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Politics

Fighting the culture of fear

We live in a society gripped by fear, and that fear is robbing us of our freedom and preventing us from living our lives, because to live enslaved by fear is not to live. Man was created free, and not to drag his feet sadly bound to the rusty chains of fear.

Fernando del Pino Calvo Sotelo

November 28, 2022

We live in a society gripped by fear, and that fear is robbing us of our freedom and preventing us from living our lives, because to live enslaved by fear is not to live. Man was created free, and not to drag his feet sadly bound to the rusty chains of fear.

Today’s society is much more fearful than that of our ancestors. When I was a kid and we rode bicycles, we occasionally fell and got hurt. It was not the fault of excessive speed or the child’s carelessness. The force of gravity was to blame. Without the force of gravity, it is impossible to fall, right? But that’s the way it is! To live is to take risks. Today there are children who ride bikes with helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, gloves (and cell phones, of course).

Our parents and grandparents were not obsessed with their health or with living a hundred years. It is true that no one recommended to them eccentricities such as drinking two liters of water a day, because back then people did not drink out of obligation but when they were thirsty, a millenary system quite infallible that I highly recommend.

Today, the media have a “Health” section in which they scare us with all kinds of diseases and promise us that, if we comply with certain rules, follow a certain lifestyle or the latest diet in vogue, if we constantly go to the doctor and stuff ourselves with medicines, we will live forever.

Modern man’s pretensions to immortality

Modern man, controlled by the Culture of Fear, lives obsessed with eternal youth, pretending that death does not exist. Have these delusions of immortality been successful?

The answer may surprise you. Of course, life expectancy at birth has increased greatly, but life expectancy should not be confused with longevity. It is not that human beings live much longer, but that a greater number of those born reach adulthood thanks, above all, to the wonderful reduction in infant mortality.

Plato, in the 4th century B.C., lived 80 years; St. John (1st century), about 90; St. Albert the Great, in the 13th century, 87; and the Jesuit philosopher Juan de Mariana, in the 16th century, 88 years.

In fact, life expectancy at the age of 65 has barely increased by 4 or 5 years in the last century, which means that a 65-year-old man who at the end of the 19th century expected to live to 78 years of age can now expect to live to 83[1]. In people over 80, life expectancy has hardly increased in the West in the last 100 years[2], and this despite living in the most medicated society in history.

Do we need to live in cotton wool? A life of physical deprivation does not seem to be an obstacle to reach a ripe old age either. Diogenes, in the 4th century BC, walked barefoot all year round, slept in the porticoes of the temples wrapped in a cloak and reached 90 years of age. Of course, he did so during the Roman Warm Period, when the planet’s temperature was higher than today’s (to the dismay of the climate-changers[3]).  

St. Anthony Abbot, one of the 3rd century hermits known as the Desert Fathers, reached the age of 105 jumping from one fast to the next. And psychologist Viktor Frankl, a survivor of Auschwitz, died at 92, and he was no exception, as concentration camp survivors have been statistically long-lived[4].  

Fear of everything

But what is fear? Fear is the anticipatory anxiety of harm, whether real or imagined. When fear anticipates an avoidable real harm, it protects us, because we can prevent it. However, when it anticipates an unavoidable harm, or an avoidable one, but does so disproportionately, or worse, when it anticipates a merely imaginary harm, it can be disastrous.

The Culture of Fear[5] exacerbates, internalizes, and extends a disproportionate fear into everyday life, creating a society characterized by the compulsive search for an unattainable security that idealizes a fantasy: that it is possible to live with zero risk.  

Thus, the Culture of Fear offers us the poisoned apple of a false promise of security in exchange for our freedom, and it does so under two premises. The first is that everything is dangerous; the second is that all danger can be avoided if we obey certain rules ordered by the Power, be it political, scientific, or medical, which will protect us from all evil.

The divinization of security is yet another idolatry and, as a good idol, it is not faithful to its promises. Indeed, security is elusive because it does not exist.

The fear of covid, of climate change or of a nuclear war are just specific examples of a broader movement. The main fears with which the Culture of Fear frightens us are the fear of lack of love, of loneliness, illness, old age and death, criticism, poverty and, very significantly, the fear of freedom. In short, the Culture of Fear proposes that we should be afraid of life itself.

The traps of the Culture of Fear

The sinister thing is that this culture of constant fear does not want to solve these fears, but to make them chronic. Thus, in the face of the fear of poverty, it proposes more State, less freedom and less private property, exactly what increases poverty.

In the face of the fear of criticism, he proposes social media, where the fear of not being accepted is encouraged and where those who do not comply with whatever way of thinking the Power decides are censored or lynched.

In the face of the fear of lack of love and loneliness, it proposes the destruction of the family through express divorce, abortion, and the perverse ideology of gender.

In the face of the fear of illness, it proposes hyper-medication leading to hypochondria, or, more recently, to the aberrant confinement of healthy people, social isolation, the farce of masks or coercive vaccination with ineffective and dangerous genetic therapies (“vaccines”).

In the face of the fear of old age, it proposes euthanasia, and in the face of the fear of death, despair. There is something dark in all this, isn’t there?

Finally, the Culture of Fear, and the power junkies who promote it, fervently want us to be afraid of freedom, because freedom implies responsibility.

