

to express their thoughts

and opinions.

Mr

S: Yes, I

know.

.

.

.

Foreigners often criticize us Japanese for not

giving clear-cut yes or no answers. This

is

probably connected to our

being basically a homogeneous society and our traditional tendency to to

try

avoid conflicts.^

It may be argued that this type of conversation manual predetermines the way one expresses one's ideas of Japanese society by providing the very language and concepts one uses. Furthermore, it influences the way one perceives Japanese

society since language learners often parrot uncritically.

Many

model sentences and absorb them

of these cross-cultural manuals published by companies were

originally intended for,

and distributed

to, their

employees and students (prospective

employees), sensitizing them to the distinctiveness of Japanese patterns of behavior

and socializing them to be "internationalized" Japanese.

We may

argue

that,

whereas textbooks are a chief means of ideological

transmission in state-initiated formal nationalism, cross-cultural manuals, such as the

ones that have been mentioned, are an important tool for the dissemination of ideas in informal cultural nationalism. Also,

whereas school textbooks are a means of

childhood socialization, these manuals are used for adult socialization

Japanese



to reinforce

identity.

Communication and Cultural Nationalism

Intercultural

Ironically,

many of the

producers and distributors of the nihonjinron

of as "internationalists." ideologues.

It

One avowed and

the nihonjinron

was

their

would be very inappropriate

to call

widely shared motive for thinking

may be

them

elites'

thought

nationalist

production of

concern to improve intercultural communication between

Japanese and non-Japanese. Being cautious about any possible revival of the

narrow-minded nationalism of the prewar elites sought,

t}'pe,

many

well-intentioned thinking

through their writings, to effectuate the emergence of large numbers of

internationally

minded Japanese who had knowledge about different in intercultural settings. Such an interest in

could communicate well

cultures and international

understanding was widely shared by the educated Japanese. "Internationalization" (kokusaika)

became a

national

agenda

in the

1970s and 1980s, and "intercultural

communication" {ibunkakan komyunikeshon) became

a popular subject

among

dents, businessmen or anyone interested in communicating with non-Japanese.

stu-

Cultural Nationalism

and

"Internationalization "

Cross-cultural manuals published by companies also

grew out of

141

their stated

concern to reduce intercultural misunderstandings between Japanese and non-

communi-

Japanese. Their strong concern with internationalization and intercultural cation

is

stated in their publications.

writes that the

aim of

For example, the president of Taiyo Kobe Bank

handbook

their

"make a

is to

contribution, if modest, to the

promotion of an understanding of Japan and the Japanese people

comprehension

is

a time

at

badly needed to ease mounting trade tensions [and also

when

to]

help

who are destined to live in an era of internationalization, by about how things Japanese may be expressed in good English."^^ Of

Japanese students providing hints

particular importance here

the assumption held

is

among Japanese

thinking elites

of behavior and thought are an

that the very peculiarities of Japanese patterns

obstacle to intercultural communication. This awareness of Japanese peculiarities

was considered in intercultural

the first step to achieve better intercultural understanding.

communication thus tended

An

interest

to lead to a strong interest in the distinc-

tiveness of Japanese patterns of behavior and thought. It is

necessary

now

on perceptions of Japanese

to elaborate

identity as they are

preconceived by the Japanese people. In general terms, national identity (and substratum ethnicity)

may be

Wallman understands

ethnicity as "the process

by which

their difference is used to

enhance the sense of us for the purposes of organization or identification."^ say that, in the Japanese discussion of cultural differences,

but "our" difference that

Japanese

elites

its

understood as a symbolic boundary process. Sandra

it is

We may

not "their" difference

actively used for the reconstruction of Japanese identity.

is

long perceived themselves and their culture to be on the "periphery"

in relation to the "central" civilizations (first that

of China and then of the West) and

constructed and reconstructed Japanese identity by stressing their "particularistic" difference

from the "universal" Chinese and Westerners. Japanese "uniqueness" as

discussed in the nihonjinron

is

the "particularistic difference" of the

actually

Japanese.

Because of their perception of being on the periphery, Japanese see

it

as natural to adapt themselves to the

more

elites

ways of

"universal"

tended to

the West.

The

Japanese sense of uniqueness should, therefore, not be confused with ethnocentrism,

which

is

the belief that one's

own group

is

central,

most important, and

culturally

superior to other groups. Explicit claims of Japanese superiority have been relatively

uncommon. The image of the Japanese presented the majority of the Japanese explicit claim of superiority.

is

in the

nihonjinron and held

A "particularistic" sense of national

a question of horizontal difference or difference of a kind."

more

universal aspects of

among

fundamentally that of being very different without

human

ability

and

identity is primarily

By

contrast, since the

activity are perceived to

comprise the

base of the "universal" civilization of the West, the dissimilitude between Westerners

and others

is

likely to

be perceived

"universaHzable" features of vertical sense

of superiority

in

human

common

terms of the difference

activity. in the

This

West.

may

in the ability to

perform

explain, at least partially, the

Global Convulsions

142

The nihonjinron and examples

manuals offer abundant

their popularized cross-cultural

Japanese patterns of behavior and use of language are so

to suggest that

peculiar that one has to be born a Japanese to be able to grasp the intricacy of the

Japanese language and the delicacy of the Japanese

one writer observes

that,

accurate and quite fluent, and though literar)'

awards for

mode

of thinking. For example,

though he knows of some Europeans whose Japanese

some Korean

their prose or fiction in Japanese,

residents in Japan have

he knows of no foreigner

is

won who

can compose good waka (or thirty-one syllable Japanese poetry).^ This sort of

remark may be taken

as suggesting that the Japanese language "belongs exclusively"

to the Japanese, in the sense that

it

can truly be appreciated only by the Japanese.

Such a sense of Japanese uniqueness may aptly be described by using the metaphor "property," since possessiveness is its main attribute. Many Japanese express their sense of being unique as

Japan's peculiar cultural

if

traits

belong

or are the exclu-

to,

sive property of, the Japanese people. It

should be observed here that highly particularistic perceptions of Japanese

uniqueness are not entirely attributable Rather, to a

much

of the 1970s and 1980s.

promoted an active consciousness of Japanese uniqueness

distinctiveness have

among

to the nihonjinron

greater extent than previously, thinking elites' theories of Japanese

the educated public and also conditioned

them

to express

Japanese identity in

a particularistic manner. In this sense, the relationship between "consumers" and

"producers" of the nihonjinron

is

not that of unilateral influence of the latter over the

former but that of interplay between the two. Readers endorse what they have already

felt

about their society by reading thinking

elites' ideas,

and writers respond

to

and promote such

to

an interest in the peculiarities of Japanese behavior and thought.

It

was

interests

of readers.

said earlier that an interest in intercultural

of intercultural communication difference of the Japanese,

its

is

communication tends If

to lead

improvement

attempted through emphasis on the particularistic

unintended consequence can be the enhancement of

cultural nationalism if those aspects of life held in

common

by different peoples are

neglected. In fact, the large increase in the publications on Japanese uniqueness had the effect of emphasizing Japanese difference to the extent that the commonality

between Japanese and non-Japanese was given short shrift. What started as a wellintentioned activity to facilitate intercultural communication thus had the unintended and ironic consequence of sensitizing the Japanese excessively to their distinctiveness, and thereby creating another obstacle to communication. One practical manifestation of this sensitizing process

is

the implicitly

promoted assumption

foreign residents cannot understand Japanese people's supposedly unique

that

mode of

thinking and behaving. Such an assumption has tended to obstruct foreign residents' adaptation to social

life in

Japan. In this sense, an interest in intercultural

communisame

cation (and internationalization) and cultural nationalism are two sides of the coin.

It is

not that a favorable orientation towards nationalism has

tionalization but that,

impeded

interna-

paradoxically, a concern with internationalization has

internationalization even

more

difficult.

made

The distribution and consumption of the

"Internationalization "

and

Cultural Nationalism

43

1

nihonjinron can be said to have been facilitated by readers' desire to internationalize

knowledge.

their

By way

in

using businessmen's activity as a case study, our discussion has

which the project of "internationalization" can

consequence of

business people's fairly

shown

the

produce an unintended

Although our discussion has been

cultural nationalism. activity,

ironically

restricted to

our findings can be expected to be generally valid for other

well-educated groups with an interest in intercultural communication.

Conclusion

to Japan. Cultural

many of the themes dealt with nationalism is relevant in many other

parts of the world, not merely countries of Asia

and Africa but also of Europe and the

It

should be mentioned in concluding

here are by no

means unique

Americas, though the ways in which

chapter that

this

generated

it is

may

vary from one country to

another and ft'om one historical period to another. Cultural nationalism as a means of inventing, reinventing and enhancing a people's national identity has been an integral feature of the classical

view of the

modem

intemational order. Moreover, cultural

nationalism has the potential to produce diverse effects, for which reason far ft'om negligible force in the

contemporary world. Sometimes

it

it

remains a

may work

to

preserve the diversity of world cultures, in the face of homogenizing forces of domi-

nant and assertive foreign cultural and civilizational powers. At other times,

become a source of hindrance

it

may

to intemational understanding through an excessive

may even become

emphasis on national uniqueness. Indeed,

it,

symbolic violence. Such multifacetedness

the nature of cultural nationalism.

Even though people may now

is

itself,

optimistically

talk

a source of

about prospects for a

supersession of nationalism and a rise of globalism and regional integration, these do not

seem

to entail the decline

of cultural nationalism. Particularly characteristic of

the development of cultural nationalism in

decade of the twentieth century,

is that,

concern with cultural differences

is

zation

where

in the lives

promoted

of growing numbers of people.

—whether exchanges, "European" and "Asian")—

in the

regions of the world, in the final

in the contexts

of increasing globali-

becoming a matter of considerable concern

cross-cultural contacts are

cross national borders

many

as the Japanese case has shown, a strong

What

is

interesting

is

that the desire to

form of multinational corporations,

cultural

intemational tourism, or the creation of larger regional identities (such as is

different in a

quite often

accompanied by a heightened desire

to

be

world of "cultural nadons."

Notes

Note on Japanese names: Japanese names appearing customary Japanese order of the family name

first

in the text are

given

followed by the given

name

in the (e.g..

..

Global Convulsions

144

Yoshino Kosaku). In the endnotes, the same order after the family

name

(i.e.,

is

comma

used with a

inserted

Yoshino, Kosaku) to avoid confusion since the names of

Japanese authors of English books are normally known by the customary western order

(i.e.,

Kosaku Yoshino).

New

Zigmunt Bauman, Intimations of Postmodemity (London and

1

Routledge, 1992),

York:

p. 17.

2. Ibid. 3.

Robert Bocock, Ritual

Ritualism in 4.

in Industrial Society:

A

Modem England (London: Allen & Unwin,

Sociological Analysis of

1972), p. 98.

For detailed discussions of the content of the nihonjinwn,

example,

see, for

Ross Mouer and Sugimoto, Yoshio, Images of Japanese Society (London: Kegan Paul International, 1986); Peter Dale, The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness (London:

CroomHelm, 5.

1986).

See, for example, Nakane, Chie, Tate Shakai no Ningen Kankei: Tan'itsu

Shakai no Riron [Human Relations

in Vertical Society:

A

Theory of a Unitary

Society] (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1967); Japanese Society (Berkeley and Los Angeles:

University of California Press, 1970). 6.

Doi, Takeo,

1971), translated as

Amae no Kozo

[Structure of

Dependence] (Tokyo: Kobundo,

The Anatomy of Dependence by

Bester (Tokyo: Kodansha

J.

International, 1973). 7.

Hamaguchi, Eshun, Kanjinshugi no Shakai Nihon

sonalistic Society] (Tokyo: 8.

The

[Japan:

Interper-

ToyoKeizai Shinposha, 1982).

See, for example, Matsumoto, Michihiro, Haragei no Ronri [The Logic of

Haragei] (Tokyo: Asahi Shuppansha, 1975); Haragei (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1984). 9. is

The nihonjinron have been

from two other angles.

criticized

First, criticism

directed at the lack of methodological concerns in the nihonjinron and at

reliance on self-serving examples. Second,

used for ideological manipulation. the "consensus

It is

it

is

its

heavy

pointed out that these examples are

claimed that the nihonjinron, which promote

model" or "group model" of Japanese

society,

work

as

dominant

ideology or management ideology by emphasizing corporate solidarity and harmony rather than working-class solidarity. 10. See, for

in

example, chapters by Kawamura,

Ross Mouer and Sugimoto, Yoshio,

New Directions, 1 1

This

eds.,

Nozomu and Sydney Crawcour

Japanese Society: Reappraisals and

a special issue of Social Analysis 5/6.

may be demonstrated by

the fact that the majority of

read the nihonjinron in a very different manner from

critics

my

respondents

have supposed. Respon-

dents' reading of the nihonjinron, especially academics' nihonjinron, critical

because they interpreted

it

was very

as representing a negative and self-denying

view

of Japanese peculiarities and, as such, discouraging the Japanese from having a sense of national pride. This

been exposed

is

understandable considering that

to the self-critical discussions of

many had

already

Japanese peculiarities prevalent

in the

early postwar years and regarded the nihonjinron as a continuation of such literature.

Cultural Nationalism

This shows that

critics'

hold

On this,

sarily

12.

true.

For the

details

13.

see Yoshino, op.

of

45

note 12, pp. 190-91.

cit.

this field research, see

A

Kosaku Yoshino, Cultural Nation-

New

Sociological Enquiry (London and

York:

[hbk], 1995 [pbk]).

That one's immediate group exerts a major influence on shaping one's

orientation to a particular ideology has been pointed out albeit in differing contexts

(i.e.,

by a number of

sociologists,

Nazism, democracy, communism). See, for example,

A

Study of Leadership (Prince-

Karl

Mannheim, Freedom, Power

Sidney Verba, Small Groups and Political Behavior: ton,

1

speculation about ideological manipulation does not neces-

alism in Contemporary Japan:

Roudedge, 1992

"Internationalization "

and

NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961), chap.

and Democratic Planning (London: Routledge

2;

& Kegan Paul,

1951), p. 181;

Edward

Shils and Morris Janowitz, "Cohesion and Disintegration in the Wehrmacht," Public

Opinion Quarterly 12 (1948): 314; Gabriel Almond, The Appeals of (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1952), pp. 272-79. 14.

For these and other types of concern, see Yoshino,

15. Seventy-five percent

op.cit.

See Yoshino, op.

17.

Edward

note 12, chap.

cit.

note 12, p. 134.

3.

and the Traditions of

Shils, "Intellectuals, Tradition,

Some Preliminary 18. Morita,

cit.

note 12, chap. 7.

of the businessmen actively responded to the nihon-

jinron compared to 28.6 percent for educators. See Yoshino, op. 16.

Communism

Intellectuals:

101.3^ (Spring 1972): 22. Japan: Akio Morita and Sony (New York:

Considerations," Dcedalus

Made in Made in Japan: Waga

Akio,

1986), translated as

Taikenteki Kokusai Senryaku

Signet,

(My Own

Experience of International Business Strategy) by Shimofusa, S. (Tokyo: Asahi

Shimbunsha, 1987); Matsushita, Konosuke, Nihon

to Nihonjin ni tsuite

[On Japan

and the Japanese] (Tokyo: PHPKenkyujo, 1982). 19. S.

N. Eisenstadt, "Intellectuals and Traditions," Dcedalus 101.3-4 (Spring

1972): 1-16. 20.

Mitsubishi Corporation, Japanese Business Glossary/Nihongo (Tokyo:

Toyokeizai Shinposha, 1983); Nippon Steel Corporation, Personnel Development Office,

Nippon: The Land and

Its

People, 2nd edn. (Tokyo: Gakuseisha, 1984);

Taiyo Kobe Bank, The Nihonjin/The Scrutable Japanese (Tokyo: Gakuseisha, 1988). 21.

kara

Nissholwai Corporation, Ibunka Koshojutsu: Kokusai Bijinesu no Genba

[Skills in Cross-cultural Negotiation:

(Tokyo:

Kobunsha,

From

the Scene of International Business]

1987); Toshiba Co., Personnel Development Department,

Toshiba's Practical Cross-cultural Dialogues (Tokyo, 1985). 22. Mitsubishi Corporation, op. 23. Taiyo 24.

Kobe Bank,

Nippon

Steel

op.

cit.

cit.

Kobe Bank,

26. Sandra

Ethnicity at

2.

Human Resources Development Co.

Nippon o Kataru (Tokyo: ALC, 1987), 25. Taiyo

note 20, p. 4.

note 20, p.

op.

cit.

p.

Ltd., Talking

note 20,

p. 4.

Wallman, "Introduction: The Scope for Ethnicity"

Work (London: Macmillan,

About Japan/

405.

1979), p.

3.

Author's

italics.

in

Wallman,

ed.,

Global Convulsions

146

27. This does not

mean

that a sense

as in the case of their attitude towards

28.

of superiority

is

absent

among

Koreans and other minorities

in

the Japanese

Japan.

Watanabe, Shoichi, Nihongo no Kokoro [The Soul of the Japanese

Language] (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1974), pp. 105-6.

Partn National Identity and the Struggle for National Rights



Religion and Identity in Northern Ireland MARIANNE ELLIOTT

During 1992-93,

acted as one of the seven commissioners of the Opsahl

I

Commission: an independent inquiry produced

its

report in June

into

1993.'

ways forward

Northern Ireland, which

in

The commission was a novel

democracy, which sought to involve the people of Northern Ireland about

its

future. It received

exercise in

in the

debate

submissions from some 3,000 people and held public

meetings and oral hearings throughout the region. The report made a number of

recommendations which were subsequently endorsed

in public opinion polls in

Northern Ireland, Britain, and the Republic of Ireland.^ Most of these recommen-

stemmed from

dations

the people's sense of frustration and helplessness after a

more

quarter of a century of violence and deadlock and their desire to have

over their

own

future.

To do

so, they recognized,

responsibility for the situation, past

would

also involve

and present. This recognition



control

them taking

that the source

of

the conflict lies inside rather than outside the province, with the people themselves

was

the uncomfortable conclusion of

There

is

no "quick

recommended a up

trust,

common

most of those addressing the commission.

fix" to Northern Ireland. This

series

is

why

the Opsahl

and the experience of working together before they could arrive

ground on Northern Ireland's long-term

The

exercise

showed

the Troubles in 1969. But

There

ignorance

is

is

still

at

some

future.

that opinion has shifted considerably since the onset it

of

also highlighted a continuing gulf of misunderstanding

between Protestant and Catholic, however anxious the individual dation.

Commission

of "building blocks" to help the different communities build

a sense that the other

community

is

to reach

accommo-

a different people and

preventing any overall sense of a shared culture. Basic ignorance about

what the other

faiths teach is rampant.

munities and traditions, most people in

Thus cocooned within

their respective

Northern Ireland have had

little

com-

experience of

149

1

50

Global Convulsions

the other

community outside

venues where

zone of conflicting too

their workplace.

their differences

many

polarities as

many people who

There

can be explored believe.

is

"pick and mix" from a range of identities for

lose even

when

which

chapter seeks to analyze.

The

total

which

they cease to be practicing members.

oral hearings of the

It is

by any other

culture and identity

commission religion

Interestingly,

it

is

in

the

these core differences

[are]

in

produced

more by our

influenced

who had been

part of the group at the

their

because their Irish culture would

same consideration which

among Sinn Fein

much because

education"^ not so

diluted, but

be.^

inspires greater hostility towards

supporters than

among

Catholics gen-

Throughout the hearings these core differences between Catholics and

Protestants

emerged time and time

again: the centrality of religion to the identity of

The bogeyman

the one, of Irish history, language and culture to the other.

Catholics was the state and

Church

identity

an earlier occasion, the same school group had told the

any way

educational integration erally.^

On

opposed integrated

that they

would be

But there

A number of Catholic sixth-formers subsequently

factor."

voiced their bewilderment to their friend choice of such a motion.

that.^

Opsahl Commission closed with two schools assemblies

"Our

the following motion:

not a

is

their adherents rarely

Derry and Belfast. In Derry, the subgroup discussing culture and

religion than

lack of neutral

Northern Ireland

There are too many shades of grey,

are certain fundamentals to the mainstream religions

this

almost a

in safety.

its

for

representatives, that for Protestants the Catholic

itself.

This fear of Catholicism as a powerful political system, the commission found at

every level of the Protestant community.

It is

otherwise very diverse, even divided community.^ their Britishness

was

the It is

one element which unites an the

main defining element of

and the perceived link with a Protestant power.^ The commission

told repeatedly of Protestants' reluctance to call themselves Irish.

in Protestants'

plummeted sharply after their outbreak. "Irishness" was perceived as something not only Catholic, but cized, something which had been "hi-jacked" by the republicans. dictates Protestant attitudes to the Irish republic,

democracy but

It is

a decline

sense of Irishness which, whilst never high before the Troubles,

as highly politiIt is

which they see not

this

as a

which

modem

as the incarnation of their worst nightmare: a hostile Catholic state,

out to destroy Protestantism

itself.

Protestants,

we were

told

by a former moderator

of the Presbyterian Church, see the political situation in clearly religious perspectives.

.

.

.

They

see the

attempt to bring about a "United Ireland" not only as an attack upon their political

and constitutional well-being, but also as an attack upon

their

1

Religion

Table

Religion

7.1.

and National

and Identity

in

Northern Ireland

1

5

Identity in Northern Ireland

1978

1968

1989

1986

Pmt.

Cath.

Prot.

Cath.

Prot.

Cath.

Prot.

Cath.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

British

39

20

67

20

65

9

68

8

Irish

20

76

8

69

3

61

3

60

6

14

32

Ulster

20

5





N.Irish





11

Edward Moxon-Browne, "National

Source:

1

10

2

20

16

25

Identity in Northern Ireland," in Peter

Stringer and Gillian Robinson, eds.. Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland (Belfast:

The Blackstaff Press,

1991), p. 25.'

and an attempt

religious heritage

to establish in Northern Ireland the

dominance of the Roman Catholic Church and people.

.

.

.

They see every

aspect of the political, cultural, educational, medical, industrial, social and

and often controlled, by the

religious life of the Republic dominated,

power and influence of the Roman Catholic Church. '° In such a rapidly changing society as that of the Republic of Ireland, people

have genuine

difficulty accepting the sincerity

The recommendation of

ridden."

any mention

the Opsahl

in the otherwise vigorous

of such views of their

state as "priest-

Commission which received

scarcely

and positive reception of the report

in the

Republic, was that on the Catholic Church in Ireland. 4.

1

.

In the light of the widespread and deep fear

among Northern

tered

society ...

we

—and

move

and mistrust

believe that the government of the Republic of Ireland must

be seen to

Declaration that

it

move

cherishes

all



make good

to

the claim in the

it

New Ireland Forum

did not wish to have the moral teaching of the Catholic Church

become bodied

the criterion of constitutional law or to have

in civil law,

and

tion of the role of the

examination

end

1916

the children of the Irish nation equally.

Recalling the Irish Hierarchy's declaration to the that

we encoun-

Protestants about the Catholic nature of Southern

we

—and

its

its

principles

em-

reference to the need for a balanced examina-

Church

in a

changing Ireland,

a public debate on

it

—should

we

urge that this

take place now.

To

this

suggest the setting up of a wide-ranging public inquiry into the

role of the Catholic

This was

in

Church

in Ireland."

June 1993, and

I

have

not have been the dead letter that once

I

to say

now

thought.

that this

recommendation may

The joint Downing

Street Declara-

1

Global Convulsions

52

tion of the British

and

governments on December

Irish

genuine reaching out by the

latter to the Protestant

14,

1993, does signify a

people of Northern Ireland.

It

contains the following undertaking:

The Taoiseach

will

examine with

life

to the Irish

government

way of life and

as not being fully consistent with a society,

and undertakes

Irish state that

to

in the

can be represented

course of political dialogue as a real and

in the

substantial threat to their

any elements

his colleagues

and organization of the

democratic

ethos, or that can be represented

modem

democratic and pluralist examine any possible ways of removing such

obstacles.

No

such inquiry was established. But

affecting the church during

in the

Brendan Smyth), a very wide-ranging public debate on the Church in the Republic got underway. Conscious of

how

number of scandals

aftermath of a

1993-94 (notably the case of the pedophile

priest,

role of the Catholic

antiquated their fears of "popery" sound, most Ulster

Protestants have great difficulty defining their identity in public. In private they were

more forthcoming. "There were

is

the notion that

told in Auchnacloy, a border

town

Church teaching the children biased

in

you have

to

be Catholic to be

County Tyrone, but

history

this

was

and hatred of anything

we

Irish,"

the Catholic British,

and

Catholic teachers in schools would force their views on the children since "Catholics are taking their lead

from

Rome

and

Rome

is

out to get rid of Protestants." Despite

the Catholic Church's relaxation of directives concerning the religion of children of

mixed marriages, even Church has not made It is

the leaders of the Protestant Churches think the Catholic

sufficient concessions in this area.'^

not surprising, therefore, to find ordinary Protestants

the Catholic Church's views

and parcel of some great conspiracy

which urges

its

still

convinced that

on the family, education, and mixed marriage are part to destroy Protestantism entirely.

