Tuesday, January 22, 2013

State of Fear

A great fear of the average thinking citizen is that the state, through either incompetence or malice, will, through action or inaction, cause terrible and lasting damage upon the citizenry. Wars, budgets, debt and deficits are the easiest of such blunders with their consequences of murder and more. A solution is to limit the influence of the state as much as possible, a position abhorred by those who feel the state a positive influence with more benefit than danger. Anyone with a knowledge of American military combat from Korea to the present might have a difficult time having any such optimism.

The absurd "fiscal cliff" is a real example of such a threat and a virtual metaphor of the disconnection between the government and its citizens. The nation is readily threatened for the smallest political gain, the harmony of society easily disrupted for the sake of posturing and posing, the country eagerly misled by counterfeit principles. We will soon face the equally absurd "debt ceiling."

The thesis behind Crichton's "State of Fear" was only incidentally concerned with global warming; it was that politics have evolved so that no political action is possible unless the poor citizens is scared witless by the alternatives facing them. We may have progressed beyond that. We may be just scared witless of these so-called leaders and the people who have faith in them.

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