Viral Fear

Fear is a virus. It reproduces through violence. So the WarOnTerror generates terror. By attempting to kill or permanently incarcerate all terrorists, we make the thousands upon thousands we injure and torture in their name fearful. Some proportion of these, or of their families who love them, will imprint on us as the cause of their fear. And they will pursue similarly indiscriminate methods as our own against us. The logical conclusion of this cycle is the state of Israel, which has become exactly the thing it was established to prevent.

Ignoring the Israel thing, which you know leads straight to GodwinsLaw (GodwinsLawMeetsKevinBacon!), this sure sounds about right. Question is, how to vaccinate against it?

On FearCulture it says, "A way to get out of FearCulture is RapidFeedback." Now ... how do we get RapidFeedback into the WarOnTerror?

Well, first you're going to have to have some kind of TestFirst war campaign. Say, come to think of it, how would we know if we'd won the WarOnTerror? I mean would we all wake up one morning and say, hey, I feel a lot better - what was I fretting about?

I believe the idea is we all wake up one morning and almost all the terrorists are dead and incarcerated, and those that aren't are too afraid themselves to ever harm us again. Hmm. Suicide bombers too afraid to ever harm us again. Maybe that's not the idea? How do you win this cockamamie thing?

You don't. Back when there were nazis and kamikazes there were foreign cultures you could attack and vanquish. But terrorism is not a foreign culture. It's an artifact of our culture. We supplied all the bombs and other weapons in exchange for oil - we sewed the wind. There are still ways forward - alternative fuel research, SchoolsForCivilization, a return to the rule of international law, forgiveness of third-world debt - but there's no chance of any of these bearing fruit without a very significant cultural shift. Not in their culture. In our culture. Most folk prefer the idea of fighting the terrorists to the idea of giving them positive ways to contribute to the world. And that's ViralFear fucking with us. --PeterMerel
See also SocialCycles

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