Two-sided-provocation Principle

Here in Germany exists a remarkable collection of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. One of them is The Brave Little Tailor.

In one episode, the Brave Little Tailor succeeded in killing two giants simply by provoking them to kill each other. Sitting on a nearby tree, in a safe distance, the cunning little tailor threw stones on each one of these two giants. Both were stupid enough to believe that the other one was responsible. Therefore they began to fight and killed each other eventually.

What stupidity and waywardness? One is tempted to believe that something like that never happens in reality, but as I learned in recent years it happens more often than expected and always the consequences are deleterious. And I learned it is not stupidity but blocked information transfer.

For instance, given there are two lovers. For those who want to drive them apart, the easiest way is to stop communication between these two lovers and at the same time to supply false information. In a tragedy by the famous German writer Friedrich Schiller, Kabale und Liebe, such a situation eventually leads to suicide of the two lovers. Although this play is mere fiction and dramatized, I’m convinced things like that happen all the time.

An even more dramatic situation results if this happens in politics. A typical example is the Bosnian War at the end of the last century. In Sarajevo, Serbs and Muslim were provoked by snipers that randomly killed people on both sides. Because the such provoked communities did not communicate the identity of those snipers were never disclosed. Instead both sides engaged in a bloody war. The sniper tactic resembles the cunning little tailor, doesn’t it? And, it was so successful in the Bosnian War that it was employed ever since in Syria and in Kiev.

Please, my friends out there in Hong Kong please keep the The Brave Little Tailor in mind and never stop communicating with your political opponents.

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