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FEAR IS THE CAUSE OF MURDER, VIOLENCE AND WAR

          (Socrates seems to have spent most of his time in the agora, or marketplace, discussing all sorts of things.)                        

An interview conducted by a Nepalese journalist, Raj Sargam of the Nepal Time Magazine with Desh Subba, the founder of Fearism Movement.

Date: 1st September 2018,

Trans. by Desh Subba

Edited by Michael Bassey Eneyo 

Socrates ran Agora school [teaching in the market places].

Plato ran academy, while Aristotle ran Lyceum.

Philosophers from France and Germany ran schools in tea and coffee houses. 

Desh Subba is a poet, novelist and a philosopher from Nepal. He has been working on the development of "Philosophy of Fearism" for some years now. "The Tribesmen's Journey to Fearlessness" is his first Fearism-based novel. He is on the course of introducing Fearism [philosophy] through poem, drama and epic. In the interview published in Nepal Time Magazine, Raj Sargam began the interview by asking Desh Subba how Fearism as a school of thought can handle the problem of fear which seems to be fundamental to every life. Below is the interview. 

Raj: I know it is true that everybody has one kind of fear or the other. I equally believe that the young generations are suffering from depression. How does Fearism handle such problems?

Desh: Fear is natural to human beings. No matter our level of exposure, we cannot completely eliminate fear. Fearism as a movement is focusing on how human beings can understand fear more insightfully, how fear can be controlled, managed and applied for the good of human beings. We have read classical philosophies regarding states, citizens, capitalism, struggles, happiness and pleasure. If we should get to the root of all these philosophies, we will see that none of them has really emphasised on the importance of fear. We can take example from the "Ring of Gyges" mentioned in the Republic of Plato. This mythical and magical ring saves people from fear of being caught and punished when they do something wrong. But even at that, nobody actually acknowledged the importance or the role fear in the affairs of human beings. 

The entire world and its life can be looked at with the eyes of fear [Fearism lens]. It is not only the new generations that are suffering from fear; our ancestors were also suffering from it. Invention of stone weapons, dwelling in the cage and the worship of nature were parts of the witnesses to the influence of fear in the ancient period. We are in continuation of the same fearful influence. But today, it is manifesting in the mask of modernism. 

I have said elsewhere that each era is an era of extreme fear, because each era carries its optimum level of knowledge, rationality and invention which are motivated by fear. The difference between the past and the present level of fear is shown in different ways through which human beings have adopted in the attempts to better their lives. The ancient period was not such a competitive and a corporate society as it is today. In our present generation, we have witnessed so many competitions: among students, in the areas of sports, employment, acquisition of wealth, among peers, family members, colleagues in the office, market men/women, etc. There’re so much depressions today. Depression begins anytime we fail to achieve any of our expectations. When this is the case, all the experiences during these periods increase our fears. 

But then, depression is not limited to the scope of depression, it expands beyond. It creates more hazardous situations. I know people often mention sources of hazardous situations, but nobody seems to have mentioned fear as part of it. This may have been predicated on the fact that we didn’t have theory that can explain the workings of fear. After the development of Fearism Movement, Fearism traditions began to spring up. One of the Fearism dictums says: "Don't keep fear of competition an irrelevant prestige." Avoidance of unnecessary competition, desire and interest keep us safe from depression and mental sickness. So Fearism provide the methods that can help human beings handle the challenges of fear and depression. 

Raj: You are trying to establish Fearism with the help of Fearism Study Centre. What will be the role of Fearism activities in Nepalese’s literature?

Desh: In any serious philosophical movement, there is always a tradition of schooling. Socrates ran Agora school [teaching in the market places]. Plato ran academy, while Aristotle ran Lyceum. Philosophers from France and Germany ran schools in tea and coffee houses. 

When a person becomes famous in his philosophy, such philosophy will certainly convert into school. It is my belief that to establish Fearism, we need a school [i.e. we need fear education] and Fearism Study Centre is our school. 

Fearism Study Centre is not only domiciling in Nepal, it will soon kick start in Nigeria. It is going to be run by Nigerian philosopher Osinakachi Akuma Kalu and his friends Michael Eneyo, Augustus Chukwu and others who have shown commitment in Fearism Movement. It is still in its starting phase, it would be extended to other countries as time goes on. At present, R. Michael Fisher has founded The Fearology Institute in Canada which is an integral part of Fearism.

Nepalese’s literature is traditionally divided into group(ism) and not into the formal method of schooling. The formal pattern of schooling gives more knowledge. My ambition has been to take Fearism beyond the Nepalese’s traditional literary circle and that ambition is already yielding positive result as you can see. 

Raj: In following Fearism as your new discovered paradigm, are you not missing poem and novel writings?

Desh: yes! At the surface, I missed them, but in a more critical look, I am still doing them under Fearism [though in a subtle manner]. Literature has multiple genres, but Philosophy is above all literary genres. Story, poem, essay and epic cannot sustain for a long time if they are not rooted in a given philosophy. Writing or any form of theory can only be sustained if it is rooted in a strong philosophy. I have potentialities of many writing genres. But in the face of philosophy, other genres are dimmed. If one man has many genres, he will likely be addressed by the one he is noted to doing better and not by all the genres. Jean Paul Sartre had many writings, but people addressed him as a Philosopher. 

Raj: You used to say Fearism is isolated philosophy. How do you mean and to what extent is the influence of Fearism apart from in Nepal?

