Friday, September 15, 2006

The Bogeyman Industry

Fear-peddling is very much in danger of becoming
monopolized by the state, which long ago realized
that keeping people perennially frightened was
the most effective method of maintaining them in
a huddled and obedient mass. From the primitive
tribal chief who was able to convince his
neighbors of the threats posed by the “Nine Bows”
across the river, to today’s political shakedown.


We are told, on a daily basis, that our lives
are under constant threat of attack from
terrorists. But if this is so, where are these
supposed terrorists? President Bush and his
defenders have been bleating that their expanded
police and surveillance powers are keeping
terrorists out of the country, a proposition that
is rendered laughable by the daily influx of
immigrants from Central America! If it has been
so easy for millions of people to enter this
country in spite of determined government efforts
to prevent it, what efficacious mechanisms has
the Bush administration put in place to keep out
terrorists? Nor does the government’s performance
in New Orleans suggest to any thoughtful person
that it is capable of making an effective
response to any alleged danger. Artists with their
terrorist phantoms, fear has been the essential
organizing principle of politics.

Full essay.