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.
We are poor indeed if we are only sane.
When you love someone you have chosen to relinquish a part of yourself in order to inherit a part of them, and what perpetuates that love is the feeling of confident appreciation for such a potentially debilitating trade. That’s why heartbreak feels like a sudden void.
False fears are a plague, a modern plague!
For the canons of good society are, or should be, the same as the canons of art. Form is absolutely essential to it.
They came to study the dreadful vulgarity of this imaginary Mass Man they pretend to hate. But they’re fascinated with the snake-pit.
That is the paradox of the epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.
To understand how that astounding moral blindness was possible, it is helpful to think of the workers of an armament plant who rejoice in the ‘stay of execution’ of their factory thanks to big new orders, while at the same time honestly bewailing the massacres visited upon each other by Ethiopians and Eritreans; or to think how it is possible that the ‘fall in commodity prices’ may be universally welcomed as good news while ‘starvation of African children’ is equally universally, and sincerely, lamented.
It takes centuries for sense to become common
My students often ask me, ‘What is sociology?’ And I tell them, ‘It’s the study of the way in which human beings are shaped by things that they don’t see.