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Hiding in Full View: The “Forgotten” Bushman Genocides of Namibia
Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines the Bushman genocide of 1912–1915 which, despite overwhelming evidence of its having occurred, has been largely ignored by both scholars and the local population. It invokes the Durkheimian distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions. Necessary conditions are akin to Marxian notions of “primitive accumulation” or Weberian “booty capitalism,” but in addition, the author emphasizes the demographics of the settlers, largely (aspiring) middle-class single men, and suggests that notions of the Rechtsstaat—code-based rather than case-based rule of law—represented an important, if not distinctive, sufficient condition in facilitating genocide, especially in tandem with the legitimation activities of turn-of-the-century scholars. The article concludes with a brief examination of the “bureaucratization” thesis.