Dehumanization isn’t a way of talking. It’s a way of thinking-a way of thinking that, sadly, comes all too easily to us. Dehumanization is a scourge, and has been so for millennia. It acts as a psychological lubricant, dissolving our inhibitions and inflaming our destructive passions. As such, it empowers us to perform acts that would, under other circumstances, be unthinkable.

If people with good reputations are a resource for whom others compete, this leads to all the dirty tricks that people use against one another when they are competing for something of value. One such move is to “poison the well,