Torch, Winter 2012

N apoleon understood the power fear exercises over our decisions. Fear is a forceful motivator, one that can inspire us to bravery, cruelty, or naked self- preservation. Fear is unavoidably connected to the human condition, so it is universal, an experience to which we can all relate. Napoleon knew this and used it to his advantage. He functioned like a dictator for much of his rule over an aggressive France, but this use of fear, as a political tool, is not limited to obviously tyrannical governments. In other words, fearmongering by political leaders, and the cowering subjects whom they often so easily manipulate, is as universal as fear itself. Power From Prejudice A demagogue is a leader who gains power by making emotional appeals, often based on prejudices. Like most countries, America has had its share of demagogues, and given our history, much of the demagoguery revolved around race. Southern politicians, The Politics of Fear by Mark Caleb Smith, Ph.D. “Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest.” — Napoleon Bonaparte 8 TORCH | Winter 2012 ALASHI | ISTOCKPHOTO AND CHAD JACKSON | CEDARVILLE UNIVERSITY