A small circle: We And They    
 We And They2 comments
picture17 May 2004 @ 13:20, by D

Photo: TFF: Jan Oberg, Basra Faces

We And They
by Rudyard Kipling

Father and Mother, and Me
Sister and Auntie say
All the people like us are We,
And every one else is They.
And They live over the sea,
While We live over the way,
But—would you believe it?—They look upon We
As only a sort of They!


All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!

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20 Aug 2004 @ 16:24 by quinty : Kipling
Odd, isn't it? The great believer in the British Empire and the white man's burden coming out with something like this?


22 Aug 2004 @ 02:40 by i2i : Yes,
This is what makes the quote doubly valuable to me. Such idiosyncrasis - odd as they are - are not the exception but the norm when it comes to human behavior.

"Our interest's on the dangerous edge of things,
The honest thief, the tender murderer,
The superstitious atheist..."
---Robert Browning, "Luria"

The human psyche abounds in complex contradictions, at the individual level (people saying one thing and doing another) or collectively as a group (religious groups, political parties, nationalism, etc.). Such idiosyncracies are at their most obvious in {link:http://funnystrange.com/quiz|religious fundamentalism} ("be good to thy neighbor," but only when of the same creed or ethnicity,) and political double standards (e.g. a government invoking a moral imperative to honor human rights as justification for its foreign policy while its actual political practice and conduct are falling far short of those principles (i.e. providing aid to grossly abusive regimes or seeking to limit civil rights and liberties at home).  

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