CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Fear, Fascism and Fealty

May 12, 2020

It is amazing what a bit of fear can do in a time of crisis:

If you wanted to conduct a grand social experiment to see how easily the masses can be controlled by means of fear, you do not need to look very far. While history is replete with examples of this, one simply needs to look at the opening months of the year 2020. Fear of a virus has led to the most frightful of outcomes. Everywhere we see Statism on steroids.

And there are two sides to this coin. The lust for ever more power and control is too strong a temptation for most leaders. So many of them have utterly relished this corona crisis to become little tinpot dictators. And they know that keeping the masses in fear is a terrific way to grow even further in power.

But the people are also at fault here. They are far too easily turned into brainless sheeple doing their masters’ every bidding. When you live in fear and anxiety and uncertainty, you are far too willing to do whatever the powers that be want of you.

This has been the clear lesson of history. All of our recent tyrants – be they Stalin or Hitler or Mao or Kim Jong-un – have maintained total control over the masses by keeping them in a steady state of fear. Let me draw upon several articles here, and then speak to this further. One piece from a legal site says this:

Thomas Jefferson is reported to have said: “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” I have investigated and prosecuted dictators and their henchmen for most of my professional life. I have studied their lives, personalities, their rise to power and how they governed once achieving that power. The one common theme in their theories of governance is fear. It is easier to govern and dictate to citizens through fear.

As Hannah Arendt wrote in her book, The Origins of Totalitarianism: “A fundamental difference between modern dictatorships and all other tyrannies of the past is that terror is no longer used as a means to exterminate and frighten opponents, but as an instrument to rule masses of people who are perfectly obedient.” The infamous dictators of the twentieth century, such as Stalin, Hitler, and Mao Tse-tung among others, understood this all too well. Their theory was that a frightened populace will allow their government to take drastic measures to protect them without protest, usually from perceived evil that threatens their society or country externally. www.jurist.org/commentary/2019/01/fear-a-dictators-tool/

Hmm, sound familiar? Another article says this in part:

Ruling classes for thousands of years have understood the power of intentionally invoking fear in their subjects as a means of social control. . . . The artificial construction and maintenance of fear in a population by a ruling class has remained pervasive from the time of Ancient Egypt up until the modern day. Oppressive governments often maintain their grip on a nation by continually invoking fear, and then proceeding to claim that only they, the ruling powers, have the means and ability to protect the population from such a threat: “The whole aim of practical politics”, wrote HL Mencken, “is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” academyofideas.com/2015/11/fear-and-social-control/

Quite so. Consider the issue of snitching on one’s neighbours – or even family members. This happened routinely in both Nazi Germany and in Communist countries last century. There would have been both a carrot and a stick approach here. Fear drove many people to do this, and also, they may have received a little benefit as well – perhaps an extra ration of some scarce food item from the authorities.

Indeed, I recently read a book about Irena Sendler, the Polish Catholic who saved so many Jewish children during WWII. Besides all the obvious dangers she faced from the Nazis, she also had to deal with informants and snitchers. There were fellow Poles – and even some Jews – who were happy to turn on their own people in exchange from some favours and privileges from the Nazi authorities.

Many folks today glibly think that they never would have been so callous and would not have betrayed a friend or neighbour if they were living in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia or Communist Eastern Europe. But not so fast: if they are quite happy today to report a neighbour for some “social distancing” violation, they are already in the exact same boat.

They are living in fear – if not of the heavy hand of the State, then of the fear of contracting some disease. Self-preservation is a strong instinct, and when coupled with fear, it can result in normally “good” people doing all sorts of things – even evil things.

One simply has to speak out in public about these matters and question the alarmism, fear-mongering, State overreach, and overzealous policing to experience this firsthand. You will get all sorts of corona alarmists who clearly are running on fear attack you and condemn you.

If you dare to question the official narrative, and if you dare to think for yourself, and ask real questions of our “experts” and our leaders, you will get hordes of folks hating on you. I have had this happening to me for over two months now.

