Divide and Conquer

Five to one baby, one in five. No one here gets out alive. They’ve got the guns but we got the numbers. Gonna win, yeah we’re taking’ over” – The Doors

One of my favorite allegories goes thusly: “once astride the Tiger we may find it difficult to dismount”. The central theme of this maxim is one that might help us navigate the terrain, where collectively, we  find ourselves deployed. Anyone of us can grab a tiger by the tail. But what separates the fool from the genius and what may well define genius is “knowing what to do next”.

The silly season of electoral politics is upon us and we’ll surely be instructed, by a projected one billion dollars of advertising, from now till November, by both sides. on a whole host of theories on a half-dozen hot button issues, with the smokescreen of stirring up conflicting opinions meant to divert us from the real issues by pitting us against each other.

There is a strategy, a discipline of thought that can serve to cut through the window-dressing and clarify how it is we ought to approach this manufactured conundrum; a way to affect the thing (which I previously stated in an earlier Post IMAGINE), all 6.8 billion of us most want; to create our personal version of heaven on earth.

Once we decide what is right and true for us (for that day), and conversely what we find wrong and false, is to acknowledge the wrong and false and then never again give it one moment of energy; thus adding to the action of allowing it to atrophy and die; for each time we take the time to argue, fuss and fight over what we believe is wrong and false we give it juice; capital that would better be served up and spent on what we find right and true.

Working, if only raising our voice’s, towards what we want to see and ignoring what we find wrong-headed maximizes the impact we’ll have on our chosen issue and gives no voice to the things we disapprove of. Wasting energy trying to kill off or discredit the things we are against only serves to enhance their status. We know from our own personal interactions that the most devastating rebuke is indifference.

Taken on a global scale I always thought our overreacting conflict with communism gave undue status to a system that, having people without vacuüm cleaners, coffee makers and washing machines, that demanded their acolytes to stand in line for limited supplies of toilet paper, was a waste of time, not to mention an escalation of the arms race that made all of us less safe. It seemed obvious that given a choice no one would willfully sign up for that system of government and eventually it would fold in on itself.

A second classic and fatal reaction to drinking the cool-aid that causes us to fight the other side is the disease of cynicism; the thought pattern that posits another person’s belief system is motivated solely by self-interest. Medical science has for some time now known that cynicism actually hardens the arteries. The belief that your adversary carries selfish motive is a death of intellect that proceeds and hastens the real one. Shunning and ignoring the other side provokes them to distraction and causes them to fight harder to prove we’re wrong while we spend our energy promoting our version of what’s right. And who do we think will win that battle?      

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About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and Culture.net and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

One Response to Divide and Conquer

  1. James Mcfarland says:

    A real mind blower, reality jabs deeper than a knife, sticking us in the ribs. Incredible piece, needs to be posted in New York Times or read on CNN. Masterful. A 9.7 rating!

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