“This us/them dichotomy usually leads to dehumanizing them,” writes submitter

I was somewhat startled to read the editorial informing us of the right wing conspiracy of the United States government. Having been born and raised in rural Alberta, I am familiar with some of the left wing conspiracy theories floating about.

Dear Editor,

I was somewhat startled to read the editorial informing us of the right wing conspiracy of the United States government. Having been born and raised in rural Alberta, I am familiar with some of the left wing conspiracy theories floating about.

I’d like to make a couple of observations about the conspiracy theories. First, the facts used to prove the point tend to be both selective and rather slippery. Interpreted one way, the facts seem to indicate the plausibility of the theory. Often though, these same facts have a valid interpretation that does not support the theory. If these different conspiracy theories were only intellectual jousting, they would be harmless and actually rather fun.

My great concern about them is the great divide between us and them. They are typically deceitful, conniving people pursuing a private agenda at the expense of either/both us and the normal people of the world. By opposing them, we are morally superior and probably on the side of the angels. This us/them dichotomy usually leads to dehumanizing them and indeed is used to fuel the fear and hatred that polarizes so much of the human race.

A more humble and realistic assessment was penned by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his Nobel Prize writing, The Gulag Archipelago, as he lay on the rotting straw of a Soviet prison camp. He realized the line between good and evil did not run between classes or between different ideologies, but rather that line runs directly through each human heart.

John Peacock

Rimbey