This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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Divide and Conquer

Recently, I saw a political poster on the Internet depicting an American soldier in Iraq. The caption said something along the lines of: “I make less than minimum wage, and a guy who flips burgers thinks he should be paid $12 an hour?” The obvious intent was, of course, to induce disgust at the idea that a burger flipper deserves more than a soldier on deployment, in other words the idea that minimum wage workers deserve higher pay. The implication is that fry cooks have no business asking for more, because then they’d be making more than soldiers, and this seems preposterous.

Now here’s the problem: What if the soldier in the photo is drastically underpaid as well (and it is fairly obvious to most people that he probably is)? If this is the case, then the fry cooks are the natural allies of the soldiers. Perhaps the soldier’s vocation still warrants greater compensation, but that is irrelevant. They have common ground, which is the problem of unjust renumeration for their labor. They would gain much by uniting, but if they can, on the other hand, be made to hate one another as if they were enemies, then they undermine each other or at least focus on one another and not the actual source of the problem that afflicts both groups. Neither can hope to benefit by hating one another.

So we might do well to ask: Who actually benefit from this kind of messaging? Who would benefit by encouraging two large segments of the lower working class to ridicule each other for an injustice suffered by both and for problems that neither of them can fix? Obviously this works to the great advantage of those who write the checks. Logically, one would think that they government or the corporations would be at the center of such complaints. But thanks to the technique of ‘divide and conquer’ or in this case, ‘divide and rule’, the actual power groups can stand comfortably aloof and watch the show. That is not to say that the CEO of some fast-food chain actually created the poster. The poster is not the technique. It is a consequence of the technique. That these groups would create such posters to use against each other is proof that decades of fueling division and training people to think in these terms has been successful.

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