It is

the church

adherents to bigger families, and forces mixed-religion couples to

bring up the children as Catholics (every Protestant commenting on this

about the

Ne Temere

had never heard of

it).'^

There

is

more

hostility

to

all

mixed marriages among

Protestants than Catholics, even liberal-minded Protestants thinking that's

knew

decree of 1907 on Catholic marriage, though most Catholics

morally wrong." Similar hostility

is

expressed to attendance

it

at

"something any kind of

service in a Catholic Church, only half of church-going Protestants claiming that

they would do

Members of

so."*

the

Orange Order are required

to "scrupulously

avoid countenancing (by his presence or otherwise) any act or ceremony of Papist worship."'^

The Rev.

Ian Paisley's frequent reference to "Jesuitical" conspiracies,'^

particularly in connection with the Republic's territorial claim over Northern Ireland, strikes a real chord.

Ireland

(i.e.,

Although there are only 13,000 Free Presbyterians

in

Northern

followers of the fundamentalist Protestant church led by the Rev.

Paisley), over a quarter of the Protestant electorate regularly votes for his party, the

Religion

Democratic Unionist

—a

—which

trines

requires

its

Northern Ireland

in

53

1

While an estimated 100,000 Protestants belong

party.

male-only Orange Order tion

and Identity

to the

staggering 38 percent of the Protestant male popula-

members

to "strenuously

oppose the

and doc-

fatal errors

of the Church of Rome."'^

Given such views

that the Catholic

Church's ultimate aim

destroy

to

is

Protestantism, current demographic trends are contributing to an apocalyptic psy-

chology among some Protestants. The 1991 census showed a rising Catholic population (41.4 percent,

up from 34.7 percent

54 percent

in 1971, against

Protestant), with

Catholic majorities in almost every local authority west of the Bann, south

and north Antrim. Whilst

whose City Council

in Belfast,

been an increase

nationalist in the province, there has

from 32.2 percent

is

the

Down

most notoriously

in 1971 to 42.5 percent in 1991.'*

Protestants in these areas and along the border with the Republic have felt

beleaguered.

anti-

number of Catholics

in the

The IRA's border

attacks

most

were seen as "ethnic cleansing," and Protestants

perceived to be "selling out" to Catholics were condemned by their co-religionists.

Since Protestants generally their

moment

seemed

end

to a Protestant majority

numbers of murders of Catholics by

the 1994

tent of things to

show

Protestants to be less tolerant of Catholics

moving

is

into

of

district

perceived as a por-

come. In Londonderry, most Protestants have moved out of the

now deemed

city

Catholic



in a united Ireland.^ In Belfast the

lation of the Shankill in

of siege, of Shankill.^'

retreat,

a microcosm of

commission was

to

city

virtual collapse

is

told that the Protestant

areas bursting at the

in

statistics

is

in

"a sense

seams while

their

Northern Ireland (where the workforce was

where once they were a

deprivation,

Given the anti-discrimination

is

experiencing

new

largely Catholic

legislation introduced in the last

levels

as having been

which show Catholics

still

Catholic culture to complain.

beginning of the Troubles

still

on the Catholic

side,

two decades, much of all

the

and they consider bogus the

twice as likely to be unemployed."

The sentiments expressed

find echoes today.

of

phenomena.

undoubted discrimination against Catholics, Protestants see

economic gains

popu-

27,000 and

declining. Since the onset of the Troubles coincided with the

predominantly Protestant), the Protestant working class

to redress

to

almost of defeat," commented one community worker from the

of heavy industry

unemployment and

they would see themselves

56,000 over the past twenty years. There

They see neighboring Catholic

own community

how

West Belfast had dropped from 76,000

North Belfast from 112,(X)0

in

two years

into the Waterside in the last twenty years, consciously ghettoizing themselves

from a

it

factor in the

neighborhood than the reverse. The experience of the Waterside

Derry (Londonderry), and Protestant North and West Belfast

and

was a

loyalist terrorists in the

ceasefires.'^

All social surveys their

think of the Cathohcs as a "fifth column," awaiting

still

the constitutional link with Britain, the threat these figures

to hold out of a future

escalating prior to

remove

to

in

It is,

after all,

a satirical song at the

Global Convulsions

154

Come all you

boys

me, come gather

that vote for

around.

all

A Catholic I was bom an' reared an' so I'm duty bound To proclaim my

country's misery and express our Papist hope,

Orangemen

To embarrass

all

Chorus: Sing

fol dol

the

do dee,

its

an' glorify the Pope.

great to be in the Nationalist

game,

We don't attempt solutions, we have only to complain.^^

n Catholics are baffled and embittered by such attitudes. Surely

been the victims all sorts

in the past?

They see themselves

as being

it is

who have

they

most reasonable, making

of overtures for good community relations, and point to the local councils

with nationalist majorities having adopted power-sharing as policy. They find puzzling Protestant rejection of things Irish and their general ignorance of what Catholics believe.

funny

"It's

how

know

litde they

about us," commented one

wee

red-haired

that the

people are

Catholic in south Armagh. 'They have a picture of the south as a

with a freckly face pulling a donkey loaded with turf

fella all

.

.

.

and

ruled by the church and things like this."^

comment

This

highlights a general Catholic belief in a continuing Protestant

tendency to see them as an inferior breed. Yet there has always been an superiority

dichotomy

in Catholic thinking, the belief that they

inferiority/

hold the high moral

ground, inducing a sense of pity of Protestants whose culture they see as more

and impoverished than

their

own. At

its

more extreme,

syndrome induces self-righteousness and moral break away from

it

elitism.

memory

skilled at exploiting Catholics' shared

his

Republicans are particularly

of disadvantage, and any effort to

John Hume, leader of the

risks the accusation of selling out.

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), has

among

own community,

"grievance

mentality,"

complaint.^^

It is

suggesting that

rather

than

it

suits

attempting

because of such shared

sterile

this inferiority /superiority

to

little

many

time for such "whining" to persist in this kind of

remedy

the

memory of disadvantage

cause

of their

that Catholics are

so unwilling to accept that Protestant fears might be genuine. Fear of Catholic

Church power

is

simply a cover for pure bigotry; Protestant determination to cling to

the union with Britain

The use of

the

is

a ploy to maintain their "ascendancy" over the Catholics.^

word ascendancy by Catholics when speaking of

fellow countrymen

is

instructive. Originally defined in the eighteenth century to

describe exclusive Protestant rule of Ireland,

psyche. 1921,

unites

It

acquired a

new resonance

it

is

a word embedded in the Catholic

after the creation

and the embers of resentment are easily

SDLP

their Protestant

of the Northern Ireland

ignited.

It

is

and Sinn Fein supporters (though they agree on

anything savoring of restored majoritarian Unionist

rule.

state in

such memories which little

else) against

.

and

Religion

Now

although

I

Northern Ireland

Identity in

1

55

think such Catholic perceptions of Protestant motivation are

no longer accurate, and the commission was made aware of a certain grudging

among

admiration

many

Protestants for

aspects of Catholic culture, notably a

community

greater ability to organize at the

tendency to see Catholics as an inferior breed they are culturally

more

level, nonetheless, historically the

is

accurate enough. Protestants think

inclined to the useful scientific subjects, whilst Catholics

prefer "soft" subjects like history and the arts," hence the perceived

economic

backwardness of the South, with which Protestants normally associate the northern Catholics. in

Much

of

this they attribute to "priestly tyranny,"

keeping the Catholics

ignorance and superstition. Catholics were encouraged by their priests to believe

Bob Curran's Protestant grandmother told him when he was a child Mourne Mountains. "As long as they believed in the supernatural (fairies,

in fairies. Dr. in the

cures, visions

and miracles) the

much more Such from

had them

priests

believe anything which you told them



in their grip.

Catholics would

who were

not like Protestants

altogether

sensible."^

attitudes to the Irish are part of British culture,

time of Gerald of Wales

at least the

which can be documented

in the twelfth century. ^"^

At

the time of the

Reformation, the image was transferred to the Irish Catholics generally. In Ulster in particular, the

seemed class

absence of a Catholic gentry, and

to fulfil the stereotype, for

and rural.^ Travellers

by the lengths Catholic

in eighteenth

1812, John

despite

Protestant

would

irritation to

name,

the

intellectually

times.

One

their

very anxious to assure

me

wasn't —"ahezealous

that

descended from a Huguenot"

A

and socially

had transferred

was

middling

But nothing caused more

itself to that

who were

who

For the centrality of

their inferiors.

of the Irish Catholics in early

the ban

and

on Catholics owning or carrying arms, thereby

upper ranks

the

external

natural deference to their social betters

many

cases

resented,

more

Gaelic society, and in settlers

confused with the

of the aspects of the eighteenth-century penal laws most

resented by Catholics,

gentleman. ^^

but

as soon call his son Judas as Pat."^'

status in Gaelic culture

denying

to avoid being

Gamble recorded an encounter with an innkeeper

Catholics in past centuries than to be lorded over by Protestants

were sometimes

modern

largely lower-

and nineteenth-century Ulster were struck

named O' Sullivan near Lame: "[H]e was Catholic,

Catholic middle class,

most Catholics have remained

which Protestants would go

to

Irish. In

later a

it

was

transferred to the

status

symbols of a

had also been a

trait

new

was

landlords

(it

of the

for their lowly social status than their religion).

Likewise, this natural deference was misinterpreted as the sign of a slavish mind

and entered Protestant folk stereotype of Catholics, defying even the recent emergence of a Catholic middle

Come all you

class,

noted

earlier:

loyal Ulstermen, rejoice that we're together,

We Catholics in the Middle Class have never had And

if some have not got houses or employment

it

better

.

.

we don't grumble,

.

Global Convulsions

156

Why don't they beg

and grovel, can't they follow our example

My son will go to Clongoes Wood" and stay there And

learn there

how

to scrape

till

.

.

he's twenty,

and bow and pass himself with gentry.^

m The kind of mutual incomprehension of the other community's core values that has been outlined owes not a little to the way in which they are expressed. "The talks failed for lack of language," wrote Professor

interparty talks

on the

Edna Longley of the breakdown of November 1992.^^ Certainly,

future of Northern Ireland in

Catholics and Protestants appear to have different thought-patterns in Northern Ireland. Social science surveys

even

if

Protestant

is

in

attitudes consistentiy different,

The self-image of the Northern

that of a straight, uncomplicated, trustworthy, direct, plain-speaking

individualist, as

"The

have found social

they share a general religious conservatism.^

opposed

SDLP speak

to the dissembling, untrustworthy, Jesuitical Catholic.^^

with a forked tongue," a group of Protestants from Casdedawson

County Londonderry

wriggle out of things,"

told the

we were

Opsahl Commission. "The Republic can always

by another group

told

Protestants believe that Catholics

in

Auchnacloy. "Northern

do not say what they mean," the Rev. Sydney

Callaghan told the commission, "that they are profligate with words, past masters of the art of the fine point, the innuendo and the half-truth."^*

Whereas

the Unionists

tend to see hidden agenda and seek a cautious, step-by-step approach, the Nationalists

think in terms of frameworks and big solutions.

Ingrained cultural differences have meant that the two have constantly by-

passed each other in every attempt

have fed justice

into

and

community and I

I felt

see a

many

security. is

at

compromise, and the differences

other areas of the Northern Ireland

There

is

a collective sense

treated unfairly in these areas: "the

intimidated,"

member of

commented

among

crisis,

in

outlook

most notably law,

Catholics that their whole

army asked me what religion I was Keady in south Armagh. "When

a Catholic from

the security forces

I feel

intimidated and guilty, even though

I

haven't done anything," a Catholic sixth-former told the Opsahl Commission's

Schools Assembly

in Belfast.

And from

all

over the province, the commission heard

evidence that those with Catholic-sounding names are more likely to be harassed by the security forces and stopped at checkpoints.^*^ In this context, the following

observation

is

most

insightful:

In the different religious/national traditions there have developed different visions of righteousness, radically different versions of justice. In

a significant part of the Ulster Protestant tradition justice tends to

empha-

sise honest dealing, getting one's deserts, acting rightly, fair procedures

and the punishment of the

guilty.

Communal justice

is

not so central.

Religion

and Identity

in

Northern Ireland

1

57

In the Irish Catholic tradition, there has developed a victim theology

whereby the community sees oppressor gets his deserts.

.

.

.

framework. Reconciliation

right

victim and making sure the

itself as the

Peace comes

after justice

and justice

is

the

seen merely as

in this perspective is

giving the other a place in our framework, not together trying to create

something new. This radical difference in perspective between the two communities

one of the reasons why they have such

is

difficulty understanding

each

other.^

In this regard, Paul Burgess' analysis also presents a disturbing finding, namely, that the

Hence

major Protestant and Catholic communities do not share a the moral ambivalence and double standards

society,

and permit otherwise peaceable people

common

to perceive terrorist acts

shows

why

is

between schools of

more

influentially,

by parents)

the government's well-intentioned "Education for

Understanding" program has

With

failed.

different denominations,

politically partisan nature of education in

Mutual

limited, frequently non-existent, contact it is

been specially trained and inevitably carry

taught by teachers

their

own

cultural

who have

baggage

in

What

swimming pool along with

actually happens is our kids stay

the other. "^' Little futility

among

and teachers the Opsahl

the schoolchildren at

Commission

in

"We

the neighboring Protestant school.

up one end of the pool while they

whom

it is

stay

down

directed. "It is not us, but our parents

Dungannon, Tyrone

Sectarian consciousness

is

sixth-former at the oral hearings of

in

February

1993."*^

pervasive in Northern Ireland.

of one community or the other, and

fertile

the

wonder, then, that the program evokes cynicism and a sense of

who need EMU," commented one

is

can be instinctive even

call bigotry. It

not

Northern Ireland. "I have seen these so-

called inter-school contact programmes," one Catholic teacher told Burgess.

take our lot to the

that

from an early age through the segregated schools,

often unconsciously transmitted by teachers (though

themselves. This

Irish

by one side

as morally less reprehensible than those by the other. Burgess' survey sectarian stereotypes are acquired

morality.

which pervade Northern

often far to the

It is

not the

monopoly

removed from what we commonly

most

liberally

minded, and provides

ground for the kind of insider humor about prejudice and difference which

most Northern

Irish

people engage

in

from time

to time.

It is

there because difference

has been institutionalized, locked, sometimes imperceptibly, into the social fabric of people's lives.

It is

a difference preserved and exaggerated by the very high levels of

segregation in Northern Irish society.

questioned in 1992 said most or

all

Some 83

percent of Catholics and Protestants

of their relatives are of the same religion.

Educational, sporting, as well as other social activities, and

now

increasingly housing,

The Opsahl Commission was told repeatedly of once mixed communities having become predominantly one religion as a result of are confined within one community."*-*

the Troubles.

It

learned of working-class males, in particular,

who were

deterred by

Global Convulsions

158

fear

from moving outside the

employment;

safety of their

was acquainted with

it

which might involve

travel

own

was a

March

In

to take

in

visible increase in public mobility, particularly in the Belfast area.

1993, a leading Northern Ireland journalist, David McKittrick,

increasing segregation which startled even those

areas

it

statistics for

such

was occurring. He

percent of Northern Ireland's 1.5 million populace lived in

which over 90 percent Protestant or Catholic.

Less than 110,000 people lived



who knew

that:

Some 50



One

atmosphere following the 1994

analyzed unpublished data from the 1991 census and produced

concluded

up much-needed

through areas dominated by the other community."^

of the most notable aspects of the rapid thaw ceasefires,

even

areas,

the problems of attending integrated schools

may be

here there

mixed

in substantially

internal separation

areas,

and even

by the numerous "peace

lines"

(twenty-foot high walls physically separating Catholics and Protestants). In the last twenty years the



number of wards exclusively Catholic or

Protestant had increased from 43 to 120 and 56 to 115 respectively. In Belfast 35 of



its

5 1 wards were over 90 percent one religion.

A community worker on the almost exclusively Protestant Shankill Road in Belfast neatly

summarized the

Young people

lifelong cycle of segregation thus:

start off in

primary school: they are segregated. They go to

secondary school: they are segregated. They leave school, no hope probably of getting a job ... so they go to a youth training program. There are separate

YTPs

for Catholics

have any money they are stuck

and Protestants.

in their

own

other people with other religions or other cultures It is this

lifelong separation of the

in

the workplace,

good

relations

.

.

Because they don't

.'•^

communities which has caused stereotypes

take the place of understanding in Northern Ireland.

mix

.

areas, so they don't get to see

When

are maintained

by

the

polite fancy footwork,

tiptoeing around potentially controversial topics. "Sectarianism ... feast

of

much of

Commission.

It

polite society in Northern Ireland,"

to

two communities do

is

Ken Logue

the ghost at the told the

Opsahl

"depends essentially on a popular culture which invokes religion as a

boundary marker between the two communities." signs of such sectarian consciousness.

The

It

can operate without any overt

stereotypical cues of appearance,

name,

school, cultural values, and speech are the unspoken language of everyday discourse.^

IV Authoritative research into the historical background to this gulf of misunderstanding, is

yet to be done.

The

Ulster Catholic in particular must be one of the most under-

— and

Religion

working class areas



moral ground, as a descendant of the true Gael, your ancestors were deprived of land and

59

1

To grow up as a Catholic in Northern Ireland is to grow up convinced that you occupy the high

researched figures in Irish history. particularly in

Identity in Northern Ireland

their

persecuted for their religion. Protestants are perceived as not entirely Irish,

and Catholicism

some kind of organic

possessing

itself as

very landscape suffused with both.

"It is

unity with Irishness, the

perhaps inevitable that our poetry should be

Roy McFadden

provincial," wrote the Ulster Protestant poet

in 1946, ".

.

concerned

.

with appearances, seeing the tree and the field without the bones beneath.'"'^

Although the Catholic tendency the wane, particularly

among

to think in terms

of "native" and "planter"

on

is

the young, traditionally. Catholics have believed that

they are "the Irish properly so-called, trodden and despoiled."

Theobald Wolfe Tone, generally held

The words

have been the founder of

to

are those of

modem

republican

nationalism at the end of the eighteenth century. But this perception has been part of the Irish Catholics' "origin legend" since the seventeenth century."^

of the current Troubles, cited

earlier,

The

satirical

song

points to the centrality of this belief in northern

nationalism.

Our allegiance is to Ireland, to her language and her games. So we can't accept the border boys, as long as it remains. Our reason is the Gaelic blood that's flowin' in our veins. An' that is why our policy is never known to change.''^ Protestants of Irishness.

On

the

all

social categories are ambivalent about the cultural

one hand, they

reject

as subversive, used, as

it

it

meaning of

undoubtedly has

been, by extreme nationalists to exclude Protestants from the Irish fraternity.

narrow

political focus

Protestants are

now showing

other, they resent this

Indeed,

many

the Irish language, once

unknown

told the

county

commission. "Nationalism state

and a united

Ireland.

to a specific ideology has

The

A

McGimpsey of

have defined

the Ulster Unionist party

seen to be exclusively defined in terms of a 32

Many

Protestants feel very Irish. Linking Irishness

of the "faith and fatherland" reading of Irishness

teacher should dwell with pride, and in glowing words on Ireland's

glowing past ... her devotion through brought by her National Aposde. in

that

is

1905 Irish History Reader, published by the Christian Brothers

included the following instructions:

The

it.

done tremendous damage."^'

truth of this claim

indisputable.

is

the

a particular interest in Irish history and

to Protestant schools.^ "Nationalists

Protestants out of being Irish," Dr. Chris

On

and some are taking action to redress

.

.

.

all

the centuries to the Faith

[Pupils'] interest should

be aroused

widespread movement, the creation of earnest men, that has

already effected so native music, and

much

for Ireland in the revival of her native language,

native ideals;

they must be taught that Irishmen,

Global Convulsions

160

claiming the right to

make

their

own

grown

man's

to

laws, should never rest content until

and

their native Parliament is restored;

that Ireland looks to

of true

estate, to act the part

men

them,

when

in furthering the sacred

cause of nationhood."

Ulster Protestants were centuries.

The following

and religious

more

common

likely to reject a

Irish identity in past

early nineteenth-century warning of the

threat awaiting Protestants

who

flirted

combined

political

with separatism and nationalism

was a common one:

From

experience of

event [the 1798 rebellion]

th[is]

ought to be convinced that the Britain

political separation

by a popular insurrection must involve

.

.

.

Irish Protestants

of their country from

and

their extinction

that

consequently an infrangibly determined adherence to their British con-

nexion

There

match

necessary for their

is

not

is

much

safety.^^

sense here of an ethnic Britishness

the ethnic Irishness of the later Gaelic revival. This

is

among

Protestants to

because their identity as

a Protestant people was already well established, a religious identity that did not require racial underpinnings except in very specific periods of threat.

The

racial

undertones of nationalist theory in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe have

made

it

more

difficult for Ulster Protestants to explain their identity in purely reli-

gious terms, however accurate political affiliation than

quacies

is

one of the reasons

Ireland's Protestant

There

is

it is

in reality.

But Britishness

an accurate label for that

identity.

is

more a

for the collective loss of confidence

among Northern

community.

already a search underway

among some Protestants The argument

origin legend to that of the Gaels for the Catholics.

always been a

declaration of

A recognition of its inade-

for an equivalent that Ulster has

is

distinct nation; that Protestants are not Johnny-come-latelys, but

descendants of the ancient Celtic people of Ulster, the Ulaid, the people of the Ulster

Cycle and the heroic

tales

of Cuchullain

of the Ulster people against the

rest



the central

of Ireland.

As

theme of which

such,

it

is

the struggle

provides an alternative

origin legend for those arguing today for an independent Ulster against the territorial

claims over the province the Protestants this origin

who

made by

the Republic's Constitution. In other words,

are the natives, not those of Gaelic stock.

It is

it is

interesting that

legend should extract similar romantic views from the past for incor-

poration into a future state as the Gaelic revival did for the future Irish state, notably,

on the land. An extension of this who came over at the time of the Ulaid, who had been pushed into the

a rejection of materiaUsm and an idealization of

version of pre-history

is

life

to see the Scottish settlers

Ulster Plantation as descendants of the ancient

Northeast, then to Scotland, returning in the seventeenth century to reclaim what was rightfully theirs.^

Religion

and Identity

in

were simply a warrior

In fact, the Gaels, like the Ulaid before them,

which absorbed indigenous peoples.

It is

Northern Ireland

elite

impossible to trace lineage back beyond

the eleventh and twelfth centuries, though the learned classes

creating bogus lineages into early

161

modern

times.

It

were kept busy

unlikely that anyone in

is

modern Northern

Ireland can trace an unbroken lineage to either the ancient Celts

or Gaels. There

is

succeed

So

Scotland.

one important

imposing

in

rider to all of this,

their culture not only

that the

25,000 Scots mercenaries (Gallowglasses) operating

Ulster by the sixteenth century were Gaelic in culture (Catholic) were those of their hosts." the time of the Ulster Plantation

descent, settlers

was

were

however: the Gaels did

over the whole of Ireland, but also over

What



their

in

language and religion

differentiated the Scottish setders at

from the resident populace and families of Scots

their religion, not their race. It

simply cannot be proven that the

Celts. Gaelic-speaking is not evidence



the Gaels and the Celts

were

different peoples.

This

is

a mirror-image of the organic link thesis between Catholicism/

which has dominated Catholic and

Irishness/ territory,

past since the seventeenth century, and which

nationalist readings of the

surfaces in the popular tendency

still

The process whereby this image of was constructed has long been recognised by scholars. Less but equally important in the identikit of the Ulster Protestant, was the

to see Protestantism as alien to Irish culture.

the Catholic Gael noticed,

similar cultural creation of the the Ulster Scot. In this, the Ulster Plantation of the early seventeenth century introduced a hardy breed of Scots.

work

Calvinist

ethic

and no-nonsense independence of

province into the economic success story which

developed

and gave

in the nineteenth century

which separates

it

from the

rest

Endowed with

spirit,

was when the myth was

it

the

they turned the fully

to Ulster that distinctive quality

of Ireland.^^ All of

this ignores the distinctiveness

of Ulster long before the Plantation; the impact of Catholic Scots (not least in the Plantation

itself,

where some 20 percent of the

settlers

were Catholic); the

preexistence of linen production which would provide the base for the economic miracle; the high proportion of intermarriage and the general cultural

have gone religionists

to

make

the Ulster Catholic

elsewhere

more

mix which

like the Ulster Protestant than his co-

in the country.

