Ideology in Cambodia and French Revolution

Ideology in - Reaction How do you assess the role of ideology in the cases of the French Revolution and the Cambodian genocide Any case of genocide

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Reaction: How do you assess the role of ideology in the cases of the French Revolution and the Cambodian genocide? Any case of genocide involves a certain amount of ideology. While it seems all too convenient, too obvious, any leader willing to carry out a purge of a group of people must, psychologically speaking, reinforce his actions with his values. It is certainly not an excuse that he has found a way to resolve his internal cognitive dissonance, but it is important to remember that a cause is easier to defend and mobilize when one has a higher purpose in mind. This carries over to the state. While a nation is not a sentient being and the diffuse power inherent in any nation allows it to avoid having to coherently justify its actions, the principle carries over. It is easier to marshal forces for a common ideological goal than for an abstract idea. Rallying troops (militaristic or otherwise) is much simpler when one can mask telling them the “master plan” as it were by telling them instead that they are working for the greater good. This is evident in the quintessential example of the Third Reich, as well as in the more specific and debatable
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This essay was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course HIST 150W taught by Professor Frusetta during the Fall '07 term at William & Mary.

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