Extracts from Frank Furedi essay about the politics of fear:
The narrative of fear has become so widely assimilated that it is now self-consciously expressed in a personalised and privatised way. In previous eras where the politics of fear had a powerful grasp – in Latin American dictatorships, Fascist Italy or Stalin’s Soviet Union – people rarely saw fear as an issue in its own right. Rather, they were frightened that what happened to a friend or a neighbour might also happen to them. They were not preoccupied with fear as a problem in an abstract sense.
Today, however, public fears are rarely expressed in response to any specific event. Rather, the politics of fear captures a sensibility towards life in general. The statement ‘I am frightened’ is rarely focused on something specific, but tends to express a diffuse sense of powerlessness.
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