Monday, December 17, 2012

Divide and Conquer

The extremely hilarious and equally intelligent George Carlin used to discuss the 'Illusion of Choice' within politics, speaking on the thought that there is no real choice but instead just 'one beast with many heads'. One could dive into that hypothesis and find many examples which suggest the validly of such views. Many articles and books have been written on the subject, as have many documentaries exploring this point of view been created.  One doesn't really need to dive too far into the material though as they could likely just look back through their own personal history and see that nothing really changes as each new 'choice' is given power. The illusion of choice appears very real, and to me, the only question remaining is whether this is by design or not, in a divided and conquer mentality from the 'Powers that Be'; the one beast with many heads. Regardless of the answer to this question, the topic is worth exploring.

Left-Right Paradigm

There is no doubt that the populous is divided in political thought, as a clear line is drawn in the sand of Left-wing and Right-wing politics. While many people (those who even think about it) sit on the fence of these two ideals, many more are strongly divided, radically in some cases, by these schools of thought. When discussing political topics most individuals refuse to even listen to, let alone accept, another person's point of view as soon as they are labelled as being on the other side in thought. Labels are horrible and very powerful for closing down conversation because when someone is labelled as a 'Lefty', they are ignored by any Right leaning person and the same applies for the converse. These labels and clear cut ideals are extremely effective in keeping our population divided and direction-less. What's worse is that within this Left Right Paradigm, a divided population can be easily manipulated. It is quite simple for any group, any 'Many Headed Beast', to use a divided and direction-less populous to it's own advantage. By keeping people arguing amongst themselves with such distinct lines, any outside power could play both sides and carry out any agenda it wishes. It's not a new concept, but it is powerful one, hence the likelihood of this Left-Right paradigm's continues perpetuation in today's political world.

Capitalism vs Socialism

Not so far outside, or perhaps contained within, the realm of Right-wing and Left-wing political and social discourse comes the the ultimate societal debate of Capitalism vs Socialism. In my experience, I've come to realize that more Right leaning folks ultimately believe Capitalism is the ultimate ideal for governance, while many Left-wing folks believe Socialism is the way. This is not absolute of course, nor should either of these terms be applied absolutely to anyone, but to be succinct I'll say that lines tend to lay this way. The context I'm attempting to get across here is the division of values and viewpoints amongst two strict ideologies. Capitalists have deep rooted belief in free market competitive values with little central Government, while socialists believe quite the opposite with wanting a strong central Government or at least a safety net for the populous (as a non detailed summation for both). With these two sides of a coin clearly present and debated, people tend to fall in line with one ideal and fully denounce the other. The label Capitalist is tossed out in anger at all the worlds current problems, while the label Socialist is presented to conjure up thoughts of some fascist regimes of old, scaring people away from the actual values the ideal holds. Again, like the Left-Right Paradigm  this is one massive debate that keeps a population divided and fighting each other with potential 'powers that be' ruling however they personally see fit, ignoring both sets of ideals.

As we get further into the new millennium, many people are beginning to view this Divide and Conquer theory as truth and are working quite hard attempting to get populations to quit bickering over petty push button political issues to focus on a greater good, together, using all ideals. The bottom line for me when it comes to this mentality is a fairly simple one; Until we stop arguing amongst ourselves and being extremist in our values and beliefs, we will never get ahead. Until we draw from all spectrum's of our culture to build a complete society for everyone involved, we will never remove the possibility of 'Multi Headed Monsters' doing things as they see fit while we argue blindly. It is with co-operation and compromise that our true democracy can work. With Liberty as guidance, all paradigms, Left-Right, Capitalism-Socialism, or anything in between or beyond, can work together for the greater good of everyone.

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