Desh: Actually, I don't have deeper understanding of this saying of Nepalese believers: "Dark underneath the lamp." Fearism to me is isolated philosophy in Nepal because we do not really have many philosophers here working to develop contemporary philosophies. Fearism Movement goes beyond our home philosophy which is embedded in our culture.  We often talked about culture at home, but our literature and philosophy are not separated from our culture. This makes it somewhat difficult to say that we have a philosophy of our own. It is not right to expect a highly philosophical culture in those countries where the culture of doing philosophy is not developed. 

Professors are in competition to be the first follower of western philosophy.

 They dream to be the first followers and never dreaming to be leaders of new ideas or philosophy.

Here in Nepal, we have less leading characters; we only have people with the mentality of wanting to be good followers. Professors are in competition to be the first follower of western philosophy.  They dream to be the first followers and never dreaming to be leaders of new ideas or philosophy. This is the reason I said Fearism is in far distance among professors and students of Nepal. 

Edward Said had opined: "Westerns have a capacity to define eastern." We imbibe the culture of followership; we follow the culture of the west. When they say, “You are stupid and arrogance” we nod our heads and answer 'yes'. This is a kind of slave mentality. Easterners have the habit of being happy in Western definitions to things. It is exclusively implemented in the philosophical minds of most Nepalese. This tendency discourages and disqualifies us from aspiring for leadership position in the global community. Today, Fearism is gradually becoming popular in some states of India and in Nigeria. These countries are trying to develop a culture of original definitions to life. This is the reason we can see many Nigerian Philosophers coming up with original ideas to the study of fear. 

Raj: There is increase of the numbers of murder, violence and rape in the society now. Can Philosophy of Fearism give explanation to this or not?

Desh: Violence, murder and war are caused by fear. Very rare may be resulted from other reasons, but fear is mostly the reason. After the murder comes more fear. The one that kills become afraid of the likely consequence of his action. Sometimes the impact of it extends like Pyramid and sometimes like rectangle. If somebody has fear of being killed by someone, and he decided to kill the person in order to eliminate his fear and become fearless. After killing the supposed source of fear [the person], he will discover that killing is never elimination of fear, rather, it ushered us into another domain of fear-the fear of the punishment for killing by the family and the society as stipulated by law. 

There are many of such people in the society. Thug, corruptor, liar, killer, raper, murderer and dishonest always feel the presence of surveillance cameras everywhere they go even when there is no such thing. The impact of fear depends on the gravity of the offence. Those who commit grievous sin always forget taste of food and sleep. They have the illusion of somebody following or talking about them. A particular fear can expand and become as big as the black sky. 

In Nepal and India, the numbers of murder and violence cases are increasing by the day. Less fear of law is the reason of it. In most cases, either the leaders are involved in the breaking of the law or they provide protection for those who break the law. Even the states seem not to adhere to the dictum of the law; this definitely increases murder, rape and violence cases in the land. 

This state of lawlessness depicts Thomas Hobbes’ State of Nature; where life was brutal, nasty and short. This is a kind of "Modern Wild Kingdom" where law is no longer regarded as a guide. This is the main problem I have seen about South Asia and Africa in recent times. When a given country or an individual begins to fear and have respect for law that is when a state can be said to be a lawful state. Then violence, murder and rape are likely to be swiped from such a state.

 

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Philosophy of Fear is indeed an emerging paradigm that is primarily concern with the holistic study of fear: Its positive and its negative natures. However, Michael Eneyo in his book titled: “Philosophy of Fear: A Move to Overcoming Negative Fear”, has justifiably turned his first book on fear into a compendium of facts about the real nature of fear: Its meaning, scope, and how it can be managed for the good of mankind. His elucidating approach to the study of fear and the stylistic coinage of words with ostensive applications of these words is appealing.

The author has brilliantly chaptered his book into nine with explicit topics and sub-topics; making the book an intro to the domain of fear, what he (as author) called ‘Fear Territory’. The chronological patterning of these chapters concomitantly with the flow of connecting ideas makes the book even more attractive and readable. Many wonderful concepts used by the author are broad enough to be branches in fear studies. Such words like: Fear territory, faculty of fear, fear conflict, history of fear, etc, are amongst the areas to be studied by all those who want to know more about fear.

The author addresses himself as ‘unificationist’ or a ‘complementarist’, terms analogous to a person who advocates for the unification and a complementary living among different beings. The author believes that with love and courage in the right directions, negative fear can be overcome. One of his interests in the book is to reconcile the different views of other fearologists regarding the nature of fear and its problem(s) by acknowledging every being and its opposite as having existential value.

As a priest who is vested in philosophy and theology, I have spotted the synergism of philosophy and theology in the author’s usage of the concept love, which he says is the ultimate motivator of human behaviours. I sincerely congratulate Michael Eneyo for this highly intellectual masterpiece and I urge all and sundry to grasp their copies.

Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Edem-Obong Eneyo
Parish priest, St. Peter’s parish Ediba Qua Town CRS
An author, novelist and inspirational preacher,
Chaplain CRS Government House,
Nigeria.

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Foreword

R. Michael Fisher, Ph.D.


Philosophy of Fear is a welcomed contribution to the world of theology, philosophy and any serious thinking about the nature and role of fear, love, courage and fearless action. Yes, other philosophers throughout time have taken on these subjects before. It is however, Eneyo’s relatively new angle on these topics that is exciting as an interpretive framing with a practical application of guidance for a very wide public readership.

