Fear is an important survival emotion that signals impending danger to both humans and animals. Ignoring such signals could end up a mortal error. Yet fear itself has been maligned as we witness the most recent and horrendous tragedy of the Boston bombing.
Throughout history, governments and power brokers have used fear (Nero fiddled while Rome burned) to manipulate their people. For them, fearful citizens exist as the fuel insuring the obedience necessary to expand and further consolidate their power.
Empires don’t die; they just reinvent themselves. They resemble a two-sided coin with so-called leaders on one side, obsessed with totalitarian-type powers even if they never fully obtain them, and on the other, those who submit even when not required to do so. As an ancient cultural and political story, the tyrant and the slave believe they need each other.
I return, momentarily, to the metaphor-rich and relevant story of the Wizard of Oz. Behind the curtain the Wizard was all powerful because the people of Oz feared him. Many years earlier, when a little guy from Omaha who had worked in the circus fell to the Land of Oz in a hot-air balloon, the people there feared him (perhaps they thought he was a god) and promised to do whatever he wished. The real-life guy from Omaha seized the moment, and for years and years, chose to exploit how much they feared him by setting himself up as the ruler of Oz. He had the people of Oz fooled until Dorothy’s dog, Toto, crashed down the screen exposing “the great and terrible Oz,” actually just a small and balding old man.
Oh my…a small, balding old man created fantastical physical illusions that fooled the people for decades. His illusions convinced the inhabitants of Oz of his great power because fear distorted their perception of reality. Imagine, without such distortion, the inhabitants of Oz would have had to think for themselves and make decisions based on their own critical thinking.
So how then is today’s reinvigorated environment of fear in America (since the latest tragedy of the Boston bombing) akin to the Wizard of Oz? Despite what people or organization is responsible for such an atrocity and given just how ineffective massive amounts of security on-duty failed to stop the carnage, the real question to ask is, cui bono, i.e. who benefits? When that question is answered, you just might end up finding the man behind the curtain.
Certainly the people themselves did not benefit and especially not those people who attended the marathon, and most especially those (and their families) who lost their life, their limbs or who suffered physical and trauma injuries. Fear, for many Americans, like the inhabitants of Oz, has risen. They see no other option but to submit to the false sky gods of financial and political authority and all in the Orwellian name of safety, peace and freedom.
With each new tragedy, control increases over the American society. Will we now see an accelerated roll-out of increased “security” at America’s sporting events and on the corners of our home towns? Will we be asked to show our papers? Yes, fear is a natural human emotion, but as America’s vulnerability to enemies within and without has been propagated by government and mainstream media alike since the Patriot Act, to not look deeper into who benefits, is a big mistake. It is a mistake that means you have tacitly consented to becoming a pawn in a power-game dominated by financial and political powers that are first and foremost committed to the preservation of their own self-interests despite any possible collateral damage to the populous.
But like the Wizard of Oz, the Powers That Be today get their power of illusion from the people who roll over in fear. Reality behind the curtain, however, is something else entirely.
May God bless and comfort and bless all people throughout the world who have suffered senseless losses due to such tragedies.
Think outside the box. Live outside the cage.