And when your life is controlled by fear and you are focussed on only yourself and your own personal safety and security, then facts, evidence and reason are thrown to the wind. As but one example, I have mentioned before how early on one Australian academic was debating me on the social media about the corona numbers. He told me (presumably with a straight face) that it was fully likely that a million Australians would die from corona!

Yes he actually said that! Um, this guy was only off by a mere 999,903 deaths?! Yet there he was, attacking me and pontificating as if he were some sort of expert here, and I was just some sort of fool. His emotive panic and fear had caused his mind to turn to mush.

Of course even with something like corona so much of it can come down to politics as well. It is simply a fact that both here and overseas those leaders (be they presidents or prime ministers or governors or premiers or mayors, etc) who have been the most draconian in terms of lockdowns and the most resistant to letting people have more freedoms as the curve becomes well and truly flattened have tended to be those on the leftist side of politics.

Not always, but mostly. And those who have either been the least restrictive in terms of lockdowns, or the quickest to ease restrictions, open things up, and get things moving again, have tended to be those on the conservative side of politics. This becomes quite clear if you simply dare to go to the pages of the various leaders and discuss these things.

I have one friend who is a corona realist as opposed to being a corona alarmist, and he seeks to bring a bit of sanity and sense into the debate. For example, he will go to the social media page of Australia’s most hardcore and restrictive alarmist, Dan Andrews, and try to share some facts there.

He gets absolutely hammered by enraged Andrews’ supporters – not by anyone returning with facts and evidence, but by those who are clearly died-in-the-wool Labor Party supporters. They will fight to the death defending Chairman Andrews no matter what he says or does, and they will bitterly lash out at anyone who dares to offer a different point of view.

Yes, they too would be running with fear, but couple that with blind devotion to a political party or ideology, and you have a recipe for disaster. It is always that way when you put ideology ahead of reality. Many Germans lived in fear, but many of them also fully supported Hitler and thought he could do no wrong.

Related to this, fear of the unknown or fear of getting some disease or fear of dying also becomes a major way in which we lose our ability to think straight and end up running on emotions. As I have written before, life is always risky. If I step outside a tree might fall on me and kill me.

Indeed, with lots of rain and winds of late, I have noticed plenty of trees coming down. Life is always about trade-offs and about risk-taking. If I want to never get hit by a falling tree, my options are pretty easy: simply never step outside. The same with fear of dying in a car crash. If you are really worried about that, no probs: simply refuse to drive, or go with anyone who does.

We all weigh up pros and cons of any given action. We are all in effect actuaries, dealing with risk assessment and management. We decide all the time if this or that course of action is worth it, is safe, is worth taking risks over. Some folks never go outside without wearing a face mask, even when there is no virus crisis occurring. Some folks never fly in a plane, for fear of it crashing.

It is one thing to refrain from doing certain things if you prefer. It is quite another to demand that everyone else be as paranoid and full of panic as you are. But as I keep saying, a crisis or emergency is the ideal vehicle for the State to get further control and power. Keeping the masses in a state of fear is just too easy.

And as we have seen over the past few months, it works like a charm. I and others have often said that if this whole crisis was a dry run or a test run for some real deal government clampdown in the future, well, it has worked perfectly. The amazing speed and ease in which rulers have shut down entire nations all over the planet, and the amazing speed and ease in which the masses have meekly and readily fully submitted has been a real shocker.

If we wondered how it was that so many Germans so willingly and with such servile submission bowed down to their Nazi overlords, I think we are starting to learn the answers here. And it sure does not look pretty.

[1745 words]

17 Responses to Fear, Fascism and Fealty

  • Bill,

    Would you like a pillow to place against the wall you bash your head against so regularly?

    Once again, that is a terrific description of the current situation. I’m grateful for writers such as yourself who can express their thoughts so well.

    I admire your faithfulness and perseverance. I encourage you to keep going. No doubt you will unknowingly inspire the next Bill Muehlenberg to take up the torch when you have run your race.