I am especially honored to be asked to write a brief Foreword, and that that request comes from across the world in Nigeria, where Eneyo lives and writes. There is something happening in Nigeria around the topic of fear. Some months ago I was invited to write a similar brief contribution for a new book by Osinakachi Akuma Kalu, a young up and coming Nigerian fearologist.

Eneyo’s book is a gathering of a lot of years of experienced thinking and writing. His formal higher education in philosophy comes through on every page. Yet, he keeps the work readable and non-esoteric. Like Kalu’s work, he has been attracted to the new angle, new lens, that is emerging in the last few decades, where there is a fundamental shift in consciousness and perspective regarding the philosophy of fear. Both authors utilize Desh Subba’s discovery of a philosophy of fearism.

Subba is a poet, writer, and public intellectual born and raised in Nepal, now living in Hong Kong. There’s a curious close interconnection I have witnessed in Subba’s fearism conception that is appealing to the Nigerian thinkers on fear today—with Kalu and Eneyo, both Christian thinkers interestingly, taking on the leading work to develop their own interpretations of fearism, yet relying somewhat on the fearism declaration that fear is fundamental to all human behavior and because of that it ought to be given its own philosophical label—that is, fearism. If there is existentialism, or rationalism, why not fearism? That’s the direction Subba has led and several other thinkers are following.

For my part, as a seasoned scholar on the nature and role of fear, taking a transdisciplinary and internationalist perspective for three decades, I am also a ‘Westerner’ and white person born and raised in Canada, while having recently lived in the USA for nine years. I have a very different perspective on fear and its management and I have been exposed to much different literature on fear as well, different from my colleagues above. Although, we also have some overlaps. I truly have enjoyed their openness to connect with me and my work and I’m sure there will be more such collaborations in the near future.

Before I comment directly on some of the content of Eneyo’s first book on the topic of fear, I want to say that he is courageous to align his thinking with the wide-open territory of the philosophy of fear. I too have been interested in this topic and territory but it has not always been easy to tell who is researching and writing in this area of philosophy of fear. Some are doing so but have not named it as such, and others like the Norwegian philosopher Lars Svendsen have used “philosophy of fear” in a recent book title. Yet, only a rare few philosophers have ever focused on developing consistently a philosophy of fear per se. This is where Eneyo has stepped over the boundaries of traditional and incorporated the new fearism, producing his own version and branch, school, of a philosophy of fear. Truly, it is remarkable to me to finally see more authors taking up this topic seriously. It is long overdue. And, it intrigues me how the various schools of philosophy of fear(ism) will evolve in the future, and what kinds of critical and creative dialogues will be established between the schools. I suggest this international movement could produce some good results to help humanity and continue to drive the forces of what I have labeled the global historical Fearlessness Movement.

Now to Eneyo’s book specifically. Although I do not endorse all his perspectives on the topic of fear(ism), he has a sincere voice in this book which deserves attention from people from all walks of life. I see that broad scope to reach many readers as important to his cause, just as important as his core mission. He is out to teach two major things: (1) fear needs to be interpreted as equally positive as negatively and the same goes for love (I appreciate his articulation of how even love can be negative sometimes and we must be critical of invoking love in our discourses) and, (2) “... courage and [positive] love are the greatest weapons to be used to manipulate any aspect of fear [management] to our advantage...[in order] to make a fearful or fearless decision” (p. 115).

Ultimately, like other authors in the Western world of North America, Eneyo repeats the imperative that we ought to be more fear-positivists (that’s my own term), which is traceable to at least Aristotle’s philosophy as well and that the real moral issue for Aristotle, is that we ought not try to avoid being afraid but rather to be wise and courageous (if not loving, in the Christian humanist sense) so that we don’t end up fearing that which we ought not fear what “does not actually deserve our fear” (as Eneyo suggests, p. 115). I encourage Eneyo and others to examine my own critique as well of fear-positivists and their discourse, which I believe has a down-side as well as an up-side. Anyways, the bottom line of Eneyo’s or Aristotle’s teaching is that we see fear as something more complex and dynamic, and especially as it interrelates with courage and love. I am all for that complexification of our knowledge systems regarding these topics.

In closing, an intriguing concept Eneyo offers to the subfields of fearism and fearology is his concept of “fear territory” (pp. 31-32), which it seems he must be an original in coining the term. He defines this in the book, and it is worthy of more study as a useful concept, somewhat analogous but different from my own expansive notion of “fearuality” or others who have written about the “ecology of fear,” and “geography of fear” in the social and biological sciences literature. The fear territory offers a geographical and philosophical metaphor to fear study and thus identifies a domain of human experiencing as a unit of research and reflection where “our decision [re: our relationship to fear] during this period [and location] can be either negative or positive” (p. 32).

This is consistent with the Subbaian philosophy of fearism in general, because Eneyo posits that fear is just that important to all human behaviors and decisions behind them—meaning, fear is the ground/territory itself upon which humans think and act. In this expansive view, fear is a grand relational and rational territory. Such a notion ought to prevent us from forms of reductionism when thinking about fear—a reductionism common in contemporary psychology where fear is reduced to only neurobiological and chemical sources and dynamics. In my own work I have introduced the necessity of ‘fear’ (with ‘ marks) to show the term is under deconstruction and reconstruction. The trained theological and philosophical perspective of Eneyo is, like Aristotle was in his own day, sharp enough to avoid that reductionism.

