The Globe (John Allemang) recently published an article on this very topic, and how right they are. This past year has seen a non-stop parade of scare tactics, and over-the-top disaster predictions. Of course every year has some degree of high alert threats, but 2009 was a doozie.
The trouble is that each successive year seems to bring with it an ever-expanding platform for seemingly endless throngs of social engineers, radical activists, and left wing politicians telling us that doom awaits us if we don't comply with their lofty agendas to reform western societies. Ice ages, Global Warming, ozone holes, Y2K, massive extinctions, and so on. The amazing thing is that we keep on listening, and we keep on panicking with each new blaring pronouncement of impending catastrophe.
This past year we were told that financial markets would collapse, that we would be faced with the most severe depression since the 1930's, that we would die in great numbers from a global pandemic, and that an environmental catastrophe was about to unfold unless we turned over control of all these issues to our massive government machines. Now stock markets are on the rise, economic recovery is underway, the swine flu came and went with a whimper, and much of the climate change research is being called into question. And yet we listen and believe it all every time the panic-mongers unleash more rhetoric. Why?
Because we somehow still trust those whose motives are to destroy confidence and instill fear. A great many government agencies and global authorities are now staffed with radical activists whose purpose it is to gain control of the levers of western society, at the expense of open markets and free enterprise. As severe as that may sound, I believe it to be true. Each successive recession that has occurred in the past 30 years has been met with a greater level of government intrusion into the natural operation of the business cycle. Government believes that it is its duty to remove hardship, economic peaks and valleys, and to artificially restore prosperity, at the long term cost to the taxpayer. 2009 was the pinnacle of this trend with its TARP, auto bailouts, cash for clunkers, and phony job creation schemes that have left 10% of American workers officially unemployed, but more likely over 17% without jobs.
Fear is never going to be far away from us as long as we accept the pronouncements of officials with ulterior motives. We have to think for ourselves, but perhaps that is what is lacking in today's busy world. Maybe we somehow have a perverse need to be afraid of something, and maybe we want somebody else to do our thinking and acting. The H1N1 hoax is a perfect example. Margaret Chan Director General of the World Health Organization declared "it is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic". She appealed for "global solidarity", and to be "on high alert". No wonder people freaked out. It sounds like the end of the world is being predicted by a high ranking international bureaucrat.
Panic and fear are debilitating. What may start as responsible concern is all too often raised to genuine panic by those who wish to have us believe that the problem (if it exists at all) is beyond our control. "All we have to do is be ignorant, and anxious….and we forfeit our sovereignty to political types". says Dr. Irvin Wolkoff, a Toronto psychiatrist. Public officials have learned this response and have begun to turn it into a strategy for bigger government.
All countries have given over personal freedoms to governments to varying degrees, but the United States is undergoing the most pronounced transformation of all in recent times, as President Obama along with a majority Democratic Congress has raised the level of government control to new proportions with its massive and ill conceived Health Care Reform Bill. Unfortunately for him and the Democratic Party, a heavy price will be paid in the 2010 mid-term Congressional elections, as American voters lash out against the cost and intrusion of this massive monstrosity. It will however be too late for the American taxpayer, and for the previous health care system which could have been improved without a government takeover.
Who knows what we'll find to be afraid of in 2010? One thing is for sure though, social engineers from government and global agencies will be falling over each other to concoct the next massive disaster that will surely befall our vulnerable under-governed world.
Richard Scott, December 22, 2009.