Colonel Dan, SASS #24025, Life/Regulator
If you were intent on bringing down a powerful rival whose philosophy, as originally founded, was strong, independent and entirely opposite from your own—a country that you would not want to confront militarily—how would you go about it? The answer is simple; orchestrate the society’s destruction from within.
Although possibly taking longer than a military victory and requiring great patience, the damage would be just as effective if not more so. When you destroy from within, you do it by using that country’s own people, no blood is spilled in combat and the physical infrastructure is left intact.
In any country, there are but a few key areas that determine how the citizens mature, live, and develop their beliefs. These are the focal points that must be attacked. In his book, On War, Clausewitz referred to this concept of identifying and then focusing on select points as attacking the center of gravity.
The center of gravity is that key element, if controlled or destroyed, would most hurt your opponent and is the critical factor in achieving your objective. In this case, when taking control of or destroying a country from within, the key is to attack and control the mind of the inhabitants—you must shape the way people view life and the values upon which their life is based. Shape the mind and you control their direction. Control their direction and you can lead them down a pathway to hell.
The centers of gravity I would shape in orchestrating a country’s downfall from within are its perception of truth, its future generations, the political philosophy, its sense of nationalism and of course, the economy.
To shape truth, control the media: Most people absorb what they know about life from the major media centers these days. The media paints the picture for all to see. If that picture is constantly distorted, lies become accepted as truth, i.e. tell enough lies repeatedly and soon those lies are accepted as fact. Spin and concoct, distort and influence using the public platforms such as television, radio and print and you can influence, sway and control the mind of the vast majority of its population in any area you choose. This subversive influence includes pitting one group against another in order to foment internal discord as well as ridiculing, discrediting and challenging moral principles and national values in order to destroy any hint of a strong spiritual foundation or allegiance to a unique national culture. This is a much easier task if many in your target audience have become lazy, ill-educated, ill-informed, unthinking and apathetic.
To shape future generations, control the schools: Incrementally indoctrinate the children with principles that are sympathetic to your philosophy. Make future generations weak in mind, body and spirit. Avoid teaching children the basic facts about their own history, constitution or rights. Teach them that natural aggression is wrong and docile submission is right. Teach them that any basis of a moral foundation, like the principles of religion, is a weakness to be avoided in the name of freedom and also redefine the concept of patriotism to support your views. Teach them to cast off old values and traditions in the interest and name of sensitivity—after all, we wouldn’t want to offend anyone with our old fashioned or traditional beliefs now would we? And guns, guns are wicked, dangerous, and socially unacceptable—an evil that must be eradicated from society—for the good of the children of course.
To shape the political philosophy, infiltrate the government: Whenever and wherever possible place those sympathetic to your philosophy into office at all levels—the higher, the better—so they can sway the direction of the country within every function of government, promising solutions, handouts and benefits for all. In such a way you can tilt legislation toward incrementally increasing the control of and dependency on government—a government that you are shaping. Concurrently, if you can pack the courts with appointed judges who will not hold you accountable to the law and its constitution, you can act with virtual impunity. Infiltration at the highest levels can also be employed to weaken the military through budget cuts, unwarranted restrictions and over commitment, degrading both force morale and effectiveness. A country without a strong military is like a bull without horns or a tiger without claws—defenseless and vulnerable.
To shape the sense of nationalism, dilute the culture and the language: A strong society has at its foundation a unique culture and a common language. Simply put, it is the culture and language which ultimately defines and unites a nation. If you can manipulate these two critical elements through legislative action and social pressure, you can weaken the foundation of any country. How? Introduce and eventually force the acceptance of a multi-cultural concept and refuse to accept a common tongue as the official language. In short, prevent cultural assimilation and undermine any sense of nationalism. Encourage and orchestrate a mosaic society rather than a melting pot and you will eventually mortally wound the national fabric.
To shape the economy, spend, spend, spend and tax, tax, tax: A country with a strong economy is financially independent and its people unlikely to look toward the government for much of anything. If free people don’t depend on their government, that government has limited sway over them. By legislating large sums from the public treasury you accomplish two important goals. First you create dependents of the public and private business that are now subject to conditions, rules and regulations you dictate. Secondly, you are putting that country into unsustainable debt, reducing the value of the currency while undermining its economy. And of course, to support all this spending, you now make the case that the people must “invest” in all these government provided “benefits” so you tax them relentlessly stealing money from their pockets and independence from their lives. Eventually, if you tax and spend enough, you financially oppress the people to the point of serfdom and overload their economic structure to the point of collapse.
Through patient manipulation and clever coordination of these few centers of gravity, you can, in time, weave the downfall of even the most powerful nation, using its own citizens and systems to orchestrate the destruction.
The irony is that in just a few generations, the indoctrinated masses will be convinced this trail which has been shaped for them is truly the enlightened path for mankind and they will unwittingly look forward to the trip! You have thus taken control of a powerful rival without firing a shot or spilling a drop of blood.
Post Script: Periodically, I review articles I’ve written in the past to determine my accuracy concerning how the present’s past actually unfolded compared to the view from my saddle at the time. I wrote this one in 2001 for my column in an international news organization. You be the judge as to its accuracy. What I can say with 100% assurance is that we certainly live in interesting times my friends. Just a review from my archived saddle…
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