A Lexicon Of Terror By Elaine Scarry Essay

1451 Words Feb 19th, 2015 6 Pages
Human Rights
Violations of human rights are a common feature in forced rule. In the book A Lexicon of Terror, the author shows the methods used to create to empower the illegitimate leaderships and suppress their opposition. The book also proceeds to show how in these regimes, violations of human rights are used to strengthen the governments. This paper will show the methods used by dictatorships to strengthen their rule and undermine opposition.
In the “The Structure of Torture”, Elaine Scarry proposes that torture is used in unstable and contestable rules. Torture is a form of abuse of human rights. However, on its own, it is not sufficient to inspire people to follow a dictator because it is technically impossible to torture the entire population. However, she also proposes that demonstration of the instruments of terror is often a sufficient torture method (Scarry, 1985). Though the real acts of torture involves infliction of pain, a physical act, and a verbal act in the form of interrogation, she shows that showing instruments of terror to the victims is a form of torture. For this reason, there were many forms of torture used in Argentina, such as the demonstration of the raw ability of the government (Scarry, 1985). The following are the methods used to strengthen the Argentine dictatorship as outline in ‘A Lexicon of Terror’.

Use mystery in the action and intentions of the regime

Mystery is a common feature in dictatorships. For example, in the movie ‘Death and the…

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