FEAR as a Double Edged Sword: Survival and The Story of Your Enslavement

Fear is the most logical, most fundamental, most basic and pervasive instinct you find amongst the entire animal kingdom.

…Well, except for Honey Badger. Honey Badger Don’t Care. Honey Badger Don’t Give a Shit. The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger.

Honey Badger is total Badass. But for the rest of all of us, if you had to pin survival on one single thing, I doubt it would be intelligence. It would be fear. Yea, fear is a rudimentary form of intelligence but not so much, really, because it’s simply flight in the face of too much or many unknowns. Prosperity above the evolutionarily given—which applies only to humans, dogs, cats, some birds, little furry animals and aquarium fish—is completely intelligence. Or, is it reasonable to describe intelligence in one respect as fear management?

The ability to quickly perceive great peril that’s too perilous is perhaps where human intelligence falls into the evolutionary scheme. There’s no doubt to me that our instinctive fear is both a blessing and curse. Without it, we’d be lost. With it, we’re now wallowing in it. We’re slaves to it.

For example, some of the norms that define fear now:

  • Cholesterol
  • Saturated fat
  • Meat
  • Letting children out of your sight for a second
  • Who’s going to rule you next
  • Cuts in government entitlements
  • Hell and eternal torture at the pleasure of one who “loves you”
  • Gays & guns (two sides of the same coin: unfamiliarity)
  • Evil corporations
  • Profits made by others
  • The needy not being helped by others
  • That someone, somewhere is happy, content, fulfilled and above all, feeling guiltless

I could go on and on. All of the foregoing constitute irrational fears. But notice the common thread in all of those. Somewhere, someone has been set up as an authority: from priests to politicians to the intelligentsia to various credentialed “experts”…to the major institutionalized media that serves as the grease and ultimate anointer of all such authority.

It used to be that nature was the only authority and in that context, fear is perfectly healthy:

  • Heights where a fall could kill you
  • Confined spaces where you can be trapped and die
  • Water conditions that can drown you
  • Snakes & spiders that can bite and poisson you
  • Food that can make you sick or kill you
  • Animals that can eat you (including other humans: our chief predator)
  • Cold that can freeze you
  • Fire that can suffocate and burn you
  • Weather that can overexpose you

See the vast, vast difference? So with that, I give you The Story of Your Enslavement.

Fee free to add to the lists of rational and irrational fears in comments.

Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. rob on October 18, 2012 at 11:57

    Germs. On Paleo Hacks someone asked “How often do you wash your water bottle?

    It has never occurred to me to wash a water bottle, all it does is hold water. When the outside gets so dirty that it’s embarrassing I throw it away and buy a new one. I’m not about to wash the damn thing.

    Fruit and vegetables. If I have to go to the bother of washing them, they are going to end up in the wastebasket, cause I ain’t washing them. So it’s either eat them in their pesticide and e. coli covered condition, or don’t eat them at all. Been eating them that way my entire life, never gotten sick.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 18, 2012 at 12:02

      Me too, rob.

      In the Navy, at least on ship, we never wash coffee cups (our own personal ones that hang near the coffee maker. A quick rinse of water is all, or not. Some chief petty officers had year and years of brown sediment residue stuck tot he sides and bottom of the cup.

      Yea, over sanitary in general. Sanitary means staying out of shit, not eating shit, and not drinking stuff with shit floating in it. And that’s about it. Of course, there is a sane middle ground too. No doubt that typical 20th century sanitation (up to about 1990, when it went totally off the rails) was just about the right balance and saved a lot of lives.

    • gallier2 on October 18, 2012 at 12:40

      And this will be the the same ninnies who will criticize you because you don’t believe flu vaccine to be usefull. They will avoid the natural vaccination of having ones imune system, confronted daily with germs, but will pay through the nose (directly or indirectly) for an unnatural, expensive, poisonous cocktail.

  2. Steve Cronk on October 18, 2012 at 13:04

    Very rarely does a blog post bring me to think seriously. This one did, and for that I thank you.

    I hadn’t seen this video before. I think it goes off the rails a bit when it imagines that there’s an identifiable “ruling class” that deliberates created a system designed to maximize the fruits of exploitation. The narrator identifies the right motivator (evolution), but makes an error that I think far too many anarchists make – imagining things in terms of classes rather than individuals.

    As human beings, we’re terrified of disorder and uncertainty. If an idea cannot be modeled in our minds, we reject it. Freedom, spontaneous order, individualism — these are such ideas. Our lizard brains crave the security, certainty, and structure that a powerful government provides. Anarchism cannot be attained by a war between rulers and the ruled; instead, it must be a battle within each man to overcome the irrational fears which have been embedded in his psyche through countless millennia.

