Copyright © 2002 by Joseph George Caldwell. All rights reserved. Posted at Internet web sites http://www.foundation.bw and http://www.foundationwebsite.org . May be copied or reposted for noncommercial purposes, with attribution. 28 April 2002; updated 1 May 2002.
For some time now I have intended to write a piece on strategy for global domination, but I have not found the time. At present I am consulting on a new project overseas, and I have been quite busy getting started on this effort. Rather than delay indefinitely work on a strategy piece, I will sketch my thoughts on the subject, and finish the work later.
Over the centuries, a massive literature has developed on the subject of politics, war, and strategy. I will begin this article by citing a few works on this subject area, and quoting a few passages from each that are relevant to the task of taking over a planet such as Earth in its present state of development.
I have a number of books on politics and war at my home in Clearwater, Florida, but I brought just a few of them with me on this trip. The books from which I will cite references are:
Plato, The Republic, translated with an introduction by Desmond Lee, Second Edition (revised), Penguin Books, New York, 1987, ISBN 0-14-044048 (Written by Plato in the fourth century BC.)
Machiavelli, Niccolò, The Prince, translated with an Introduction by George Bull, Penguin Books, New York, 1961, 1981 (with corrections), ISBN 0-14-044107-7 (Written by Machiavelli in in 1521.)
Machiavelli, Niccolò, The Art of War, a Revised Edition of the Ellis Farneworth Translation with an Introduction by Neal Wood, Second Da Capo Press Edition, 2001, Da Capo Press / Perseus Books, Cambridge, Massachusetts, ISBN 0-306-81076-X
Sun Tzu, The Art of War, translated and with an Introduction by Samuel B. Griffith with a Foreword by B. H. Liddell Hart, Oxford University Press, New York, 1963, ISBN 0-19-501476-6 (Written about 500BC.)
Liddell Hart, Basil Henry, Strategy, Second Revised Edtion, Meridian / Penguin Books, New York, 1954, 1967, ISBN 0-452-01071-3 (Liddell Hart lived 1895-1970).
Another good book is Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy, which I have, in the course of many moves, lost. Some material about Livy (Titus Livius) is presented in:
Kaplan, Robert D., Warrior Politics, Random House, New York, 2002, ISBN 0-375-50563-6
I would strongly recommend reading all of the preceding books to anyone with an interest in politics and war. (If Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy is available, his The Art of War, which expands on The Prince and The Discourses, could be omitted.) If you have time for only one book, Liddell Hart’s Strategy, is the one to read, but it is more concerned with strategy in war than with strategy in politics.
The books listed above make many, many points on the subjects of politics, war, and strategy, and it is by no means my objective to summarize them in any sort of comprehensive fashion. Rather, I will select a number of key observations from each, that have relevance to the goal of implementing the “minimal regret” form of planetary organization and management (discussed elsewhere at this website) – i.e., a single industrial nation of five million people and a primitive (hunter-gatherer) population of five million dispersed over the planet.
This book establishes a governmental basis for planetary management, i.e., a society in which the citizens are controlled by “Guardians” (rulers) and “Auxiliaries” (military, police, and executives). Note that the Guardians are specialists in war, as well as government. Plato has little use for democracy. His proposed system of government is a complete system of population control, which has never before been implemented. His comments about democracy include the observation that the common man is ill equipped for political matters, and that democracy encourages bad leadership. The democratically elected leader will pander to the desires of the citizenry – of “selling them comfort and not telling them the truth” (Lee). The diversity and variety of democracy spawn a growing lack of respect for and dislike for political and moral authority.
The citizen class has no say in matters of government. Plato has little to say on the matter of where the Guardians come from, or how that class (Rulers and Soldiers) arises in the first place, other than to propose a “Foundation Myth” that is accepted by all classes.
In The Prince, Machiavelli presents guidelines for rulers. He points out behavioral guidelines depending on how the ruler (“Prince”) comes to power. With respect to the role of a militia, he observes, “A prince, therefore, must have no other object or thought, nor acquire skill in anything, except war, its organization, and its discipline. The art of war is all that is expected of a ruler…. The first way to lose your state is to neglect the art of war; the first way to win a state is to be skilled in the art of war.”
A prince should possess most of the following qualities. “To those seeing and hearing him, he should appear a man of compassion, a man of good faith, a man of integrity, a kind and religious man. And there is nothing so important as to seem to have this last quality.”
“…A prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honor his word when it places him at a disadvantage and when the reasons for which he made his promise no longer exist. If all men were good, this precept would not be good, but because men are wretched creatures who would not keep their word to you, you need not keep your word to them. And no prince ever lacked good excuses to color his bad faith.”
