Them Again

There’s a simple dynamic that I’ve observed over and over again in my tenure as part of the human race. Us versus them. You see it in things like wars where it’s usually country versus country. You see it in business where it may be, say, IBM versus Microsoft. You see it in religion where it can be as seemingly mindless as Catholics versus Protestants. At it’s most basic, it’s often simply “whoever we are” versus everyone else.

I saw it when I was in the boy scouts, there was the boy scouts and there was “them.” I’ve seen it in SF fandom, there are the fans and there are the mundanes. I’ve even seen it in the Harry Potter books, where there’s the magical folks and the there’s the muggles.

I asked God why it was.

She told me it was a simple case of a good idea going way, way, too far. See when it’s Barnes and Noble versus Borders it spurs them both into trying to make the best bookstore they can figure out how to do, rather than doing just as much bookstore as people will still put up with. But when it gets down to “my inconsistently selected set of Jesus stories is so much better than your inconsistently selected set of Jesus stories that one of us needs to end up dead,” well, that’s no longer a good thing.

So the next time you get to thinking it’s us versus them, you might want to focus more on the us and just let them be them.

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