While other Pacific nations have used military force to take or retain government, Samoa’s seemingly democratic system has been white-anted to similar effect[,] its apparent stability obscuring the gradual deconstruction of democracy over the last few decades.
White-anting is an Australian term for the process of internal erosion of a foundation. It is often used in reference to groups such as political parties or organisations where information from group insiders is 'leaked' or used to undermine the goals of the group. The Macquarie Dictionary says the verb "to white-ant" means "to subvert or undermine from within".
The term is derived from the action of termites (white ants) eating the inside of wooden building foundations, often leaving no outward evidence, until the structure crumbles.
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to undermine sth. – etw.[Akk.] untergraben
to undermine sth. – etw.[Akk.] unterhöhlen
to undermine sth. – etw.[Akk.] unterminieren
to undermine sth. – an etw.[Dat.] zehren (an Gesundheit)
to undermine sth. – etw.[Akk.] minieren
to undermine so.'s authority – jmds. Autorität untergraben
to undermine a position – eine Stellung unterlaufen
Siehe Wörterbuch: undermine
to subvert sth. – etw.[Akk.] untergraben
to subvert sth. – etw.[Akk.] umstoßen
to subvert so./sth. – jmdn./etw. zerrütten
to subvert so./sth. – jmdn./etw. stürzen
to subvert so./sth. – jmdn./etw. verderben
Siehe Wörterbuch: subvert
undermine – ... b: (fig: = weaken) unterminieren, untergraben; (health) angreifen
subvert – (government) zu stürzen versuchen; (faith, morals etc) untergraben, unterminieren; (constitution, state authority, socialism) unterwandern; (person) zum Umsturz anstacheln
undermine – ... 2. (fig.) untergraben, aushöhlen, unterhöhlen; zerstören, zugrunde richten.
subvert – ... 2. (fig.) zerrütten, erschüttern, untergraben.
Siehe auch: Termite
Siehe auch: undermine
white-anting – (Australia, colloquial) The action or process of bringing down from within, undermining, sabotage.
• Instead, a dishonest and despicable course of "white-anting", destroying the marriage by stealth, was adopted. ...
• Opposition Leader Tony Abbott denies internal coalition white-anting was behind the demotion of Barnaby Joyce from the key finance portfolio.
• ... the Greens, who were busy white-anting Labour at every turn (remember Corngate?) ...
• Other theories suggest that ... [?] is programmed with a "white-anting" chip and is programmed to infest himself [itself?] in an organisation then bring it down from the inside.
• All of these people will be white-anting their Ministers at every chance, and they are most certainly NOT going to give of their ALL for a Labor Government.
White-anting is a term coined in Australian workplace and business circles. It means to undermine or attack the foundations of someone else’s reputation to weaken their status in a working environment.
As responsible home owners, we are meant to keep an eye out for white ant activity.
White ants are notorious for wreaking enormous damage before anybody realises that they are at work. They quietly go about their business, undermining foundations, hollowing out walls, leaving a trail of destruction in their path, until only the shell of the original structure remains. ...
And that pretty much sums up “white anting” – except now we are talking about human beings, rather than insects. ...
The problem with white anting is that it is such a subtle form of sabotage, it can be a long time before you recognise it. In my case, it took many years before I realised a so-called friend ... was actually not acting like a friend at all.
Termites (wrongly called “white ants”) can be nasty things. Australia is overrun by termites; in fact, uncountable millions of termite mounds. ...
The problem with these destructive species is that you don’t see them, usually, until it is too late. ... To a person’s horror, ... you can push a painted beam or strut or post and realize it is hollow; all the inside has been eaten out. It has the appearance of soundness, but what lies beneath the exterior has disappeared. The termites have eaten it from the inside out.
This has given rise to the term “white-anting,” meaning to bring down a foe through that strategy, eating away at the person’s credibility or reputation in a subtle attack, often without the person’s knowledge. That is how to undermine someone.
[N.B. Please ignore everything else in this loony link!]