"Almost all oppression via propaganda is based upon scaring people, and then presenting a false choice where the people can chose either to do what you want them to do, or face some unknown (often purely fictional) horror. This is not the method of the common thug, which can be summarized as 'do this or I will hurt you.' A successful modern tyrant never presents himself as the thing to be afraid of, as doing so would obviously create resentment and hatred in the peasantry, and that leads to resistance."
"Every 'Thing To Be Feared' (or 'TTBF') with which you terrorize your peasants must be presented as some separate, 'outside' evil that only you can save them from. You must present the simple choice between obedience to you and the threat of some unpleasant happening -- which does not appear to be of your doing and which you pretend to lament the existence of. In short, you must deceive and scare the citizens into voluntarily giving up their freedom."
"'The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.' [Edmund Burke]"
"A simple example would be making up a plague of some sort, assuring the people that millions are doomed to die, and then claiming that giving you a lot of money and control is the only hope of averting disaster. Or perhaps, instead of making up a disease, you can pick a real disease, grossly exaggerating the risk it poses to the peasants, whipping them into a frenzy and then present yourself as their only hope for salvation (which, of course, will require giving you much wealth and power). Recent history gives many examples to build upon, such as AIDS, anthrax, 'mad cow' disease, etc... Even the common flu [edit: SARS-CV-2, a/k/a "Covid 19 disease"] can be used to spread alarm and panic in the peasantry."
"Conveniently, peasants love promises of protection, but don't usually require much explanation of how you intend to protect them. If you say that giving you ten billion dollars will enable you to 'fight against AIDS,' they will give it to you, without even a vague notion of exactly how doing so might accomplish anything. They don't want a rationale, substantive explanation of a real 'solution'; they merely want someone to say the problem is being fixed, or at least being 'addressed' (whatever that means)." pp. 19-20."