Friday, 15 February 2008

The Culture of Fear and it's prevalence within society

It seems to me as I read my daily compilation of stories from such sites as,, and that the apparent culture of fear in the US, UK and Australia (and various other countries) is maintaining itself very ably through the political machinations of the various governments, most notable of which is the US government. I can only imagine how the members of these groups little hearts shrivel with fear at the thought of the next terrorist attack - or more accurately, at the thought that they could be losing power in some way. And that's what their real fear is. The US continues it's warrant less wiretapping, listening in on countless constitutionally protected conversations while proposing to allow those who have caused this to happen, and those who have facilitated it, to get away with it all. I was pleased to note that the US House of Reps have rejected the telco's immunity bill. I think at some point, all the folks involved are going to have to take responsibility for their actions in this area. And that, gentle reader, is probably their greatest fear.

But using fear as a tool is an old government trick. Hitler used it, and so is Bush. The constant, ominous warnings about terror strikes come at any point his attempts to subvert the US Constitution are curtailed is a source of snorting amusement to me. "If you don't let me torture people for information - there will be another 9/11!" Wow, I bet that's true How about this: the more people you torture, imprison without adhering to the vaunted US laws and the more involved you are with other people's countries and religions, the more likely it is that someone is going to want to attack you. It's a simple act of trying to protect themselves. I liken this somewhat to the Palestinians and Israelis. Israel bomb a bunch of them, cut off food and supplies and what do the Palestinians do? The only thing they can - one of them puts bombs on him/herself and goes and detonates it where it will have maximum shock value. The cycle of violence continues. I don't condone this behaviour, but I understand it. After all, Israel has enormous backing from the US - and why that is is a question I'd like an answer to. I realise that the news reports out of that region are probably tainted by the agenda of the various news and government agencies and are most likely to be biased in some way or another, but I feel that the Palestinians have probably copped a raw deal out of it all.

That's a bit off topic though. I was ruminating on fear and the consequences of having fear drive your life. Bush's veto of the bill against torture is such a thing, and I feel it to be in the worst interests of all involved. It's no longer a possibility that he will take the award for the most craven, mentally challenged President of the United States - I believe he'll hold that award in perpetuity. But, he's a cunning bugger for all his apparent deficits. After all, he has fairly successfully manipulated things so that the "democracy" of the US is powerless. And fear has been his tool.

It was fear too that led to the death of a gay teenager in the US too. WTF? I hear you ask - where did that come from? It's not that much of a leap really. People fear what they don't understand, they fear what is different, and in the case of homosexuality, they fear they may have their own proclivity for it. This kid wore clothes that proclaimed his sexuality and as one of the folks there put it: "That was freaking the guys out." (source: The LA Times) Freaking them out why? Fear!

It is apparent throughout our society. It's not just in the US. Australia has it too and it's appalling. The longer we live our lives afraid, the worse things will be. At some point people have to say: "I'm not afraid of that. I can live with it and it has no power over me." For example, I'm not going to live in fear that the terrorists may strike in Australia. If I live that way, I give them power over me. That's just not cool. No can do and no will do. I call on all people to get a can of Harden Up and drink it. Fear doesn't deserve your obedience. As Yoda put it:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” (source: Yoda Quotes)

So very true....


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