How Dehumanization Works

Denizens of certain social media platforms might take note of rather virulent textual conflict between members of organizations that define themselves as fraternal — which might seem a conceptual contradiction. Some of the socio-psychological engines powering such behavior are examined in this review of several books that explore the roots and utility of various strategies of dehumanization including enslavement, genocide and online bullying (quite the spectrum, eh?)

Might be worth a read, all though I’d suggest that as record producer T-Bone Burnette once said to me about the Christians’ Golden Rule: “It’s a beautiful thing to apply to yourself but once you use it to point the finger at others you go astray” (if I recall correctly).

Here’s an excerpt:

“As the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss noted, ‘humankind ceases at the border of the tribe, of the linguistic group, even sometimes of the village.’ Today, the phenomenon seems inescapable. Google your favorite despised human group—Jews, blacks, Arabs, gays, and so on—along with words like “’ermin,’ ‘roaches,’ or ‘animals,’ and it will all come spilling out. Some of this rhetoric is seen as inappropriate for mainstream discourse. But wait long enough and you’ll hear the word ‘animals’ used even by respectable people, referring to terrorists, or to Israelis or Palestinians, or to undocumented immigrants, or to deporters of undocumented immigrants. Such rhetoric shows up in the speech of white supremacists—but also when the rest of us talk about white supremacists.”

Read the whole jawn here:

Now I’m going listen to some P-Theory on Spotify!

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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