The recent very public arrests of Muslim type people, alleged to be planning to smuggle a bomb encased in a meat grinder onto a plane, has been foiled by Australia's security teams. Airports were on alert as passengers were encouraged to be thankful for the terror watch forces. Prime Minister Turnbull in sonorous tones - as one speaking to small children declared – "Everyday we are working to keep Australia safe from terror."
"The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself. Nameless unreasoning unjustified terror, which paralyses needed effort"
This is part of the oft-quoted 1933 inaugural speech of President Franklin D Roosevelt.
He was right about nameless unreasoning fear and its immobilizing impact.
The fight, flight or freeze mechanism, is a survival instinct for visible immediate threat. It is far less useful for non-immediate threats. In fight or flight, our thinking narrows to a primitive reactive mode. It is an early evolutionary instinct. Heart rate rises, blood pressure increases and digestion is suspended.
Higher cognitive functioning is disrupted. There is no time to ponder ambivalence or consider a range of possibilities.
Authoritarian leaders have historically used fear to make their people submissive by:
- Manufacturing or inflating threat.
- Arousing fear and terror regarding this threat.
- Claiming their leadership as a saviour in the face of this threat.
- Increasing powers regarding command surveillance.
- Waiving accountability
If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.
Who said that? Oh it was Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
Examples of fear mongering that have been used politically, historically and currently include:
Discuss in our Forums
See what other readers are saying about this article!
Click here to read & post comments.
16 posts so far.