By now most of the FM ning readers will have seen and/or heard of this (somewhat 9/11-like tragic and disturbing event)--that hit the Washington, DC city and Capital Hill (the White House of the USA Government) on Jan. 6, 2021. 

The purpose of my short blogpost here is to put in my 'vote' for all of us to be very aware, smart, and fearless in our thoughts and imaginations about what happened that day (Jan. 6, 2021). I say this after my research on fear and fearlessness (and fearism [1]) for the last 25 years or so and how it is so important to not just fall into all the rhetoric, tropes and narratives being "spun" by all kinds of agendas, and politics, and extremisms. So, I call the Jan. 6 event an example (with more to come) of the organization and dynamics of how 'two sides danced' (i.e., opposites that have made an enemy out of each other for a long time)--to create this phenomenon now recorded in US history and recorded as a 'message' to EVERYONE--that, "Domestic Fearism" (my term for it)--is not going away (for it also has been a process, a phenomenon, boiling in the base of the mountain and awaiting to explode in the classic hurling lava of rage, fear, hate, call it what you will--violence, by any other name. The chaos and irrationality laying just below the surface. But wait... even I am susceptible to fall into easy narratives, I could even so easily pick sides in the "battle" on Capitol Hill (and, everywhere in America, at least)-- I too could fall into the fear-based 'design' of perception, thinking, valuing, worldview and rhetoric and actions of those all who are clearly upset by what happened that day--and, prior. 

This is all I'm going to write on this today, to just start FM ning members thinking about this all--and, the perennial problem in all forms of governance from the beginning of human history, you know I'm talking about when people don't get along--when conflict is part n' parcel of living in groups. Oh, but today, I trust we can be a lot more intelligent in figuring our way through this crisis of governance which this demonstration above truly shows--our failure in a lot of parts of governance. It is no one's (only one's) fault that any of this symptom exists and erupts--sure, some will be spear-head leaders but they are "not the problem" in the roots of the phenomenon, I will continue to call "Domestic Fearism" --a more nuanced and critical conception rather than calling it "Domestic Terrorism" as many (including Michael Moore, Marianne Williamson[2]) have already chosen to call it. Let's keep having a deep conversation on this, and preferrably from a fearlessness standpoint (rare and difficult as it may be to pull off)--rather, than the classic and habitual fear standpoint. Let's talk... 


I just made a video on Michael Moore's intense emergency raw talk on Jan. 6/21 events and what is following soon. You might want to watch this but I'd suggest do it with a friend, ally or group, as it can be quite terrifying and traumatic material. I am both supportive and critical of how Moore does this work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgP1aDxLeag


1. "Fearism" is my specialty and conception of choices (amongst other frames and terms and theories)--because I am convinced it will be emancipatory for all human beings (and yes, all citizens, and yes, all who are on either side of the current enemy-making that is actually 'storming the entire nation' --of America--but also around the world). There is a lot of writing on "fearism" and "philosophy of fearism" on the internet and on the FM ning (just do a search here on our FM ning front page for more info.). I am particularly pointing out in my title for this blog that of one expression of fearism that is--fearism-t which is the toxic form of "fearism" (as Desh Subba has coined)--see our book for more on this distinction: Fisher, R. M., & Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of Fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Xlibris. To be very short, "domestic fearism" is the best way to understand "domestic terrorism"--and, that applies as well to finding a better way to understand terrorism in general--as fearism is the underbelly, the more quiet and less dramatic dynamic and reality that is always going on in oppressive societies--building up suppression, repression and violence of many forms--all of which, when built up enough, some eruption will come from that fearism and 'blow' to become an obvious form of terrorism (e.g., like what was seen Jan. 6). If we only try to understand terrorism without fearism, that will lead inevitably to such a partial and distorted analysis of the problems going on and that of course will undermine finding a real set of solutions deeper below the surface where fear breeds--and, virtually everyone on this planet is (more or less) a contributor to the "manufacture of fear" (and, fearism-t). 

2. For more background on my interest and study of Williamson's work and her political ambitions etc., see my upcoming book soon off the press: The Marianne Williamson Presidential Phenomenon: Cultural (R)Evolution in Dangerous Times (New York: Peter Lang, 2020). 

