Fear, Safety and Slavery

The weaponisation of fear has been perfected by the Big State:

When you turned on your computer this morning there would have been a very small risk that it might have exploded in your face. A small risk indeed, but a risk. When you stepped in your car, you ran the risk of getting into an accident. When you walked down the street you faced the risk of some out of control drunk driver running you over.

Indeed, we just learned in the news that more people died yesterday in Victoria from falling trees than from Covid. While we must always be careful in giving our politicians even more dumb ideas, the obvious response to this fact would be to either chop down all trees, or keep everyone inside – permanently. After all, if it saves just one life…

Life is full of risks. The question is, do we live in fear of all these risks, or do we act sensibly about them, weighing up the pros and cons, the benefits and the risks? If you stay locked in your home in terror, never leaving for the slightest reason, you will reduce the risk of being in a car crash by around 100 per cent. You will also be spared the risk of being involved in a mass-shooting at the local mall.

But most folks do not let fear and the desire to be safe so consume them that they will live as a slave – whether that is self-imposed slavery or state-imposed. Yet we have clearly seen over the past two years that millions of people are utterly consumed by fear and paranoia. They now seem to worship at the altar of safety while thumbing their noses at freedom.

Too many have bought the spin by most political leaders and almost all of the lamestream media that we are all gonna die because of the Rona, and we must do everything the elites tell us to do – without question. If that means staying under house arrest for the next twenty years, wearing three masks at a time – even if you live alone – and getting an endless series of shots, far too many folks will do this quite willingly.

We have become a nation of Covid zombies, completely paralysed by fear, and we are no longer the slightest bit interested in things like freedom, democracy, human rights, and the vital necessity of critical thought. Zombies do not think – they simply emote, and they simply submit.

And zombies will be the first to attack, hate on, and report to the authorities anyone who dares to not live in complete panic as they do. They will snitch on their neighbours at the drop of a hat, and even turn on family members, dobbing them in to the police for the slightest of ‘crimes’.

That is how completely consumed with fear and paranoia they have become. A meme making the rounds on the social media says this: “I’m starting to learn who would have hidden Anne Frank and who would have turned her over to the Nazis.” Exactly right. The Covid hysteria and panic porn has reached dizzying heights, and I and so many others are utterly astounded by what we find happening.

I have appealed to various authorities on these matters over recent months, including sociology professor Frank Furedi. His 2018 book How Fear Works has much to say about these matters. He begins a concluding chapter, “The Quest for Safety in a Dangerous World” this way: “Safety is more highly valued than any other condition in the culture of fear, acquiring the status of a moral good that trumps all others.”

He goes on to speak about the “freedom-safety trade-off” and says this:

One of the most unattractive features of the deification of safety is the apparent tendency to subordinate the value of freedom to its dictates. Within the moral framework of the culture of fear, safety and security are first-order values, while freedom is reduced to a second-order value, at best.…

 

The relationship between freedom and safety has been a subject of debate throughout history, In numerous instances, the very human impulse to achieve safety has been used as an excuse to limit the exercise of freedom. This point was recognized by Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. ‘Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct,’ he wrote in November 1787, warning that ‘even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates’ which will ‘compel nations’ to ‘destroy their civil and political rights.’ With a hint of fatalism, Hamilton suggested that ‘to be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.’ Another Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, was unequivocally against the practice of trading in freedom for safety. He famously remarked that ‘those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.’

 

Calls for the freedom-safety trade-off claim that the liberties that people enjoy need to be balanced with a community’s need for security. This argument has been raised and re-raised by authorities throughout history. Relieving people of the burden of freedom in order to make them feel safe is a recurring theme in the history of authoritarianism.

He continues:

Many intelligent observers have criticized the ease with which political leaders have been able to win the public’s acquiescence to the freedom-safety trade-off. . . . In fact, trading off freedom for some alleged psychic benefit is not unlike the argument that authoritarian-minded politicians frequently employ for justifying policies that curb people’s rights in order to ‘preserve their freedom’….

 

Arguments for a trade-off deprive freedom – in any of its forms – of moral content. The culture of fear continually promotes the idea that our safety depends on giving up some of our freedoms, and its celebration of the Precautionary Principle has led to the loss of valuation for the freedom to take risks….

 

The demands of psychic survival and self-esteem are used as an argument for trading in freedom for the illusory goal of feeling safe. Yet as the arguments in this book have indicated, the culture of fear continually feeds itself. The act of trading in freedom does not make people feel safe. It heightens people’s awareness of their lack of control over their lives and thereby enhances their sense of insecurity. The loss of any of our freedoms simply undermines people’s capacity to deal with the threats they face. As we suggest in the next chapter, taking freedom more seriously is the first step towards negating the corrosive influence that the culture of fear exercises over society.

