I, like most people, attempt to make sense of the world through forms of "splitting." We like black and white thinking, gray is uncomfortable. Often, children use splitting as a defense mechanism: "When a two year old looks at the world, they see things as going entirely their way, or as a disaster. Mom is here, and feeding me, so she must be good. Mom is in the other room, she therefore doesn't exist (object constancy) so she has abandoned me, and is bad."*
This kinetic dualism we juggle justifies our realities- if I want to feel good about one decision, I have to make all other options bad. If my religion is right, all others are wrong. If my country's form of government is the best, all others are unacceptable. Essentially, splitting is the inability to stay in the "in-between" without an anxiety that paralyzes us.
Good Bye Lenin! is a film that doesn't let you split- I'll try not to spoil the plot. For me, the message of the film was that every victory contains a loss. Life behind the "Iron Curtain" wasn't ALL-bad and the "freedom" to "westernize" wasn't ALL-good. Wherever people end up living, they always create beauty and meaning. When the structure for that lifestyle changes, often much of the circumstantial beauty and meaning disappears. The passing of that regime was filled with ambivalence: it's nice to be able to travel and eat Burger King, but the nostalgia for life as it was is also present.
All of this made me wonder how much psychological splitting our nation had to do feel justified in our decision to launch a "pre-emptive strike" against a "potential threat." It's difficult to harm another when we are fully conscious of their dignity and depravity. It's easy when they are ALL-bad. Further, what routines, lifestyles, habits of being and traditions are no longer for some people. How much beauty and meaning had been created behind that "Iron Curtain" that is now lost forever?
But I guess it doesn't matter, we've given them "democracy"...