Fear, panic, and terror have been used by all governments dead or alive at one point or another. Some would even go as far as to argue that the fear and paranoia created around and because of terrorism is a direct cause of the wish of certain individuals to enslave the citizens of their respective countries. In other words, fear and panic would be viewed as an artificial construct serving the purposes of certain people either getting to power or forcefully staying in power. Does that sounds paranoid? Not more than the litanies that normal people utter when asked about the problematic area of terrorism.
Cass Sunstein: Mortal Combat
‘The London air terrorist plot has touched off endless debate, much of it centering on politics: Will it help Republicans or Democrats in 2006 and beyond? Republicans say that national security is a winning issue for them; Democrats say the same thing. Social science evidence strongly suggests that the Republicans are right, because the politics of terrorism touches a chord that produces much more support for them than for Democrats: our own mortality. A crucial question is whether Democrats will be able to change the underlying dynamics.‘First, a little background. A focus on mortality–which voters obviously associate with terrorism–seems to have a quantifiable effect on decision-making. How, for example, are your judgments likely to be affected if you are asked to think, for just a moment, about the fact that, at some point, you are going to die? An intriguing body of psychological research tries to answer that question. Organized around the idea of “mortality salience,” this research finds that, if people are reminded of their own mortality, their views and behavior tend change. Once so reminded, ordinary people are significantly more likely to show racial prejudice. Once so reminded, people show more physical aggression toward other people with different political beliefs. Once so reminded, even judicial behavior changes: In one study, judges who were reminded of their own mortality gave stiffer sentences to nonviolent criminals (prostitutes).’ (New Republic article). — Disinformation Website