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Social/Political Comment

Terrorism, governments and fear: the results

Very interesting results from the survey I’ve had on my web site for a while…

88% of people said that they believe Al Quaeda exists; contrary to the opinions of the conspiracy theorists who think that Al Quaeda is a fabrication, a “shadow enemy” created to instil fear into the populace at a time when the sources of traditional fears (the Soviet Union/Cold War, for example) had largely evaporated. Clearly the vast majority of people think that governments are telling the truth about terrorism, and that something with as much impact as Al Quaeda couldn’t possibly be a fabrication.

75% of people said that the government of the USA had no hand in the 9/11 attacks on US soil; this is once again contrary to some who think that the US government actually sponsored the attacks in order to establish greater control upon both domestic and international populations and governments through fear of further terrorism. Once again this result seems to indicate that the majority of people still have faith in the US government and believe that no government could ever perpetrate such atrocities upon its own people in order to shake up the world order. Alas, historical events have shown that this is not always so.

Finally in an interesting reversal, 75% of people are sure that fear is being used by governments in the US and UK as a tool of control over the populace. Certainly it’s an effective tool, historically used within every civilisation, especially when the suggested enemy is largely unknown by the majority of the population. It’s so easy for a government (or indeed religious leader) to say “look at those people over the other side of the border with their foreign habits and their different customs and their contrary religion; they threaten our way of life” and all the sheep will baaaaa in agreement. That way lies concealed motives, betrayal and deceit, as well as fear, uncertainty, doubt, war, death, destruction and lots and lots of profit for a few.

I asked for yes or no answers because I wanted to gauge polarised opinions; in other words, if someone’s sitting on the fence, which side of the fence will they land when they’re forced to jump? It seems pretty clear that although people today doubt that governments could involve themselves in large-scale engineering of future events through atrocities attributed to invisible enemies, they are still aware of governments’ tendency to use fear as a control mechanism. Does this mean that governments are then foiled in their efforts to control their populations? Unfortunately not. Scaring people was, is, and will forever be the best way to make them do what you want them to do. The bogeyman is alive and well.

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