    Evolution’s tricked us in many ways, one of which is to view the world through a lens that separates “us” versus “them”. The truth is, I think, that men like George Bush and Barack Obama don’t actually benefit from higher tax revenues or absurd regulations. Do you think Mitt Romney thinks, “I’m not rich or powerful enough. I need to become president.” No. Dude can already do anything he wants in the world. Self-interest plays a role in all these decisions, but ultimately the problem is that powerful men share the same irrational fears that the rest of society does – and they think they can cure it with more certainty, structure, etc. It’s mostly their misguided fear (of businessmen and terrorists and environmental disasters and gay marriage and…) that drives them, not an opportunity to exploit the unknowing masses for profit.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 18, 2012 at 13:32

      Steve, I think basically that political power as well as the influence that goes with, say, being a sought after authority, expert, member of their intelligentsia, etc., is a surrogate for money. You could argue it’s even more important because with that sort of power, you can command all the money you need.

      You know virtually every single Senator and Congressman leaves office a multi-millionaire even if not when they entered.

      Time is money but power is even more money.

  3. ladysadie1 on October 18, 2012 at 14:59

    Norms that define fear now that you may have overlooked:

    “What will the neighbors think?”

    “Cancer….eeeek! Must find the cure!”

    The other side of the sword, where the use of ‘comfort propaganda’ overrides your natural fears:

    “Food that can make you sick or kill you”…but ignore the GMO and vaccines.

    ‘Fire, flood, falls from great distances’ shhhh, the government will mandate that you pay for insurance to make it irrelevant.

    As far as “evil corporations” and “evil violent big government”… Ignore this, they are all loving, kind and have your best interests at heart… Your natural instinct in detecting danger is wrong, YOU are wrong, you can’t decide for yourself…..

  4. ladysadie1 on October 19, 2012 at 06:15

    It’s this:

    Do whatever they say, it’s all good for you!

  5. TimA on October 18, 2012 at 17:55

    Never ascribe to conspiracy what can be explained by common venality.

    We don’t need some hidden master class to explain the brokenness of our current system. The normal evolution of insecure, fairly ignorant people seeking assurances of security from minor politicians looking for a little more power working with producers seeking a bit more guaranteed profits is plenty explanation. People (voters, taxpayers, whathaveyou) demand the politicians make their life safe. The politicians promise whatever they need to and then go off and legislate reality. The new reality introduces more problems, so people demand more fixes.

    At the same time, businesses offer products (drugs, food, child-safety-seats, etc.) to address people’s fears and in the advertising process stoke those fears as well. They, along with the people, also demand that everyone purchase the product, either directly or through the government or through some other third party (like an insurance company) to assuage all the new fears. Or they demand that the politicians subsidize their product to protect the country (like protect the farmers from the nasty global food market.)

    Then you’ve got the scientists who want to be famous for discovering something finding some minor fact and blowing it up into the Grand Solution to the [Health, Diet, National Security, whatever] problem. Some company picks it up and continues to blow it out of proportion because they produce a product based on it so more people buy it.

    And the companies find it’s cheaper and easier to buy politicians than to actually market their products and the politicians find it easier to stay in power with the money provided by the companies. And the people feel better because their current minor fear will be eradicated by the politician’s or company’s new product or law or regulation. So the people give the politicians more power and the companies have more need to buy the politicians and the politicians need more taxes to pay for the prior promises of security. And the spiral keeps going up.

    But, there aren’t any farmers behind the curtain. Most of all of this is happening in front of the curtain. People just don’t want to see it, because people want to believe that someone can really guarantee their security. They are scared of the chaos of personal responsibility. Most people don’t want freedom. They want to sit around and watch Honey Boo Boo and be told that everything is OK. So, all the individual politicians say everything will be OK if you vote for them. And all the companies say everything will be OK if you buy their product. And people do so. But, the people running the companies are just as scared of high cholesterol as everyone else. And, the politicians are just as scared that their kid will get killed in a car crash. And, the farmer is just as scared that his bank is going to fail and he’ll lose his savings.

    People are as free as they chose to be (setting aside those actually in jail or held in legitimate bondage like sex slavery or something.) Do you think people were more free in the hunter/gatherer days? They did what the tribe elders told them to do. Otherwise, the tribe would die. They were free to follow the herds. They were free to hunt in the woods.

