Demonizing as a trick to justify assault
Here is explored the process of "demonization" as a major tool of those who would prepare to assault those considered potential rivals, and thus is a key item involved in bringing grief to countless others.
"Demonizing" is a social manipulation tool. It first works in the imagination of the originator, painting a picture of an evil demon on someone or something considered by the individual as in the way of progress of some kind. The demonization needs to take the form of something intensely evocative in the minds of those to be fooled into helping in on the assault in some way, ranging from labels of "child molester", "woman torturer" and "horse thief", to "they are building a nuclear bomb to drop on us." Since "evil demons" need to be destroyed, the designation alters the social rules of interaction. When alpha-male-urge-rooted assaults are brewing, gathering others around makes one look "bigger" and "bigger" often makes the potential opposition back down, without a physical contest. Thus fooling a bunch of people by demonizing the intended target of assault, gathers supporters around and makes the alpha-male-wannabe look bigger, easy start.
When the individual uses words and actions to communicate the picture of the "demon" to other people, support is gathered for the coming assault. They will support the assaulter, instead of uniting to condemn the assaulter. Because they, too, deep inside believe demons are evil and must be destroyed before they destroy others, and they easily follow the finger pointing, to prove they belong and are one of the good-guys.
In this rational description, one may not agree on which is the real "demon" in this scenario; but in real life, it rarely is questioned, and then only at risk of being viewed as siding with the "evil demon."
What a silly game. Yet, it is incredibly powerful, a tool that can bring on family feuds and world wars to happen. Or it can be used to justify knocking down a loner who is "too smart for his own good," has seen too much and might have a loose tongue, that must be silenced or at least considered unreliable, such as by being criminalized somehow. Demonizing a loner as a "horse thief" was a great way to incite mob hysteria to join in on a posse chase like a fox hunt, after the targeted person, not too long ago. Nowadays, the complex laws provide almost infinite tools for framing a targeted person with some form of demonization as a "criminal" and thus get the free support of security or law enforcement systems.
Demonizing has its roots in the ethnocentric wiring in the brain, that which separates people out into the "us" and the "not us" categories.
Individuals instinctively like to belong to a group. The group then provides a larger and protective supportive identity beyond their mere self. The group also may be formed around a focus, such as uniting to consider those of a different group, or even a particular individual, as demonic, a ruthless foe that all members of the group must unite to corner and destroy ruthlessly before they are victimized by the demonized ones. The other group then has to similarly demonize the assaultive group and thus the game is on; if not doing this, they are at risk of being mowed down by the insane righteous violence of the assaulting group.
Yes, it is all nutty; but reality is called "consensus reality" and thus gets "reality" changed from what might otherwise be considered reality. And unfortunately those who are caught up in the momentum quickly can see nothing else but the feared one(s) and the need to help destroy the horrid one(s). Usually they have no data to go on except that provided by those leading the assault effort.
Demonizing can even get championed by religious groups composed of those who do not have much of a direct connection to the creator of the universe, but instead link to anthropomorphic versions such as leaders of their group who are skilled with one of the psychic tools such as clairvoyance, an apparent amazing link to a Higher Power if played righteously mysteriously. There is more than meets the eye in this world, we all have various levels and types of "6th sense." Alpha-male-wanabes often have an extra supply of subtle sense ability which originally was designed to hunt quarry (especially other potentially rival males of their own kind) and find fertile women at just the right time, thus increasing reproduction of those with those talents. A mysterious sense of invisible powerful supportive force can be evoked into the imaginations of those marginally involved in the impending fracas, especially useful when arranging a large struggle to send off lots of men (freeing up equal numbers of women) and maybe getting more land or other resources as a result. An ancient game, surely done even long before David and Bathsheeba. Thus the level of meanness to each other gets expanded from the level of the "high school football team rivalry" up to the "Hatfields vs McCoys" and "McDonalds vs Campbells" magnitude, to, say, Protestants vs Catholics in Ireland; and Fundamentalist Christianity vs Fundamentalist Muslims currently more widespread. Such implacable urge to assault each other believing eventually will be a fight to the death, seems very closely matched to the ancient archetype of the two males fighting to the death to be the source of breeding for the women who are watching and waiting. That the proclaimed martyrs they fight in the name of, actually taught love as the reaction to other's hate, seems to be forgotten, in they themselves being on one side of a believed-in world menace that must be utterly destroyed for their own survival: two sides demonize each other and the fracas is on, pity the bystanders in the way, and the ones who foot the bill for the romp. Each leadership would like to gather surrounding support far and wide as much as possible, readying for some glorious assault in which their invisible powerful director will righteously help them destroy the opposition; each side demonizes the other, in this kind of deadly nutty game. In places like the stricken country of Iraq currently, there are several such groups that demonize each other to the point of committing hideous assaults on each other and the other's ancient works of architectural art, a messy back-and-forth game bringing grief and ruin all around.
It is all generated by use of the process of demonization.
The ethnocentricity wiring in the brain is there, at risk of getting hooked into such meanness to others.
Here in the "melting pot" of America, we pride ourselves in the disregarding of such ethnocentric warping, for the most part. It is by growing up in exposure to classmates and friends clearly of other appearance and mannerisms, that others become known by their personal individual qualities instead of being associated with some group demonization name. There still lurks some rivalry, such as at a football game, those rooting for the other team, for example, coming from another town. Or political affiliation, there being more of interest in demonizing when getting on toward election time.
Since it is all created by the process of demonization, that then shows the only way to bring the process to a gentle peaceful halt. The only thing to attack is the demonization, instead of those who have had the "demon" bullseye target fastened on them by the process of demonization.
When a mutual demonization process is busy playing itself out as berserk activity toward each other, as is ongoing now in Iraq for one example, all participants in the foray need to be simultaneously bereft of the demonic imaginings about the others. Accurate knowledge can bring sanity (although it can bring a military strategist data for how to hurt the "enemy", too; some may be more incorrigible than others.)
Focusing attention away from demonization, toward the remembrance of our common heritage as human beings and living beings on a planetful of other kinds of living beings, and notice that we all are interdependent; it is not just the biggest and most powerful devours all the weaker... or soon the planet would be as lifeless as the Moon is currently.
The search for sanity in civilization needs to consider the process of "demonization" as the real "enemy."
This cannot be seen, however, by those who essentially are formed of a hierarchy of bullies, a mode of many who are focused intensely on achieving on just the social physical level; to them, it seems that the only way of bringing peace is to thoroughly subdue the opposition, plain and simple to them, survival of the fittest kind of thing, written deep in their psyche. If leadership is of that kind, expect a big romp instead of united constructive activity among all. Demonization will prevail, until its mode is clearly identified and eradicated by all concerned.
To solve the problem, then, the demonization tool itself needs to be spotted and eliminated before it has provoked terrible grief onto people. This hopefully will de-claw the alpha-male-bully-wannabes to some extent, bringing on a better world of healthy constructive opportunities for the rest of us, enabling us to be effective in our responsibility to tend our greater living world.