“The flowering of human society depends on two factors: the intellectual power of outstanding men to conceive sound social and economic theories, and the ability of these or other men to make these ideologies palatable to the majority.”
—Ludwig von Mises (2016). Human Action, p.1075, Lulu Press, Inc.
As is revealed by this quote, in order to advance, society requires (needs) sound social and economic theories — and a corollary to that essential requirement of societal advancement, is the continued existence and action of two kinds of people:
Investigators and Communicators
Without one or the other kind of person contributing to a society, that society will become doomed. That’s because the discovery process is vital to humankind, and because people can, by inertia or other incentives, continue detrimental actions.
When social movements occur, they occur because a coalition was built. It can be a good coalition, such as one aimed at removing a terrible evil, or it can be a bad coalition, such as one aimed at the prevention of the removal of a terrible evil (because some special interest is deriving unearned benefit from that evil).
The primary way that you stop a coalition is to fracture it into pieces. The primary way that you fracture it into pieces is to cause or incite or propagate “in-fighting.”
The current Medical Freedom Movement is undergoing pressure to fracture, and the most likely reason is because some special interests benefit by preventing the removal of a specific evil — such as a cadre of “COVID billionaires” who seek to cement their status at the top of the world by using international organizations for personal gain.
How to create Schism (division)
In order to fracture a group that threatens your ability to extract unearned wealth and power — such as is the case with the Medical Freedom Movement vs. world tyrants — you find wedge issues which split them into camps, and then you coax or entice them to use uncharitable communication with each other, so that animosity grows.
Imagine a simplified society, Shapeville, with 5 types of animated, geometric shapes:
circles, triangles, squares, pentagons, and hexagons
Each shape has is own uses and, by participating in transaction-to-mutual-gain, each shape obtains values which support its life. The free enterprise system allows them to even growth wealth and have luxury and leisure — so that they can pursue higher goals, such as spiritual growth.
But then a crisis ensues and a specific and vital task arises which requires shapes that are “mostly” circular, but with sharp-enough edges to turn a rotor (by a gear). The circles had been the primary shape for rotary movement, and they would like to continue their hegemony in this regard. This new task threatens their living standards.
It is discovered that either pentagons or hexagons work equally well in turning the rotor. This discovery causes great dismay in the circles, who had been deriving most of their income from rotary movement. As pentagons and hexagons line up to apply for the new job of working as part of the gears, circles initiate a whisper campaign:
To the pentagons, the circles whisper that shapes with 5 corners are best, because the sharper corners grab the gear teeth better. They say that hexagons are trying to “move in on” the work that is the natural birthright of pentagons, creating animosity.
To the hexagons, the circles whisper that shapes with 6 corners are best, because they have more “grab points” on the teeth of the gears, reducing the strain or tension on any individual tooth — prolonging the life of the gear.
They tell the hexagons that the pentagons are trying to “move in on” the work that is the natural birthright of hexagons, creating animosity towards those wily pentagons.
5 sides or 6 of them?
While standing in that line for a job, a fight breaks out between the pentagons and hexagons — and after the fighting has stopped, it was found that most of the corners on the shapes had become too damaged. The circles, watching from a distance, congratulated themselves on using a non-important distinction to divide the groups.
By focusing on something that was unimportant to the crisis-at-hand — i.e., the exact number of sides, 5 or 6 of them — the circles had prevented the advancement of society in order to cement or lock-in or freeze their prior position of being at the top of the list for jobs involving rotary movement. They laughed all the way to the bank.
The upshot of all of this is to remember that forces will arise which attempt to bifurcate coalitions that have grown up behind real solutions, so that those who benefit from chaos can continue to benefit without the threat of a critical mass of people discovering the scam and thwarting their process of continual plunder.
Let’s stay as civil as is possible with each other as we discuss our differences — keeping ideas as the main topic of interest, not the personalities which sit behind those ideas (even if various personalities are found to actually personally profit from some of them). Let’s not allow envy and/or spite to have any power over our debates.
Our future likely depends on our ability to do so.