The concept of dehumanization is a psychological rather than a physical process (Susan, 417). Psychology involves the direction of the mind to view an opponent as a sub-human and not deserving of any moral and human considerations (Susan, 417). The concept of dehumanization of the enemy is a principle that has been used in many wars to ensure the killing, and even possible annihilation of the enemy.
The expansion of feelings of hatred between two societies creates tension and anxiety among people (Morton 51). This anxiety breeds fear and resentment of the enemy. Once this is achieved, the society will do anything to defend itself from the perceived enemy. The enemy is considered to be of lower moral standards, and taken to be evil and criminal (Susan, 417).
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In Germany, the Nazi Holocaust had the Jews being viewed as the lesser and evil tribe. In the Rwandan genocide the Hutus were dehumanized in the eyes of the Tutsi. The Holocaust was fuelled by Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler used propaganda to paint the Jews as inferior and evil (Morton 51). During his reign, a ministry of propaganda was set up. The ministry spread messages that were supposed to turn the hearts and minds of the people against the Jews. Hitler often bragged that the greatest gift that he would give his people is to cleanse the society and get rid of the second-rate Jews (Morton 51).
On Analyzing the Nazi Holocaust, humanistic scholars wondered if it was possible to prevent this macabre and inhuman act of the society, where humanity was put aside and the spirit of death took over. According to Morton (51), it was concluded that it is possible to prevent such kind of atrocities through humanization of the enemy.
Unlike dehumanization of the enemy, humanization involves seeing the enemy as human and as having the rights and privileges of a human being (Morton 51). These beliefs are reinforced despite the degree of violence and destruction evoked by the enemy. Today, the countenance of humanity in treatment of the enemy has been portrayed through science fiction movies, the media, and even in institutional writings (Morton 51).
A good example is the movie District 9. Set in South Africa, the movie is an account of how the planet was invaded by terrestrial beings, causing fear and unrest among the humans (Susan, 347). The authorities in District 9 had legitimate power to declare war on the enemy of the people. The system of governance in the film is highly bureaucratic, making the authorities accountable on the grounds of morality and propriety of conduct. This kind of perception often puts the immoral enemy on a lesser ground, breeding a highly potent environment for acts of genocide.
When the enemy is unmasked, the authorities were surprised to see a sick and dying enemy instead of the superior and destructive image they had in their minds (Susan, 347). The authorities in District 9 decided to accord the aliens help. A camp was set up, and the aliens were transferred from their ship of death to the camp, where they were given food, shelter and medical treatment.
Following this, there was a violent opposition developed from the South African people, as to the way the aliens were being treated, (Susan, 347). According to humans, there is no way the enemy could be fed and natured back to strength in the human territory. Following the conflicts, the authorities decided to secure the camp site according to their national security and privileges.
The power designated to a leader is constrained by bureaucracies that impose rules and regulations to be followed by the leader (Morton 51).These principles are not necessarily applicable on the ground. The authorities in District 9 put aside the hierarchical administration powers, and instead acted to the contrary of their mandate. The reality of power authority and capability is that the best decision is not one prescribed by the law, but one that served best the interests of the society.