Leaders of history can vouch for fear as a timeless tool in the quest to rule. The rise to power is a hunt for influence, and what better strategy than appealing to an old survival instinct so powerful it can stun a whole population. The results preach themselves.
Terror is reliable. The atomic bomb for mass control can work for thousands of years if applied right. The panic distorts reality and gives any opportunist with enough charisma the chance to seize and keep control. Communication of the best propaganda wins the prize; money, and authority.
The gains persist until new thinking outgrows formal wisdom in a climax known as revolution. Fear dissolves, but the evolution can be a slow and violent process to unfold when the pigs addicted to power bite to protect their interests.
Rulers refuse to adapt at their expense and resist the change as much as they can. Symptoms of withdrawal range from denial to mass deception leading to several forms of intimidation and aggression. War and extortion are the last resort of the dying swine; there are always more reasons to stay scared and new enemies to find.
Courage is hard to build when people are afraid, but the cycle is inevitable. History suggests institutions who resort to the lower forms of human nature face imminent extinction. Empires crumble under the weight of time. If only their predecessors were alive to warn them.
" Enjoy it while it lasts! " - The Romans, probably.
Scary things are going to happen for the rest of humanity, whether we like it or not. We can learn from our fear and evolve or let it control us. The choice is ours at the end of the day. Sun Tzu wrote in The Art Of War that you could win one hundred battles if you know your enemy.
So what role does terror play in your life today?
by Alex Bernier