    Today people have to get a job. No, they aren’t free to lay around the house if they want. And, they have to go to work and do whatever the boss wants, though most people have quite a few options in life to control what job they have. But, humans have worked since we evolved from the animals. Maybe we were more evolved for it and had more time to lay around between hunts. But, we also didn’t have six billion humans hanging around.

    I don’t buy this hidden slavery nonsense. Yes, I have to pay taxes and I have to pay a lot more than I should. I think we are getting close to the end of the spiral and the whole thing may crash pretty soon. But, that doesn’t mean there are some hidden farmers managing the farm and implementing some grand plan. No, it means the evolution of democracy, prosperity and ease are running their course to collapse around the immature body politic that comes out of such prosperity. But, if it doesn’t collapse before I die, I can continue to freely work at my current company or go somewhere else if I can convince them to hire me or start another business like I’ve done in the past. When I choose to quit, I can quit. If I don’t have enough money to feed myself, that will be a pretty stupid decision. If it collapses before I die, we’ll all be in the mess together. Yes, some people will manage to come out on top, but it won’t necessarily be the same people on top as now.

    No one is running the show and no one is pulling the strings. Or, more accurately, no single individual or coordinated group is pulling all the strings. A whole bunch of people are pulling a whole bunch of strings, mostly out in the open. And they are all in pulling in different directions. Many times this string pulling makes things better for a while or a specific group. Unfortunately, eventually everything is going to get so tied up in unproductive ways it’s going to grind to a halt and collapse. But, not because of a plan. It’s because no one has any plan besides taking care of himself.

    • ladysadie1 on October 18, 2012 at 18:01

      Wow, I can’t even respond to that level of sheep-thought on an appreciable level.

      Yikes! Wake up.

      • TimA on October 18, 2012 at 18:10

        Really, you believe there is some sort of cabal running the show? I’m sorry, I can’t.

        I have no problem believing there are corporations with politicians in their pocket. I have no problems believing that politicians push stupid legislation to make some contributor happy. I have no problem believing companies sell products that don’t really solve the problems they claim. I have no problems believing farmer groups can get politicians to subsidize their production. I can believe all sorts of venal people doing corrupt things for their own, short-sighted benefit.

        But, I can’t believe in some hidden cabal pulling the world’s strings. I’ve worked with too many real humans for too long to think anyone could keep such a thing going for any length of time. Central planning doesn’t work, even if you have super-villains doing the planning.

        No, it’s all a bunch of normal humans just screwing it all up together.

      • Cow on October 18, 2012 at 18:29

        Everybody know supervillain eventually turn on each other!

      • Richard Nikoley on October 18, 2012 at 18:40

        The video does not attempt to make any such claim or point. Stefan Molyneux has been around a long time. Not his argument.


      • TimA on October 18, 2012 at 19:01

        Maybe I misunderstood what the video was saying. All the talk of the farming suggested farmers to me. All the talk of slaves implied slave-masters. I’ve talked to too many people who really believe in the conspiracy crap, so maybe I’ve judged too quickly.

        I guess if the only point is to see behind the curtain and know that you are mostly following someone else’s direction, I don’t have much problem with it.

        I just don’t really see most of the problems as evil. I see them as short-sided and selfish. Yes, you should understand that everyone else is out for themselves, not you. You should run your own life. But, you have to run it in the world you live in. Making venal people into villains isn’t helpful to me.

      • marie on October 18, 2012 at 19:11

        Tim, you’re thinking of ‘the show’ as involving all the lackeys.
        No, of course, at the level of the majority of politicians and majority of executives and companies, it’s simply venality regarding corruption and it’s simply ‘working the system’ when not overtly corrupt.
        That doesn’t mean there aren’t powerful national and also international groups that have a vested interest in supporting and expanding the current system, a system that is entirely based on using the products of Your work to enrich those at the top.
        There doesn’t need to be a central ‘plan’, these folks don’t get together in back rooms, because they don’t need to, and there’s no bald-headed guy stroking a furry feline :)
        No one, least of all the video, suggests that it’s a centrally planned conspiracy.
        In fact, in one sense it’s compatible with your take, the ugliness and all the power-mongering are natural consequences of something alright, they are natural consequences of a government system.
        I’d say that if anything, the video shows exactly the inevitability of the creation of ‘owners’ and ‘owned’ if you have a system of government.

      • TimA on October 19, 2012 at 11:17

        “a system that is entirely based on using the products of Your work to enrich those at the top.”

        That’s call enterprise. I offer something of value. In my case analytical and management skills. In other cases the ability and time to drive a truck, etc. They pay me to apply that value to their objective. They assemble a number of value providers into a system that generates greater value than the sum of the parts. They sell that greater value to someone else and keep the difference. Thus, the people at the “top” are enriched through the products of my work.

