Could the Elite Survive Without Terrorism?


I’ve been long struck by a comment attributed to Adolph Hitler: “If there were no Jews, we’d have to invent them.”((Which it seems he did say, though in a slightly different form.)) This callous sentiment lies at the heart of rulership, including the rulers of our day. Power needs a frightening enemy. The systems that be, after all, are wholly organized around our fears. Without something to be terribly afraid of, the core justification for rulership fails.

Think of it this way: If we didn’t have scary things to fear – if politics operated on reason – our overlords couldn’t get half the compliance they get now. That’s why they market everything that matters to them through fear. Because, as I’ve been saying over and over, fear makes humans behave stupidly; and in particular, it makes them comply with ridiculous things without reason.

If you actually examine it, the saying, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” it’s just another way of saying, “Get the suckers to go along with you while they’re still afraid.”

To put it simply: Nothing bigger than a barebones government could survive if people made the decision to accept or reject policies based upon reason rather than fear.

Adios USSR; Hola Terrorista

When I was a boy, we were taught to hide under our desks for fear of Russian bombs. And while it’s true the USSR was an evil empire, it wasn’t true they wanted to nuke my home town. Yet that fear remained and was stoked, because it worked.

But the evil empire went away, and the fear of nuclear incineration with it. Partly as a result, we were told by our 1990s figurehead, “The era of big government is over.” Mindless sacrifice in fear of the nuking Russians was gone, and public rhetoric had to be pulled back.

But then, a scant 10 years later, a new fear came screaming across our TV screens. However it came about, 9-11 restored fear to the Western mind. And with fear came another wave of unreasoned compliance. If people had been thinking, they would have made counter-arguments like this one:

Wait… We’ve been spending hundreds of billions of dollars to prevent just this sort of thing, and it failed spectacularly. Shall we now simply reward and expand the system that failed?

Or like this:

We’re told that the various protector agencies knew about this plan shaping up, but they didn’t share information with each other… something they were already required to do. So, the answer is to create another agency? Is there any sane reason to think that they won’t exhibit the same bureaucratic disease?

I could go on, but you get the idea. The vile PATRIOT Act was hustled into effect while the masses were afraid. After that, they had either to defend it or admit they got suckered. And so, since most people hate admitting their errors, they’d defended it.

So, we lost the Soviets, but the overlords replaced them with terrorists. The actual threat level represented by terrorism is much, much lower than that presented by the USSR, but we have much better fear delivery systems these days. So the stupidity remains and accomplishes its necessary service to rulership.

The Foundation of Our World

Please consider this statement carefully:

The world we now live in is arranged around our fears and not around our abilities.

I devoted an entire issue of my subscription newsletter to this issue (#74), and I lack space here. But one of the points I made in that issue was this:

The dominant systems in our world are built upon primitive and low aspects of human nature. They are incarnations of fear and took their shape by about 4000 BC. It’s ridiculous to organize ourselves the same way as people who used stone tools.

So, Could the Elites Survive?

In a word, no. The elites who rule our world from behind the scenes couldn’t continue as they are, without terrorism or some equally telegenic replacement. They must keep fear alive.

And please remember this: Any time someone tries to make you afraid, they’re hacking your brain.

We can do better.

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Paul Rosenberg

6 thoughts on “Could the Elite Survive Without Terrorism?”

  1. “[1] Which it seems he did say, though in a slightly different form.”
    What was the “slightly different form”?
    The exclusion of this bit of information is the only deficiency of yet another spectacular article.
    The pseudo-quote from Hitler reminds me of a similar quotation from Voltaire regarding God.

    1. Here’s the long footnote:
      Eric Hoffer attributed this quote to Hitler in the book “True Believer”. To quote the book-“When Hitler was asked whether he thought the Jew must be destroyed, he answered: “No-we should then have to invent him. It is essential to have a tangible enemy, not merely an abstract one.”” This appears in the 14th Chapter of the book, 65th passage. Hoffer uses this quote as an explanation of the need of a common subject of hatred in order to unify disparate elements (in this case the German people). Hoffer reference source was Hermann Rauschning “Hitler Speaks” New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940), p. 234.

  2. Excellent article. The factor of fear.
    So, what are we to fear right now??
    Earthquake. Asteroid. Flood. Drought. Terrorist. Cancer. Naturally changing climate. Putin. Sun spot. North Korea. China. Trump. Zika. That’s enough for now. But not the whole list.

  3. I really like how this article takes a very convoluted system of government and explains why it is like this, and how it is like this in such simple terms.

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