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BizNews welcomes letters and opinion pieces and encourages debate. In this piece, Lesley Caw reflects on the rules that have been imposed on South Africans in the era of Covid-19. Caw draws on the work of novelist Michael Crichton (1942-2008), who is admired for meticulous scientific research and fast-paced narrative, concluding that South Africans are being controlled by fear. – Editor
By Lesley Caw
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“I am leading to the notion of social control, Peter. To the requirement of every sovereign state to exert control over the behavior of its citizens, to keep them orderly and reasonably docile. To keep them driving on the right side of the road—or the left, as the case may be. To keep them paying taxes. And of course we know that social control is best managed through fear.”
“Fear,” Evans said.
“Exactly. For fifty years, Western nations had maintained their citizens in a state of perpetual fear. Fear of the other side. Fear of nuclear war. The Communist menace. The Iron Curtain. The Evil Empire. And within the Communist countries, the same in reverse. Fear of us. Then, suddenly, in the fall of 1989, it was all finished. Gone, vanished. Over The fall of the Berlin Wall created a vacuum of fear. Nature abhors a vacuum. Something had to fill it.”
Evans frowned. “You’re saying that environmental crises took the place of the Cold War?”
“That is what the evidence shows. Of course, now we have radical fundamentalism and post—9/l 1 terrorism to make us afraid, and those are certainly real reasons for fear, but that is not my point. My point is, there is always a cause for fear. The cause may change over time, but the fear is always with us. Before terrorism we feared the toxic environment. Before that we had the Communist menace. The point is, although the specific cause of our fear may change, we are never without the fear itself. Fear pervades society in all its aspects. Perpetually.”
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