philosophy of fearism (47)

I offer below an excerpt of a few pages from my new philosophy of education book [1]: 







Reference: Fisher, R. M. (2024). The Fear Problematique: Role of philosophy of education in speaking truths to powers in a culture of fear. IAP. 

To READ more on this new book, go to:

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12332596058?profile=RESIZE_400xJames Miceli, University of Massachusetts, USA

This article covers my interpretations of the author's work, and discusses the philosophical views presented in "Philosophy of Fearism," by Desh Subba, a Nepali philosopher, poet, and novelist based in Hong Kong.  "Philosophy of Fearism," aims to provide a practical means of examining our holistic responses to fear and encourages an independent exploration of fundamental questions about our perception of Fear.  The text addresses a wide range of topics and offers unique perspectives on the nature of the world, ultimately presenting our responses to Fear as something to view positively rather than something to run away from.

 Why do some words start with a capital letter? (i.e. Being, Fear..): This is a tool used by philosophers to let you know that they’re referring to the philosophical concept, rather than the surface layer material.  Fear (capital F) would refer to the concept Subba builds upon, whereas fear (lowercase f) indicates the typical use of a word in our everyday.

Key Points:

  • Subba’s novel viewpoint challenges common interpretations of Fear from around the world.
  • His work influences and includes international communities ranging from politics, philosophy, economics, and engineering, and he lives his philosophy by presenting new voices in philosophy and journalism and inviting open criticisms
  • Philosophy of Fearism is presented as a necessary factor for authentic existence, rather than something to run away from, and aims to inspect our existence without imposing meaning or feelings onto the subsequent description.
  • Subba’s work proposes a practical means for examining our embodied responses to various factors and platforming the ideas of those around him, rather than limiting perspectives to his merelyhis own.

About Me:

I am a fourth-year undergraduate student of Clinical Laboratory Science and Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth and Veteran of the U.S. Army.  This review attempts to explicate my personal interpretation of the ideas and discussions presented by Desh Subba to a broader, philosophically inclined audience.

“After all, my greatest pleasure comes from philosophical conversation, even if I’m only a listener...”

-Plato, Symposium


I recently finished the text ‘Philosophy of Fearism’ by Desh Subba, a Nepali philosopher, poet, and novelist currently living with his family in Hong Kong. Subba’s text echoes the early works of existentialist philosophers and journalists, and Subba’s theories are well known for their ability to influence scholars, journalists, and philosophers around the world. His text “Philosophy Of Fearism” (2014), uses its novel viewpoint as a way to challenge the readily available interpretations we’ve all run into on the internet, especially those of misunderstood or potentially undervalued thinkers. His ideas in this book reach into a broad range of topics including bipartisan politics, philosophy, economics, and engineering. His attempt to describe his unique viewpoint on the surrounding world offers novel philosophical perspectives on the nature of the world around us.

What’s the Gist?

While there's a comically large amount of truth to the idea that philosophy is the study of making more questions, the theme of my interpretation suggests that we “start at the very beginning", a very pleasant place to start.  Personally, I attempt to answer this question by showing how a word is used in order to better understand it, almost like rules to a game.

By describing fear as the underlying principle behind the coming-into-Being of all Beings-in-the-world, Subba proposes a way to view fear as a driving force, rather than something to run from. Philosophy, and phenomenology (referring to the phenomena of experience) in particular attempt to teach us how to inspect our own lives in an attempt to describe the fundamental experience of simply being present in the world in consideration of the human understanding that we exist to some degree as - as weird as it may sound - “bodies” in a specific location at a certain time, and how the variety in that experience can better inform our understanding of what it means to live a good life, particularly without imposing any meaning or feelings onto that description.

