Ancient document on undermining society, by Sun Tzu of Tsin dynasty

by Stephen Hewitt

Here is a quote over two thousand years old but with resonance with today. It is from a book on the history of China, discussing the Tsin dynasty, which came to power in 221 BC and from which China gets its name.

Thus Sun Tzu lays down the following principle for the conduct of war against foreign powers:
  1. "Undermine everything that is good in the land of your enemies.
  2. Implicate the ruling class of your enemies in corruption and turn their youth into drug addicts.
  3. Undermine the standing of all leaders by frequent scandals.
  4. Do not hesitate to use the lowest and most repulsive creatures as collaborators.
  5. Use all means in your power to impede the activity of the government.
  6. Spread sectional disputes in the land of your enemies.
  7. Incite the young to struggle against the old.
  8. Devalue the traditions of your enemies, destroy all authority.
  9. Organise sabotage and withdrawal of labor.
  10. Sap the fighting spirit of the enemy by sensual desires and soft music.
  11. Make the enemy believe in total sexual freedom, turn his women into whores.
  12. Buy the services of traitors and infiltrate the enemy state with spies."
Just as there were now instructions as to how enemy provinces or states could be made ripe for conquest (instructions which strongly resemble those given in Kautilya's "Arthakathastra". written in India in 300 B.C.),
page 23-24, Concise History of Great Nations, China, Otto Zierer, translated by Godfrey Ivins, Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1978