Table of contents for The Power of Nightmares
The Shadows In The Cave
The precautionary principle: Not having the evidence that something might not become a problem is not a reason for not taking action as if it were a problem. It is a powerful triple-negative. Action without evidence is justified.
We had to make a shift in the way we thought about things. So being reactive, waiting for a crime to be committed, or waiting for the evidence of a commission of a crime didn’t seem to us to be an appropriate way to protect the american people.”
– Attorney General John Ashcroft
The paradigm of prevention: Instead of holding people accountable for what you can prove they have done in the past, you lock them based on what you think or speculate they might do in the future. And how can a person who’s locked up based on what you think they might do in the future disprove your speculation?
The idea of a hidden, well-organized web of terror is a fantasy. And by embracing the precautionary principle, the politicians imagine the most horrifying outcomes from an organization that doesn’t even exist. And they count on no one questioning them because the very basis of the precautionary principle is to imagine the worse without supporting evidence. So the politicians with the darkest imaginations become the most influential. The fear of a phantom enemy is all they have left to maintain their power.