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The word ‘genocide’ has not been in existence for very long: it was coined by the jurist Lemkin between the two world wars. The thing is as old as mankind and so far no society has existed whose structure has prevented it from committing this crime. In any case, genocide is a product of history and it bears the mark of the society from which it comes. The example which we are to consider is the work of the greatest capitalist power in the present-day world: it is as such that we must try and examine it—in other words, in so far as it expresses both the economic infrastructure of this power, its political aims and the contradictions of the present set of circumstances.
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