Fearism and Philosophy

Philosophy of Fearism is an attempt to identify fear as something “larger” yet still essentially contained within the self. In an attempt to isolate the essential features of psychological responses to various neurobiological, spiritual, and social factors, Subba offers a practical means for answering this question on our own, rather than limiting it to his own perspective, which is all too common in contemporary philosophical and academic discourse.  Consider Thales of Miletus, who "was made fun of by a playful Thracian serving - girl" while he was "gazing upwards while doing astronomy," and "made fun of him for being eager to know the things in the heavens, but failing to notice what was just behind him and right by his feet.((11A9) Plato, Theaetetus 174a)

“The story goes that when they were reproaching him for his poverty, supposing that philosophy is useless, he learned from his astronomy that the olive crop would be large. Then, while it was still winter, he obtained a little money and made deposits on all the olive presses both in Miletus and in Chios, and since no one bid against him, he rented them cheaply. When the time came, suddenly many requested the presses all at once, and he rented them out on whatever terms he wished, and so he made a great deal of money. In this way he proved that philosophers can easily be wealthy if they wish, but this is not what they are interested in.”

 ((11A10) Aristotle, Politics I.11 1259a9 - 18)

Whether or not this is literal advice or not is up for interpretation, but history would be hard-faced to put the Rockefellers on the other side of this argument.  Either way, I think that Subba’s view on Fear offers a fascinating view on our responses to things that cause Fear

For myself, Philosophy allows us to encounter and bridge the gap between new and old things alike, and explain our subjective experiences in a way that lets us play life as a metaphorical “tetris” rather than “jenga” - which is to say we should see the new ‘blocks’ we encounter as opportunities to find a perfect spot for them on non - specific principle, rather than the inherited and out of style of trying to leave the bare minimum by taking away from another. In this way, we can begin to see our mistakes as opportunities for growth rather than things to be fearful of.

When things we feel ashamed of can no longer gain control over us, we start to feel realize that it’s all kind of silly when we use them as authentic opportunities to make the cracks in our art into something beautiful, similar to the Japanese concept of Kintsugi mentioned (between the lines) by American Philosopher Elizabeth Woolridge-Grant.

Philosophy of Fearism:

Since Heraclitus, we've known that change is constant (through his logos) If it’s true that we can’t step foot in the same river twice, why do we continue to use old terms for new rivers?

“It is not possible to step twice into the same river. . . . It scatters and again comes together, and approaches and recedes.”

 ((B91) Plutarch, On the E at Delphi 392b)

 “We step into and we do not step into the same rivers. We are and we are not.” ((B49a) Heraclitus Homericus, Homeric Questions)

Why should you stick with Hegel if Foucault suits you better? In Nietzschean terms, Subba takes the view that not every scale on the dragon “thou shalt” has to be rejected, just self - inspected.  Subba’s philosophy presents the idea that we can use Fear to better diagnose our collective but independent senses of authentic Being-in-the-world. To Subba, we are able to overcome our response to fear when we are able to help others create their own sense of purpose - else one risks repaying their teacher poorly. (Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra)

Fearism hopes to provide a philosophy that informs us that we are best able to realize our transcendence when the veils of Maya are lifted, and we reason the shadows on the wall cast by pure facts and logic as that of Socrates, rather than the reality that it’s Euthyphro playing Nero’s fiddle. From this newer, more ontological perspective on fear, Subba highlights why we as humans have good reason to be cognizant of the impact that failing to adopt more actionable, humanitarian viewpoints on topics like better living conditions or transportation options, climate change and gender inequality would have on our flourishing.

There’s a reason all roads lead to Rome, and that very analytic circle on the Aristotelian Wheel of Logic is largely attributed to Gaius Octavion, whose successes in establishing a long - lasting empire were largely derived out of his early interchange of culture both into and out of his city. If we want to overcome Fear in our lives, we can also look to Viktor Frankl, for example, who proposes the idea that happiness can only “fall into your lap” as a product of something else, it cannot be acquired as an end in itself. Thus, the pursuit of a personal relation to the world is the pursuit of happiness, and seeing fear as inhibitory impedes on that fundamental and unique ability.