        Of course, I’m enriched as well. Not as much as them, but I’m not as much at risk as them, either. And, I didn’t have the idea for the new enterprise or the sales / entrepreunerial chops to pull it off, either. But, my investment in time, education, stalwartness and professionalism means I get paid more per hour than some clerk at a store. I can also leave any time I want. There’s not a thing they can do about it, other than stop paying me.

        I’ve also owned businesses where I was at the top (of a pretty small heap) and I was enriched on the products of the work of those I hired. It was even a corporation. So, am I now one of “them”?

      • marie on October 19, 2012 at 11:33

        TimA, what are you talking about? Up to that point, neither you nor I were talking about businesses, so no, that’s not what ‘the top’ referred to in my comment. Business owners do work and they are just as abused by an authoritarian system as anyone else.
        The point in the comment was fairly succinct : the natural consequence of having a government, aka an authoritarian system enabled by force, is the abuse/slavery that the video talks about. That’s all.

      • TimA on October 19, 2012 at 11:56

        Then who are these nefarious people at the top? I’m fully aware that politicians figure out ways to make money off of their power, but it’s not from taking my tax money. It’s usually side deals and payoffs. My tax money, along with a lot of borrowed money, is mostly going to pay other people not to work. Sure, that keeps the politicians elected, but I don’t see them as “powerful national and also international groups.”

        Are these the international corporations? Yep, they pay off politicians to get subsidies and guanteed markets and other rent-seeking effects. This is standard corruption, just on a large scale. It’s not even very hidden. Are you talking about the UN? I agree they are a slimy bunch and should probably be disbanded. But, so far the US doesn’t do much of what they want and I don’t think they have as much influence as people give them credit. They mostly just use their positions to get rich, like other politicians. But, maybe I’m wrong about that. I hope you’re not going with the Illuminate or Rothchilds or Trilateral Commission or any of that claptrap. Those are the cabals I think are complete nonsense.

        Either identify the groups you are talking about or I’ll just assume it’s your version of Lucifer–some shady invisible character who makes all the bad stuff happen. This is just another made up religion to explain the general chaos caused by a bunch of short-sighted, ignorant humans living in a chaotic world trying to get one up on all the other ignorant humans.

      • marie on October 19, 2012 at 12:14

        You had already identified some main groups and I agreed there are several and that they are Not nefarious, that was my point. I stated clearly, they do not need to get together in back-rooms, no massively coordinated conspiracy is required.
        Since you’re ignoring what I actually said, or for that matter ignoring the majority of that video, you must be just looking for a soap-box. I’m out of this ‘discussion’.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2012 at 12:27

        It does seem to me like he’s trying to avoid the real point. It’s about the mass of humanity and how “freedom” in the sense we talk about is an illusion, it’s just another part of the system of authoritarian rule, with many, many independent players making up that part of it.

        Obama was actually right when he said “you didn’t build that.” Nope, even small businesses are not truly independent and free.

        Good for Tim and good for me that we’re able to work within that system, head business ventures and so on. It’s certainly preferable to many alternatives. But my preference is to truly take my own chances. I even use corporations, completely a state legal entity designed for the sole purpose of granting personal liability immunity for the more privileged.

        Call me a softie, but I want real freedom, not privileges and I want the opportunity true freedom could provide for the unsophisticated who have an idea and gusto and have no idea how to structure and plan in the whole tangled mess of bureaucracy and red tape.

      • TimA on October 19, 2012 at 12:56

        I’m not really missing the point. I just don’t believe in the point. There is no such thing as true freedom in any real world that can exist in humanity. Impossible ideals aren’t useful.

        Someone is going to be in charge. Someone is always in charge. Most people want someone to be in charge and the masses will put someone in charge to avoid being responsible for their own lives. If you can stand to sell your soul, you can be the one in charge. Or, you can work within the system. Or, you can rage against the machine.

        I don’t do outrage and I don’t do drama. I try to understand how the world works and figure out how to be happy and successful and mostly unmolested within it. I can’t change the world. I certainly can’t change it through voting or running for office or evangelizing some impossible concept.

        I can’t convince most people to see behind the curtain and they wouldn’t really be happy if they did. Most people wouldn’t have a clue what to do if they faced the chaos of the real world. They certainly wouldn’t then be free. They would just be frightened and disfunctional and likely less successful in their life.

        If you somehow made the current authorities disappear, a new set would appear almost immediately. They would most likely be warlords of some type. People would be significantly less free. You would likely have real slavery and you would certainly have real lord/vassal arrangements.