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  • A colleague emailed me: "I am getting exponentially happier as the hour of Trump's exit approaches.  I have been listening to Brené Brown about the insurrection.  I like that she talks about how un-useful shaming is in dealing with the people who contributed and were instrumental in the insurrection.  She says what we need is accountability.  When we shame, we dehumanize, and that just leads to more violence, etc."   -KP

  •  Note: Mr. Kumar has also just written an article and published it in India on the issues of Jan. 6, 2021

    Your (Michael) note on Capitol Hill in FM Ning blog the other day prompted me to write a piece on the same issue by incorporating my response from fear - fearlessness perspective. The article appeared in today’s newspaper in Hyderabad and other Indian editions. 
    A fear perspective on Capitol Hill attack
    The 6th of January attack on Capitol Building in Washington D. C. reminds me of 2001 terrorist assault on Indian Parliament Building in New Delhi
  • I appreciate the unique and considered views of BMK here, and as he is a life-long police officer and leader within that profession, I think he has offered good thoughts and at the same time, I am always uncomfortable (theoretically, philosophically) with any view that posits prescriptive notions such as: "on instilling benign fear of law in the society besides keeping a check on irrational fearlessness in the citizens". I am all for prescriptions and diverse views. What I long for is theorizing and philosophizing that goes with them. It would take much longer to sort through BMK's views, and fortunately I have co-written with him before and have learned to trust his intention and wisdom. Which does not mean he and I see eye-to-eye on all things. We also come from very different cultural and educational backgrounds and life-experiences. That makes writing with him and listening to his views a good challenge for me. I hope they also challenge your views. 

    On a smaller technical (philosophical) note, is as I mentioned the idea of instilling in people (anyone really) a "benign fear" for the purposes of creating order, under some regime of 'normal' etc. This is always a slippery slope, and that notion in BMK's comment and I have seen it likewise repeatedly justified in the book I am finishing reading by other fearist thinkers (Adhikari, Kalu, Subba, 2020: "Eco-Fearism")--and, it is clear there are further clarifications required as both BMK says he asserts a "fearist perspective" and so do Adhikari, Kalu, Subba. I find problems in their thinking on some aspects, and what then is a "fearist perspective" that we can agree upon? Under what paradigm is such a construction elaborated on by such a perspective? I am not seeing a "fearlessness paradigm" as I have long articulated it, being fully-engaged; or perhaps even understood--or, maybe these fearists are choosing not to incorporate a "fearlessness paradigm" (at least, my own). If not, I'd like to know their rationale not to. Maybe, they prefer their own view of fearlessness, etc. 

    So, for any readers of this FM ning blog, you can see, there's still gaps and diversities of views on the most basic aspects of fear management/education, of fearism and the fearist perspective (lens), etc. So, I invite you all to use this forum site for just such open-sharing of views, all of which deserve to be heard. 

  • The Capitol Hill attack reminds me of Indian Parliament attack of 2001 in New Delhi. The main difference between the two events is that the culprits in the former incident are reportedly supporters of a political party and in the case of the latter, the attackers belonged to banned terrorist organisations. Another difference is that the Capitol Hill attackers stormed the building in public view as though they would not care about the law of the land whereas the terrorists entered the Indian Parliament building premises secretively in order to execute their diabolical plans. In both the instances, security forces were able to counter the nefarious efforts of the culprits successfully before more damage could take place. However, the biggest question that left every right thinking person perplexed is as to who else is secure if the highest governing institution in the country is not safe whether in US or India, the so-called largest democracies of the world. 
    I see that the occurrence at Capitol building is the outcome of failures on many fronts. The attackers failed to be responsible citizens by not taking recourse to innumerable avenues existing for venting their grievances peacefully. The political leaders at the level of mayor or senator or representative didn't seem to hold negotiations with the mobsters prior to the incident to cool down their rash temperaments. Police forces failed miserably not only in intelligence collection about the possible assembly of huge violent crowds but also in taking preventive action by invoking relevant legal provisions to thwart the thronging. 
    According to fearist perspective, it can be understood that the mobsters lacked benign fear towards law and custodians of law. Such questionable attitude is not the result of the day but of over a period of time when law was felt to be losing its grip over the society to keep it in order. One explanation could perhaps be attributed to habitual slack enforcement of regulations during the ongoing pandemic. It is perceptible that the attackers have not taken policemen's authority seriously while converging at Capitol Hill and subsequently storming, climbing and attacking the building and the people inside. That means they have developed a sort of reckless or irrational fearlessness towards law and law enforcement authorities. 
    This attack is a red alert for the US government to see that such grave eventualities should not recur in future. For that, the government needs to take immediate steps inter alia on instilling benign fear of law in the society besides keeping a check on irrational fearlessness in the citizens. 

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