Governments don’t “divide and conquer” they unite and exterminate.
A phrase I hear all too often in libertarian circles is “this is exactly what the State wants maaan, divide and conquer”. I call bullshit. Government wants as few divisions as possible, a central plan is easier to manage that way. That’s why there is a two party system. Not to divide us, but to unite us.
Remember that bit from the last Matrix movie? “The problem is choice”. Neo can either choose to save Trinity and cause the extinction of mankind, or he can pick a dozen people and start Zion over again. Same concept in government. “Oh! You better vote Republican or those evil socialist Democrats will gain control!” and vice versa. It’s not to pit us against each other as so many people think, the answer is actually far simpler, it is to limit the number of divisions between us. Some of the most oppressive regimes in history have not even allowed this much division. If the goal of the State were to “divide and conquer”, then the State would encourage multiparty democracy. In the United States we can see that third parties are barely even tolerated in the political system, much less given a chance. So it would stand to reason that division was not the goal.
The reality is that we are incapable of uniting as one people. We all have different motivations and interests. The purpose of the two party system is to give us just enough division to keep us interested, and to hold out some speck of hope for the political system. It has been remarkably effective in doing this.
Why libertarians believe this dynamic changes once we step out from under that illusion, is beyond my comprehension. Every time two or more libertarians bicker, people shout “You’re hurting the movement!”, as if we are just another political party, and not individuals with competing self interests. Every schism is viewed as a negative. Anyone who rocks the boat, must be excommunicated. Long live the apologists and the uniters. This all begins to sound rather familiar…
Does the State like competition? No! They like Coke & Pepsi, Republican & Democrat, Verizon & AT&T. Hell, they don’t even like that, they just tolerate it because they know we would fight back without any options. They want one nation under God, indivisible. If the State could get away with it, we would all have the same clothes, the same opinions, the same haircuts.
Racism was once a tool of the State, again, not to divide, but to unite. What could the State enjoy more than an entire race of people thanking their masters for supremacy over another? For another entire race to be subordinate to their subordinates? When popular opinion shifted away from racism, no problem for the State. They just use that united front to its advantage. “Oh, you don’t like racism anymore? Me neither, let’s expand the power of the State to silence those people you don’t like”.
Religion was once a tool of the State. “Oh, your god doesn’t like homosexuals? No problem, we’ll put them in prison”. As soon as popular opinion shifts, the State says “Oh, those religious people are bad, let’s ban their symbols”.
Those who seek to most rapidly advance the growth of the State, do not do so by trying to divide us, but by trying to unite us. The whole collective salvation, brothers keeper nonsense that always leads to some expansion of State power. Socializing medicine, retirement, redistributing wealth. You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists! Making the world safe for democracy!
Unity, not division, is the weapon of the State. Millions of people all moving in different directions cannot go to war against a common enemy. The State would far prefer we all united behind one leader and followed him with unquestioning obedience. The impossibility of this gave birth to democracy, which has been the most remarkable tool of oppression ever, as a people divided by two can be deceived far longer than a people united as one.
The last thing those in power would want is for each individual to follow their own self interests. To love and hate as he saw fit. To compete with manly vigor against all. To shout, to mock, and to fight his rivals. This, the State cannot tolerate, and ironically enough, neither can most libertarians…
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