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Demoralization

 

Disciplines > Warfare > Principles > Demoralization

Principle | Effect | Invoking | Analogy | See also

 

Principle

Drain them of their morale so they do not want to fight.

Effect

Morale in warfare is a remarkably important thing. An impassioned small  force can and has, many times, defeated a much larger force that has been carefully demoralized beforehand.

Soldiers who lose the will to fight either fight poorly or throw down their weapons with relatively little encouragement. Commanders who are demoralized will likewise avoid battle and more readily sue for peace.

Demoralization also works with the people back in the home nation. If the population supports the war, then there will be many more volunteers and a broad support for a bellicose government. If, on the other hand, the population believes the war is unwinnable and unjust, then any political party supporting the war will be seen as arrogant and out of touch with its electorate.

Invoking

Demoralizing the opposing force can be done in many ways and the effect of constant attacks on their confidence can be like a death from a thousand cuts.

One of the main demoralizing forces is unexpected defeat, for example when a weaker enemy outsmarts you with a superior strategy. Likewise, a smarter enemy who keeps you guessing can lead you to fear humiliating or terrifying defeat at any time.

Analogy

In argument, constantly keep the other person on their toes. Let them think they are winning, then snatch victory from them at the last minute. Show them your intellect and let them think you can beat them at any time. Lead them to realize that their arguments are fundamentally flawed and just plain wrong.

See also

Motivation

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