  • Many thanks indeed Troy. And yes, I could use a good pillow for that!

  • Dear Bill,

    Your readers are increasingly gaining the impression that you don’t love Big Brother!

    Winston Smith, in George Orwell’s futuristic novel, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, nursed similar disloyal thoughts towards the police-state dictatorship under which he lived. He even went so far as to record in his diary the words, “Down with Big Brother!”

    Not long after this he was seized by the Thought Police and hauled into the Ministry of Love. During his sojourn in Room 101, Winston was somehow persuaded to see things very differently. He even made the amazing discovery that two plus two equals five!

    Orwell described Winston Smith’s change of heart as follows: “Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”

    You too, Bill, can learn to stop struggling and love Big Brother by listening to the following uplifting song:

    “Oceania, ’Tis For Thee”,
    national anthem of Oceania (duration: 3 mins),
    from the 1984 movie version of Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”,
    starring John Hurt and Richard Burton.
    URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCEEY5LLNgw

    (Brought to you, courtesy of ThinkPol @ Miniluv, Airstrip One, Oceania).

  • Thanks for that John. Yes I know, I really should love Big Brother. One day perhaps I will lay down my arms and fully submit. Maybe…

  • The trouble with our type is that we can only submit to Truth because we know its freedom. When surrounded by lies, we are somewhat vexed by both its work and its acceptance by those around us are we not? I think we followers of Jesus are going through a struggle, presently, re-orienting and beginning to realize just how dark is the darkness and how great is the Light! When Jesus said ‘Behold, I come quickly’, He meant quickly.

  • Thanks Bill, I really enjoyed the read and agree. When people are so full of fear they can’t hear anything. When things die down hopefully people will see how they have been taken for a ride.

  • Hi Bill. The current state of the world reminds me of the later stages of the Roman Empire. The Circus and the Games and the free bread, all provided at the state’s expense to divert the attention of the plebs. Sports, Reality TV, etc to divert, the social welfare handouts for bread. Meanwhile the Hun is at the gates in the form of moral collapse, economic distress, and all the other myriad problems that really are problems that are facing our society today. Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Tiberius to name a few would, I think be impressed with today’s political manipulation of the masses.

  • Well timed word, Bill. I just posted it on FB here in the states. (For as long as it will last; if it makes the cut at all!)!

    I also thought it was timely, and on the mark with our House of Representatives Speaker, (Big Sister) Nancy P’s latest propaganda swill presenting: A three hundred-thousand word, THREE TRILLION DOLLAR A to Z Democrat wish list Stimulus Bill. So huge in content, one is sure she hopes few eyes will take the time to read. Now her next step in her tested and proven, ‘Obamacare’ style of legislative genius, is to be out and about via the usual loyal media allies once again to sell millions of voter lemmings that, “The Bill must be passed so Americans can see what’s in it.”

    With decade upon decade of inept governance at the helm in this country it’s becoming most clear to a lot of us who believe in prayer that we need to lay off for awhile the usual, “God Bless America” and give, “God forgive America a much longer time slot!!

  • Everything your saying is true. There’s a reason “Fear Not” is the most quoted verse in the Bible. I speak faith all the time to those in fear around me. Telling them not to listen to the main stream news, etc., to get on God’s frequency — not satan’s.

    We will get through this and hold on to our freedom. Justice is here & the Lord is bringing down a lot of evil in America. Ex presidents for treason, etc.

    : )

  • Hi Bill, I think you have made it very representative of how someone like the Antichrist (a Dictator like Hitler), who is to come, can have people of all nations and backgrounds worship the (Beast) government where we won’t be allowed to buy or sell without having the authority (mark) of the Beast government. People have been so flat out trying to make a living and keeping up with extreme mortgage payments and social events that they don’t have time to think about what is really happening. They have no option but to trust the authorities with health measures to combat the virus. But I do think that some sheoples have had enough as eg things like road rage seem to have increased.
    Two weeks was enough shutdown for Australia, maybe a month for restaurants, clubs, churches, sport etc and continual restrictions for nursing homes, hospitals etc until the virus ends. Some sheoples are going to remember this shutdown, if there is a next time, and will be reluctant to obey orders knowing what they are going to be in for again. Other unemployed sheoples like myself, have been paid twice as much per fortnight plus another $750 which I cannot believe the govt is giving us for staying at home and not having to go out to find work or do our volunteer work. Us unemployed longterm sheoples think this virus scare is a blessing at the moment as we cannot see the economic downturn that is going to happen as the govt has always looked after us, eg the Labor party says payments should go on till the end of the virus.

