Fear is a powerful emotion. It is an equally powerful weapon in the hands of someone who knows how to wield it. It is fear that is a decision maker on most of our ethical & moral choices. The fear of what our peers will think of us, the fear of what God might think or even worse, the fear of going to hell. Fear is the biggest driving factor in our lives. Apart from greed, of course. Rational decision making goes for a toss when fear comes into the equation. It may sound dramatic, but the simplest of what-if questions are what our fear manifests itself though. What if something goes wrong? What if there really is hell? What if…. drives us, possesses us, makes us take decisions we won’t take as rational human beings. We are willing to leave someone dying on the road, “what if the police blames me for this?”
Governments(read politicians) are especially good at the fear game. History has many instances where fear was used to play up emotion. Fear of “those people” taking our jobs, being really bad people who believe in a different god, sinners, fear of them being witches and sons of devil or whatever. This is how such an argument is constructed. A threat is created, or in some cases, it already exists. This threat is then blown up to incredible proportions, given all kinds of hype and reporting on how dangerous this threat is to our lives and our freedoms. Then we are asked to give away our freedoms to counter said threat. But what happens when the threat is countered, you ask? Well, a new threat will exist. A new threat will always exist. As K says in the movie MIB “There’s always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!”
There is always a threat. The way to deal with the threat is to quietly have it put out. That is what “intelligence” agencies are for. But these days the only intelligent thing they do is to create fear to gain more snooping powers. Hey, we aren’t good at our jobs, so let us look at all your lives so we can be sure that you aren’t doing anything wrong. Of course if you aren’t doing anything wrong, why do you want to hide stuff from us? Well, I propose that all these people start living in glass houses, because if they do no wrong, then why do they need to hide behind dark windows.
Fear. The fear of being discovered lying, exaggerating threats is what keeps them in hiding. Therefore nothing that the government does for “our safety” is known to us, but everything we do must be known to them.
Fear. It has ruled us, and it will continue ruling us till we decide otherwise. Unfortunately, we are lazy to challenge our own ways of thinking. Also, what if?