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<   No. 2122   2008-11-17   >

Comic #2122

1 {scene: darkness}
1 Alvissa: If we kill Gollum now, it won't be able to attack our past selves later.
1 Mordekai: That's good, isn't it?
2 Alvissa: Not if we want to maintain causality and avoid possibly destroying the entire multiverse.
3 {beat}
4 Dwalin: Is anywhun else glad thu wizzard en't here? {translation: Is anyone else glad the wizard isn't here?}

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Notice how the characters here have begun using the dehumanising "it" pronoun when referring to Gollum.

This is one of the first and most powerful things you can do to another person or group of people whom you are determined to hate. Stop regarding them as human beings, in the small patterns of things such as how you refer to them. This spreads to how you think about them, and through your speech patterns to other people.

Dictators and tyrants have known and used this technique for thousands of years. The enemy deserves no mercy, deserves to be eradicated, because they are not really people. Say it enough times, over a long enough period, and people will start to believe you. Sadly, that long enough period is not very long. And once people start believing that the enemy isn't human, isn't worthy of respect, doesn't deserve the same rights and freedoms that you enjoy, doesn't deserve to live...

You end up making people comfortable with the idea of denying rights, liberties, and eventually life itself to whatever group you started to refer to in dehumanising terms.

Beware people who talk like some other group of people deserves any less dignity than anyone else.

2020-11-28 Rerun commentary: I suppose I should also have said to beware of using dehobbitising terms.

When you dehobbitise someone, you can suddenly find yourself justifying restricting them to three meals a day, which is just torture.

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