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Recognising The Tools That Divide Us

Recognising the tools that are used to divide us is the first step in fighting back.

From Emma Kathryn


I often say that the only real freedoms we have left to us are what we think and how we spend our money.

I am wrong.

Our spending habits are dictated largely by our needs in life. Make the cost of living, the cost of surviving higher, then you are already well on the way to snatching this freedom from us. How many of us, in so-called rich, first world nations, struggle to survive, struggle to eat, to heat our homes, to even keep the roofs over our heads? How much of our income is left over, so that we may enjoy ourselves in a world where everything costs?

For many, this freedom does not exist, and for those whom it does, it is eroded daily. If you can’t even afford to survive, if you can’t afford to buy the basics necessary to survive, then you are not free.

We are sold the dream of normality: our own house, a car or two, branded clothes and package holidays. How many people aspire to such a mundane existence? How many think this is living the dream? Any deviance from this norm, from this mindless, thoughtless norm is regarded with suspicion. If you don’t achieve these things, you’re a failure. It doesn’t matter that this lifestyle is financed for many by debt: car finance; mortgages; credit cards and loans.

It doesn’t matter, so long as it looks like we’ve ‘made it’, that it looks like we are successful.

We are the freaks, those of us who know our true nature and strive for our own dreams and wants. We who shun this false norm, who forge our own paths, we are the weirdos, we free thinkers are the odd ones. Embrace your weirdness, your otherness–for it is this that will keep you free.

Our thoughts, how we think and what we think, are the last bastions of true freedom, and thus, the tools of state, of capitalism seek to destroy this. Thoughts are powerful things. The greatest (and the worst) achievements of the human race all ascend from mans ability to think.

If you take a moment to consider man, as an animal, he is a poor specimen. By rights, we shouldn’t have survived as a species. We aren’t particularly fast, we aren’t physically strong, we have no fur to survive the cold, we’re physically slow. The list of man’s inadequacies to survive in the natural world is long. And yet we dominate the planet, are at the top of the food chain. If not for our brains, for the power of our thoughts, who knows what would have become of mankind! Thoughts are powerful things. If in doubt ask any occultist!

So to dismantle the tools of state, of capitalism then, we must familiarise ourselves with the tools they would use to control us.

The attack on what and how we think is insidious, sneaking in to all aspects of life. Schools are failing our children, so instead of educating them, kids are taught to pass tests, the pass rate and Ofstead (a government body that inspects state schools) rating of the school more important than teaching the children quality knowledge, how to think for themselves. Instead individuality is crushed.

And it’s not the teachers fault! Here in the UK, teachers and successive governments (all governments too, left and right) are always at loggerheads. Teachers increasingly have to teach children things that were traditionally taught in the home, through example and experience and just general parenting. There is often talk of extending the school day in line with working patterns, and in this world where both parents must work full-time but quality childcare is unaffordable, it sounds like a good idea. The erosion of the family (and that’s family in any form!) is not a conspiracy theory!

Then there’s advertising and television programming (they’re called programs for a reason!), all hinting at what we should feel in regards to this stimuli or that. Opinion pieces and chat shows, morning TV, the news, are all designed to elicit certain responses. It’s like a drip effect.

What actually spurred me to write this piece, though, was a government report into race inequality that was recently published. This particular report, the ‘race disparity audit’, looked at the link between races and wealth and privilege factors, including the ownership of homes. The report found that white British people are more likely to own their own homes and be in employment than those from ethnic minorities.

I stumbled upon this story whilst scrolling through Facebook, and though I know I shouldn’t have, I couldn’t help but read the comments section. I had hoped to see people call the report out for what it so blatantly was – a piece designed to invoke difference and friction. What the report ‘found’ was nothing new, offered no new insight, no insight at all really, and only served to make people defensive. Defensive people fight back.

Whilst people were busy blaming one group or another for being ‘lazy’ or ‘privileged’ (divide and conquer indeed!), they were missing the obvious flaws of the report. For one thing, in Britain, and as far as I have experienced, issues of race and culture can be quite complicated. For example, the report looked at White British, Black, and Asian, all seemingly very concrete, very different subsections of society. But what the report fails to do, or doesn’t make clear, or outright ignores, is that such differences, in real life, are often very blurred. For example, I’m mixed race (White British and Afro Caribbean if you’re wondering), and British. Half of my family are white, the other half black, where would someone like myself fit into it all? And that’s the problem, issues like this aren’t clear-cut, are multifaceted, with many contributing factors. Reports like this are designed to cause friction between friends, neighbours, and sometimes even family.