 When we instead view Fear as an opportunity to grow, or as a chance to find a place for something new to belong rather than trying to break it, we untether ourselves from the Heideggerian tendency to establish a norm or a “way one does things” based on social structures and based more on an authentic sense of Being-in-the-world that protects not only ourselves, but those around us and within our community. If we want to flourish, not just survive, we have to consider how we treat not only the people that look and act like us, but also create a means for new life and expression to reveal itself to us through the environment around us, which cannot happen if we continue to destroy our planet for temporary gains. Instead, for Subba, the actual way we turn Fear into fearful responses (i.e. so called Gestalt Principles) is something we, at least in part, learn from those around us, and the same is true for our own perception of others. Fearful responses prevent us from seeing our own futures as beautiful and/or worthy of hope or love, so we fail to understand the beauty of things that may be shown to us in new ways.

In what Subba refers to as the “village times”, for example, "seidr" in roman, viking, and pagan religious/shamanic practices would be seen as extremely feminine and shameful for men to practice because it encouraged them to dress up in women’s clothing, even despite the cultural tendency to regularly seek the advice of women in all matters, as documented by Tacitus in Germania, or MPs ‘I’m a Lumberjack’.

Rather than embracing our neighbors in times of change, we too often impose a belief that we cannot work together with our environment or ‘biosphere’ because of perceived differences of those around us, thereby adopting western beliefs in place of longer - lasting concepts like paramatma. We can look to historical figures that challenged these overly violent hero-figures as far back as Hildebrandslied, who fails to grasp the message from his elders that violence does not solve problems, which underlies german culture to this day, shown even through Nietzsche and Goethe, who clearly reaped the benefits of a more appropriate understanding of how we encounter fear.  In Will to Power, for example, Nietzsche writes:

“300. (Spring - Fall 1887) Suppressed and effaced heresy in morality.

 ---- Concepts:

  • Paganism
  • master morality
  • Virtue.

The abandonment of what was seen as “ugly pagan” interpretations of the world was vital in establishing the master - slave morality that Nietzsche associated with the European domination over Europe following the gross and despicable misuse of his and his sisters work by the Nazi party.

Goethe elaborates sightly more on the topic than the posthumously archived WIll to Power that Nietzsche’s sister frantically gathered and attempted to organize from the hoards of notebooks of an increasingly maddening Friedrich, instead expressing these ideas with a bit more prose:

"You are perplexed, my love, by this thousandfold mixed profusion, Flowering tumultuously everywhere over the garden grounds;

So many names you are hearing, but one suppresses another, Echoing barbarously the sound makes in the ear.

Each of their shapes is alike, yet none resembles the other, Thus the whole of the choir points to a secret law,

Points to a holy puzzle. I wish, lovely friend, that I were able to Happily hand you at once the disentangling word!— "

The Metamorphosis of the Plants

The Roman Elegies, for example, likely present an example of what awaits those who are willing to adopt and platform the more “feminine” perspectives Goethe found so abundant in Palermo (where, of note, rules on who could play what roles were much more loosely defined & subsequently outperformed the limited Shakespearean casting of Britain’s culture).  This applies to Subba’s concept of Linguistic survival, commenting on our desire to create sentences or phrases that will always be remembered perfectly as a way to ensure we are remembered. In general, we want to ensure we are remembered, but Subba encourages us to ask how often we find ourselves doing the same for others.

When Elisabeth and Friedrich Nietzsche discuss for what is now translated as a 'revaluation of all morals', for example, they don’t advocate for anarchy or violence, as this would cause us to choose what we are told rather than what is right, not only what is pious - and that (to me) is to love and care for the people around you, and to do your best to lend a hand to others where you can. Similarly, Subba uses Fear as a way to show that there's nothing inherently wrong with complying in society, and encourages us to pursue a sort of "eustress" vs "distress".

All too often, we prevent others from sharing new perspectives or ideas because we fail to consider them as having something to offer in the first place. This problem was easily solved in ‘village times’ where new perspectives were vital and brought great potential to the people, who readily worked to understand them.

My Interpretation

Subba uses this writing as a socratic investigation of the nature of our experience of fear, showing that actions we take during “fight or flight” responses are not always reflective of our essence as humans. The validity of Subba's arguments are reflected by Republic, for example, which shows that Thrasymachus major failure was that he lacked the self - reflective capacity to accept that other people may have equally valid but different fundamental unique experiences within the same world.

