We live in an age of generational turmoil. Baby-boom parents are accused of clinging on to jobs and houses which they should be freeing up for their children. Twentysomethings who can’t afford to leave home and can’t get jobs are attacked as aimless and immature.
Citizens identify with something larger than themselves – if one’s country is attacked, it can feel like a personal attack in a way that a fellow bank customer’s account theft does not feel like a personal invasion.
We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy … not for the real reason: because the Arab Muslims who attacked us hate our Middle Eastern foreign policy.
Our world is utterly saturated with fear. We fear being attacked by religious extremists, both foreign and domestic. We fear the loss of political rights, a loss of privacy, or a loss of freedom. We fear being injured, robbed or attacked, being judged by others, or neglected, or left unloved.
DePaul’s plot to deny me tenure had nothing to do with my faults. In fact, and ironically, it viciously attacked me and destroyed my career because of my virtues. Which, although few in number, they still found threatening.
When Gingrich attacked CNN’s John King for bringing up his alleged proposal of an open marriage to his second wife, Gingrich accused him of lowering the level of discourse in a presidential debate, suggesting that such a discussion is unworthy of consideration by voters.
From warriors ravens grew red And with their leader a host attacked.
Progress is always relative: to the oppressed, it can only be viewed as an all or nothing deal – if oppression continues, even in a modified form, then the system must still be attacked until that injustice is eradicated.
We face paired dangers. The first is that our networks are successfully attacked. The second is that our fear of attack will cause us to destroy what makes the Internet special.