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Classicide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of a social class through persecution and violence.[1][2] The term "classicide" was termed by sociologist Michael Mann as a term that is similar but distinct from the term genocide.[1]

Instances of Classicide[edit]


Classicide of lower classes[edit]

In contrast to Michael Mann, Garry Leech has referred to the disenfranchisement of the working class by the upper class as a type of "structural classicide," in addition to the lethal deprivation of resources to the lower classes for the sake of economic ends. [3]

Connection with genocide[edit]

Mann has also argued that genocide is often in overlap with classicide as most racial hierarchies in his view are also class hierarchies pointing to the Hutu and Tutsi genocides as an example.[4] Some wider genocide definitions used by some academics would include classicide as a form of genocide rather than classify it as a separate type of killing.

Legal status[edit]

Socio-economic classes are not a protected group in the U.N. genocide convention. However some definitions of genocide under municipal laws of individual nations would include victims of classicide as victims of genocide as well. Classicide is essentially class extermination, and since the war crimes trials for the case of former Yugoslavia recognized extermination as a Crime against humanity; then classicide could be considered a Crime Against Humanity as it is an act of extermination. The Khmer Rouge Tribunal for the case of the Cambodian genocide (Which Mann considers a classicide) found many of the perpetrators guilty of Crimes against humanity. Michael Mann also refers to the crimes of communist regimes which he indicts for classicides as Crimes Against Humanity.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Martin Shaw. What Is Genocide? Cambridge, England, UK; Malden, Massachusetts, USA: Polity Press, 2007. Pp. 72.
  2. ^ Jacques Semelin, Stanley (INT) Hoffman. Purify and Destroy: The Political Uses of Massacre and Genocide. New York, New York, USA: Columbia University Press, 2007. Pp. 37.
  3. ^ Capitalism:A Structural Genocide Garry Leech
  4. ^ Genocidal crimes Alex Alvarez
  5. ^ Semelin (2009) Purify and Destroy p.344