Saturday, August 28, 2010

On Paternalism, Murder, and Genocide

Most people don't think of paternalism and murder as compatible. The same could be said for paternalism and genocide. The fact of the matter is that there's nothing incompatible about the concepts.

Paternalism is an attitude. Murder and genocide are actions. They're completely different things.

To commit paternalistic murder, all you have to do is to kill someone because you believe they're better off dead -- to kill them "for their own good". To commit paternalistic genocide, you simply have to generalize this to a demographic group.

It's a sad commentary on the state of things in the world of disability that we have to seriously worry about this intersection.

1 comment:

  1. And an attitude fits right inside the action, like glove and hand.

    Alice Miller wrote a book called FOR YOUR OWN GOOD which talked about the attitudes and actions of abuse.

    And it's not such a leap! It's like a slow train.