However, neither Aristotle nor Eneyo has taken on the postmodern mantle and created a ‘fear’ studies project for analysis paralleling the study of a philosophy of fear(ism). Future developments in the philosophy of fear by Eneyo and others I am sure will eventually lay the ground for dialogues of premodernists, modernists, postmodernists and beyond—we’ll need all this rich holisitic-integral discourse I believe to better understand the phenomena under investigation—be that fear and/or ‘fear.’ I am pleased Eneyo has engaged in his book some of my philosophy of fearlessness as part of articulating his own approach.

So, I wish this new book by Eneyo to have its success, especially on his own continent Africa, and that we all will learn more about fear management based on the kinds of responses to his work over the years.

DR. R. MICHAEL FISHER 

FOUNDER, FEARLESSNESS MOVEMENT

Canada

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 The upcoming book Philosophy of Fear is a philosophical manual developed by me to aid human persons overcome the existential limitations imposed on humanity by fear. In this book, I recognizes two categories of fear: The positive and the negative and I blamed all forms of negative activities of human persons to negative fear, while I attributes all aspects of positive developments to positive fear.

The tenet of this book is that; there is fear everywhere and that this fear is fundamental to all beings. Hence, philosophy of fear as a philosophical school of thought, ought to be given its own seat in the educational environment with its unique brand name: "Philosophy of Fear" or "Fearism". As a book designed to investigate the nature, scope and the role of fear in human society, philosophy of fear is out to offer expanding opportunities to the study of fear and its related challenges.

In suggesting a workable methodology to the solution to fear problems, i adopted unification-complementary approach in advancing my philosophical arguments, where fear and fearless/courage (the opposites) are investigated in a unified and in a complementary manner in order to have a complete knowledge about fear. I am of the opinion that, unless opposites are  taken into consideration, enquiry is incomplete.

In making fearful/fearless decisions therefore, the book uses love-courage as a panacea for decision making within the framework of Fearism. In this expanding investigation, I incidentally ended up in place where all fearful things are found which I refered to as in this book, "Fear Territory". Thus, fear territory is an open ended research zone that can accommodate all fearologists or any body who wants to study fear.

Such words like: faculty of fear, fear coalition, fear conflicts, amalgamation of fear, fear climax, potentiality of fear, history of fear, negative fear expeller, etc, have been coined to demonstrate the workings and the operational patterns of fear.

The book is an interpretative, analytical, explanatory, logical and of course, philosophical guide to the intrigues of fear and how it can be overcome. I urge you all to be ready to grasp your copy.

Author: Michael Eneyo.

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Philosophy of Fearism Won Three American Awards

After receiving the awards Subba who was overwhelmed with joy exclaimed:

"I have received these awards as a sign of acceptance of the "Philosophy of Fearism" by the Western world and I am lucky".

Born in Dharan, Nepal, Desh Subba the author of the "Philosophy of Fearism" is a philosopher, a poet and a novelist. Due to his employment, Subba has been living in Hong Kong with his family for two decades now. His scholarly prowess became eminent when he began to advocate for the "Philosophy of Fearism" in Hong Kong. At the initial stage of his voyage, his intimate friends who were poets, authors and those with philosophical background mocked him when he talked about the concept of 'Fearism' with them. But Subba never gave up; rather, he persisted in his mission of making "Philosophy of Fearism" an emerging paradigm in the contemporary time. He continued engaging in writing, rewriting, describing and explaining his concept of fear continuously for 17 years.

"Philosophy of Fearism" was already popular in North East India having been presented by Subba at the International Conference in Dharan, Nepal, a conference which was attained by 55 International Scholars from North East India.

Subba's efforts began to yield good results, as he pushed his idea to the limelight by translating in English "Philosophy of Fearism" was published in July 2014. Xlibris publication introduced his philosophy to the international world and later Nepalese language published by Kitab Ghar Kathmandu Publication. His other book: "Philosophy of Fearism-First East West Dialogue," which he described as, "Western and Eastern lens" is coauthored by a Canadian Philosopher, R. Michael Fisher. Soon after the publication of "Philosophy of Fearism," there was an international book competition. Competitors were invited from all over the world, and all English books were eligible. Subba, a courageous author filled the form and registered to participate. At the end of the competition, "Philosophy of Fearism" emerged the winner. "Philosophy of Fearism" gained more popularity and international recognition after winning three International Awards from the United States of America (USA). Interestingly, Desh Subba has become the first Nepalese to have won this International Award(s) and he is among the few writers across the globe to have won two International Awards within two months (National Indie Excellence Award on 18th May 2015 and New York Book Fest Award on 11th June 2015). For the National Indie Excellence Award, a total of 1, 200 (one thousand two hundred) competitors participated, Subba's book emerged the best. After receiving the awards Subba who was overwhelmed with joy exclaimed: "I have received these awards as a sign of acceptance of the "Philosophy of Fearism" by the Western world and I am lucky".

These awards have helped in promoting 'Fearism', on this Subba said: "It is the best medium to take Nepalese books to international market". Today, many researchers, authors and students from all fields of studies are researching on Subba's works on 'Fearism' on the Internet. After the first three International Awards, Subba has won seven more awards in Philosophy, Non-fiction and Spirituality/Religion, making a total of 10 International awards: a height that is difficult to imagine.

