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Fear: The Foundation of Every Government's Power

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posted on May, 20 2005 @ 10:47 AM
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Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513



The people who have the effrontery to rule us, who call themselves our government, understand this basic fact of human nature. They exploit it, and they cultivate it. Whether they compose a warfare state or a welfare state, they depend on it to secure popular submission, compliance with official dictates, and, on some occasions, affirmative cooperation with the state’s enterprises and adventures. Without popular fear, no government could endure more than twenty-four hours. David Hume taught that all government rests on public opinion, but that opinion, I maintain, is not the bedrock of government. Public opinion itself rests on something deeper: FEAR.

Even absolute monarchs can get bored. The exercise of great power may become tedious and burdensome—underlings are always disturbing your serenity with questions about details; victims are always appealing for clemency, pardons, or exemptions from your rules. In wartime, however, rulers come alive. Nothing equals war as an opportunity for greatness and public acclaim, as all such leaders understand (Higgs 1997). Condemned to spend their time in high office during peacetime, they are necessarily condemned to go down in history as mediocrities at best.

Were we ever to stop being afraid of the government itself and to cast off the phoney fears it has fostered, the government would shrivel and die, and the host would disappear for the tens of millions of parasites in the United States—not to speak of the vast number of others in the rest of the world—who now feed directly and indirectly off the public’s wealth and energies. On that glorious day, everyone who had been living at public expense would have to get an honest job, and the rest of us, recognizing government as the false god it has always been, could set about assuaging our remaining fears in more productive and morally defensible ways.

source
Independant.org

Very Interesting Article - if you have the time, read it all!

Just gotta love Machiavelli, and how his words apply on the World Today.





posted on May, 20 2005 @ 08:43 PM
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I didnt read the whole article, but it made some very good points. The governments foundation is fear, but there are many more things that depend on fear like: the media, some commercials, safty products, some shows, etc. The government also says one thing so many times that we believe it, then going off and doing the opposite, thats another part of the foundation.



posted on May, 21 2005 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by BigPimpin
I didnt read the whole article, but it made some very good points. The governments foundation is fear, but there are many more things that depend on fear like: the media, some commercials, safty products, some shows, etc. The government also says one thing so many times that we believe it, then going off and doing the opposite, thats another part of the foundation.

Fear today is a Product.

You "buy it" wheter you want or not.

Keep them afraid, and they will consume everything!

From the Article:

Fear, like every other “productive” resource, is subject to the laws of production. Thus, it cannot escape the law of diminishing marginal productivity: as successive doses of fear-mongering are added to the government’s “production” process, the incremental public clamor for governmental protection declines.

Fear is a depreciating asset. As Machiavelli observes, “the temper of the multitude is fickle, and ... while it is easy to persuade them of a thing, it is hard to fix them in that persuasion” ([1513 1992, 14). Unless the foretold threat eventuates, the people come to doubt its substance. The government must make up for the depreciation by investing in the maintenance, modernization, and replacement of its stock of fear capital.

For example, during the Cold War, the general sense of fear of the Soviets tended to dissipate unless restored by periodic crises, many of which took the form of officially announced or leaked “gaps” between U.S. and Soviet military capabilities: troop-strength gap, bomber gap, missile gap, antimissile gap, first-strike-missile gap, defense-spending gap, thermonuclear-throw-weight gap, and so forth. Lately, a succession of official warnings about possible forms of terrorist attack on the homeland has served the same purpose: keeping the people “vigilant,” which is to say, willing to pour enormous amounts of their money into the government’s bottomless budgetary pits of “defense” and “homeland security”



 
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