Old time military wisdom suggests that the best way to win is by divisive tactics. It is the antithesis, you might say, of rule of law. It is actually rule by distraction and isolation.
The suggestion that you “divide and conquer” works when your enemy (let’s say, the freedom- loving people of a once great nation) respond by turning on each other. A divided front does not stand as one. Attention is drawn away from power to focus on side issues which further polarize.
Frank Capra included Divide and Conquer as the third installment of his “Why We Fight” documentaries of WWII propoganda. In it, he reveals the Nazi tactics in which Hitler signed “non-aggression pacts” with Denmark and Norway, and talked England down from its resistance to his invasion of Poland.
We can only be defeated when our principles are eroded.
The idea of divide and conquer builds on the weakness of those under the rule of an unscrupulous power.
Eating away at our sense of who we are is what demagogues do in order to conquer and prevail.