The main theme of his philosophy is that: all aspects of life are controlled by an emerging pattern of fear. He continued that positive utilization gives success, progress, development, pleasure and peace. While negative utilization gives terror, violence, anarchy, dictatorship and corruption. Subba observed that in the ancient times, inventions and the use of weapons, dwelling in the cave and worshipping of natural gods were as the result of fear. Every invention Subba said has its motivation from fear. As of the time of the publication of the news on his award on "Philosophy of Fearism', SARS and Ebola viruses were spreading with their emerging kinds of fear. It was during this period also, that the agitation among the International Organizations for the need to control global warming which was perceived as a threat to entire human existential conditions was at its top of discussion. The tension posed by the global warming necessitated the international communities to work assiduously to contend. The motivating factor for these International responses is the fear of death and extinction. Thus, "Philosophy of Fearism" is an emerging paradigm for how the problems of fear characterizing every extent can be managed.

It was published in Kantipur daily news paper, Nepal 11 August, 2015, news by Pradeep Menyangbo, translated by Desh Subba and edited by author Michael Eneyo.

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"Psychology is how to struggle with it. Philosophy is always looking for an exit out of it." -Jon Amundson (psychotherapist) 

Dr. Jon Amundson

I just had to quote my fav psychotherapist from Calgary, AB. Long story of our connection. But when I saw this on his website tonight, it made me think of this as a traditional view where there is "problem" and psychology and psychologists help people struggle with it (pragmatically). Maybe there is some truth that philosophers and philosophy tend to be more about ideas and questions and offering better "exits" from problems. Though, that is all too stereotypic generalizing, and what strikes me is that the philosophy of fearism is anything but an exit per se but a way to engage the struggle with fear, and in fact is a philosophy all about fear in all its dimensions from genetic to biological to psychological to sociological to philosophical and even theological. The fearologist works with this philosophy of fearism as a basic guidance, at least that is the way Desh Subba (founder of philosopher of fearism) and myself envision the education, practice and development of the new fearologist of the 21st century--they are a hyrbid cross, both in the struggle with the Fear Problem and also looking for an exit (e.g., what "fearless" may mean)--but there is no separation or divorce of the two types of fearwork(ing)... they must be integrated all the way, and the very word "fearism" and "fearology" makes sure there is deep and wide investigation and struggle and working through all things to do with fear ... [just some thoughts for the night]... 

 

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Fearism in United Nations Workshop in Mukjar, Sudan

Officer Furgeli Sherpa, from Nepal here presenting.

"Fear Management & Fearism" program was held in UN Workshop, Mukjar, Sudan 8th February, 2018. Participants were 21 officers from 8 countries. Fear Management, introduction, rational of fear management, principal of fear management, tactics of fear management and more slides were presented by facilitator Furgeli Sherpa. Furgeli is a police Inspector of Nepal Police armed force. Currently he is in UN peace keeping force in Sudan, Africa. I personally salute him for his creative work. He is the first person who introduced Fearism in United Nations. I request dear friends to congratulation facilitator Mr. Sherpa who push Fearism in summit of world.

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I have just written and published Technical Paper No. 64, entitled "Fearism" as an analysis of the literature of scholars in global migration studies. Below is the Abstract for this technical article:

Abstract

 Although terrorism was coined in the French Revolution over 200 years ago, fearism has emerged in scholarly and popular culture in the past 25 years, articulating a new critical perspective on the nature and role of fear. This is the first review study of scholars using “fearism” overall but with a focus on uses and misuses within the fields of global Migration, Ethnic and Citizenship Studies (MECS). The 13 MECS’s publications reviewed, with the first use of fearism in 2009, indicate discourses conform closely, yet with differences which require conceptual and theoretical clarification. MEC’s discourses suggest we ought to think critically about fearism as a postmodern complex concept, phenomena, analytic framework, discourse, rhetoric, ideology, imaginary and matrix, with historical, traumatic, sociopolitical and cultural implications for migration problematics in the 21st century. Nearly 80% of the MECS’s authors, more or less, quoted and/or cited the same excerpt, that is, a 24-word definition of fearism (Fisher, 2006, 51). Unfortunately, the excerpt is a truncated definition, when the original definition is more complex and radical as contextualized by Fisher. This author recommends how to correct this truncated, often inaccurate, reading of Fisher’s original definition which MECS’s discourses tend to rely upon.  

  Keyword:  fearism, fear, fear management, hidden curriculum, migration

 

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I’m going to assemble for the moment several disparate threads, connecting and weaving them as a pattern, that are catching my attention very recently. The whole point is to share with you, and invite you more importantly, into a dialogue and future actions—which, are already arising quickly—in order to place fearism on the wave of a historical political moment we ought not ignore. It is both tragic as to what oppression is going on, especially in the global migration/displacement crisis, and exciting to make these connections from a fearist perspective in the sense of that from a view enlightened by the philosophy of fearism (Subba and Fisher). 

There are some radical movements happening in the world, many are called crises, many are just big problems, and some are called wicked problems. I have included many of these in my work and blogs over the past few years, but mostly in 2016 on the FM ning.

