Divide et impera

Divide et impera

What makes us so exploitable?

Why is Caesar’s strategy of “divide et impera” still so effective?

Well, first of all, while Caesar may have coined the phrase, the strategy is a lot older than that. Remember the Tower of Babel (Book of Genesis of the Tanakh), which is often used to explain the origin of the languages. Let’s actualize this tale by moving it to the 21st Century: Imagine a united humanity – i.e. we, the people – speaking one language with one goal. Develop a trustworthy tool to check what is “going on up there”, to create transparency and check what our chosen leaders are really doing.

What would happen, if all of us were actually to do this?

Would the ruling elite respond by creating a communication break down and disperse us?

Or, in modern terms, would they delete our accounts and not rank us?

Would they use the strategy of “divide et impera” again?

Would we let them get away with it?

Think about it.

Are we gutless? Lazy? Gullible? Vain?

“Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas.”
(The Bible: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”)

“It is said that Mithridates trained himself to drink poison. Like him,
we learn to swallow, and not to find bitter, the venom of servitude.”
(Étienne de La Boétie, judge and writer)

I personally find the increasing cowardice, laziness, gullibility and vanity to be quite disturbing.

Should they be considered to be offenses though?

Can we be forced to be courageous, energetic, wise and humble against our will?

Do we need more laws protecting us from ourselves?

Who would enforce those laws? Other people, also known as elected representatives? Algorithms?

Can we be educated to be courageous, energetic, wise and humble?

Who or what would educate the educators?

The writing has been on the wall for a long time.

Why don’t we open our eyes to read and act?

Don’t we want to know the truth?

Don’t we want to assume personal responsibility?

“It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble,
it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.”
(Mark Twain, author)

What happened to the honorable merchant?

A very popular question.

But what happened to the honorable customer?

Isn’t ethical behavior everyone’s responsibility?

Would a “Hippocratic Oath” for everyone be too much to ask?

Would it change anything?

The problem is not that we are dumb and don’t understand, the problem is that all too often we simply don’t care, or choose to look away. Information is not as asymmetric as it used to be and “caveat emptor” is not as valid as it used to be.

Isn’t it about time to introduce “caveat vendor” and mean it too?

Fast food is a good example. The way I see it, “Happy meal” sounds rather cynical, considering the fact that some fast food CEO’s make 1,000 times more than their average worker. Unhealthy in more ways than one. Not only that, but junk food would be a lot more expensive, if all costs – direct and indirect, present and future – were factored in. Happy mealy are being subsidized.

By whom?

Take a guess.

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