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A Bull Market for Fear

Fear is transactional. You don't have to buy it.

Fear is a powerful force; it can control our very basic responses with fight or flight. It can control families, and it can even sway a continent’s nature when properly applied. We often hear of how fear lurks in the heart of man, but it is also something that can be writ large in one’s countenance. But above all this, beyond our individual courage, or lack thereof, fear is a motivator. And when you see actions that appear lunatic, it is all too often driven by that great traitor: the germ of fear.

Like a Raymond Chandleresque detective, we can follow the clues and search for that dark germ. We can see it in the Trump impeachment efforts and in the social media platforms banning conservative voices wherever they dare poke their heads. The only real is question is why.

Put simply, it seems the greatest fear the Democrats and their acolytes in the Fourth Estate hold is of President Trump either coming back to power himself or being the catalyst that sweeps in an America First swath of candidates.

Because of this, the American people have become engaged in a balance of fear battle against their own government. On one side, we can see politicians pushing hasty resolutions to stave off a future Trump resurgence, and on the other are the people, being coerced into feeling a heightened sense of tension and despair. This delicate balancing act can’t last forever. History shows us that the exercise of power is all-too-often backed up by the drug pushers of fear. A solid example of this is the Mongol king of kings, Ghengis Khan.

I shan’t go into his fascinating history too much, but I do want to share a tactic that the Khan employed as he swept across the Chinese kingdom. His warriors were used to living practically outdoors in tents (or gers, as they were called), and many of the Chinese lived in walled cities. As Ghengis rampaged his way across the vast country, he realized that to take all of the cities would cost him more men and horses than he could really afford … essentially, he would be getting weaker as he moved further into the Great Dragon. Being the savvy tactician he was, he decided that the application of fear would be a powerful tool.

When arriving, he would have his men surround the city and then pitch his white tent within sight of the walls. He let it be known that if the city did not completely surrender, then on the second night, he would sleep in a red tent. If the city did not capitulate by the end of that day, he promised to slaughter every single man of fighting age. And then, if they had not surrendered by the third day, he would put up a black tent. The black tent signified that not a single living thing would remain … he would then attack the city.

Now, here’s the thing. He didn’t often have to even put up the red tent. Word spread of his actions and threats, and unless a city had a formidable fighting force, it would surrender completely as soon as he arrived. Ghengis had instilled fear in the population, making his conquest far easier.

Perhaps it’s time to consider that free people are being played in a similar game.

Democrat Representative Cori Bush, on January 6, just as the Capitol protests were waning, tweeted:

“I believe the Republican members of Congress who have incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election must face consequences. They have broken their sacred Oath of Office. I will be introducing a resolution calling for their expulsion.”

Of course, she was referring to those Republicans who had raised objections to the Electoral College certification. And with her tweet, she posted an image of the first page of her resolution. There was just one problem: It was dated January 5. The whole thing was naught but a sham. She and her colleagues had decided to censure any who questioned the results … the protest in the Capitol was merely fortuitous window dressing.

The FBI is warning that “far-right extremists” are planning marches on state capitals. What this does is label anyone who engages in their constitutional right to protests as an extremist. How long before new laws are drafted that say known extremists can’t gather in large groups? Of course, many will back the rules because they now believe the narrative on who is an extremist and who isn’t.

And it seems this is all because the politicians are scared.

We have seen the political fear on display, but despite this, need not feel fear ourselves. I’m reminded of the first verse of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If.” It goes:

“If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:”

Fear only works if we let it work.

We should, in these turbulent times, perhaps take the advice of Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Wise words.

The free world is engaged in a transaction. Government seeks to offer you fear, and what you get for accepting it is restrictions on your liberties and the slow destruction of freedoms. But this is a voluntary transaction. If you do not engage, if you do not accept this plate full of manufactured fear, no Quid Pro Quo can exist.

I’ll leave you with words of author Frank Herbert, from his epic saga Dune:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Your freedom is not and should never be conditional.


Read more from Mark Angelides.

Read More From Mark Angelides

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