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Fear: The Foundation of Every Government's Power

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Fear is used in propaganda to display power. Dictators and corrupt governments take control when fear is being run ramped in a country. Someone who comes in and promises that they will make it all go away. They blame a certain group on their problems. This implements anger instead of fear. In this there is power. Anger is more powerful then fear. Some counties have both. That is what gave Hitler such a tremendous amount of power. He used fear and anger of the people after the First World War to gain military power and control. He blamed the Jews for the economic crisis. Labeling them and saying that the country would only become a super power once everyone in the country was of the perfect decent. What he called the Great Arian Race. When we look back on history and look upon that time period, we see the Nazi Regime. We think of machines and mass murderers. That the entire country had the same ideologies as Hitler. In fact that is not the case. These people weren’t born to be killing machines. They had fear that if they didn’t commit these acts, instead of themselves and their families, standing in line alongside the Jews waiting for the gas chamber. For the first time there was a prospective that not all Nazi soldiers were not a machine. That they were actual people behind those guns. People who drank to keep away the pain and night mares.
In the book Ordinary men by Christopher Browning, he examined the lives of a reserve police battalion. It was regular every day man with no or little military police experience. These men were middle age with families. They were told old or unwanted by the regular Nazi Army. They were put on trucks and sent to their first assignment. Many of these many have never used a weapon or had even killed a man before. Most of the men in this battalion came from the city of Hamburg. They lived side by side with the Jews that they would soon march to their death. The first assignment came from the highest authorities and they had no choice to proceed. The battalion was told that the Jews were the reason for the American Boycott and the reason why Germany, their homes were being bombed. The older men were told that they could be excused if they were not up to the task. Intoxication fear and power, reasons in which they were able to conduct the events that would take place, this next showed the difference between people. Standing outside the ghetto walls waiting for someone to make a mistake. It was new years and the Jews had a curfew. The Guards changed their watches and so that the Jews would be out after curfew. In the shooting they actually killed a German. They changed his ID’s so that when the higher authorities came they would not realize the series of events just took place. Even though there was some people who believed in Hitler’s Regime, some hated standing by and proceeding with these acts but would not take place in the acts himself.
Lieutenant Butchmann was a family man. He was in the lumber business in Hamburg before he was called up. He “would in no case participate in which action in which defenseless women and children were shot. ” He was assigned to escort male work Jews to Lublin. Next to take command was Trapp. He was very similar to Butchmann he did not agree with this either. On their next mission a few men had to be left behind to watch the barracks. The men were angry that they would be left. Trapp responded and told them, “be happy you don’t have to come. You will see what happens. ” Trapp spoke with the men before the assignment. He could not see any cowards out there and told the men if they were not ready to turn in their weapons and break rank. Although Trapp himself wish he could have done that. He refused to watch the executions. He just kept saying to himself that “orders are orders”. He thought that this was all a mistake and that, ” if this Jewish business is ever avenged on earth, then have mercy on us Germans. ” Trapp was human, and a little girl life indeed showed how human he was. When they were leaving the city, a ten year old girl appeared in the middle of a courtyard. Trapp brought her into his arms and told her “you shall remain alive. ” Although he wasn’t the only one. Being a leader that stuck to his values throughout this kept the other men from being okay with their actions.
One policeman woke up firing his weapon into the ceiling the night after the assignment. Trapp permitted Jews to return to their housing and they kissed his hands and feet. Trapp was deemed a coward by many of the men who stood around him. When he was brought out of the equation and given time the men finally go accustomed to the thought of the final solution and became very proficient. It was their leaders telling them that this is the only option that there is no way out. That every man must stand on the edge of that hole and commit murder. Even though some men would still hide in the woods and trucks. How they would run off and throw up. How few of the men couldn’t live with the thought of killing people. Even though Trapp did not commit a single execution he was sentenced to Death in December of 1948. A man who stuck to his morals and did not give up even when fear rained on him was sentenced to death. The power structure crumbled along with many of the pawns on the board.
Fear throughout the 20th century was normal with constant wars on each party’s soil, no one was safe. Franklin Roosevelt once said, “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself. ” This was the old way of thinking. That any thought of fear must be pushed aside. That all must be done to carry on and not give the attacker what they wanted. When looking upon times of war you see different sides of people. The propaganda was used to implement either fear or courage. Who was strong and who was weak? Who had no fear? Was it the soldiers behind that trigger or was it the women and children back home being bombed every night then the next day they would wake up get out of the bomb shelters, clean up the ruble and act like nothing happened? It was up to the women to rebuild and be strong back home in the time of the men’s absence. It was drills of putting on gas masks and walking into the bunkers.
The book Parenthood in a World at War, examines how to train their child to be strong. Not to tell them what will happen if they cross the street but teaches them how to cross the street. It gives the child the confidence that they need to live their lives. Fear makes a child unable to adapt and live a joyful life. Although without some acknowledgment of issues and fear they would be no way to cope with it when it happens. It was like the videos shown in America that taught the boys and girls what to do when the sirens would go off for a nuclear attack. This drills of covering yourself with a blanket and pretending to be the turtle in the video would not help these children. Although, fear that this event might happen one day subsided in the false hope of this. The false hope that they would survive a nuclear attack. Children and women all over the world taught themselves that fear would not change what was happening outside. That courage and strength would be what would help their husbands when they came back. They thought positively, they would never give up hope. While their men were in the trenches fearing for their lives they were at home being strong. Setting fear aside called for a false reality. Men in the trenches became a family. Giving different roles to different men as if they were making a household within the trenches. Some men were in charge of cleaning and doing “womanly duties”. They would kiss each other saying that this is a kiss from you wife or your mother. Women at home picking up the duties that the men once played.
