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Politics of Fear - Essay Example

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Politics of Fear

Ironically, most democratic governments spend just as much time attempting to handle the impact of stories that have come into the light in a spontaneous manner as they would while carrying out campaigns. The politics of fear have grown in breath and depth as a result of the depiction of personhood as being a very vulnerable entity. We seem to be living in an era of a lack of alternatives and for this reason, we seem not to be in need of someone who will keep on reminding us that we are getting more powerless by the day (Furedi, 2007). As a result of this scenario, a majority of the people have come to interpret and regard events from the perspective of anxiety and fear.
Fear politics are a measure of an in-depth cultural mood. Nevertheless, such a situation never came into being on its own. It is worth noting here that fear has time and again been politicized deliberately. All through history, the ruling class has taken upon itself the mandate of using fear as a political tool. Generation after generation of totalitarian governments have adopted the directive that Machiavelli made to rulers; that by being feared, they would be recipients of an even greater form of security, more than they would ever receive from love (Furedi , 2007).
Fear could be used to terrorize, coerce, and in the maintenance of public order. Unity and consensus could also be gained by way of infuriating a general response to a supposed threat. Currently, the main aim of politics of fear seems to be not only a gaining of consensus, but also to forge, as an index of oneness around elite that would otherwise appear to be disconnected. Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, provides us through his writings with the original systematic endeavor to expand fear politics that could as well be utilized in the implementation of the suggestion that we do not have an alternative in politics. Hobbes opines that through cultivating fear, the main aim is to render any would-be radical argue towards a collective experimentation ineffectual (Rosen, 2002).
In order to realize such an objective, Hobbes is of the opinion that it would be in the best interests of both the state and its people if the masses were convinced to dare less (Furedi, 2007). The people that internalized a fear consciousness were less likely to assume a risk, let alone a collective experimentation. Additionally, the promotion of a wide aversion consciousness to the unknown aids in the instilling of fear in the masses that whatever they had not experimented, could as well be harmful to them.
Presently, there has been an institutionalization of the fear of the unknown harm, and this seems to strengthen the currently prevailing fear culture (Dickinson, 2006). A lot of the public figures in political offices have to daily grapple with the question of whether they need to reduce fear, or politicize it. The same question also confronted a Former New Labor campaign adviser, Phillip Gould. Through his 1994 publication, 'fighting of the fear factor', Gould argued that there does exists a feeling of anxiety and insecurity that tends to revolve around the present day electorates. It is this sense of mood anxiety over the future that Gould has observed to be the reason behind the use of fear tactics by ...Show more

Summary

The issue of politics of fear seems to go beyond even the elemental differences in outlook. At the same time, it is worth noting here that were it not for the fact that the politics of fear flourished so powerfully with the cultural climate of the day, perhaps we would not have witnessed the amount of political flourishing that we seem to now (Altheide, 2006)…
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Politics of Fear essay example
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