Friday, October 28, 2005

MANIPULATION BY FEAR

Yes, it's the F word again - Fear. Something that rules us all in some way or another.

I'm in the middle of (well, nearly finished) State of Fear by Michael Crighton, a work of fiction and a good yarn. The underlying theme of the book is that Global Warming is a fallacy and a form of social manipulation. The arguments contained within, and there are many, are backed up by authentic scientific research, in the form of footnotes directing the reader, if he wishes, to the appropriate scientific paper.

Mr. Crighton was called to a Senate Committee as a result of this book, where he explained that he is pointing out that scientific evidence is "cherry picked", sometimes as a form of manipulation. He called for a completely independant body to review all scientific evidence, no matter whether it is in agreement or not, and therefore presenting a balanced view to the public.

I'm not here to argue the facts regarding Global Warming, and whether he is right or not. Just that it is all part of the F word, and he's right, we don't receive a balanced view. It's infuriating.

This is from the book, but I have changed it from a dialogue to a statement:

The notion of social control. To the requirement of every sovereign state to exert control over the behaviour of it's citizens, to keep them orderly and docile. To keep them driving on the right side of the road, or the left, as the case may be. To keep them paying taxes. And of course, we know that social control is best managed by fear.

For fifty years western nations had maintained their citizens in a state of perpetual fear. Fear of the other side. Fear of nuclear war. The communist menace. The Iron Curtain. The Evil Empire. And within the Communist countries, the same in reverse. Fear of us. Then, suddenly, in the fall of 1989, it was all finished, gone. The fall of the Berlin Wall created a vacuum of fear. Nature abhors a vacuum, something had to fill it.

The environmental crisis took the place of the Cold War. Of course now we have radical fundamentalism and post 9/11 terrorism to make us afraid, and those are certainly real reasons for fear. But there is always a cause for fear. The cause may change over time, but the fear is always with us. Before terrorism we feared the toxic environment. Before that we had the Communist menace. Fear pervades society in all it's aspects. Perpetually.

Industrialised nations provide their citizens with unprecedented safety, health and comfort. Average life spans increased fifty percent in the last century. Yet modern people live in abject fear. They are afraid of strangers, of disease, of crime, of the environment. They are afraid of the homes they live in, the food they eat, the technology that surrounds them. They are in a particular panic over things they can't even see - germs, chemicals, additives, pollutants. They are timid, nervous, fretful and are convinced that the environment of the entire planet is being destroyed around them.

We inhabit the State of fear - How has that been accomplished? In the past citizens of the west believed their nation-states were dominated by something called the military-industrial complex. Eisenhower warned Americans against it in the 1960s, and after two world wars Europeans knew very well what it meant in their own countries. But the military-industrial complex is no longer the primary driver of society.

For the last fifteen years we have been under the control of an entirely new complex, far more powerful and far more pervasive. The politico-legal-media complex is dedicated to promoting fear in the population - under the guise of promoting safety.

People do not feel they are safe as a result of this. The politico-legal-media complex is powerful and stable, precisely because it unites so many institutions in society. Politicians need fears to control the population. Lawyers need danger to litigate, and make money. The media need scare stories to capture an audience. Together these three estates are so compelling that they can go about their business even if the scare is totally groundless or has no basis in fact at all.

Hmmmmmm.

Kats

3 Comments:

Blogger Kim Ayres said...

I'm not sure about the arguments against global warming, but I have felt for a long time that governments need to keep us in a state of perpetual anxiety in order to manipulate us and feed the economy.

Certainly there are a lot of strong arguments about that the terrorist threat that we are all in fear of is hyped up out of all proportion.

We had more terrorist activity in the UK from the IRA than we have ever had from Al Qaeda, and yet the introduction of draconian laws and curbing of civil rights has been dramatic.

As I see it, Islamic fundamentalism has become the new Communism in terms of generating irrational fears.

1:39 PM  
Blogger kats said...

I think Global warming exists, but the planet has always had climate change as part of it's cycle. So, I sometimes do feel the data is manipulated to bring pressure to bear on certain issues.

As for the rest of your reply - I couldn't agree more.

It'll be WMD in Iran next, stand by for the next round.

Kats:0)

2:10 PM  
Blogger Jez said...

The 'state of fear' is pretty obvious. The thing is,if anyone is trying to keep us in a state of fear about global warming(which I doubt), it's not governments. The elites would like us to believe global warming is a load of nonesense, and they get people like Michael Crichton to spread the message that it's nonesense.
Here's an interesting piece about Crichton and other elite propagandists:
http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2005/05/some_like_it_hot.html

8:47 PM  

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