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Word Count: 999
Alterity can be a powerful and unifying concept serving to bring people together passionately towards a common goal It has a far reaching effect in any scope or scale from amalgamating warring local houses and tribes as in 11th Century France to coalescing adversative countries as in the Russian-American alliance during World War II This essay will track the notion of alterity throughout history starting with how it was used in The Song of Roland and contain discussion regarding alteritys raison dtre efficacy consequences and outcomes Alterity often occurs when a group of people believes dogmatically that they are correct in their beliefs thus making everyone else who does not believe exactly what they do incorrect Non-believers are referred to as the Other a demeaning and debasing view that serves to empower the potential oppressors In 10th and 11th Century France habitually feuding lords united under the Catholic Churchs cause of expanding Christendom only to be content with the entire world united under God As seen in Laisse 266 of The Song of Roland If there is one who now refuses Charles he has that man struck deadand they baptized more than a hundred thousand true Christians all it is clear that total extermination of the Other anyone not living under Christianity is the ultimate goal of Frances medieval society Pagans as they were referred to in The Song of Roland were not considered as equals but instead described as parasites heathens and vile creatures To the medieval French this mindset made a war to exterminate the Pagans appear logically and ethically inevitable In the case of the French during the First Crusades disposing of these lesser persons also brought them a higher pleasure Eliminating heathens was believed to please God which would in turn bring unto Christian Crusaders salvation in the afterlifethe most coveted goal in medieval civilization The idea of alterity does not stop with 7th and 11th Century French as shown
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