Image of A State of Fear: How the UK government weaponised fear during the Covid-19 pandemic
A State of Fear: How the UK government weaponised fear during the Covid-19 pandemic by Array Amazon logo

Another writer I have been quoting of late is Laura Dodsworth. Her important 2021 book A State of Fear is all about how the British government weaponised fear as it dealt with Covid. Let me quote from just one portion of her book:

The use of fear is anti-democratic,’ sociologist Dr Ashley Frawley told me. ‘There is a lack of belief in the human subject, a subject that is seen as animalistic, incapable of understanding risk, and weak. The behavioural psychologists saw people’s proportionate responses to risk as a problem that needed to be overcome. The use of fear assumes you could never deal with this epidemic by using democratic means. And then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because fear affects our ability to assess risk.’

 

The weaponisation of fear is a particularly destabilising tactic in the behavioural psychology toolbox because it clouds our judgement, which in turn increases reliance on government, which then creates more fear, which paralyses us further, creating a self-perpetuating doom-loop. William Sargant said that successful brainwashing demands ‘the rousing of strong emotions’. Your pliability is exaggerated by your fears.

 

Governments understand that fear is an unarguable fact of human psychology. History shows us that they will leverage fear, supposedly in our interests, ‘for our own good’, at the same time as advancing other interests which might not suit us so well. A government that nudges does not trust the people. A government that nudges has given up on debate and transparency and opted for covert manipulation – that is something to be wary of, if not frightened.

 

During the Covid epidemic, the UK government threatened us with longer lockdowns or tougher restrictions if we misbehaved, and rewards such as the return of the ‘rule of six’ or garden meetings were dangled in front of us if all went well. The relationship between government and citizen was reminiscent of a strict parent and child relationship, with alternating use of the naughty step and then offering sweets for good behaviour. Citizens were not treated like adults. We were told frightening ‘bedtime stories’ every day via the news and Downing Street briefings to ensure compliance with a set of ever-changing and sometimes bizarre rules.

 

There is something intrinsically infantilising about nudge.

Yes we have all been treated like children. The nanny state knows best, and it will punish the recalcitrant and reward the compliant. Above all, it will drown us all in a sea of fear to keep us in check. And the masses simply lap it up: ‘Well, our most compassionate and wise State is doing what is best. It is keeping us safe. Thank you dear State.’

Such willing and eager slaves we have become – all because of fear.

[1556 words]

19 Replies to “Fear, Safety and Slavery”

  1. The last Qld State election was won because those who would not normally vote ALP did so because of the misguided view (promoted by the state) that Anna kept them safe.

    In WA, people were encouraged to send the Premier an electronic Father’s Day card thanking him for keeping them safe – calling him the Father of the State. Apparently, some person got a tattoo of him. I’m not sure they do that in the DPRK.

    If they had a thank you rally in each capital city, they would be packed. Just needs the fiery torches and swastikas.

    So it is easy to see how people will turn on others out of misguided fear. Anne Frank wouldn’t have stood a chance in modern Australia.

  2. Not surprisingly, it is the same modus operandi that the catastrophic climate changers operate on. Scare you that if no action taken, then consequences will be dramatic, and then claim credit for the fact that their extremist alarmist predictions never came to fruition.

  3. “Yes we have all been treated like children.”

    Of course. I blame parenting of the past 40 years obsessed with safety never letting their children take risks always micromanaging their live, helicopter parenting, scheduling everything from play dates to sports these kids always have someone else in charge of everything and taking care of them. So now yes they need someone, Nanny government, to keep them safe like mommy did. To tell them what to do like mommy did. We’ve raised a couple of generations of docile compliant drones willing to obey Nanny and follow her to hell because she said to go there.

    Add to the parenting the government schooling teach the unquestioned obedience to Nanny as she knows things you don’t and is benevolent and you have a populace unable to think for itself and incapable of doing anything with the slightest risk of harm that you abuse them and they won’t rise up at all either believing they deserved it or saying no and pushing back is just too dangerous. They were raised in fear so of course they are perfectly fine living in fear.

    Agnes Skinner said in a episode of the Simpson’s (not COVID related): in my day we had people we stood up to this we called them MEN!! In far too many cases we don’t have men and women anymore we have adult aged boys and girls.

  4. Someone told me there was a movie about 40 years ago on the New World Order and Australia was the headquarters, as it is isolated from the rest of the world, and the rest of the world was put into regions. Could they be trying to play this out now, especially now that both the Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer of NSW, Brad Hazzard and Dr Kerry Chant, have said we are in the New World Order. Just like they are trying to get Australia to zero Climate Change emissions, while places like China and India don’t have to, they are using the flu-like coronavirus to control us into some sort of utopia while the cost to the economy is so exorbitant that another country like China could come in and buy us out/take us over completely. Thankfully more people like Truckies, school teachers, police, health care workers, pilots and now the churches are waking up and opposing the covid mandatory vaccines.

  5. I remember an excellent cartoon. Unfortunately I can’t remember the cartoonist, nor where it was first published, but it pictured two birds – one in a cage and one on the windowsill. The caged bird is saying something like, “…and they feed me and give me fresh water, and they keep me safe from cats. This life is really good.” To which the other replies, “Yes, but now you can’t fly.”

