Fear And It's Uses

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thanatoast, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    Denver
    #1
    So I'm getting tired of always being told that I'm supposed to be afraid.

    I'm supposed to be afraid of bad cholesterol, processed sugar, and those dreaded carbs.

    I'm supposed to be afraid of drivers with cell phones, violent video games, and sex in cinema.

    I'm supposed to be afraid of world government, high taxes, and the French.

    But most of all, I'm supposed to be afraid of terrorism.

    I'm supposed to be so afraid of terrorism that I do whatever is asked of me. I'll remove my shoes at the airport, I won't complain when my baggage is searched without cause or explanation, and I won't be upset when the TSA decides my toenail clippers are a prohibited deadly weapon.

    I'm so afraid I'll let the government search my home without telling me, let them track what books I've been reading and let them spy on me at every street corner with cameras that use facial recognition technology.

    I'm so afraid that I'll sacrifice anything, as long as it's my rights and not my standard of living, to make sure that I won't be afraid anymore.

    Except that the fear doesn't go away. It stays, a constant reminder that in the next five minutes, I could be dead by way of airplane, chemical, or nuclear attack. I'm reminded of this constantly by my government, which wants me to know that it's doing all it can to protect me from the Terrorists, or Islamic Extremists, or Enemies of Freedom, or Saddam.

    There is always one more bad guy to be captured or killed (no longer captured and brought to trial). One more threat that could surface at any time! but especially if I let internationalism get in the way of military "success". Our leader wants to kill all the bad people, and that's good, right? That would end this constant, nagging fear, wouldn't it?

    We are the strongest nation in the world, there's no way we could lose. Everyone wants to be us...except those who hate us for who we are and want us dead. Our freedoms are their enemy, but our policies are their allies. It's us they hate, not our actions.

    We hate Them for their actions, but they hate Us for who we are. But if they hate Us and not our actions, then the only way to win is to get rid of Them. Changing our actions, or our attitudes, or our policies could never help, because We would still be here, and They would still be here to threaten Us.

    No, They must go, and I must trust that someday they will all be gone and that I will be safe. It's not as if I, myself, personally have done anything wrong. I couldn't be doing anything to deserve this fear. I shouldn't have to change anything, I just go to work everyday, and I have to live with the constant reminder that I might die. Who are they to make me feel this way? I must let my government handle the problem. After all, they're the best government in the world, in the best country in the world, with a leader who will never let the terrorists get to me or mine. Again.

    Right?
     
  2. Thanatoast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    Denver
    #2
    I'm sorry, that turned into more of a stream of conciousness than the post I actually had in mind.

    The point, of course, is that I'm tired of the administration rattling the chains of terrorism every five minutes. They've so over-used the color system that it's become a joke. Cheney actually implied that a vote for Kerry is a vote for more attacks.

    What's worse, is that many people heed their words. They really think that Bush will win the "War on Terror" by shooting everything that moves. That security can come by starting wars, that giving up rights preserves freedom, and that freedom is what the bad guys hate and not what they crave.

    In a meeting at work the other day a low-flying plane went by, and a dozen people stopped, listened, shifted their eyes around, and then breathed a collective sigh of relief when the noise died down. "Dodged another bullet, there, didn't we? Ha ha!" And I almost wanted to laugh, and say, "You people are afraid of your own shadows! Get a grip!"

    They've got us so keyed up, wound so tight that I don't think we can last much longer as a cohesive society. Either we will self-destruct, ala Rome, or we will have to find a better answer than "kill 'em all and let Allah sort 'em out."

    I suppose I should also mention that I'm also annoyed by the phrase Islamic extremists. It's entirely too prejudicial. True, most terrorists preach extreme Islam, but most abortion clinic bombers preach extreme Christianity, and you don't hear them referred to as Christian extremists. They're just criminal nutcases. Islamic extremists, however, are all evil and want us all dead, and don't deserve to live. And if a few civilians get in the way and die in our highly targeted bombings, well, they shouldn't have let their countrymen start a war with us, right? So the next time we get attacked (and remember what uncle Dick says, "it's not if, but when") and they say it's because Bush invaded Iraq, I won't hear any complaints from our side, right?

    So I'm tired of the blatant manipulation, the lemming-like stampede toward alleged "security", and a Middle East policy guaranteed to generate more terrorism. I'm tired of my government telling me I should be afraid - no, I'm sorry, vigilant - and then creating the very conditions that perpetuate the fear.
     
  3. toontra macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    London UK
    #3
    I saw a trailer for a UK TV programme yesterday (don't remember the channel or time) called "Fear And It's Uses" which seemed to be covering exactly the ground you are concerned about (war on terror, health, government control, etc).

    I'll try and get more info & let you know.
     
