Dehumanisation

I have been looking for some way to succinctly express a whole raft of feelings that I have about a range of seemingly related topics and ideas.

The block has stymied my writing and even my thought processes as I battle to bring these ideas together, to hold them together and not allow them to spray into a fountain of random concepts.

Dehumanisation: it is hard to give a single definition, but the foundations of my thoughts are there.

Dehumanisation is the process of conditioning ourselves, our minds to thinking of others as less than human, so that we will not feel guilt when visiting what would otherwise be considered atrocities upon another group of people.

It has manifested itself through history in the form of slavery, genocide, racism and terrorism. While we can still witness such manifestations in today’s world, there are many much more subtle forms of dehumanisation which go relatively unnoticed and even sanctioned by society.

Social media is the most obvious of these. Hiding behind a screen and keyboard people are able to persecute others that they have absolutely no emotional or physical connection to. Cyber bullying.

The systems, policies and processes that regulate our lives and dictate our decision-making provide us with a convenient scapegoat that we blame for those uncomfortable decisions that have to be made about other peoples futures and livelihoods. They allow us to deflect and apportion blame elsewhere so that no one’s feeling will get hurt and we won’t have to feel the responsibility and guilt.

The more we allow our emotions and passions to be quelled by this systematic dehumanisation, the more we cede our right to freedom of choice. We are giving away our creativity, our humility and our vulnerability.

What use are our emotions when systems, policies, processes, departments and corporations cannot feel our anger, our hurt, our sorrow and our fear?

 

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