A New Culture of Fear

January 28th, 2005 - by admin

Carol Wolman / Personal Commentary – 2005-01-28 18:34:05


MENDOCINO, CA (January 22, 2005) — The American culture of openness and friendliness is quickly being replaced by a culture of fear— fear not of Bin Laden and Al Queda, but of our friends and neighbors.

We are encouraged to inform on one another. We are afraid to let the dog off the leash, to jaywalk, to smoke marijuana, to express our beliefs openly lest someone tell the authorities and we get in trouble. Even here in tolerant Mendocino, the old hippies, who used to be the backbone of the community are now worried that someone might harass them for having long hair and accuse them of being a terrorist — an ecoterrorist, perhaps.

The enemy is within. It’s Timothy McVeigh, it’s the anthrax killer, it’s the neighbor who snitches, it’s the administration that is gutting our civil liberties and terrorizing us with threats to start a nuclear war — with Iraq? with China?

This talk is encouraging terrorists to unloose a nuclear holocaust upon homeland America — through a container that has not been inspected, a suitcase bomb, an attack on a nuclear power plant.

Meanwhile, Bush has destroyed the structure and sentiment of international cooperation by withdrawing from the ABM treaty amd invading Iraq, by refusing to join the International Criminal Court and flouting the Geneva Conventions and otherwise acting like a rogue nation.

The scariest part is that so many Americans are going along with it. Why? They seem to want the sense of security that a militarized, highly controlled — in short, fascist — government can provide. What are they afraid of? Losing the materialistic way of life that is provided by the current system? Facing their guilt about suffering from obesity and diabetes while the so much of the world is starving? Waking up to the quickly deteriorating state of the planet? Nuclear war?

The rush toward a militarized state with tight control is happening so quickly that it’s almost too late to stop it. By the time Bush announces that the Constitution is outdated and the executive branch is withdrawing from it unilaterally, it will be too late to do anything about it.

We must act now.

We must rebuild our movement, our antiwar movement, our peace movement, outside the framework of party politics. The DNC will do everything in its power to derail and sabotage the peace movement — this was demonstrated in 2004.

We must reclaim Jesus and the Bible, and convince the true Christians on the right that they have been misled and deluded by false prophets and slick Pharisees. We must clarify and focus our message so that the internet truths will outshout the TV and radio lies.

We must convince people to stop depending on oil. We must convince them to withdraw their consumer spending from the big corporations. We must organize, neighborhood by neighborhood, building a moral force in this country for peace and justice that is so strong, that the criminals in power will be impeached and imprisoned.

Then we can address the real problems— global warming, how to clean up depleted uranium, how to preserve as many species as possible, and restore some harmony to our biosphere.

Carol Wolman