There's a rule: Whatever "they" can control they will control.
The divide is that real and that great. It really has become "them" against us -- the self-important governing class -- the "elites" -- against us, the common man and woman.
Keeping us -- you and me -- focused on only the small and immaterial is the key to their keeping power. They know that. "Bread and circus" is how the rulers of ancient Rome described it. And they -- the rulers of ancient Rome -- thus provided both.
(Usually, it is worth noting. less "bread" and more "circus.")
Doing that left deciding about the important' matters up to them -- the ruling class. And that was just the way they liked it.
Empowered elites today know and follow that same rule and make every effort -- some seen, but much unseen -- to keep the common man and woman likewise focused on life's 'littler' things. On 'bread and circus.'
But what of those of us that won't play along? -That prefer to think about and discuss matters that the ruling class see as their own prerogative? Such are quietly silenced.
The internet was for a time a true "free for all." A place where anyone could say just about anything. And amidst the trivial and garbage alike was much of greater worth. And search engines such as Google made it all easily accessible. It was then a matter of "just ask."
That, sadly, is no longer the case. Algorithms have been designed and instituted in search engines such as Google to consign undesirable material to the mere periphery -- making it hard to find -- and increasingly to consign some of it to the cyber garbage bin where it will never be seen by anyone.
That free political thought would fall into this category of the banned and discarded was a given. For nothing so threatens the self-assigned governing class as does a free flow of information about both the choices they daily make to control our lives, or the choices we might make for ourselves were we to become free from their ever-steering, "superior," knowledge.
If we understand this should we really be a surprised that the Obama Administration has given away control of the internet -- an American invention -- to a non-democratic, United Nations, body? Control. Control. Control. That to the ruling class is everything.
Note that all the above is not just theoretical. Even now things are already getting bad. And noticeable. Our ability to post and access material that is not "approved" by our self-assigned 'masters' is becoming more and more difficult.
I, myself, have seen attempts to cross post a live political event to Facebook thrice thwarted -- until the event was over. Then, suddenly, my post about it appeared -- too late to do the ruling class much harm or to do potentially interested people much good.
Two days ago I shared information on Facebook about a respected writer and thinker (with a medical degree with specialty in psychology from Harvard and a Doctorate in Political Affairs from MIT) who had himself posted a controversial idea about current US politics-- and low and behold saw his website disappear from the web.
It was gone for two day. Now, interestingly, its headline status gone, it is back.
The above happening is hardly unnoticed. Return pressure is being applied, sometimes with success. But the battle is far from won. Indeed one can expect that this battle has only just started.
Is there anything we -- that is people who care -- can do? Yes.
Know about the above. Care about it. That is the first step: Be aware that others -- those in positions of power and influence -- wish to both silence you and keep from knowing what it is they are doing.
Continue to think, speak and post boldly -- that's the second. About not just the trivial, but about things that really matter to you.
I am not suggesting that one must reject "bread and circus." Life is much more than politics and the world's affairs. So yes, continue to post to Facebook and the like about your favorite recipes and restaurant visits. Share photos of your family and friends. Shout out about your favorite music, sports teams and movies.
But if your mind and spirit cries out for things of greater depth don't allow "them" to limit your interests. Or your expressions.
Learn. Think, know, speak and act.
In the end it comes down to our continuing to do those five things.
It did for the ancient Romans. It does for us today.
Remember: They are the few. We are the many.
Also remember: They only have as much power over our lives as we are willing to allow them.