This does not deny the

fact,

however, that even

was already deemed English/Scots or

Irish

in the

some Irish Protestants call themselves was to be English. This, of course, was

very end of the eighteenth century did Until then, to be Protestant in Ireland

seventeenth century, one

according to one's religion. Not until the Irish.

not a

who used terms such as Scots, common Protestant identity was

term readily adopted by the Ulster Presbyterians,

Hibemo-Scots, and, on those occasions when a

assumed

in the face

of a Catholic threat (for example, the 1690s, 1820s^0s, and

during the Troubles), British."

It

was

this reluctance

by the Ulster Presbyterians

think of themselves as Irish which prompted Wolfe Tone's

of Irishman" plea, though even he never

to

famous "common name

lost that instinctive Protestant dislike

of

Global Convulsions

162

Catholicism as a system. Also notable, was his other liberty in order to

make them

more

think

call to

like Protestants

give Catholics rights and



a foretaste of Terence

O'Neill's infamous, though equally well-intentioned remark: "Give them jobs and

houses and they will

live like Protestants."^**

Contemporary Protestant it

occurred long before

rejection of Irishness thus has a long history, and

was taken over by an equally exclusive nationalism

it

the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In torical to

many

many ways,

it

is

at

not his-

expect Ulster Protestants to readily accept an Irish identity, though

have.

As long

will continue to

as Irish culture has an identifiable link with Catholicism,

be suspected by the bulk of Protestants, for

it is

dislike

it

and fear

of Catholicism which have informed their religion and shaped their identity for the last four centuries.

There can be no doubt, then, people

in

Northern Ireland

that twenty-five years

the republican and loyalist ceasefires after

form the

situation. ^^

But

of violence have polarized

to a greater extent than before. Peace, as

it

do so overnight, nor

will not

witnessed during

August and October 1994, could will

it

of

itself

trans-

remove

the

underlying causes of the Troubles. Poverty, discrimination, massive unemployment,

and a dependency culture* are increasingly

is

all

too

real.

Yet

division grounded in these that

it is

being recognized by the people of Northern Ireland themselves as the

underlying cause of the Troubles. The events of the past twenty-five years have been a deeply humbling experience.

The experience of willingness

among

the Opsahl

Commission has shown

that there

is

a greater

the people to admit and explore the prejudices which have

divided them than ever before.

It,

and other recent commentaries, also show a

fracturing of the old quasi-monolithic Catholic/Protestant identities; a fracturing

which, particularly within the Protestant community, created a deep sense of decline and despondency, and was the backdrop to the escalation of Protestant

paramilitarism before the two ceasefires. That fracturing, though,

may be

the

necessary precondition for a recognition of what unites rather than what divides the communities.

There a

common

is

a small but significant increase in the

Northern

Irish

revealed a growing desire

identity

among

(table

number of people who accept and the Opsahl Commission

7.1),

nationalists to be given a

more

legitimate role

within Northern Ireland (see appendix), whereas once only reunification of the not yet an equality which

island

would have

would

easily accept. Nevertheless, even here there

satisfied them.

It is

misunderstandings and prejudices have

artificially

is

many

Protestants

a recognition that religious

divided sectors of the populace

(notably in deprived working-class areas) that had

more

in

common

with one

Religion

and Identity

another than with other social sectors within their Irish or British

Opsahl

governments with which they had

Commission (1993),

Downing

the

in

Northern Ireland

own community, Declaration

63

or with the

traditionally identified.

Street

1

(1993),

The the

republican and loyalist ceasefires (1994), the "Frameworks" proposals (1995),

and a host of other local, national and international initiatives, are products of an ongoing peace process which started on the ground in Northern Ireland in 1992. At the heart of all these developments is a recognition that the problems in Northern Ireland will only be resolved from the bottom up, by to live

and work together, prior

to

its

people learning

any decision about long-term constitutional

structures.

Appendix: British-Irish Opinion Poll Findings on the Recommendations of the

Opsahl Commission

(The main

results of the opinion polls,

June 1993, are reproduced

in the

2nd

edition of A Citizens' Inquiry, note 2.)

MAJORITIES BACK INTER-COMMUNITY EQUALITY IN

FUTURE

N.I.

GOVERNMENT

(Base: All Adults 18+) "The (Opsahl) commission proposed a new government of Northern Ireland, based on the principle that each communtiy should have an equal voice in making and executing laws or vetoing them and an equal share in administrative authority. Would you agree or disagree with this proposal? "

UMS N.I.

AGREE STRONGLY

AGREE

NEITHER AGREE NOR DISAGREE DISAGREE DISAGREE STRONGLY DON'T KNOW/NO OPINION

(7%)

(7%)

(13%)

Global Convulsions

164

Notes

1.

T.

Opsahl,

A

Eric Gallagher,

Andy

O'Malley, M.

Elliott,

R. Lister, E. Gallagher, L. Faulkner, and

Opsahl Report on Northern

Irelatid, ed.

Pollak (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1993). 2.

Irish

P.

Citizens Inquiry: The

Northern Ireland and the Opsahl Proposals:

A

Tri-partite Poll (Dublin:

Marketing Surveys, June 1993), summarized and extracted

Inquiry, 3.

2nd

edn., pp.

A

Citizens'

Opsahl Commission, submission no. 531, Prof. Edna Longley. The Opsahl

Commission submissions have been deposited with 4.

in

435-44.

Schools

in

Northern Ireland are generally divided by religion. Integrated

schools account for only

percent of school-age children

1

1,336 schools, most of them

at

recent and

It is still

is

gaining ground.

primary

level).

welcomed by

is

(i.e.,

14 out of a total of

But the integrated movement

is

very

vigorously opposed by the Catholic hierarchy,

inspires caution within the leadership of the

Church, but

the Linenhall Library in Belfast.

Church of Ireland and Methodist

the Presbyterian Church.

Growing numbers of

laity,

however, are positively inclined. 5.

Opsahl Commission, oral hearing Dungannon, February

5,

1993,

Omagh

Christian Brothers School. Catholics in Castledawson told the commission likewise. 6.

John Whyte, Interpreting Northern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University

Press, 1990), p. 47. 7.

See also Rosemary Harris, Prejudice and Tolerance

Neighbors and "Strangers" versity Press, 1972), p. 8.

I

6, pp.

10.

Study of

xi.

am

grateful

to

Identity."

Moxon-Browne

Dr.

for

granting

me

reproduce his findings. See also an analysis of similar findings note

A

This emerged particularly during the Opsahl Commission, Derry Schools

Assembly, discussion group on "Culture and 9.

in Ulster:

a Border Community (Manchester: Manchester Uni-

in

in

permission to

Whyte, op. ciL

67-69.

Opsahl Commission, submission by the Rev. Robert Dickinson; also

presentation by

The Witness Bearing Committee of

Church of Ireland,

W.A

the

Reformed Presbyterian

oral hearing Shankill Rd., February 18, 1993.

Citizen's Inquiry, op.

cit.

note 2, p. 120.

The Report of the Working Party on Sectarianism: A Discussion Document for Presentation to the Inter-Church Meeting (Belfast: Irish 12. Sectarianism:

Inter-Church Meeting, 1993),p.l33. 13.

Opsahl Commission, Auchnacloy focus group; see also

statement in a also

letter

signed "L.S. Coleraine," Belfast Newsletter,

one signed "Ulster Loyalist," 14.

Ireland:

Irish

News, April

11,

classic Protestant

March

13,

1989,

1992.

Peter Stringer and Gillian Robinson, eds., Social Attitudes in Northern

The Second Report 1 99 1 -1992

15. Sectariattism, op.

cit.

(Belfixsi:

note 12, p. 147.

The B\acksiaffPTQSs,

1992), p. 141.

.

Religion

"A Week

Northern Ireland

in

165

example, his comments on President Mary Robinson's contro-

16. See, for

versial visit to

and Identity

West Belfast

in Politics,"

in his interview

BBC Radio

with Jim McDougal,

Ulster,

August 1993.

17. Sectarianism, op. cit. note 12, pp.

November

144-45.

based on the 1991 census.

18.

The

19.

Fionnuala O'Connor, In Search of a State: Catholics in Northern Ireland

Irish Times,

14, 1992, report

The Blackstaff Press, 1993), p. 145; Opsahl Commission, submission no. The Witness Bearing Committee of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland, on how Catholics were feared by the majority Protestant community as (Belfast:

402,

"subversive aliens." 20. Opsahl

Commission, Waterside focus group; also

Irish

News, April

21. Opsahl Commission, submission by Jackie Redpath and

11,

1992.

oral hearing,

Shankill Rd., February 18, 1993. 22.

Opsahl Commission,

oral

Shankill Rd., February,

hearing,

Magee and Roy Montgomery; Times, November 30, 1993.

particularly the Rev. Jack

Other Foot," The Irish

23. Linenhall Library, Belfast,

NI

18,

Political Collection:

1993,

"On

the

"A New Song

for

Fintan O'Toole,

Nationalist Heroes." 24. Opsahl

Commission, Keady focus group.

25. O'Connor, op.

26. Opsahl

cit.

note 19, p. 93.

Commission, op.

cit.

note 24; also O'Connor, op.

note 19, pp.

cit.

370-71. 27. Terence

Brown,

Edna Longley,

ed..

Culture in Ireland:

Division or Diversity?, Proceedings of the Cultures of Ireland

Group Conference

(Belfast: Institute

28. Opsahl

"British Ireland," in

of Irish Studies, 1991), pp. 71-72.

Commission, submission

no. 325, Dr.

Bob

Curran; "Culture

Divides Ulster from Eire," Belfast Newsletter, April 14, 1988;

1987



see Rev. Ian Paisley's

29.

among Ulster Protestants,"

and Ethnicity, (London: Routledge,

Anne Laurence, "From

Irish Social

Customs

(1988): 63-84; D.

in the

Gap

October

7,

comments on a Roman Catholic-Methodist conference;

A. D. Buckley, "Uses of History eds.. History

ibid.,

in Elizabeth

Tonkin, et

al.

1989), p. 187.

the Cradle to the Grave: English Observation of

Seventeenth Century," The Seventeenth Century 3.1

W Hayton, "From Barbarian

to Burlesque: English

Images of the

l660-\750;' Irish Economic and Social History 14(1988): 5-31.

Irish c.

30.

Marianne

Elliott,

A

History of the Catholics of Ulster (forthcoming); S.

J.

Connolly, "Catholicism in Ulster, 1800-1850," in Peter Roebuck, ed., Plantation to Partition (Bdfasi, 1981), pp. 157-71.

3 John Gamble, A View of Society and Manners in the North of Ireland, summer and autumn of 1 81 2 (London, 1813), pp. 63, 83-84. 1

32.

Marianne

Elliott,

in the

Wolfe Tone: Prophet of Irish Independence (London and

New Haven: Yale University Press,

1989), p.

1

12.

Global Convulsions

166

33.

Clongowes Wood,

prestige Catholic Boarding School in the Irish Republic.

34. Belfast, Linenhall Library,

NI

political collection:

"Song of the Middle Class

Catholic." 35.

Opsahl Commission, submission no. 531, Prof. EdnaLongley.

2nd Report,

36. Social Attitudes in Northern Ireland,

The Guardian, March

ties,"

19,

p. 36;

"Divided Locali-

1993; only 23,933 out of 342,059 pupils were

reported as attending integrated schools in January 1992.

my Watchmen

See

37.

Day Pamphlet, No. 38. Cited in

A

8,

in

Sion: The Protestant Idea of Liberty (Deny: Field

1985).

Citizen's Inquiry, op.

cit.

note

1,

p. 37.

Opsahl Commission, submissions by Gabriel O'Keefe and

39.

Dr

Brian GafF-

ney; also oral hearings, February 4 and 6, 1993. 40. Opsahl

Commission, submission by Pax

41. Paul Burgess,

A

Crisis

Christi Ireland.

of Conscience (Hants., U.K.: Avebury, 1993), particu-

larly chap. 7.

oral hearings Dungannon, February 5, 1993, discusCookstown High School. in Northern Ireland, 2nd Report, p. 36. The Opsahl Com-

Commission,

42. Opsahl

sion of submission no. 422, 43. Social Attitudes

mission was also made aware of the polarization zations,

Nick Acheson (submission

no.

360 and

in charitable

and voluntary organi-

oral hearing, Belfast, February 17,

1993). 44. See for example, Opsahl

Women;

466,

Commission, submissions nos. 340, North Belfast

Community Development

Trust; 540, Elizabeth Groves;

Northern Ireland. But the most revealing comments and information on

came

in the oral

Streets of Ulster,"

46. Opsahl

47.

Quoted

22, 1993;

David McKittrick, "Apartheid

in Patrick

his oral presen-

February 18, 1993.

G. Curley, "Northern

Irish Poets

and the Land since

MA thesis, Queen's University Belfast (1977), p. 88.

48. Marianne Elliott, op. Irish Nation: p.

March

The Independent on Sunday, March 21, 1993.

Commission, submission no. 472, Ken Logue; also

tation, Shankill Rd., Belfast,

1800,"

CBI

submissions of these four parties, Belfast, February 1993.

45. The Independent (London),

Deepens on

142,

this issue

cit.

note 32;

Thomas

Bardett,

The Catholic Question 1690-1830 (Dublin:

The Fall and Rise of the and MacMillan, 1992),

Gill

295; Bemadette Cunningham, "The Culture and Ideology of Irish Franciscan

Historians at Louvain, 1607-1650," in Ciaran Brady, ed.. Ideology (Historical Studies sion,

XVH)

and the Historians Commis-

(Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1992), pp. 11-30; Opsahl

submission no. 132, Centre for Research and Documentation; also oral hearing,

February

19, 1993.

49. Linenhall Library, Belfast,

NI

Political Collection:

"Song of

the

Middle

Class Catholic." 50. Opsahl

Commission, submission

no.

Sixth Form; also Schools Assembly, Belfast;

Aidan McPholan of the Ultach Trust

I

in Belfast.

422,Cookstown High School, Lower grateful also for information from

am

Religion

51.

and Identity

in

Northern Ireland

67

Opsahl Commission, Oral Hearing, Newtownards, January 21, 1993.

52. Belfast Public Library, Bigger Collection, Irish History Gill

1

Reader (Dublin:

and Son, 1905); see also the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, School Text-

book

Collection. 53.

Quoted

in R. R.

Adams, The Printed Word and

the

Common Man:

Popular

Culture in Ulster 1700-1900 (Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, 1992), p. 143.

The Reawakening of an Ancient Kindred (Ulster Motherland Movement publication, Portadown, NI, undated); see also Ian Adamson, The Identity 54. Cruithne:

of Ulster: The Land, the Language and the People (Belfast: Pretani Press, 1982); J. Michael Hill, 'The Origins of the Scottish Plantations in Ulster to 1625: A Reinterpretation," Journal of British Studies 32.1 (January 1993): 24-43, for a

claim that

many

settlers

55. Ciaran Brady,

and B. Walker,

An

were "Celtic

.

.

.

"The Failure of the Tudor Reform,"

Illustrated History

more learned

ethnically."

of Ulster

in C. Brady,

(Belfast: Institute

M. O'Dowd,

of Irish Studies,

1990), p. 90. 56.

See Raymond Gillespie, "Continuity and Change: Ulster

Century," in

Honor of

J.

P.

Roebuck,

L

McCracken

in the Seventeenth

Plantation to Partition: Essays in Ulster History in

ed..

(Belfast:

Blackstaff Press,

1981), pp.

124-26; Ian

—my thanks

McBride, "Ulster and the British Problem," forthcoming paper

McBride

for sharing his thoughts

57. S.

J.

Connolly, Religion,

1660-1760 (Oxford: Clarendon 58.

Quoted

on

this topic

to Dr.

with me.

Law and Power: The Making of Protestant Ireland,

Press, 1992), pp. 118-19.

in Eric Gallagher

1980 (Oxford: Oxford University

and Stanley Worrall, Christians

in Ulster,

1968-

Press, 1982), p. 17.

The republican ceasefire broke down in February of 1996. The Northern Ireland economy receives British government subsidies totalling some £1.5 billion per annum; a further £0.5 billion is expended on the police and army and £500 million has been paid in compensation to businesses etc., 59.

60.

in the

course of the Troubles.

8 Israel

and Palestinian Statehood

GALIA GOLAN

It is

movements

the fate of the Arab and Jewish national

to fight

until one or the other prevails.

—Neguib Azoury, at

It is

one time an

assistant to the Turkish ruler

our destiny to be in a

Arabs and there

is

no

state

this

chapter

was conceived,

but prophetically true. central issue of

what

basically, the clash

the

of continual warfare with the

alternative but that lives should

—Arthur Ruppin, When

Christian Arab,

of Jerusalem, 1905

be

lost.

Zionist leader, Jerusalem, 1936.

these statements might have been taken as sadly

They

reflected not just a

later

became known

mood

but a deep appreciation of the

as the "Arab-IsraeU conflict." That

same piece of land,

in the geographically identical "national

ment signed on September

13,

may

home." Yet the agree-

Government of

1993, between the

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

in the specific clauses

and

articles

Israel

and the

well have supplanted the tragic "fate"

or "destiny" referred to by these earher participants in the struggle.

much

is,

between the aspirations of two peoples for self-determination on

of the agreement, but

lying document and principles which accompanied

it:

It

did so, not so

rather, in the

under-

the mutual recognition of Israel

and the PLO. This was not just the recognition of a government and an organization. historic

because

it

was recognition of the legitimacy of

national existence. For Israehs,

sixteen years earlier

Knesset

in

Jerusalem

it

was

when Egyptian

—of acceptance of

also, for Israelis, official recognition all

was

the claims of both peoples to

the fulfillment of the

president

It

dream



^partially fulfilled

Anwar Sadat spoke

in the Israeli

the State of Israel in the region. Yet

it

was

of the nationhood of the Palestinian people, with

the rights and aspirations of a national

movement.

Finally.

169

Global Convulsions

170

It

has been argued that

ment

that

its

it

was perhaps

founders and early advocates did not express such recognition, that they

ignored the presence of Arabs fact, this

was not

homeland they sought

in the

documents from the

minds of

in the

in the

land was

the Jews. Literature

and

pre-state period are filled with discussions, soul-searching,

arguments and recriminations over the the failure to

to rebuild for the Jews. In

That there were Arabs living

entirely the case.

unquestionably a most important issue

was

move-

the fatal error of the Jewish national

come

The problem, though,

issue.

to terms with the issue

essential to the fulfillment of

on a

at least in part,

political basis, as

Jewish self-determination, and one

that

had

a matter

to deal not

only with "the Arabs" in Palestine or even the Arab national movement, but with the relationship to

and national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

At one end of

the pole there

were the views of Brit Shalom, the one group

which did see an understanding with the Arabs be resolved

if

Jewish self-determination were

as their spiriuial leader Martin

we

are forced to

do

in

Buber put

to

it,

as the central

to

and primar>' matter

to

be accomplished. In time, seeking,

"do no more

injustice to others than

order to exist," they envisaged a bi-national state of two equal

peoples in Palestine.' At the other end of the spectrum were the Revisionists, forerunners of today's Herut party (the dominant the idea that an "iron wall"

Arabs, coming up against

must be

built

this wall,

member

of Likud),

who

subscribed to

around the Jews to protect them

would

until the

finally accept the situation.- If

mutual

understanding and justice were the key words for Brit Shalom, strength and steadfastness

were the guideposts for the Revisionists.

Still,

that the

the overriding attitude, particularly of the

dominant Labor movement, was

Arabs would benefit from the development the Jews were bringing

country. Together, both peoples

would be

freed: the

Arab peasant from

to the

the effendi

landowners, the Jewish laborer from his '^galuf' (exile) mentality.^ Workers solidarity

would lead state,

to cooperation and, as a Jewish majority

regional and local

autonomy

(self-rule)

developed into a

would provide

(socialist)

Jewish

national expression for the

Arabs. This view tended to see local Arabs as part of the broader Arab national

movement

and, therefore, flirted with the idea that eventually a regional Jewish- Arab

federation might be created, in

which

the Jewish state

would be one autonomous

part.

This idea grew out of the hope for an alliance between Arabs and Jews,

first

Ottoman Empire and later against the British. But it also fed into the perception that the local Arabs were part of a broader Arab world that would eventually provide them with a number of Arab states in which to express their national

against the

aspirations.

For the Jews, only Palestine would provide

this opportunity.

Thus Ze'ev

Jabotinsky argued:

The Arab equal

nation,

tol half

which has about

thirty-five million people, has [an area

of Europe, while the Jewish nation, which has about ten

million people, wanders throughout the world and has no place of

its

own."*



'

David Ben Gurion tended

As a

and Palestinian Statehood

Israel

to see this as the

key

that the question

—which

between the Jews of Palestine and the Arabs of Palestine limited area there

is

171

to a solution:

one should take the assumption

starting point

a

indeed a contradiction which

is

not

in this

hard to reconcile

it is

but one should see the Jews as a global unit, and the Arabs as a global

And

unit.

I

believe that between the national aspirations of the Jewish

nation and the national aspirations of the dictions,

we

because

Arab

interested not only in this land but in the East.

And

whatever will happen

status of the

Arab

nation, there are

are only interested in this land,

whole

territory

in Palestine will not

no contra-

and the Arabs are of the Middle

change the global

nations.'

My purpose in bringing up these early approaches is not to discuss the mistakes or efforts of the protagonists and thinkers of the pre-state Jewish

has been written and said of this complex and is

clearly a simplification of the matter

positions

which may provide a clue

regard to a Palestinian

Two

my

Much

movement.

my

presentation here

intention, rather, to highlight certain

to the attitude of

many

in Israel

today with

state.

tenacious but interconnected conceptions ground the "Arab-Israeli con-

namely, that there

flict,"

It is

difficult period;

is

not a Palestinian people, as such, and that the Palestinian

Arabs are but part of the larger Arab world. From

one between

conflict is entirely

tinian" issue,

much

or, in

some

cases,

even

a "Palestinian" problem. At best, this last might be perceived

is

and even as such, one for which

as a refugee problem,

has grown the idea that the

this

denying the centrality of the "Israeli-Pales-

any responsibility for the solution

less

recognition that there

states,

Israel bears

no

responsibility

(because the Arabs "chose" to flee in expectation of returning to a conquered

Israel,

the argument goes).

Denying the

Palestinians as a people negates the corollary of a right to self-

determination; seeing them as part of the whole

Arab

states) eliminates

the existing

Arab

Ben Gurion,

Arab nation (composed of numerous

any need for self-determination,

states.

projects an

at least in

any area beyond

Moreover, the "global" view of the Arabs, as suggested by

image not only of

large

numbers but of great strength



concept which has persisted despite the asymmetry, particularly since 1967, of the Israeli

and Palestinian

situations.

This attitude towards the Palestinians has not been unique to

Israelis.

United

Nations Security Council Resolution 242 clearly dealt with the conflict as one

between

states, referring to the Palestinian issue

problem. Even the Palestinians' major champion

Union,

initially

withheld support from the

liberation

movement

conflict.^

Indeed,

until the

only in the context of a refugee in later years, the

PLO, and denied

it

former Soviet

the status of a national

end of 1969, precisely out of the same approach

to the

throughout the interwar negotiations, the two-power Soviet-

American and four-power

(plus Britain and France) talks

between 1967 and 1972,

1

Global Convulsions

72

was

the Palestinian issue

problem b\

as a refugee

treated solel>

of the great

all

powers."

To some

degree, the adoption of this

later Israeli leaders, especially in the ver\' basic

of the conflict was a useful tactic to

\ie\».

post-1%7

period.

permitted one to avoid the

It

questions of justice, rights, claims to the land, and so forth, connected with

the ver\' founding of the state of Israel. For the ideologically moti\ated right-wing,

such questions

may not ha\'e existed God to his Chosen

of Israel given by

w ithout

this hea\'>' ideological

at all, for all

of Palestine was viewed as the Land

People. For the majorit\' of people and politicians

and/or religious orientation, the matter was dismissed on

the grounds that the Arabs of Palestine had been offered a state in the 1947 Partition

Plan (Securit)' Council Resolution 181) and had rejected the Jews altogether .\nd so rights,

though

that there

was not a

world,

states

whether

alliances. This



was

movement or aspirations.

with the argument that Israel's problem lay with

a politically

tactically

more potent

more

amongst

rejection

Arab

and influence, or international

useful, not onl\ because

it

eliminated the need to

confront basic questions of justice and rights, but also because fears

its

position given the strength of the

wealth

oil-based

firepo\^er.

in

of tning to evict

Plan argument was more often construed as proof

"Palestinian" national left

in favor

it

could be said that the 'Talestinians" had forfeited their

in fact the Partition

Thus one was by the .Arab

it

it

played on genuine

the Israeli public, including the almost instinctive fears of being a

persecuted minorit\' in an alien, anti-semitic environment. At various times, particularly

during the laner period of right-wing Likud rule in

pone the need were

for concessions, that

Israel,

it

also

sened

to post-

genuine negotiations, because the Arab

is,

intransigent. Put simply: if dealing with the .Arab states

was

states

the priority',

and

they were unwilling to deal with Israel, no deal had to be made, and the responsibilit)'

lay with them. This approach

had the advantage,

providing a basis for American support in the Cold

American power

in the region.