Subba’s view suggests that we consciously adjust our response to Fear through careful self - examination, enabling us to increase our potential for realizing the alleged Nietzschean ubermensch - after all, the Last Man is most often the one pulled from the herd. (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)

According to Subba’s philosophy, consciousness lets us select certain things out of the foreground that have to be reached out into, rather than leaving the human experience up to symbols pasted onto background states, waiting to be recognized.

Subba writes that, although we associate some things we encounter in our life - like animals or weapons as causative agents of fear, fearfulness, in reality, arises out of an error in our own ability to comprehend new concepts, for which we feel reflects on our sense of competency in society. The reason someone purchases them, in my experience, is because they are afraid of his own weakness and thereby attempts to respond by inducing fear without cause, which, in reality, is just anxiety (according to Heidegger). The way we turn Fear into fearful responses (i.e. so called Gestalt Principles) is something we, at least in large part, learn from those around us, and the same is true for our perception onto others.  When we act in ways that cause harm to others or ours, be it actively or passively, we isolate ourselves by encouraging fear in place of discussion.  The risk we run into is the exclusion of many perspectives that, at a minimum, are worthy of consideration.


Overly Fearful responses prevent us from seeing new things or ideas as beautiful and potentially worthy of consideration, preventing us from seeing the world authentically and developing a personal relation with an environment that encourages the growth of all life forms. We prevent the development of not just others but also ourselves when we shame or “other” the people around us who are attempting to learn or reintegrate into society by inserting their own sense of “how one does things” onto another's, thereby treading on their autonomy. Similarly, Sun Tzu might highlight the power in keeping people from investigating their own personal forms or identities. Marcus Aurelius also writes that “the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” For Subba, we should consider the view of Fear as a source of color in the life project of becoming the "purple thread in the long white toga." (Epictetus).

It is one thing to overcome yourself, but can you help others overcome theirs, even if it causes Fear?

For more information on his philosophy, Subba’s other works, such as Trans - Philosophism (2021) and Fearmorphosis (2023) which discuss these ideas further, and highlight the need for contribution from post WWII - era existential phenomenological perspectives, especially those wishing to study complex and challenging topics like embodiment and free will. As always, Philosophy is - to me - a home for discussion about anything and everything, and phenomenology is a field which seeks to understand and preserve the viewpoints and perspectives of others and ourselves in the most genuine ways possible; Subba’s work highlights the value in learning from, rather than simply ignoring or rejecting, the philosophical mockingbird that is Fear.

[James Micell Published this article on his Linked In page. He permitted to republish her on the Fearlessness Movement ning -DS].

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Philosophy of Fearism or FEARISM philosophy, whatever way one constructs these, is a historical (potentially grand and radical) turn in philosophy, and like many other turns before it, there needs to be serious investigation into this turn and its reasons for wanting to make a turn in the way philosophy itself is perceived, constructed, and operates. Any top-notch political movements would do well to be informed by fearism philosophy.  -rmf


I often encourage folks to study fear(lessness) with expanded imaginaries rather than old school only ideas and imagination. I ask the learners be open and curious. Lurking amongst the history of ideas about fear are limitations as well as the benefits of careful study. However, in the late 20th century, a new turn had occurred with the emergence of two concepts "fearism" (Fisher) and "philosophy of fearism" (Subba). This blog will not cover that history of new thinking on the topic as there are lots of resources now published to do so [1]. But if you were around in the 1990s, for e.g., there was no way to study fear that truly provided a new philosophy of fear at the same time. 

Okay, enough on the history of ideas and their politics. Let me now turn to the subject of this blogpost, which spun from my watching last night the fascinating historical/drama film by Raoul Peck (2017) The Young Karl Marx. Without resorting to a marxophobic reaction as so many do in the West (especially N. A.) and around the world with fears of socialism and communism, let's back off that fear-based move and keep open and curious, and let the criticism fly later. My colleagues and I are promoting fearism not Marxism per se. 

