This is why we’re weak. Here’s how we can become strong.

by Fabius Maximus

Summary: Here is the short explanation of why we are weak in this election years. Here is how we can again become strong. Simple to describe, but the price is high. It’s our choice.

Divide et impera.
— Ancient Roman wisdom.

True then. True today.

"Join, or Die" by Benjamin Franklin (1754).
“Join, or Die” by Benjamin Franklin (1754).

America has many powerful factions. Corporations, lavishly funded special interest groups, right-wing groups pushing their ideology, left-wing groups pushing their ideology, the Deep State (police and intelligence agencies), etc. Most of these are funded by businesses or the wealthy. These are the political actors that shape America. We are not on the list. In elections we choose from the menu they give us. This makes us pleasant peasants, easy to rule.

“It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country to decide, by their conduct and example, the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.”
— Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Papers #1.

This is inevitable. It is the state of nature. We are ruled by coalitions of groups, with leadership, organization, and money. We are isolated, powerless, individuals. But we experienced this at the beginning of humanity’s origin and overcame it. Foraging and scavenging gave us a break existence. Then we learned to hunt in packs as cursorial (or persistence) hunters – running our prey into the ground. As our bodies and minds evolved, we became the finest such hunters the world has ever seen. This was humanity’s first step to greatness, taken even before the invention of tools and fire.

The NYT has a nice summary. Also see the Wikipedia entry – “Persistence Hunting by Modern Hunter-Gatherers” by Louis Liebenberg in Current Anthropology, December 2006 – and “The evolution of marathon running: Capabilities in humans” by Daniel E. Lieberman and Dennis M. Bramble in Sports Medicine, April 2007. For a longer explanation, see Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (2009).

Just as organization gave us power on the Serengetti Plains millions of years ago, people organized to gain power in the Athenian and Roman Republics. In modern times, people organized to gain power in Switzerland, Great Britain, and colonial America. Organizing can give us power today. The political machinery bequeathed us by the Founders is idle, but remains potentially decisive. To restart it, we need only re-learn to stand together and (above all) to act.

“Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. …He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is attached, provides a proper cure for it. …By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”
— James Madison in The Federalist Papers #10.

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Those who wish to rule us use three great tools. First, the act to divide us. Our foes seek to fracture American society by race, by gender, and by political ideology. They seek to make us hate each other (e.g., see Matt Taibbi’s Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another). Above all, they seek to prevent us from seeing our common needs and goals.

“Every man who loves peace; every man who loves his country; every man who loves liberty, ought to have it ever before his eyes, that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the union of America, and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it.”
— James Madison in The Federalist Papers #41.

Second, they seek to convince us that our passivity is the key to a better future. They want our obedience: voting as directed, marching and bleating like sheep in public events, reading only tribal media (nothing with forbidden insights), applauding tribal icons and hating the tribe’s foes.

Our getting involved in politics – from school boards to national elections, walking through your neighborhood to advocate for a candidate, working to choose nominees, joining local political party organizations – these are the most destabilizing things imaginable to our rulers.

“Our liberty is protected by “above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America; a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.”
— James Madison in The Federalist Papers #57.

Third, they want us ruled by fear and believing that we are weak. These are the most common themes among the 66 thousand comments on the FM website. A thousand and one reasons for despair, hopelessness, belief in our weakness, and passivity. Nothing makes our rulers happier.

“{W}hatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, {liberty} must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government.”
— Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist papers #84. He is speaking about freedom of the press, but this is the general tenor of the Papers regarding our liberty.



The authors of The Federalist Papers believed that the Republic’s success required more than belief in a political ideology. It requires a burning desire for self-government and a willingness to fight to defend the Republic. Despite the poetry of the Declaration, freedom is never free.

Election 2020 is another opportunity to make your voice heard. Make it count.




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