'Us' and 'them'?

Just to say this could go to the R&P forum but I am wandering if someone could actaully maybe give advice so I'm hoping someone politically minded ish sees this.

Anyway, as I have become older and to degrees more intelligent even though many here might beg to differ I have always been drawn to identity politics and have over time developed an 'us' and them' metality towards almost everything. Along with this I subconciously attempt to get anyone and everyone I can who I view as 'us' to try and do the same. I understand this is quite a vague explaination so ask questions for more information.

So yeah what am I meant to do about it? I ask here becuase escapists seem to generally be progressive and liberal but intelligent and won't just say what I hear all the time, thanks.

'us' and 'them'? Do you mean like 'us' (Americans) and 'them' (Mexicans)? Correct me if I'm wrong.

You don't necessarily have to do anything about it. Yeah, it's great when compromise can be reached. There are issues, however, where this is not possible. In such cases, regarding the opposition as anything other than the enemy is only going to result in a compromise that will harm the people you're trying to help.

Snip to get your attention

If I'm understanding you, you want to be more empathetic and understanding towards people you don't identify with so you stop turning everything into an 'us vs them' dichotomy where you feel compelled to 'win' the argument? You may want to rephrase your question.

In-group/out-group psychology is naturally and heavily ingrained in the human mind. The more we feel like we're part of a particular group the more likely we are to feel competitive or prejudice (not hate crime prejudice, just feel differently and perhaps slightly negatively) towards another group. For instance I'm a science student at my university. When I'm amongst other science students, or in class I feel more like a science student and am thus more prejudice against arts students. When I'm at my university or when my university comes up in discussion I feel more like I'm a student at my university and thus feel more prejudice against students from other local universities.

As with any type of bias (we are all biased is many ways), the only thing you can really do is be aware that you hold that bias and factor it into decisions that you make. It's not really a reliable system. Recognising that you have a bias is tough enough but it's really all we're capable of doing with these squishy, inaccurate, human brains. You might also try to convince yourself of different groups. For instance if I'm feeling my university vs other local university I can then think of us all as from city I live vs students or people from other cities and the prejudice shifts.

What exactly is the issue that you're having with seeing people as part of different groups? How is it impacting your life such that you want to change?

I'm not sure if I should just quote the different people and reply or just do this but sorry if this is wrong.

No I am not talking about Americans and Mexicans but at the same time it can be applied to similar things in England but no. I get the school, town, city thing but that doesnt really impact me what impacts me is whenever an issue comes up I turn it into us vs them so its 'us' vs 'Islam, immigrants in general, feminists, traitors, liberals, ect'. I can't really explain how it impacts me but I think you can get the idea where a problems mey arise.

whenever an issue comes up I turn it into us vs them so its 'us' vs 'Islam, immigrants in general, feminists, traitors, liberals, ect'.

You seem to have a pretty broad spectrum of people in your sights there, mate. I won't pretend that I don't share your antipathy to some on that list. However, given that your list encompasses both conservative religious groups and those who generally tend toward a strongly secular and progressive outlook, I would suggest that you start by figuring out what it is that you actually believe in. Once you understand that, try to imagine what you would say if you were asked to calmly and rationally explain the reasoning and logic behind your dislike of each of 'them'. If you can't do this, then you may need to rethink your views. If you can, then you will be more convincing the next time you try to explain your opinions to others.

The problem with 'us' vs 'them' is that it imagines that 'they' fit to a specific set of requirements. For example, my mum hates feminism... but she taught me to be a feminist! What I understand to be a feminist (supporter of gender equality, someone who calls people out on words or actions that hinder this, intersectional) is opposed to what she understands to be a feminist (man hater, militant, only care about themselves).

And indeed there are some out there who identify as feminists who are all the things that my mum thinks feminists are, and there are people who call themselves Muslims who kill innocent people, and there are liberals who are arrogant self involved pricks, but you have to be careful that you understand that not everyone who identifies themselves with a label is the same as everyone else in that group (and in fact everyone else in that group might completely condemn the arseholes who are tarring them with the same brush).

In summary: It's easy to make assumptions about people but you should judge people by their individual actions, not deem them as guilty by association to others with the same name.


Reply to Thread

This thread is locked