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Terry Pratchett Quote

Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.

ideas > Are you being manipulated?

Are you being manipulated?
If I were to ask you, “What is the fastest way that I could take power away from you without you suspecting what I was doing?”, what would you say? Before answering, think about it. What is the craftiest way to usurp your personal freedoms?

First, I would have to convince you that I was your friend and that we were on the same side.

Second, I would have to create a common enemy for you and me.

Third, I would have to get you angry at that enemy.

Fourth, I would offer you a solution that would combat that enemy. This solution would, of course, entail me solving your problem for you. You would need to cede some of your personal freedom to me in the form of money or power. Of course, this shouldn’t worry you because we are friends. After all, friends fighting a common enemy can be trusted no matter what.

Now apply this process to the never-ending crises that are propagated amongst the media today. We have a current education crisis in America, a global warming crisis in the world, dependence on oil crisis, a health insurance crisis, a goods manufactured in China crisis, and on and on and on. In every on of crisis, there is one group of people that always pronounces themselves as your friends. That group is either politicians or bureaucrats that are supported by the money given them by the politicians. This group of people always operates in the way described above.

They convince many people that they are their friends, that they both share the same goals and have the same good intentions. Then they point out the common enemy, which is usually business, conservatives, traditionalists, or any other group of institution that opposes progressive ideas. Then they engender anger and frustration in the people by using isolated examples with real people who have suffered at the hands of those institutions or people. Once you have angered someone, then it is much easier to manipulate them and get them to sign off on a cession of individual freedom and power. Then the politicians or bureaucrats offer the solution to the problem which is always a solution that means larger government and bureaucracy and less personal freedom.

This is how it works and this is why you really should pause and ask yourself the next time someone calls “Crisis… here’s my solution”, is this person a bureaucrat and politician and if so, are they following the simple four step method of taking away your freedom that I mentioned above. Most people don’t realize that the government and the people that run government are often not looking out for you, but they are looking out for their own interests. These people are very rarely the friends of the people, but are instead constantly trying to grab more power and money to push their myriad of ideas on the people they govern, because naturally, they believe they are more enlightened than the rest of us. So the next time, someone walks up to you and says “I’m your friend. They’re your enemy and here’s why you should be angry at them. And I have a solution to this problem.” ask yourself, “Am I being manipulated here?” and “Is this person really my friend or do they just want more power?” And for the most part, they aren’t your friends and they want more power. Their method of grabbing power is one crisis after the other.
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