"What if Glenn's right?"
The easiest ways to demolish a physical structure, whether it be a building, a stadium or a bridge is to (a) remove it's strength, or (b) maximize it's weakness. The demolition of Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium was accomplished by the first method...explosives were placed at critical structural points throughout the facility and sequentially detonated so that the entire structure was unable support itself. NYC's Twin Towers, however, were destroyed by capitalizing on their weaknesses...the sheer height of the buildings, knowing that asbestos insulation was not applied to the steel structure of the upper floors due to an April 1970 ban, and the logistical difficulty associated with getting enough water, people and equipment to those heights in a crowded skyscraper full of panicked people.
The process is called REVERSE ENGINEERING--how to achieve a desired outcome within existing constraints. So how would those, so inclined, demolish a society? By using a combination of the techniques described above.
The easiest way to destroy a society is to wait. Left to their own, past empires/great societies have always collapsed, whether under the weight of their government or by outright revolt of the governed. Rarely is it a single event, but rather a standard progression over a period of decades, commonly called the Tytler cycle: The age of outburst (or pioneers), conquests, commerce, affluence, intellect, decadence, decline and collapse.
I'm sure the Athenians, the Persians, the Romans, the Ottomans, the Nazis and the Soviets have all said "It can't happen here." History, my friends, says otherwise...it CAN happen here. It IS happening here, right in front of our faces. How is it possible to continue repeating the mistakes of the past?
(To be continued)