is fear a tool?
As a child, we all remember hearing the story of Henny Penny and "the sky is falling". This humerous tale showed the fallacy of blindly following the first person to cry out about an impending crisis. For those that don't remember the original tale, the chicken led other barnyard fowl to their death at the hands of a fox, all in response to something (an acorn?) falling from a tree. In today's age of 'information', or should we perhaps say, 'dis-information', the same is often true. It only takes one news outlet to report a story with a slight 'bend' in the way it is presented to incite a response that is often out of proportion to the original happening. Look no further in recent history than to the incident involving an assault by a college rugby team, a shooting of a suspect with the resultant "hands up, don't shoot" protests, or even on a greater scale, the global warming fears. Each of those incidents have elicicted a response of varying degrees, but all in response to fear. "We need a larger military" for fear of an attack. "We need more electric cars" in fear of CO2. "We need more welfare" in fear of child starvation. "We need more abortions" in fear of unwanted children....etc. etc. All of these premises are based on fear and instilling fear in others. Who exactly benefits from this fear mongering? The military indutrial complex (remember that old Republican president named Eisenhower that warned us of this ? ) certainly benefits from military buildup. In today's world, smart and efficient small strike units are more important than overwhelming numbers. Does anyone in the United States really believe that another country would invade a country of the best and most armed citizenry of the world ? Not likely, unless our citizens are forced to turn in their weapons in response to other fear mongers that advocate arms control. To that end, perhaps numbers of military are not as important for homeland protection as quality of trained military and quality of their technology and equipment. Do we really need to fear global warming? Our planet has undergone numerous climate changes long before man became a factor and in reality, the atmosphere itself has radically changed several times. At first we were primarily a helium/nitrogen atmosphere, then evolved into a nitrogen CO2 atmosphere, ice began to form and bactria, as a biproduct, produced a noxious gas that poisoned the earth, wiping out indigenous species, that gas being oxygen ! Finally we ended up with new species evolving (and continuing to evolve), yet man now has the arrogance to think we can effect a change by producing more CO2, which in fact promotes more plant growth, which in fact, will be needed to feed increasing populations on earth. Societies in general, and Americans in particular, need to be careful about what we chose as a "cause" and what the real effect of those decisions are. It is difficult for the sheepherder in Afghanistan to understand western freedoms, fast foods, and live broadway shows while they continue the only way of life they have ever wanted, being a sheepherder. Imagine if they were the ruling society and wanted everyone to give up their cell phones and big screen TV's by telling us that those items irrefutably caused cancer, miscarriages, pollution, and degradation of our planet? Yes, gentle reader, there is much to think about and research if any of us want to even scratch the surface of global understanding without being influenced by fear. Maybe the best axiom to follow remains one of the oldest, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".