I’m interested in what enables people to create classes of subhuman for others, and how that “ability” allows us to be useful puppets of this or that authoritarain system that picks winners and losers.
I believe the increasing rise of subhumanism is a reflection of the increased power at the center, which is creating, more and more, a winner-take-all contest between competing tribes.
This increased reflection of subhumanism is, I believe, an understanding that the increased power of the state, specificialy here in America (though the trend seems to be worldwide), makes the battle for control of that mechanism all the more essential.
The battle will push people to commit acts of violence, directly or through proxy, against their neighbors, acts which MUST be assuaged by creating more and more subhuman categories with which to justify actions that, deep down, they know are not “good” in almost universal traditional understandings of the word “good” (like not murdering, stealing, enslaving).
Whenever murdering, stealing, enslaving increase by “official” means (the state, the coercive enterprise), the need for subhumanism increases.
To illustrate my point, let me post a link to a poem that had a profound impact on me. It’s called “THE WAR PRAYER.”
It didn’t introduce a new idea at all, but it flushed it out in an emotional and tangibe way at a level that I had previously not experienced
Here, Mark Twain illustrates the use of the concept of God, a God that is in your service, who favors you, to subhumanize the other, to allow you to perform acts of vulgarity against that other, even if the acts contradict the moral tenets of the God you worship.
In this case, the God is the Christian God, who commands us not to murder, not to steal, not to enslave, to love as Christ loves us.
That same Christian God is the one invoked to call people to murder, steal, enslave the other.
An old man crashes a gathering of people praying in a church for God to give them victory in war. He gives them this prayer instead, which strips away the ghosts, the artifice, and boils it down to the Christian-God-violating acts they’re ACTUALLY praying for:
Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it —
For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.