Reports like this are designed to distract us. Whilst we are busy arguing amongst ourselves about man-made castes and classes, we aren’t scrutinising the government. I think people sometimes forget that governments are meant to be our representatives, are meant to govern for us, not over us. I think governments have forgotten this as well. Or maybe they haven’t, hence the need to divide us all over shit that doesn’t mean anything and doesn’t matter.

And distract us they do! How many pointless online arguments are there between groups and people, who often times have quite similar beliefs and opinions? Instead of uniting, people get caught up on the semantics of a concept, arguing obscure points that mean absolutely fuck all in the real world (what I mean by the real world is the everyday lives of the people who just want to get on and live their lives ). We argue over the most trivial things, blame one another for the problems created by an unfair system.

This separation of people, this ploy to distract us can be seen in all aspects of modern life, personal and professional. At work recently, my manager had to do a progression plan with a head office type. We have a small staff in the shop, and we all get on, are a team. In an employee survey, our manager received full compliments from us, his staff, and instead of this being seen as a good thing, the manager was told it was too much! That he shouldn’t be so popular amongst the other plebs, because that is what we are, what we are seen as.

When the plebs, the people, (because we are all plebs in the eyes of government)  unite, it spells danger, not only in work, but in life generally.

Any kind of unification of the people is a danger to governments. Look at Catalonia! Look how other governments around the world denounce the Catalonian people and government. It reminds me of the Brexit campaign, when other governments threatened us with no trade agreements, that we as a country would be ‘at the back of the queue’. Fear is a motivating factor, and as such, another tool that governments use to separate us.

It’s hard to stick to your guns when your threatened with this and that, harder still when you have children or others who depend on you. It is scary, change and the unknown, but we are powerful, we must stand united, all people, from all backgrounds. It’s the only chance we have for any real change.

And so, an important aspect of the good fight is to learn to recognise the tools the state would use to divide us. Learn to recognise media reports that aim to set one group against another. Do your own research, form your own opinions based on solid research because media reports often try and portray a certain perspective, elicit a particular response. Get out and about in your community, because a good, strong community cannot be turned in on itself, neighbour will not turn against neighbour when they know one another. Start at the grassroots level, because everything stems from there.

We are powerful things, and we must learn to recognise the tools and tactics capitalism, and thus The State, would use against us. Recognising the tools that are used to divide us is the first step in fighting back.


Emma Kathryn

My name is Emma Kathryn, an eclectic witch, my path is a mixture of traditional European witchcraft, voodoo and obeah, a mixture representing my heritage. I live in the middle of England in a little town in Nottinghamshire, with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs, Boo and Dexter. When not working in a bookshop full time, I like to spend time with my family outdoors, with the dogs. And weaving magick, of course!

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7 Comments »

  1. I don’t consider myself to be a member of any ‘Us,’ so I’m sure which ‘Us’ you’re referring to. It is not ‘unity’ that I aspire to, but affinity – affinity with specific individuals who share specific desires in common with my own. You can write this off as an obscure, nit-picky philosophical point if you want to, but I would beg to differ. This is among the most pragmatic of considerations for anyone who professes to want radical social change. I’ll take real divisions over artificial unities any day of the week.

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  2. Thanks for reading, first and foremost.

    I believe, when discussing the tools used to divide us ( and by us, I mean people, not those in power, not the state, or capitalism), I do not want ‘artificial unities’. The divisions I speak of in this article are man made, used to control us, to make us argue and bicker over meaningless crap, that doesn’t really mean anything. So for example, the report I specifically mention in the article, all it achieved was to further separate people, forcing people to ‘pick a side’ if you will. It didn’t add anything useful at all. Affinity and unity are two very different things to me. Unity means, to me at least and in terms of what I have written, that we are not separated, and turned against one another by the ploys used by the state to control us, that we are not brainwashed into hating this or that group because we are drip fed that we should. Until we can stop this, then radical social change will not occur, because there will always be the masses arguing amongst themselves.

    Thanks again for reading!

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  3. My problem with the language of ‘unity’ is that it tends to feed into precisely the sort of in-group/out-group mentality you’re trying to get away from. I wouldn’t say that the bickering that occurs between various subgroups of the human population is due to a lack of ‘unity,’ I would say that it’s very much the opposite: speaking of “the People” or “the Masses” as a unified collectivity is precisely what makes it possible for different subgroups to construct their own collective identities to rally around. The way out of this deadlock is not to affirm some all-encompassing image of the “Human Family” or other similar idea, but to affirm difference on an immediate interpersonal rather than group level.

    Anyway, as much as I disagree with your underlying premise, I do appreciate the good faith response.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Revolt starts within. Sure we can be manipulated, but we can unlearn being manipulated. We start by looking within not without. I buy very little, part of it because have being poor most of my life, but also because there are very few things that I want.