I have posted Photos on Anthropocene Fear, and an initial rough sketch of my vision for the Global Fearanalysis Institute, a conceptualization that emerged as a future focus in the summer of 2015. From current research I’m doing on uses of “fearism” as a term in the global migration studies scholarly literature, it is evident that in the summer of 2015, especially in Europe (with fast spread into North America), the news media and governments in the West were nearly all hyper-reactive in labeling a global “refugee crisis” (over 3000 refugees died or went missing trying to reach Europe in 2015 alone). Which was and is still is a crisis of fearism-t (fearism-toxic version) and its productions of a rancid xenophobia (fear of stranger; fear of the Other).

I have come to believe (or hypothesize) this postmodern global (Western) xenophobia was exactly the inadvertent but pivotal cause behind Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory in the USA. Now we have Trumpism ruling in a post-9/11 post-traumatic culture. Call it what you will, media, migrations, and borders of “in and out” driven by an imaginary, ideology and force of fear(ism) in its toxic version are part of the emboldened securitization and fortress mentality of Europe/America/Israel/UK and a whole lot of other countries—even some in Canada.

Then for the first time, a small but symbolic historical moment was made when the Nepali writer Desh Subba, founder of philosophy of fearism, and myself were invited to talk together at the Global Bhutanese Literary Organization “Grand International Creative Ceremony III” in Texas. It so happens that a vast majority of the artists and people attending are "refugees" to the USA from Bhutan and/or Nepal. I have written about this on a recent blog here on the FM ning as well. The term “global” keeps arising. All of the above, plus my last two working research contracts on Indigenous heart health and health policy discourses around the world, lead to an inevitable internationalist perspective in my own thinking and values, including my recent attendance at the speech of the out-going General Secretary of the UN, Ban Ki-moon in Carbondale, IL and his call for us becoming “global citizens.”

The newest research literature study I’ve undertaken on “fearism” uses in the academic world in Migration, Ethnic, Citizenship, and Deportation Studies (MECDS) is amazing to me. There is no other academic area/discipline/domain of studies anywhere that is consistently using “fearism” as a concept and tool of analysis for what is happening regarding what is overly-popularized (and over-simplified) as “refugee crisis.” And, I will say more, as a teaser, about what I am finding. If you want to quickly see for yourself, just go to Google Scholar, and then search “fearism” and see what you find—at least 10+ articles and/or book chapters in MECDS alone, and there are other uses outside that domain too. That’s just a beginning.

My task in taking on this latest research with intent to publish a journal article in this field for the first time [1], is to systematically study how “fearism” is being used, its history of use in MECDS and what are the discourse biases that exist—for example, how these authors are not using “fearism” the way I and/or Desh are. This whole area caught my attention a year or more ago when I found out that the group of researchers that were all using fearism were doing so based on my defining the term in Fisher (2006). Now, that’s why it caught my attention. But what I am finding is that since 2009 when it all got kick-started in academia (MECDS), no one is using a nuanced or even accurate definition as the source definition I gave in my article in 2006 [2], and have further developed since.

 Note, the basis of this new research, and what I see as a great opportunity to engage with scholars around the world in MECDS, is that my own theory of fearism-t, unique from Subba’s [3], is the ‘bridge’ that these folks are interested in. So, I say, let’s start with that and see how we can help the cause, reduce the suffering and influence political policies involving this entire global migration crises that will only increase as climate change and wars increase, as food shortages and poverty increase. The time has come to launch this global fearism-t analysis and fearanalysis in general. So, stay tuned.

 

End Notes

 1. The current working title for my article is “Fearism, Fortress Mentality and the Dialectic of Fearlessness in Global Migration Biopolitics of Fear.” I am going to likely submit it to Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies in the next while.

2. Fisher, R. M. (2006). Invoking 'Fear' Studies. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 22(4), 39-71.

3. In Chapter Four: Towards a Theory of Fearism (in Fisher & Subba, 2016), I wrote an updated version of Technical Paper #51 of the same title. I end that chapter four with the following which will explain the distinctions that need to be made when one is sorting out the similarities and differences in how Subba and I come to express a philosophy of fearism. I wrote, “Subba (2014) has by far developed ‘fearism’ in his own unique way, more from a Far Eastern perspective (Nepali), with its own style. His central framing is philosophical, with strong psychological aspects and some spiritual aspects. He has less depth of analysis in sociopolitical, cultural aspects that I would prefer added to his conception. Again, a philosophy of fearism is what it is, and can be a basis for a theory (or more specific theories) of fearism [e.g., my own fearism-t as I now label as my own “theory of fearism”]” (p. 123). See Fisher, R. M., & Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.

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Wit(h)nessing The Birth of a New Movement in the Contemporary Arts of the East

 It has been a fascinating role for me, a Westerner to witness the birthing of a new movement of thought and creativity coming out of the far East.

 Philosophy of Fearism, is an underlying meaning frame and philosophical stance on what can be called a literary phenomena or new movement, that of Fearism; they are two expressions, arising out of the literary community of Nepal since the late 1990s and starting to bloom rapidly in some far Eastern countries, especially N. India, in the early 21st century. Desh Subba, a Nepalese poet, fiction novelist, and budding philosopher, is one of the pioneer founders of this new movement, who authored its first major philosophical text. [1]  

 I (RMF) joined this new movement in 2014, as Desh and I were engaged in dialogue on email and were planning a co-authored book together [2]. Indirectly, on my own independent course of research, art, writing, education and philosophy of fearlessness, it seems I was beginning my own new movement of fearism but didn’t give it that name, rather I called it the fearlessness movement, which this ning is named after. This is why you’ll see often references from Desh Subba here, and other places in my work, because “two has become one.” One philosophy of fearism, as part of the fearism movement. At the same time, I have also been crafting my own unique way into this movement under integral philosophy (integralism) but that's another story [3].

