…”My thinking on this is inspired by a recent book by eminent sociologist Stanley Cohen, States of Denial: Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering (Polity Press, 2001). Cohen systematically analyses processes of denial by both individuals and governments. The book is impressive in its scope and insight. I can only introduce a few ideas from it here.
Cohen describes five methods of denial.
1. Deny responsibility: “I don’t know a thing about it.”
2. Deny injury: “It didn’t really cause any harm.”
3. Deny the victim: “They had it coming to them.”
4. Condemn the condemner: “They’re corrupt hypocrites.”
5. Appeal to higher loyalties: “I owe it to my mates.”…
Full text available in the following URL: http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/02whistle07.html
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