"He is free who knows how to keep in his own hands the power to decide at each step, the course of his life, and who lives in a society which does not block the exercise of that power." ~ Salvador De Madariaga
Tools for Tyrants: Fear
Column by Paul Bonneau.
Exclusive to STR
It occurred to me that it might be useful to dissect the tools that tyrants use to keep us under their thumbs. Knowing what they are and how they use them can help us defend against them. I don’t know if anyone has systematically gone over this before. If someone knows of such an effort, please comment below.
The first tool (ignoring others I have previously mentioned in passing) is fear. What is fear, anyway? Why do we have it?
It seems to me that fear evolved in animals to bring changes in behavior that enhance survival. Without any fear at all, we wouldn’t last long. So fear per se is not a bad thing; on the contrary.
It becomes bad when our fear is used against us, causing changes in our behavior that enhance not our own survival, but that of our parasites (the ruling class and its flunkies). It also becomes bad when our fear becomes so strong that it immobilizes us, eliminates for us all possible behaviors that can improve our situation; the parasite class also depends on this tendency. They want to funnel our behavior into only the few channels that support them.
So, our job is to get some control of our fear, so it works for us and not for our parasites. How is this done? I have a few ideas that have worked pretty well for me:
1) Get old. For rational people at least, one of the few advantages of getting old is that fear melts away. If you’ve already accepted your mortality, one naturally fears less as more and more of your life is in your past, not your future. “Beware the man who has nothing to lose,” and someone nearing death does not have a heck of a lot to lose.
I understand there are some people who actually get more fearful, the older they get. I cannot understand this, but can only assume it means they have not accepted their own mortality.
Of course, there is nothing that we can intentionally do in this respect. It happens automatically. But it still needs to be recognized. Age does bring a certain perspective that can reduce fear. The world will go on in its own way without me, when my time is up. For some reason--I’m not sure why--I find that a calming thought.
2) Get poor. Again, having nothing to lose is the factor here. You can’t be threatened with having something taken from you if you don’t have much in the first place, or if it has already been stolen from you. But again, this is usually not intentionally done; more like it is done to us. One hopes for better ways to eliminate fear! But the “living frugal” movement is definitely a step in the right direction, where fear is concerned. We are owned by our possessions, in more ways than we might think.
3) Ridicule. When DHS came out with their color-coded security alerts, did anyone actually become more fearful when the alert status was high (whatever color that was)? I’m guessing that was the intention of these alerts, making us fearful; but I don’t think it worked very well. TSA is there to make us fearful and accepting of indignities; to the extent we ridicule them as child molesters and perverts, we defeat this tactic. Ridicule is one of our most important countermeasures because virtually everyone is open to hearing a good joke. I still treasure the Clinton administration, which provided a hell of a lot of material for comics to work with.
4) Arm yourself. I have mentioned this previously here and here. It’s interesting to go over this from a fear-based perspective.
One little anecdote I ran into, on a gun forum, went like this: A gun-prohibitionist lady walks up to a gun nut (maybe someone carrying openly) and says to him, “What do you need the gun for? What are you afraid of?” He replies, with a mixture of innocence and confusion, “Why should I be afraid? I have a gun!”
Probably apocryphal, but it makes a point. Guns are not primarily for killing people, as prohibitionists claim, because very few of them (except those issued to armies) have been used to kill people. Likewise, guns are not primarily for self-defense, as gun rights advocates claim, because very few of them have actually been used to defend anyone’s life. Their main function, in my opinion, is to control or remove fear. Every day I put on a gun, I feel better, more confident, more calm, less fearful. Happiness is indeed a warm gun. Likewise, I have a battle rifle not for killing deer, but because it makes me less fearful of tyrannical government action. “If they want war, they will have war!”
Fear is a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways. I think it is a good thing that Americans buy battle rifles and lots of ammo. It not only decreases their fear, but increases that of the parasites, which in turn restrains them somewhat. So, arm yourself.
5) Communicate. This is a huge one. The deterioration of the parasites’ gateways to information, with the rise of the Internet and technologies like social networking, is a tremendous factor. Any time some state-manufactured fear is brought up by someone, it can immediately be countered with reasoned argument. Over time, the overall level of fear is reduced; how much are people really worried about terrorism (outside that by the federal government) these days? Network with good folks, everyone!
6) Get busy. “Idle minds are the devil’s playground,” and are also fertile grounds for the growth of fear. The more involved you are with some project or another, the less time you have to worry about something.
7) Homeschool. Get your kids out of fear-indoctrination. Enough said.
8) Break a law every day. Exercise your freedom muscles. Of course, law-breaking happens whether we intend it or not, as the laws have become innumerable. But intentionally breaking yet another petty mandate, without guilt, is a good exercise.
9) Avoid politics. Politics is based more on fear than on any other factor. I used to hold my nose and vote for one bastard because I feared the other bastard a bit more (a lot of self-deception was involved in this process). No more. They are all rotten to the core.
Well OK, I’m still trying to decide whether I will help Ron Paul or not. My reluctance is not a matter of holding my nose to help him, since I like him, but of deciding whether he will do any good. Stopping the killing overseas (assuming he can actually accomplish that) is probably the main factor here.
Well, this gives some ideas. No doubt more may come out in the comments. While a little fear (in our own service) is a good thing, there is no need to go through life fearful. Do you fear being thrown in the gulag? The antidote is to resolve never to permit yourself to be arrested (along with whatever that implies), since there is little justice left in the criminal “Justice System.” Do you fear attack from “terrorists,” or invasion from other countries? Do try to get a reasonable view of reality and history, specifically who the terrorists actually are, and who the invaders were. Do you fear loss of your job? Embrace the free market which provides sustenance, rather than government which destroys it.
Get control of your fear so it serves you, not the parasites.