Fear drives power in the hands of the aggressor. But what power is there without the individuals? Who pulls the trigger behind that gun? There is an individual that makes up an army. Washington talks about the power that even one man holds in a war. That even at the point of weakness they will continue. That it is not all about the hand that pulls the trigger. It is all of the five senses that makes a great soldier. One who can adapt to any situation. These soldiers can’t just go into war. They must be taught and trained. Even at that point they are ready to fight. It is not till boots are on ground and they learn to survive in a real life environment. The ones who become the strongest survive. The ones who adapt the best, even when exhausted and cold. Every war is the survival of the fittest, the Darwin evolution theory in some aspects. Or is that just what the government wants you to think. Washington talks about how you have to be the right man in order to be in the right job. How the leaders will see if you’re fit for the task. Anyone who is unfit will be transferred. They called them misfits. As if you were unable to kill or your beliefs did not coincide with theirs, you were looked upon as lesser. That you must prove your worthiness and climb the ladder just like the civilian corporate ladder. That you have to adjust to their standards to stay alive. Commit to their military lifestyles. No privacy and strict orders are what one needs to get used to. Many men lose their identity and find a new one when becoming a soldier. There is no individualism you now are a small playing piece in the bigger structure. Your ideas no longer exist. Everything you once thought is now wrong. The break down and rebuild method is a way military organizations have been brainwashing soldiers for centuries. The structure is unbreakable, every act that you do that is not under their strict guidelines will be punished. Time executions are used to keep the soldiers mind from drifting off and being able to think about anything other than the job currently at hand. Every aspect of the army is used to see when one soldier is out of line. Marching is to show power but also to keep every person in check and in line. One second off on your stepping and your chain of command will see it. Bunks put into order so they know you cannot hide anything. “Every ounce of a soldier’s energy should be concentrated on the defeat of the enemy. Whenever he wastes his strength on any sort of activity that does not contribute to that one end, it is, in effect, a casualty”.
Efficiency is key. Time spent in fear is another man that might die because you were not concentrated on the task at hand. Alertness is what keeps you alive. Time and time again it is said that fear will kill you. If you concur fear then you will be set free. Joanna Bourke wrote about different aspects of fear. With fear there is anxiety. The unknown of what happens next that lingers through your body. Worrying about the things that you cannot control. Mrs. Bourke talked about a women’s battle with cancer, in which she was given just six months to live. After losing nearly 50 lbs. and suffering, she in one moment decided that she did not want to be afraid any longer. She would no longer fear death, because in that moment her death sentence wasn’t real. She said that she would live with cancer. That the word that every person fears would become who she is. Ten years later that women published a book. When given a time limit break it. In combat, anxiety can save your life and this is why I think that soldiers differed from women and children. The fight or flight response is initiated in combat and high stress situations. Adrenalin is pumped into your system, increasing heart rate and tightens muscles. It is the body giving you what you need in order to stay alive. Adrenalin covers the pain. Fear is slipped from the mind. It is you versus the predecessor.
All governments teach their soldiers to fight but they also train them mentally. That when it comes time and it is you versus another person who will win. They put the thought into your head that you want to come home to your family after this and the only way to do this is to follow orders and fight. So there may be fear. But the fear is not coming home. Soldier are given forms of propaganda to be able to execute the acts that they will commit. They will not be told that the other person is innocent and just trying to get home to their family. There is no name behind that person. No thought that the other person is human. It is that this person is an object. This person is giving you the option on living or dying, but the consequence is that person’s life. This is what we have done with the Nazi party. We as Americans see them as murders and machines. What we did not see was that they were told that their family could not eat today because of the Jews. That they lost the war and all the blood shed was for nothing. The criminalized a group of people and through religion into the mix. Fear that these people plagued the society that they lived in and feared that if they did not correct the situation that they themselves would be looked upon as a plague to society too. War isn’t just about who has the biggest military or has the most amount of money. It is who has the strongest state of mind. Who can stand the longest through the psychological warfare?
The winner is the one who will not accept defeat. Whatever you do, do not trust the enemy. Be suspicious and think that they are only trying to help themselves. Use the right sources do not trust broadcasts and rumors. Fear was a different emotion in this time period. It is looked only upon in art. Of women who paint and draw the horror that they feel so deep. Art was one the ways, in which they were able to express their feelings without being looked upon as weak. They showed the men dying in nurse’s arms, battlefields, and comparing their loved ones to the savior. They hoped that their loved ones died for a cause and they would be crating art and propaganda to have more people see it and know that the war effort is in need of help. That if you see an able body man, call upon him and push him to join and fight for the country. Women were strong supports of the war. They would put white feathers in the pocket of a man’s suit. It showed that he was a well and able body man who has not yet joined the war effort and was calling him weak. Telling him that he better march down to the recruitment office and enlist.
Throughout history it was fear that fueled war. It was mental strategy and control that made a country into a superpower. Fears that every learned to let go of just to survive. Men, women and children dealt with war and fear so differently, yet all became strong by relying on each other. Without family and ones values you have nothing, those are the things that keep the will to live inside you. Unsure of the future although preparing and planning for all that they might face. Preparing mentally was one of the most important things to do. When the dusk rolls in and the bombs begin to drop will it be fear that protects you or your readiness of the situation. People rise from the bunker as the sun rises in the sky. Fear will not keep them down. Fear will show the enemy that they are weak.

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Fear: The Foundation of Every Government’s Power. (2020, April 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from
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