Here

in certain periods, also

War

of

context of Soviet versus

too. the .Arab states, not the Palestinians,

formed

the center of concern.

There was, of course, also a basis

in fact for

indeed the states that had waged wars against strength to threaten Israel's existence,

it

boycott and hostile propaganda against

was

countTN' failed to

quite justified in

acknowledge the

the hostility of the

Arab

its

link,

states;

was

in

pation and

time its

it

effect

the critical change. the occupation. rather,

was on

It

Most

it

partial,

was

the states that

w as

had the

economic

leadership of the

not, for

it

between the Palestinian issue and

also failed to confront the day-to-day issue on the Israeli society.

day-to-day issue on the ground, to wit, the occu-

Israeli society, that

Israelis

it

the states that perpemated

Israel. In this regard, the

however

this last, the

w as

Israel,

states. It

concentration on the .\rab states. But in doing so.

ground: the occupation and the effect of this on Yet

focusing on the Arab

would

tlnally

and gradually bring about

example, some kind of collective

would not willingly admit

to the

guilt

because of

term occupation but,

tended to find refuge in the idea that the Arabs began the war, and lost

Israel

and Palestinian Statehood

1

Therefore, the argument would claim, as in the results of any other war, they

land under our

found

this particular

liberal

and gentle than

Israelis

And

rule.**

further, Israeli rule

was

far

73

now more

could have expected to be granted by the Arabs had

the situation been reversed. Actually, according to the argument of some, Israeli rule in the territories

had improved the

universities, a rise in the standard

lot

of the Arabs there, for instance, the opening of

of living, and so on.

Moreover, with or without the above rationalizations, an entire generation

in

grew up with these lands in our possession. Maps in every school room bore no sign of the border which had existed prior to the June 1967 war. The "green line," that is the armistice lines of 1949 which had been the unofficial but generally recog-

Israel

nized border of the country for almost nineteen years, existed only in the political

parlance of the day. Even without annexation, the Likud government that

power

in

1977 sought

to

make

part of the country, decreeing that television

and

radio,

Shomron. As a views



it

employ

result, for

came

to

these territories psychologically, as well as physically, all official

the biblical

references, including the state-owned

Hebrew names of



a generation of Israelis

was not a question of "returning"

Yehuda and

these areas,

often regardless of their political

the territories to the Arabs but, at best,

"giving" them to their occupants. Psychologically, this would be perceived as a "concession," perhaps politically necessary, but not the recognition of a "right."

The Likud government went much

further than psychological annexation.

It

means of a massive settlement of tens of thousands of Israelis there. These settlers carried with them an infrastructure of services, facilities, and laws exclusive to them, as distinct from the Arab

tried, unofficially, to

incorporate these lands into Israel by

inhabitants around them. fits,

By

offering extraordinary financial inducements

and bene-

the Likud government sought not only to people the area with Jews, so as to

make any kind of territorial

separation between

Jews and Arabs

(partition) impossible,

but also to create a large settler constituency with a vested interest in holding onto these territories. territories to

By

1993, this policy had brought the total of Jewish settlers in the

approximately 110,000, the overwhelming majority of

whom

had gone

there for economic, rather than ideological, reasons.

The after the

policy of settlement had actually begun under the Labor government, soon

1967 war. Under Labor, though,

this

had been a very limited attempt

to

place people in selected, unpopulated, sites which the government believed should

remain

in Israel's

the territories

hands for security purposes (or water supplies),

were returned. There had been exceptions

for example, the settling of

Jews

in a part

in the

to this criterion

event that

under Labor,

of the heavily populated city of Hebron.

Nonetheless, the overall conception avoided massive settlement, with a view to returning

most of the land

future. Just

how much

in

exchange for a peace agreement

at

some

land would be returned was the subject of

and discussion within the Labor

party.

The

criterion

point in the

much ambiguity

of security was generally

claimed, but increasingly demographic considerations were toted as the overriding factor, that

is,

a plan which would not end with the addition of thousands or hun-

dreds of thousands of Arabs to the population of Israel.

"^

Global Convulsions

174

This demographic argument had a certain attractiveness; politik

and yet appealed

mean continued alist.

was not meant

It

was based on

it

onto the

to

be

racist but defensive,

Inclusion (through annexation) of such a large

million .Axab

1

and most of

number of

real-

would

territories

with 1.7 million .Arabs in addition to the nearly

life

citizens of Israel.

to often visceral fears: holding

all

nation-

.Arabs would,

according to the demographic argument, create a securit> risk and. more important, lead over time to a bi-national state. if

The

would be equal

.Arab population in time

to.

not larger than, the Jewish; not only would the Jewish nation-state be obliterated,

become

but Jews might once again this

argument meant

The

to be

Jewish character of the

loss of the

own

a minority, this time in their

state

was juxtaposed

rights to the

Arab population of democratic

Israel as a Jewish,

The

part}'

one would have

became

many

argument, but for the

It

this

part). preser\ation ot

the rationale for territorial

Strip,

compromise.

and only a minority advocated solving the problem by

issue,

is

internal securit>'. with nationalist

Likud a\"oided annexation because of the

the

Arab population out of the

certainly

could be interpreted b\ some as a moral

was a question of

Even

racist overtones.

demographic ferring the

Labor

Israel

political

platform's rejection of rule o\er another people, namely the 1.7 million

Arabs on the West Bank and Gaza and even

deny citizenship and

to continue to

the territories. For the

state

to the equally

To maintain

undesirable option of the loss of the democratic nature of Israel. as the state of the Jews,

Nor was

land.

immoral.

not

my

territories

trans-

and then annexing them.

contention that the people of Israel are devoid of moral

principles or a sense of justice. Indeed, the value of justice, particularly social justice, is

deeply implanted in Jewish

tence of these values

was

the

and

life

A dramatic

Israeli culture.

phenomenon of 400.000 Jewish

demonstrate against the compliance of Israel

in the

sign of the persis-

coming out

Israelis

to

Lebanese Christians' massacre of

Palestinians in the Beirut Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Rough]\ one tenth of Israel's

Jewish population came

fully) a

governmental inquiry into the role and responsibilit} of

Yet the average

As

Israeli

to this

is

in

1982

iew the Palestinian problem as a moral issue.

sense of responsibility for the Palestinians' it:

so they are refugees; they attacked in 1967. so they lost the Israelis see

peacefully in our

themselves as the vvTonged part>

ow n

(all

the\ chose to tlee. territories).

we wanted

to

Rather,

do was

live

country, they rejected us and tried to push us into the sea: the\

will not let us live in peace).

Jews as perpetual

(success-

\

position today (they were offered a state in 1947 and rejected

average

demand

to

Israel in that tragedy.

little

does not

already pointed out, there

demonstration

victims:

The

roots of this attiuide lay

deep

in the

perception of

wandering the world unaccepted by any country, harassed

and tortured by pogroms, wars, terrorism. The anti-Semitism of the Christian worid

becomes transformed

into the hau-ed of the .Arab world, which, in turn,

transformed into the immutable hostility of Islam toward the Jews.

And

becomes

every act of

enmity, from economic boycott to terrorism, reinforces this view, irrespective of Israel's militarv

micht or victories

in war.

Indeed, for the average

Israeli, the

Pales-

and Palestinian Statehood

Israel

tinians are not the powerless

million-strong

and

75

two million under occupation, and not even the addi-

three million dispersed elsewhere.

two or

tional

1

Arab world, and

this

They

are an extension of the 100-

world possesses missiles and tanks and planes,

oil.

n a change has taken place. These underlying attitudes

Still,

same, but something

totally) the

to the future is

undergoing transformation. This

support evinced by Israeli It is

may remain much

is

evidenced by the 65 percent

urban, Jewish adults for the accords signed with the PLO.^

evidenced by the reluctance of the mass of Israelis, even of Likud supporters, to

come

out and demonstrate against the accords.'^

polls,

even before the signing of the accords. For example, on the

territorial

solution, a survey

conducted

exchange for peace.

Of even

evidenced by public opinion

Institute for

Research

A

number of

An

ongoing

found

the fact that

the Israeli public, or

it

what

conducted since 1967 by

in Jerusalem, has

found a decline

that those

conducted by Dahaf

which respondents were asked

preference between annexation of the West

to

poll,

1993.^^ Similarly, surveys

Institute since 1984, in

territories,

is

studies conducted over the

of the West Bank, from 86 percent immediately after the

45 percent by

to

to reach a

to return territories (all or part) in

Applied Social Research

in opposition to the return

Day War

of

critical issue

January 1993 found that 60 percent of

compromise among

has been called "creeping dovishness."^^

1984

is

greater significance than this three-fifths majority

years indicate a growing tendency to

in

also

'^

represents a trend taking place in Israel.

Guttman

in

were willing

the Jewish, adult, urban public

Six

It

compromise, generally accepted as a sign of Israelis' willingness

compromise

the

(not

drawing with regard

in the conclusions Israelis are

Bank and Gaza

to indicate their

or giving up these

choosing to give them up had increased from 29 percent

55 percent by 1993.

'"*

And

the national security studies conducted since

1986 by Asher Arian for the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies show a jump from 39 percent favoring return (partial or total) of

all

the territories in 1986

up

to the

60

percent of January 1993'^ (figure 8.1).

Looking more closely

at the fluctuations

and changes

appear to have had an effect on the attitudes of the analysis, there

have been increases

in relations

with the

and Egypt,

Israel

on

Israeli

over the

enemy

in

Israeli public.

dovishness both

at

According

to their

times of perceived progress

(following the disengagement agreements between Israel

and Syria; the interim agreement with Egypt, 1974—75; and the

peace treaty with Egypt attack

in these statistics

Michal Shamir and Jacob Shamir point to two types of events that

years, Professors

in

headquarters

gradually, the intifada

1979) and, apparently, in

in

response to terrorism

Lebanon, December 1983, as well

which began

in

December

as,



the

though more

1987.'^ While, according to

Shamir

Global Convulsions

176

70% 60%

50%

40% 30%

20% 10% 1987

1986

990

1988

H

Palestine State

Figure

8.1. Israeli Attitudes,

Return Territories

in

dovishness prior to the outbreak of the intifada,

sharpened following the intifada's onset, continuing each year of the

this trend

evidence as

uprising.'' All the other sur\eys provide similar

on

The

Israeli public opinion.

effects of the intifada

were obvious

now

available.''

to the Israeli public

was

the fact, for

sustained.

It

became

quo

as a status

clear, as a

to

some

Israelis

fact, that there

brought

home

quo could not be

was no such thing

had created a d> namic of increased

did not have the nationally threatening effect of

out war, the intifada did produce a reduction in the feeling of personal

was compounded by

impact of the

even without the

that the intifada

surprising, that the status

matter of empirical

it

most

The major point

but, rather, that the occupation

violence and rebellion. WTiile

to the

"'-

evidence

statistical

1993

1986-1993

and Shamir, there was an increase

intifada

1992

1991

the increasingly apparent inability of the

This

securit)'.

government

all-

to sup-

press the intifada, as well as by frustration over the inability of the might)' Israel

Defense Forces (IDF)

women and

to protect itself

from what were most often rock throwing

children in the territories. There also

for such humiliating,

and

for

was anger over

some, morally painful,

tasks.

An

the use of the

IDF

unprecedented number

of protest groups arose amongst the Jewish public, most notably among women, response to

this

unarmed

of parents of young service.

given

men

civilian uprising. Characteristically, these included a

about to be or recendy inducted

Moreover, the international isolation of

Israeli efforts to

the Israeli public.

suppress the intifada did

in their obligatory

Israel as a result

little

to raise the

in

group

army

of the attention

morale or pride of

Israel

most

Yet, the

realism

among

salient effect

Israelis,

of the intifada was

now

was

it

was

It



be reached

to

a recognition of their rights.

an end to

to bring

was, instead, a sense that

It

our

insecurity, the

some

we were

dissonance:

we

was extreme

world around us was changing, with the

—what appeared

and the end of the Cold War lution of conflict

—and with

own conflict,

of our

dis-

doing, a discomfort which included a certain cognitive

can't be doing this to other people. In addition, there

realization that the

solution

shedding of our blood, and

the constant threat to our children in the army. For many, there

comfort with what

not, for the

understanding or perhaps even sympathizing with

matters could not continue as they were. Something had to be done;

had

111

stimulation of a certain

its

and what might be called "fed-up-ness."^

general public, a matter of the Palestinians; nor

and Palestinian Statehood

this

to

falling

was a growing

of the Berlin Wall

be a worldwide move toward reso-

a sense of "inevitableness" regarding the outcome

whatever our own preferences.^^

These responses, which produced the "creeping dovishness" noted earlier, evident in the survey data obtained by various independent sources clearly are over the past five years. For example, preference for the status quo as an option for the future of the territories, rather than annexation or return,

was

relatively

high prior to the intifada, fluctuating between 40 and 50 percent, but a steady decline in this response began at the end of 1987, reaching a low of 25 percent by 1993.^^

Another survey, which presented more detailed options, showed a decline

to 9 percent in

1990 and 6 percent by

may have been connected

option

A move

1993.^^

away from

quo

the status

with the greater realism reflected in people's

expectations.

After the beginning of the intifada, there was an increase in the percentage of

people of the state

who

believed that Israel would eventually have to withdraw from part or

territories,

and

that there

was

all

greater likelihood of the creation of a Palestinian

(from 40 percent to 60 percent during the intifada).^ About 80 percent of the

respondents in a 1993 survey thought that Israel would be negotiating with the within the next five years.^

At

the

same

time, perhaps

making the

pill

PLO

easier to

swallow, and possibly caused by the changes on the international scene, there was a slight

change

in the

way

Israeli's

the political groupings in Israel

perceived Arab

(left,

hostility.

Looking

an across-the-board decrease, from 1987 to 1988 and 1990 to 1991

Arab

threat.^ Arian's studies

at voters

from

all

Labor, Likud, right), Shamir and Shamir found

had the decline occurring

later,

in the

perceived

accompanied by a

steady increase from 1986 to 1993 in the belief that peace with the Arab states

was

possible^ (figures 8.2, 8.3). That this was coupled with a certain concern or pessi-

mism about

Israel's future strength is

suggested by other findings. According to

Arian's studies, the percentage of Israelis against the

1987

to

Arab

states

57 percent

marked a sharp drop Gulf War and

its

in

who

believed that Israel could win a war

was down some 20 percentage 1993.^

Still

points,

from 77 percent

in

a relatively high percentage, this nonetheless

in public confidence, possibly

SCUD missile attacks on Israel.^

connected with the intervening

Global Convulsions

78

0% Return Return some

Figure

Conquer/kill Jews

all terr.

Conquer

terr.

1986

1987

1988

1991

1992

1993

Israel

^

1990

Arab Aspirations, 1986-1993

8.2.

Greater realism in the Israeli public also produced a greater willingness to

compromise. The percentages of those willing to give up the significantly.

Although the vast majority of Israelis continued

Palestinian state as the preferred solution, there

was a

territories

has risen

to reject the option of a

slight increase in the

number

of respondents choosing that option. Prior to the intifada, choice of a Palestinian state as a

permanent solution was around 8 percent. According

was preferred by 9 percent

in

1990 and rose

to 13 percent

to Arian, this choice

by 1993.^ Far more

important, though, the percentage of those agreeing to the creation of a Palestinian state as part

of a peace accord rose quite significantly (figure

Shamir observe

that prior to the intifada

agreement

to

such a

8.1).

state

Shamir and

was around 20

percent; during the intifada willingness for a Palestinian state to be created increased steadily to

as

30 percent

we have

seen,

state, regiirdless

in 1993.^'

some 60

of

signing, a poll taken by the

The

at

36 percent

in

1993. And,

Israelis' preferences.

With the approach of the

dovishness.^'

Arian places acceptance

percent of the public believed there will be a Palestinian

Israel i-PLO

Guttman

agreement, one week before the historic

Institute

crucial question of giving

startling 71 percent.

And

in

answer

showed a marked up

increase in Israelis'

territories, at least in part,

to the question

"Are you

drew a

for or against the crea-

Israel

and Palestinian Statehood

179

80% ^s

Peace Possible

War

likely within 3 years

70% -

60%

50%

40% 1986

Figure

8.3.

1987

1990

1988

1992

1991

War and Peace, 1986-1993

tion of a Palestinian state in the territories?," the response in favor

While later,

far

and

1993

was 40

percent.

from the 65 percent support given the Israeli-PLO accord signed one week still

less than a majority

—60

percent responded against a state



this

was

nonetheless indicative of the relatively dramatic shift that has been taking place in the attitudes of the Israeli public over the past

few years with regard

to the Pales-

tinian people.

With the September 1993 agreements,

Israel

recognized the Palestinians as a

people and their national liberation organization, the PLO. With regard to the national rights of this people, however, Israel has

committed

one form of expression: autonomy. The matter of the

was put officially

solution, state to

off until negotiations beginning in 1995.

itself

final status

But the

thus far to only

of the

fact that

territories

autonomy

is

considered only an interim arrangement leaves the door open to the state

and indeed both the public and

emerge.

px)litical elites in Israel

expect a Palestinian

Global Convulsions

180

m Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the Labor party have

numerous times would be

gone on record

officially

as opposing the creation of a Palestinian state." Labor's preference

to return part

of the West Bank,

in particular the

Arab-populated areas, to

Jordan, though in recent years the party platform has spoken of returning territories to

a Palestinian- Jordanian

what

for years

was

entity.-^

Labor's preference for dealing with the Jordanians,

called "the Jordanian option," dates back to the pre-state period."

In the 1940s, indeed

even before, the Jews had much greater success

in

speaking

with Jordanian officials, including King Abdullah, than with local leaders.

Of course,

such dealings suited the tendency to deal with

and

states rather than a people,

whom

day the Labor party would prefer to deal with King Hussein, with relationship,

The

and one of trust, has developed over the past few decades.

rationale for this position appears to be based

order to prevent a virtually

to this

a direct

military threat to Israel, the

was when

it

belonged

on security considerations. In

West Bank must be

demilitarized, as

Jordan prior to the Six-Day War.

to

As

the

it

argument

goes, a whole state cannot be expected to be demilitarized, but, as part of a larger entity, the

West Bank could

commented

Former

be.

why

large, strong state, to wit, a Jordanian-Palestinian entity,

same

area.^

The response

to that,

able to invasion or takeover from an It

is

has

one

over two small ones

and the sentiment of many

demilitarized Palestinian state on the

Abba Eban

his party preferred

Israeli foreign minister

he could not understand

in the past that

in Israel, is that

in the

a small,

West Bank would be a weak country, vulner-

Arab country such

as Syria.

movement of

well to observe here that Israel has long prevented the

outside troops into neighboring Jordan, through threat of war. In September 1970, an Israeli threat to attack

was a

central factor in the swift retreat of Syrian forces

had entered Jordan on the side of the Palestinians

Gulf crisis of 1990-91,

Israel

made

it

clear that

it

in the civil

war

would respond

which

there; during the

if Iraqi

troops were

permitted to enter Jordan. Presumably, Israel would be equally vigilant with regard to a Palestinian state.

The objection of most Israelis to the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank of the Jordan is based, justifiably or not, on security considerations. This is due to the small size of pre- 1967 Israel, particularly fifteen miles

Palestinian state that

is,

its

narrow middle which

is

no more than

wide between the West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea. Objection is

to a

not due to an implacable attachment to a particular piece of land,

an ideological adherence to the Land of Israel (Greater Israel) concept.

Research conducted by Shamir and Shamir found that only a small percentage, (10 percent) considered the concept of Greater Israel to be the most important value or

even a

priority for Israel, while the division within the public regarding territorial

concessions showed a majority that

in

favor of giving up

territory.^'

This would indicate

something other than the ideological factor lay behind the position of most

most other indications suggest

that the

key factor

in

people's thinking

is

Israelis;

security.

Israel

of

181

of demilitarization of the West Bank, whether as an independent

Some form

of Jordan, would appear to be an absolute requirement from the

state or as part Israeli point

and Palestinian Statehood

view.^**

And

view of Labor's position, the idea of a Palestinian-

in

Jordanian confederation, already endorsed by Yasir Arafat, might provide the solu-

and

tion. Israeli

point:

PLO understandings of such an entity differ,

For the PLO,

this

must be a confederation of two

states; for Israel, at this point in time,

even a

however, on one crucial independent

at least initially

briefly independent Palestinian state is

unacceptable. Yet, given the already evident change in the public's attitude toward the creation of a Palestinian state



the

jump

to



40 percent support

possible, indeed even likely, that agreement to such a state will

by the time negotiations are concluded for the determination of the

port

of the

is

it

entirely

have majority supfinal status

territories.

Much degree to

will

depend upon events

coming interim

in the

which the Palestinian leadership

within the

territories.

To some

security measures, but also

is

degree, this will

on the possibly

period, in particular the

able to limit violence

still

from extremists

depend not only on

more

political

economic

crucial

and

situation.

Poverty and unemployment are the feeding grounds for discontent leading to

extremism and violence. Indeed, whether state itself, the

economic

factor will

in the interim period or in a Palestinian

be of overriding importance.

In viewing the prospects for a state, one

must bear

mind not only

in

the

requirement of demilitarization, as well as other security arrangements,^' but also the links

between the West Bank-Gaza economy and

that of Israel. Coordination

and

who had been who might seek

cooperation will be necessary to deal with the 120,000 Palestinians

accustomed

to finding

work

inside Israel or the thousands of Israelis

and

fiscal

cooperation, as will questions of transportation and

com-

tax-free purchases across the border in Palestine. In other words, labor

some

policies will require

munications. Water policy to Israel

from sources

from the economy

already under discussion; the security of water supplies

is

in a Palestinian state is a

to water, also

major

issue."*^

All of these matters,

have regional aspects which

may

provide more

durable solutions and incentives for cooperation.

IV In Israeli political discourse

the refugee issue) state.

this

is

on the

right, the Palestinians' right

In point of fact, the creation of a Palestinian state

matter inasmuch as

1948 might "return."

it

would furnish

Israeli

the entity to

concern on

conceding the right of return would lead

this issue

state.

PLO official

would provide a

solution to

which Palestinian refugees of revolves around the fear that

to an influx of Palestinians into Israel,

thereby changing the demographic character of the state

of a Jewish

of return (solution of

often presented as the crowning argument against a Palestinian



in effect

marking the end

Nebil Sha'ath has suggested that the right of return be

Global Convulsions

182

acknowledged

in principle but that

implementation be determined

the basis of Israel's requirements/'

ment of

Palestinians

tional cases

Mark

state,

resolution

from

their

The

result as

Diaspora

of Palestinians returning to

which called

on

settle-

with only excep-

in the Palestinian state,

Israel. In their joint

Heller and Sari Nusseibeh contend that the 181,

in negotiations

predetermined would be the

discussion of a Palestinian

PLO's 1988 acceptance of UN and an Arab state in

for the creation of a Jewish

Palestine, provides the basis for such an application of the right of return/^ In keeping

with to

UN resolutions (194 of

1948 on the refugee

compensating Palestinians for

Israeli

demands

lost properties

for similar consideration to

issue), consideration

and

assets,

must be given

although there are also

be given Jews forced to

flee certain

Arab

countries following the creation of Israel.

The problem

future of the Israeli setdements in the

The

state.

have

that will

to

be resolved

West Bank and Gaza

in the negotiations

another

is

preceding a Palestinian

interim accord basically excludes these settlements from the

autonomy

arrangements, and the Labor party platform envisages the settlements remaining, with Israeli protection, under any Palestinian-Jordanian entity that emerges.

It is

not

would not be violated by such an arrangement. the Palestinians would agree to the settlements remaining,

clear that Palestinian sovereignty

It

seems more

if

at all,

only

likely that

if

subject to Palestinian law.

The matter cannot be easily resolved and, means to complicate, and

indeed, the Likud created these setdements precisely as a

ultimately prevent, the return of any territory and the subsequent creation of a Palestinian state.

The

Israeli

government under Labor might be expected

to seek

ways of

leaving the settlements in place, so as to avoid both the stigma of responsibility for

uprooting Jews from their homes, and the risk of forced evacuation conducted by Israeli forces.

The

folklore of

to the land ideal, disdains the

Labor Zionism, with

its

pioneering ethic and return

dismanding of any Jewish settlement.

