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+3 votes
Hi, nowadays i think about fear and its relevance to action. Fear is usually considered as something to be negated, authorities use fear to paralyze people, we do not resist because we fear etc. While rightness of this line of thinking seems to be obvious, i started to approach to the question of fear differently: we do not fear enough. Or we do not fear in a correct way. Because considering the ecological crisis, possible economic crisises, most people around me do not do anything about these problems. What i mean by "do" is not like hardcore revolutionary action, for instance i started to learn self-defence because, well, you never know. But having the (false) belief that future is gonna be same as today, relieve people from doing anything or preparing themselves, or canalize their efforts to feel-good actions. I fear that terrible things can happen to me and to my loved ones so i want to be prepared. Of course political action can also cause harsh consequences, but fear of these consequences can also lead to tactical and strategical awareness.

In short i started to think that instead of getting rid of the fear, i try to canalize it to increase my potential while avoiding its paranoid side. Any thoughts on the things i said so far?

Oh and let us not forget that according to Hobbes fear is what led people to action and make the social contract to raise the leviathan, maybe it is the fear of its consequences that can also motivate people to undo it x)
by (910 points)

i think a lot about fear (how it affects me and others, how it restricts or enables anarchic relations), and i agree with a lot of your statements....i'd like to come back later and add some more thoughts...

i think another emotion/feeling/sensation comes into play also - pain - how much one ignores or acknowledges that pain, and how much they delve into the sources of that pain (whether physical, emotional, mental, or any other way one can experience pain).

and i see an interplay between fear and pain that might somewhat speak to your two sources/causes of fear - that which people get told to fear by those who claim authority (including authority itself), and the fear one feels from what they sense without the voice of authority.

i think that fear is not the distinguishing feature. i think that people don't believe in their capacity to change things. being beat down with no real (sense of) recourse is pretty paralyzing.

but perhaps this speaks more to us as individuals, than to mass issues. they can certainly all be correct.

1 Answer

0 votes

Awareness is entirely different from fear, it's not relevant to action like you say. The revolutionary tactics, creativity and strategy comes from a different part of your brain.  

Authority is based on the power of fear, but I do not believe it is always the cause.  I think the reason is, reality is chaos, incompatible with the fearful mind.

Reality is so truly frightening, that most people refuse to believe it is true.  They would prefer to live in a fantasy world, made up narrative about themselves and society.

Escapism culture isn't explicitly wrong, in my opinion, it was explained really well by Solomon when he said: "everything we do is utterly meaningless, vanity and a vexation of the spirit."

by (120 points)
i am interested i why you believe that reality is 'so truly frightening'

What were you trying to get at with the bible story quote? That story in the bible doesn't have much to do with escapism, but rather the opposite. Its meaning is that trying to improve ones socioeconomic condition and gain control over their lives and understand what's happening in their world is absurd. Facing reality wasn't frightening, but rather facing reality wouldn't do much to change the pleb's condition. When reading Ecclesiastes (the bible story you meantion), you should keep in mind this was during the Persian Empire. The point of the bibble story is humans live in a world in which they don't have control and their lives can only be lived before god who controls all. I'm unsure of why you mentioned it on here. Weird