  6. Children in Australia are taught to fear the rona continually with schools resembling clinics and sanitized environments. It has gone to extremes. Some schools upon entry to school must sanitize their hands and upon entering and leaving the classroom. Parents are unable to enter the grounds at many schools and definitely not the classrooms. Schools have become drop off zones and even for the very young at their first year of school. Parents arrive in the open fresh air in masks and I have overheard parents telling other kids not to get close to other parents. At swimming centers children are being instructed to keep a 1.5 minute distance at all times.

    Teachers are acquiescing to bureaucrats and the Education Departments with the most draconian hysterical policies. One true statistic is that there are currently 36,000 active cases of Covid in Australia and only 125 are in serious condition. There is a 99.7% chance of Covid not harming you in a substantial manner.

    At shopping centers people wipe down trollies for at least 3 minutes and then sanitize their hands plus have a mask on. There could be a most lucrative industry in checking people’s goods after shopping with some testing device to make sure the goods are Covid free.

    There seems to be an element of cultishness with Covid with masses of groups with anxiety gathered together, constantly afraid and repeating the same talking points the mainstream media say. It does not matter what you tell them and you try to reason with them and put things into perspective but to no avail. They are cowering in fear and do everything instructed of them. They constantly are worried about neighbors dobbing in, have anxiety if ‘bending’ the rules and afraid to be seen as not doing their part for the collective. Anyone who questions and raises concerns with all this is denounced as anti social and a threat to Australia doing their bit and a threat to the team. There is a collective trance and people are so mesmerised.

  7. Very insightful piece but this was all there in embryonic form with the war on tobacco and 2nd and 3rd hand smoke, speed cameras, mobile speed cameras, mobile phone detection systems and on and on. The overall message is the people are too stupid and reckless to take responsibility for their own actions!

    But of course it was all for our own good! And who in the church were willing to speak out for smoker’s rights? Dennis Prager and the libertarians were about all I could name.

    The other day I had a decent some of money deposited into my account from overseas and the bank sent me a please explain as to where the money was from, what it was used for, what i was doing with it etc etc. My money! All at the behest of the federal government. To keep us safe from terrorists and drug dealers no doubt.

    This was all a long time coming…

  8. I’ve been saying for years that government treats it citizens like children yet expects them to act like adults. No wonder it doesn’t work.
    We must stand up and tell government that we will not participate in their culture of fear. But most of us must do this….it’s not enough if it’s only a few.

  9. Actually Damien Spillane I don’t have problem with the war against tobacco and cigarettes as it is a harmful product, yes even for those near by the smoker, and the tobacco companies lied about its addictive nature for profit. Now I think the government might have been heavy handed in some cases but these companies were profiting hand over fist off people taking a dangerous drug and getting sick and dying. All while denying their product was to blame. We see this all over again with Vaping and the problems it is causing. Same motive too filthy mammon. Much evil is done in the name of profit!!! Libertarians have a great deal of the same values as conservative but often lack morality. They have no moral compass so they let anything goes be the approach they seek. Many argue for the legalizing of prostitution and other sin. While I am NO fan of big government a government too small, too weak and with no moral compass is no alternative. Liberty is meaningless without moral guidance. On the other things I agree with you. I actually think the mobile speed detectors, with no enforcement connection, isn’t a bad idea and sometime you get unaware of your speed but when it becomes attached to enforcement I don’t care for it. Just having it there is help enough like how people slow down when they see a cop car on the side of the road ahead. Just his presence is enough to deter he doesn’t actually have to be handing out tickets. the bank thing is crazy. Here in the us, I’m assuming you are in Australia, you can’t make deposits just under $10,000 to often or they ask questions about it because at $10,000 you have to fill out federal forms and many crooks just avoid that number so now everyone is a potential crook. And don’t even get me started on Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws.

  10. Paul Wilson yes smoking IS harmful and I certainly teach my children to stay away from such harmful behaviour but it IS NOT the role of government nor the health bureaucracies role to try and engineer the people’s behaviour through taxing, regulating etc.

    And actually second hand smoke is not harmful except maybe to those with respiratory problems. The anti-tobacco lobby has lied as much as the tobacco companies and probably more.

    And What about the other “sin taxes” on sugar, trans fats etc? If you empower bureaucrats to make decisions for the people too stupid to make for themselves then don’t complain when the envelope is pushed to where we are today!

  11. I won’t argue with you about whether morality should guide government’s decisions such that sometimes they must through taxes and regulation IMPOSE the moral thing on people. We can’t always trust people to do the right thing and in somethings it is more that just what you DO but also who you INFLUENCE. As I said Liberty is meaningless without moral guidance.

  12. Sure there should be moral guids in society but they should come from parents, teachers, pastors etc etc not some bureaucrats sitting in Canberra or Washington or the public health bureaucracies

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