 To help readers understand the context of a new movement in contemporary arts in the West, I looked up some information on a website below. At the end, of this list, I give my own version of Fearism, as I understand how it is operating and evolving in the far East; which, to note, no such collective movement is happening in the West (not yet). Desh recently published (August 21, 2016) on the FMning a list of 19 books based on fearism already published and/or coming out soon (most, not in English), as they range from poetry books to children’s stories, to fiction adult stories, and philosophical and literary criticism.   

 http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/lit/literaryterms/section5.php

 “Literature constantly evolves as new movements emerge to speak to the concerns of different groups of people and historical periods.” Of 30 or more movements, here are a few listed for the Western world:

 Postmodernism (c. 1945–present): A notoriously ambiguous term, especially as it refers to literature, postmodernism can be seen as a response to the elitism of high modernism as well as to the horrors of World War II. Postmodern literature is characterized by a disjointed, fragmented pastiche of high and low culture that reflects the absence of tradition and structure in a world driven by technology and consumerism. Julian Barnes, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, Salman Rushdie, and Kurt Vonnegut are among many who are considered postmodern authors.

 Romanticism (c. 1798–1832): A literary and artistic movement that reacted against the restraint and universalism of the Enlightenment. The Romantics celebrated spontaneity, imagination, subjectivity, and the purity of nature. Notable English Romantic writers include Jane Austen, William Blake, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth. Prominent figures in the American Romantic movement include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, William Cullen Bryant, and John Greenleaf Whittier.

 Surrealism (1920s–1930s): An avant-garde movement, based primarily in France, that sought to break down the boundaries between rational and irrational, conscious and unconscious, through a variety of literary and artistic experiments. The surrealist poets, such as André Breton and Paul Eluard, were not as successful as their artist counterparts, who included Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and René Magritte.

 Transcendentalism (c. 1835–1860): An American philosophical and spiritual movement, based in New England, that focused on the primacy of the individual conscience and rejected materialism in favor of closer communion with nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden are famous transcendentalist works.

 

Fearism (c. 1999-  ): A Nepalese literary and philosophical movement, based in the far East, that focuses on the primacy of fear in shaping human motivation and activities across all spheres of life; this movement has an underlying philosophy of fearism (e.g., Desh Subba’s work) which favors a positive role for fear, as well as a negative one; and, this teaching philosophy ought to be translated to all cultures around the world using all means from populist education to higher education. Desh Subba’s Philosophy of Fearism is one of the many texts that demonstrates the principles of this new movement.

End Notes:

1. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. [Trans. R. Subba and B. K. Rai]. Australia: Xlibris.

2. Fisher, R. M., and Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.

3. Like the other influential new movements (isms), Integralism is both ancient and new (with Ken Wilber being one of the most important new interpreters and leaders of this movement with his Integral Philosophy). This line of thought has not specifically been influential to Subba et al. in the East. I look forward to developing and sharing this in the future, and I did include it in Fisher and Subba (2016) at various points. Also, the integral perspective has heavily influenced my philosophy of fearlessness (i.e., fear management/education theory) see, Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world's fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear management/education for the 21st century. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

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How We Talk About Fear is Everything

I am taking a fearanalysis perspective to challenge the ways we talk (or write and teach) about fear. This is embedded in an underlying context of a philosophy of fearism (Subba, Fisher) and thus is more philosophical than psychological. I'm currently writing a journal article introducing fearanalysis as a critical methodology for cultural studies and education.[1]  A small section of the article lays out a minimum of nine precepts one would have to in whole or part agree with to begin a learning of the basics of fearanalysis. Of course, one may not be so willing to entertain these and argue against them. I would at least like a person to engage them seriously and enter dialogue around them with me and/or others, especially to engage those who claim to be fearanalysts (of which I am, unfortunately, at this time one of a rare few).

Let me give the first two precepts for fearanalysis I wrote down in the article and then enter a discussion, using an example I found recently on the Internet of a coaching practitioner talking about fear. It could be nearly anyone who might say this kind of thing about fear, and so I have no need to name them. I have seen this type of talk a  hundred times in my years of researching "discourses" on fear.[2] Again, I come with a specialized fearanalysis perspective to the topic of fear and how we talk about it, which is a scholarly and theoretical perspective, where understandably not all practitioners have that specialization or scholarly interest. Rightfully so, practitioners are hired for pragmatic tasks by clients and want to be "effective" at what they do. I love to work with practitioners, I too am one as well, and see if I can assist them to expand their practices and become more conscious of how they talk about fear. 

