Posted by: amygdala | January 12, 2009

constant undercurrent of terror

“Part of the debtor mentality is a constant, frantically
suppressed undercurrent of terror. We have one of the highest
debt-to-income ratios in the world, and apparently most of us are
two paychecks from the street. Those in power – governments,
employers – exploit this, to great effect. Frightened people are
obedient – not just physically, but intellectually and
emotionally. If your employer tells you to work overtime, and
you know that refusing could jeopardize everything you have, then
not only do you work the overtime, but you convince yourself that
you’re doing it voluntarily, out of loyalty to the company;
because the alternative is to acknowledge that you are living in
terror. Before you know it, you’ve persuaded yourself that you
have a profound emotional attachment to some vast multinational
corporation: you’ve indentured not just your working hours, but
your entire thought process. The only people who are capable of
either unfettered action or unfettered thought are those who –
either because they’re heroically brave, or because they’re
insane, or because they know themselves to be safe – are free
from fear.”
 
– Tana French, The Likeness, a novel set in Ireland.

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