Peck's film relates to my wanting to talk to Feurbach's philosophical turn in the mid-19th century that Marx and Engels fed from as young revolutionaries in Europe and Britain. It relates indirectly to my desire to elaborate a simple summary purpose of philosophy of fearism and clarify for readers why is this an important history of ideas to name fear(ism) as a philosophical base and movement itself. But before I dive into Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach(1804-72) and his great influence on W. thinkers like Darwin, Marx, Freud, Engels, Wagner and Nietzsche, for examples, let me say a bit more about the Peck film and my attraction. 

I am attracted to any teachings that helps one understand the status quo and its oppositions, the latter being ideas, discourses, and/or movements that challenge and critique the mainstream (sometimes called the Old World view). We see a young 20's something Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels meeting and building a manifesto to challenge the Old World (largely unjust) ways of doing economics and labor relations. A good movie review (Arnoff, 2018) says this is the film the younger generations have been waiting for, those who are tired of the only two alternatives battling under Capitalism vs. Communism. No, there is a third way, called Socialism.

The young Marx was a leading ground philosopher and Engels a sound boots-on-the-ground scientific-empirical thinker of socialism, who saw what was needed to reform labor relations (i.e., classism). That's a great thing in the history of ideas and movements for positive change--in fighting oppression. And the film shows how brash the young philosophers were and the risks they took for what they believed in. The Young Karl Marx is entertaining too but it is "a theory laden movie" an "ideological coming-of-age story" [2]. It depicts some of the real strengths and flaws of revolutionaries and philosophers. It shows that all philosophers also have their politics and there is plenty of clashing. The young brash Marx is obnoxious and angry and determined. His flaws showed and it was clear he needed mediated help from allies like his Jenny and Engels and many others. It takes a community to change the world --to bring about revolution. Clearly, Marx and Engels failed overall, as have many other philosophers to bring about the change they wanted--that is, their ideals. Although, for sure, arguably, much good did change because of these thinkers and those around them that they drew upon, like the ideas of Feuerback and Proudhorn, for examples. 

What was Marx's main complaint? There are many things he critiqued of the status quo, but I'll stay in this blogpost with the philosophical ones, and relate those to Feuerbach's critique and then finally to the philosophy of fearism critique today. 

Understanding Feuerbach's Radical Descent and Philosophical Turn 

First, I admit I have not read Marx and Engels and Feuerbach, other than those mostly who have written about them. I have drawn often on philosopher Ken Wilber to understand these thinkers and their movements they produced in the history of philosophy and in the evolution of consciousness itself--the latter is my most interest. Ultimately, as a fearist thinker myself, I want to know the intimate link between consciousness and fear. I'll return to that later. 

Secondly, I am not for or against Marxism, or Communism or Socialism. I am curious what each of these ideological movements, sets of ideas and their leaders have to offer for a better (less oppressed) humanity--and, that ultimately would be a way to lead the world be be more sane, ecologically sustainable and a healthy place to raise children. 

Thirdly, I am not an ideologue per se, in that I am pushing any "ism" and think all other forms of thought (and isms) are crap. Such exclusionist and reductive (and highly political) thinking doesn't make for good philosophy. Now, I am not a professional philosopher either, and I am want to critique philosophy and even poke fun at it, as we see in the young brash Karl Marx. 

Fourthly, let me say in summary in my own words, without a lot of research on Feuerbach, what I think was happening in these 19th century revolutionary storms of ideas, ideologies, critiques and new offerings of how to live more justly and fair. I simply, woke up this morning, after watching the movie last night, and in my hypnopompic state and darkness of the bed, I am starting to link things. I know Desh Subba has written a lot in the past few years on his fearism critique of Marxism, etc. This is all lingering in the back of my mind. I want to explain what Subba is doing with his version of fearist thinking and some of my own thoughts. So, begin, I say, and write something to start it off here, and the FM ning is as good a place as any to jot down these notes. The largest power in philosophy of the early to mid-19th century seemed to be Hegelian thought. It was Idealistic. It was stunning in depth and scope, but it lacked a practical empirical substantiation. Feuerbach, then Marx (amongst others) were looking for the strengths and fault-lines in Idealism [3] as a way to bring about any real revolution in society, and their criticism was aimed at Hegel and philosophical academicians and at the pompous "young Hegelians" in politics as well. So, Marx and Engels led a socialist attack on "abstraction" (and Hegelian thought and political spin from it). Marx was looking for ideas to turn around Hegelian philosophy in politics and economics. He later would call this class-critique and critique of oppression in general. But before that, I want to focus on the historical evolution of the ideas of criticism that the young Marx was propagating so passionately. So, let me turn to some expertise knowledge beyond my own, from scholars like Wilber and Collins [4], as starters. 

