Since the use of power to achieve political ends is accepted, pervasive, and ever expanding, popular support for various programs is achieved by creating fear. Sometimes the fear is concocted out of thin air, but usually it’s created by wildly exaggerating a problem or incident that does not warrant the proposed government “solution.” Often government caused the problem in the first place. The irony, of course, is that government action rarely solves any problem, but rather worsens existing problems or creates altogether new ones.Why Are Americans So Angry? (Ron Paul, R-TX; Remarks on the Floor of The House of Representatives, 29 June 2006)
Fear is generated to garner popular support for the proposed government action, even when some liberty has to be sacrificed. This leads to a society that is systemically driven toward fear-- fear that gives the monstrous government more and more authority and control over our lives and property.
Fear is constantly generated by politicians to rally the support of the people.
Environmentalists go back and forth, from warning about a coming ice age to arguing the grave dangers of global warming.
It is said that without an economic safety net-- for everyone, from cradle to grave-- people would starve and many would become homeless.
It is said that without government health care, the poor would not receive treatment. Medical care would be available only to the rich.
Without government insuring pensions, all private pensions would be threatened.
Without federal assistance, there would be no funds for public education, and the quality of our public schools would diminish-- ignoring recent history to the contrary.
It is argued that without government surveillance of every American, even without search warrants, security cannot be achieved. The sacrifice of some liberty is required for security of our citizens, they claim.
We are constantly told that the next terrorist attack could come at any moment. Rather than questioning why we might be attacked, this atmosphere of fear instead prompts giving up liberty and privacy. 9/11 has been conveniently used to generate the fear necessary to expand both our foreign intervention and domestic surveillance.
Fear of nuclear power is used to assure shortages and highly expensive energy.
In all instances where fear is generated and used to expand government control, it’s safe to say the problems behind the fears were not caused by the free market economy, or too much privacy, or excessive liberty.
It’s easy to generate fear, fear that too often becomes excessive, unrealistic, and difficult to curb. This is important: It leads to even more demands for government action than the perpetrators of the fear actually anticipated.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson