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Συντάχθηκε απο τον/την Χρήστος Μπούμπουλης (Christos Boumpoulis)   
Τετάρτη, 20 Δεκέμβριος 2017 19:27

Unilateralism, Scapegoating and Human Rights



Unilateralism is any doctrine or agenda that supports one-sided action. Such action may be in disregard for other parties, or as an expression of a commitment toward a direction which other parties may find agreeable. Unilateralism is aneologism which is already in common use; it was coined to be an antonym formultilateralism, which is the doctrine which asserts the benefits of participation from as many parties as possible.

The two terms together can refer to differences in foreign policy approached to international problems. When agreement by multiple parties is absolutely required—for example, in the context of international trade policies—bilateral agreements (involving two participants at a time) are usually preferred by proponents of unilateralism.

Unilateralism may be preferred in those instances when it's assumed to be the most efficient, i.e., in issues that can be solved without cooperation. However, a government may also have a principal preference for unilateralism or multilateralism, and, for instance, strive to avoid policies that cannot be realized unilaterally or alternatively to champion multilateral solutions to problems that could well have been solved unilaterally.

Typically, governments may argue that their ultimate or middle-term goals are served by a strengthening of multilateral schemes and institutions, as was many times the case during the period of the Concert of Europe.

Unilateralism by country

United States

Unilateralism has had a long history in the United States. In his famous and influential Farewell Address, George Washington warned that the United States should "steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world". Many years later, this approach was labeled (by its opponents) as "isolationism", but some historians of U.S. diplomacy have long argued that "isolationism" is a misnomer, and that U.S. foreign policy, beginning with Washington, has traditionally been driven by unilateralism. Recent works that have made this argument include Walter A. McDougall's Promised Land, Crusader State (1997),John Lewis Gaddis's Surprise, Security, and the American Experience (2004), and Bradley F. Podliska's Acting Alone (2010).

Debates about unilateralism came up with the Iraq War. While over 30 countries have supported the U.S. policy, some previous American allies, such as France,Germany and Turkey, were not participating. Many opponents of the war have argued that the United States was "going in alone" in Iraq without the support of multilateral institutions—in this case NATO and the United Nations.

Advocates of U.S. unilateralism argue that other countries should not have "veto power" over matters of U.S. national security. Presidential Candidate John Kerry received heavy political heat after saying, during a presidential debate, that American national security actions must pass a "global test". This was interpreted by Kerry opponents as a proposal to submit U.S. foreign policy to approval by other countries. Proponents of U.S. unilateralism generally believe that a multilateral institution, such as the United Nations, is morally suspect because, they argue, it treats non-democratic, and even despotic, regimes as being as legitimate as democratic countries. Proponents also point out that the unilateralist policy of having the United States control Japan after World War II was more of a success than multilateral policies such as those used in post-war Germany. Japan took only 5 years before adopting its constitution while Germany was divided into West Germany and East Germany for 45 years and was controlled by the United States, France, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union before being reunited, although Japan, unlike Germany, was not center-stage during the early stages of the Cold War.

Critics of American unilateralism point to the ethical implications of engaging in armed conflicts that may inevitably draw in combatants from other nations, as well as the undermining of the international ability to protect small nations from aggressors. Unilateralism, it is argued, can be considered nothing more than a positively sold version of the very actions that would earn other states the title of aggressor or rogue nation. Opponents of unilateralism say it rejects the essential interwoven nature of modern global politics and perhaps underestimates the extent to which a conflict in one country can affect civilians in others.

Proponents of multilateralism argue that it would provide a country with greater resources, both militarily and economically, and would help in defraying the cost of military action. However, with divided responsibility inevitably comes divided authority, and thus (in theory at least) slower military reaction times and the demand that troops follow commanders from other nations. Multilateralists argue that co-operation strengthens the bonds between nations and peoples, paints the U.S. in a more responsible and respected light, and reduces the risk of wildfire conflicts by increasing the size and unity of the enemy such a rogue nation would face.




Scapegoating (from the verb "to scapegoat") is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame as a scapegoat. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals (e.g. "he did it, not me!"), individuals against groups (e.g., "I couldn't see anything because of all the tall people"), groups against individuals (e.g., "Jane was the reason our team didn't win"), and groups against groups.

A scapegoat may be an adult, child, sibling, employee, peer, ethnic, political or religious group, or country. A whipping boy, identified patient or "fall guy" are forms of scapegoat.

At the individual level

A medical definition of scapegoating is:

"Process in which the mechanisms of projection or displacement are utilized in focusing feelings of aggression, hostility, frustration, etc., upon another individual or group; the amount of blame being unwarranted."

Scapegoating is a tactic often employed to characterize an entire group of individuals according to the unethical or immoral conduct of a small number of individuals belonging to that group. Scapegoating relates to guilt by associationand stereotyping.

Scapegoated groups throughout history have included almost every imaginable group of people: genders, religions, people of different races, nations, or sexual orientations, people with different political beliefs, or people differing in behaviour from the majority. However, scapegoating may also be applied to organizations, such as governments, corporations, or various political groups.


Unwanted thoughts and feelings can be unconsciously projected onto another who becomes a scapegoat for one's own problems. This concept can be extended to projection by groups. In this case the chosen individual, or group, becomes the scapegoat for the group's problems. "Political agitation in all countries is full of such projections, just as much as the backyard gossip of little groups and individuals." Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung considered indeed that "there must be some people who behave in the wrong way; they act as scapegoats and objects of interest for the normal ones".

At the group level

The scapegoat theory of intergroup conflict provides an explanation for the correlation between times of relative economic despair and increases in prejudice and violence toward outgroups. Studies of anti-black violence (racist violence) in the southern United States between 1882 and 1930 show a correlation between poor economic conditions and outbreaks of violence (e.g., lynchings) against blacks. The correlation between the price of cotton (the principal product of the area at that time) and the number of lynchings of black men by whites ranged from -0.63 to -0.72, suggesting that a poor economy induced white people to take out their frustrations by attacking an outgroup.

Scapegoating as a group necessitates that ingroup members settle on one specific target to blame for their problems.[7] Scapegoating is also more likely to appear when a group has experienced difficult, prolonged negative experiences (as opposed to minor annoyances). When negative conditions frustrate a group's attempts at successful acquisition of its most essential needs (e.g., food, shelter), groups develop a compelling, shared ideology that - when combined with social and political pressures - may lead to the most extreme form of scapegoating:genocide.

Scapegoating can also cause oppressed groups to lash out at other oppressed groups. Even when injustices are committed against a minority group by the majority group, minorities sometimes lash out against a different minority group in lieu of confronting the more powerful majority.

In management: Scapegoating is a known practice in management where a lower staff employee is blamed for the mistakes of senior executives. This is often due to lack of accountability in upper management.[8]

The "scapegoat mechanism" in philosophical anthropology

Literary critic and philosopher Kenneth Burke first coined and described the expression "scapegoat mechanism" in his books Permanence and Change (1935),[9] and A Grammar of Motives (1945).[10] These works influenced some philosophical anthropologists, such as Ernest Becker and René Girard. Girard developed the concept much more extensively as an interpretation of human culture. In Girard's view, it is humankind, not God, who has need for various forms of atoning violence. Humans are driven by desire for that which another has or wants (mimetic desire). This causes a triangulation of desire and results in conflict between the desiring parties. This mimetic contagion increases to a point where society is at risk; it is at this point that the scapegoat mechanism is triggered. This is the point where one person is singled out as the cause of the trouble and is expelled or killed by the group. This person is the scapegoat. Social order is restored as people are contented that they have solved the cause of their problems by removing the scapegoated individual, and the cycle begins again. The keyword here is "content". Scapegoating serves as a psychological relief for a group of people. Girard contends that this is what happened in the narrative of Jesus of Nazareth, the central figure in Christianity. The difference between the scapegoating of Jesus and others, Girard believes, is that in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, he is shown to be an innocent victim; humanity is thus made aware of its violent tendencies and the cycle is broken. Thus Girard's work is significant as a reconstruction of the Christus Victoratonement theory.



Human rights

Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights "to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being", and which are "inherent in all human beings" regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others, and it is generally considered that they should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances; for example, human rights may include freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture and execution.

The doctrine of human rights has been highly influential within international law, global and regional institutions. Actions by states and non-governmental organisations form a basis of public policy worldwide. The idea of human rights suggests that "if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of human rights". The strong claims made by the doctrine of human rights continue to provoke considerable scepticism and debates about the content, nature and justifications of human rights to this day. The precise meaning of the term right is controversial and is the subject of continued philosophical debate; while there is consensus that human rights encompasses a wide variety of rights such as the right to a fair trial, protection against enslavement, prohibition of genocide, free speech, or a right to education, there is disagreement about which of these particular rights should be included within the general framework of human rights; some thinkers suggest that human rights should be a minimum requirement to avoid the worst-case abuses, while others see it as a higher standard.

Many of the basic ideas that animated the human rights movement developed in the aftermath of the Second World War and the events of the Holocaust, culminating in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Ancient peoples did not have the same modern-day conception of universal human rights. The true forerunner of human rights discourse was the concept of natural rights which appeared as part of the medieval natural law tradition that became prominent during the European Enlightenment with such philosophers as John Locke,Francis Hutcheson and Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, and which featured prominently in the political discourse of the American Revolution and the French Revolution. From this foundation, the modern human rights arguments emerged over the latter half of the 20th century, possibly as a reaction to slavery, torture, genocide and war crimes, as a realization of inherent human vulnerability and as being a precondition for the possibility of a just society.

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world ...
1st sentence of the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)




An armistice is a formal agreement of warring parties to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, since it may constitute only a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace. It is derived from the Latin arma, meaning "arms" (as in weapons) and -stitium, meaning "a stopping".[1]

The United Nations Security Council often imposes, or tries to impose, cease-fire resolutions on parties in modern conflicts. Armistices are always negotiated between the parties themselves and are thus generally seen as more binding than non-mandatory UN cease-fire resolutions in modern international law.

An armistice is a modus vivendi and is not the same as a peace treaty, which may take months or even years to agree on. The 1953 Korean War Armistice Agreement is a major example of an armistice which has not been followed by a peace treaty. Armistice is also different from a truce or ceasefire, which refer to a temporary cessation of hostilities for an agreed limited time or within a limited area. A truce may be needed in order to negotiate an armistice.



Rogue state

Rogue state is a controversial term applied by some international theorists to states they consider threatening to the world's peace. This means being seen to meet certain criteria, such as being ruled by authoritarian governments that severely restrict human rights, sponsoring terrorism and seeking to proliferate weapons of mass destruction. The term is used most by the United States (though the US State Department officially stopped using the term in 2000), and in a speech to the UN in 2017, President Donald Trumpreiterated the phrase. However, it has been applied by other countries as well.

Rogue states can also be differentiated from so-called "pariah states", such as Belarus and Zimbabwe, who are said by some organisations to abuse the human rights of their populations while not being considered a tangible threat beyond their own borders, although the terms have been used interchangeably.

Both Noam Chomsky and William Blum have used the term in the title of their respective books to categorise the United States as the biggest rogue state in the world and thereby highlight the irony and hypocrisy implicit in the use of the term by the United States.




The unilateral and unprovoked, violations of the Human Rights, on behalf of certain Nations, against innocent and legitimate members of other Nations, may be considered neither as a actual conflict nor as an actual war, of any kind, between, the perpetrators and the victims of those, Human Rights', violations.

The legitimate and nonviolent self-defense against those, Human Rights', violations, on behalf of their corresponding victims, may be considered as participation, to neither an actual war nor to an actual conflict, of any kind.

An armistice has a meaning, exclusively when there is, either, an ongoing, actual war, or, an ongoing, actual conflict. The act of, committing an actual crime, on behalf of a perpetrator and against a victim, does constitute, neither, an actual conflict, nor, an actual war, of any kind.

The rogue states, systematically, violate the other Nations members' Human Rights. For doing so, they employ, mostly, irreversible, illegitimate methods like, the “Ritchie Boys”, the “Mad Dogs”, the “Imperialistic Hyenas”, etc. Those methods are irreversible because they materialize the “holographic” principle of mentality, namely, they embody autonomous and decentralized forms of decision making and for this reason it is nearly impossible for those methods to become retracting after they have been unleashed.

The international relationships demand some kind of “plausible deniability” on behalf the rogue Nations and in order for them to survive as “States” themselves.

From what it seems, the rogue States of our era actively believe that one effective way for escaping their own accountability, for defying the Human Rights of innocent and legitimate, foreign citizens, is by scapegoating, the victims of those violations, through slandering them as, either, false “aggressors”, or, as false conductors of imaginary/false/inexistent “warfares”.

The normalization of the current, turbulent international relationships, according to my opinion, may become accomplished, exclusively, by the joined, creative efforts of Germany and Greece, provided that, the rest of the Nations shall, verbally and promptly, request such an international mediation.

Being a rogue State is, by itself, devastating to the collective moral capital of the States of that kind.

Being a rogue State and simultaneously, scapegoating the, of that kind States', innocent and legitimate victims, is a combination that, literary, “evaporates” any, of the rogue States, moral capital's leftovers.

Is there anyone who might believe that, one, who may has consumed his entire moral capital, but who may also, wear expensive clothes; stay in wealthy houses; drive expensive cars; remain the beneficiary of bank accounts with large monetary values; enjoy strong political power, etc., is still able to manifest, those fundamental traits of the human beings which are the defining differences, with the rest of the animal kingdom?


Christos Boumpoulis



P.S.: From what is seems, the only real and present warfare is the one between, the colonialists against, literary, the prudence, herself. May, prudence, wins, as soon, as possible.