Many great thinkers have written about power and fear, and more adroitly, about the power of
There's Michel Foucault, who asserts the power of surveillance (or, at least, the power of the threat of surveillance). Then there's Machiavelli's sobering advice to Lorenzo de Medici, about using fear to maintain stability. Even Gandhi reflected on the power of fear, opining that the "power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment."
No offense to the Mahatma, but he'd have made a terrible president of the United States.
The question of the moment is whether Barack Obama understands the power of fear, or if, like Gandhi, he prefers the power of love. If the last month is any indication, he doesn't seem particularly effective at either.
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