I read a book recently by Michael Crichton called the State of Fear in which the theory of that state of fear was described. It is the notion that a government (or ruling body/dictator) keeps the community under control by creating a monster that only they can protect against. The Australian example in the 1950s was the “Reds Under the Beds” scare. This elected the Menzies government.
The Australian forward defence policy in the 1960s and 70s was based on this philosophy. We had to go overseas to stop the advancing communists, who were charging down the Indo-Chinese Peninsula. This was manifested in our involvement in the Vietnam War.
The weapons of mass destruction lie was another perpetrated by the US in the middle-east and its involvement, with our support, should be partly responsible for the religious based strife currently raging there.
On a local level the Cronulla riots was used by anti-Muslim interests to further this fear of Islam. It faded away for a while and was roundly rejected here in the ACT. It’s back.
The current federal Government is using this fear to show how tough it can be in the anti-terrorists stakes. It has used the notion of boat people to further this fear of people coming in their hordes to our shores and has mounted a thinly disguised military campaign against a few hundred people at a time.
Now we are seeing the state of fear philosophy being used to describe the kids being trained as locally grown terrorists. A Sydney daily paper had a sensational article on this very subject only today.
I don’t like this theory and philosophy. It is scary.
It whips up hysteria and then comes up with a strategy to fix the problem it invented.
I think we may be being taken for a bit of a ride here.