Maxim “divide and conquer” (“divide et impera” in Latin) is pronounced not only when discussing the form of government of the whole state. Leadership of a large team of different people can also be built on this principle. These words are often attributed to Guy Julius Caesar. However, the true author of the phrase “divide and conquer” is unknown.
“Divide and rule” - who said?
Scientists have repeatedly asked the authorship of the winged expression. Despite the fact that they were considered to be the maxim of the Roman Senate, they are absent in the classical texts of ancient times. But the expression "divide and conquer" is found in French literature. It dates back to the “Roman History” of Charles Rollin (VII, 25), it was also used by the heroes of Merime and Dumas. In the novel The Three Musketeers, "divide and conquer," says Louis XI.
You can read "divide and conquer" and Machiavelli: che tu hai in governo, divise (“What you control, divide” - “Reasoning on the First Decade of Titus Livius”, III, XXVII. In the text, Machiavelli does not refer to a specific author.
Satira Bokkalini “News from Parnassus” also contains the phrase “divide et impera”. In English, the phrase “divide and conquer” was first used by Joseph Hall.
What is the meaning of the phrase “divide and rule”?
Do we understand, using the phrase “divide and conquer”, the meaning of this phrase? This government strategy involves the distribution of a large group into smaller ones, as individually they have less power. It will be more difficult for small groups to resist the existing form of government.
Such a strategy requires the politician to have a good knowledge of history, psychology and is one of the highest forms of government or a large collective. Best of all, the principle works in groups where previously there was a lot of competition between existing groups (social strata or competing clans). Enmity among themselves depletes the resources of small groups to fight the ruler.
Who used the divide and conquer strategy?
It is known that the British and Roman empires were guided by precisely these principles, trying to maintain control over the territories. In those days when India was part of the British Empire, the principle of "divide and conquer" made it possible to establish control over castes that have certain differences. It is believed that the Third Reich acted in the territories of Eastern Europe.
Divide and Conquer - Quotes
“Saint Bruno himself does not lift a finger to refute both of his opponents, he knows a more convenient way to get rid of them, he provides them - divide et impera - with their own dispute” (Karl Marx).
“... This was done in order to incite the provinces against each other, to use, in the interests of patriarchal-feudal despotism, the national hostility between the Germans and the Slavs, as well as the local hatred of every tiny German province for all neighboring provinces. "Divide et imperal" (C. Marx and F. Engels).
“The disintegration of man with nature, like a driven wedge, gradually breaks everything down into opposite parts, even the very soul of man - this is the divide et impera of logic, the path to the true and eternal combination of the forked” (A. Herzen).
“I don’t like your policy. In Mahiaveli you are not fit with your divide ... .. ”(A. Herzen).
“And in order to break the power of clans, the government always followed the political rule of divide et impera” (T. Smollet, “Humphrey Clinker's Journey”).
“There is no room for humility in politics, but only boundless simplicity (both holy and sly simplicity) can take the primordial policeman for humility: divide et impera, divide and conquer, give in to the unimportant, to preserve the essential ...” (V. I. Lenin).
“The disgusting“ domestic policy ”of the Russian titled bourgeois imperialists left in the hearts of people a tough memory of national oppression and the bloody persecution of foreigners -“ foreigners ”, a memory of that vile method of strengthening the power of parasites, which is expressed by the words“ sharing - rule! ”And which is the same amiable, equally necessary for all capitalist states ”(M. Gorky).
In Latin: divide et impera
Often the author is also called Machiavelli - and indeed, he has a similar wording, but in Italian: che tu hai in governo, divise (“that which you govern, divide” - “Discussions on the first decade of Titus Livius”, III, XXVII , without reference to any authority).
It is important to note another mistake made in our beloved Wikipedia. Firstly, the phrase “what you control, divide” does not mean completely “divide and rule”, these are essentially different principles. The words “what you control, divide” mean - “create a vertical structure of power” and / or “share power.”, As we see here a clearly different context.
In the first case, we are talking about "technical separation" in order to increase manageability. After all, we well understand that a unit of 10 soldiers is clearly easier to manage in battle than a regiment of 1000 people, so the regiment is divided into companies (battalions), and companies into platoons, platoons into departments. This is what the classic meant when he said - che tu hai in governo, divise (“that which you govern, divide.” This principle is not literal, but essentially voiced as a technological device in the book “Sovereign” (Chapter 3).With all this, it must be emphasized that this technique has long been known and was considered a favorite instrument of the Jesuit order (assumption).
