Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Cross Cultural Analyses Encounters with “The Other”: A History and Possibilities

Encounters with “The Other”: A History and Possibilities

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Catastrophes: Power without Love

1. Sacred missions
Catastrophes are clothed (justified) as sacred missions.
* A perceived sense of long-standing injustice erupts in revenge, resulting in the wholesale slaughter of the perceived oppressors.
* The beliefs, practices, rites and rituals of the “other” are experienced as violating the sacred beliefs, practices, and rituals of the host culture.
* The very existence of the “other” in the territory held sacred by the host culture is experienced as a contaminating influence resulting in the slaughter and expulsion of the “other.”
* The host culture develops a new social or political ideology, and the behavior of the “others” is seen as blocking the implementation of that ideology, resulting in the re-education, massacre, or expulsion of the “other.”

2. Demagogues
Demagogues play a major role in inflaming catastrophes,
mobilizing the forces for rejection
by offering a near irresistible appeal:
Purity,
the sacredness of their cause,
the sacredness of the culture they choose to protect and purify,
the superiority – moral, spiritual, physical –
of those who join them in purifying the culture,
the inferiority – moral, spiritual, physical – of the “other”.
The sacred mission is to purify the culture by dominating,
if not eliminating the “other”
and eliminating those who support the “other”.

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