Monday, January 9, 2012

We human beings have a remarkable ability to DEHUMANIZE one another: to conceive of one another as SUBHUMAN creatures, and to treat them accordingly… In dehumanizing others, we EXCLUDE them from the circle of MORAL OBLIGATION. - David Livingstone Smith – December 2, 2011

Psychology of Violence - David Livingstone Smith
Forbes – June 15, 2020

We have seen even ordinary people committing horrific violence by thinking of victims as less than human. We can't ignore dehumanization any more.

…We dehumanize our fellow human beings when we convince ourselves (or allow ourselves to be convinced) that they are less than human and come to believe that, although these people appear to be human beings like us, this is merely a façade. Beneath the surface they are really subhuman creatures, fit to be hunted down and destroyed. The immense destructive power of dehumanization lies in the fact that it excludes its victims from the universe of moral obligation, so killing them is of no greater consequence swatting a mosquito, or poisoning a rat. If dehumanization is a key factor in war and genocide, we ought to be working very hard to prevent it.
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'Less Than Human' - by David Livingstone Smith

Before I get to work explaining how dehumanization works, I want to make a preliminary case for its importance. So, to get the ball rolling, I'll briefly discuss the role that dehumanization played in what is rightfully considered the single most destructive event in human history: the Second World War. More than seventy million people died in the war, most of them civilians. Millions died in combat. Many were burned alive by incendiary bombs and, in the end, nuclear weapons. Millions more were victims of systematic genocide. Dehumanization made much of this carnage possible…

What is it that enables one group of human beings to treat another group as though they were subhuman creatures?

…A rough answer isn't hard to come by. Thinking sets the agenda for action, and thinking of humans as less than human paves the way for atrocity. The Nazis were explicit about the status of their victims. They were Untermenschen — subhumans — and as such were excluded from the system of moral rights and obligations that bind humankind together. It's wrong to kill a person, but permissible to exterminate a rat. To the Nazis, all the Jews, Gypsies and others were rats: dangerous, disease-carrying rats…

Dehumanizing the enemy allowed German soldiers and officers to agree with the Nazis' new vision of warfare, and to fight without granting the Soviets any mercy or quarter."

…The Holocaust is the most thoroughly documented example of the ravages of dehumanization. Its hideousness strains the limits of imagination. And yet, focusing on it can be strangely comforting. It's all too easy to imagine that the Third Reich was a bizarre aberration, a kind of mass insanity instigated by a small group of deranged ideologues who conspired to seize political power and bend a nation to their will. Alternatively, it's tempting to imagine that the Germans were (or are) a uniquely cruel and bloodthirsty people. But these diagnoses are dangerously wrong. What's most disturbing about the Nazi phenomenon is not that the Nazis were madmen or monsters. It's that they were ordinary human beings
NPR book review:

'Less Than Human': The Psychology Of Cruelty

David Livingstone Smith
University of New England
Department of Philosophy
My research is focused on the biological roots of human nature, particularly with respect to deception, self-deception, war and dehumanization.
Read more:

Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others – by David Livingstone Smith, (St. Martin’s Press, March 2011)
Book reviews:

Dehumanization, Genocide, and the Psychology of Indifference

Understanding the psychology of dehumanization.
by David Livingstone Smith – Psychology Today – December 2, 2011

The Lucifer Effect - by Philip Zimbardo

D e h u m a n i z a t i o n

Educational Propaganda

At the core of evil is the process of dehumanization by which certain other people or collectives of them, are depicted as less than human, as non comparable in humanity or personal dignity to those who do the labeling. Prejudice employs negative stereotypes in images or verbally abusive terms to demean and degrade the objects of its narrow view of superiority over these allegedly inferior persons. Discrimination involves the actions taken against those others based on the beliefs and emotions generated by prejudiced perspectives…

Nazi Comic Books

Hitler’s “final solution” of genocide of all European Jews began by shaping the beliefs of school children through the reading of assigned texts in which Jews are portrayed in a series of increasingly negative scenarios. At the end of these lessons in civics or geography, we see the “reasonable” discriminatory actions that Germans should take toward Jews.

This educational propaganda was intentionally designed to create a dehumanized conception of Jews among students by means of providing them with required texts that were colorful and visually told provocative narratives. Students from primary school through High School read these books…

Faces of The Enemy

What does it take for the citizens of one society to hate the citizens of another society to the degree that they want to segregate them, torment them, even to kill them? It requires a ‘hostile imagination,’ a psychological construction embedded deeply in their minds by propaganda that transforms those others into “The Enemy.” That image is a soldier’s most powerful motive, one that loads his rifle with ammunition of hate and fear. That image of a dreaded enemy threatening one’s personal well-being and the society’s national security emboldens mothers and fathers to send sons to war, and empowers governments to rearrange priorities to turn ploughshares into swords of destruction.
Read complete overview & more:
The Lucifer Effect - by Philip Zimbardo 2008