And

forced

evacuation, which might occasion physical, possibly even armed, resistance from

number of fanatic, ideologically motivated settlers, would be still more repugnant. The settlers as such do not have much support from the Israeli public. Actually, one of the phenomena which emerged quite strongly in the June 1992 Israeli elections was the anger of many in the electorate who viewed the settlements as a drain on the Israeli economy and, therefore, at least partially respon-

the albeit small

sible

for the

unemployment, housing problems and inadequate

(roads, schools, etc.,) within Israel.

were merely speculators who went

Many even

infrastructure

expressed the belief that the

to the territories

settlers

with the expectation of being

handsomely bought out by the government in case of a future peace agreement."*^ However, the majority of settlers probably went to the territories not out speculation,

nor out of ideological motivation, but rather

tives offered

have been

in

response to the material incen-

by the government for housing and living conditions which would

totally

beyond

their grasp inside Israel.

Thus while

the Israeli govern-



Israel

ment might seek an arrangement leaving

and Palestinian Statehood

the settlements

where they

well undertake an effort quietly to induce voluntary departures by

83

1

are,

it

may

means of com-

pensation and relocation.^

The most status

of

perhaps the most intractable of

difficult issue to resolve,

of Jerusalem.

It

was

in fact

exchange for

this issue, in

talks in

lay claim only to the eastern part of Jerusalem,

life,

and

Israel is

indeed the center of West

is

the

with Arafat, that prevented a

Israel's dealing directly

collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace

their state,

all, is

only the Palestinian decision to put off discussion

August 1993. While the Palestinians which they envision

Bank commercial,

determined to maintain the unity of the

city,

as the capital of

cultural,

and

political

as the Jewish capital, with

exclusive Israeli sovereignty.

These two elements, unity and sovereignty, are inseparable opinion to this.

polls, as well as the political statements

There are few

of

all

in Israeli eyes. Public

the major Israeli parties, attest

official Palestinian references to the issue

of unity, but there

does not appear to be a demand, nor even a wish, for a return to the physical division of the city which existed from 1949

be

Israeli

until 1967.

and Palestinian agreement.

part of the city, with

its

It is

On this,

at least, there

would appear

to

the claim to sovereignty over the eastern

Jewish as well as Arab population,

history, religious sites,

and

symbolism, that constitutes the problem.

With regard legalities

and

to Jerusalem, sentiment

technicalities, but

may

it

and symbolism are often stronger than

well be through the latter that a solution

emerges. Quite a large number of proposed solutions have been suggested ranging from single sovereignty with a shared municipality, to shared sovereignty with dual municipalities, to divided sovereignty with separate municipalities, to a

borough system or neighborhood

self-rale with or without sovereignty, or obfus-

cated sovereignty."*' Acceptance of any one of these or other arrangements for

Jerusalem will require a certain dissociation of the parties concerned from the emotional, religious,

and symbolic considerations imposed upon them not only by



constituencies but also by powerful forces abroad

^Jews

Negotiation concerning the future of Jerusalem, difficult as will nonetheless

be necessary.

It is

it

may

will

their alike.

undoubtedly be,

possible, however, that both Israelis

tinians will in time realize the necessity of reaching

inasmuch as

it

and Moslems

and Pales-

some agreement on

the issue,

well represent the last hurdle on the one-hundred-year course

leading to Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Notes

The sources of the epigraphs that open the chapter are: Neguib Azoury, Le reveil de la nation Arabe (Paris, 1905), p. V; and a citation in Susan Lee Hattis' doctoral dissertation The Binational Idea in Palestine During Mandatory Times (Geneva, 1970),

p. 167.

.

Global Convulsions

184

From Martin Ruber, "The

1

Home and National Policy in Palestine," A Land of Two Peoples: Martin

National

October 1929, reproduced in Paul Mendes-Flohr,

Buberon Jews and Arabs (New York: Oxford

University Press, 1983), p. 86.

For the theoretical underpinnings of

this view, see the discussions

2.

of Ze'ev

and Territory (Berkeley: InstiShmuel Almog, ed., Zionism and the Arabs

Jabotinsky's views in Baruch Kimmerling, Zionism tute of International Affairs, 1983) or

(Jerusalem:

The

Historical Society of Israel, 1983).

For a comprehensive secondary source, see Walter Laqueur,

3.

A

History of

may be

Zionism (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1972). Selected primary sources found

David Hardan,

in

ed..

Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Thought,

vol.

5

Shlomo Avineri, The Making

(Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization, 1975). See also

of Modem Zionism: The Intellectual Origins of the Jewish State (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1981). 4.

Jabotinsky speech in 1914, The World of Ze'ev Jabotinsky:

A

Collection of

His Speeches and the Essentials of His Doctrine (Tel Aviv: Defusim, 1972), (in

Hebrew).

op.

cit.

5.

Ben Gurion's comments

an Arab historian

in 1936, cited in

220

Kimmerling,

note 2, pp. 199-200.

See Galia Golan, The Soviet Union and the Palestine Liberation Organi-

6.

zation

to

p.

(New York: Praeger Publishers, 1981). 7. See William Quandt, Decade of Decisions: American

Policy Toward the

Arab-Israeli Conflict 1967-1976 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977)

and L. L. Whetten, The Canal War: Four Power Conflict (Cambridge, tions.

Both

MA: MIT University Press, the US and the USSR were

Middle East

in the

1974) for accounts of these negotia-

beginning to accord attention to the

national aspects of the Palestinian issue during this period, but public references

beyond

the refugee question began to appear only in the 1970s.

The

Soviets

themselves began to refer to the "national rights" of the Palestinians only after the

Yom and

Kippur War of 1973. (Galia Golan, Yom Kippur and After: The Soviet Union

the

Middle East Crisis [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977], pp.

139-^0.) 8.

There was also the ideologically based view of a

that Israel that

belonged 9.

to

CNN

September

it

and the "Chosen People"

poll taken together with a

14,

Jewish support

1993. at

An

Israeli poll

in

members

is

Israel), i.e.,

lands

any case.

number of

polling agencies in Israel on

taken just before the signing had urban, adult

62 percent. Inclusion of Arab citizens of

kibbutz and moshav

more

relatively small minority

had merely "liberated" lands of the Land of Israel (Eretz

Israel

and nonurban

estimated to have raised this percentage by three or

points. 10.

See

article in

right-wing press admitting this phenomenon: Michal Yudel-

man, "Rightist March out of Step with Likud Drummer," Jerusalem Post, September 24, 1993 ("It

is

significant that the first cracks in the Likud's anti-Pact

armor were

.

Israel

who

caused by members

most

are

and Palestinian Statehood

in touch with the public"),

1

85

and "Chorus of

Criticism for Natanyahu," September 26, 1993.

Asher Arian,

1 1

"Israel

and the Peace Process: Security and

Political Attitudes

Center for Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University (February 1993),

in 1993," Jaffee

p.

8.

Jacob Shamir and Michal Shamir, 'The Dynamics of Public Opinion on

12.

Peace and the tions Trustee

Territories," Final

and the

Israel

Research Report submitted to the

Academy of Sciences (September

Israel

Founda-

1993), p. 10.

13. Ibid., p. 5.

14. Ibid., p. 12. 15. Arian, op. cit.

note 11, p.

Shamir and Shamir, op.

16.

8.

cit.

note 12, p.

8.

17. Ibid., p. 10.

See also a study by Hanna Levinsohn and Elihu Katz, "The Intifada

18.

A War:

Not

Is

Jewish Public Opinion on the Israel-Arab Conflict," in Akiva Cohen and

Gadi Wolfsfeld,

eds..

Framing

the Intifada: People

and Media (Norwood, NJ: Ablex

Publishing Corporation, forthcoming). 19.

See Galia Golan, "Arab-Israeli Peace Negotiations:

Stephen Spiegel, ed., Arab-Israeli Search for Peace (Boulder: lishers, 1992), pp.

20.

A term

note 12, p. 72).

have translated

It is

it.

Israeli

View," in

Lynne Rienner Pub-

37-48.

which

I,

like

and Katz, op.

(see Levinsohn

An

others,

have been using for a number of years

note 18, p. 58, cited in Shamir and Shamir, op.

not the same as war- weariness or exhaustion, as

Rather

21. Levinsohn

many cit.

it is

more akin

to the feeling of simply having

cit.

some abroad had enough!

and Katz coined the phrase "inevitableness," along with "fed-

up-ness," in their discussion of the change in Israeli attitudes. 22.

Shamir and Shamir, op.

23. Ibid., p. 11 using the

percentages with the longer 24.

cit.

note 12, p. 11.

Dahaf data; Arian,

list

op.

cit.

note 11, p. 9 has the lower

of options.

Shamir and Shamir, op.

cit.

note 12, p. 72 citing Levinsohn and Katz.

25. Ibid., p. 72. 26. Ibid., p. 92. 27. Arian, op.

cit.

note 11, pp. 2-3. His study

showed a very high percentage of

perceived Arab threat together with a slight trend in the other direction. 28. Ibid., p. 15. 29. Arian's data for 1991, the year of the

Arab

Gulf War, do show a sharp

rise in

threat perception but also a sharp rise in the belief in the possibility of reaching

peace with them, presumably reflecting optimism over America's enhanced (Ibid., pp.

role.

2-3.)

30. Ibid., p. 9. 31.

Shamir and Shamir, op.

32. Poll taken

cit.

note 12,

p. 73.

September 7-8, 1993, commissioned by the American Jewish

.

Global Convulsions

186

Committee, published to Dr.

in part in the

Jerusalem Post, September

Hanna Levinsohn of the Guttman

Institute for providing

13, 1993.

me

My thanks

with the complete

results.

33. See, for example, Ha'aretz, 34. Labor's preference

leave Israel territory

map

Palestine,"

which would

Gush Etzion

south of Jerusalem in Israeli hands.

has never been officially pronounced, although the Labor

party platform excludes a 35. This

the "Allon Plan"

along the ridge which runs through the West Bank, with certain

areas such as the Jordan valley and

Labor's preferred

September 22, 1993.

would presumably be

number of areas from

by no means resembles the

which argues

that

return.

Israeli right- wing's idea

of "Jordan

inasmuch as the majority of the population

in

Jordan

is is

King Hussein should be replaced and Jordan should be declared the leaving the West Bank for Israel. Palestinian state Palestinian,



Editor's Note: Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty 36.

Abba Eban made

speech delivered 37.

When

at

Tzavta

this

in

first

—a Jewish

the Jewish nature of the state percent). (Shamir

in a

Jerusalem in 198 1

asked to rank the values most important for

placed Greater Israel (Eretz Israel) in

38.

on July 25, 1994.

remark on a number of occasions, for example,

and Shamir, op.

cit.

Israel,

only 10 percent

from peace (39 percent),

majority (3 1 percent), and democracy (20

note 12, p. 113.)

For two good discussions of

creation of a Palestinian state, see

place, as distinct

this

Mark

and other problems associated with the

Heller and Sari Nusseibeh,

No

Trumpets,

No

Drums: A Two-State Settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (New York: Hill and Wang, 1991); JCSS Study Group, The West Bank and Gaza: Israel's Options for Peace (Tel Aviv: Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 1989); Ann Mosely Lesch et al.. Transition to Palestinian Self-Govemment: Practical Steps Toward Israeli-Palestinian Peace (Bloomington: Indiana University

Press, 1992).

39. For various proposals, see Ze'ev Schiff, "Security for Peace: Israel's Mini-

mal Security Requirements

in Negotiations with the Palestinians"

The Washington

Institute for

Palestinian State:

An

1990):

1

Near East

(Washington, D.C.:

Policy, 1989); Valerie Yorke, "Imagining a

International Security Plan," International Affairs 66.1 (January

15-36; Joseph Alpher, "Security Arrangements for a Palestinian Settlement,"

Survival 34.4 (Winter 1992-93): 49-67. 40. See, in particular, Peter Glieck, Water and Conflict and Miriam Lowi, West Bank Water Resources and the Resolution of Conflict in the Middle East, (Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Univeristy of Toronto,

1992). 41. For example, in his speech to a conference held at

March 11-13,

Columbia University

1989.

42. Heller and Nusseibeh, op.

cit.

note 38,

p. 95.

This book contains excellent

treatment of the viirious issues connected with the creation of a Palestinian

providing the outlines of reasonable solutions to most of the problems.

state,

Israel

43.

As

44.

It is

be needed It

also

is

the Sinai settlers had been

and Palestinian Statehood

when peace with Egypt was

1

87

achieved.

estimated that approximately $2.5 billion ($100,000 per family) would

to relocate the

25,000

settler families in

comparable housing inside

Israel.

estimated that supporting the settlers in the territories costs the Israeli

government today approximately $1

billion a year. (Arie Caspi,

'The Lx)w Cost of

Withdrawal," The Jerusalem Report, April 21, 1994.) 45. This last

was suggested by Heller and Nusseibeh. Some of

posals can be found in the

JCSS Study Group,

op.

cit.

note 38, or

the Israeli pro-

Meron

Benvenisti,

'The Jerusalem Question: Problems, Procedures and Options" (Jerusalem: The West

Bank Data Base

Project,

Negotiable: Jerusalem in the bridge,

1985); and Naomi Chazan, "Negotiating the NonFramework of an Israeli-Palestinian Settlement" (Cam-

MA: American Academy

many of the proposals.

of Arts and Sciences, 1991), which summarizes

Palestinian Statehood

MUHAMMAD HALLAJ

Introduction

On

September

when

1993,

1,

Palestinian

and

Israeli

negotiators

returned

to

Washington, D.C., for the eleventh round of talks in the peace process begun in

Madrid

in

October 1991, they broke new ground. For the

first

time in nearly two

years of talks, Israeli and Palestinian delegates gathered to undertake an unprece-

dented assignment: to fine tune and formally conclude an agreement secretly negotiated in

Norway over a

period of several months by their principals, the Israeli

government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and made public only a

few days

ment and

earlier.

the

While the negotiating teams met

PLO

went through

in

Washington, the

Israeli

govern-

their respective constitutional processes to ratify the

agreement, to agree on a jointiy acceptable announcement of mutual recognition, and to build domestic

and regional consensus

The agreement

in support

of their agreement.

gives the Palestinians a measure of self-rule in the

and Gaza, and something akin

to

West Bank town of Jericho. This

independence

is

in the

Gaza

Strip

West Bank

and the ancient

an interim arrangement, pending the conclusion

of a more comprehensive accord on the ultimate status of the Palestinian territory seized by Israel in the Arab-Israeli

opponents of statehood.

tiie

It is

war of

agreement described

too early to

tell if

it

1967.' Palestinian supporters

as the first step

the agreement

away

is

on the road

and

Israeli

to Palestinian

a step to statehood or a detour that

The agreement includes provisions for Israeli control as well as Palestinian self-government that, contingent on which of the two categories of provisions that ultimately prevails, will eventually carry the Palestinians

ft-om national independence.

could deflect future Palestinian-Israeli relations

The

fact remains,

in

one direction or the

however, that the agreement

the conflict and Palestinian-Israeli relations. First,

it

is

is

other.

a landmark in the history of

the

first

time since the conflict

189

Global Convulsions

190

began

1948

in

of Israel and the Palestinians reached a directly

that representatives

negotiated written agreement on anything. Second, representatives of the

PLO

and the government of

in Israel's policy of not dealing with the

ignored fact that the conflict

PLO.

was negotiated by high-level

Finally,

no longer about

is

it

a startling and major shift

Israel,

underlines the frequently

it

but about Pales-

Israel's existence

tinian national rights.

The

Palestinian-Israeli conflict has

endured for so long not because the parties

problem has been

have found nothing

to agree on; the real

what the

conflict

really about, as well as their inability to agree

be done

to resolve

between

Israel

is

it,

and the

same moment

at the

PLO

is

their inability to agree

on

on what needs

to

The agreement concluded

in history.

the closest that the parties have ever

come

to a con-

vergence of views concerning the conflict.

Although the "Gaza plus" agreement does not signal its

traditional opposition to Palestinian statehood,

it

of an environment receptive to that option. For the bility

first

abandonment of

Israel's

opens the way

to the

emergence

time, there exists the possi-

of Israeli-Palestinian convergence on the two-state solution. Palestinian

state-

hood, within the context of a two-state solution to the question of Palestine, has been the

most widely accepted and

at the

same time

the

most vehemendy opposed pre-

was

scription for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This

beginning, and In 1947,

it

when

the international

community

first

grappled with the Arab- Jewish

struggle over Palestine, the United National General state

solution,

and the Arabs fought

compelling reasons for doing historic

the case at the

has not yet ceased to be the case.

so,^ since

to prevent

Assembly endorsed the two-

its

implementation. They had

what they were asked

homeland, rather generously, with a minority of

grants. Their rejection of partition

one of the most stubborn regional

do was share

to

gave the conflict the durability

conflicts in

modem

that has

their

immi-

relatively recent

made

it

times. Subsequently, the tables

were turned, and even though the two-state solution continued

be the most widely

to

supported prescription for the resolution of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine, Israeli

opposition replaced Palestinian and Arab rejection as the obstacle to

nation.

At

the beginning,

and Arab opposition

it

to that

lishment of a Palestinian

was

the

demand

and

termi-

for the establishment of a Jewish state,

demand, which triggered the

state,

its

conflict;

Israel's opposition to that

now

it

is

the estab-

demand, which keeps

the conflict going. In

some

respects, the Palestinian

of one another. In 1947, logically

Israeli

and

Israeli positions

have

h>een mirror

and emotionally repugnant, though deemed necessary,

"Zionist pragFTiatisin," and thus

images

acceptance of the partition of Palestine was ideo-

was accepted grudgingly

perhaps a temporary one. Jewish acceptance of partition

in

context of

compromise,

Simha

1947, wrote

Flapan, "was an example of Zionist pragmatism par excellence.



in the

as a political

It

was a

tactical

a springboard for expansion

when

acceptance, a

vital

circiiinstances

proved more judicious."^ Today, the Palestinians accept partition

step in the right direction

in

Palestinian Statehood

same

essentially the

seem

to understand

spirit, that is, it

On

both sides, the shared realization

that partition gives as well as denies"* has occasioned tially

9

most of them

as a pragmatic solution, although

as an ultimate outcome.

1

ambivalence about

it,

and par-

accounts for the Palestinian rejection of Israeli statehood in 1947, as well as

Israeli rejection

of Palestinian statehood in 1993. In a very real sense, partition has

been acceptable

to the disprivileged

and unacceptable

to the privileged party.

More-

over, in the case of the Palestinians in 1947, this realization led to the belief that

Zionist ideology necessarily

case in 1993,

it

makes

the Jewish state expansionist, and in the Israeli

fostered the belief that a Palestinian state

would be necessarily

irre-

What makes the matter serious is that both beliefs are not lacking in validity, and must be woven into the texture of any sound explanation pertaining to why the

dentist.

partition of Palestine, accepted

source of conflict rather than a

Decades of

by both

parties at different times, has

make

conflict over Palestine

it

abundantly clear that neither side

accepts partition as a fair solution, and that the only

accept

it

expected

as a political is

way

compromise with which they can

that the Palestinians

and the

justice, but as a prescription for living

converge on

this position at the

their

demand

done

so,

its

is

that both of

The

And

they need to

The Palestinians, after a have made such a transition.

in history.

acceptance of the Palestinians' right to present

for statehood at the ultimate status phase of the peace talks,

accord with the PLO, do indicate that

them

best that can be

Israelis accept partition, not necessarily as

same moment

although

out

live.

with tolerable injustice.

period of rejection, followed by a period of hesitation, Israel has not yet

always been a

meeting ground for them.

it

may be moving

and

its

in that direction.

The Evolution of Palestinian Political Thought Although the Palestinians are often stereotyped as maximalists and

inflexible, they

have been highly flexible and accommodating. Since 1947, when the United Nations (U.N.) triggered the First Palestine

War

with

its

recommendation

to partition the

country, Palestinian political thinking has undergone dramatic shifts in the direction

of greater accommodation. These

because they

made

a conflict over existence. Palestinian thought on

Liberation

shifts

have made Palestinian-Israeli peace possible

the conflict manageable

The

how

—a

dispute about coexistence rather than

shifts are reflected in the

following three phases of

the conflict with Israel should be reconciled.

and Return (1948-1968)

For twenty years

after the

partition of Palestine

Catastrophe of 1948, the Palestinians thought of the

and the establishment of

Israel,

accompanied by

their subse-

quent condition as refugees, as a gross miscarriage of justice. They understood their experience, described as a journey through the cosmic absurd'' by a Palestinian writer

Global Convulsions

192

who

shared

it,

as

one of foreign occupation and "ethnic cleansing." The remedy they

sought was the reversal of the resolved was summarized

For the Palestinians, the to

how

Their thinking on

injustice.

injustice required reversal. Liberation

the occupation of the land, and Return was the antidote

persal of the Palestinian people.

gram, and

It

Palestine Liberation Organization

Chaner was

was

was

the antidote

to the uprooting

and

dis-

position rather than a political pro-

new Jewish

Thus,

state.

in

1964 when the

established, included in the Palestine National

the statement: "Palestine, within the frontiers that existed under the

British mandate,

was

was a moral

required the dissolution of the

it

the conflict should be

twin slogan: Liberation and Return.

in the

frequently,

is

an indivisible

and

territorial unit"* (article 2).

correctly, described at the time as

The

Palestinian position

wanting to "turn back the

clock" of history. This was the period of "Palestinian indignation," and

it

produced a

cry of anguish rather than a political proposition.

The Democratic Secular State (1969-1 973) It

took the Palestinians two decades to overcome the traumatic experience of home-

lessness and to begin to Palestine. In 1969. they

come made

new

to grips with the

the

first

realities that

had emerged

in

attempt, since the Catastrophe of 1948, to

reconcile their rights with the fact of the presence of a Jewish societ>' in Palestine.

The

was

result

that the Palestinians

toward the conflict with

Israel,

Jewish struggle over Palestine. They Jewish

state,

made

and the

the

first

first political

still

major

shift in their attitudes

proposal for ending the Arab-

rejected partition and the existence of a

but they expressed willingness to coexist with a Jewish society.

They

the time

called for the reconstimtion of Palestine as a binational

republic,

described as "democratic secular" or "nonsectarian"

which Arabs and Jews

state, in

at

could share the same homeland with equal rights and obligations. This rethinking of the future of Arab-Jewish relations in Palestine began to appear in official Palestinian

pronouncements in

fifth

its

in 1969. In that year, the Palestine

session on Februar)' 4, a

Palestinian struggle,

which defined

society in Palestine for

The

all

it

new

as an effort "to set

Palestinians, including

One

(PNC) adopted,

up a

free

and democratic

Muslims, Christians and Jews."^

Palestinians thought of the democratic nonsectarian state as something

more, and more commendable, than a claims.

National Council

statement of objectives concerning the

They saw

it

political

compromise between

as a vision for historic reconciliation

conflicting

between Arabs and Jews.

of the most eminent Palestinian intellectuals and political activists of that period,

Fayez Sayegh, explaining the difference between the vision and the compromise, put it

this

way:

What

is

needed [he wrote]

is

promise lakes

its

The com-

a principled and courageous vision.

required vision must do precisely what a "compromise" cannot.

A

departure from the actual positions of the contending

Palestinian Statehood

parties

and seeks to find a solution somewhere between them. The needed

vision transcends those starting points and looks for a solution above both.

Men who

cannot or will not surrender to one another

inspired to surrender together to a higher vision find ft-eedom

The

them

and

of the times, of pluralist societies; more capable of

spirit

and satisfying the emotions of both peoples since

of Israel as a

even though

polity,

society in Palestine. For this reason,

could engage Israel's it

failed to

national rights. In 1974,

They

called

it

more

in

fulfilling the

did not deny either of

"the civilized solution"

it

However, the proposition entailed the dismandement of the Jewish

to the conflict.

quo,

in that surrender

fulfillment, as well as reconciliation.*

access to a part of the land they cherish.

state

—and

them

may be

Palestinians perceived the democratic-secular-state solution to be

tune with the aspirations

193

interest.

evoke the

It

And

interest

some

intrigued

it

recognized the legitimacy of a Jewish

it

was not something

because

it

which the Palestinians

of even the most ardent supporters of Palestinian

intellectuals, but

when Yasser Arafat addressed

for the first time,

in

entailed drastic changes in the status

it

failed to inspire political leaders.

the United Nations General

he regretfully shelved the democratic nonsectarian

The

the "Palestinian dream."^

Assembly

state, calling

it

Palestinians never ceased to believe in the superiority

of the democratic-secular-state formula, but since the mid-1970s, recognizing the necessity of political compromise, they ceased to advocate

major

it

as they

made

another

shift in their political thinking.

The Two-State Solution (1974—present) After the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, a second major shift in Palestinian thinking and policies occurred.

For the

first

time, a Palestinian consensus began to

emerge

in

favor of a setdement based on partition and the two-state solution.

