Antagonists are exclusive.

Antagonists are exclusive. I used to think they were anti-social, but shared antagonisms actually seem to serve as a social bond. Some people identify with others on the basis of shutting some people out. And people who aren’t exclusive of other people are perceived as a threat. Which they are. Generosity is perceived as a threat by people whose basic impulse is to exclude and deprive, even though their own assets aren’t an issue. Generosity implies a critique of the hoarder and, consequently, must be vilified.

Exclusivity is what residential and racial segregation rests on. Calling it “territoriality,” as if it were some natural, unconquerable instinct puts an objective face on it, but humans should know better. Besides, territoriality aims to protect and preserve some natural reources for exclusive use. Human exclusivity is pure in the sense that it serves no purpose. People are excluded because they can be. Perhaps it provides some psychic salve. Whether or not it does, the excluded are irrelevant.

Persuading the victims of exclusive behavior that they are not at fault, however, seems to be a lost cause. People would rather be blamed for something they didn’t do, than see themselves as the victims of irrational human behavior. Maybe it’s because the unreason itself calls into question their own ability to reason. Perhaps that’s why so much effort goes into trying to decipher why people murder their own kind. Irrational humans suggest that reason is fragile and fleeting.