* The meaning of the phrase "divide and conquer" is the tactic of creating, reinforcing contradictions, differences and disagreements between two or more parties to control (bleed) them.
* In a country alien to the customs and language, the conqueror should also become the head and protector of weaker neighbors and try to weaken the strong ones, and in addition, make sure that a foreign ruler who is not inferior to him somehow does not enter the country. The principle of "Divide and conquer" - indeed, voiced by N. Machiavelli in the book "Sovereign", although it was known for a long time, but the justification and authorship remained just for him, BUT ... the saying "what you control, share" has a completely different meaning .
A concrete example from modern life can be found in the article: "Muzafer Sheriff - problems of intergroup conflicts."
In order to implement the principle of “Divide and conquer”, some efforts are required, but it is more noble to adhere to the opposite principle voiced by I. Goethe: “Divide and conquer” is a wise rule, but “unite and direct” ... although this will require a remarkable talent and wisdom, but worth it.
"To consolidate power over them, it is enough to eradicate the clan of the former sovereign" - reception No. 5 - Machiavelli / Sovereign
To begin with, conquered and inherited possessions can belong either to one country and have one language, or to different countries and have different languages. In the first case, it is not difficult to keep the conquered, especially if the new subjects did not know freedom before. To consolidate power over them, it is enough to eradicate the clan of the former sovereign, for with common customs and preservation of the old order, anxiety cannot come from anything else. Machiavelli / Sovereign
Admission recommended Machiavelli, admittedly, cruel to say the least, but like the other recommendations of the classic are quite far-sighted. By the way, the Trotskyists (the radical wing of the Bolsheviks) took advantage of this, who, after the revolution of 1917, shot the royal family. But we are considering the technology itself, without going into the ethical side of the issue.
I had an interesting case. Somehow I was offered the distribution of children's sweets, one Russian manufacturer. Before I agree or refuse, I decided to monitor the market for such products. I drove to supermarkets, looked at the wholesale market. It turned out that there are a lot of competitors, it was this product that was not presented anywhere. I did an intricate express analysis, such as: "... since manufacturers compete in this niche so much, then there is a demand for similar products, since these products are not there, why not try it." We paid a trial batch of products, received the goods. I sent a sales agent to the sales outlets, as is usually done, but I decided to talk to the wholesalers myself ... and then an interesting detail was found out, which confirms the idea of the classic.
There were not a lot of wholesalers at that time, 3-4 firms selling such products. I talked with one, refused. I talked with another, refused. Offered to the third and fourth, refused. I was surprised. The fact is that with the sales agent this product went off with a bang, and the wholesalers refused. The situation is very strange. The entrepreneur refuses the goods, which are well sold in retail. I decided to talk with one acquaintance of an entrepreneur who had been trading in this market for a long time, another new niche. I wanted to know what might cause such a strange behavior. I proceeded from my understanding. If they offer me a product that a priori sells well, why not use it, because I already have a clientele and my own network, i.e. additional earnings on the finished network. But after talking with a "local" entrepreneur, I came to an unexpected conclusion, with his prompting. It turns out that they refuse to buy the goods not because they are not profitable, but because they are AFRAID that another wholesaler will appear on the market (in my person). Although at that time I couldn’t make any serious competition for them, but for them the benefit received by selling my product was clearly insufficient than the FEAR of the appearance of a new player on the market. It is possible that this was not so, but no matter how much we did not look for the reasons for the refusal, we could not find other reasons. So the classic was right. Entrepreneurs sometimes use Machiavelli tricks without knowing it on an intuitive level.
Moreover, there has long been a reception in the market where, for some reason, different businesses intersect, with similar products, with the same target audience, but there are some differences. So, in such cases, some entrepreneurs practice the method of price struggle with a competitor, if the competitor has a similar product, but the competitor removes the main margin from other goods than he does. In this case, he purchases this product from the manufacturer and sells it at the BUYING price in order to squeeze the competitor out of the market.
Or the technique used by the "corporation of good" (google), they have long noticed a "strange" tendency to buy up any IT projects if they can at least somehow drag out part of their audience. What the Reader will say strange in this, and it will be right, the strange thing is that the vast majority of these projects are then destroyed under various pretexts, although they spent a lot on it.