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Transforming from Paranoia through Metanoia and Hyponoia?

Beyond paranoia
Complementary "stories" offering viable coherence

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This annex considers possibilities of reframing the paranoia engendered by the current situation, as summarized in the main paper (Systematic Gerrymandering of Declared Threats and Legality of Response: Opportunistic exceptionalism underlying promulgated rules of governance, 2013). The argument there is presented in the following sections:

The main paper originated from a need to consider the nature of the "crown jewels" of which the intelligence community claimed the public had no awareness. The argument here concludes with a discussion of ways of thinking about them.

Paranoia: As noted above, there is now every justification for the increasing sense of paranoia, as cultivated by conspiracy theorists. Its cultivation through a "politics of fear" may well serve the purposes of those perceiving benefit in a widespread "culture of fear". This was highlighted by Adam Curtis (The Power of Nightmares: the rise of the politics of fear, BBC Documentary, 2004) in showing how politicians have used fears to increase their power and control over society. It may well be a feature of the unknown "crown jewels" of the intelligence community -- a backdoor to the mind. Werner Zimmt argues that the American public is being trained to be paranoid, but only with respect to government (Paranoia: there's a lot more than government looking over your shoulder, Arizona Daily Star, 24 September 2013).

Paranoia is a thought process heavily influenced by fear or anxiety, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. It necessarily includes beliefs in persecution -- now humorously presented through the classic quote of Joseph Heller: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you (Catch-22, 1961). A related formulation is that of Steven Brust: Just because they really are out to get you doesn't mean you aren't paranoid. This is especially relevant under the current conditions of invasive electronic surveillance -- with democratic supervision of completely unproven adequacy.

Complementing the paranoia engendered in individuals is that which is evident in government -- partly as a consequence of that of the military and the intelligence services (John McCain and "Military Paranoia" at the Munich Security Conference, Global Research, 6 February 2012; George Monbiot, Britain's Defense Spending: only paranoia can justify the world's second biggest military budget, The Guardian, 28 November 2006). The argument has been widely developed, most recently by Frank J. Fleming (Paranoid Government, New York Post, 13 June 1 2013) and | Jesse Walker (The United States of Paranoia: a conspiracy theory, 2013; The New Paranoia: a government afraid of itself, The Washington Post, 15 August 2013), with the latter noting that:

But the most significant sorts of political paranoia are the kinds that catch on with people inside the halls of power, not the folks on the outside looking in. The latest example is a crackdown on leaks that has the government crippled by a fear of its own employees. Washington is petrified of itself.

In this context, as readily defined by government, "terrorism" is anything perceived as a threat to government -- acclaimed as it is as the embodiment of law and order (although questionably on behalf of "we the peoples"). However the interpretation of "threat" is then readily extended to include "potential threat" -- especially given the instability of government and the much-challenged ability to elicit consensus on any matter of significance (Ungovernability of Sustainable Global Democracy? 2011).

This may then be even more radically reframed to include "dissent", readily understood as a threatening form of incitement to social unrest -- possibly conflated with "extremism". Recalling the reprehensible features of the UssR and China, this is now exemplified by official government policy towards science, notably in the Canada and the UK, as documented by George Monbiot (For scientists in a democracy, to dissent is to be reasonable, The Guardian, 30 September 2013), noting the recent requirement for "the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena".

As a consequence, in a global knowledge society, the possibility for some form of "implosion" becomes ever more credible.

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