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The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

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Steve3007
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The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Steve3007 » November 15th, 2018, 8:10 am

Homo sapiens is a species of animal. We classify ourselves as members of the taxonomic family known as Hominidae or "Great Apes". We are also mammals. We share about 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, and 92% with rats, both of which are also mammals.

Despite these uncontroversial facts, there is a long history of using the comparison between some groups of humans and other apes, rats, cockroaches and various other creatures to very effectively provoke fear, mistrust and ultimately violence against those groups. How and why does this work so very effectively? Is it because we humans like to think of the animal kingdom as a hierarchy, at the top of which we sit? Is it most effective when the comparison is between the group of humans that we seek to demonise/disenfranchise/kill and another animal species that we tend to regard as a pest, and whose extermination we therefore regard as morally acceptable?

Perhaps the most notorious use of this technique was by the Nazis against groups that they regarded as "Untermensch" (sub-humans), particularly against Jews. In this case, a powerful element of the propaganda was the assertion (using a corruption of ideas from Darwin's Theory of Evolution) that the comparisons were statements of scientific inevitability, borrowing a perception of legitimacy which helped people to accept the subsequent ill-treatment as simply following the cold, calm inevitability of "science".

But there are other examples too.

Here are some examples of propaganda images that use this technique:

Image
Jews depicted as rats.

Image
Jews depicted as worms.

Image
Black people depicted as apes.

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This topic also touches on the related issue of speaking and selecting empirical truths, and the reasons for making those selections. If a person were to say "Jews have many similarities to rats" or "black people have many similarities to chimpanzees", they might say that they are simply stating facts, based on what I said in the first paragraph, above. But would anybody seriously argue that these two examples are simply value-free statements of objective fact? Does the choice of truth to be spoken and the choice to be omitted have a bearing on our judgement of the speaker and his/her purpose in speaking?

Steve3007
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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Steve3007 » November 15th, 2018, 10:57 am

The use of animal imagery to try to evoke character traits that are stereo-typically associated with that animal, either those that are deemed positive or negative, is also frequently used. For example, in this quote from a poster on this site:
Dachshund wrote:... "herd animals" like you have no respect for your Anglo-Saxon cultural heritage as something exceptional and superior - no sense pride in the conception of England as an exclusively White Anglo-Saxon Nation.
the "herd animal" (sheep, cows etc) is used.

Note, also, the close similarity here to the propaganda techniques used by the Nazis to prevent what they saw as the "mixing of blood" between Aryans (or, in our case, Anglo-Saxons) and what they regarded as inferior, sub-human, races.

Image

The caption says: "The result! A loss of racial pride."

From Mein Kampf:
Adolf Hitler wrote:Jews were responsible for bringing Negroes into the Rhineland, with the ultimate idea of bastardizing the white race which they hate and thus lowering its cultural and political level so that the Jew might dominate. [...] The mulatto children came about through rape or the white mother was a whore. In both cases, there is not the slightest moral duty regarding these offspring of a foreign race.
The fear of "the white race" being "bastardized" by inter-racial breeding relies heavily on analogies with the breeding of non-human animals for human ends.

Source:
https://www.aaihs.org/the-erasure-of-pe ... i-germany/

Steve3007
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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Steve3007 » November 15th, 2018, 11:07 am

As we can see, these attitudes are still alive and well today:
Dachshund wrote:You would sit back and watch while the pearls of England's traditional values/traditions/institutions were trampled under hoof by hordes of "swine" flooding in from the Middle East, China, Black Africa, Hispanic States and so on...
Note here, that "swine" is the animal used for the comparison.

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Greta
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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Greta » November 15th, 2018, 5:42 pm

The whole issue stems from fear and insecurity. First there was human insecurity about being "no better than animals" and then insecurity of certain whites that they will lose their living standards. Rather than blame the tax dodgers and manipulators at the big end of town for their reduced standard of living, they blame coloured migrants.

Yet, rest assured, if England's migration mix precluded black people and Muslims, you'd soon see the blame shift to Eastern Europeans and gypsies. Also, rest assured that if infrastructure kept up with immigrant numbers, nearly all the current complaints would simply evaporate. People are angry at the cynical crush loading being foisted on ordinary people at the behest of governments' corporate masters and looking for scapegoats.

The attitude regarding humans and animals, though, has no logical basis - it's simply immaturity. To start, many a biologist (and I) would dispute the derogatory claims made about pigs, dogs, cats, rats, cockroaches, worms, grubs, ants, bees, tigers, whales, hippos, elephants, sloths, other apes and any other animals used to objectify humans and thus mistreat certain types of people. It all starts by objectifying those other species. Mature people would instead note the beauty, complexity and unique characteristics of our fellow passengers on planet Earth.

Any person who values animals as such is not going to objectify other humans but will approach them with a fairly open mind and thus assess them by "the content of their character". It all starts with appreciation of nature IMO. Lose that love and you get the kinds of loveless, out-of-touch fascistic attitudes that are sadly the latest political fad.

