Things have surely gotten ugly in recent days here on ATS in regards to Israel and the Gaza Blockade and the recent tragic loss of life regarding the
When times are relatively good here on ATS, no international crisis, no natural disaster, and or no political crisis, the membership of ATS is
arguably the most intelligent and well mannered of any discussion board on the Internet.
During these times the members are thoughtful, inquisitive, sharing, even truly caring, and well mannered towards one another, often agreeing to
civilly agree to disagree during the most heated of debates. Many members have a capacity and display one to probe deep, and look beyond surface
issues, to theorize, discover and discuss, intricate aspects of situations with a depth and understanding that most people elsewhere don’t in this
day and age.
Yet when crisis hits for the most part, that emotional hot button incident where passions start to run hot and boil, tragically a lot of that wisdom,
and civility, and ability to think outside of the normal box goes right out the window.
Sides are drawn, and members entrench themselves into their positions, and far too often the posters become the topic of the debate. Personal attacks
are made to make or break arguments, vile language and various forms of emotional domination used, terms of service violations become more numerous
than the Moderators can even keep up with. Sometimes the Moderators themselves are drawn into the debate, and they too become the subject of personal
speculation as far as politics and motivation.
It’s Not About Who is Wrong or Right, it’s Should Be About What is Wrong or Right
Far too often the debates turn into arguments, ugly ones at that, that center on who is wrong and who is right. These are take all or loose all knock
down drag out fights, where more often than not, the whole argument hinges on one poster, or one side in the issue, being absolutely right about every
issue, or absolutely wrong about every issue, not because of what is right or wrong, but who should determine what is right and wrong, and who
therefore is right or wrong, in both perspectives and opinions and sides themselves.
This is akin to a Father knows best argument, where a party or a poster is elevated to a status where they are absolutely right, not based on their
actions, or absolutely wrong not based on their actions, but simply based on who they are, or what side they are on.
It really shouldn’t be about who is wrong or right, but what is wrong or right, and let’s face it, most of us, far too many of us, employ dual
standards when arriving at whom is wrong or right, or what is wrong or right.
Divide and Conquer
Many of my fellow members know that I speak a lot about divide and conquer tactics used by the powers that be, to polarize us, into bitterly opposed
camps where it does become all about who is wrong and right, instead of what is wrong and right.
Once again during the best of times, when no crisis looms many members see this at play in the politics that drive the world, and the history of the
world, and recognize the devastating effects of divide and conquer, yet that all too often goes out the window when that crisis of right and wrong
In politics and sociology, divide and rule (derived from Latin divide et impera) (also known as divide and conquer) is a combination of political,
military and economic strategy of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less
power than the one implementing the strategy. In reality, it often refers to a strategy where small power groups are prevented from linking up and
becoming more powerful, since it is difficult to break up existing power structures.
So I am asking all members of ATS to stop and reflect a moment on the principles of divide and conquer, and to put aside the notions of who is right
or wrong, and what is right and wrong and ask your self one simple question.
Can you really rule out that just as the above external source describes that there is not a more powerful entity above the two polarized sides of
this issue that might be driving events, by breaking us into smaller chunks that individually have less power and then using Hegelian principles to
effect control of the situation as well as an outcome?
HOW DID WE BECOME SHEEPL?
The Hegelian Principle Helps Explain How the Powerful Got That Way
by Barbara L. Minton (see all articles by this author)
How did the powerful gain power over the rest of us? In a time when the power and freedom of the average American is being eroded at terrific speed,
many of us wonder how this could be happening. What we may not realize it that the powerful have specific tools or principles to use to con the rest
of us into surrendering our power to them. One of the most effective principles used in the last several years with great success is the Hegelian
The principle is simple, consisting of only three steps toward a preconceived goal. Once you are able to see how it works, you may want to analyze
many of the events unfolding around you in terms of this principle. As the principle is often used today, it can be explained as:
Step One: Create a problem or conflict - Perceive a problem that exists and build it up out of proportion to its actual importance, or create a
problem or conflict where none existed before.
Step Two: Publicize the problem and create opposition to it - Relentlessly place stories about this problem in the major media outlets. Report on it
daily until it becomes a steady drumbeat and a truism for the public who then begin clamoring for a solution to this problem.
Step Three: Offer a solution - The best solutions are those that appeal to the emotions of the public and make them think something really good is
being done for them, when in fact, something really bad is being done to them. This solution is one that the public never knew it needed until the
conditioning of Step Two was successfully completed.
So lets look at the above a moment in step three, the best solutions are those that appeal to the emotions of the public.
Yet during the best of time ATS Members typically pride themselves on intellectual reactions and not emotional ones. They tend to apply scientific
methods in discerning truths of right and wrong, based upon principles that are consistently applied based on what makes sense and doesn’t and what
is wrong and right, instead of who is wrong and right simply based on who is who.
So why do we let all that go out the window every time crisis looms and rears it’s ugly head, and digress back into the polarized who is right and
who is wrong camps, that most of us perceive are the main problem, when talking about the theories of crisis and control, but abandon and forget about
during genuine times of crisis and attempts for control?
Why do we let circumstances of crisis, cause us to stop acting like Members of ATS, and start acting like emotionally driven and bound people who want
to make determinations based on who is wrong and right, instead of what is wrong and right?
Hearts and Minds
One of the most critical parts about warfare, and war, is winning hearts and minds, which is nothing but support for notions of who is right and
wrong, and not what is right or wrong.
ThThe term “hearts and minds”, which was used as a method to bring a subjugated population on side, was first used during the Malayan
Emergency by the British who employed practices to keep the Malayans’ trust and reduce a tendency to side with ethnic Chinese communists. In this
case, by giving medical and food aid to the Malays and indigenous tribes. 
The program was inspired by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. He used some version of the phrase “hearts and minds” a total of 28 times. In ten of
these instances, Johnson inverted the words and used the phrase “minds and hearts.” The first time he used the phrase in his presidency was on 16
January 1964, and the last time was 19 August 1968. In his usage he addressed very different audiences, including heads of state, congressmen, and the
American people. Also, Johnson referred to the “hearts and minds” of disparate groups, including the above-mentioned audiences and even humanity
as a whole. His use of the phrase is most commonly taken from the speech “Remarks at a Dinner Meeting of the Texas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.” on
4 May 1965. On that evening he said, “So we must be ready to fight in Viet-Nam, but the ultimate victory will depend upon the hearts and the minds
of the people who actually live out there. By helping to bring them hope and electricity you are also striking a very important blow for the cause of
freedom throughout the world.”
Johnson’s use of the phrase is most likely based on a quote of John Adams, the American Revolutionary War patriot and second president of the United
States, who wrote in a letter dated 13 February 1818: “The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and
hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations…. This radical change in the principles, opinions,
sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution”.