divide and conquer or rule

divide and conquer or rule

Meanings:
– win by getting one’s opponents to fight among themselves,
– a way of keeping yourself in a position of power by making the people under you disagree with each other so that they are unable to join together and remove you from your position,
– the policy of maintaining control over one’s subordinates or opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting in opposition

Examples:
1. They used divide and rule strategy to weaken their opponents.
2. A little minority have continued to govern by a policy of divide and conquer.
3. The politics of divide and rule in society.

Origin:
This idiomatic expression is a translation of the Latin maxim, Divide et impera (“divide and rule”), and began to appear in English about 1600 AD.

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