Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thriving on Angst?

I have observed before this, that our current society seems to thrive on feeding the angst of individuals. Those individuals form groups and those groups share their angst, some going so far as to adopt an almost religious fervour about it. Yesterday the news was that "food anxiety" is making some people over eat. OK, so someone obviously did some research to arrive at that conclusion. Today's news in our local newspapers is that "a majority of children in Germany fear falling into poverty." This, of course, has been seized upon by political opponents of the reforms currently being implemented on "child welfare" payments. The more I look about me, the more hysterical responses I see to just about everything. What on earth has gone wrong with us?

I do believe that a lot of this has its roots in the slaughter of the trench war in 1914 - 18. The survivors emerged from that to breed a generation who would have preferred to let Hitler, Stalin and others run rampant across the world. "Peace in our time!" and "never again" were the watchwords that let Hitler gain the control he did, small step by small step. It was this thinking - coupled with the very influential writing of "thinkers" like Russell and Huxley, that produced a tongue clucking, do nothing approach as Stalin clamped down on "dissidents" and "enemies of the Revolution" and murdered millions. Finally, when a war against the evil of Nazi-ism became unavoidable, the Left was quite happy to get into bed with Uncle Joe when Hitler made the mistake of opening a war on the Russian Front. Churchill had his reservations, but was prepared to get into bed with Satan himself, to defeat Hitler.

Once the A-Bomb was dropped and the "World" conflict ended, we began a series of "Little Wars" starting with the Communist invasions of Korea. As the Cold War developed, so more and more of these "little" wars opened up with each side arming, training and supporting rival groups - so now we have the Taliban, once the allies of the US, in Afghanistan. We have Mugabe in Zimbabwe, we have Marxist Regimes in Mozambique and Angola, and various "terror" groups, including Al Qaeda all active around the world and all supported now by the proceeds of organised crime, drug trafficking or by various "secret services" still engaged ion what the British used to call "The Great Game." While Europe didn't have any more "major" conflicts, many of us in the former "colonial territories" fought and died in these "Little Wars" on behalf of the great powers.

It is in the legacy of the Second World War that we find the origins of today's angst ridden society. Drug trafficking really took off in the 1955 - 75 period as a means of undermining "the other sides" youth and for funding these "enterprises." So did the psychological campaigns. The KGB funded and supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) feeding the pacifist leaders with all manor of information and disinformation as well as funding. Creating the idea in everyone's mind that a nuclear strike was the first option in any future conflict fostered the belief in many minds that humanity was doomed. This has been transferred into the anti-nuclear power generation movement, where, frankly, when one actually listens to what they have been taught to believe about nuclear reactors and the waste, you do wonder why these otherwise intelligent people don't check their facts. Look at the literature of the period 1950 - 1980, it is full of "doomsday" visions - and some persist even now. The Hollywood movie "The Road" being a good example.

Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, World Wildlife Fund and other "Green" Groups thrive on creating fear in our society. Look at their constant bombardment of "information" in the media, it is full of "doomsday" scenarios, many of them unsubstantiated, unsubstantiatable and for the most part, unchallenged and unchecked by the mass media and the readers of it. By creating angst about the changes in our climate, the fate of polar bears or whales, they generate revenue for their campaigns and recruit hordes of young people to take part in their mass demonstrations or to man the ships they send out to disrupt operations they disapprove of.

All of us have some "angst" in our psyche, what I don't believe is healthy is the current rampant exploitation of it for political ends. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, CND and all the rest are not "impartial" purveyors of information. They have a vested interest in making people believe we should throw money at their causes, join their campaigns and change our society to their vision of Utopia. Greenpeace alone receives a very large handout from the US government and from the UK, so do others. Keeping us "afraid" protects that income. The same applies to many UN "Agencies" and to the "Climate Change/The Sky is Falling" Industry.

What they don't acknowledge is that they loathe our current society and are actually about returning to some Utopian vision of the past, rather on the lines of Wordsworth and Shelley who loathed the industrialisation of Britain. From their privileged and wealthy background, they wanted a world that continued in what they perceived to be ideal. A world of Cottage industries, agricultural labourers living in poverty on the generosity of the landowner and the "huddled masses" knowing their place. Read their manifestos and you see words and phrases straight out of Marx and Lenin - "redistribution of wealth," "egalitarian society" and "communal resources."

The angst is not just confined to the "Green" and "Anti-Nuclear" lobbies either, it spills across religion, politics and into areas such as child care, health care, safety and much, much more. Reading the leaflets put out by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and others, one could be excused for thinking that every father is a potential rapist of his sons and daughters, every mother a potential child killer and heaven forbid we should let the grandparents childmind! That is not to say there isn't child abuse, just that it is neither as widespread nor as prevalent as the propagandists make out. When one sees them resort, on television, to such tactics as saying "Ah, yes, the statistics show only 2% of children in the UK are abused," then quickly adding, "but our 'evidence' suggests that the figure is far higher, and every child ..." without producing any 'evidence', you should immediately have alarm bells ringing. This is how so called "experts" are able to stand up in courts and make outrageous charges and statements without anyone daring to challenge them.

Our society seems to thrive on this bombardment of anti-social propaganda. The trouble is, even if it is, as I believe, only a fraction of the population who do suffer from this, they are the ones who get into the news. They are often the ones the news media are playing to, so it becomes a self perpetuating cycle.

What we do need to recognise is that it is, ultimately, self destructive. All the "Green" campaigns cost jobs and drive up taxes. The "jobs" "Green" initiatives create tend to be non-productive and paid for out of tax or subsidies paid by tax ... All the "anti" campaigns also cost jobs and cost lost production, so the taxes go up, but the steady erosion of the tax base also means less to collect. Fear of child abuse has produced a generation who believe the world is to be treated with suspicion, that all adults are only after one thing and we wonder why our kids carry knives to school or to the Mall. We've raised a generation of kids afraid of going without the latest "trainers," toys, iPhone or Playstation. They're afraid of strangers, afraid of being poor, afraid of living and afraid of dying. How do we expect them to cope?

Frankly, if we are to survive as a society and as a civilisation we need to rid ourselves of quite a bit of this "angst" and put things back into proper perspective. But my "angst" is that we probably won't ...

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