Monday, 8 January 2007

Centralizing power, "us against them" throughout history

ESSAY: Centralizing power
Religious and governmental institutions throughout history.

  • Move people against others (e.g. those different); partisanship to garner support.
  • "Us against them" and "either you are with us or against us". "They are bad — because they are different."
  • Utilizing few to have power over many instead of many over few.

    For example, in Nazi-era Germany, for instance, the government rallied against the Jews, showing them as an “inferior race”. However, the Nazis also used the fact that Jews tended to be more well to do than most other Germans to strengthen their anti-Semitic ideals. Any rational person able to break free from society’s hold on their mind and opinions would see that the calling Jews inferior and pointing that that they are richer is both contradictory and self-defeating. However desperate people (many Germans at that time) along with centralized power and strengthening that power by blaming things on others and showing them as the enemy helped Hitler in his quest for domination — however psychotic it may be. Saying ‘we are good, they are bad’ can be a good way to strengthen one’s power and legitimacy, obviously it can also backfire. It depends on the circumstance. Some humans are lucky enough to be able to see through some of the blinders those in power — or those trying to get into power — put in place. Sometimes these people are not powerful enough to break through the system anyway. That is where information, communication come in. The spread of information can either bring down or support an establishment; communication and this flow of knowledge is not always non-exclusive, but if it is made available, it is often utilized — to the dismay to those in power (unless they are appreciated by those with access and control over such information).

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