It can’t be wrong if *we* are doing it... we are the *good* ones.
— Magrat Garlic, Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
I was always puzzled by people seemingly infinite capacity to justify what they do (like invade a country and kill civilians) and at the same time intensely vilify anybody *else* who would do such a thing. I talked to one of my old friends about it, a very bright guy (hi Carsten), and he said: "That's because we don't understand that *they* are the *good ones*."
Wow, what an epiphany. I had completely suppressed the awareness that many, probably most, people in the world are on a mental state where they actually divide people up into "good people" and "bad people". You see it expressed in movies all the time. (Though to be fair, movies also do their fair sharing of breaking up this odd prejudice, by revealing more about the characters so our view on them must shift.)
Actually you even see capable and intelligent people with this mental attitude. For example a modern religion I know and its followers are deeply the theory of the world that 20% of people are more destructive than constructive, and that 2.5% (what an amazingly specific number) are *very* destructive, meaning actually evil and dangerous.
And this is despite the fact that the same man and philosophy *also* has the awesome philosophy that *we* create our surroundings, and they respond exactly to our minds. It is how *you* think which causes what happens to you. But he never seemed to be able to apply this fully to bad/good people idea on the bigger level. Right until his death, he blamed everything bad in the world on those evil beings.