Philip G. Zimbardo

Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Stanford University

Stanford Prison Experiment - Philip Zimbardo



STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE - …kills indirectly and slowly …is commonplace and Impersonal… structures of violence …not directly observable …deadly results …delayed and diffuse, …[DIRECT VIOLENCE] physical violence, the morality of an act can be judged and sanctions can be applied…is often scrutinized by drawing on religious dicta, legal codes, and ethical systems. Intentionality is not as obvious in impersonal systems of STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE, and considerations of punishment are seldom applicable… STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE - …is ongoing … occurs whenever societal structures and institutions produce oppression, exploitation, and dominance. These conditions are static, stable, normalized, serve the interests of those who hold power and wealth, and are NOT SELF-CORRECTING


PEACEBUILDING - …addressing long-term structural inequalities… - emphasizes the promotion of social justice… - often threatens the social order…
PEACE PSYCHOLOGY - Daniel J. Christie
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The cruelties of STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE on CHILDREN are often subtle, unspoken, unrecognized, and even normalized, regarded by many people as natural or “just the way things are.”
Daniel J. Christie - Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Peace Psychology for the 21st Century.

Anti-gay Disguised Hate Propaganda
At Christmas For Broadest News Media Coverage – by US Catholic Bishops & Benedict XVI – Mirroring Hitler’s Human Atrocities Photo
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Propaganda and Children during the Hitler Years - by
Mary Mills

Benedict XVI – born April 16, 1927, Marktl, Bavaria

Hitler’s Nazi Propaganda – Targeting German School Children
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The Poisonous Mushroom: “Just as it is often hard to tell a toadstool from an edible mushroom, so too it is often very hard to recognize the Jew as a swindler and criminal...” Photo

5-Year Study by American Bishops – Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse Cases
 May 18, 2011

 “…the study is likely to be regarded as the most authoritative analysis of the scandal in the Catholic Church in America. The study, initiated in 2006, was conducted by a team of researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City at a cost of $1.8 million… The National Institute of Justice, the research agency of the United States Department of Justice, supplied about $280,000…

The report notes that homosexual men began entering the seminaries “in noticeable numbers” from the late 1970s through the 1980s. By the time this cohort entered the priesthood, in the mid-1980s, the reports of sexual abuse of minors by priests began to drop and then to level off. If anything, the report says, the abuse decreased as more gay priests began serving the church…
Read complete report:
The image of the Jewish monster perpetrating misfortune is presented at the end of each episode in the form of a short poem, which capsulizes the specific immoral act allegedly committed by a Jew, connects all Jews to the Devil, and serves to warn the reader against the ever-present Jewish threat.

Gays created by the Devil says US Catholic Church Policy Advisor – November 6, 2011

The SILENCE of Good People KILLS Human Beings!

Chicago's Cardinal George - under fire for comparing gay rights movement to Ku Klux Klan – December 22, 2011

“KU KLUX KLAN” - Hate Propaganda Disguised – by Minnesota Anti-gay - Nienstedt - Archbishop Issues "marriage prayer" for Catholics to recite at mass – December 15, 2011


 A flashback far more severe than in --- BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
December 26, 2008 – Fr. Marty Kurylowicz

…I have been so saddened by Pope Benedict XVI's cruel words to LGBTQ people around the world, to their parents, families and friends, most ESPECIALLY TO CHILDREN… Photo
…I am a priest and a clinical psychologist… And for one of my research projects I chose to do a qualitative research project of the recorded verbal accounts of survivors of the Holocaust, 50 years after the event…

…And when I heard what Pope Benedict XVI said about homosexuals and transgendered human beings at Christmas 2008, I felt that same trauma all over again. Because in some way, somehow, he was conveying …the horror of the Holocaust, in what appears to be a traumatized, trance-like, accepted social norm from that period of time dictating that some people just don’t count, aren’t important, and can be easily disposed of. And if you rock the boat, you could be next to be disposed of. Photo

…The horror of the Holocaust is like an atomic bomb with fallout so extensive that it spreads over a radius of more than 150 miles. The horror of the Holocaust began in 1933 and ended in 1945. The psychological fallout would have been far more extensive and more deadly, especially when it is not identified as such…
Read complete letter:
Related links:

The past is still with us and will not go away. (Helmut Schmidt) …The Third Reich lasted for 12 years, 3 months and 9 days. It began with great hopes and unprecedented jubilation and ended after a world war in which 50 million people were killed, Germany was destroyed and the European Jews murdered. To mark the 75th anniversary of the seizure of power by the Nazis, SPIEGEL embarks on a unique journey through the bleakest chapter of German history…  

Part II – Carnival 1938 in Nuremberg – The amateur footage documents the Shrovetide Revelry in the Third Reich.  One of the floats is decorated with the anti-Semitic caricature of a Jew hanging from the gallows as if it were the most natural thing in the world...
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What you cannot do is accept injustice.

From Hitler – or anyone.

You must make the injustice visible

– be prepared to die like a

 soldier to do so.

Mahatma Gandhi

Kids Are Being Hurt!!!

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