        I’d love to reset back to the original US concept (minus the slavery and racial issues). That was probably the freeest government ever established by man. It was certainly the freeest since the Paleolithic and even that was likely less free than we imagine it to be.

        The freedom to roam your backyard as you described some time ago requires that you own a backyard and you have the ability to defend that ownership. Otherwise someone is going to take it from you or you will be forced to spend your time defending it. And, unless you have unlimited space or a lot fewer people, not everyone will get their own backyard. Most people will have to work for someone with a backyard. Now we’re back to feudalism.

        You can either find a way to succeed in the world you are in or you can rage against the machine. I left my rage a long time ago. And, I don’t actually believe their is someone running the machine.

      • ladysadie1 on October 19, 2012 at 13:12

        “…I want real freedom, not privileges and I want the opportunity true freedom could provide for the unsophisticated who have an idea and gusto and have no idea how to structure and plan in the whole tangled mess of bureaucracy and red tape.”

        Very glad you said that, Richard. Please let me add that it’s not only that but, I just want to be released from the coersion that informs my daily life. Taxes on this-that-and-the-other thing, fees, licenses, mandatory insurance, restrictions on what I can do on my own land and having to be super careful about how (and from whom) I obtain my milk. The red tape is ridiculous.

        The amount of money that my employer spends on compliance with regulations is outrageous. I can’t imagine how many more employees there would be if it wasn’t for the government meddling. It’s not as though there wouldn’t still be safety standards, either – I just think that they would come from sources other than government.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2012 at 13:12

        “There is no such thing as true freedom in any real world that can exist in humanity.”

        That’s simply false. You simply don’t care because you know how to maneuver the system and are happy to appease your masters. That doesn’t apply to everyone else.

        You’re the quintessential zoo animal, born in the zoo, saying, “There is no such thing as true freedom in any real world that can exist in humanity.”

        Laf. At least just admit it.

        You’re vying for security, know how the system works, you’ve got yours, so fine. You put up an argument here because you don’t care to face the fact that people like you are really the biggest part of the problem. Don’t rock my apple cart. I’ve got mine, I pay off and appease the masters, why can’t you? You can live a prosperous life, too. In the meantime, I’ll make a fuss about all the antagonisms that don’t really matter, much.

        The most curious question, of course, is why you have such an aversion to me and others “evangelizing” the idea of freedom. If it’s so much nonsense, how come the dozen of so long comments, so far?

      • TimA on October 19, 2012 at 13:34

        I’m not averse to you evangelizing the idea (and I don’t use that word in a bad way. It’s just the most descriptive). I’m just not going to do it myself. I post long responses here because it’s an interesting and important topic that can’t really be maturely discussed in many places. Hat’s off to you for hosting a place to have the conversation.

        So, if you can have such a thing as true freedom, how do you propose it comes about? Maybe I’m just too limited to think of a way. From your prior writings I presume you don’t believe it will come through the ballot box. I can envision a revolt, but I don’t think anyone is really primed for that. I also don’t think it would turn out to provide more freedom.

        Yes, I try to find a way to work within the system. I’m trying to live my life and I don’t see much point in tilting at windmills. Just like I don’t feel responsible for paying someone else’s health insurance, I also don’t feel any great need to break the metaphorical chains of strangers. They don’t want the help.

        I used to get wound up about fixing the world till I figured out the world didn’t want to be fixed. If you actually start to break through, people start to get mad that you’re rocking their world. I can’t even get close friends to consider giving up pasta. Why would I think I can convince someone else that everything they believe about the world is wrong. “Hey bud, you’re a slave. Yeah I know you work on weekdays and lay around on weekends and live unmolested in your own home and seem to have complete control of your life. But, you’re wrong.” People mostly just look at you funny if you say that. You push it too hard and you lose a friend.

        You’ve got a good thing going here and I suspect you will help some people see reality. They’ll likely be happier for it. But, I just don’t see a path to get most people into the kind of freedom you seem to think is possible.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2012 at 14:38

        “How do you propose it comes about?”

        One mind at a time.

        It’s really so easy. I don’t know what the numbers are but I think voter turnout as a percentage of eligibles decreases all the time. This is their chief sanction.

        What if they held an election and no one showed up?

      • ladysadie1 on October 19, 2012 at 15:30

        One mind (pantry, gunsafe and keyboard) at a time works. There is no was that “they” can stand against 300 Million people standing up for themselves as sovereign individuals.

