Or, can we arbitrarily de-humanize whole classes of human beings for reasons of political expediency or in the name of “rights”?
It appears that in a de facto sense our humanity is dependent upon the consensus of those around us. If any of us are deemed less than human, our rights will be violated.
Once dehumanized, individuals can be and have been (and are currently being) starved, beaten, robbed, raped, exiled, deported, terrorized and murdered.
By dehumanizing the victims, we gag our consciences. We look away and do not act to oppose injustice, even when the injustice truly is an outrage. Our silence, our inaction becomes complicity.
This is one means by which the strong (often the majority), oppress the weak, the minority, the voiceless, the defenseless.
Individuals, groups, movements, and governments have dehumanized those groups of humans seen as obstacles to their program, to their agenda.
Do we need to cite examples?
When humans are enslaved, they are classified as property, not as fully human.
When humans are starved and worked to death by totalitarian dictators (as in the former USSR under Stalin, and with Hitler’s Germany), they are called “counter-revolutionaries” or “reactionary” and become less than human to their oppressors.
When genocides are perpetrated, the victims of wholesale, large-scale murder are not thought of as being fully human.
When violent Muslims attack and murder and maim their victims, these are labelled “infidel” and are treated worse than animals by the aggressors. (We also see a contempt for the lives of the Palestinians by the Israeli government over the past several decades.)
When humans (at an early stage of their development and growth) are ripped from their mothers’ wombs each and every day, they are labelled as “clumps of tissue” or termed the “abortus”. (Abortion is the sacrament of radical feminism.)
We see that nomenclature can be and is used in the process of dehumanizing groups of humans.
Beware all those whose self interest requires others to be thought of as less than human.
Beware the Left, which can never bring about a paradisal condition but, as history shows, will kill those seen as obstacles to its program of revolutionary change. Beware the fanatics of religion who use violence to try to remake the world, or bring about its end.
Does this need to be more “nuanced”?!
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