Machiavelli asserts that progress often comes from hurting others. As Kaplan paraphrases Machiavelli, “in an imperfect world, men bent on doing good – and who have the responsibility for the welfare of a great many others – must know occasionally how to be bad, and how to savor it.”
“Wise princes, therefore, have always shunned auxiliaries and made use of their own forces. They have preferred to lose battles with their own forces than win them with others, in the belief that no true victory is possible with alien arms.”
Machiavelli stresses the importance of the military quality of virtù. “Machiavelli employs it to characterize masculine and aggressive conduct that is exhibited in a dangerous and uncertain situation of tension, stress, and conflict. The concept entails the idea of tremendous force of will and inner strength that will enable one to overcome the most recalcitrant opposition and to endure the most perilous adversary. Among the attributes included in virtù are boldness, bravery, resolution, and decisiveness.” (Wood)
Machiavelli cites the following relationship between the political and military arts (Wood):
Machiavelli asserts that of all social organizations, an army is the one requiring the greatest discipline. “Gambling and women, always a source of trouble in camp, should be strictly prohibited…. Religion is one of the strongest bulwarks of morale and martial spirit.” “Values are useless without arms to back them up; even a civil society requires police and a credible judiciary to enforce its laws.” (Kaplan)
In his Foreword to Samuel B. Griffith’s translation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, B. H. Liddell Hart praises Sun Tzu’s book as the best short introduction to the study of warfare, and observes that “in one short book Sun Tzu embodies almost as much about the fundamentals of strategy and tactics as I have covered in more than twenty books.”
“War is a grave concern of the state; it must be thoroughly studied. Here is recognition – and for the first time – that armed strife is not a transitory aberration but a recurrent conscious act and therefore susceptible to rational analysis.” (Griffith) He also stresses the importance of attempting all means to conquer an enemy short of war, and as a prelude to war (subversion, sowing dissention). “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” (Sun Tzu)
“All warfare is based on deception. A skilled general must be master of the complementary arts of simulation and dissimulation; while creating shapes to confuse and delude the enemy he conceals his true dispositions and ultimate intent…. Sun Tzu realized that an indispensable preliminary to battle was to attack the mind of the enemy.” (Griffith)
Sun Tzu emphasized the importance of indirect methods in warfare. “In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.” “The way to avoid what is strong is to strike what is weak.” “He will conquer who has learned the art of deviation.” “Rapidity is the essence of war; take advantage of the enemy’s unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.”
“The side that knows when to fight and when not to will take the victory.” “Sun Tzu says that the strongest strategic position is ‘formless’; it is a position that adversaries cannot attack because it exists everywhere and nowhere.” (Kaplan)
Rather unlike Clausewitz (“blood is the price of victory”), Sun Tzu’s viewpoint was that it was important to keep wars as short as possible, to accomplish the objective of the war with the fewest casualties (on both sides) and least effort. “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”
Kaplan observes, “In recent decades, unprecedented affluence has led to unprecedented altruism and idealism, complicating our reaction to the difficult truths revealed by philosophers like Hobbes and Malthus.” It is important to recognize that the views presented by Machiavelli, Livy, Sun Tzu and others are bases on centuries of experience. The unprecedented affluence of today’s world has never existed before, and philosophies of politics and war based on the extraordinary circumstances of today’s world are based on a single experience.
The classic work by Liddell Hart, Strategy, is based on a detailed analysis of warfare from the time of the ancient Greeks (fifth century BC) to the second part of the twentieth century. In my view, it is the single best source on military strategy.
In Liddell Hart’s view, the single most important element of strategy is the use of the indirect approach. He observes that forces whose strategy is based on a frontal attack usually lose. Frontal advances play a legitimate role, such as bluffs or means of drawing an enemy into an unfavorable situation, but history shows over and over again that the frontal attack is a poor basic strategy.
“During this survey (of wars over all of history) one impression became increasingly strong – that, throughout the ages, effective results in war have rarely been attained unless the approach has had such indirectness as to ensure the opponent’s unreadiness to meet it. The indirectness has usually been physical, and always psychological.”
Liddell Hart quotes Napoleon’s dictum that in war, “the moral is to the physical as three to one.” He notes that Napoleon’s successes stemmed from his study of the two most outstanding military writers of the eighteenth century, Bourcet and Guibert. From Bourcet, Napoleon learned the principle of calculated dispersion, to induce the enemy to disperse its concentration of forces prior to the quick reuniting of his own forces. He also learned the value of a “plan with many branches,” and the value of threatening several alternative objectives. Napoleon stressed the importance of applying concentration of force at the enemy’s weak points.
