Most of us are familiar with the phrase "Divide and Conquer," but I wonder how many of us are aware of this technique being applied to our everyday lives. Pitting us against one another. Creating an emotionally charged chaos that births dissent and anger at every turn.
Now before you readily dismiss this article based on pre-conceived notions of the "control" that you have over your life and the idea of being manipulated repulses your ego so much that fight or flight kicks in, let's look at some examples of what I am talking about.
In politics and sociology, divide and rule (also known as divide and conquer) is a strategy of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. In reality, it often refers to a strategy where small power groups are prevented from linking up and becoming more powerful, since it is difficult to break up existing power structures.
The phrase comes from the Latin divide et impera, which translates to "divide and rule".
Effective use of this technique allows those with little real power to control those who collectively have a lot of power (or would have much power, if they could get united).
Typical elements of this technique involve
·Creating or at least not preventing petty feuds among smaller players. Such feuds drain resources and prevent alliances that could challenge the overlords.
·Aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the overlords, often by giving them the lands and wealth of rebellious local rulers.
·Fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers.
·Encouraging expenditures on personal frivolities (e.g., showy palaces) that leave little money for political manoeuvering and warfare.
This technique requires a lot of skill and political finesse, as well as a good understanding of political science, history and psychology.
"Divide and rule" works only if the subjects of this technique are willing to go along with it (e.g., because it is to their personal advantage), or behave foolishly. It works best in societies where competition between noble families, clans or social classes was already fierce before the overlord took over.
The strategy was used to great effect by administrators of vast empires, who would play one tribe against another to maintain control of their colonies with a minimal number of controlling forces.
Not only was this technique used effectively it was employed often to keep the "natives" in line.
Can anyone relate the elements and techniques with current events?
Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, Independents, Neo-Cons, Centrists, Religious Right, Leftists and list goes on and on. When ever we speak of ourselves fitting into one of these categories do we not detail how different we are versus the other guys?
"I'm a ___ and think ___ is important, but I wouldn't say I'm a ____ because ____ don't ____.
Why do we need to display the contradictions in such a prevalent light most of the time? Dare I say that we have been programmed to do this as a way of satiating our personal fears? Think about it. Nothing is more personal than spirituality. It defines our moral center, as well as, our reasoning of why we exist. Have you ever been told that people of a differing religious belief were "savages" or "dangerous?" Who told you this? Was it a person in a role of authority within your religion or community?
Or perhaps we could look at it in this way, why does the kid in high school shave his head into a mohawk and color it purple? What is the purpose of tattoos, piercings and bling? Why are the top selling magazines are fashion based? Why must we obsessively purchase "things" to define our selves as different? The bigger house, the better car and the better paying job only serve to separate or differentiate us from the "other guy." If we spend most of our time and resources determining "how" we make ourselves different, we spend little to no time asking "why" it's important. We have become a Nation of "how's" and let history figure out the "why's." Here is an equation I feel you should be familiar with.
Thesis vs. Antithesis = Synthesis (known as Hegelian dialecticalism)
It is how the "Divide and Rule" is delivered on a daily basis. Whether it be Republican vs. Democrat or Christian vs. Atheist. We have been programmed that the most important thing is deciding which side of the argument we are on and not the validity of the argument itself. In the equation above Synthesis is the true power. Pick which side of the argument you wish, but the solution or synthesis has already been decided for you (disagreement and distraction). TV has become the playground for the rich and powerful, making masses out of individuals and forcing us to take sides for the sake of disagreement or distraction. A person is more likely to remember something seen rather than heard. This statistic becomes almost irrefutable fact when you attach or create strong emotional meaning to what you are viewing. Fueled by emotions of anger or happiness we run around asking "how" we decide which side to be on instead of "why" should I consider only the two sides presented.
There is also another ideology I would like to make you familiar with.
*MICHELS IRON LAW OF OLIGARCHY:*
First defined by German sociologist Robert Michels (1876-1936), this refers to the inherent tendency of all complex organizations, including radical or socialist political parties and labor unions, to develop a ruling clique of leaders with interests in the organization itself rather than in its official aims.
These leaders, Michels argued, came to desire leadership and its status and rewards more than any commitment to goals. Inevitably, their influence was conservative, seeking to preserve and enhance the organization and not to endanger it by any radical action.
Michels based his argument on the simple observation that day-to-day running of a complex organization by its mass membership was impossible. Therefore, professional full-time leadership and direction was required.
In theory the leaders of the organization were subject to control by the mass membership, through delegate conferences and membership voting, but, in reality, the leaders were in the dominant position. They possessed the experience and expertise in running the organization, they came to control the means of communication within the organization and they monopolized the public status of representing the organization.
It became difficult for the mass membership to provide any effective counterweight to this professional, entrenched, leadership. Michels also argued that these inherent organizational tendencies were strengthened by a mass psychology of leadership dependency, he felt that people had a basic psychological need to be led.
(In short... A complex organization will inevitably stop serving the mass membership, which created it. It will instead focus all available resources on itself to ensure the organizations existence and survival.)
So we no longer need to know "how" to run our country, but we need to know "why" we can't live the way we want. It must be the other guys fault and I need to choose a side.
Make your own contributions to this line of thinking, but in the end I think you will agree we no longer pledge allegiance to the flag and to the Republic for which it stands....