Us. vs. Them.
Quick question: Can human beings live meaningful lives without having something to fight against?
This is not some abstract, academic, pseudointellectual rhetorical question. I’ve come to believe that it is one of the most important questions that has ever been posed. Seriously. Can you imagine a world not defined by this fundamental dynamic?
Think about it. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the whole purpose for our existence is firmly rooted in the conflict of Good vs. Evil. It defines the reason for every interaction we experience. Our entire judicial system is based on the same Us vs. Them principle. It’s the prosecution vs. the defense. It’s not about seeking the truth; it’s about who can make the most convincing argument.
Consider our politics. Everything centers around the Republicans vs. the Democrats. The conservatives vs. the liberals. The elites vs. the populists.
Moreover, the current impeachment imbroglio is not about determining the truth; i.e., what actually happened. It’s about furthering agendas and loyalty to an ideology and/or a person. Us vs. Them.
Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that most people simply don’t have the capacity to think in terms that transcend Us vs. Them. They can’t envision a world that isn’t built on this central premise.
On a more personal level, I have surmised that many individuals simply cannot conceive of relationships devoid of this defining principle.
But what if we woke up one morning and realized that it’s not Us vs. Them? What if we had a collective epiphany that we really are all in this together and everything doesn’t have to be a transactional, either/or proposition?
Then again, maybe it’s indigenous to our species. I guess it all comes down to those who think everything has to be Us vs. Them and those who don’t.
Aaron W. Hughey