Subversion is closely associated with ideological conflicts in which persons acting secretly in concert on behalf of an organized party of persons within the State, or outside the State, or acting in behalf of foreign nations, attempt to overthrow or weaken the domestic government and its political institutions. Methods include: ideological indoctrination; blackmail; corruption of loyalties of nationals; and all acts and disinformation calculated to destroy confidence in national leadership and exploit differences of opinion and other opportunities for furthering confusion, dissatisfaction and dissension.
Communist activities are sometimes alleged to be subversive in free-market and even socialist countries. Subversion has also been charged against the Freemasons, Roman Catholics, multinational enterprises and capitalist governments. In some countries subversion may be treated as treason, and prosecution of those allegedly responsible for such acts used for repression of political dissent.
Subversive groups in Peru, particularly Shining Path, were alleged by the government to have been responsible for some 20,000 deaths during the 1980s, and these were continuing; in August of 1990 alone, there had been 769 victims, and in 1989 alone, 46 mayors had been murders and, following the municipal elections held in that year, 27 mayors-elect had met violent deaths. These and other criminal actions were primarily to produce a violence-generating effect.