[T]he panic itself was dangerous and leading to the propagation of harmful policies across the states.
And a panicked population is a population that is even more prone to put its confidence in political wizards – wizards who promise, in exchange for unquestioning obedience, protection from vicious monsters. A dynamic of this formula for dystopia is that the panic itself – and its promise of political power to those who most convincingly portray themselves as wizard-saviors – attracts into politics those persons who most itch to play the role of wizard-savior, some of whom actually believe themselves to possess wizard powers.
Most media make matters only worse, for even on their finest days they have a poor nose for detecting the b.s. that streams out of the mouths and press releases of those who compete for positions of public wizardry. In times of panic, itself stirred by the innumerate, increasingly shallow, and click-obsessed media, the media become downright worshipful of those wizards who excel at promising the most simple and direct ‘solutions’ – ‘solutions’ that ignore trade-offs, nuances, the creation of dangerous precedents, and reality itself.