Three related events necessitated

was

the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

stalemate, for the

first

to ft-ee the territories

By

1972.'^^

it

in

them

seized from

The

to

be a

in the

war of 1967, making a negotiated

was King Hussein's "United Arab Kingdom"

Palestinians,

Palestinian resistance in 1970-71, rule in

what they considered

time ever, the Arabs hoped that Israel would be more inclined

settlement possible. Second, there

proposal of

this shift in Palestinian thinking. First, there

fighting Israel to

still

outraged by Jordan's expulsion of the

opposed the return of the West Bank

any form. King Hussein's proposal

to reincorporate the

to

Hashemite

West Bank as a region

a united kingdom under his rule focused Palesdnian attention on the future of the

West Bank and Gaza, and territories, to

it

triggered demands, particularly

preempt Jordan's claim

to them. Finally, there

of die PLO's international relations and

more

seriously

liberation

its

from inside the occupied

was

the great expansion

enhanced legitimacy. The

PLO was taken

by the international community as the Palestinian people's national

movement, and

it

came under

pressure to rise up to the challenge by

Global Convulsions

194

advancing a policy more likely

to receive a favorable

community. The supporters of Palestinian national establishment of a Palestinian state in the West

response from the international

were committed

rights

Bank and Gaza, and

the

to the

PLO found

it

necessary to solidify that support by responding to the will of the international

community."

These were the immediate influences

that led to the Palestinian

move toward

the two-state solution. Alain Gresh, in his pioneering study of the evolution of

Palestinian policy,

saw an even

earlier beginning.

The Arab

defeat in the

war of

1967, he wrote, killed the pan- Arab dream, brought Israelis and Palestinians face to face without

Arab

conflict to

original

its

intermediaries, and fostered the restoration of the Arab-Israeli

form as an

movement, "freed from It

had

to spell out

which

it

partition

In political

its

came

The

Palestinian national

face to face with

its

responsibilities.

goals and objectives, in particular the state and territories to

laid claim."'^

This process led to the eventual Palestinian acceptance of

and the two-state its

Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

external controls,

solution.

twelfth session in June 1974, the Palestine National Council adopted a

program which opened the way

with the state of state in all

Israel.

The

ten-point

acceptance of coexistence

to Palestinian

program

still

identified a democratic-secular

of Palestine as the strategic objective of the Palestinian struggle, but

were freed

also legitimized an interim national authority in whatever portions that

from

Israeli control.'^

The

PLO

did not accept the state of Israel, but

hesitant step in that direction. In subsequent years the

acceptance more explicit, the

first

PNC

until in its nineteenth session, in

it

pendence of the State of

Israel.

At

the

same

Palestine. This claim to

time, the

took the

PNC

and peaceful

proclaimed the inde-

independence was based on United

Nations Resolution 181, which recommended partition

in 1947.

The

PNC made

clear that the partition of Palestine and the establishment of Jewish and as successor states

national

was

first

made that November 1988, it made increasingly

authoritative declaration of Palestinian acceptance of peace

coexistence with the state of

it

Arab

it

states

the solution acceptable to, and sought by, the Palestinian

movement.'^ Unlike the democratic

state

idea,

this

program

signified

Palestinian acceptance of the existence of a Jewish state in Palestine.

Given widespread stereotypes about inflexibility

and tendency

to exhibit

the

Arabs and the PLO,

their

presumed

moderation largely for external consumption,

three crucial points about the evolution of Palestinian political thinking should be

made

here." 1

.

The PLO,

usually pictured as a radicalizing influence on Palestinians

and Arabs, played an important role

in

leading the Palestinian people

away from maximalist demands and towards more accommodating and conciliatory policies, and took the risk of alienating public opinion as

did so. In the late 1960s, alienated

its

advocacy of the democratic-secular

Arab and Muslim opinion by accepting

it

state

the legitimacy of

Palestinian Statehood

Jewish presence civil

war (with

in Palestine,

and

mid 1970s

in the

the Rejectionist Front)

it

195

provoked a mini-

by adopting the 10-point

political

program.

The of view.

began

PLO also made efforts

When

to teach

it

to reeducate the Palestinians to its point

adopted the democratic-secular

Hebrew

Changes

in

PLO schools

to Palestinian children to prepare

community

eventuality of coexistence with a Jewish 2.

state idea,

them

for the

in Palestine.

Palestinian political thinking in the direction of

accommodationist solutions

to

the conflict with Israel

more

occurred

at

moments of perceived Arab and Palestinian strength, and in that sense signified an authentic commitment to new thinking. The democraticsecular state proposal came as the Palestinian resistance movement was euphoric over its emergence, after the battle of Karameh in March 1968, as the antidote to the despair which engulfed the Arabs after the defeat of 1967.

a

And the

shift to the two-state solution

new wave of euphoria swept over

1973.

makes

It

little

be euphoric. The

difference whether the Arabs

that the Palestinians

made

significant that the

PLO's move

program which

ment based on

shortly after

war of

after the

had valid reasons

partition

tinian intifada revived

it

was

at

to

unmis-

fact is that they interpreted these events as

takable signs of renewed national vigor, and

political

came

Arab world

the

such moments

their principal conciliatory gestures. It is also to recognize Israel

and

to

adopt a

authoritatively accepted a negotiated settle-

came

in 1988, again at a time

hopes that

Israel's

when

the Pales-

occupation had been shaken

and rendered "unsustainable." 3.

The

PLO

contributed to

making

shifting Palestinian thinking

the conflict

away

manageable not only by

fi-om maximalist

by modifying the means of securing Palestinian

demands, but also

rights,

by emphasizing

diplomatic means at the expense of armed struggle, and eventually by a

phased process which would begin with modest changes in the quo.

The "Gaza plus"

interim agreement

cess of taming Palestinian struggle to

is

status

the culmination of this pro-

make

it

compatible with

Israeli

concerns.

The changes have been

real. It

in Palestinian thinking

serves no

the interest of peace in the

on how

good purpose,

Middle

neither

to resolve the conflict with Israeli is it fair

East, to argue, as

many

to the Palestinians nor in

did

when

the

PLO

finally

"uttered the magic words" (recognition of Israel, acceptance of Security Council

Resolution 242 as a framework for a settlement, and renunciation of terrorism) in 1988, that the

move toward

settlement were merely ploys

was fashionable

recognition of Israel and acceptance of a negotiated

—because

to assert at the time.

the leopard does not

Changes

change

its

spots, as

in Palestinian political thought,

it

and

Global Convulsions

196

which they occurred, challenge the

the circumstances under

common

in

which unfortunately resurfaced to explain

As

after the

Gulf War of 1991, when again

was used

it

Arab acceptance of the Madrid peace conference.

Moves

Israel

racist notion, all too

the West, that the Arabs "understand the language of force," a notion

Way

the Other

moved

the Palestinians

in the direction

The emerging

opposite direction.

ment of a Palestinian

state in part

of accepting

moved

partition, Israel

in the

international consensus in favor of the establish-

of Palestine, and growing Palestinian (and there-

fore Arab) acceptance of partition, threatened to call Israel's bluff as the traditional

advocate of compromise, whose presumed willingness to live and trated

by Arab rejectionism. The Arab move toward coexistence

was

let live

in the context

two-state solution increasingly isolated Israel and undermined

its

frus-

of the

opposition to

Palestinian statehood.

To preempt

wind out of

Palestinian statehood and to take the

the sails of

mounting international clamor on behalf of Palestinian self-determination,

mounted a two-pronged

attack: to discredit Palestinian nationalism

fulfillment of Palestinian aspirations.

massive invasion of Lebanon render

it

in 1982,

The

first

objective

which was designed

and

was pursued through a to cripple the

politically as well as militarily irrelevant. Israel also secured

government a pledge not conditions,

to recognize or deal with the

which were known

to

Israel

to thwart the

PLO

unless

PLO and to

from the U.S. it

be unacceptable to the Palestinians

met

certain

at the time,

including the unilateral recognition of Israel, disavowal of armed struggle, and the

acceptance of Security Council Resolution 242 as the basis for a negotiated

settle-

ment. At the same time,

it successfully mounted a worldwide campaign to brand the PLO, and the Palestinians in general, with the stigma of terrorism. The second objective pursued by Israel was the speeded up de facto annexation

of the Palestinian

territory

it

journalist

why

Highways, grate

to

Israel

seized in 1967, with the purpose of

January 1982, an

state solution impractical. In

was building a road network,

connect the Jewish settlements

them more

firmly:

making

the two-

Israeli official signalled to a foreign

in the

the so-called Trans-Samarian

West Bank

to Israel

"Give us three or four or five years," he

said,

and to

inte-

"and you'll

drive out there and you won't be able to find the West Bank."'^ In

the

1980s,

Meron Benvenisti popularized

whether one accepted or opposed the Su-ip,

Jewish settlement

conflict

Israeli

the notion that, regardless of

occupation of the West

Bank and Gaza

the territories had transformed the Palestinian-Israeli

in

from a national conflict requiring Palestinian independence

demanding

ethnic dispute.

Benvenisti, "will be realized

munal objectives



to

a less

potential of Palestinian "communal power," wrote only when they identify short-range achievable com-

The

political,

economic, and social



within the realm of the possible

Palestinian Statehood

must move

Israeli rule. Indeed, they

under

in the

197

system, albeit without granting

it

ultimate legitimacy."'^

The

on the other hand, were

Palestinians,

intifada, or Palestinian uprising,

intent

which exploded

in

a Palestinian effort to counter Israel's policy of

independence from evolved from

was

One of

Israeli rule.

street confrontations

The

their land."*

the major objectives of the intifada, as

it

to loosen

its

struggle began to bear fruit in July

renounced Jordan's claims and severed

Bank, recognizing

1987, developed into

de facto annexation with de facto

legal

grip

on the Palestinians and

1988 when King Hussein

and administrative links with the West

community came

Palestinian destiny.'^ Moreover, the world

its

increasingly to perceive the status

mounting pressures on

it

with Israeli troops to a process of nation-building,

disengage from Israel and to force

to

on proving the opposite. The

December

quo

as "unsustainable," a

view which led

Israel to find a political solution to the conflict

to

with the

Palestinians.

A symbolic fulfillment of the intifada, and to give impetus to its goal of freeing the Palestinians

from

Israeli rule,

was

the proclamation of Palestinian independence

and the establishment of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on

November

15,

occasioned a

1988.^ The collision of

new

Israeli

level of political stalemate,

power and

reached by the international community, including

'The

status

quo bodes

ill

for Israel."^'

Palestinian nationalism

which fostered the conclusion

many



and Arabs

Israelis

Something was needed

to

move

which he

off dead center. Taking advantage of regional and global circumstances

judged

to

be opportune, particularly the end of the Cold

fraq, as well as the

President George

consequent collapse of the Arabs'

Bush

told Congress, in

March 1991,

War and

ability to

that

the conflict

the destruction of

confront Israel, U.S.

that the time

had come

to put

an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Madrid Peace Process Ever since

Israel seized the rest

of Palestine in 1967, U.S. policy toward the future of

these territories has been ambivalent.

and

Israeli objectives. It

It

endorsed both and neither of the Palestinian

supported Security Council Resolution 242, whose pre-

amble

stated the principle of the "inadmissibility of acquisition of territory

but

also accepted an interpretation of the resolution

it

principle

Jimmy

by arguing

by war,"

which conflicted with

that

that the resolution permitted territorial "adjustments." President

Carter flirted briefly with the idea of a "Palestinian homeland," but President

Ronald Reagan,

in his initiative

of September

1,

1982, rejected both Palestinian

Bank and Gaza. annexation of the West Bank and Gaza

statehood and Israeli sovereignty over the West

U.S. policy opposed

Israeli

Israelis annexationist practices.

independence.

It

It

but tolerated

supported Palestinian self-government but opposed

recognized Jerusalem as part of the occupied

territories

but under-

Global Convulsions

198

stood Israel's refusal to negotiate

future.

its

supported U-N. Resolution 194 of

It

1948. which recognized the right of return for Palestinian refugees, but opposed

demand for the right of return. The peace process put together by President Bush and his Secietary of State James Baker IE. which was inaugurated in Madrid in Oaober 1991. remained Palestinian

faithful to this

time,

it

American policy of being for and against everything. At the same

cmmfniity, which hdd more The result has been

stipulated the exclusion of the international

consistent views

on w hat should be done

a peace process

w hich

to resolve the conflict

compass and

lacks a

any omcaaie, one

loieraies practical^

which meanders aimlessly without a dear destination.^ Israeli

policy of taking advantage of Washington's waffling to evade the

imperatives of Palestinian nationalism

purposes

at the

expense of

is shoftsighied. It

Even

historic interests.

if

may promole

imtwt^iati-

manages to coeice

it

the

Palestinians into acquiescing to an agreement wiiich leaves them, in fact a surplus

wiU be merely pos^ning the day of mrlrrwi no perhaps to a time in the future w hen ^obal and regional conditions may not be as favorable to peace as they are now The Palestinians will not perish or vanish, and

people in the Middle East

it

consciousness

is

.

their national

too highly developed to permit perpetual denial of

their right to self-determination.

that nationalism

is still

The second

half c^' the

Lesch has called the 'lincompromising

tv^^entietfa

even This

as unsuppressible as

realitv"

of life

in

is

century has proven

so because of what

a worid of nation

Ann

stales.

In

w odd of nationalism." she wrote, "one can attain relative normality only by having one's own nationalism manifesting itself in one's own a

The

State of Palestine: Conceptual

For the

first

and

Parametors

time since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict began,

to a political settiement. This

is

because, for the

simultaneously on the tw o-state solution.

of no return, because fiilly

Political

this

convergence

by significant constituencies

survive and mature.

To give

it

in

first

it

The process has not

is still

rather tentative

both camps.

the opportunity

it

has become amenable

time, the parties have converged

It

needs

aJl

yet readied the point

and

opposed fbfce-

is

requires, conceptual

adjustments, as well as political compromises, are essential.

it

can get id

and

aitiftidinal

the help

The needed conceptual

adjustments include the following: 1.

The

authenticity of the Palestinian desire for

recognized-

It is

accommodation must be

self-defeating, as well as unfair, to deal with the Pales-

tinians as if they

were felons applving for parole, and

it

is

counter-

productive and risky to continue to assume that Pdestinian oompio-

mises are nothing but grudging capitulation to the extant equation of

pow er. There

is

no question

incentives for compromise,

that the

on both

imbalance of power

sides, since

more

is

one of the

than four decades

Palestinian Statehood

of conflict have demonstrated the Arabs' inability to defeat Israel's inability to

vanquish and subdue the Arabs.

Israel,

199

and

Israel's military

and diplomatic clout on the one hand, and the massive and

capabilities

deeply rooted Arab presence in and around Israel/Palestine on the other,

make

stalemate

a historic

Nusseibeh have observed, test.

'There

is

As Mark

inevitable.

nothing to indicate," they wrote, "that either Israel or the

Palestinians will, in the foreseeable future, have the their

maximal

and Sari

Heller

of the Israeli-Palestinian con-

this also is true

aspirations

be said with certainty

on the adversary.

is that

.

.

.

power

The only

a resolution of the conflict

to

impose

thing that can is

impossible

unless the minimal needs and desires of both sides are reasonably satisfied."^

A compromise is the only way out.

This means that Israel would be mistaken

if it

continues to seek the

kind of peace that would reflect the relationship between victor and vanquished. Palestinian statehood, which requires the surrender of the

war of 1967, may exact from power would now demand.

Palestinian territory taken by Israel in the Israel

But

more than

what the

is

it

the military imbalance of historic

moment summons, which

opportunity for a historic reconciliation 2.

is

not to be

matters

if

the

lost.

Palestinian rights should not be understood and dealt with as residual

be recognized and conferred

rights to

and

if,

to the extent, that the

requirements of other parties to the conflict permit. The Palestinian

people cannot remain a "surplus people." That would only perpetuate the problem. rather than

A

The

its

solution necessitates the rectification of this

anomaly

maintenance.

workable and enduring solution requires that the Palestinian

people be recognized and dealt with as partners in the community of

Middle East nations instead of as an intrusion

be minimized, or a

to

nuisance to be abated with minimal adjustments to the status quo. Palestinian statehood should be accepted not grudgingly as a

of damage control, but generously willingly as a shared region.

It

whose overriding purpose

3. Israel

Gaza

stability in the

for Israel to continue to seek a solution

is

find

to

it

the

absolute

minimum

a compromise,

must stop reacting

if

carried to

it

its

may

be, can

impede

rather than

ultimate conclusion.^'

to Palestinian statehood in the

West Bank and

as the expression of Palestinian radicalism, to be feared

avoided

of

can get away with. The argument

Heller and Nusseibeh regarding the "asymmetry" of the Israeli

and Palestinian conditions, valid as facilitate

measure

of conciliation, and

dream of peace, prosperity and

would be a mistake

concessions to the Palestinians that

made by

in the spirit

at all costs. It

should deal with

it

as

it

really

is:

and

the expression

of Palestinian compromise and accommodation, and the outcome of

200

Global Convulsions

Palestinian

commitment

to coexistence

and

conciliation. Israel's tendency

to periodically redefine "Palestinian radicalism" in a

mately discredits

Palestinians

all

Palestinian "moderates"

way which

living in

peace alongside the

game

all

gone, and

it is

is

good

Israel;

among

the

nibbles at those in the mainstream until they are

not in the interest of coexistence and regional peace.

must not be judged

4. Palestinian rights

what

state in

of

state

today Israel has redefined the same people as radical elements Palestinians. This

ulti-

a dangerous game. Not long ago,

were people who accepted a Palestinian

West Bank and Gaza

the

is

strictly

from the perspective of

for Israel, or other states in the region.

And

they must not

be defined and circumscribed by the aspirafions of the other peoples of the region. This

not to say that such considerations are immaterial or

is

that Israeli interests

and Palestinian

rights are mutually exclusive. In his

pioneering study of the impact of Palestinian statehood on Israel's

Mark

strategic interests,

But

political

implications,

it

Heller shows that the two are not incom-

not enough to concede the principle and ignore

patible.^

is

its

namely, that the Palestinian people need to

survive and prosper as a national society, and not just cease to be a

nuisance to

Israel.

They need

living space to rehabilitate displaced

persons, political status to ensure responsible and effective Palestinian

government, and balanced relations with the other peoples of the

Middle East are requirements of Palestinian

which must be

rights,

based on equity and not just the tolerance or ambitions of other 5. Palestinian-Israeli

parties.

peace must be understood as a process of reaching

reasonable compromises to end a struggle between enemies

who have

compelling reasons to be enemies, not as a process of reconciling estranged lovers. Otherwise, the system of peace-making can be over-

burdened with unreasonable demands and least at this time, a

version should be

Within

this

problem of how tially

unrealistic expectations.

At

compromise should be good enough, and con-

left to

future history.

conceptual framework, the rest would be relatively easy. to

make

the transition

a technical one which, freed of

from belligerency its

to

The

peace becomes essen-

emotional burdens, becomes more man-

ageable. In mandatory Palestine, the theater of Palestinian-Israeli struggle, both Palestinians and Israelis agree (except in the case of Jerusalem)

what

is

on what

is

Israel

and

not Israel. Heller and Nusseibeh's observation about the 1949 armistice lines,

or the June 4, 1967 boundaries, being the most logical boundaries between Israel and Palestine

is

nearly universally supported. These boundaries

and mutually agreed upon adjustments

do not preclude minor

to rationalize the borders,

and

to lessen their

impact on frontier communities on both sides. The Palestinians no longer consider

such adjustments "unthinkable." As eariy as 1978, Walid Khalidi,

at

the time widely

Palestinian Statehood

rumored

be the most

to

reciprocal adjustments are the

under the circumstances.""

realistic

A symbolically security,

prime minister,

likely candidate for a future Palestinian

wrote that "[t]he frontiers of 1967 with minor and

most

201

armed

Palestinian state, primarily for the purposes of internal

and perhaps for psychological reasons,

not something that most Pales-

is

would find objectionable. Khalidi's proposal that, for internal security needs and in order that it would not become "the laughing stock of the Arab world," the Palestinian state should have a half or even a third of the level of Jordan's armament is something most Palestinians would be willing to live with. Even the question of Jerusalem, widely advertised as the Gordian knot and the tinians

to make Israeli-Palestinian peace are likely to Numerous models of a Jerusalem that could be the of both Israel and Palestine, and at the same time a united city pro-

obstacle over which flounder,

all

efforts

not insoluble.

is

political capital

viding free access for religious, cultural, and emotional satisfaction by

sketched by both Israeli and Palestinian writers

of which

is that

all

have been

including Heller and Nusseibeh,

in their already cited works. Others also

and Khalidi, gist



have offered suggestions, the

East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem could be the respective seats

of government for Palestine and unnecessary the division of the

Adnan Abu Odeh,

Israel,

with a shared municipality that would

the Jordanian ambassador to the United Nations and a

longtime confidante of King Hussein, important point that

if

make

city.

who

is

of Palestinian origin, makes the

one distinguishes Jerusalem the holy

city,

which

the

stirs

much expanded political Jerusalem that now encomWest Bank territory, the problem becomes much more manage-

emotions of people, from the passes

much of the

able. It is the exploitation

aggravates

it

and makes

of the Jerusalem issue for

territorial

aggrandizement which

appear "intractable." If the issue

it

more

redefined

is

appropriately as one concerning the holy places and the freedom of access to them,

can become a uniting influence instead of the divisive element that

it

it

has been.^

Other questions which need to be dealt with within the context of a PalestinianIsraeli

agreement become manageable technical issues once the necessary concep-

tual adjustments

have been made. This

is

not to say that they would cease to present

become amenable

but they would

difficulties,

to

compromise

rights

and use, regional relationships and

Regarding the issue of adamantly

to

opposing views

reftigees,

—with

settlers,

—compromises

it

on which the

parties

appear to adhere

the Palestinians claiming the right of return

can be worked out involving

exchange for giving Jewish remaining

settlers

in the Palestinian state,

and

water

others.

under United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948 and the opposing

These

solutions.

include the questions of Palestinian refugees, the presence of Jewish

in

the

partial

West Bank and Gaza

partial resettlement in

Palestinian state in exchange for compensation.

Many

Israelis

repatriation

in

the option of

and perhaps outside the

have offered ideas about

how

the refugee and settlement issues can be transformed from impediments to facilitators

of an agreement.^

202

Global Convulsions

The main that

point being

made about

of the issues involved

all

in a

settlement

is

once the struggle becomes one over coexistence, rather than existence, com-

promises which

now

appear unthinkable become possible.

Conclusion In June

Bassam Abu

1988,

PLO

Sharif, senior advisor to

Arafat, circulated a Palestinian position paper during the

Summit Conference which convened

June 7-9.

in Algiers,

Chairman Yasser

Emergency Arab was meant pri-

It

marily as a message to the Israeli people that the Palestinians were for reconciliation.

The

own

principle and the fact that "no one can build his

another's."

now

ready

Palestinians, he said, understood and accepted both the

The PLO's raison

d'etre,

he wrote,

future

"is not the

on the ruins of

undoing of

Israel, but

the salvation of the Palestinian people and their rights, including their right to

He

democratic self-expression."

assured the Israelis that "no one can understand

the Jewish people's centuries of suffering

the security of their state and

political

question, of course,

its is

that

would promote

neighbors. "^^

how

to translate these pledges

and sentiments into

compromises and agreements. Certainly not by allowing the past

lyze the search for a better fixture. Peres,

the Palestinians," and that

would "welcome any reasonable measure

the Palestinians

The

more than

who was

As

Israel's

to para-

[former prime minister,] Shimon

a main player in the ongoing effort to find a mutually acceptable

compromise once observed,

in criticism of the

opponents of compromise, "people

prefer remembering, rather than thinking."^' If Israelis and Palestinians continue to

seek guarantees against the past, instead of a vision for the future, they will remain captive to the conflict which for in life, liberty

When

chances for peace.

was

the

which gives the

West Bank and

text

first

It

is

Gaza

is

step in the right direction.

no longer

valid,

the unthinkable

becomes

rather than thinking that encouraged

about

beyond the

how

to cut

through

inhibitions of the past

agreement on interim arrangements for the

Strip, the so-called

is

"Gaza- Jericho" accord, the promise of

The implied

recognition, reflected in the

Palestinian national rights corrects a notion

namely, that the conflict

is

about Israel's existence and

survival. This notion has caused previous attempts to resolve the conflict to astray,

and led

to

dead-end outcomes. Now, possibilities have been opened

not exist heretofore.

toll

possible.

the readiness to reach

of the accord, that the issue

which

commitment

remembering

Palestinian-Israeli

the

been exacting a heavy

of the need to take risks and

political witchcraft in previous thinking

Gordian knot.

being the

becomes

the preference for

gimmickry and

forty years has

now speak

slogan becomes

thinkable, and the impossible It

more than

and happiness. They both

go

that did

203

Palestinian Statehood

Notes

1

Text of the agreement in The

Henry Cattan,

2.

Longman Group,

(London: 3.

For

New

York Times, September

Arabs and

Palestine, the

2,

1993, p. A6.