Two Precepts

At a minimum, in order to understand what fearanalysis is based on, the following nine precepts are core (not the only) foundations:

(a) avoid the habitual over-emphasis on discussion of fears (i.e., fear of x, y, z), phobias, etc. and conflating this knowledge with understanding the nature and role of fear itself and the even more complex conceptualization of fearism

(b) ensure multiple perspectives are examined on the topic fear, interdisciplinary, including populist accounts, but preferably transdisciplinary is useful

Two Examples of a discourse on fear that falls (somewhat) short of the criteria above. I quote from an Internet blog by a contemporary practitioner (coach/trainer):

1. "The sub-conscious mind is the home of those fears that are largely unconscious and which are driving up to 95% of our behavior. Trust me when I say that, after coaching hundreds of individuals, the fears are within all of us. I'm not good enough, I'm going to be found out, I don't fit in are just a few that simmer below the surface of our existence.... [and often, due to guilt, a cousin of fear, people would rather not face this truth] "I see it all the time, never more clearly than with 'spiritual' types... those who want to ignore or escape from the deepest shadows of fear by putting on a religious or spiritual facade. I understand. I, too, can adopt the facade. You see, it takes courage, tremendous courage to look at the fear. And then we discover that it truly is illusory." [bold added for emphasis]

[The above quote indicates the topic is circulating around the "sub-conscious mind" which is interrelated, rightfully so, to "the deepest shadows of fear" and yet instead of focusing on fear itself and a more complex conception of fearism, the primary text emphasis is on fears (fear of x, y, z) etc. What is most promising is the interest to explore the sub-conscious, unconscious realms of awareness and unawareness, which is where we will come to have to examine fear itself as the topic and begin to see that all our fears individually and collectively, are still "fears" and thus not all that useful, other than as surface symptoms, for understanding the dynamics of fear itself and fearism dynamics which are less visible and knowable at first but with good fearanalsyis (even psychoanalysis) can be revealed and be seen to be themselves symptoms of even greater unconscious realms of what I call the 'Fear' Project or 'Fear' Matrix, "culture of fear" etc. ]

2. "I 'get' what you mean about two different ways of using fearism [3]... at least I think I do. To use some cliche's, there are always two sides to a coin. Nothing is all good or all bad. No matter how you flip it, a pancake has two sides. (I can digress.) There are some fears that serve us in a healthy way; others are destructive. The most destructive are often buried deep within the subconscious mind, driving our behaviors despite our finest conscious intentions."

[The above quote indicates a reasonable first off-the-cuff interpretation of how Subba and I use fearism, however, it then slides into cliche's and that will in all likelihood lead to misinterpretation somewhat, as is the case above in its brevity of analogies. I am very familiar with the dialectic nature of the philosophies in Taoism and other nondual forms of thinking, yet, the common maneuver of a psychology of fear discourse is to quickly drop the philosophical part of the framing of fearism which is a good start of possibilities, then to reduce it to "fears" in making the analogy the author wishes to validate. This is chronically a problem I see where there is a categorical error enacted philosophically by taking a very complex construct "fearism" (in this case) and reducing it not only to "fear itself" (which would be less of an error) but then goes all the way down to the simplest construct of "fears." As I said before, nearly every book and article (almost) that talks about fear makes this same categorical error continuously. The error as well based on the two precepts above, is the beginning to talk about sub-conscious and unconscious shadows of fear, and yet the discourse stays within the dominating psychology of fear, and historical, cultural, political aspects (e.g., necessary in talking about fear itself and fearism) are left out. I believe all these tend to inhibit the full-potential of a good fearanalysis. Which is not to say the thinking and practice of such a practitioner and their discourse is unvaluable.]

A Take Away

When we talk about "fear" in any way, realize that when we do so in the public sphere (e.g., the Internet, a conversation, etc.), we are public and thus are engaging in what scholars today call a form of "public pedagogy." Typically, if not trained to thinking critically about our pedagogies, then we can spread knowledge very rapidly in the public and digital worlds without always thinking so carefully about what we are actually teaching and what that teaching (and its "discourses") are actually doing. For a fully ethical practice of public pedagogy, especially on the topic of fear, I propose that we begin to examine the problematic of switching categorical differences in knowledge about fear-- and the most basic way is to acknowledge the increasing complexity of holarchical order of constructs from fears to fear itself to fearism.[4]

Notes:

1. The journal article is entitled: "Invoking Fearanalysis: A New Methodology Applied to Wicked Problems and Paradigm Shifts in the Anthropocene."

2. "Discourse" is a particular complex construct used by academics in various ways, but it always more or less refers to the way people, organizations, etc. 'talk about' a topic and it can be thus analyzed as a pattern of communications based on a set of underlying assumptions and values, beliefs, worldviews and what are called historical and ideological discourse formations. Point is, we humans may think we are talking about our experience as if it is ours and we made it up entirely and are communicating it as if there are no influencing historical, political, and philosophical sources to the discourse formation. This has been shown to be a naive view of our selves and how we talk. Philosophers like Michel Foucault have well shown how discourses are knowledge-power entities (formations, patterns) that 'stick' together over time in cultures and are used by people to gain certain privilege and power in their knowledge assertions. Typically, they do not know they are carrying these (like memes), nor are we usually aware of how Discourses (with a capital 'D') actually are using us as their agents to pass on certain knowledge in certain ways. I have studied what is called a method of critical discourse analysis for many years now, and it tends to come into all my critiques.

3. This was a reply to my post on their blog about how Subba and I have two different ways of conceptualizing fearism (one more healthy, one not so because it is a pathology).

4. I would include my own notion of 'fear' in that spectrum of complexity between fear itself and fearism.

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Here's the cover image of the new book I just wrote (with Desh Subba)... soon to be published Jan. 1/16... keep checkin' in, as I'll write a few blogs about it... looking forward to engaging with you all on this new philosophy for the world... a world in the 'grip of fear.' (btw, I designed the cover with my art work from a 2007 art series I called "Emotospheres"...

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