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How Does Deception Dehumanize?

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Deception clouds people’s judgment. Lying makes them give up on reasoning. Emotions win over logic, and people are horrible at distinguishing one from the other. Nazi exploited human weaknesses and prejudices. Germans started to view others as inferior and were willing to commit atrocities.

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Deception dehumanizes by feeding false brain facts about someone’s nature. Then, the deceived mind starts associating the victims with bad people. In extreme cases, this brings about loathing and hate. Unfortunately, people are bad at figuring out what is factual and what is nonsense. Manipulators use this weakness, repeat lies, and convert unaware masses to their side. Training the mind to recognize deception is a way out of this trap.

The scariest thing about lies is dehumanization. It is close to prejudice, racism, and discrimination. Even worse, this phenomenon makes people abuse others. Dehumanization reached an all-time high during the period of Nazi Germany and the Second World War. The Nazis needed to introduce an ideology or “big lie.” It let them justify any means of achieving a goal, no matter how immoral they were.

Nazi propaganda was very successful. It played on the ignorance of the masses, contempt for Jews, and emotions. Nazis threw out any reasoning and cultivated a blind following. How did they manage that? This is the oldest trick in the book. It is manipulating people into believing what they want to believe in. Of course, there was some exaggeration and finger-pointing. People listened and trusted what they heard.

Soon, the Germans accepted that they are superior beings. It is nice flattery that works. People always like to hear how good they are. At the same time, there were Jews who were “subhuman.” Again, an effective technique. It is far easier to rule people when they have someone to hate. It is “them” or “us,” no middle ground. The picture shows how the mind views both sides. Every “true Aryan” thought of themselves as a little “Fuhrer.” It was their obligation to fight, kill, and destroy “Jews.” For them, the good of the state justified any moral atrocity.

This ideology was the foundation of Nazi Germany. This is why they carried out the Holocaust of Jews and other people. The first to speak about it was Elie Wiesel. He himself survived extermination camps and saw all the horror for himself. The Holocaust is one of the global catastrophes of the twentieth century. It is unthinkable how once normal people committed such crimes. The Holocaust caused so much death and suffering, but how? All it took was a cunning deception.

When one wants to change people’s attitudes, they start lying. They vilify other people, make them look inferior,” and “subhuman.” At the same time, the target audience prides on their feeling of superiority. The key point is dehumanizing an enemy. Once they are no longer human beings in the mind of the masses, everything changes. People stop feeling compassion or regret. They think it is their moral right to abuse the victims.

The sad part is that dehumanization works both ways. Not only Nazis fell prey to the feelings of hatred. Their victims also hated the aggressors. Today, Nazis are pretty much the modern equivalent of “evil.” Few people remember that members of NSDAAP were simply people. Hitler deceived and subdued them. And then, their turn had come when everyone else started to indiscriminately hate people with swastikas. It all began with deception.

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