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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Eduk » November 16th, 2018, 4:31 am

Whenever I read something so painfully incorrect it only makes sense if the person saying it is an unconscious automaton I find myself dehumanising people. As a human I find consciousness to be, well, human.
Dehumanising someone means that emotionally you need give them no regard. This means you can make any action without phycological effect.
I try very hard not to dehumanise people. Unconsciousness is part of being human too.
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Steve3007
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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Steve3007 » November 16th, 2018, 5:25 am

Greta wrote:Any person who values animals as such is not going to objectify other humans but will approach them with a fairly open mind and thus assess them by "the content of their character".
Eduk wrote:Dehumanising someone means that emotionally you need give them no regard.
This is one of the interesting aspects of it. It is effective, as a way of encouraging the mistreatment and disenfranchisement of rival human tribes, precisely because of the predominant human attitude towards non-human animals. The vast majority of humans take it for granted that all non-human animals, including our closest extant relatives, should be assigned far fewer rights than any human. Their killing should not be regarded as a murder. Their captivity and "enslavement", when they have committed no crime, is generally regarded as acceptable so long as they are not physically harmed or starved while in captivity. etc.

Even those people who are very concerned about the plight of our non-human relatives still largely take this for granted as a moral axiom.

That's why something like Dachshund's assertion that all black people are stinking negro apes, and his various comparisons between the anatomy of black people and non-human apes, deliberately written in what he believes to be cool, calm, measured, objective "scientific" language, has been so effective in the past in achieving the aims of people like Dachshund of removing the protection of rights from groups of humans that they dislike.

That is why, in my view, people like that need to be fought against. His words on this forum, which contravene the law of the country in which he claims to live, and from which he would like to expel citizens who were born there, are abuse. Their purpose is to cause harm to innocents. This is, of course, why he will never reveal to me any personal details or agree to a face-to-face meeting.

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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Eduk » November 16th, 2018, 6:23 am

his various comparisons between the anatomy of black people and non-human apes, deliberately written in what he believes to be cool, calm, measured, objective "scientific" language, has been so effective in the past in achieving the aims of people like Dachshund
I think this is complex. What comes first the disliking of out groups or the labelling of out groups. For example many politicians use words which can be interpreted to mean anything, in this way are they pandering to some of our baser needs or creating them?
Also we don't know Dachshund's aims. I find Dachshund to be insincere and trollish, I could be wrong (I can't read minds) but that is my impression. Certainly I give no regard to what he says in terms of serious content rather I am much more concerned as to why he would say such things. I live in hope that one day his life will be good enough that he no longer needs to think in this way to survive.
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Steve3007
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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Steve3007 » November 16th, 2018, 8:23 am

Eduk wrote:Also we don't know Dachshund's aims.
We can never know any other person's aims with certainty, but based on his words here, it seems pretty clear to me that at least one of his explicitly stated aims is to remove the status of "citizen" and "human" from non-white people in the USA, the UK and Australia. He indicates himself to be an animal lover and speaks against blood sports. In this spirit, he advocates treating non-white humans in the way that a benevolent owner might treat a pet dog.


Thia is very similar to the way that black people were regarded in 1930s Germany, as essentially cattle brought to Europe by Jewish people with the aim of diluting the Aryan gene pool. Harmless, and possibly even useful, so long as they weren't regarded as human and didn't inter-breed with humans. The obvious missing element is the antisemitism.

He hasn't yet explicitly advocated the extermination of groups of people he considers to be intellectually inferior to himself, just the removal of their human status, and of various rights, and forced expulsion from their home countries. But, of course, this was what was also initially proposed - the initial solution - as a means of ridding 1930s Germany of non-Aryans. It was only later that the "final solution" was dreamt up, to get rid of sub-humans who had not left German controlled territory by other means.

So let's give him time. He may yet stumble on his own final solution.

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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Eduk » November 16th, 2018, 9:34 am

it seems pretty clear to me that at least one of his explicitly stated aims is to remove the status of "citizen" and "human" from non-white people in the USA, the UK and Australia.
You might be correct. Personally that's not my take but I freely admit my take is nothing more than a, hopefully, educated guess. For example you will note that he responds to you, which I believe he does because he can tell how angry it makes you. Whereas I get few to no responses because it is impossible for someone like Dachshund to offend in this manner.
Also, and this is key really, we have to ask ourselves why. We don't have to take his words seriously but we probably would be wise to take the cause of his words seriously.
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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Steve3007 » November 16th, 2018, 10:16 am

Eduk wrote:For example you will note that he responds to you, which I believe he does because he can tell how angry it makes you.
He does, yes. He didn't make me seriously angry until he started personally attacking me and mine. I know people like that, more often than not, feed off the anger that they provoke, and find it amusing. This is one reason why it's often suggested that they should simply be ignored. But I've decided not to ignore this. It's too serious to ignore.
We don't have to take his words seriously but we probably would be wise to take the cause of his words seriously.
I think we should also take the effect of such words seriously. As past examples from history teach us, this kind of "hate speech" as it's often called these days has a real, damaging effect on the lives of real life people. It's not just funny banter. This is why I repeatedly ask him to personally face one of the real-life people whose lives are unquestionably affected, so that he can see the human being that he decides to de-humanise as an amusing philosophical exercise.

He will, of course, refuse to do that.

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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Eduk » November 16th, 2018, 10:27 am

This is why I repeatedly ask him to personally face one of the real-life people whose lives are unquestionably affected, so that he can see the human being that he decides to de-humanise as an amusing philosophical exercise.
This would be the best course of action for him, I agree.
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Re: The lethal effectiveness of comparing humans to other animals

Post by Greta » November 17th, 2018, 12:12 am

People with friends who could loosely be thought of as the "Breitbart and Fox crowds" would find such a meeting - which could threaten to soften his views - to be quite threatening. It could lose such a person every friend they have. It would take some courage.

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