I mentioned yesterday that fastidiousness is the midwife of oppression. Great leaders realize that there is also an element of sorcery involved in oppression. All a leader need do is have his lapdog media repeat certain incantations over and over, and in short order he has a compliant polity that rarely pays attention to what he does.
The incantations are dust, bad breath, pollen, e-coli, particulates, body odor, mold, salmonella, second-hand smoke, HIV, dandruff, pollutants, fructose, ring around the collar, cellulite, yellow teeth, sagging jowls, nose hairs, dried and flaky skin, toenail fungus, and cholesterol.
In days of yore tyranny needed a combination of brute force and divine right to rule. Now all it needs is an obsession with healthy living.
Tyranny thrives on isolation and fear. What better way is there to encourage these than to flood the media with all of the multitudinous threats to an individual’s health and social standing?
What does a little lost freedom matter if our teeth shine and we are not terminal? Our forefathers depended upon the Constitution for protection; now masses look to antibacterial soap and plastic surgery.
Surrounded by perceived threats they barely understand, the public turns to experts for comfort and succor. What they seek from their experts is not expertise, but strength of conviction. This craving for strength conditions them to not only to expect, but also to demand, a strong, authoritarian political leader.
Hell, George, who needs a secret police when there are twenty different brands of deodorant on the market? The chains of oppression rest easier when you smell nice.