If I had to bet, I think I’d put my money on some type of “cyberwar” event coming in the not-too-distant future. But whether it’s that or something else, a new terror will be coming. That much is more or less inevitable.
The reason is easy: We have people with control-biased minds in positions to create such events, or at least to make the most of them when they do occur.
Put bluntly, our problem is that our current world systems place people with dominator minds into power over everyone else. We can call this the “alpha gorilla” model. These people need power over others. They get comfort and/or a thrill from dominance. And they certainly get rewards from it.
To illustrate, here’s an image I pulled from the newsfeed just this morning:
The faces and the slogans change, but the need to dominate drives such people into positions of power, whether it be in national governments, police enforcement, or bureaucracies that control other people’s movements. As Robert Heinlein wrote:
Political tags, such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth, are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
Those who desire to control others, however, have a problem: In order to accomplish their “great ends,” they need the peaceful people – those who have no desire to dominate others – to obey them and to pay for their plans.
The problem with humans, however, is that they can think. Such beings don’t follow orders from random people; they must be convinced. And convincing free people to be subservient is hard. In order to dominate them, their ability to think must be overcome.
Once you have them obeying you, they’ll keep it up, no matter how silly, for a shockingly long period of time. But to get them to give up autonomy in the first place, or in some new way, is hard. Something that bypasses reason is required.
That thing, as you may have guessed, is fear.
We all saw this very clearly in 2001: Terrified people let the alpha gorillas take away their rights in the name of saving them from crazies. Some people objected, but not enough to sway events. Fear was in the air, the dominators promised safety, and most people either agreed or were too confused to object.
So, the structures of dominance became bigger and reached farther than ever before. This would not have happened without fear. Fear works.