By DONALD DeMARCO
The American humorist, Robert Benchley, once remarked: “There may be said to be two classes of people in the world; those who constantly divide the people of the world into two classes, and those who do not.”
In so saying, Benchley logically and amusingly placed himself in the first class. He went on to point out, however, that it would be “extremely unpleasant” for members of these two classes to meet socially. On this point, he may have been more inadvertently wise than intentionally witty.
It is a dangerous thing to divide people into two classes. Opposites oppose, whereas complementarities complete. Dividing people into two classes is a recipe for making enemies.
For Karl Marx, one is either a member of the ruling class or of the working class. This dichotomy creates a situation that is more than socially unpleasant; it ignites a revolution. The ancient Greeks saw non-Greeks as barbarians. They would meet on the battlefield. If a person believes he is a saint and not at all a sinner, he risks falling into self-righteousness; if a sinner believes that he is nothing more than a sinner, he may lose hope.
The divisions are legion: good guys vs. bad guys, winners vs. losers, natives vs. foreigners, us vs. them, normal vs. abnormal, citizens vs. aliens. … Continue Reading