1. HARKNESS

    HARKNESS Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow.

    How do you kill an idea or an ideology?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by HARKNESS, Oct 17, 2021.

    I have a dilemma in my story. The themes of my story is choice, unity, and control. In my post-apocalyptic world, there are many factions with their ideologies vying for control and dominance in the entire badlands.

    Team Good guys managed to beat a faction whose core ideology is religious fanaticism and utter devotion to God and their Pope, I was inspired by terror groups like ISIS and by the Iranian Regime, As they defeated them they offered clemency for those who will fight for team good guys, But the issue is....These guys are built up to be utterly devoted to their Pope who they view as God reincarnate. Simply killing the pope might not be enough, This can lead to instability in team good guys (I plan to make their faction a little bit unstable as these old grudges simmer beneath the surface). If you think about it, This is unsustainable this is the equivalent of the US army defeating the Taliban and offering them to fight alongside them to crush a bigger foe.

    What good reason can I give them not to rebel? I don't plan to make it perfect for my story as there will be some subfactions that will lead to the eventual collapse of team good guys in the end. But for now, What will buy their loyalty? Or make them outright give up their ideology?
     
  2. montecarlo

    montecarlo Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2020
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    America's Heartland
    It won’t be pretty.

    The only sure fire way is complete pacification. They need to kill or convert all those who hold the ideology, and those who are converted need to be relocated away from each other so they can’t have secret worship sessions with each other. They’ll probably be enslaved and not allowed to have children, so they can’t pass on their ideas.

    At this point your Good Guys aren’t feeling so good. But hey, when you need to wipe an ideology off the map, you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I suppose the Good Guys can attempt to install their own governors over the towns and villages to ensure compliance, but that isn’t going to give you the certainty you want.
     
    HARKNESS likes this.
  3. Joe_Hall

    Joe_Hall Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2021
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    167
    Bottom line: you can't destroy an idea with fire. Even if you kill every last person who believes it you need to burn every mention of them in history and every book their ideology has ever been recorded in. Humans are naturally drawn to the forbidden so the more you suppress an ideology, the more others want to see what the fuss is about (think the parental advisory sticker on albums). It might be counter-intuitive, but this is exactly how Christianity spread so fast through the Roman Empire through multiple persecutions. If you don't completely wipe it out, and by wiping it out I mean biblical five generations genocide, more than likely it will resurge at some point.

    But at this point, once you have been euthanizing babies in your effort to wipe out the evil ideology, you have to ask yourself who the bad guys are. A different approach is to tolerate them. I was raised in a conservative Christian household around super conservative people and before you ask yes, the gays are going to hell kind and sister so-and-so did such-and-such and needs to ask the church for forgiveness. I think a good number of them would have lined up to stone half the people who followed Jesus around in the New Testament, but I'm getting off track. I've been a good 25+ years away from that line of thought and as an adult, I have my own beliefs. I've read and heard and experienced things away from the echo chamber and a good many things I believe now, according to them, would put me in the "going to hell" category. I would categorize this as "the long game". You are still going to have little pockets of haters and whatever but they are going to be pretty marginalized by society and if you give it 3-4 generations assimilating with your non-hater populace, I think you will find their numbers dwindle off.
     
    HARKNESS likes this.
  4. Lazaares

    Lazaares Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2020
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    608
    Location:
    Europe
    No idea is 100% ingrained in a follower. As there were multiple plots to eliminate Hitler from within, so are there schisms in every radical group / ideology.

    The best way you can handle this is the good guys identifying an opportunity for a schism. Maybe part of the fanatics are less fanatical, maybe a sub-leader questions the divinity of their leader in secrecy. Aligning with them allows your good guys to offer a straight and obvious way for any bad guys to turncoat and switch sides. And if the schism's supported side is less fanatical, they can easily become part of the good guys.

    Sort of like the battle at Castle Itter where moderate elements of Nazi Germany (Wehrmacht) defected to aid the US against the radical elements (the SS).
     
    HARKNESS likes this.
  5. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    6,409
    Likes Received:
    7,680
    Location:
    edge of the spacetime continuum
    You could try the method the Roman Empire used to defeat Christianity. The state takes it on as the new official religion and changes the rules. Then anyone not following the rules is a heretic and the full power of the state is brought to bear against them. It also means all factions and groups of the ideology must register officially and make their whereabouts known etc.
     
    HARKNESS and Cave Troll like this.
  6. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,953
    Likes Received:
    27,110
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Religion in WH40K is banned by the God Emperor of Man (Irony),
    but it's because it helps feed Chaos and the warp which are really
    dangerous things that invite demons and such into reality to have
    fun. So they do their best to stomp it out one way or another with
    brutal force, and even those that decide they don't wanna be in it
    anymore also get the axe, cause take no chances policy.

    Basically the three options are:

    Use @Xoic 's example above.

    Go full scorched earth policy on them, or something to a lesser
    extent if they think they can de-convert the less fanatical ones.

