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Synthetic Controversy

Synthetic Controversy

Regarding modern psywar application of the divide and conquer strategy

Chapter 7: Competitive Strategy
In war, the army succeeds by deception(surprising the enemy), by moving the enemy with benefits, and by divide or concentration of forces in variation.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

In his first Italian campaign in 1796 and 1797, Napoleon was outnumbered by nearly 20,000 troops by the Piedmontian and Hapsburg armies. He was able to defeat them by using rapid, forced advances which separated the two armies, allowing him to fight them singly.

The American Civil War provides an excellent example of the “divide and conquer” strategy with Stonewall Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign. While fielding only 17,000 men, Jackson was able to defeat three Union columns (60,000 troops) by using the difficult to terrain to ambush and fight each singly rather than facing all at once.

In warfare, dividing and conquering is a common tactic. It involves splitting the enemy forces into smaller groups, isolating them, and attacking each group separately to weaken their overall strength.

In politics, divide and conquer tactics typically involve creating divisions among opponents or within rival groups to maintain control or gain an advantage. By sowing discord, exploiting existing divisions, or creating new divisions using the method of synthetic controversies it becomes much easier to weaken opposition and consolidate power.

But how are divide and conquer tactics deployed during modern PsyWar and hybrid warfare?

In media, including legacy/mainstream, social and other alternative media, controversy sells. And it often seems like all media has become much more about sales than about sharing factual information. Controversy generates clicks, re-posting, and message amplification. The controversy can focus on either a substantial or a trivial issue. In modern PsyWar, with its emphasis on censorship, propaganda, and psychological shaping or manipulation, facts and reality are increasingly irrelevant. It is no longer necessary for the controversy to be fact-based…

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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