Dignity/history is the quest
History as the Quest for Dignity
While the claim that "All of history is the quest for dignity" is obvious hyperbole, it is true that many transformational events in history were motivated by retaliation or escape from humiliation, preserving honor, or by the pursuit of grandeur. Here are some prominent examples:
The activities of the Khmer Rouge working to eliminate anyone suspected of "involvement in free-market activities"
The many genocides that have taken place throughout history.
The Watergate Scandal leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Perestroika — restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.
The Rwandan genocide.
Read one or more of the papers listed in the references section below. Then study one of the historic events listed above in-depth. Write a paper describing the role of dignity in precipitating, sustaining, or resolving the conflict. Identify the insult, humiliation, shame, or anger driving the event and the trespass that caused them. If you prefer, choose a significant historic event not listed above to write about. Consider contributing your paper to enhance the materials for this course.
- Humiliation, Killing, War, and Gender, by Evelin Lindner