I have indicated my skepticism about the very idea of a theory
of evil, if this is understood as a complete account of what evil
is. I do not think that such a theory is possible, because we can-
not anticipate what new forms of evil or vicissitudes of evil will
During the war in Bosnia, home after home was burned. Gunners methodically shelled from the hills house after house along streets in villages, towns, and cities. Traveling through the countryside of Bosnia after the war, one still sees how immense this devastation is. Burnedout frames of homes dot the hills. Empty shells of houses are found in every locale.
Why was the violence brought to bear in this particular way against the people of Bosnia? Consider the significance of the home as recounted by the cultural anthropologist, Tone Bringa:
It often took ten to twenty years to finish a modern house. Only
when we realize the amount and length of the hard work and ef-
fort which families have invested in the building of their house
(and home), can we fully understand the tragedy of the systematic
Portions of the chapter were presented as “Reflections on War as Sociocide” at the Croatian Sociological Association Meeting, December 2002, Zagreb, Croatia.