Oppressive regimes thrive on helplessness. So do overwhelming welfare regimes. A population reduced to helplessness is docile and passive. It is inactive and more likely to come up with justifications for the system and their own place in it, better than any ideology could. They will also discourage dissent among their own lot, to defend this world view.
Morality is one of the first things we outsource to government, along with physical protection and the provision of a national identity. Form this perspective, it hardly matters whether it was grabbed by an authoritarian regime or voluntarily surrendered to a pampering welfare regime, whether it was blamed on warfare or welfare.
Scapegoating is a symptom of fear – on many levels. We must break it down to its components and core incentives in order to fix it.
“Sustained long enough, a strong fear of anything vague or unknown induces regression. On the other hand, materialization of the fear is likely to come as a relief. The subject finds that he can hold out and his resistance is strengthened.” (C.I.A. Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual – 1983)
Bibliography and Further Reading
Freedom is easy – as long as we have prosperity. But what to do when the economy is bad?
Stereotyping is a way to mitigate the anxiety and fear of the unknown. By applying stereotypical received wisdom on the unknown, one can create the illusion of knowledge and thus limit the perceived threat. But it doesn’t make the stereotype right. Or does it?