    I don’t know whether you or someone else has mentioned that although this virus pandemic has been blamed on a communist country, it is really a result of man’s downward path away from God like when evolution began to be taught in schools back in 1960-70s, the hippy alternative lifestyle began, then when same sex marriage was voted in from September – December 2017 in Australia the drought started. Same with the bushfires last year, in August the NSW parliament voted for abortions on demand and the bushfires started with thousands of wildlife killed which I believe is representative of the babies that were being aborted. Now we have this pandemic that kills older people or people with medical conditions just like the euthanasia bill that was supposed to be debated in NSW parliament – a petition against Euthanasia from the Right to Life group was sent to me a few weeks before the Lockdown.

    Governments have been blaming China for the pandemic – Back in March the following was sent to me from the Discern Magazine under the heading “What’s Behind the Coronavirus Outbreak?’ (The two website links proving the science are no longer showing in the article)

    According to Health.com, “researchers studied the genetic code of 2019-nCoV and found that it’s most closely related to two SARS-like coronavirus samples, suggesting that it, too, may have had a bat origin. But when researchers looked deeper, they discovered that the protein codes of 2019-nCoV were most like those used in snakes.”

    The current thinking is that the virus could have been transferred to snakes from bats (snakes often eat bats in the wild), and then transferred to humans through snake meat sold at a particular wet market in Wuhan, China.

    A recent article in the Journal of Medical Virology found: “Snakes were also sold at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market where many patients worked or had history of exposure to wildlife or farm animals. Taken together, snakes could be the most probable wildlife animal reservoir for the 2019-nCoV.”

    Though consuming reptiles and bats is repulsive to many in the Western world, these and many other unusual creatures are commonly eaten in many Asian cultures.

  • Coincidence that a global pandemic occurs at a time when Christians and other groups are lobbying for pornography to be declared a public health issue?

    Billions and billions of dollars are at stake.

    “Globally, porn is one of the top 10 consumers of bandwidth, with popular sites such as Pornhub attracting 64 million daily visitors and accumulating 5,246 centuries worth of watched content in 2016 alone”

    “When faster internet led to a boom in video pornography in the mid-2000s, worldwide industry revenue skyrocketed to an estimated $40-$50 billion.”

    To put this into perspective, Australia’s annual agriculture sector revenue is 60 billion.

  • An interesting quote from Babylon 5 that fits (deathwalker is a member of a species called the dilgar basically the Nazis od the B5 universe): Deathwalker, “You and the rest of your kind, take blind comfort in the belief that we are monsters. That you could never do what we did. The key ingredient in the anti-agathic can not be synthesized. It must be taken from living beings. For one to live forever, another one must die. You will fall upon another like wolves. It will make what we did pale by comparison. The billions who live forever will be a testimony to my work and the billions who are murdered to buy that immortality will be continuous of my work. Not like us, you will become us. That’s my monument, Commander.”

    We to a) believe the Nazis were pure evil so we couldn’t do that and b) that the German people were either brainwashed or something and we wouldn’t act in such a compliant manner. As the above quote shows for the right incentive people will do anything no matter how evil. As far as snitching that is part of human nature just look at kids. It is amazing what thing people will do once someone in authority has said it is ok. And remember children are being taught to obey in schools unquestioned obedience to authority. Reminds me of a Simpson’s episode where reverend lovejoy said some along the lines of once the government has ok it it is no longer immoral. So sit back in your pews Christians and just sing louder.

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