Notes towards a fuller understanding of how networks may
be vulnerable to damage or sabotage and how to guard against
prepared by David Horton Smith and Anthony Judge
Printed in Transnational Associations, 30, 1978, 11, p 490
(1) Weaken systematically all links or nodes then selectively strengthen
the key ones supportive of your position. (Destroy and pick up the pieces
(2) Weaken links to central (preferred) nodes or weaken such central
nodes (Weaken the active or motivating structures).
(3) Insert new nodes or support selected existing nodes such that they
become central (preferred) nodes (Alternative leader approach)
(4) Create new links that favor the development of selected existing
nodes into central (preferred) nodes
(5) Weaken links or other nodes to each other while strengthening links
of other nodes to the preferred (central) node (Centralization approach)
(6) Emphasize node activity and de-emphasize linkage activity (Ignore
(7) Create nodes of sharply unequal strength and recourse bases (Unbalance
(8) Make nodes of sharply en differing purposes, methods, outlooks,
geographic scope, etc.
(9) Make nodes homogeneous to reduce richness and variety of potential
resources for problem solving.
(10) Offer substantial funding to create a ", new, network (including
an old one) for some " new ~ purpose, with strings attached: then, after
a few years, withdraw the funding or delay the initial funding time long
enough to weaken the whole network
(11) Encourage network norms of non-criticism of nodes or linkages in
(12) Depreciate key, facilitating, contributory nodes by false and negative
rumour-mongering to major nodes and contacts linked to given node. Or do
the reverse for weak nodes (i.e., emphasize the great value of poor nodes)
(13) Encourage norms of general network-relevant information transmission
on a need-to-know basis, emphasizing existing information overload and
need for speedy decision-making
(14) Encourage infra-network competition and special recognition for
certain nodes in the network.
(15) Prohibit the network from using any of its funds to facilitate
participation by poorer, weaker nodes through reimbursement of out-of-pocket
travel and communication costs of network participation.
(16) Provide the network with an expensive and extensive secretariat
to "facilitate" the network.
(17) Reduce participative plenary meetings (face-to-face or electronically
mediated) to a minimum on the grounds of expense.
(18) Encourage links via butt-trips, ego-trips, perfectionism -trips,
power-trips, etc., at network expense.
(19) Encourage in-fighting among nodes for subcluster participation
and against other subclusters in the network.
(20) Encourage constant turnover of node representatives to minimize
learning and continuity.
Anthony Judge. Wrecking an international project: notes
from a saboteur's vade mecum. [text]