    Or just push them off into some isolated hell hole and blockade them
    there, keeping them from leaving and anyone else from entering,
    along with getting rid of any evidence that they would have left behind
    of their insane beliefs.
     
    HARKNESS and Xoic like this.
  7. B.E. Nugent

    B.E. Nugent Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    567
    Compromise!

    Not in the negotiation of treaties way. More in the priest in bed with his housekeeper way. A compromising position.

    When you oppress, the other side becomes entrenched. When Catholicism was persecuted in Ireland, the congregation was devout. Now, with freedom to worship, the churches are empty. Sex, drugs and rock n roll did in 20 years what oppression failed in 400 years (not complaining, from personal viewpoint. Never really a fan of RC). Give people a taste of what they might like and enough will embrace it to destabilise the opposition. Betrayal is far more destructive than defeat in battle. As Wilde roughly said, we can resist anything except temptation. I recall a movie years ago about first Europeans arriving in New World and comment of a wise native American who said, basically, they were screwed once they accepted the gifts from these arrivals. Their defeat became inevitable when they began to enjoy and rely on the relatively satisfying and gratifying things on offer. Cohesion, belief becomes compromised and the enemy disbands. Very many "revolutionary" movements begin to look just like any other criminal gang when access to excess is unfettered. Sex. Drugs. Rock n Roll.

    Alternatively, you could consider some of the other replies and get medieval on the suckers.
     
    HARKNESS, Cave Troll and Xoic like this.
  8. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber epic gamer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    4,615
    depending on how big a threat the mutual enemy is, you may not need to worry about it for the time being. The threat will be cohesion enough. You worry about what happens after victory, when there is no threat to hold the coalition together.
     
    HARKNESS likes this.
  9. Travalgar

    Travalgar Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2021
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    67
    I'm echoing @B.E. Nugent here: Temptation (not necessarily in the form of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll, but it helps).

    Thailand succeeded in not being rolled over by the wave of Communism back in the Cold War; one of the only countries in the Southeast Asia to have done so (Vietnam and Laos is still led by a Communist regime to this day). Some have argued that one of the reasons their efforts were effective was due to their avoidance of armed conflicts; instead focusing on improvement of life quality of people living in the previously untouched regions of the country. Rural areas were hotbeds of insurgent activities, and once people experienced firsthand what good access of market for produces, electricity, water, consumer goods etc. brought, support for the guerillas slowly but surely faded out.

    (Historically, China eventually cutting support for the Communist Party of Thailand was arguably the better reason, though. But if your story doesn't have a bigger entity supplying your bad fanatic faction, then it's unnecessary.)
     
  10. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber epic gamer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    4,615
    France and the United States not waging a nearly 30 year war in Thailand probably helped too.
     
    HARKNESS, B.E. Nugent and Travalgar like this.
  11. HARKNESS

    HARKNESS Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow.
    @B.E. Nugent and @Xoic have great ideas! Thank you, Perhaps they try Nugent's strategy at first but when the first leader of team good guys dies and gets taken over by the actual villain she goes full medieval on their asses causing the already troubled society to balkanize in spectacular fashion! It makes sense that these breakaway groups are supported by other factions to destabilize team good guys, Again these factions including the main team are not afraid to be a little bit of a sellout to accomplish their grander goals. Tying in the idea of @Travalgar

    Thank you guys, I really mean it!
     
    B.E. Nugent and Xoic like this.
  12. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Definitely a hominid

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    236
    Location:
    Germany
    As Sir Terry Pratchett taught us, you need to seize the teeth of all the children in the world and use those to kill their faith in the Hogfather. That's how you kill an idea.

    /joke
     
  13. psychotick

    psychotick Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,496
    Likes Received:
    444
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    All the ideas above have their adherents. I would say oppose the bad ideology with with an opposing one that it is impossible for a believer of the bad ideology to deny and yet also impossible to accept while holding their beliefs. The sex, drugs and rock and roll thing is an example of this not so much because it's a temptation but because at its core it's about the ideology of personal freedom. You can't be a conservative religico of any faith trying to ban all those sorts of things, and then also claim that you believe in people's freedom - it just looks like what it is - a lie. That's why cult leaders always try to cut off the outside world from their followers. To stop being shown up as liars.

    Your team good guys needs to find a competing ideology, knock it back to a few almost jingoistic catch phrases, and then just push them night and day, far and wide. It's hard to get a message out saying kill and destroy for God if there's a competing message out there saying God created all, loves all, and if you kill his children you upset him.

    Having said that a lot of what the taliban etc is about has nothing to do with religion. It's about people suffering poverty, disenfranchisement, and restoring nationalistic pride etc. People are complicated and so are movements. (Not wanting to get into any sort of argument here by the way. Just my view)

    Cheers, Greg.
     
