It is the time-honoured battle-cry of scaremongers world over that hangs in the air once again and preludes to global cataclysm are pondered in all corners. And there is most certainly no shortage of ever scarier scenarios.
Fear seems inescapable part of human condition.
While cave men and women were very likely scared out of their wits by large, predatory beasts that roamed around them, they could at least see them and, if luck was on their side, either slaughter them or at least run away and hide! Neither of which they could do against any of the natural disasters or phenomenon they witnessed but could not understand or explain.
That which is observed as powerful, but mysterious because neither the origins nor the causes of it are known or understood, inevitably gives rise to fear. And of all the soils in which fear can flourish, ignorance is by far the most fertile one. Seeds of fear nurtured by ignorance have been readily offering themselves for the rich harvests by aspiring shamans of various creeds since the times immemorial. All of them honouring the same tradition of harnessing the rich pickings for their own ends as legions of mankind whose corpses pave the corridors of history evidence and most of whom feverishly believed into their cause and the call to ‘save’ whatever was to be saved at the time; faith, state, church, race, honour, queen, king, class, law and order, land, energy source … take your pick!
And if you think that our modern, science and technology driven world had eradicated ignorance and thus conquered fear – think again! Wherever you are all you have to do is to read or listen your local news. Failing that you can simply look around.
Although, shamans of today look rather different, and some would argue are far more sophisticated, (obviously debatable point), than their ancient predecessors, the essential task remains the same; First – inflict the fear upon those who are ready to believe that their well-being, or interest, or honour, of faith or anything you can think of is somehow endangered, then arm them and point them towards the group/class/sex/nation that is responsible for all their perils. Sit back and watch them deliver whatever you are after;
If in Nigeria – An Absolute Ban on Women’s Education. This is to be achieved by any method you can think of including kidnapping. Not only that this will ensure endless supply of slave labour and blind obedience – a splendid formula that had worked wonders ever since its divine design, which, being divine, is of course beyond reproach and any form of education is completely superfluous to it, but you will have nothing more to fear from either your secular or religious leaders than the criticism of being misguided. To which you will of course reply in kind by saying that ‘Allah had told you to sell off the kidnapped girls as forced brides’.
If in Russia – Resurrection of Glorious Empire. This is best achieved by having former KGB agent in charge of government. Those guys were trained by the best in fear inflicting business. Even Hitler would have something to learn from them! Just think Gulag, or if you are too young to remember those days, ask contemporary members of LGBT community in Moscow, providing of course you can find any who are prepared to talk!
Once in charge of the country, the former KGB agent set to do what he does best – first stage an attack on the national interests than set to defend them. You know better than anyone that any threat to ‘Sacred Interests of Mother Russia’ is sure-fire to galvanize hordes of those ready to defend them. You likewise know that EU needs your gas and loads of it as cheap as possible. But just in case – you also stage the biggest show of military hardware since the collapse of the USSR; some 150 tanks (apparently 50 more than last year) new mobile weapons systems, bombers, fighter jets, military helicopters, etc. And your timing is of course impeccable – May Day parade – just like the glorious, old days! Not only you are poking a finger directly into the American and its allies eye, but even more importantly you are reviving national pride which has been wondering; lost and injured ever since collapse of Soviet Union. Endless supply of ‘ready to die at the moment notice’ men thus assured. Truly not a kopek has been spent on your training in vain and you must have, at long last, succeeded in your life-long ambition to impress comrade Stalin! Now let’s see where are those wandering Latvia, Estonia, and (why not) Finland got to!
If in China – Challenge Neighbours. To that end first choose a rock in the South China Sea. Once chosen raise your national flag on it and moor one of your new aircraft carriers alongside. When Japan goes sulking to America, tell them to ‘bring it on’! You know well that US owes you trillions of dollars in national debt and more will be asked for by this afternoon. Besides Japan’s more than 70 years old military shipyards and fighter-plane factories can hardly match up to your own military technology. Choose another rock for a second military flag and see whether anyone else in the region dares to bring it on!
If in Middle East – Ensure Never Ending War Continues. Nobody, foreign correspondence least of all, any longer understands or remembers origins (or causes) of it all. Is it about history, religion, human rights … Sunni against Shia? But it is good for business as it keeps the intensity up and makes millions of dollars in the process. One can always rely on Hasidic Artillery to hit something. Upon which high-ranking officials of even higher ranked bureaucracy will fly to some obscure destination to discuss the issue for days on end only to finally issue a piece of paper stating that ‘every effort has been made to work in coordinated manner with allies and partners across the region to address our common interests and challenges …’ or some such simple, yet effective statement!
Meanwhile, scientist of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California have come up with modified DNA that contains two ingredients not found in nature. In other words – new chemical blueprint for life! Imagine the possibilities and all we could use such life forms for … now that is scary!