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13. Divide and Rule

"When you blame others, you give up your power to change"

Dr Robert Anthony
One of the silver-linings for the state provided by the new multi-party system of government is that the rulers of the day (the In Party) can always blame many of the problems facing us, upon the last party that was in power (the Out Party).
Failing this, they assure us that the problem would be much worse than it already is if the Out Party were dealing with it. "Let us continue doing a bad job because the Out Party would do an even worse one." After a decade or so, kings, emperors and dynasties could not continue to use this excuse.

The flip side of this silver-lining works for the Out Party because they can always point at the In Party and declare, with some justification, that most of our problems are being caused by what the In Party is doing. The conclusion we are expected to make is that because the Out Party can perceive the connection between the In Party and the problem, they will be able to fix it if we make them the In Party. The strong supporting evidence is that before the In Party took power, when possibly the Out Party was running things, the problem was not as bad as it is today. That evidence, unfortunately, is usually to hand.
"The two party system is like magic black and white squares which look like a staircase at one moment and a checkerboard the next."

I.F. Stone, American journalist
You probably had to read that last paragraph closely to avoid being confused by the terms In Party and Out Party. It is hard to follow the thread for the reason that there is so little difference between the two. H.L. Mencken summed it up much better when he wrote in 1956: "Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." But it is a handy mechanism for the state and helps to keep us divided in our support of one team or another.

One of the unfortunate side-effects of the new multi-party system of deciding who runs the state is that society has been fractured and turned against itself. This occurs as one group of statesmen or would-be statesmen realise they can gain power and support by blaming our problems upon a specific segment of our society, such as the rich, the poor, the whites, the blacks, the Jews, the economy, drug users, gays, men, non-nuclear families, the non-faithful to some religion, or whatever is convenient. Their approach to dealing with whatever they perceive as a problem is always couched in the language of confrontation. They will attack the problem, ban it, declare war on it, squeeze it till the pips squeak, pass laws to seize its assets or force it to conform to the norm.

They encourage some parts of our naturally changing society to view other parts as a threat. They encourage confrontation among us because this brings them greater power and more problems that need to be controlled. Our mind strays from the ball and we fail to recognize just what it is that is actually retarding our ability to grow and achieve a more ideal society. The eventual result of the divide and rule strategy is that everybody tends to be convinced that their problems are caused by someone else's activity. Along with this usually goes the belief that the state can put it right if only they sort out whoever or whatever this scapegoat is.

A classic tactic when seeking domination of a new territory, raised to an art by the British in Empire days, was to conquer the enemy through exploiting existing divisions or creating new ones in a previously harmonious situation. Where existing hostile divisions existed, the alliance of Britain with an already strong ruler would usually guarantee the dominance of that ruler, subjugation of a larger area, and almost always lead to control of that ruler by the British.
"Democracy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock."

Wynn Catlin
Where a harmonious situation existed, the essence was to find out what local differences existed in races, tribes, religions, etc. and then figure out an effective way of turning one or more of these groups against the others. There were many techniques, such as fanning the flames of an existing grievance, prompting an atrocity or committing an assassination that "framed" a particular group. Of course, the aggrieved group welcomes military assistance to help them redress and get even, and with a nip and a tuck, both sides are soon being run by a new protective guardian who is there to protect them from each other. Sounds familiar?

It is perhaps not difficult to see that "divide and rule" works as a handy built-in mechanism to maintain our support of the multi-party system. By convincing some of us that some others of us are a threat to their lifestyle, the state enjoins our support to protect us from each other. We easily reach a situation where each one of us thinks that some particular group or activity is responsible for most of society's and our own problems. At least the old kings and emperors only sought to protect us from others of their kind over the hill and didn't need to continually manufacture enemies within society* to maintain our fealty.

*This is not to say that it has never happened, as the Jews will attest. But since the democratic political process took root, it has become a major feature of the political arena.
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From the book "Uncommon Sense - The State is Out of Date"
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