Simultaneously they create the fear of what they call “losing freedom”, but this is a fake. For example, they propose that we should not commit for life to our spouse and that we should not fight for our marriage (divorce and regain “your freedom”).

Or that we do not have that wonderful child who will bind us for life with the bonds of love, but that we destroy him in his mother’s womb (abort and regain “your freedom”). Or that we do not try, finally, to overcome our passions and strive to do good: “free yourself”, man, and do whatever you want. This only leads to unhappiness and slavery, because instead of elevating the human being, it animalizes him. As Seneca said, “in virtue lies true happiness[6]“.  

For Christians, the history of fear is linked to original sin, since the first time fear appears in Genesis was after Adam ate the forbidden fruit. Significantly, therefore, fear and evil appear together. In the New Testament, on the other hand, the Good News begins with the angel’s “do not be afraid” to the Virgin Mary, and one of the most recurrent phrases of Jesus Christ is “do not be afraid”.

Fear also paralyzes us, preventing us from developing our talents and bearing fruit; it is not for nothing that in the parable of the talents the reason given by the servant for not having made it bear fruit is that he was afraid (Mt 15:14-30).

Fear as an instrument of Power

Where does the Culture of Fear come from? Is it a spontaneous phenomenon or does it respond to induced factors? Fear is consubstantial to human beings, but there are exogenous elements interested in exacerbating it.

Undoubtedly, the most important exogenous element is the offensive of the new totalitarianism, which uses fear to control us. Indeed, power does not want thinking individuals who master their fears, but obedient and frightened clones, just as it does not want free individuals, but dependent and controllable mass-men.

Freedom, God’s fundamental gift to man, is always threatened by power. Thus, power and freedom constitute a zero-sum game: if one increases, the other must necessarily decrease.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that the antidote to fear is knowledge, and that is true, but knowledge requires thinking, and the West is currently experiencing a decline of reason. When Nobel laureate Albert Schweitzer was asked many years ago what was wrong with modern man, he replied: “Today’s man simply does not think”.

If thinking is the antidote to fear and fear is the instrument of the power junkies to control us, they will try to make us not think for ourselves at all and limit ourselves to repeat like parrots the latest news or the ideological menu of the day.

Incidentally, fear is not the only instrument that the power junkies use to dominate us. Aware that vice enslaves, and virtue liberates, they promote vice instead of virtue, and, like the serpent in Genesis, they present it in such a way that it is “attractive to the eye and desirable”.

It is rare for a politician to propose to voters sacrifice, generosity, effort, responsibility, altruism, fidelity, keeping one’s word, truthfulness or respect for those who have a different opinion. Rather, it will teach them to fear (and, therefore, to detest) the political adversary, it will call “solidarity” to envy, greed for the goods of others and fantasies such as living without working (that is, from the labor of others) and “rights” to avoiding any obligation and any responsibility, even towards one’s spouse and children.

The cunning tactics of the Culture of Fear

Power junkies use fear as a control tactic: first they create a fear, real or fictitious, which soon transforms into anger; then they point to a culprit, real or invented, towards whom they instruct us to direct our anger; and finally, they postulate themselves as saviors if we give them our freedom. Thus, fear ends up leading to servitude.

The case of covid is revealing: first they created panic; then they looked for a scapegoat: the young, stigmatized for their supposedly irresponsible behavior, and later the unvaccinated, whom they condemned to a shameful apartheid; and finally they postulated themselves as saviors if we obeyed them without complaining, giving up our freedom with lockdowns, masks, “vaccines” and all the other hoaxes.

But fear also works as a weapon to bend wills in a more direct way through peer pressure. Man, social and gregarious, fears isolation, and is therefore vulnerable to the threat of being stigmatized and ostracized if he dares to go against the current.

God created us as individuals, unique and unrepeatable. The power junkies seek to destroy such individuality in order to transform us into docile and indistinguishable automatons.

A very useful tool to achieve this are the social media, designed to dilute individuality into a shapeless mass whose individuals are slaves of their “popularity” and, therefore, easily controlled by those who decide what should be popular. That is why they invented the “likes”, using not only the fear of being left alone, but also our tendency to build our opinion of ourselves based on the applause of others, a crass though frequent mistake.

The fear of peer pressure is often combined with the abuse of the principle of authority, which in the past was political, military, or religious. Today, the power junkies have decided to manipulate Science (with a capital letter) to turn it into the new Authority, into a new god, and scientists into the new high priests, useful servants of power. “Science” says so, so don’t argue: obey.

All this has been invented for millennia and the students of previous centuries, more intelligent than those of today (because they lacked cell phones), studied it in any logic course before they reached the age of 16.

It is the ad verecundiam fallacy, which defends something only because someone considered an authority has affirmed it, the ad hominem fallacy, which instead of proposing arguments discredits the person who defends the contrary position, and the ad populum fallacy, which defends that something is true only because a majority or “public opinion” thinks so.

During the covid, the most absurd “scientific” measures, the wildest lies and superstitious beliefs repeated ad nauseam by the power junkies and the mainstream media have been nothing but a succession of fallacies. In the following article I will recall the extreme we reached, and I will propose how to combat the Culture of Fear on which the madness we have lived through has been based, for we cannot allow it to happen again.

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