Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our Chief Weapon Is Fear

Alike were they free from Fear that reigns with the tyrant, and envy the vice of republics. -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Evangeline. Part i. 1.

What calls itself fear of error reveals itself rather as fear of the truth. -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Phenomenology of Spirit, introduction

Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt Speech, July 2, 1932.

It concerns me that this nation is a nation afraid.

Nevermind the terrorists. That's a legitimate concern, but not a fear, when you come right down to it. More people died on September 11 of heart attacks than in the terror attacks, but no one is raising the heart attack warning color to orange during barbecue season.

Nevermind the economy. That's a clear problem and that has its legitimate basis for fear; fear of losing your job, your house, your life savings.

No, I mean, when did Americans become afraid of each other and of our government? A clear motivation of a quasi-dictatorial government to divide people is to conquer them. It's clear the government has intended, at least since the seventies, to divide the American people up into parcels that can be easily labelled: red state, blue state, liberal, conservative.

In so doing, it becomes easy to paint "the other guy" as what's wrong with this country. We've swallowed this whole, to be fair, on both sides, altho it seems more prevalent among conservatives. FOX News and Rush Limbaugh lead a charge of fire-breathing blowhards whose only purpose in life appears to be stoking the flames of hatred towards their fellow man.

In Rush's case, it's pretty easy to see why: poor pathetic lonely little creature who's only hope for redemption is to tear the other people around him down, and stand on the rubble of his destruction.

In FOX's case, too, the motives are easy to see: for every "BHO" reference on their network, another FCC rule falls by the wayside.

In this respect, assuming he's sincere about it, Barack Obama and I see eye to eye, but for different reasons. Obama wants to unite us to fix what he perceives is wrong with the country.

I want to unite us to fix the entire fucking system, from top to bottom.

It's no longer enough that we tinker and Twitter each other about this program or that program. It's clear that the system itself, like a leaky, moldy house, is creaking and in danger of collapse.

And like a leaky, moldy house, it's foundation is, however, strong. Mold can be cleaned up, creaks patched, or perhaps even the entire structure cna be torn down, but if we can keep the foundation from cracking open, we can rebuild as good as new.

The problem is, fear. I am not afraid, but I am only one man. I can take fears away from others, but even that's only a handful of people.

To enact and effect the changes necessary, as the lessons of the French and American Revolutions show, will take more. Much more.

We are a complacent people. It is said the reason the French government has to capitulate to its people is that it fears those people.

That's not a bad thing, in my eyes. A government SHOULD fear its people and not the other way around! Right now, the only thing this government fears is losing the next election, and right now, those elections are so tight that there's no point in fearing the people: the other half is easily mined for votes.

Which is why John McCain is able to shift and meld so easily between moderate-left and moderate-right voters, while clinging to a conservative base that has no other choice.

But let the government learn fear of its people, as it started to during the 1960s, and watch the power of the people rise from the ground and swell up indignantly against those crimes that politicians of both parties commit regularly.

People will have a voice once more in the governance of their day to day lives. People will suddenly care about what is going on around them, rather than trust the whims of men who are unduly influenced by powers your average man in the street cannot even begin to comprehend.

"We, the People," will suddenly mean something...