What Divides Us the Most?

I’ll first say I’m in the US…

Generational? Is it culture (music, movies, literature, etc)? Skin color? I think many would say politics, but 99% of the people you’ll pass by or encounter won’t give that away very soon. Heck, some close people want to leave politics out, but I think that’s diminishing… I also think many are not political, and might be skewed by the noise from TV, etc… I’m not sure, though, and the larger the sample size, the better.

At the risk of being ultra-vague: “What we want.”
It’s a huge tug of war between red and blue. Red cheers everything that represents tugging the rope further red. Blue cheers everything that represents tugging the rope further blue.

Ditto for feminism, LGBT, guns, religion, urban vs. rural. Everybody cheers for what pulls the rope more in their own direction.

Conservative red state people do NOT regard the government as “us, writ large”. So it is not that they don’t believe we should come together and combine our efforts and do good on a collective scale; they just don’t think our government qualifies as “us”.

Liberal blue state people are quite often people who have either escaped small-town America or else immigrated and landed in our major cities. They have reason to doubt that any form of spontaneous charity or informal consideration of people, such as it might exist in small-town America, is going to be there for them. They know that if you are significantly different, if you don’t fit in, the informal flavors of collective caring are likely to ignore you, and they’ve had better luck trying to formally negotiate some fairness and some considerations from the formal structure called government, even though it is flawed in many ways.

Conservative red state people tend to embrace the notion that “what is right” is transparent, self-evident and obvious, and that people will do what is right. Liberal blue state people are more likely to want a formal process where one is guaranteed a chance to speak one’s piece. ETA: or where there is at least a formal process that leads to being able to speak

Government is very often a self-interested endeavor and seldom a true voice for fairness and justice and equality and even more seldom interested in investigating ways of making the process more democratic. The conservatives are not misplaced in their suspicion of government.

But it’s what we’ve got. It contains at least a modicum of mechanisms for self-improvement.

Informal versions of “the collective us” whether they be augumented and/or represented as the church or the local civic club or whatever, are less likely to contain avenues via which for people to complain and be heard. There are reasons that misfits and variant and minority and marginalized etc etc people run away from small towns and head for the cities. It isn’t because we hate squirrels and trees and lakes and stuff.

I think it’s actually very simple:

One side wants to be left alone to do what they want.

The other side agrees, so long as ‘doing what you want’ doesn’t offend their sensibilities.



People who form their beliefs based on evidence vs people who form their beliefs based on faith.


Guillotines. I was gonna say guillotines.

ETA: Also, possibly, really powerful lasers.

“Don’t tase me, bro!”

Religion. Particularly the really religious “rah-rahs” who think their religion has all the answers, is the only right one, and should be followed by everyone."

Well, the subtlety of this really sums it up. Both sides can see themselves in this statement as the good guys. But both really aren’t. Both inhabit some sort of quantum plain where they can be both.

Probably race. On one hand you have whites who feel threatened by non whites, either afraid of them being criminals, taking their jobs, bringing bad habits and diseases, or supplanting their culture.

On the other side you have a coalition of non whites as well as whites who believe in multiculturalism.

I think that’s the biggest division we have that causes our other divisions (political divisions come from racial divisions imo).

Race also causes the Civil War, the political realignment of the 60s, and arguably is part of why the south and plains states are at odds with the northeast and west coast.

I think skin color is it… If you’re walking down a street, you can’t hide it…

I’d still say politics. Of course there are a lot of component divisive issues rolled up into one’s politics.

This might be the most empirically solid one, despite exceptions here and there. Blacks vote 97% Democratic. You don’t see that with gender, even though Republicans and Democrats are usually the men and women’s parties, respectively - the gender gap is nothing compared to the race gap. Not even gays and lesbians vote 97% Democratic, IIRC. White women vote with the white party more than they vote with the women’s party.

The biggest division in the U.S., as with almost everywhere in the world and throughout history, is class, or more properly economics - the haves and the have nots. Yes, certain haves may join together with certain have nots on a particular political issue or set of issues, but that’s superficial. In our daily lives, in who we interact with, in who we love and marry, where we live, where and how well we are educated, the types of jobs we do, what we eat, what we wear, almost every aspect of life, we divide along economic lines. That’s why I believe that the most workable solutions for the problems of the world will be economic ones.

Republicans and democrats are at odds economically in general. The gop is the party of large business and the wealthy, the democrats are the party of workers.

But the FDR coalition involves southern whites, who were in the democratic coalition as a form of rebellion against the gop that supported the Civil War and reconstruction 70 years earlier.

When the democrats supported civil rights, southern whites became Republicans despite the gop having opposite views on class and economics. Without southern whites in the democratic coalition, we wouldn’t have Medicare, medicaid, child labor abolition, labor laws, minimim wages, social security, etc. But once a party that opposed all these things told southern whites ‘we are the party that believes whites are superior to blacks’ all those southern whites totally switched their economic agenda.

Having said that, the rich and powerful love to use divide and conquer to keep the working class at each other’s throats. Saudi Arabian billionaires fund propaganda to turn sunni vs shiite, Muslim vs jew, secularist vs traditionalist, middle east vs west, etc to distract the people from coming together to take down the plutocrats.

After multi racial rebellions happened in Virginia almost 400 years ago, Virginia instituted codes to separate blacks and whites so they’d stop uniting to take on the rich. Codes designed to dehumanize blacks so whites wouldn’t unite with them.

So I don’t know. Race seems both more important. Than class (as with southern whites) but then again race is used, among other divisions, by the rich to keep the poor fighting among themselves long enough for the rich to rob them all.

The question is how do you get people who identify with their race, nationality, gender, religion, etc to put their class first?

I just wish we could get along and all agree to riot and kill each other for the same reason.
This conflict over what divides us is tearing us apart.

Class divides us most. Everything else is a wedge to confuse class consciousness.