#Brexit, the power of fear

I don’t care for politics. The topic ignites bad vibes in me, and since it is a corrupt area in essence, I don’t see why I should get involved. The #brexit case, however, brought some thoughts to my mind about the power of fear, and the power of rebellion by suppressed communities in modern democracies— you can pick (almost) any country in the world, and this will apply.

The power of fear

Fear has been used in so many ways throughout history; anywhere from dictatorships such as North Korea, Iraq, and Syria, to democracies such as the U.S. and U.K. (limited democracy). In the case of North Korea, for example, the tactic is simple, brutal, and involves power (read: violence and torture), and of course propaganda. It is an effective way to control a group of people for a long time. However, this type of tactic will — at one point or another — end, or at least be challenged by the people who are being controlled.

Instil fear

The other type of fear is more subliminal than the approach described above, and it is a type of tactic that is hard to detect once you’re part of the political-vortex discussion. The tactic normally involves a long term plan that political leaders will “trickle” into the political discussion in order to gain control over the masses. The plan is often quite effective, with a simple checklist to follow:

  • Target the poor communities: poverty is a horrible stage to be in. Long-term poverty will drain every ounce of hope out of you. It will turn you resentful toward others who possess more resources than you. Overtime you will slowly succumbed to your new reality, and will look for someone to blame.
  • Target the uneducated people: education is important. It opens your eyes to new ideas, cultures, knowledge, and overall makes you a person with an opinion. If you’re poor you cannot go to school, and if you cannot go to school you lack knowledge that helps you understand why, for instance, you are poor in the first place — which is not necessary the person’s fault, and often involves years of corrupt/unresponsive leadership toward certain demographics. It certainly has nothing to do with foreigners, immigrations, or religion.
  • Shift their focus to someone else: once you have succeeded with identifying your target audience, it is time to educate them about their problem; you need to introduce to them someone to blame. Hitler did it back in the early 1930s, Trump is doing it in 2016 (Immigration, muslims, etc), and Boris Johnson (pretty much like Trump, plus also adding education, more jobs, EU, etc to his political jargon) has done it with #brexit.
  • Instil fear in the form that they can recognise: if you managed to cover the three points above, you’re on the right path to achieve your goal. This is the stage that most (target) audience miss when they listen to political speeches. They lived is such harsh conditions for so many years, and now a messiah in the form of a political leader shows up with solutions.

Clearly I’m simplifying the checklist above, but if you analyse political movements throughout history you will notice that this checklist pretty much applies to all radical movements.

The power of rebellion

When it comes to radical nationalistic political movements, it is not just about instilling fear. Fear is one good way to attract your audience’s attention, but how do you empower a weak audience that has been suppressed by the harsh reality they live in? You give them the power to rebel. This is where democracy holds its most powerful (and in the U.K. and U.S. cases, the most dangerous) card; it gives everyone the freedom to decide on issues that can lead to worldwide dire consequences. I don’t say democracy is bad, not at all. I do, however, say that it gives nationalistic leaders the power to manipulate, and mobilise, certain demographics into taking actions that can ruin a nation.

Give them the power to rebel

With these thoughts in mind, take the next 12 minutes to watch the video below, and judge for yourself how brainwashed-people repeat the “fear” that has been instilled in them, and how they use the power of rebellion to express their ignorance:

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