        I think that people who are secure in knowing who they are, and not attached to their status and material things have no problem sharing their world views. Once a person is awake to the corruption/coercive tactics/manipulation/corruption/propaganda of a system that seeks to force us to relinquish the fruits of our labor, that person should feel some obligation to share that information with others. Anyone who doesn’t is gripped by the fear.

        The system doesn’t want us to form our own little alliances. Barter, vegetable gardens, raw milk, natural medicine… all demonized. Do it anyway. Know the system, and then use the system against itself instead of working within it.

        I don’t have the finances or time that many of the FTA crowd does, but that doesn’t stop me. I used to “rage against the machine” now I actively seek to defeat it. Guess what? It works.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2012 at 15:40

        This is actually damn easy. Associate with those you hold a lot of similar values with, in all facets of life.

        Fuck all the rest.

        My one qualification is that I love to see enlightenment and I’ve been seeing it first hand for 20 years, 9 years blogging.

      • TimA on October 19, 2012 at 19:06

        Richard, it sounds to me like we’re pretty much on the same page. Help your friends find the reality of things where you can. Don’t worry too much about the rest, but help where you can. Live your life the best you can for you and yours, without hurting others. Seek reality and live according to the truths you can track down.

        I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but this is my general philosophy at this point. It plays out a lot in health areas now and in working with outside groups and organizations. I keep in mind their self-interest and judge them and their products accordingly.

        I don’t worry too much about fixing the world. I just try to fix myself, help my friends fix themselves and make myself available to help others who actually want help. I can’t fix the government or the drug companies or such. But, I can help friends realize those groups are functioning on their own self-interest and act accordingly.

        I might be oversimplifying, though.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2012 at 19:23

        “I might be oversimplifying, though.”

        Not in the 1st para. Pretty much right on.

        Yes, in the fact I’ve been at this for 20 years, 9 blogging it and I see minds change and evolve all the time. Plus, I love bogging as an outlet.

        I am a collector of minds. It’s as simple as that.

      • Shameer Mulji on October 22, 2012 at 21:29

        “That’s call enterprise.”

        That’s called slavery. An enterprise is a system that exists to enrich all. Not the oligarchs.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 18, 2012 at 18:36

      The “conspiracy” is _authority_ and the weapon is fear.

      It’s true enough that there’s no smoke filled room with some commission or cabal pulling a lot of strings. But that’s not important. What is important is authoritarian based fear and the entire system revolves around it with more and more people stepping up to be part of the cool kids who get to tell everyone else what to do.

      You really ought to consider looking beyond the metaphors.

      • TimA on October 18, 2012 at 18:55

        I agree that the biggest motivator is fear and much of the problem is caused by people either responding to fear or people manipulating others’ fear. I’m with you on that. I just don’t buy the cabal/conspiracy thing.

        Lots of individuals, companies and groups are using fear to manipulate people into giving them more money and power. Yep. It’s driving us into an unsustainable situation that will soon crash. Yep. There probably isn’t a real solution. Yep. No politician who could ever get elected will even attempt to really fix the problem. Yep. Most people are wandering around deluded into believing they have much more control of their lives than they do. Yep. Red Pill / Blue Pill. Yep.

        OTOH, I’ve just spent a year completely changing my life and no one has tried to stop me. I eat all the wrong things now and, other than the occasional sideways glance from friends, no one complains. My doctor told me he wanted me to take statins. I said no. I don’t take statins. No one has showed up at my house to make me take statins. My insurance policy hasn’t been cancelled. I home-schooled all my children. No one arrested me or them. They’ve all actually been accepted and attended state colleges.

        Just because most people choose to be deluded, or don’t choose not to be, doesn’t mean they couldn’t. I did. No one has stopped me. No one in authority has even suggested I’m wrong.

        People want to be told they are safe. They want religion or they want the government to seem like religion. That helps them get through the day. That also makes it easier for others to manipulate them. But, that’s how >90% of humanity has always worked. You can’t free the population. You can only free individuals.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 18, 2012 at 19:31

        Gotta do dinner but here, quickly found this on Molyneux and conspiracy stuff. I’m only 10m in, but pretty clear.


      • Cow on October 18, 2012 at 20:43

        Once everybody know is no Great Oz, then what? That gonna be transition era you maybe glad you no has to lives through, yes?

      • TimA on October 19, 2012 at 05:55

        There will never be a time when everybody knows there is no Oz. People want to believe in Oz and will shout you down if you keep trying to prove he’s the man behind the curtain.

        Drugs are advertised on TV with a list of side effects that should scare you to death. People demand the drugs anyway. If you borrow money you will sign 50 documents telling you exactly what you’re getting into and everyone’s interest. You borrow the money anyway. Bureaucrats and politicians are shown as crooks on the news all the time. People still believe the government is there to help.

