it's amazing that when people discuss genocide, as in daniel goldhagen's new book (at least as it's represented in the review; i intend to read it), or in the alternative views mentioned in the review ('“Mobilizing the Will to Intervene,” a study by leading Canadian and American figures, identifies “poverty and inequality, population growth and the ‘youth bulge,’ ethnic nationalism and climate change” [climate change!] as the chief “drivers of deadly violence”'), they ignore the breathtakingly obvious. all of the events mentioned are the acts of states. states possess the resources (derived from coercive taxation and weaponry) to be effectively irresistible when they turn to mass slaughter. we are all potentially their victims throughout our lives.
really, this blindness to what is jumping up and down right in front of you waving its arms and screaming is a testimony to what our era really is: we cannot imagine life without the state; we cannot imagine our own lives except as nurtured, controlled, or subject to the extermination by the state. it has to be . . . what we want, who we most deeply are. it could extinguish the whole planet and the omega man would still be trying to blame the whole thing on...whatever: climate change, the youth bulge. the yout bulge? he'd be in despair because there was no one left to be subordinated by.
correction: actually, goldhagen evidently mentions 9.11/alqaeda. ok not a state. other "eliminationist" disasters mentioned in the review: the holocaust, rwanda, stalin. mao, colonial kenya and guatamala, sudan, srebrinica.