Today it's Stratagem 32:
The Empty Fortress
Those who are empty, empty it. Create uncertainty inside uncertainty. Between hard and soft, be strange and strange again.
Empty or full [weak or strong], there are no constants in warfare. Of weak armies who show openly their weakness, ever since Zhuge Liang, there have been many.
For example when the Tibetans conquered Guazhou [in 776], Wang Junhuan died, and the West edges of the Yellow River all fell into panic. Zhang Shougui, governor of Guazhou, took the remainer population and started to build a new fortress. With the scaffolding for the walls was just finished the enemy attached again.
They had no means of defense, and everyone immediately turned pale, with no will to fight. Wang then gave a speech: "The enemy are many, and we are few. We've just survived a defeat, we can't fight again with arrows and stones, we must use other means to defeat them". Saying this he went to the top of the fortress, served some wine, played some music, and held a banquet with his soldiers. The enemy on seeing this thought the fortress was well prepared, so they retreated.
Or like Zu Ting of the Northern Qi, governor of Xuzhou. On arriving to his post, he found enemy troops from the Chen Dynasty, and many peasant rebellions. Zu ordered to let the city gates unshut, and have all the defendors go downtown and sit quietly in the alleys, while forbidding people from walking around and making sure roosters and dogs made no noise. When the enemy arrived they saw the open gates but nobody in the streets, not knowing why, with some suspecting perhaps everyone had left and the city was empty and undefended. At that moment Zu loudly shouted commands, the war drums blasted their sound up to heaven. The enemies, frightened, scattered away immediately.
Commentary: This is a bit of a stretched metaphor, but in a sense we're already running an empty fortress trick, and we have for a long time. Just that it's not we running the trick, but us being forced to.
The Left is strong and has dominated most wings of government for centuries. Their rhetoric however makes them repeat the mantra that they are the underdog, the weak and vulnerable, while the right is this scary mass of violent power, eager to attack them at any time.
In ancient war, the most important thing was discipline. If an army kept formation and obeyed orders, 9 times out of 10 they were pretty much invincible. Most deaths were not during battles, but after one side had lost cohesion and scattered troops could be hunted down easily by the victors. In that circumstance numbers didn't really matter. Scattered troops running away are useless, whether there's one thousand of one million of them.
Hence the scariest thing for an army commander was being ambushed and caught by surprise. Showing yourself to the enemy to be too weak just doesn't make sense: you're basically begging them to attack and kill you. The only rational explanation is that it's a trap, and traps are dangerous. So it's a neat trick to use, assuming the enemy doesn't have good information of your strength, and you have the massive balls to pull it off.
Does the Left have good information on the Right's strength? They surely have, but can they use it? The truth is highly inconvenient for them. They're always pretending that any affront on the right will unleash a "violent backlash" by the fierce right wing masses. Which don't really exist anymore. But they need them to exist. So the Right is kept alive, barely, left to exist not because of mercy, but to be forced to play a part in the Left's running LARP.