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Osama bin Laden Dead!
JohnH wrote:
seeker, This is complicated and I can only hope that I express myself clearly.

The other, that who is not you or your family, has long been a meme in human history. I will admit that I would defend my family violently, although at my age it would demand weapons.

The other can be readily ignored. If they are poor it is their fault, if they are incarcerated it is their fault, if they must live on the streets it is their fault, if they cannot afford an operation it is their fault.

We in the US live in a culture that emphasizes the individual and totally ignores the collective.

Us vs. Them is too simple. We as a nation choose to be hostile toward not only the other but ourselves. It is our greatest failure.

The problem is in defining the 'us' and the 'them'. As you have said it becomes easy to ignore certain 'thems' but it gets pretty sketchy when you start looking at the majority and realizing that the 'us' in the discussion is a very small minority.

A different way to look at it is Lincoln's allusion that a 'house divided against itself cannot stand'. As long as people are unwilling to look out for any interests other than their own immediate interests and particularly aren't willing to consider common interests as having priority we will fail.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
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