The screaming voices surround us. Fingers point out the Other and invite us to alienate them. The only way to go forward is as a human being engaged in a diverse world of unique human beings. There is no Other way.
We are human. We make tribes. Social research tells us we can make tribes on the flimsiest of perceived differentiation. In a war of exclusion, some of the most fanciful boundaries are the most fiercely fought. Those outside our tribe run the risk of becoming Other, the alien enemy. The basis for the differentiation matters little the Creation of the Other, with its dehumanising violence is the first step.
We begin the violence when we define a line and put unique human beings on the other side. We back these imagined lines with all kinds of violence, physical, mental, systematic, casual and political. The Other becomes a group to blame, a dog whistle message to our tribe or a call to hate and violence.
The technology of global connection, whether it is transportation or communication, has made once distant Others more visible and accessible. These technologies have supercharged the advocates of the Other in all dimensions. The changes in society and our economies wrought by these technologies has created and promoted resentments and fostered fertile ground for the politics of the Other.
Unravel the stereotypes, the myths and the lies. Demask the Other and you will find a human being just like you. We must engage human to human as we go forward. Fictional Others do nothing to enable us to address real issues in our society, our economy, our planet or our polity. To begin to address issues we need to unravel the first act of violence, the creation of the Other. We must engage in human ways with the real diverse and unique individuals if we are to solve problems together and move forward. The Other defines everything and solves nothing.
There’s no Other way.