Why do we make enemies of the “other”?

Homo Sapiens, as they have evolved, work best in small communities, somewhere lower than 150 people. At that size, the people all cooperate and work together for the common good. When you get more than that, you ALWAYS end up with the physically strongest, taking charge and making the weaker members submissive to them. This has been demonstrably true all throughout human history. In his book Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari spends a lot of time speaking on this very issue. It is however in human nature, to help one another, for the strong to look after the weak. This is the fundamental basis for the British welfare state. We all pay taxes, which go towards the welfare of everybody. If everybody is looked after and comfortable, society as a whole is healthy. I always find it deeply counter-productive when some political parties, seem to be hell-bent on dismantling this structure. In the search for ever larger pots of gold for themselves, they take it from the poorer and weaker. That then causes social breakdown and unrest, which impacts the wealthy as well as the poor, although to an obvious lesser extent. If you can afford massive gates, you can keep the “others” out. Then we have migrants, people who are generally, escaping from dangerous and hostile environments and looking for a better life. The human reaction to that is naturally, to offer help and welcome them in to the community. We have, however, been told that these people are the enemy, that they are dangerous, that they want to take everything that is “yours” and make it “theirs” They have been “othered” The other is always framed as the enemy. They are framed as being different from us when in reality, we are all part of the same human species. Can we get back to egalitarian living as we did in the past? Yes, it is certainly possible. I think that Churches, for their many faults, do have something very positive about them. Community. A typical church has somewhere below that 150 magic number. The community therefore naturally works together and in accord with one another. It is actually a quite egalitarian structure. So it is possible. Small communities work better than large ones. It is just a fact of nature. Perhaps ceding more power to local communities and away from central government could be a way of fostering this kind of lifestyle? Today, people tend to be much more insular than we were in the past. This is in part a reaction to the breakdown of community. For some people it is generally not a pleasant place to be among the heaving throng of people. Each one, only focused on their own needs. Lets get back to a proper working community.

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