Collins (1998) a sociologist, and a conflict theorist of my own persuasion, is also a great historian of sociology. He has put his scholarship into studying global philosophies and their players and movements as a dynamic network of patterns of power, well worth understanding. Ideas-people-places-power flows are all important in this socioecology of philosophy. So, what does Collins offer us in understanding the core of mid-19th century Europe and the philosophical (political) turn going on and Feuerbach's location in it? In very brief, Collins noted in Germany history of thought and philosophical circles, several networks were going on, and by 1837-42 the "left-Hegelians" were following Feuerbach's philosophical critique mainly [5]. These were more "coffeehouse" like circles and less academicians centered in universities, while basically, they would not last long and German philosophy would move into the academy thereafter. The young Marx and Engels were part of the Feuerbach leftist socialist wing but eventually left it in developming their own critique. A big part of that critique, still following Feuerbach's critique of Hegelianism overall, was to move to a more materialism and secularism in their foundational philosophy--turning spiritual Hegel on his head, as it is often said by historians. They claimed Hegel has it all wrong, and that material was ultimately real, in opposition to Hegel's metaphyics of spiritual is ultimately real. Hegel's philosophy and its new spins could never, for Feuerbach and Marx be a foundation for a just society of labor relations and basic humanist values in the economic sphere of survival. Hegel was philosophy for the bourgeois (elites). 

Feuerbach criticized religion (Christianity) and broke with tradition and Hegelian sympathy for Christianity. "After Hegel's death came Feuerbach and Marx" (and others) [6] to dominate the intellectual waves of thought in philosophy and politics. The Battle of Sense and Soul (Material and Spiritual) (Descenders and Ascenders) continued at this time in history (and it still does). Feuerbach (then Marx) were fighting back to ground philosophy in the sense-world, anti-metaphysical, anti-abstract, anti-elitist. Wilber (1996), wrote, "There is a famous phrase, that after Hegel everybody was saying 'back to Kant!' [i.e., rationality and its grounding in the senses, and empiricism]" [7]. Wilber summarizes: "The collapse of Idealism left the Descenders [materialists] virtually unchallenged as the holders and molders of modernity....the Idealist current was snapped up by the industrial grid and converted, via Feuerbach and Marx, into a strongly materialistic and 'naturalistic' conception. It's almost impossible to escape the modern Descended grid, and after absolutely heroic attempts by the Idealists, they were hounded out of town by the troglodytes. And so Feuerbach, a student of Hegel, would soon announce that any sort of Ascent, was simply a projection of men and women's human potentials onto an 'other world' of wholly imaginative [false] origin. And, according to Feuerbach, it is exactly this ['fear'] projection of human potential onto a 'divine' sphere that cripples men and women and is the true cause of self-alienation" [8]--and, concomitantly, such 'fear' projection as I call it and existentialists like Becker would call it immortality projection, there is a weakening and vulnerability created to exploit that alienated and wish-filled man by the world of the senses-material and economic exploitation. "Get real!" is the Descender-call, the Feuerbach-Marxist charge here. Then, they argue, we can resist and avoid exploitation of workers and the poor, by those who would seduce us into being 'slaves' (labor) for this so-called higher divine spiritual end, of which the elites propogate as ideology in the name of the bourgeois church, state, and corporations. Real empowerment was grassroots, secularist, modernist, and a Descender movement in consciousness itself. 

