I CLEARLY remember, with vivid memory, the events of September 11, 2001. As the destruction of the World Trade Center unfolded that morning in eastern America, it was already late at night on the same day here in Australia. As I watched those buildings burn and ultimately collapse on TV, my brother was frantically phoning our parents, telling them to "turn on the TV NOW because this is the start of World War III!"
But for my part, whether history will remember that date as the start of World War III or not, it signified for me something far worse. In my view, September 11, 2001 was the day the world ended. Of course, we're still here - in the flesh. But the spirit of hope, of freedom, of the willingness to face danger and overcome adversity, of all that made us human, perished on that day. As I said to my brother and my friend, who was with us at the time, "This is where the New World Order begins, and freedom dies. You watch the raft of oppressive laws and stupid regulations the government will push on everyone now because of this. We can't even imagine what this place is going to be like in a few years' time!"
Ah, the New World Order - that sinister phrase beloved of crazy conspiracy theorists since the 70s, and probably for some time before that. Another friend of mine, now sadly deceased, had shown me a book called The Cosmic Conspiracy by Stan Deyo, who claimed to have worked as a research scientist in the US among other places, and talked about suppressed technologies, the Illuminati, and their coming New World Order. While I admit I liked the book, it was evident that the author was a Christian and much of his hope for the eventual destruction of the New World Order rested on the fulfilment of biblical prophecy and the Second Coming. I, however, had to admit I took a more pragmatic view.
Whether the Illuminati exist as described or not, the fact remains that there is an 'upper class', a ruling elite - as there has been since the dawn of civilisation; and this 'upper class' is concerned with maintaining power over the vast flock of 'livestock' (that's you and me mate!) they see as being 'beneath' them. And with the advances in psychology, technology, and politics, the tools are certainly there to provide them with an ever-increasing ability to maintain their power.
Among these 'tools of statecraft', and in increasing use, is the politics of fear. The theory of this is simple: sensationalise horrific but otherwise rare occurrences in the media, whip up public outrage, then draft up a new set of invasive police-empowering legislation to deal with this oh-so-dangerous threat in our midst. As most intelligent people now know, the two major demons of the age are 'paedophiles' and 'terrorists'. Every freedom that has been taken from us since 2001 has been rationalised in protecting us from 'paedophiles' and 'terrorists'. And the public reaction to this political fear has divided the community. One the one hand are the brainwashed, brain-dead sheeple who believe the government has their best interests at heart and who will ultimately be the doom of humanity. On the other are those who value their freedom enough to be vociferously opposed to where our governments are taking us - but how opposed? We post our outrage on blogs and websites (just like I've done here!), we send letters to our local representatives, we organise and join protest marches. But are we opposed enough to stand up and fight, physically, for our freedom when the crunch comes?
This question, perhaps, has been answered in the pages of history. The Russians, the Chinese, the Germans - all allowed themselves to walk into horrific dictatorships which endured for years or decades without any effective opposition. We are all so caught up in our daily lives that few if any of us are prepared to take the grave risks associated with standing up against an established power. Instead, we skulk in the shadows, build secret networks of friends, some of whom will save us while others betray us, and we hide like cockroaches from the glaring lights of the police. The overthrow of tyranny, if it comes at all, comes from outside; the Hitler regime defeated by England and America; the Russian regime defeated by the economic might of the West; the Chinese regime still going strong. But what happens when the last bulwark of freedom, the West, succumbs, and there is no-one left to fight? Perhaps this, then, is the only future facing us: a new dark age, in which fear flourishes, and freedom dies.
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