Merchants of Gloom and Doom: Of Fears and Worries
Worries are characteristically 'lateral' and harping on half-truth and lies is the hallmark of 'pathological worriers', passed around innocently at the outset to juxtapose any unsubstantiated theory or premeditated hunch, which sets into motion domino-like chain reactions of collapsing 'literal' hypothesis--most of it calibrated nonetheless by efficient spin doctoring. Through our obsessions we allow 'institutionalized worriers', our propagandists - or 'merchants of gloom' to emerge. Sadly over a period of time when worries have diminished as those inevitably do, we invent 'less worrying worries', allowing our cascading communicative skills to either give past worries a 'decent burial' and move on, or if situations permits or dictate, to be overtaken so passionately by 'merchants of doom' - the fear mongers. Inevitably the longer worry lurks in 'good health', the more danger or opportunity for those to be instinctively made available for capitalization of public ignorance and fears. Consider 'the WMDs in Iraq'.
Fear is no peculiarity - it affects all species, which in turn activates what we refer to as 'defense mechanisms' - justifiable behaviors to react, and /or resist. Man unfortunately is man's greatest predator, but circumstances permeating fears are ever so baffling. Fears trigger psychosis mechanisms which affect our personalities, our little understood or rationalized 'deeper unknown'--well within our control, but apparently unable to either find a strong mooring or how to have it 'beached' when situations overwhelm us. The objective of 'doom merchants' is to use fear as a weapon of subjugation and propagate what is not easily available for consumption in the public domain. In effect the human species fears what he knows NOT - not what he knows. Fears stem from ignorance, in illiteracy of literate, and it is therefore 'the job' of the 'doom merchant' to exercise this to the hilt, making the simple extremely complex and vice versa. Consider Osama Bin Laden and his 'Global Jihad movement'.
Consider also a motorist suddenly having to face the prospect of switching from a right hand-driven vehicle to left, would be gripped by two basic fears. First a fear of frailties being exposed in public even though he/she may well be very good drivers, and a fear of either killing somebody or getting killed in the process. That is one way of looking at fear, and we only fear what we do not know or what is likely to happen, NOT what we know will happen and/or are mentally prepared to handle. The same would be the case of anybody seeing a public escalator or an auto ticket vendor for the very first time - fear of 'first experience', but there is a marked difference to the latter fear i.e. the motorist example, in that there is actually no fear of death existent, rather a fear of losing one's self esteem and that, too, in PUBLIC. Nobody quite wants to end up being a 'laughing stock' - is a fear that 'doom merchants' play upon with obsessive and beguiling impunity. Consider "Who'll be the fool tonight?"
The other basic fear for man is the fear of unemployment, that of going hungry because there would be no 'livelihood' to support oneself and family. This particular fear is a fallback from the slave-master periods of infamy in man's history which to this day haunts society like the plague, other than in advanced societies where unemployment is considered a curse and states bear the burden to own up for failures to provide decent jobs to individuals. Ironically in corporate or other high profile jobs in any country, fear is often the key to guarantee performance of 'newer slaves' who are termed 'employees', and the whip lashing bosses, the new 'Slave Master Generals' -- less the white horse of the dark night! The weapon quite shamelessly used is a threat of a 'kick to the stomach' - should one dare question. Let us not consider Steve Jobs of Apple Computers -- fired only to save the fruity PC Company he founded - some miracle there?
Hiccups occur when worries are used to scare, or scare is used to cause fear. In effect worries and fears are not the same thing but they do have marked similarities, for worries cause fears and fears causes worries - the real man is the one who can see through both extremes and remain nonchalant and oblivious; yet focused on any set of practical goals. Predators and preys among the human race are always the first bone of contention and probably saw the rise of communes and nationalization within the Socialist or Communist systems. 'Profit' never being a dirty word was used as an ultimate argument in the kill and thrill bonanzas of this so-called globalized world. Nothing significantly changed other than the immediate facade of how newer oppression was being perpetrated, either in the guise of civility - or in the protectionist trap called 'employment'.
In the prey and predator relationship, it is difficult for instance to rationalize why dolphins are so 'man friendly' when other mammals are not - and why they do not consider man a predator. Little do dolphins realize that their overt friendliness dictated on human term's make them susceptible to die for our food, or for fun? In other words we all too often use our access to other creatures to actually inflict slaughter when they expect it the least - and since they cannot communicate other then in their body languages we have taken it for granted that they actually enjoy dying much more than we do? Consider Qurbani - what brainwashes us to contend that those animals are 'happy' going to heaven!
Likewise we should stop and ponder if we are doing the same to humans, whether it is because of color, creed or religion - or plain 'we instill fear, cause we need to instill fear, and we need to do it, because we know we are the very BEST - so bugger of all laws and lawyers'. Consider George Bush's comments after 09/11 as quoted in Richard A. Clarke's book "Against all Enemies" (page 24) - "I don't care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass."
Problem with insane impunity is one doesn't realize that the human race ends up kicking its own butt IN 'collectively', when there are none to kick anymore.
Consider Alexander the Great bereaving, when he learnt there was no country left to conquer?
Do we need to go any further?
First Published 5th July 2004