The strategy of Divide and Conquer is used very effectively by park owners. One use is to counter any opposition to their unfair or illegal business practices.
The phrase divide and conquer is attributed to Philip II, king of Macedon (382-336 BC), describing his policy toward the Greek city-states. In politics, divide and rule (also known as divide and conquer) is referring to a strategy of gaining and maintaining power based on the fact that many smaller opponents are easier to manage than one larger one.
The strategy includes:
* breaking up power alliances into smaller chunks that are easier to subdue/manage
* preventing small power groups from linking up and becoming more powerful
Effective use of this technique allows those with limited power to control those who collectively would have had a lot more influence. Source: http://askville.amazon.com/history-phrase-divide-conquer/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=29595554
Manipulate Via Feuds
Leaders who use a divide and conquer strategy may encourage or foster feuds between smaller powers. This kind of political maneuvering requires a great understanding of the people who are being manipulated. In order to foster feuds, for example, one must understand the political and social histories of the parties intended to take part in the feuds.
Inflated Egos & Delusions of Grandeur
The strategy also includes methods with which to control the funds and resources of the small conquered parties. For example, a powerful leader may encourage a less powerful leader to make unwise financial decisions in order to drain the smaller power’s resources. This is often successful if the leaders of the smaller powers have inflated egos and delusions of grandeur. It is important to note that this form is only effective if the smaller power allows itself to be influenced by the larger power. Source: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-divide-and-conquer-strategy.htm.
How Does This Relate to Today?
Often park residents are divided between those who are pro-management, and those who are pro-resident. Why would a resident be pro-management? Simple! The get special treatment and management uses them against pro-resident residents.
What about advocacy groups? Yes, we are sure the park owners love the fact that advocacy groups are not working together. This plays right into their hands. They love the fact that membership in groups is at it’s lowest point in two decades. This means they will have less opposition, both in parks they own and in Sacramento.
We Are Not Helping Our Cause
We are not helping ourselves! All park owners have to do to Divide and Conquer is to let us continue our present course. We’ll continue to divide ourselves. This takes the form of:
a. Advocate groups not working together, not being open and transparent, not providing members financial or membership reports.
b. Group leaders having inflated egos and delusions of grandeur, i.e. it is my group!
b. Residents not supporting advocates: not joining, not volunteering, not being active, not donating…
We salute those residents who do way more than their fair share. They contribute financially, they join and they volunteer.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
We classify bad behavior as anyone who divides us. Remember the Pledge in last month’s MH Life magazine.
Advocates should be open and transparent.
They should publish financial and membership reports at least twice a year.
They should have at least quarterly meetings. Meetings may be via the internet if necessary.
All advocates need to work, share, network, brainstorm and communicate with all others in our state-wide community and be accountable for their actions.
Advocates must be responsive, i.e. respond within 24 hours to emails, or phone calls, and within 7 days to letters.
You Have The Power
You (the 750,000 residents of mobile/manufactured homes in California) have the power to make this a new day! Now you have a voice through COMO-CAL’s website to let us know what you want, and what you need. Simply go to www.comocal.org and make a comment on any article or post. You can also post your own articles. Your opinion counts and we love it when you participate.
Now you have a way to bring advocates together, to get them to be open and transparent, to get them publishing financial and membership information, and to get them working together (see January MH Life). All it takes is your $25 to join COMO-CAL.