chapter  4
8 Pages

Neutrality as Betrayal

This chapter focuses on social forces circumscribing such middle-of-the-roaders. It discusses some forms of neutrality or positions in the middle that risk being identified with betrayal and compares to one, the mediator, that does not. Roles or positions that mean that one does not take a stance of unequivocal loyalty during a conflict to one's group are liable to be interpreted as betrayal. The mediator, according to G. Simmel, becomes the whole group's representative and puts the collective interests above the private ones. Furthermore, as opposed to those who refuse to take part in the conflict because it seems irrelevant for them, the mediator does care about the conflict. Neutrals of convenience also differ from mediators in that they are neutrals as a defense strategy while being thought of as really belonging to one of the parties. Collaborators exist furthermore in a position of subordination while the mediator is seen as being an independent actor.