He observes that Clausewitz’s greatest contribution to the theory of war was in emphasizing psychological factors. He does not accept Clausewitz’s many aphorisms on the bloodiness of war as true out of context (“Blood is the price of victory.” “Let us not hear of generals who conquer without bloodshed.” “We have only one means in war – the battle.” “Only great and general battles can produce great results.” “The bloody solution of the crisis, the effort for the destruction of the enemy’s forces, is the first-born son of war.”)
Of Hitler, he notes that the true purpose of strategy is to diminish the possibility of resistance, and in agreement with Bourcet and Napoleon, that to ensure attaining one objective one should have alternative objectives. His view was that a frontal advance should be either a bluff or “walking on” part in the stage of war, and that the leading role would always be played by a rear attack. He rejected the “assault and bayonet-charging” (ABC) concept of war, and embraced a “double D” approach – demoralization and disorganization. He emphasized the use of propaganda (psychological warfare) to weaken the enemy’s will to resist as more effective than bombardment and killing.
In his book, Liddell Hart includes a chapter on the theory of strategy. He defines strategy as “the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy.” He distinguishes among three levels of strategy – “tactics,” which is concerned with actual fighting; “lower strategy” (or simply “strategy”) – the “art of the general” – which is concerned with allocation and movement of military forces on the battlefield in the actual conduct of the war; and “higher strategy,” or “grand strategy,” or “war policy,” which is concerned with the coordination and direction of “all the resources of a nation or group of nations toward the attainment of a political object of the war – the goal defined by fundamental policy.” While the three levels of strategy overlap, tactics is concerned with fighting, whereas the purpose of (lower) strategy is to reduce fighting to minimal proportions.
In his chapter on strategy, Liddell Hart recapitulates the importance of Bourcet’s premise that it is essential to have alternative objectives: “every plan of campaign ought to have several branches and to have been so well thought out that one or other of the said branches cannot fail of success.” This point of view is reflected in modern game theory – game theory can shed light on how to allocate forces optimally, and it can identify strategies for maximizing objectives, but it can best do so if someone is able to synthesize alternatives.
Liddell Hart summarizes the essence of strategy in tactics in the following eight axioms (six stated positively and two negatively):
In a chapter on grand strategy, Liddell Hart observes that the object of war is to attain a better peace, and that it is essential to conduct war with regard to the peace that is desired. He notes that this is an embodiment of Clausewitz’s definition of war as “continuation of policy by other means.” He observes that if you concentrate exclusively on victory, with no thought of what follows the war, you may be too exhausted to profit by the peace, the peace will be a bad one, and lead to another war.
The books that were listed above, and the many other books on political and military strategy, contain many analyses, observations, conclusions, principles, and recommendations. The preceding paragraphs have noted just a few of the major conclusions of eminent authors on the subject. This article will now proceed to sketch a strategy for assuming control of the world in the wake of global nuclear war, and implementing a minimal-regret population for the planet. The suggestions will be related to the general strategic principles outlined above. As this piece is at present just a draft, the suggestions are presented in brief outline order. Additional material will be supplied at a later date.
Some amplification on point four…. At the present time, no world leaders are willing to acknowledge that the industrial world is drawing to a close, or doing anything significant about stopping the destruction of the biosphere by industrialization and large human numbers. Current world leaders are quite comfortable with the “game” that they are playing. They are highly successful at it. The fact that all of nature is being destroyed by the current system (industrialization, globalization, large human population) does not concern them. They are, understandably, not the least bit interested in a world in which their culture and milieu for success is gone.
Their attitude is not surprising. World history has seen again and again the failure of political, military, and social leaders to plan for world changes that eliminate the society (nation, culture, religion) of which they are in charge. If war comes and they are no longer in charge, so be it, but they have no interest at all in planning for a future in which they or their children have no place. Because of this universal attitude, however, implementation of a plan for world domination / planetary management in which there is no place for them will not be easy. They will reject any significant actions, or even plans, to set up a post-industrial world, because it is not their world.
Most people relate solely to the current social context in which they find themselves. When global war occurs, current world leaders will either be dead or discredited. This is a major factor explaining why current leaders have no interest in addressing the environmental and ecological problems facing the world. The destroyed world of the next year or decade is of no interest to them – even discussion of it is objectionable, because it shows the irrelevance or wrongness of what they are doing.
If The Omega Project (described at this website) is to be successful, it will be because of planning on the part of exceptional leaders who realize that the current world situation cannot continue for very much longer, and who choose to prepare for a sustainable new world order in which human beings may live in harmony with nature.