    I have had friends that had money and seen their homes. The only difference between them and most people is the price of the junk that they fill their homes with. Most of our middle class in the United State is not middle class at all, the image of being middle class comes from being in debt up to their ears to have those things that they are told are needed by the middle class. A telling point about them was a Poll that asked them a single question. “If you needed $300 to $600 for an Emergency could you get it?” 90% said that they could not raise that amount of money. So much for what we claim is the middle class in modern day America.

    My own spending stays mostly the same year round. I do not take part in fake holidays that create extra spending, have fakes sales,nor do I go on three day party drunks. I have never had a bank loan, a mortgage, nor credit cards. I don’t like stress being bi-polar so I live in such a way to not create it. With the exception of plenty of hot tea, I have no addictions, not tobacco, Liquor, nor recreational drugs, though, I went through periods of using all of them. Some of this was luck, but some of it was simply that I used money for more basic things.

    I told a Hispanic kid of twelve years my idea of money. Money gives you choices until you spend it. As long as you have some in your pocket you have choices.

    As a young man I found inexpensive ways often entertaining myself.A ten cent cup of coffee back in days when the refills were free could keep in an interesting place studying street people as a hobby. I almost never used buses, so that I walked from five to twenty miles ever day. It was the way I explored odd areas of Los Angeles at no cost, beyond shoe leather. One beer at a bar could keep me going for a couple of hours, long enough to strike up some interesting conversations. Those conversations where my main entertainment. My books all came from the public library. I lived on the road for ten years with my partner and a cat for ten years and never felt homeless, after all my home was with me wherever I was at the moment. Then I had five post office boxes in three states and an equal number of library cards.

    My situation gradually improved so that I am slightly above poverty. I live in a building of adobe, with cold water, concrete floors, what furniture that I have was built out of concrete blocks angle iron and plywood. I have one bar stool and a dining room chair for using in front my computer that I have bought. However I have never owned a TV set, a radio, nor any sort of music player from the old phonograph, to tape system to CD players. I have a microwave for cooking and a small bar size refrigerator and makeup my own meals. Living out here in the desert, I do not feel the lack of these other alleged necessities. I do have heat and window air conditioning for health reasons.

    I run a small shop for tourists that covers costs of having the building as a home. The occasional visitor I talk with about anything but business, sometimes they buy something, some times not. My part time employee is now co owner of everything that I have. This way he will not have to deal with probate.

    Thus life is not all that expensive. Not only that,but it gives me something that I enjoy doing, talking with people, as I can no longer drive, do much physical work, nor walk very far with my walker. Most of this would not be possible if I lived in a town, but then I could not imagine ever living in a town or village. I have everything that I need right here and meet new people all the time in small numbers. I do not like crowds. But such a life requires thinking out side of the box that others would like me to live within.

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  5. I think part of the problem lies in what you described as “the freaks”. The fact that you are realizing that there is some kind of sick game going on is what is away from the norm. Since average people will always look for validation from their own social groups, the realization that they are being deceived will never happen.

    The truth is that the ‘normality dream’ is being sold because the masses are willing to buy it.

    Survival is a strong instinct. Neighbour will indeed turn against neighbour when the needs of her/his own immediate circle are not fullfilled. So, a clever government will have its population thinking first of all on food and shelter, while at the same time providing hope in small doses in the form of social security, credits, free food etc. (you can see a more cynical example of this in the third-world). As long as the population don’t have its basic needs fullfilled the idea of unity is merely a well intended illusion.

    And even if the unity you mention is a viable thing, it will always be unity against ‘the others’. Social injustice will remain the same even if you put the poor people on top. The only difference is that this time they will be the tyrants. You can verify this in last century’s thirld-world revolutions.

    Greetings from a working-class survivor in Mexico

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    • Hey, fellow working class survivor! Thanks for reading!

      ”Social injustice will remain the same even if you put the poor people on top. The only difference is that this time they will be the tyrants. You can verify this in last century’s thirld-world revolutions.”

      Exactly! Man made castes and classes are just another tool used to divide us, and why the problem is always there, no matter what government or body is on top, because of the very fact that there is a top, that there is always someone at the very bottom, being crushed. And to be honest, I really don’t like the concept of social justice, in that it doesn’t really achieve anything in the long run, doesn’t really achieve any meaningful or lasting change.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and respond!

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  6. thanks for this article, you are spot on! I remember this story: when Edward the first became king in 1272 he put to death all the Welsh bards, because he knew if the people did not know the stories of their past they would not think and if they did not think they could be ruled.

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