The late Maxi Jazz suggested in one of his songs, ‘Fear is a weapon of mass destruction!” From the possibility of Iraq using chemical weapons in the day he sang that to covid and now the Ukraine war, I have to ask, is fear being used to control us?
What scared you most?
Over the last 30 years we as ordinary people ha ve had a few things that put us on edge. With my underlying depression, I must say some things have affected me more than others. Let’s look at the last 24 months:
– Sitting in your chair listening to your laboured breathing imagining you’re going to be on a ventilator (or worse, actually being on one) with covid
– The possibility of being turned to ash by a nutty world leader after he nuked us
– Making ends meet in the so-called cost-of-living crisis
– Hearing that the global climate has climbed to 1.1 degrees above pre-industrial levels and knowing the millionaires and billionaires who rule over us don’t give a tinker’s cuss
– The wilful destruction of the NHS by the government
– The possibility of Iran planning to irradiate London with a dirty bomb
What scared you the most among these existential threats? Whether left wing or right, ‘woke’ or asleep, you will have been put on edge by multiples of these. Even if you’re an anti-woke covid denier you won’t feel too excited should you get the flu or a chest pains, and you may well be worrying about your job right now…
Could our fear be deliberate?
Again, without getting too tinfoil-hat or political, there is a group of people out there unaffected by the apparent mess we face. Rolls Royce sold more cars than ever before in 2022, and £60,000 Teslas are among the best selling cars in Europe and the US. Yes, the wealthier you are the less this climate of fear will bother you.
Forgetting the Tesla owners (generally leasing them through a tax dodge as a company car), the billionaire Ross Royce buyers are almost completely insulated from the issues we face. They isolated from covid on one of thousands of 30 metre+ long superyachts, of which Putin and his mates are a notable minority of owners. If you’re a billionaire you may be affected by inflation but not job prospects, covid, the NHS, or being nuked.
Could that lot be gaslighting us? They pretend through showing up at big conferences like COP26 to care about the climate, but then give tax breaks to oil companies and have coal mines dug or expanded to further enrich themselves and buy bigger yachts.
Why are we better afraid?
If the accusation of gaslighting is made then you need to have a fair idea that those gaslighting have an agenda. Imagine we had no killer bugs flying around, we didn’t fear having to go to a food bank to supplement our working income and weren’t scared of dying on a hospital trolley after having had a minor heart attack, or another reason to lose sleep.
Would we listen to our children’s greatest fears and start demanding climate change gets sorted asap? Would the tiny number of us fighting the system currently be able to get together as one?
Divide and rule has long been a tactic successfully used against the working and peasant classes to beat us into submission. Those who are ‘not woke’ will fear hordes of people without white skin sailing across the Channel on dinghies to ‘steal are jobs’. Perhaps those who are not woke would demand a sufficient education to critically analyse the world around us and effectively wake up!
Who are you? Of those I am lucky to know and love there are five distinct types:
-Those who refuse to watch TV or listen to the radio (and probably won’t read this!) to insulate themselves against the world
– Those who stay in shitty jobs with crap employers because they’re frightened of the ‘cost-of-living crisis’ despite having the talent to tell their employer where to insert their job and go elsewhere for double the money
– Those who have become hardened to the news and focus on the next 30-40 years when they won’t be able to care as they’ll be asleep in a box
– Those who hate Europe/blame ‘immigrunts’ and generally do as they’re told by the Daily Mail, Sun and Express
– Those who see their mates all too often at protests (and sometimes need to ask their friends in meetings to remind them just what cause they’re meeting about as they see them so often in different campaigns)
Sadly the vast majority of us fall into the first four groups and aren’t a danger to the system. Those of us in the fifth group would dearly like to see more of you from the other groups (OK, likely we’d be able to tolerate those from three of those!).
Fear is a horrible thing. I’ll admit I’ve started taking quite powerful antidepressants lately on top of some pretty hardcore head meds I have been taking for over 20 years. Fear and negative emotion has cost me a lot of money in the last 12 months – it can and does get on top of even the hardcore activists among us. I’ve also cut back heavily on the amount of campaigning I do as it was starting to screw my head up.
Could true freedom be not being afraid?
One recent Monday I had a slew of emails from different clients and it was looking to be a rough week. An old war cry from school entered my head and I sung out, “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough!” In doing so I showed no fear and actually made the week tolerable.
United as a mob, whether through the union movement, environmentalist movement or whatever we do to help take on the Rolls Royce buying bastards, we can unite together and chant that war cry. They can hurt you, but can’t hurt us!