Fear Dominates Politics, Media and Human Existence in America—And It’s Getting Worse
Today, AlterNet launches a series of articles and investigations on fear, and how to combat it.
By Don Hazen
Arguably, fear as a factor has been growing in America since 9/11, which was obviously traumatic for many Americans. Instead of being treated as a criminal act by a small group of suicide killers, it produced a massively forceful reaction, including two wars. Response to 9/11 provoked a wave of fear, repression and doomsday preparation that continues to escalate to this day. The new evil on the horizon is ISIS, the media-savvy beheaders who have garnered unbelievable amounts of news coverage. The result, no doubt, will be the spawning of untold new ways of intruding on American life and individual rights.
The security state’s sole raison de d'être is to instill fear in the populace to control behavior and collect information. The security state mind is by nature suggestible, paranoid and capable of creating fearful situations out of propaganda and mis- and disinformation.
The reality is that Americans are endlessly bombarded with media messages that are fearful and deceitful. Almost daily, we are urged to fear exaggerated or fake threats. This unstinting hysteria affects our politics and policies. And going deeper, this media onslaught literally shapes how our brains work and what people believe.