        Humans are not logical beings. They are emotional/instinctive creatures with a logic module bolted on that some figure out how to use. They will absolutely believe that God, the government, Karma, the Force, whatever is making sure it all works out. They will only see evidence that supports that belief and will ignore evidence that contradicts it.

        How many times have you seen a tragedy, say a tornado, and heard someone say something like, “Well, we lost the house and the cars and Bubba’s arm got broke, but we’re all alive so that’s a miracle.” Some “Act of God” just destroyed their current lives and they immediately pick something out to support their belief. This is what keeps most people sane.

        If some people see behind the curtain and figure out how it really works, good for them. It won’t stop working that way, but they’ll have a better grip on things and may make some better choices. But, you’ll never convince most of humanity of reality. They’ll just make up a new fiction to believe so they can go back to existing day to day and believing they have some meaningful place in the world and that it will all work out OK in the end.

    • Joseph on October 20, 2012 at 06:43

      I tend to agree with you, TimA. The problem is masses of ordinary folks being ordinary (which historically means being sheep in need of a shepherd: too bad the shepherds are just sheep themselves!).

  6. ladysadie1 on October 18, 2012 at 18:25

    OK, there is no hidden cabal. That’s why all the politicians (at the Federal level here and in the top levels of other countries are related by blood) done. You are right. The UN Agenda 21 program conceived in the 70’s isn’t being implemented. That sort of continuity would have to be orchestrated long term by an organized group. Margaret Sanger’s eugenics agenda that started in the early 1900’s would have died with her crazy ass…Buildings over 100 stories tall collapse in their own footprints because the laws of physics are altered when US government trained pilots fly into buildings.

    Monsanto/Bayer?Dupont GMO food that They.Certified.As.Safe. to the FDA and USDA is totally safe because the Obama administration’s FDA guy, former Monsanto lawyer said it was…it’s all safe. ObamaCare is good because the pharmaceutical companies said so…

    Fuck me, I am a conspiracy theorist.

    We suddenly figured out that that Iraq was the real threat to the US, not Afghanistan, when my ex already had a contract to go build bases several months before the “war started”. Oh, and in Afghanistan, the total opium output was 9% until the US military got there, now it’s 93%…

    Yep, it all happens organically, by accident through well meaning, not paid-off normal folks are in office because they just want to serve normal fellow citizens.

  7. TimA on October 18, 2012 at 18:37

    Sorry, I think you are missing my point. I didn’t say people weren’t paid off. I actually said they were. It actually doesn’t take that much corruption for a big contributor and employer (such as Monsanto, et. al.) to convince some bureaucrat that a product is safe. It’s not like the science is that certain. Show them a few studies that say it’s safe and let them know that their boss’ boss’ boss’ is a big fan of theirs. Buy the bureaucrat lunch and tell him he’s the savior of the planet. You get it approved.

    Most decisions are made based on personalities. More logic is used to justify a decision based on emotion than to actually make the decision. Bureaucrats have been corrupt throughout history.

    Of course, if you’re going with the World Trade Center conspiracy you’ve lost all credibility in my book anyway. The notion that such an operation could be kept secret is completely laughable.

    • Joseph on October 21, 2012 at 06:51

      The problem with government conspiracy theories is that they require large numbers of bureaucrats and blabbermouths to be unbelievably competent and quiet.

  8. SteamboatOperator on October 18, 2012 at 18:46

    What is the difference between a man and a parasite? A man builds. A parasite asks “Where is my share?” A man creates. A parasite says, “What will the neighbors think?” A man invents. A parasite says, “Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God”

  9. Cow on October 18, 2012 at 18:57

    Fears is kind of fultile at this point. Human species and they self-created Gods, religions, governments, financial systems, societal constructs, endless laws and enforcements, corporate collusions, health numbing orgasmatrons, etc., is all so intricately and hugely corrupt at this point, is has nowhere to go but to collapse upon itself. Maybe next creature that evolve with big fat brain will no be so ambitiously futile.

    Eat sandwich, drink milk and be merry human, for tomorrow…

    • marie on October 18, 2012 at 19:29

      Cow, I knew it, you a lyricist at heart, like this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsxavPANO8s

      • Cow on October 18, 2012 at 19:58

        No. People say, Cow, you nihilist, you fatalist, you pessimist, you total cocaine buzz kill, but NO! No sir! Is no true. I no see human as failure or negative, or make for judgements upon them. Is just what happen, okay? Wall all too much for you big fat brain to manage, yes? Is okay!

