There are moments in battle when your opponent commits a tactical error, and if you see it, seize upon it, and exploit it, victory follows. The COVID-1984 authoritarians have become so enamored with their own power that they are blindly committing such an error today.
For two years now, they have engaged in a classic “divide and conquer” military strategy aimed at weakening any popular revolts against their policies by pitting segments of society against each other. We must shut down the economy and go into two weeks of lockdowns, or else grandparents will die! You were either for protecting older people from illness or complicit in their deaths. We must all wear masks to contain the spread of disease! You were either “caring” or “selfishly” causing harm. We must shut down the school system to protect our children! You were either a responsible parent or a monster. We must “vaccinate” our populations or we’ll never be able to return to normal! You were either a “good” person or a “science-denier.”
Generational differences have been mercilessly exploited to sow division. The elderly fear a sickness they have been told means certain death. Teachers fear exposure and transmission of illness from students. Those committed to home lockdowns fear church services and unmasked joggers outside their windows.
Those who double-mask fear those who only single-mask, and those who triple-mask fear those who only double-mask. And during every moment of this two-year hell forced upon us by self-aggrandizing governments, “authorities” have instructed every person in society to distrust every other person. Stay at least six feet away! Don’t interact or gather in groups! You must remain separated even from family! Public protests are disease-spreaders! Trust no one except the health experts! There has never in history been a more successful “divide and conquer” operation on such a grand global scale.
The government’s substantial success in forcing society to obey its demands has stemmed from its strategically patient yet endlessly advancing agenda to replace freedom with tyranny. Mandates did not come all at once; they came bit by bit. It’s just a couple of weeks in lockdown. It’s just a mask. It’s just a couple of months of remote learning. It’s just a “vaccine.” It’s just a “vaccine passport.” And then everything goes back to normal. As people have discovered, nothing has gone completely back to normal, and mandates sold as temporary emergency measures have lived on as permanent government intrusions on personal freedoms.
Likewise, instead of forcing people into compliance all at once, mandates have targeted small subparts of the larger population, while the majority not affected by those orders have remained relatively silent. One age group at a time has been pushed toward accepting mRNA treatment — from the very oldest in society to the workers to the schoolchildren, and now finally to the newborns. One profession at a time has been coerced into submitting to the government’s demands — from the military to federal workers to health care workers to third-party federal contractors to public unions to private unions to companies with over a hundred workers and, of course, one day soon, to all workers generally.
The exceptions to this “long march” through the professions have only served to show which workers still hold enough political clout to buck (at least temporarily) the authoritarians’ demands. Our armed forces, it turns out, have so little leverage that no exceptions have been made for their conscientious objections. Postal workers, public school teachers (the same ones hypocritically clamoring for their young students to be injected with mRNA treatments), and other traditional interest group voting blocs for the Democrat party have fared much better. The trick with executing an effective “divide and conquer” strategy, though, is not to fight everybody who might object to authoritarianism all at once, but rather to fight one battle at a time, until every smaller group within society has been properly subdued.
Ideologically “conquering” discrete groups one at a time has another inherent advantage: each defeated group is psychologically predisposed to take up the marching orders of those who conquered it. It is human nature to justify submission by transforming from earnest opponent to proselytizer for the “cause.” Those who have been bullied into compliance are much more likely to turn around and bully others into compliance, too.
Every time the authoritarians have succeeded in convincing some subpart of the larger population to commit to one of their many edicts — shutting down schools, universal masking, universal mRNA injections — that subpart has tended to forget its past criticisms of those measures while joining the passionate army of voices demanding greater compliance from the remaining population. It has often been said that “it is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” It is also true that it is easier to “divide and conquer” people into a state of docile obedience than to remind them that they now zealously advocate for that which they once zealously opposed.
Yet the authoritarians, in their hubris, have finally exposed their Achilles heel. In their rush to institutionalize regular booster shots and therefore create the social preconditions necessary to implement a universal digital human tracking system and to justify continuous government authority over all individual health decisions (where “health” decisions will naturally expand to include all decisions, since no personal decision, from the government’s perspective, is outside the sphere of health), they have inadvertently betrayed their “divide and conquer” strategy by relabeling the previously in-group “vaccinated” as out-group “unvaccinated” for having not received proper boosting.
This is a major tactical error because it increasingly undoes all the government’s work in turning the “vaccinated” against the unvaccinated as repeated iterations of mandatory booster shots make the “vaccinated” unvaccinated once again. That is very much like conscripting an army of conquered soldiers with the promise that they will gain the privileges of full citizenship once they serve their new master for a time, only to subsequently inform those still armed soldiers that they will never be anything more than second-class citizens.
Even worse for the authoritarians who have destroyed so much these last two years in their quest for power, they have now set into motion a system that will naturally produce a growing number of newly unvaccinated (for failing to receive the most current mandatory booster shot), who may well find more potential and power in uniting with other newly unvaccinated to challenge their conquerors. Instead of dividing citizens against each other and coercing them little by little into submission, never-ending vaccination requirements promise to have the opposite effect by galvanizing the majority to stand fast, hold the line, and fight back against the small minority wielding illegitimate government power.
For the last two years, a great war has been waged against individual rights and freedoms, and governments purporting to stand for human liberty have been some of the worst offenders. Choosing to sacrifice the moral inviolability of the individual for an unprecedented expansion of government power, the order of the day from our political leaders has been “divide, divide, divide!” Here is a real chance to take back position on the field by seeking out those who have been betrayed by self-serving government edicts and rallying: “unite, unite, unite!”
Remember, there is no justification so great that it will ever outweigh the moral imperative of protecting every human being’s natural right to freedom. Anyone saying otherwise is either immoral or a fool. Any government making such a claim is seeking not peace, but power and subjugation. You cannot obey mandates on the path toward liberation. Act accordingly.
Hat tip to Thierry Baudet for fighting the good fight. Image: NIAID via Flickr, CC BY 2.0 (cropped).