All Together Now

We’re all in this together.

That’s not a popular thought these days.

These days we prefer to think of how we’re different: conservative, progressive, young, old, white, black, woman, man, Republican, Democrat, Christian, Muslim, Jew, vegan, meat eater, Yankees fan, Red Sox fan, soccer mom, NASCAR dad, beer drinker, wine swiller, etc., etc.

Dueling Marches – Albany, NY

We’re eager to proclaim our differences whenever we can – on Facebook, Twitter, email, the web, the radio, TV, and at marches. For support, we gather together with those who share our values. After all, there’s strength in numbers. We feel embattled and oppressed by those who are different than us. To buck up our spirits for the fight we must fight against our enemies we tell ourselves:

We’re all in this together.

Against THEM.

You’ve got to watch out for THEM. You can’t trust THEM. THEY want to destroy the country. THEY want to destroy our way of life. You can’t believe the crap THEY pour out on Facebook, Twitter, email, the web, the radio, TV, and at marches. THEY are wrong. THEY are liars. THEY don’t know what THEY are talking about. Or maybe THEY know exactly what THEY are doing, spreading lies, half-truths and propaganda to have THEIR way against US.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell what their tactics are. But one thing is clear: THEY are responsible for what’s wrong with today’s world.

WE had better watch out, WE had better be on our guard against THEM. WE had better use all the tools WE have available these days to fight back against THEM: Facebook, Twitter, email, the web, the radio, TV, marches. WE have to be strong and stand together as one against THEM. After all:

We’re all in this together.

In the fight against THEM.

WE are ready for this fight. THEY deserve whatever WE can do to them: THEY have it coming. The world would be a wonderful place, WE would have peace and happiness, if it wasn’t for THEM. Because THEY fight US, WE must fight THEM. WE have no choice. The world is a jungle because of THEM.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine a better world, a world free of fear and hatred and conflict. Sometimes it seems hard to believe that THEY have enough power to ruin the world for US. Is that really possible? Can THEY really do that all on their own?

Or do they need US to help THEM create this jungle world? Is this a Fight to the Death? Or is it a Dance? WE react to what THEY do; THEY react to OUR reaction; WE react to THEIR reaction; THEY react to OUR reaction… and so forth.

This raises a question: if THEIR actions are in response to OUR actions, to what degree are WE responsible for THEIR actions? Conversely, to what degree do THEIR actions determine OUR reactions? Do THEY have some influence over OUR actions?

This raises another question: what would THEY do if WE didn’t react? What if we just did our thing, followed our beliefs, went on our way, and ignored THEM? Would the Dance end, the music stop?

What would THEY do if WE weren’t here?

What would WE do if THEY weren’t here?

And what would the world be like if the music stopped and the Dance ended?

Another question: to what degree are WE defined by our opposition to THEM? To what degree are THEY defined by their opposition to US? Who would WE be without THEM? Who would THEY be without US?

In quantum physics, all things exist in a state of potential until they encounter something that forces them to be defined as THIS rather than THAT. Physicists have a term for this: decoherence.

Maybe that’s what is happening here: our beliefs exist in a state of potential until we encounter the different beliefs of others. Confronted by those beliefs, we are forced to choose: do we agree or disagree? It is only in encountering these different beliefs of others that we come to clearly know what we believe.

Just as we can only know light when we’ve encountered darkness, we can only know what we really value when we encounter others who don’t share those values. We are inextricably linked to our opposite, as black is to white.

If that’s the case, then there’s only one possible conclusion:

We’re all in this together.

Earthrise – 12/24/1968


About Dave Higgins

I've been interested in current events since at least the mid 1960's, and in ideas from modern science since the early 1990's. My website Quantum Age, which has been online since 1996, presents a basic framework for applying ideas from modern science to today's world. In this blog I discuss current events in the context of that framework.
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