“It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.”
― Terry Pratchett, Jingo
I know I am sometimes Them. Most of the time it’s unconsciously but I know of a handful of instances where I genuinely wanted to hurt or control, and was very much aware of this desire. That these were very specific persons and not people in general should not really make a difference. Even with this knowledge, I still think of myself as one of Us.
That’s the problem with this Us vs Them you described. The sides are fluid and in constant motion. Just today I watched two people I both consider one of Us, publicly declare each other part of Them. So who is making the error in judgement here? Can the 3 of us be Us when 2 are not speaking to each other — silenced in mutual blocking?
I am not trying to contradict the concept you put down. The reality though, is that we don’t get to pick sides in this battle. We get assigned sides by each person we interact with. The side we get assigned to, is probably more deserved than we are comfortable admitting to.