The Search for Justice

Israel:

1969), pp. 25-30.

of Jewish acceptance of partition in 1947, see Simha

this interpretation

Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths

and Realities (New York: Pantheon Books,

1987),

Dream: The Democratic Secular

State,"

p. 33. 4.

Muhammad

Hallaj,

"The

Palestinian

Rosemary Radford Ruether and Marc H. Ellis, eds.. Beyond Occupation: American Jewish, Christian, and Palestinian Voices for Peace (Boston: Beacon Press, 1990), pp. in

222-30. Jabra

5.

I.

"The Palestinian Exile

Jabra,

as Writer," Journal of Palestine

Studies 8.2 (Winter 1979): 79. 6.

Text of the Charter in International Documents on Palestine, 1968 (Beirut:

Institute for Palestine Studies, 1971), pp.

393-95.

Text of the resolution in International Documents on Palestine,

7.

(Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1972), pp. 8.

Fayez Sayegh,

1969

589-90.

"A Palestinian View," The Arab World (February

1970): 18.

Text of Arafat's speech in International Documents on Palestine, 1974

9.

(Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1977), pp. 134-44.

Text of King Hussein's "United Arab Kingdom" proposal in International

10.

Documents on

Palestine,

1972

(Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1975), pp.

289-93. 11.

For expressions of international support of the

PLO

and Palestinian

rights,

see United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 3210 of October 14, 1974, and

3236 of November

22,

1974

Alain Gresh, The PLO, The Struggle Within: Towards an Independent

12.

Palestinian State (London:

1974 (Beirut:

Palestine, 14.

Zed Books,

For text of the 1974

13.

in

program, see International Documents on

Institute for Palestine Studies, 1977), pp.

Text of the 19th

Independence

1983), p. 3.

political

PNC statement and the November

449-50.

15, 1988, Declaration

Journal of Palestine Studies 28.2 (Wmter 1989):

of

216-33—Docu-

ment B3. 15.

Israel,

For a survey of changes

in official Palestinian thinking

on the

conflict with

based on analysis of political programs adopted by successive sessions of the

Palestine National Council,

see

Muhammad

Muslih, Toward Coexistence:

Analysis of the Resolutions of the Palestine National Council (Washington, Institute for Palestine Studies, 1990).

Gresh, op. 16.

A/oAz/ror,

cit.

For an

earlier but

more

An DC:

detailed study, see

note 12.

Ned Temko, 'The January

4, 1982.

Struggle for the West Bank," The Christian Science

.

204

Global Convulsions

17.

Meron

Developments

Benvenisti, Demographic, Economic, Legal, Social

(Washington, DC: American Enterprise 18.

A

and

Political

West Bank, The West Bank Data Base Project, 1986 Report

in the

Institute, 1986), p. 95.

1989 report by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies of Tel Aviv

University said that because of the intifada "the status quo appears to be working to the advantage of the Palestinians' unilateral statebuilding effort."

Gaza:

Israel's

Options for Peace (Tel Aviv University, 1989),

influence of the intifada on Israeli opinion, see

Discourse

Political

in Israel,"

For general works on the

Tessler,

"The

Intifada

and

Journal of Palestine Studies 19.2 (Winter 1990): 43-61

intifada, also see

The Palestinian Uprising Against R. Nassar and

Mark

The West Bank and

p. 43. For a study of the

Roger Heacock,

Israeli

Zachary Lockman and Joel Beinin,

eds.,

Occupation (Boston: MERIP, 1989); Jamal

eds., Intifada: Palestine at the

Praeger, 1990); and Geoffrey Aronson, Israel, Palestinians

Crossroads

and

(New

York:

the Intifada: Creating

Facts on the West Bank (London: Kegan Paul International, 1990). 19.

Text of King Hussein's speech announcing the decision to sever links to the

West Bank

in

Journal of Palestine Studies 18.1 (Autumn 1988): 279-83.

20. Text of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in Journal of Palestine

18.2(Wmter

Studies

1989):

213-16—Document B2.

21. Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies,

The West Bank and Gaza:

Options for Peace (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University, 1989), 22.

For a survey of the Washington peace

Palestinian-Israeli

talks, see

Camille Mansour, The

Peace Negotiations: An Overview and Assessment, October

1991-January 1993 (Washington, DC: 23.

Israel's

p. 155.

Ann Mosely

Institute for Palestine Studies, 1993).

Lesch, Transition to Palestinian Self-Govemment: Practical

Steps Toward Israeli-Palestinian Peace (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), p. 18. 24.

Mark A.

Heller and Sari Nusseibeh,

Settlement of the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict

No

Trumpets

(New York:

No Drums: A

Hill

& Wang,

Two-State

1991), p. 56.

25. Ibid., pp. 62-63. 26.

MA:

Mark A.

Heller,

A

Palestinian State: The Implications for Israel (Cambridge,

Harvard University Press, 1983). 27.

Walid Khalidi, "Thinking the Unthinkable:

A Sovereign

Palestinian State,"

Foreign Affairs 56.4 (July 1978): 701. 28.

Affairs

Adnan Abu Odeh, 'Two

112

Capitals in an Undivided Jerusalem," Foreign

{Spring 1992): 183-88.

29. For an article

on Palestinian views on the

right of return, see

Rashid

KhaW&i, Journal of Palestine Studies 19.2 (Winter 1990). 30. Text of the paper in the Journal for Palestine Studies 18.

272-75. 31.

Quoted

in

Newsweek, September

13,

1993, p. 26.

1

(Autumn

1988):

10 Whither the Kurds?

GEORGE S. HARRIS

come

Ethnic groups have

waning years of the twentieth

managed

into their

century.

But

own

in

will the

many

parts of the

Kurds? The most

world

in the

that they

have

thus far has been for the fragment in northern Iraq to reach de facto

autonomy. The permanence of even that achievement remains future of the substantial Kurdish populations of Turkey far.

Yet

political, social,

and

cultural rights.

Kurdish history

is

in doubt, as is the

Iran,

which have not

appears certain that Kurds will continue to seek greater

gone nearly as

it

and

replete with promising beginnings.

might have been

It

expected that a people numbering some 20 million and speaking a tongue different

from

that of their neighbors

standing of

would long since have achieved nationhood.

why Kurds have

not

won more autonomy

or independence

An

under-

may

help

explain whether such factors will continue to frustrate Kurdish aspirations.

Obstacles to Unity

Geography

is

central to this story.

mountainous refuge

area.

external enemies, at the

The Kurdish

heartland

is

in the

main a landlocked

But while the mountains have offered protection from

same

time, they cut the Kurdish area into disconnected parts.

In the past, transportation routes generally skirted this arc north of

Mesopotamia from

near the Mediterranean to the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to the

edge of the Iranian plateau. Even today the paucity of good, all-weather roads within the

region

discourages

homogeneous

fragmentation has been reflected unintelligible dialects,

in the

even written

political

evolution.

And

culturally,

this

evolution of Kurdish into several mutually

in different scripts.

Although language

is

the

205

206

Global Convulsions

surest touchstone of Kurdishness, these dialectical differences militate against unity.

Conditions

much

in

of the Kurdish region favor animal husbandry. That promotes

the persistence of social organization characterized

many

This type of kinship organization has

by transhumant

strengths, but

of overarching ethnic objectives, because tribes

it

life in tribes.

discourages the pursuit

commonly feud with each

other over

modem

existence.

grazing rights and marriage partners. Tribal organization

is

clearly being eroded under pressure of

Particularly in Turkey, the rapid cities

hemorrhaging of Kurds out of

of western Anatolia adds to the weakening of

their core area to the

tribal identity.

Some

of these

deracinated elements have embraced radical social doctrines, which reject the

system as feudal. Accordingly,

tribal

major

in addition to attacking Turkish authority, a

target of

Abdullah Ocalan's Workers party of Kurdistan (PKK)

the tribal

power

in

Turkey has been

structure.'

Religious behavior also divides the Kurds. Although the overwhelming majority are Sunnis of the Shafii

some Yezedis and involvement

in

rite,

there are also significant

Christians.

But even more

numbers of Shia Kurds as well as

politically

divisive has been their

competing Islamic mystical orders. Notably, the Barzani family

ciated with the Nakshibandi, while Jalal Talabani

is

asso-

comes from a family deeply involved

in the Qadiri order. In fact, this religious-cum-tribal organization increases the likeli-

hood

that the aspirations

Beyond

of any leader would meet opposition from traditional

rivals.^

an even more serious obstacle to national unity

internal fragmentation,

has been the division of the Kurdish core area between Turkey, fraq, and Iran, with smaller communities in Syria, Armenia, and Lebanon. First

World War assured

should they

try to

The borders drawn

the collective opposition of the states in

assemble a

common

front to seek greater autonomy.

time, the need for international support encourages

with neighboring governments, even

if

Kurds

in

after the

which Kurds

one country

At

reside,

the

same

to cooperate

those regimes repress Kurds at home.

A further impediment has been the fact that Kurds form but a minority the countries of their residence. In Turkey, where today

somewhat over

in all

of

ten million

people of Kurdish origin reside, they are outnumbered five or six to one by the Turkish majority, although that ratio

is

diminishing as the birthrate of the Kurdish

population exceeds that of the surrounding Turks. Iran

and the four million

in Iraq

The some

six million

Kurds

in

form about 10 percent and nearly 25 percent

respectively of the population of these states.^

These circumstances strongly color the history of the Kurds

in the twentieth

century. But in addition, the particular problems they have faced in each state of

residence have affected their chances of achieving greater self-rule.

In Iraq

Iraq

is

where the Kurds have gone

can account for

farthest

their greater success in a

toward determining

their

number of ways. But

own

fate.

the factors

One

which

Whither the Kurds?

207

have had the greatest influence are ones for which the Kurds themselves are not directly responsible.

Key power in

of the Kurds in Iraq has been the fluctuations of

to the relative success

Baghdad regime and the number and strength of the distractions that have diverted it from stamping out Kurdish insurrection. When their attention could be focused single-mindedly, Baghdad regimes have normally had the military muscle to impose more or less complete control. But the eight-year war with Iran the

and the disastrous Gulf War against the international States in particular, drained

against the Kurdish population, at a time

Saddam the

when

the world

community was aroused by

Hussein's bellicosity, sparked a humanitarian intervention that today affords

Kurds of Iraq protection and a measure of autonomy.

Kurds

by the United

coalition, led

Baghdad's power. Moreover, the draconian measures

will fare

when

hand

the international

is

It is

how

uncertain

these

removed.

Second, the Kurds in Iraq benefited from being concentrated in a single area with depth for retreat and maneuver. In that they differ from the Kurds in Iran,

whose

long, narrow area

is

open

to penetration

by outside

forces. It contrasts with

the distribution of Kurds in Turkey in both the west and the southeast of that country,

leaving no one compact area embracing a majority of the Kurdish population. result, local insurgent leaders in

their

a

homeland. Finally, the

Kurds of northern Iraq might not have been positioned

advantage of international support standing tribally led insurrection. inclusive

And

As

northern Iraq have had greater ability to remain in

movement, the

tribal rebellion

Even though

the tribe does not promote an all-

chieftain structure did offer leadership of

was a

familiar

to take

they had not been the beneficiary of a long-

if

mechanism, tapping

armed and

into strong

fighters.

relatively

unquestioning loyalties.

The

fact that tribal rebellions

northern fraq also efforts

to resist

was

significant.

had gone on

Though

Baghdad's control contributed

Barzanis. That broadened the

movement,

in

every decade

this

century in

repeatedly unsuccessful, the persistent to the

fame and

stature of the

known

as well as offering outsiders a

address to which aid could be provided. Traditionally restive, the First

World War.

When

Kurds of northern Iraq

the Iraqi

resisted British rule after the

monarchy backed by the

British sent the

suppress continuing Kurdish agitation in 1945, Mulla Mustafa Barzani, leader of this tribe, fled with a group of followers to Iran.

Kurdish Republic of Mahabad

in 1946,

he and his band made

On

army

now

to

the

the collapse of the

their

way

to the

USSR

where they were maintained by the Soviet government.'' Mulla Mustafa's departure assured until

Abdul Karim Qasim overthrew

that northern fraq

the fraqi

monarchy

would be in 1958.

relatively quiet

At

that time, the

Barzani chief returned to fraq with his followers. But Qasim followed the traditional policy of divide and rule against the Kurds. Granting legal status in 1960 to the

Democratic party of Kurdistan (KDP)

—of which Mulla Mustafa was

titular

head

Global Convulsions

208

he

at

same time encouraged

the

and Baradost

the Zibari

pursue their

tribes to

traditional rivalries with the Barzanis.

Mulla Mustafa led a

In response,

revolt in June 1961.

even supported actively by the small group of

who had been

radicals

But

cit\'-bred.

at first

he was not

detribalized Kurdish

KDP. They objected to his tradiThus throughout

the guiding light of the

donalist approach and favored radical socialist solutions instead.

1962 the radicals maintained a separate idendty. eventually establishing rival front in

which

Jalal Talabani

was a leading

Sulaimaniya to the southeast of Barzani's

Unhappiness

oun

territor\'.-

end the Kurdish revolt may ha\e been one

failure to

him

to oust

in Februar>' 1963.

But

the

Baath party regime which ran Iraq for the next nine months wsis also unable

settle itself finnly

Significandy, that

Qasim's

motivadng powerful army factions

factor in nev,

at

their

figure in the rugged area around

won

it

enough

was

in

internal

power

to reestablish full control of the

Kurdish

to

area,

weakness of the Baath regime rather than Kurdish arms

the day.^

The

who dominated

brothers

.\rif

tradidonal

mix of

Iraq

for

the

next five \ears

used the

conciliation and coercion to deal with the Kurds. Their offer of a

1964 reinvigorated long-standing differences between the

ceasefire in Februar\'

Barzanis and Jalal Talabani. \Mien the

latter

accused Mulla Mustafa of selling out by

ending the fighting without a specific promise of autonomy. Barzani expelled the Talabani group by force."

This period saw the emergence of a

new

factor: the

in\olvement of Iran

in

supporting the Kurds as a countenveight against the Baghdad regime. The flow of Iranian

weapons into northern Iraq evened the contest somev\hat. leading to a which Kurdish forces could not descend from the hills while the army

stalemate, in

was bound

to the

main roads where armor could deploy. Unable

Arif offered a 12-point peace program in June 1966. amnest>-, reparations, and

some form of

It

decentralized administration. But before this

could work, the Arif regime collapsed following the Arab defeat

War

with

to prevail militarily,

provided for elections.

in the

1967 Six Day

Israel.*

The incoming Baath regime had pursuing a militar> option. Hence the

peace plan

in

March

also granted the

to consolidate its

new

rulers offered

grasp on power before

Mulla Mustafa a 15-point

1970, providing considerable autonomy for northern Iraq.

Kurds assured representation

in the

It

executive and legislative bodies

of the central government, and pledged the rapid economic development of the

Kurdish region. Moreover,

weapons

this

compact authorized the Kurds

to

keep

their

heaxy

for a four-year u^insitional period.'

The 1970 agreement marked the From this pinnacle, Kurdish fortunes overcame

its

internal divisions

dominant force isolation in the

in Iraq.

high point

in

autonomy won by

the Kurds.

declined precipitously, as the Baath regime

under Saddam Hussein,

who was emerging

At the same time, the Baghdad regime was able

Arab wodd and

year Treaty of Friendship

to strengthen

in April 1972.'

its ties

with

Moscow by

to

as the

end

its

signing a 15-

Whither the Kurds?

209

Meanwhile, Mulla Mustafa could do little to bolster his forces. The shah kept Kurds supplied only enough to take a toll on Iraqi forces, but not to the point of asserting independence. American support, extended at the shah's request, was the

$16 million in military aid, a drop in the bucket in relation to what the Kurds would have required to hold off Iraqi forces and shoot down the advanced warplanes which the USSR had supplied to Baghdad." By 1974 when the Baath regime judged that the time was ripe for a renewed limited to

offensive, the tide of battle quickly turned against Barzani. For the

a fully determined, well-equipped military operation.

unwilling to

commit

Boumediene's

The

resulting

first

March 1975 Baghdad government.'^ Algiers Accord effectively ended

work out

to

supporters fled to Iran.

He

the Barzani insurgency. Facing

Cut off from the outside world, those Kurds

in 1979.

Saddam Hussein Kirkuk

oil field

Baghdad reimposed

then sought to clinch his hold for

tribe

number of

his

then proceeded to Washington for medical treatment,

Iraq surrendered en masse. Within days

thousands of Barzani

was

a comprehensive

a hostile Turkey to the north, Mulla Mustafa, his sons, and a

where he died

time he faced

his Iranian ally

regular forces to the combat. Instead, the shah accepted Hayri

offer of mediation in

settlement with the

And

members

to southern Iraq;

its

all

left in

northern

control.

time.

He

transferred

he had Arabs brought into the

region on the border of the Kurdish area. In addition, a strip along

the Iranian border

was depopulated and

security forces

were beefed up. To dampen

formed a sham "Kurdistan Autonomous Region" in Dohuk, Sulaimaniya provinces, but gave it no decisionmaking authority.'^

opposition, he

1979 and the

Iran's clerical revolution in

start

Irbil,

and

of the Iraq-Iran war the following

year revived Kurdish activity in Iraq. Iran again offered help to the Kurds against

Saddam's regime. This Iranian activism came

down

its

as

Baghdad was seeking

to

draw

security forces in northern Iraq to use in the fight against Iran. In the effort

Saddam Hussein offered the KDP Masoud refused, he turned to Jalal

to assure the loyalty of the Iraqi Kurds, therefore,

concessions.

And when

Barzani's sons Idris and

Talabani and his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party (PUK). This divide-and-rule kept the PUK and the KDP apart, although Saddam Hussein eventually backed away from an accord with either. The Kurdish area in Iraq was only a sideshow in the Iran-Iraq war, but Iran did succeed in occupying some small border strips in the vicinity of Haj Omran during almost all of this war. From this base, the Iranians established continuing contact

tactic

'"*

with the Barzanis and eventually with Jalal Talabani, a collaboration which the

Baath regime would not forgive. In response,

Saddam Hussein launched

the so-called "Operation Anfal" (the

term for Qur'anically permitted spoils of war).

It

involved vigorous efforts to

eliminate opposition by abducting and killing Kurds as well as razing their villages, especially along the Iranian and Turkish borders. After Iran occupied the border

town of Halapja with help from

the local Kurdish population in

used poison gas against the inhabitants.'^

March 1988,

Iraq

2

Global Convulsions

1

The brutality of this attack had lasting effects. It prepared the lcx:al population when such weapons were again used and it reinforced the inclination of the Kurds in Iraq to seek outside protection. Thus when Saddam Hussein launched an all-out assault on the Kurds in August 1988 after the war with Iran was over, again to panic

using poison gas, large numbers of Kurdish civilians and guerrillas were stampeded into flight to Turkey."

International protests against this savagery

were

ineffective during the period

before the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 set off the Gulf War. In the absence of international sanctions,

the

Saddam Hussein saw no reason

demographics of northern Iraq by a second Anfal.

indicate that 50,000

Kurds were

of Baghdad's assault the previous

year.

Iraq's

Kurds

Thus not

had taken advantage of the disruption of

still

reeling

until after the

from the

brutality

Shia of southern Iraq

Iraqi security to revolt in

March 1991

did

supporters of Jalal Talabani began a similar uprising in the

north. Yet because this insurrection

Saddam Hussein was

change

government documents

killed in these operations.'^

The Gulf War of 1990-1991 found

Masoud Barzani and

to stop attempting to

Iraqi

came

after the

Shia revolt was mostly crushed,

able to shift his troops back to the north, where they rapidly

regained control.'^

A new wave of refugees—^perhaps numbering a million and a half—poured out of northern Iraq into adjoining Turkey and

Iran.

The

plight of the

Kurds aroused a

powerful surge of international sympathy as the media publicized the tragic suffering of

women and

situation

children displaced in the mountains. This time the international

was favorable

resolution

for action.

On April

5,

1991, the

specifically the Kurds.

To enforce compliance,

security zone around the

which Iraqi central governmental authority was was imposed from the 36th parallel to the Turkish alleviate

And

some of the

A "no-fly"

where

zone also

Iraqi aircraft

were

was begun

to

suffering of the Kurdish population.'^ this international pressure,

ulars gained control of Sulaimaniya

all

prohibited.

border,

up a

their hinterlands

a relief operation. Provide Comfort, based in Turkey

Taking advantage of

Saddam

his minorities, including

the international coalition set

towns of Zakho, Dohuk, and Amadiya and

in

forbidden.

UN Security Council issued

688 enjoining Saddam Hussein from mistreating

in the south.

And

by July 1991, Kurdish

irreg-

with the onset of winter 1991

Hussein's forces pulled back to more defensible positions, leaving almost

the Kurdish-inhabited area outside of Baghdad's control.

These

lines with

minor

modifications have marked the extent of Saddam's authority ever since. After the Kurdish leaders held unsuccessful negotiations with the Iraqi regime in the spring

of 1991, Baghdad imposed an economic blockade on the north. That

galvanized the

KDP and PUK

to create a popularly elected

the area under their control. Accordingly, in

May

governing authority for

1992 an election was held

in

northern Iraq under universal suffrage in the presence of international observers for a

parliament to provide an additional measure of self-rule for the Kurdish region of Iraq.^'

Whither the Kurds?

211

While many observers had expected the Barzanis to win a majority in this ended up evenly divided between the KDP and Talabani's

election, the delegates

A government

PUK.

drawn from

the

was formed from these two parties under a "prime minister," to avoid a possibly damaging leadership contest, the two

PUK. And

leaders then agreed to share power rather than face a run-off election for president. Even that expedient could not prevent periodic friction from erupting between the two groups.

Formation of

this

government complicated the regional

relations of Iraq's

Kurds. Statements in October 1992 advocating a federated Kurdish state within a

democratic pluralistic Iraq seemed close to a de facto declaration of independence to Turkish

officials. In

gathered in the reiterate their

first

November, the foreign ministers of Turkey, of a series of meetings to condemn

unwavering opposition

this

Iran,

and Syria

announcement and

to Iraq's partition. Nonetheless,

Turkey con-

tinued regularly to extend permission for the Provide Comfort operation from

its

territory.^'

A subsidiary PKK,

problem for the Kurdish front

conducting insurrection. The

PKK

in Iraq involved relations with the

which had since the mid-1980s been

the organization of Kurds in Turkey

had periodically used bases

in northern Iraq to

attack Turkish security forces and village guards in the eastern provinces. That

boosted Turkish fears that autonomy for Iraq's Kurds would stimulate separatist tendencies in Turkey.

To dampen such concern,

the Iraqi Kurdish front

with the Ankara government in 1991, while curtailing

PKK

opened

freedom of

talks

action. In

PKK cut relief supplies for a time to northern Iraq.^ of 1992 relations between the PKK and the Kurdish front in Iraq had deteriorated to the point that the KDP and PUK began military operations against the PKK bases on the Iraqi side of the border with Turkey. Shortly thereafter, the Turkish armed forces moved across the border to hit the PKK bases from the north. That two-pronged attack impelled the PKK forces to surrender to their

response, the

By the late fall

Kurdish confreres and agree

to

go

to

camps near Sulaimaniya, well away from

the

border with Turkey.^

The need

not to appear as a separatist

movement

also

to intensify cooperation in the Iraqi National Congress,

loosely representing Iraqi

Arab and Kurdish opposition

emphasize the pan-Iraqi nature of Iraqi National

Congress

change the regime

in

in

September 1992

to

in northeastern Iraq to concert efforts to

Saddam Hussein

by challenging the exclusion zones

failed, the Iraqis shifted to efforts to scare

to test the resolve

in

UN

January 1993.

caused conditions to deteriorate

privation

was

further

in the

of the

When

UN

coali-

these tactics

and nongovernmental personnel

servicing northern fraq. Moreover, by tightening the existing Iraqis

Saddam Hussein. To

Kurds hosted a meeting of the

Baghdad.^

This activity helped spur tion forces

their activity, the

pushed the Kurds of Iraq an umbrella organization

economic blockade, the

Kurdish enclave

in the north.

Economic

deepened by Baghdad's sudden demonetization of the widely

212

Global Convulsions

May

circulated Iraqi 25-dinar note in

redeem

this currency.

