Be afraid, be very afraid, or else! The culture of fear is designed to break you downn to compliance one way or another.

Well if you ever needed current proof to back up Noam Chomsky’s notion of the ‘Manufacture of Consent’ you need look no further than the news in Britain over the last few days. Jamal and I have recently discussed how pandemics, or the threat thereof has been prevalent for some time now, from AIDS through BSE to SARS and now Bird Flu. And whilst one would not question that actual medical evidence behind these diseases nor the fact that they have led to many deaths it is important to look at just how the information is presented to us. Firstly we are given some scant information as to the existence of the disease, with very little questioning, for example the repercussions should have been huge over the fact that BSE is a disease caused by humans meddling with nature in an attempt to squeeze the last ounce of profit from a process. Secondly the impact of the disease is speculated upon usually with wild hyperbole. Thirdly it is made clear that there is no cure for the disease and the numbers can only be estimated should it turn into a pandemic thus inviting public hysteria as to the possible implications.

This culture of fear is reinforced at government level and distributed by the media. After all the provisions to protect against the disease are reported widely with the government saying they are doing enough when it is clear that if the pandemic is to be as serious as we have been led to believe that their preparation falls short. You may think this is all ludicrous conspiracy theory but think, when was the last time the government over-estimated the provisions needed and bought millions of vaccines or pumped £millions into research to prevent a disease that threatened to wipe out a proportion of the voting population.

This is only one part of the whole culture of fear process because not everyone will be quite so worried about such health considerations. For these people we have the “bad men”, the clash of civilisations, the war, the weapons of mass destruction. Of course the elderly have seen all this before and are not so affected by it all, for them we have the ASBO generation, the notion that you aren’t safe in your own home because of the massed hordes of hooded youth coming to do you harm. One way or another the culture of fear will get you, there is something for everyone’s insecurities.

The idea of the culture of fear is to keep you on edge, this reinforces a level of compliance by default, you are less likely to be scrutinising everything carefully if your mind is preoccupied. Once this level of fear has been established maintaining it is far easier than building it up, it is easier to fabricate evidence as we have seen. Even in our current media-saturated age we find that actually we are not provided with more information, that is merely the illusion, we are simply provided with a myriad of different ways to see the same thing. In the case of the war in Iraq we were presented with erroneous information and when the validity was challenged a legal enquiry was set up, under the stewardship of a ‘safe pair of hands’, to exonerate the government and give everyone the impression that they had been right all along. The Hutton enquiry did just that. Later the news that the government not only misled people on the issue but knew they were doing so is not reported as widely or as extensively. It is also worth noting that the genuine information is only released when it is perceived that people are getting tired of the saturation coverage of the issue itself and are therefore less inclined to want to make anything more of it.

The continuing threat to our safety allows governments to steamroller legislation under the guise of protection. As an example of secondary “news” that we will be spoon-fed take a look at fellow ID card fighter Longrider‘s discovery of some news designed to get even the most sceptical head thinking. The case concerns a crime which is one suspects reported quite accurately however the crucial point is the language used, it is one term only that captures the critical essence of the lie and many will not notice it.

Language is absolutely key in this role, the semantic inference is designed to evoke in order to lead you to the conclusion that you are meant to come to. Loaded and charged words are frequently used to provoke feelings of anger, despair and of course fear and powerlessness. It is imperative that one does not feel any power in the individual, if one person feels they can make a difference they might break the spell for not only themselves but galvanise others. If people study evidence and statistics they will find that the threats are often greatly exaggerated.

Don’t make the mistake this is somehow some Matrix style mass hallucination it is not, nor could it ever be so systematic, there are always those who will think outside the box and will question or insist on seeing things for themselves. The trick is to marginalise these people, either to discredit them, or dilute their message or simply to make out that all the people who follow them are part of the problem and either collaborators with the enemy or the enemy themselves. Such is the culture of fear most people do not think twice.

Song Of The Day ~ Kraftwerk – Das Model

Original Comments:

Kristie made this comment,
Brilliant post, Baron. I’ve nothing to add but my applause. Spot on.
-Redbaron responds – Mushy grassy arse, means a lot coming from your good self.-

comment added :: 23rd October 2005, 07:46 GMT+01

Howard Jay Meyer made this comment,
Listen, the government has to warn of us diseases; it’s not a conspiracy. Bird flu is from God. If the govt. didn’t do anything, you’d say their trying to kill out minorities or some drivle like that, like was said during Katrina.
-Redbaron responds- Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. So what is this the 21st century plague of locusts?! And what of Katrina, are you telling me this is designed to wipe out the evildoers and that there’s some modern Noah in Baton Rouge building an ark? Actually don’t answer that!

comment added :: 24th October 2005, 06:11 GMT+01 ::

Howard Jay Meyer made this comment,
PS Please link to me already.
-Redbaron responds – Fella, I’ll be glad to give you a link, I’m just trying to figure out what section to put you in, it’s not as if you’ll be in the Comrades one now is it?!-

comment added :: 24th October 2005, 06:16 GMT+01 ::

Kristie made this comment,
Bird flu is from god?
Let me add that to my list of reasons I’m an atheist. It’s not god I fear; it’s his followers. Good grief.

comment added :: 24th October 2005, 16:02 GMT+01

Mark Ellott made this comment,
I presumed Howard was joking – at least, he couldn’t be serious… could he? Bird flu is from God… yeah, nice one. Still, that made me smile, so it isn’t all bad.
comment added :: 24th October 2005, 18:39 GMT+01 ::