EDITOR, The Tribune.
The strategy of divide and conquer was first develop by Sun Tzu’s, a Chinese General 2500 years ago. In the west, the divide your enemy so you can rule approach is attributed to Julius Cesar — he successfully applied it to conquer Gaul twenty-two centuries ago.
Elements of this technique involve: creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers encouraging meaningless expenditures that reduce the capability for political and military spending.
The Caribbean have inherited the tendency to divide and rule from the British. It is inherent in the Westminster System as the ruling party and the opposition. It is meant to keep people divided and benefiting from one party and disliking the other. The creation and perpetuation of Hindu-Muslim antagonism was the most significant accomplishment of British imperial policy: the colonial project of “divide et impera” (divide and rule) fomented religious antagonisms to facilitate continued imperial rule and reached its tragic culmination in 1947. The British divided up the Middle East after World War I, and they did it again in India. The Caribbean and the Bahamas continued the British system of divide and rule. Loyalty is more important than competence for executive position in government and related private sector. The question I ask is will we mindless continue a system that has created crime and poverty for the many with a few elites that acts as managers so the developed world can plunder the country’s resources.
From June 13, 1789 to July 1, 1789 in the assembly in France, people to the left of the president of the assembly were against the monarch and stood for movement or progress while the people on the right were for the monarch and for order. This division of left wing and right wing continues today. But what has happened recently is that the right has moved more left thereby keep order and having social programme for the marginalised. In the US Donald Trump a Republican, a right wing party sends US $1200 cheque to Americans for doing nothing – free money like a left wing politician. In the Bahamas both parties (PLP and FNM) were moderate pro-Western parties committed to democracy and free enterprise. The division in the Bahamas is between the have and have nots. The department of social services programmes and the R.I.S.E programme to Tackle Poverty are attempts to alleviate poverty. These programmes put a band aid on a gunshot wound. The evidence is the high homicide rate in the Bahamas and the exponential growth of youth involvement in criminal gangs. They have create a vacuum where the people will find alternatives to deliver what they want and need. Sometimes, it is drug selling, scamming, prostitution or robbery because many are Machiavellian – by any means necessary. Election does not bring fundamental changes because politics is the art of deception. The Bahamas will continue to be colonized once the people are divided. We have external colonizers and their internal collaborators. The people have power but they naively bestow it to their political leaders instead of exercising it for their own benefits. I agree with Malcolm X when he said, “what, what do you call second-class citizenship? Why, that’s colonization. Second-class citizenship is nothing but 20th slavery.” There is still a lot of work to be done, especially with the impact of COVID-19 health and economic crisis.
To look at the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Bahamas and the world. Just like the US Patriot Act crippled privacy for financial transactions after the twin towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001, the response to this pandemic will cripple freedom of movement and health privacy. Biosecurity will trump civil liberties. Whether that is a wise move is for the people to decide. Let’s get ready to rumble.
BRIAN ELLIS PLUMMER
September 15, 2020.