  10. marie on October 18, 2012 at 20:23

    Cow, you no any other -ist but only brilliant lyricist of human condition…..which is overwhelmed by the Wall. Yes, is okay.
    ….and for all the young’uns out there who don’t know this classic video, check out origin of famous cartoon used in Enslavement story.
    And round and round we go.

  11. blahblah on October 18, 2012 at 22:30

    This reminded me of a homecare patient I looked after for a day as a fill in nurse. His coffee maker was BLACK with buildup and I heroically went about bleaching and scrubbing the gooo off. I was so proud of myself and knew he would be grateful and pleased. He was furious. He said the coffee was bland and worthless now, and it would take a year or more to rebuild the flavor again…..my bad.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 18, 2012 at 23:24

      I almost mentioned how some new steward would inevitably come on board and do the same thing, catch the same hell. Well, now I don’t have to.

    • rob on October 19, 2012 at 12:50

      I buy a new coffee maker when the buildup gets so bad that I’m worried it might violate city code.

  12. Keoni Galt on October 19, 2012 at 00:23


    Fear of the Sun.

    Fear of the immunity-boosting, health-inducing Vitamin D.

    REMEMBER: Stay out of the direct sunlight between 10am and 3pm!

    Wouldn’t want you to get your daily dose of Ultraviolet B!

    If you MUST go out during those hours, make sure and slather on the SUNBLOCK.

    It will prevent you from getting a sunburn! It will save you from possible skin cancer 30 years from now!

    Don’t worry…even if it does interfere with the natural Vitamin D production that occurs when your skin is exposed to UVB…you wouldn’t want to get wrinkles or skin cancer!

    • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2012 at 01:36

      Good one, Keoni.

      Somewhere in the archives a few years back I did a rant on some dermatologist with her write up in NYT I think. Says she: there is no safe level of sun exposure.

    • rob on October 19, 2012 at 05:40

      Fear-mongering is a growth industry, the latest one is arsenic in our rice.

      Now when I eat a bowl of rice I feel like I am laughing in the face of death.

      • TimA on October 19, 2012 at 06:13

        It’s just as bad in the Paleo community. A few days ago MDA linked to an article that implied you could get heavy metal poisoning from industrial nitrates in commercial processed meats like bacon or sausage. Fortunately, there were some numbers in the article. I did the math and the maximun amout was about one particle of lead for every hundred hot dogs. Not really too much to fear in my book.

        As Richard says above, we are driven by fear. Every time we solve one problem, we come up with something else to fear. Since we’ve mostly handled wild animals and workplace danger, we now have to focus on trivial things. If you’ve solved the problem of fearing wheat by avoiding it, you have to find something else to fear, like nitrates in your bacon. If you figure out that nitrates in your bacon actually doesn’t hurt you, you have to find some other reason to fear your bacon, like heavy metals. If some people don’t have something to be afraid of, they don’t know what to do with themselves.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2012 at 07:35

        Yep, rob.

        Every time you see that local news report that starts out like: experts warn, new concerns raised, a warning issued, etc., its mostly all a big ploy to get people to think “hey, someone’s looking out for me.” They are the authority. I need to tune in early and often.

        Don’t touch that dial! We’ll be right back.

      • ladysadie1 on October 19, 2012 at 07:45

        “They are the authority.”

        Of course, “they” are, then JoeAverage learns to parrot the buzz words and then JoeAverage thinks that he/she is an authority. Like these brilliant citizens here: who are so well informed that they can even form opinions on events that never took place…

  13. RG on October 19, 2012 at 04:38

    Frear of “Cuts in government entitlements”

    reminds me of when I heard Greek students were rioting because of the increase in the retirement age

    here we have some 18 to 21 year olds who have been weaned on the notion of the government as provider- who at the age when you try to make your way in the world are worried about retirement ?

    I was like- wow- these kids are definitely not future “mover and shakers”- already got their eye set on retirement

    It would seem that a country that is dynamic and prosperous offers plenty of opportunities for people to make their own way

    • Natalie on October 19, 2012 at 11:11

      Interesting. Pretty much every 20 something I talked to in the US (even left leaning) thinks Medicare/Social Security is a scam and wants to opt out..

      • Joseph on October 21, 2012 at 06:54

        Yes. It is kind of funny, really. I wish some pollster would call me up and ask me how much I expect from the government (how much money my “hope” for “change” comes up to). The answer, of course, is $0 (and I am actually quite happy with that, since I don’t believe in legalized theft, even when the robber pretends like it will benefit me).

  14. Jscott on October 19, 2012 at 23:24

    Fear verses anxiety?

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