    HARKNESS likes this.
  14. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    69
    You can't really kill an ideology unless you kill off all its believers. Which is doable depending on the number of people you have to kill and their geographical location.

    However, suppression is far easier. Look at Political Correctness. Look at Cancel Culture. Push that hard enough and people will be scared to voice their beliefs. Yes, you may drive certain things 'under ground' but depending on what you are trying to supress, does that matter as long as it is not effecting the wider public.

    Also, dont give things a platform. Im sick of anti racism campaigns. Every time you talk about it it fuels it. Ignore it publicly, suppress it privately. Somebody does something that isnt allowed, dont make a fuss, just have them dissapear.
     
  15. Le Panda Du Mal

    Le Panda Du Mal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2020
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    266
    Actually coopting and integrating a defeated rebel force can often work out. The Russian government basically took back control of Chechnya by backing one faction of the Chechen separatists (the Kadyrovs) against the rest. In return though Kadyrov gets to run Chechnya like a personal fiefdom.

    As for Afghanistan… The Taliban really disintegrated in a matter of weeks after the US invasion. At that point some kind of clemency or reintegration program might have actually been a good idea (okay, not invading at all would have been a better idea). But the US basically shut the surviving Taliban out completely, so they really had nothing to do but hide out in remote areas and slowly rebuild. Then continual atrocities and corruption by the US and its puppet government gave a huge boost to Taliban recruitment. None of this was inevitable.

    Likewise in Iraq the US thought it would be a good idea to throw all of Saddam’s officer corps into the streets. So now you have all these guys with military training and no job, and a pissed-off, previously dominant minority (Arab Sunnis) to give them recruits. That’s basically where IS came from.

    Now in some contexts simply massacring everyone and their grandmother is an effective counterinsurgency strategy. Suharto and friends murdered half a million communists and suspected communists, and their friends and family, and voila, Indonesian communism is not a force anymore.

    As for these intense cults with a master claiming to be God, it seems to me they tend to collapse on their own more often than not. For every success story that became a major religion or ideology there are a dozen that fell apart due to the leader being discredited or divisions after the leader died or something else.
     
    Travalgar and B.E. Nugent like this.
  16. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,268
    Look to history. Germany and Japan are two of America's closest friends, but it certainly wasn't always that way.

    For the Nazis, the Americans rounded up every German they could find anywhere near the concentration camps and forced them to walk through it. Show the people the horrible things that their leaders did behind their backs and behind the scenes. Then forgive and reintegrate. The latter is extremely important, harsh terms will only further hatred, think the treaty of Versailles, which I'd argue directly lead to Hitler.

    For the Japanese, we took their god and showed his people that he was just a man. He personally requested that his devoted followers lay down their weapons. Then again, forgive and reintegrate.

    *Forgive as in forgive the foot soldiers who just followed order. Obviously you try and execute the war criminals, but doing it publicly further helps the people see that they were manipulated. Nuremberg.
     
    Beloved of Assur likes this.
  17. Le Panda Du Mal

    Le Panda Du Mal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2020
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    266
    [double post]
     
  18. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    19,783
    Likes Received:
    22,813
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    also of pertinence from the second world war is the issue of a threat of a worse ideology being effective in getting past enemies to make common cause

    the Nazi's offered western allied prisoners the opprtunity to serve against the Russians (some took it most didn't - those who did are now thought of as traitors, but had the Nazi's won the recollection would be very different), then after the armistice in 1945 America and the Uk had plans to rearm and utilise German army units against the Russians had it been necessary.

    The British also used rearmed japanese troops against communists insurgents in french indochina until the French were able to take over (a particular irony since before the japanese surrender the insurgents had been western allies against the Vietnamese
     
    Beloved of Assur likes this.
  19. Beloved of Assur

    Beloved of Assur Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    The Sacred City of Ashur
    As has been mentioned the best way to kill off an ideology, to my guess, discredit the ideology and prevent groups following that ideology to reform the old groups again.
     
  20. Chromewriter

    Chromewriter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2021
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    379
    Location:
    Australia
    An idea can never die, killing the person spreading an idea just changes which voice speaks it loudest. So the only way to fight an idea is with a better one. You seduce the followers of the idea with a version that appeals to them more.
     
    B.E. Nugent likes this.
  21. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    701
    Location:
    UK
    Most people aren't particularly interested in philosophical or theological ideas, they're more interested in being on the 'right' side. I'd think about slogans and fake news. Every faction should use these and be extremely superficial. Everyone knows the arguments are meaningless but that doesn't matter because they make them feel good. The faction which 'shouts loudest' will attract most converts and peer pressure will do the rest. Everyone sees themselves as the good guys, fighting for freedom and justice and against tyranny and evil. A story about a plucky band of rebels taking on the might of an evil empire can also be the story of an Isis terror attack on the US. It all depends on your point of view, which is based on propaganda, no matter what side you're on.
     
  22. Mogador

    Mogador Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2021
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    133
    Some takes from some rather different people:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice