Nowadays, it's just one big scare after another filling up our daily lives. Who
could forget the AIDS crisis, the Y2K bug, global warming, terrorism, SARS,
avian flu, the collapse of the banking system, and so on. The end of the world
is announced every six months, unless something is done, something generally
costing billions of dollars and requiring at times draconian restrictions of our
way of life. All of these announced catastrophes come and go, however, and the
Earth keeps turning.
Behind each of these big scares, we find interest groups very much invested in
having everyone believe in this next catastrophe, and having governments take "necessary
measures" to prevent it: the military-industrial complex, the medical and
pharmaceutical establishment, or environmental activists and companies that sell
"green" products. These groups are either directly linked to the State, or they
enjoy a privileged access to it and have highly developed networks of influence.
And let's not forget the mainstream media, with airtime or pages to fill, who
attempt to hold their audiences' attention with hysterical reporting.
The pattern is always the same. Those who express skepticism or who challenge
the reasoning behind the big scare are called reckless, irresponsible, or
"deniers." Every time, governments take advantage of the situation to reduce our
traditional rights and freedoms a little bit more. And when a big scare passes,
we forget everything, fail to carry out a critical post-mortem, and just move on
to the next one. Is it any wonder that people are starting to be fed up and are
actually less and less likely to let themselves be manipulated?
Quebec's Health Minister, Yves Bolduc, recently expressed his concern over
growing popular suspicion of the massive vaccination campaigns under preparation
to deal with influenza A(H1N1), and the difficulty in getting his message across.
The vaccination strategy is indeed "called into question daily in emails,
discussion forums, readers' letters, Internet sites, networking sites like
Facebook, and even public conferences."