“Don’t worry”. “Chill out”. “Relax”. The watchwords of our age, if a cursory glance at the memes which spread most ferociously on social media is enough to go by. “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. That’s another good one. The great sages and philosophers down the ages have preached basically the same message – worry is a waste, fear is bad, love is good. Gandhi said “The enemy is fear”. St Augustine said “Love, and do what you will”. Yoda said “Fear is the path to the Dark Side”. And so on, and so forth.
Fear is useful. Fear works. Fear is the glue which holds together our society. Why, if there’s nothing to fear, nobody would ever buy anything!
- No cosmetics or deodorants to make us fit to walk unspurned among our fellow humans.
- No sexy vehicles with which to impress peers (and frequently compensate for the inadequate proportions of the driver’s genitalia).
- No holidays in far-off countries you can’t identify on the map, with languages that you can only use to insult a waiter, ask for a ‘Happy Finish’ or get the number of the British consulate.
- No shiny techno-toys which enable us to purchase all of the above.
It’s the fear of not being able to afford any of the above that keeps our nation (and most of the ‘developed’ nations) strong. It keeps the economy ‘vibrant’ and ‘growing’. It prevents us from becoming complacent, too dependent on a society that is already wasting far too much of its time, energy and money (YOUR tax money, never forget!) doing things like looking after the sick, the vulnerable, the poor. These people are in the mess they’re in for a very good reason;-
THEY’RE NOT AFRAID ENOUGH!
Trying to help these ‘unfortunates’ is, you see, in the end, counter-productive. We NEED these people, and we need them right where they are, in poverty, squalor and in poor health. Because then we can point to them and say to everyone else “there you are, THAT’S what happens to you if you’re not motivated enough, not working hard enough! Are you afraid? Because you bloody well ought to be! Now stop whingeing and finish cleaning my shoes! I can’t see my face in them yet!”
In earlier times, it was the fear of God that kept the peasantry in line. Now, however, since they’ve been getting education (and whose bright idea was that, may I ask?), that trick doesn’t work so well. Not unless you’re Saudi Arabia, that is. Beheading the odd atheist was simply not an approach that occurred to us, sorry to say.
No, now we have to rely on the prospect of economic ‘Hell’ to stop the riff-raff getting all uppity. It’s a ‘carrot-and-stick’ thing, of course; first of all, we give them a taste of the good life – well, not so much a taste as a faint aroma, wafted to them on the breeze of TV commercials and double-spread features in HELLO! on Simon Cowell’s palatial home (LOTS of closet space).
Then, when they’re hooked, we give them the subtlest of hints to say “this could be YOU!!” You know, like in the old ads for the Lottery. Except you had a chance with the Lottery.
Lo and behold, they’re up to their unwashed ears in consumer goods and debt before you can say “payday loans”. So what if they can’t repay the money? We’ll be making our shekels from selling on the debt to debt collection agencies with all the scruples of the Baader-Meinhof gang but none of the charm.
So your life’s gone tits-up. Oh dear, how sad. But look… what’s this? IMMIGRANTS? Coming over here, taking YOUR job (that neurosurgeon’s job that could have been yours, if your chronically underfunded school had been able to teach you anything that would qualify you for something more than burger-flipping or working in a call-centre for a payday-loan company), walking on YOUR street, talking THEIR language! It’s probably their fault, I mean how dare they leave their own country just because they run the risk of genocide? Go on, shout at them for a bit, wave this flag in their face, spit on their children… I’ll be over here, holding your coat and sniggering.
And so it goes. Even the fate of the unfortunate is good for us – it makes everyone else work harder!
The only thing that gets in the way is that tiresome ‘welfare state’ nonsense. Safety nets? Don’t be daft. If there’s no safety net, you make fucking sure you stay on the rope (and there’s laffs a-plenty to be had from those who take a tumble)! Lost your job? My heart bleeds. Now get out there and find another one before you get sanctioned for standing still, you workshy pleb. And don’t try that “but I’m in intensive care after a stress-induced heart attack” crap. Life-threatening illness is the last resort of the loser. Besides, we’re selling off the hospital to BUPA, and you can’t afford the bed, so fuck off.
See? It all comes down to fear. And since we control the media, and the police, and the legal system, and the financial institutions, we have the power to put the shits up you any time we want, for as long as we deem necessary. And we’re watching you. All the time. Just to check that you’re not getting any funny ideas about radical change.
If you have a tiger by the tail, the first rule is, never, NEVER let go of the tail. And the second?
Don’t take your eyes off that tiger for an instant. All your attention should be on that very, very pissed-off, scared man-eater upon whom you have a somewhat tenuous grip. Because if it isn’t, you’re history. Possibly also geography. And you’re school dinners into the bargain.
Which is actually rather scary, now I come to think of it…