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indi wrote

I really don't have a better term, unfortunately, and frankly I've never really been fond of "dehumanization" either. You've actually hit on some reasons why - like that it encourages human-centric thought and implies that animals aren't worthy of even basic rights (like the right to not experience unnecessary suffering).

"Dehumanization" is simply the term of art most people use for the concept, so that's what I use. The concept isn't merely about doing things that you wouldn't do normally to other people - like punching them or ostracizing them - it's about denying the basic fundamental rights and dignity that everyone has. Using violence against people to stop them from acting badly is fine (assuming the violence is necessary and proportional, which it usually use when most anti-fascists are dealing with fascists) - that's not denying their fundamental rights or dignity. Hell, sometimes even your best friends need a smack or two to stop them from doing something stupid that might hurt other people (like trying to drive drunk or high, for example).

Perhaps a less theory-heavy way to think of the difference is to imagine the person at some point in the future when their head has cleared from the current clouding caused by drugs, emotion, or fascist thoughts, or whatever, and ask: would they thank you for what you did? In the cases of restraining someone who wants to drive drunk or punching or ostracizing a fascist who is advocating to take away others' rights... it's perfectly believable that some future them with their head out of their ass would say "thanks for trying to stop me then; I was a real shit, and you stopped me from doing things I would now be regretting". But in the case of raping a fascist (for example)... it's hard, if not impossible, to imagine them thanking you for that even after they've renounced fascism.

Anyway, now that it's clear you're not talking about dehumanization in the sense of stripping someone of their fundamental rights or dignity - that you're not talking about the kind of dehumanization that would make things like rape or enslavement okay - that's good enough for me.