  4. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #4
    ahh the airplane thing..i love it ..here in innsbruck i'm already used to approaching airplanes that i don't recognise them anymore... for people not used to it you suddenly hear those engines getting louder and louder then you look up and see those planes pass over oyur heads at low altitude... they have to fly directly across the whole town and directly over the high university buildings...pretty funny if you are in the top floor ... it looks like it's heading into the building but it's an (amusing) optical illusion... (innsbruck is one of the most difficult airports in central europe,because of the common combination of fog,mountains etc.)

    hey the change of getting hit by a terroristic attack is lower than getting hit by a lightning or something like that..or...graps...by a car
     
  5. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #5
    I think that is, in part, what Kerry meant when he said we have to reduce terrorism to the level where it's an annoyance, rather than something that constantly controls our lives. (I know, I know, you were talking about how the Bush administration manipulates the terror level, but it ties in.)

    I might disagree that we are stronger and will necessarily win. The one thing I really do fear is some sort of microscopic plague that terrorists could develop. Really, really, really hard to stop something like that.

    But I agree with the overall sentiment, that we can't let fear control our lives. Look at this election. You think Dubya would be doing this well if people weren't scared ----less?
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #6
    Fear and guilt have long been used by governmental folks--or other charlatans--to increase the public willingness to cede personal sovereignty to outside interests. Pick an arena: Environment, poverty, health care; all these are used to persuade you to let Big Mama extend her rule over you. Now comes Terrorism.

    Sure, there are all manner of hazards in life. Terrorism is just one among many. Heck, when I was a kid, the biggest bugaboo was polio.

    My own opinion is that as a society, we've been led to believe that life is SUPPOSED to be risk free, all warm and snuggly and comfy. When reality contradicts that idea, folks get all scared and upset. This leads to a desire for Maximum Leader to take over the onerous duty of protection from whatever bugaboo is being touted as the Big Risk.

    'Rat
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #7
    Heard an interview on BBC radio the other night with a supposedly independent undecided US voter...

    She claimed that the govt's main role was to protect her and her family.
    (The implication being terrorism, not protection from unemployment etc.)

    To me, this plays nicely on general xenophobic fears, anyway.

    Above all, this seems to be the fulcrum of this election...



    It's the terrorists, stupid...
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    Im not afraid of any more terrorist attacks anymore. Since 9/11, there's been some sort of terror threat nearly every other day it seems and not a single thing has happened here. Myself and many others have lost all of our faith in dept of homeland security and don't believe a word it says anymore.
     
  9. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #9
    You can't give up freedom for the sake of the perception of temporary safety. Otherwise the terrorists win. That is my belief (as was the belief of Jefferson and Franklin). I will not be voting for Bush, because apparently he does not feel the same.
     
  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #10
    yg17, just because something has not happened does not mean it will not happen.

    I'm in accord with your view to some extent about the Homeland Security stuff, but even if I worried about some terrorist event I have no clue as to how to either avoid it or prevent it. Still, that doesn't mean that the Al Qaida crowd or its sympathizers is not planning to try and do some sort of mayhem...

    There's a fairly steady trickle of news about various police entities around the world having caught some terrorist(s) while in his/their planning stage. I guess as long as there's catching, there're fewer car bombs or school massacres...

    'Rat
     
  11. toontra macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    London UK
    #11
    Further to my earlier post, the programme is actually called "The Power of Nightmares". It's a three-part documentary on the rise of influence of the US neo-cons since 1949. Starts on BBC2 at 9pm on Wednesday.

    Some info HERE
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
  13. toontra macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    London UK
    #13
    Well, I've just watched the first episode of the above-mentioned documentary "the Power of Nightmares". I really has to rub my eyes when, at one stage, there was footage of Rumsfeld in 1976 making ridiculous claims about Russia having secretly developed weapons programmes which threatened the stability of the world. It’s clear that, as he spoke, he knew that every claim he made was untrue (every single piece of intelligence flatly contradicted his claims). The similarity between this historical footage and, amongst others, Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN in Feb 2003 was remarkable.

    I now understand that Rumsfeld and the other neo-cons, inspired by Leo Strauss, believe that routine deception, lying, inventing imaginary demons, fabricating and perpetuating idiotic myths of good and evil and cynically hi-jacking religious movements are all legitimate tactics in attempting to forge a “strong” America. They’ve been doing it for 30 years now!!

    The fact that these people are now dictating the foreign policy of the world’s only super-power should be of concern to everyone. If you intend voting for Bush at this election I ask you one thing - do some research into the people actually running your country at the moment. Check facts and get a broad outlook on them, their history, their tactics and their motives. If after doing so you feel the same, well, fair enough.
     
  14. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #14
    "I now understand that Rumsfeld and the other neo-cons, inspired by Leo Strauss, believe that routine deception, lying, inventing imaginary demons, fabricating and perpetuating idiotic myths of good and evil and cynically hi-jacking religious movements are all legitimate tactics in attempting to forge a “strong” America."

    toontra, are you really sure they're lying? Are you really sure they don't actually believe in the "truth" of what they're saying?

    I won't swear that they're telling the truth as they see it or as they want to believe, but I think that's what's been going on. And, that's scarier in its own way than lying...

    'Rat
     

Share This Page