1993, without allowing those in the north to

And Baghdad permanently

cut off electric

summer of 1993.^' Such moves increased Kurdish dependence on

power

to part of the

north in the

time, Iraqi pressure

outside protectors.

dramatized the dangers to the Kurdish enclave

support should be withdrawn, and carried the message that

no means given up Iraqi control

his intention to bring the

Kurds

if

At the same international

Saddam Hussein

in the north

has by

back under direct

whenever circumstances permit

In Turkey

Kurds

in

Turkey faced special problems which assured

relative proportion of the population,

would be

numbers or

easy.

well to begin by observing that the Kurds have been primarily on their

It is

in

that, despite their

no movement for autonomy or independence

own

their quest. Suspicion voiced by Turkish authorities of massive Soviet encour-

agement

for Kurdish dissidence in eastern

Turkey

in the

1970s apparently relied on

PKK's Marxist approach with "communist" foreign powers. While may have been some Soviet involvement, PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan has

associating the there

denied receiving support from

Moscow and

stressed the hostility of the Turkish

Communist party to his movement.^ The only significant international support for Kurds in Turkey has come from Syria. The Damascus government's long-term willingness to allow bases for the

PKK in

territory

one can

tell,

under Syrian control has been a thorn

in

Turkey's side; yet as far as

Ocalan has not been a Syrian puppet, but has maintained a

fair

degree of

independence. The Damascus government has not engaged in training or military supply arrangements of the sort that the Iraqi Kurds received from various Iranian regimes. Unable to procure heavy weapons, Turkey's Kurds have operated as guerrilla bands.

Although the paucity of foreign support played a

were also a major determinant of place, the

than

Ankara

authorities

Baghdad was

for

its

the inability of

were

all

Kurds

part, conditions in

to gain

Turkey

autonomy. In the

first

along a more powerful foe for Turkey's Kurds

Kurdish population. The Turkish government had the

resources to control the large expanses of often difficult terrain where Turkey's

Kurds

lived.

Furthermore, the Ankara regime removed

tribal leaders for

extended

periods of internal exile. Well-known and visible rebels were unable to remain on the

ground inside Turkey. As a

result,

those

who

today are fighting the government lack

a fixed address to receive support from abroad and must stay on the move.

Unlike the Iraqi regime, the Ankara authorities did not face direct international intervention to restrict their freedom of action. Amnest>' International and other

human

rights organizations

have condemned Turkey's handling of

its

Kurdish popu-

Whither the Kurds?

But

lation.

their

organizations jail

those

words have had limited impact. And for decades before such

came on

the scene, the Turkish

suspected of dissidence.

it

As

government had been

free to execute or

a result, each insurrection of the 1920s and

No

1930s was led by a different personality.

Mustafa Barzani

military leader

comparable to Mulla

emerged inside of Turkey.

in Iraq

After the failure of traditionally based rebellion in the

first

two decades of the

Republic, Kurdish dissidence has been focused, not on the tribe with well as weaknesses, but around the loose Marxist ideology of the

PKK

was dedicated direcdy

against tribalism,

Turks. Although that has not stopped the

Kurds

213

it

more of

PKK to gain

strengths as

the

victims were Kurds than

its

from enjoying prestige and support among

in Turkey, this opposition to the traditional

cated the ability of the

its

PKK. Because

power

structure has compli-

a political voice in Turkey's democratic system.

Up to now it has operated more as a terrorist organization than as a political party.^^

A major problem lation,

which worked

for the to

Kurds

in

Turkey was the Kemalist policy of assimi-

deny a separate

identity to Kurds. Intermarriage

persons of Kurdish and Turkish background has been

Turkey's top leaders had Kurdish roots (the

Moreover, the Turkish

political

relatively unassimilated unitary, secular state.

late President

Turgut Ozal, for example).

system in practice offered a share

Kurds as long as they paid

in

power even

lip service to the principle

Thus over a quarter of the deputies

elected officials in the southeast are

between

common; even some of

in Parliament

to

of a

and most

now of Kurdish extraction.

Yet the Turkish republic gave no quarter to Kurdish efforts to gain autonomy or independence. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1919 quietly ordered his followers "to

proceed

in

such a manner as to destroy the possibility of a separatist movement by

the Kurds."

But

order to assure

at the

same

time, he

wooed

the powerful Kurdish tribal leaders in

maximum support for the Turkish

struggle for independence.^

His second-in-command, Ismet Inonu (often thought to have been of Kurdish ancestry because he

was bom

in Malatya),

much

"government of the Kurds just

as

Lausanne Peace Conference

that

as the

spoke of the Ankara regime as the

government of the Turks"

at the

gained international recognition for

1923

modem

Turkey. This assertion, however, was intended to buttress claims to territory around

Mosul inhabited primarily by Kurds and carried no implication that Ankara would countenance autonomy for the Kurds. ^^ Once the Republic was established, the Kemalist regime embarked on secularizing, nationalist

leaders.

revolted in

reforms that appeared to threaten the interests of major Kurdish

was not surprising that the Nakshibandi tribal chief. Sheikh Said, 1925. While Said's insurrection became increasingly tinged with Kurdish

Thus

it

nationalism at the end, his

movement

Turkey. Even though

the

down

it

was

did not attract the majority of the Kurds in

most widespread

revolt that Ataturk faced,

it

was put

in short order.^

Ataturk

moved

equally to quash revolts of Kurdish tribal elements near Mt.

Ararat in 1930 and in Tunceli (previously

known

as

Dersim)

in 1937.

These

insur-

214

Global Convulsions

rections

were limited

to only part of the

Kurdish population, particularly as the

protagonists in Tunceli were the principal Shiite group

among

Sunni Kurds of Turkey. The

failure of this latter effort

ended the

phase of the Kurdish question

in

tribal rebellion

Turkey.

assure that further Kurdish revolts would not occur, the Ankara authorities

To imposed country.

the predominantly

stricter administrative controls

A

was made

consistent effort

over eastern Turkey than to

disarm the

Some Kurdish

stationed throughout this area.

removed from the troubled region. Railway

tribes

lines

and especially

were

in the rest

of the

and gendarmes were

tribes,

their leaders

were

government

built to facilitate

movements on an east-west axis separating the rugged provinces bordering on Iraq from the somewhat more open steppe of the northern tier of the Kurdish region. And the use of Kurdish was prohibited in education or publications. troop

new

After multiparty politics began in 1946, the Kurdish issue took a

Although barred from

measure of

political

were allowed

separatist agitation, tribal leaders

power and patronage by running

where they could defend

major parties vied for the

vote of their constituencies by putting them on their candidate

While

lists

the system could tolerate exploitation of the Kurdish

Labor party

the major parties, the efforts by the Turkish nationalist sentiment

was seen

to

for Parliament.^'

power

structure

to return to

Inonu's Lausanne formulation that Turkey was a country of Turks and Kurds in

program adopted in

mid- 1971;

its

in

November

leaders, both

This brief attempt

by the

terrorist,

on behalf of Kurdish

clandestine operations of the in

1977

in

PKK,

interests

radicalized him.

organized by the Kurdish

Ankara. His feelings of grievance

Soon recognizing

left-wing organization of Kurds,

first

the

power of

ethnicity,

the

intel-

at difficult

at the univer-

he began building a

with intellectuals, but then with activists of a

similar disadvantaged background. Fearing arrest, he

Turkey and by

terms.^-

was succeeded

family experiences in childhood, reinforced by slights as a provincial sity,

its

was summarily closed

Kurds and non-Kurds, were given lengthy jail

at legal activity

Abdullah Ocalan,

lectual,

1970, the Turkish Labor party

by

pander to Kurdish

For the temerity publicly

as a provocation.

assembly

for the national

their local interests. In fact, the

form.

to enjoy a

end of 1979 he fled

to Syria.

He

left

Ankara

for southeastern

has not thus far been able to

return." Starting in 1984, Ocalan sent followers back to

power

structure

Turkey

and Kurds cooperating with the Turkish

state.

to attack the tribal

Some

of these raids

PKK

this violent

camps on Turkey's border with Syria and Iraq. Over time, defiance of Ankara gained a measure of acceptance among Kurds in

Turkey.

part,

were staged from

In

that

may

reflect

handedness. Yet his direction of the suppc:)rters

PKK

whom

PKK

is

against central

government heavy-

autocratic; he has regularly expelled

he believed had crossed him.^

agitation helped

tions, leading to a

were passed

reaction

provoke the Ankara regime to tighten cultural

worsening human

rights

environment for Kurds

further restricting the use of Kurdish in any of

its

in

restric-

Turkey.

varieties.

And

Laws

in April

Whither the Kurds?

215

1990, a decree gave the regional governor of southeast Turkey extraordinary authority to censor the press, exile those

who

"act against the state," control unions,

"^^ and evacuate villages "for security reasons.

These measures aroused deep well as generating a

Europe.

A

wave of

dissatisfaction

among

the Kurds in Turkey as

protest in the burgeoning Kurdish

community

in

group of Kurdish deputies from the Social Democratic Populist party

publicly took part in a Kurdish emigre gathering in Europe in 1989.

When

they were

expelled from that party for attending, they formed the People's Labor party (HEP),

which was tacidy accepted

new body

as a purely Kurdish organization. Recognizing that this

did not meet the criteria to be able to enter national elections in October

HEP's leading members rejoined

1991,

the Social Democratic Populist party.

they gained seats in this way, they returned to their breakaway party

when

government launched large-scale military operations against dissidents

Once new

the

in eastern

Turkey.^ Yet the regime's approach toward the Kurds was becoming ambivalent. In 1991, just while violence was rising in the Kurdish areas of the southeast, steps were

taken to acknowledge Kurdish identity and to ease restrictions on the use of the

Kurdish language

in publications.

And

ship regulations and ended authority

to

in

June 1992, the government

lifted

censor-

ban "potentially disruptive" elements from

the region."

Nonetheless, these steps did not ease the conflict. Although in conjunction with the

March 1993 Nowruz

holidays Ocalan declared a unilateral ceasefire,

a brief respite. After his followers ambushed Turkish troops

Ocalan formally withdrew the "ceasefire"; in

Turkish installations

in

latter activity

Turkey generated

surge of sympathy.

it

gave only

end of May 1993,

month a rash of Kurdish

sit-ins

across Europe signalled an impressively organized chal-

all

lenge there as well. But this travelers in

later that

at the

Toward

and sporadic kidnappings of European

ill-feeling against the

PKK

Europe rather than a

in

amid renewed PKK-inspired incidents

the end of 1993,

Europe, France and Germany took action to ban the PKK.^* Concomitantly, the Turkish government redoubled

PKK

in eastern

Turkey with military

force.

its

That was a

system of village guards organized by the government

efforts to

tacit

combat the

admission that the

in southeast

Turkey

in the

PKK raids had not succeeded. Formed from tradiof the PKK militants, this force had a vested interest in

1980s to protect villages from tional

Kurdish opponents

continuing the battle even

armed

if

the

Ankara government wished

to

move away from

conflict.^^

Resumption of armed

conflict did not

end

efforts at legal activity

by Turkish

Kurds. The People's Labor party, which appeared likely to pass the elective hurdles erected to keep small parties out of Parliament, tutional

Court

in

was banned by

the Turkish Consti-

mid-July 1993 for espousing separatist causes. The successor

Democracy party, to which eighteen Kurdish deputies defected from HEP before it was closed, also ran afoul of the law, being succeeded in turn by the People's

216

Global Convulsions

Democracy

party with a dwindling parliamentary representation.

Thus

legal activity

continued to be compromised, even though newly installed prime minister Tansu Ciller in July 1993

made

clear that she favored lifting prohibitions against state radio

and television broadcasts unwilling to

move

Kurdish.

in

The Turkish Parliament, however, has been

in that direction.""

In Iran Facing an Iranian revolutionary regime that has an extremely

human the

rights

and believes

Kurds of Iran are

that

its

many

in

restrictive

view of

minorities are an integral part of the Iranian nation,

respects further behind their fellows in Turkey and

Iraq in terms of political power. In the first place, geopolitical factors

were not favorable

Their area had few attractive natural resources, seemed of outsiders,

to the

little

Kurds of

and lacked a large or educated population base. Furthermore, the

Kurdish concentration around Kermanshah was Persianized and

As

than other Kurds in Iran.

less revolutionary





efforts to bring

meant

Iran

and

that the

Kurds

in Iraq

paramount leader who could operate for long inside of

the short period

when

unable to gain significant foreign

the Soviet

Union dominated northern

when the Iraqis were at war with Iran did foreign connecEven then foreign help was neither generous nor reliable.

to a lesser degree

tions play a

A

same kind of challenge

that they were, with brief exceptions,

Only during

support.

alone

presented."*'

In addition, the lack of a Iran

let

Tehran to grant the Kurds autonomy. In Iranian

national terms, they could not pose the

and Turkey

largest

a result, only a minority of Iran's Kurds (or less than 5

percent of the total population of the country) actively sympathized with participated in

Iran.

strategic value to

major

serious

their lack

role.

drawback

to

pursuing a military strategy for the Kurds of Iran was

of experienced military commanders. During the

first

half of the twentieth

century that deficiency was camouflaged by the general weakness of the central

government's military apparatus and the wariness of the shahs

many

tribal

confident of besting any or

A

related

Kurdish

to confront

any of the

groups outside the Kurds as well. But by the 1960s the government

problem

all its tribal

lay in the

tribal areas in Iran.

of white collar jobs

in the

exodus of the most talented elements from the

Absence of adequate educational

Kurdish area promoted

these Kurds from those they

left

felt

opponents.

facilities

this outflow.

behind and meant that their

and the lack

That both estranged

skills

were not generally

available for Kurdish causes at home.

Other more mundane considerations also militated against cohesion.

Many

observers have pointed to the strong mutual antipathy of Kurds from the north

toward those of the south. Also political parties that

in Iranian culture, there

was no

tradition

of inclusive

would bring together uibal and deuibalized elements. And

it

Whither the Kurds?

was

more

the

radical elements within the Kurdish

community

in Iran that

organize; the bodies they formed espoused social doctrines that

seemed

217

sought to to violate

mores. That served to estrange party and tribe and thus to keep the Kurdish

tribal

community of Iran divided

in

purpose/^

Taking advantage of the breakdown of central authority

World War, Kurdish

tribes led

briefly as independent lords of the

Mahabad

area near

government reasserted control over the

central

Simko's move quickly collapsed. disarm the

tribes

in Iran after the First

by Ismail Aga Simko managed

By

to set themselves

Lake Urumiyah. But

up

after the

of Persian Azerbaijan in 1922,

rest

1930, Reza Shah even

was able

partially to

.^^

In the interwar period, Tehran attempted no consistent drive as the Turks did to

break up Kurdish

tribal organization.

Although Reza Shah's regime did not permit

Kurdish to be used as the language of education or government,

books

Iranian experience in

it

did allow Kurdish

be printed and Kurdish programs to be broadcast on the radio. Thus, the

to

Turkey

formed a middle way between the absolute denial of Kurdishness

until recent

times and the periodic grants of greater autonomy to Kurds in

Iraq.

With the occupation of Iran by the Soviet Union during the Second World War, Under Moscow's protection,

the situation of the Kurds changed significantly. detribalized

Kurds

in

Mahabad

in

1942 took the

initiative to

organize the Komala, a

local organization dedicated to promoting Kurdish separatism. The following year,

Qazi

Mohammad,

the paramount religious figure of the region, began to agitate for

formal recognition of Kurdish autonomy. Early in 1946, with Soviet help, Qazi

Mohammad proclaimed the Kurdistan Autonomous Republic in Mahabad.'"

A hastily

constructed

state,

based on an uneasy coalition with the local

chiefs and Barzani's Iraqi refugees, this Republic also suffered territorial conflict

from a

tribal

built-in

with the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. The crucial blow to

Mahabad, however, was the withdrawal of Soviet forces

in 1946. In the

absence of a

strong foreign protector, traditional interests reasserted their primacy. Kurdish tribal leaders agitators

were disturbed by the communist orientation of some of the Komala and a coalition of tribal chiefs offered

their

submission to

Tehran.'*^

With the collapse of the Mahaban republic and the execution of Qazi Moham-

mad and

his closest collaborators, the

Mustafa and five hundred followers Kurdish dissidence once and for

Corps of the Iranian army

all,

Komala

the

wing of the Komala party

Democratic party of Iran (KDP-I) modified for Iran's

And hoping

to

end

government stationed the well-armed Third

in the region.

In these circumstances, the

autonomy

party went underground. Mulla

fled to the Soviet Union.

its

that

became

the Kurdish

aims and began to seek merely

Kurds within an Iranian democratic

state.

But conditions

in Iran

KDP-I moved to northern Iraq under Barzani's aegis. That collaboration, though, was disrupted after the shah developed close relations with Mulla Mustafa in the late 1960s. Then except for were so

difficult that after

Qasim took over

in Iraq, the

218

Global Convulsions

agitation

from sanctuaries

Europe and northern

in

Iraq, the

KDP-I became

largely

dormant.^ Conditions of exile fed squabbles within 1964, under Barzani's protection, the party

committee members

tried to set

At

this party.

split.

its

second Congress

Younger and more

up a liberated area

in

radical central

Sardasht region of Iran in

in the

They were soon killed or captured. That opened the way for the Europeaneducated Dr. Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou and a group of supporters to take over party leadership in June 1971. But unable to work from Iraq, the party remained in 1968.

virtual hibernation.''^

when the ground for the KDP-I in Iran was progressively The Tehran regime made significant gains in the Kurdish region as

This was a time deteriorating.

elsewhere by expanding the road system and spreading social services into the rural areas.

Land reform won peasants

to the central

government and weakened

tribal

organization. In this situation, the stringent security measures effectively deprived the Iranian

Kurds of

potential for causing Tehran serious difficulties as long as the

Pahlavis were in power.

The breakdown of renewed

authority in the last days of the shah, however, led to

agitation in the Kurdish areas.

mous Kurdish province

Demands

for the formation of an autono-

out of the three existing Kurdish provinces and a freely

elected assembly began to be heard. There were also signs that the predominantly

Sunni Kurdish population of the north objected to the heavy emphasis on Shiism as the basic rule of law in Tehran.** In this atmosphere, early in

1979 the KDP-I revived. But Abdul Rahman

Ghassemlou, whose leadership of this organization was now unchallenged, was unable to project a clear

the

KDP-I

program of

proposal of

federative or

action.

March

Moreover, the party lacked

28, 1979, for

autonomous regime was

autonomy of

stillborn.

And by

military'

power. Thus

the Kurdish region under a

the spring of 1979, Tehran

was

able to field newly recruited revolutionary guards to retake the urban areas seized by

The Kurdish forces retreated to the hills.'''* The rebellion sputtered on, with neither side able to prevail, despite the linkup of the KDP-I with a number of small leftist organizations which had passed into

the Kurds.

bitter

opposition

to

the

Ghassemlou declared a

clerical

regime. In an effort to break this stalemate.

unilateral cease-fire in

November 1979 and

entered into

negotiations with the Tehran authorities. But he rejected as too limited the offer of

some form of

decentralized administration.

And KDP-I

election of the president in the spring of 1980; at the

same

supporters boycotted the time, they began to seek

contacts across the border with Iraq.*^

The outbreak of the war with Iraq in September 1980 gave the Kurds of Iran Baghdad offered assistance to the Kurds of Iran as a way to strike a blow at the Tehran regime. But this aid appears to have been pro forma as Saddam Hussein seemed wary of the KDP-I. Nonetheless, until 1983. Ghassemlou and his party were able to hold much of the northwest comer of Iran. They also fought off

new

opportunities.

Whither the Kurds?

more

the small,

Komala branch which had

radical

peasants against their

219

resurfaced in 1979 to organize

landowners around Marivan to the south of the main KDP-I

region.^'

After Iran began to score successes in fled to Iraq. In 1985 his party split

its

from the

war against

zation, the National Council of Resistance, led

up camps on remained

been Tehran's

was assassinated

agents in July

by the People's Mojahedin, and

set

from those of the Mojahedin. Ghassemlou

Iraqi soil quite separate

in exile, but

Ghassemlou

Iraq in 1983,

Iranian umbrella exile organi-

leftist

in

Vienna by what clearly seems

to

have

1989 during further negotiations with representatives of

the Iranian regime.^^

The end of the Iran-Iraq war allowed the Tehran government to regain control of But while the KDP-I responded to this setback by insisting that it

all its territory.

sought only autonomy for Kurds within the Iranian

state,

"to topple the clerical regime" as well as to "establish

Those goals were

it

made

clear that

clearly not acceptable to the Rafsanjani regime.

therefore, negotiations with Ghassemlou's successor, in the latter's assassination

it

democracy and national

Not

aimed

rights."

surprisingly,

Sadegh Sharafkandi, also ended

by agents evidently working

for the Iranian state in

September 1992."

With

its

freely with

own Kurds thus

Kurds

forcefully repressed, the Tehran regime

The long-term

in neighboring states.

and Talabanis of Iraq continued wrinkle. Starting in

November

its

was able

to deal

relationship with the Barzanis

on-again, off-again character, but

now

with a

new

1992, Talabani charged the Iranian government with

supporting a rebel Kurdish group bent on disrupting the power balance in northern Iraq and sending agents to conduct sabotage. his relations with Tehran,

At and

the

KDP

same

which he

visited in

Masoud

Barzani, meanwhile, repaired

October 1994.^

time, the question of sanctuary for

PKK militants

fleeing Turkish

forces operating in northern Iraq began to rile Turkish-Iranian relations.

The Turkish

press carried stories that these

PKK

elements were allowed to use

Iranian facilities for safehaven to prepare for eventual return to guerrilla warfare in

Turkey. Although the Iranians and Turks seem to have reached an understanding on this

matter by 1994,

it

remained on

their

agenda

in the mid-1990s.^'

Prospects For Kurdish Separatism

The

taste

of autonomy that the Kurds in Iraq have had in recent years has

encouraged the whole Kurdish people

to

want permanence

in controlling their

own

affairs.

Such permanence can come only with a broadening of democratic procedure

in the

region that they inhabit. Force of arms cannot be the long-range solution.

Neither the Kurds themselves nor outside powers seem likely to be able to compel the collection of central governments with rule. In the first instance their future is

which they must contend

bound up with

to grant self-

the future of authoritarian

220

Global Convulsions

regimes

in Iraq

and

Iran.

It is

that

which provides the

essential uncertainty that

Kurds

face.

Iraq and Iran differ significantly in

always considered likely to

Such

individual,

they treat Kurds. is

The

Iraqi leaders

a strategy which

centrally

on

opposed

as

selective assassination to

violence

collective,

to

is

have

most

keep a protected zone for the Kurds

to

on the other hand, while occasionally raiding across

Iranians,

depend more

border,

how

an option. Yet that

muster international intervention

The

alive.

frontal assault

cow Kurdish

is

the Iraqi

opposition.

more hkely

to

avoid

international intervention of the sort that has protected Kurds in Iraq from Baghdad.

And

it

is

likely to

keep the Kurds of fran off balance and

Yet over the longer run, authoritarianism

is

though not

in line,

probably

doomed

in

Pressures for increasing democratization are clearly rising in the region.

breaks it

is

down and world economic

interests entangle

international norms. That does not guarantee a

does suggest that

in

Baghdad

isolation state,

smooth course away from the use of

against their Kurdish populations.

among

it

has periodically broken

the political factions in fraq.

In Turkey,

Kurds the

on the other hand, a democratic structure

is in

place affording the

opportunit}' to share in the direction of the overall state. In fact, if

Abdullah Ocalan

is

be believed, separation from Turkey

to

While Kurds undoubtedly want more freedom of is

But

time Kurds will be able to gamer greater political and cultural

rights. proN'ided that they stop the internecine fighting that

there

As

even the most recalcitrant

hard to imagine that fran and fraq will be removed permanendy from

force by the regimes in Tehran and

out

satisfied.

both countries.

political

is

not a feasible option.

and cultural expression,

a solid base on which to build. Legal activity should offer the most pro-

mising way ahead. Unfortunately, however, armed action can only slow the process.

use of force

in return,

and dims the prospect

ferent ethnic character of Turkey's

Kurds

that increasing

will lead to positive

It

fosters the

awareness of the developments.

dif-

Some

Turkish politicians recognize that a measure of political accommodation with their

Kurdish population

is

desirable, not only for domestic considerations but also out of

concern to assuage European fears This approach has a long

momentum In

way

that help

to

go

to

keep Turkey out of the European Union.

win the day

in

Ankara, but

as a purely military response to Kurdish dissidence

any event, nothing

ethnic recognition and

is

more

likely to self-rule.

dampen

A

is

the underlying

bound

may

gain

to fail.

demand

for greater

step forward could be to have provincial

governors elected rather than appointed by the central government, an idea once

mooted by President Ozal. Such from

traditional practice

violence persists

decentralization

would represent a major departure

and thus may be unlikely

—though

it



particularly as long as

would probably be a popular move

in

PKK

Turkish majorit\'

areas as well. Fairer distribution of

economic resources

parts of the region inhabited by Kurds.

More

is

a refrain that will be voiced in

investment, better education, and

all

more

Whither the Kurds?

good jobs

are

on the top of the

of demands for the future, as

list

cation of world judicial norms. But mere improvement the

economic

situation is not likely to

will take considerable political further.

And this insistence will

still

advance

is

221

scrupulous appli-

in living conditions

desires for greater political

to satisfy the general

and

in

autonomy;

it

Kurdish desire to go

u