The power of culture : how regimes legitimate human rights violations
Donovan, Christine Lynn
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‘The power of culture: how regimes legitimate human rights violations’ presents culture as an integral component of the comprehensive political/economic/military programs of oppressive state regimes and should therefore be considered a hard tool for power. The cultural policies of oppressive regimes like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Chile under Pinochet, are characterized by meticulous control of institutions and cultural output as well as the indoctrination of the masses for the achievement of hegemonic nationalist ideologies that legitimate human rights violations. Surprising likeness to the model established by oppressive state regimes is embodied by the contemporary regime of neo-liberalism, which also harnesses the power of culture to legitimate human rights violations. The above arguments are made based on literary sources that describe cultural programs in the relevant regimes, citations of human rights violations perpetrated by said regimes and through interpretation by way of anthropological theoretical-analytical texts and concepts.