The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “fear

The Dangers of Coping

Posted on March 14, 2017

They arrived in a manila package at our Calgary home one day, sometime in 1956. Our family gathered around as Dad pulled out the architectural drawings and laid them on the table. They were plans for how to construct and stock a bomb shelter in case of an atomic war. A large silver siren located on top of a long white pole occasionally reminded us of that fact, as occasionally it would emit a practice wail in preparation for the real thing. For an entire generation of Canadians, none of this is strange. The Cold War was actually heating up and the threat to human existence always seemed to hang precariously in the balance. Popular music and movies were always there to remind us…

Election 2015: Do What You’re Afraid to Do

Posted on September 9, 2015

HIS AIDES STRONGLY ENCOURAGED HIM to beg off from the engagement. It was believed that rioting was about to break out across the country, and here in Indianapolis human anger would pour out onto the streets. It was rainy and cold, and so dark that the Life magazine photographer couldn’t shoot what came to be an epic scene. His speechwriter had cobbled together some hasty notes for his boss but they were tucked away, unused. When Robert Kennedy climbed aboard the flatbed truck that evening, he asked the mayor of the city, “Do they know?” he asked, nodding at the crowd. “To some extent,” came the reply. “We thought we’d leave that up to you.” It was then that Bobby Kennedy, candidate for the…

Election 2015: Fear and Elections

Posted on September 2, 2015

AUTHOR JEREMY ALDANA NOTES, “Insecurities have the ability to shape and mold our minds to live with things we otherwise wouldn’t accept, thus creating pain.” With the rise of rogue terrorist groups carrying out their actions around the world, we can easily get the sense that we are vulnerable, that all isn’t well with the world, and that, if we’re not careful, we could be placed in danger. Modern elections are all about this propensity for fear and insecurity, and, to be sure, such threats carry weight in any campaign. Trouble emerges, however, when political parties, especially those with an authoritarian bent, opt to use election seasons to rouse up fears in the voters instead of hope and creativity. In such a state of…

Politics Without Inspiration = Fear

Posted on March 17, 2015

“PEOPLE GO TO FAR GREATER LENGTHS to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire,” noted one of the characters in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and our current brand of politics is proving this – over and over again. Manipulative politics understands that, while humans are naturally moved by hope, they are far more motivated by what they are afraid of; it’s been in our DNA from the beginning. They play to it, believing that it’s easier to get people into the voting booth through what they’re afraid of than by what inspires them. And so, in an increasingly dangerous world, political success is deemed to be located in that sweet spot where terror intersects with citizenship. This dynamic is increasingly…

Living In A Post-Political World

Posted on September 24, 2012

We have lived as a species in times of kings and despots and decided we had experienced enough. The majority of us were still poor, died too young, had no real rights to speak of, and seemed powerless to change our fate. It had been like that for millennia, so why should we have accepted anything else? The point is that we didn’t. Despite our, at times, inertia and lack of direction, something had changed within us. We didn’t turn ourselves into political and economic reformers, but some did – and we listened to them. At times we were foolish and hearkened to the voice of others who were just as despotic as those they were fighting to replace. But then there were those authentic…

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