Wilber (1995), a 'neo-Hegelian' of sorts (but an integralist philosopher), today argues, we humans of the West especially, have not recovered yet from this massive philosophical turn and 'blow' (collapse) of the Kosmos into the materialist explanation for everything--a worldview of only the seeable and matter-based substance is real [9]. Engels would pen, "nothing exists" apart from nature and human beings....The enthusiasm was general; we were all for the moment followers of Feuerbach." Wilber laments, "And the entire modern and postmodern world is, in effect, the followers of Feuerbach" [10]. The larger philosophical question for our time is: What impact on consciousness itself is such a Descender victory?" It has big problems, so Wilber and I argue. 

'Fear' Projection and It's Mighty Problems

Feuerbach then was a philosopher of mighty insight and leadership capability obviously. Marx took it further, and others have taken it further too. This is nothing to dismiss too easily as nonsense. What intrigues me as Wilber analyzes the Feuerbachian (r)evolution of thought, he points out the critique of the materialists toward the spiriitualists (or at least the idealists), is that the latter are projecting ideals for human beings (i.e., their higher human potential and empowerment) onto the divine fantasies and constructions and dogmas around them (e.g., religion). "Projection" is a powerful psychological term, and it is argued by many (including myself) as a fear-projection (or 'fear' projection, as I prefer)--by which a certain inferiority complex in the human is projecting onto the immortal and trying to find a "fearless" representation of identity to attach to to make them feel better (be less fearful of mortality), etc. This complex projection phenomenon, driven by fear-based thought is pathological. Wilber sees this too, as do I. But the materialist philosophies were also trying to point this out and correct it with their own cura philosophy of the time (e.g., secular materialist, and humanist, modernist). Fine. But they could not see their own fatal flaw in the materialist (Feuerbachian factor) turn. That's the point of an integralist critique (a la Wilber), which I prefer, and going beyond that it is my contention that the very ones critiquing the spiritualist philosophies had their own fear-based agenda and ideology as in their form of rejection and criticism. They would not turn that projection critique on their own positionality, and philosophies and politics--that is, on their own self-alienation and diminishment of consciousness itself. Wilber (1995, 1996), for example, tells this story of the unfortunate binary of Ascenders-Descenders, in what is a compelling philosophical story and critique. I recommend you read his lengthy analysis. But yes, Wilber agrees, fear-based projections are on both sides of this battle for reality, and Ascenders only are just as bad as Descenders only. That's the point. It creates massive pathologies at all levels of society and the world and a lot of toxic destruction has shown itself because of the failures of modernity and postmodernity (post-Feuerbachian factor). 

So, along comes this late 20th century, early 21st century new fearism philosophy (a la Fisher-Subba) as another corrective to the Feuerbachian corrective--and, a new battle for philosophy and politics, and how to best live generally, is underway. History of philosophy is like that. History of ideas is not static. And, fearism presents new ideas (and old) and offers up a new menu of choices. At least, that's the argument I wish to remind readers of. Check it out yourself. 

What fearism offers is a re-visioning of what is the basis of existence, and it concludes "fear" is the basis, and it precedes essence and all else that is real. With that, there is no need to be depressed about it. For "fear" in the fearism lens, from the fearist perspective, is not merely negative, not merely an emotion or feeling or defense. And, from there a new story of human potential and corrective to the pathologies of history and philosophy are ready to take shape. But, will it ever get off the ground? Will it every be applied in important places of society? We don't know that yet. The Fearism movement (like Fearlessness Movement) are very nascent, at least, in their current forms. I have always argued, however, that fear(lessness) is foundational to life and evolution. They are ancient forces and intelligences waiting to be tapped by us. We still have to wake up to this potential, and I believe (like Subba, and some others) "fear" is a great channel for this awakening, for this paradigm shift and new philosophy.  


End Notes

1. E.g., see Fisher, R. M., and Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Xlibris; and Fisher, R. M. (2022). Philosophy of fearism: A primer. Xlibris. 

2. See Arnoff, K. (2018). The Young Karl Marx: A film whose time has come. The Intercept.

3. Keep in mind that intellectuals, E. and W. at this time, says Collins, "were cosmopolitans" and globalist and more universalist in outlook and philosophies and "Idealism is cosmopolitanism in religion; it is religious thought argued out independently of dogma and tradition. That is why Idealism everywhere is the favored philosophy in the transitional generation of secularizing reformers" (p. 686). 

4. Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, ecology and spirituality: The spirit of evolution (Vol. 1). Shambhala; Collins, R. (1998). The sociology of philosophies: A global theory of intellectual change. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 

5. Collins (1998), pp. 530-1. 

6. Ibid., p. 686. 

7. Wilber, K. (1996). A brief history of everything. Shambhala, p. 282. 

8. Ibid., p. 283. 

9. Wilber (1995). 

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A Review Of Desh Subba's Fearism



A Review of Mr. Desh Subba's work by Abdullateef Sadiq, Theoretician and Generalist Writer, Nigeria

Let's begin with a story.

A king sent for a Man who he heard feared no one. Well, the king hearing that, although he has won many battles and made waste to land inhumanly, killed people and slaves and closed ones without second thought. The king summoned him immediately. Having on the top of his fence, heads of conquered kings and great rebels as trophies, with their wives as his concubines. Firstly, the king tries to confirm if the man knew what he has done by asking the man that fears nothing (let's call him F) if he knew him, the terrible king and all the stories of his ruthless and blood thirsty nature.

Mr F said, 'yes of course, I know you and heard all about you, and so what? You only conquered lands for fear that other kings might dominate you, or we might see you as inferior, or that according to the tradition of kingship and it's mythology, a display of brutality and war must satisfy the myth and unconscious forces of our custom and traditions. Also my lord, your imagination also is your master, and if it means by filling up a large field with human heads to prove over your inferiority complex of your personality type, you would do so. My lord, all these, you do, because of the system and instincts of fear revolving around your present life progress and spiritual station. If your position torments you, then your fears and it's expression by the super ego or ambition are your persona in this throne which it might not be your cosmic harmony.'

But the king, fearing more that someone knew something he never wished anyone knew. That someone knew his fear. A personal issue and subjective. But not yet. An objective and social issue lies also. " If People knew that the King wasn't feared, so they too were afraid that if that is so, their whole world view was a lie".

But the king, must satisfy his inner peace to still be the king. He had to prove to himself that all creatures feared him. He inquired if Mr F had a family or friend or loved one. They said no. So next was torture and starvation. But the man proved to enjoy pain, and welcomed the will to death, so even hunger was something he welcomed. His hands were cut, but he had nothing to lose. He had a disorder which made him feel no pain. The king was in fear, for even if he banished him out of existence the fact already existed that someone never feared him. The king committed suicide, because he was afraid to live life as such with such a fact. The king wasn't FEARLESS.

Here below are some remarks I made.

Now, I Present my Reflections on Mr Desh Subba's book on the 'Philosophy of Fearism" (Abdullateef Sadiq, Theoretician and Generalist Writer, Nigeria)

1. It's is, to use an institutional metaphor, an anthropology of the various human conditions and how they act and react to them that arouse fear. Sure, I skipped other early chapters because I belief we know the basics. The hierarchy and systems of schema such as an organization, the relationship of the mind to objects and realities that have an affect hold on him resulting to fear. They having the "appearance" based in the evolutionary epoch, mode of living (or production in Marxist terms) and culture of religion, philosophy, civilization (science, art and technology).......all masking the various modes of fear. But at the end, you tend to make a classification of fear. The dispensable, the gradation (minimum or maximum) and the one that perhaps seems to be innate (such as sickness, death, overwhelming of cosmic force and uncertainty of time).


"if you really want to make a field or a discipline of "Fearism" you would need to systematize the whole discourse"

2. On your use of concept and categories. You take the unconscious as an existing and autonomous realm. Although, with your use of some "Asian or Eastern" (I don't clearly agree with such demarcation as the history of thought has led me to believe) philosophies that unconscious is put in relation with some mysteries hidden as forces yet conceptualized but intuited by feeling of cosmic/material rhythm and sensual mastery of the body and environment (hence the "Asian"). This step, if I am correct in reading you is accepted to me as far as it remains open as a conjecture and to be tested by experience. There are many mysteries which I am sincere not to deny.

But the "idea" of post modernism and postmodern thinkers at least I might accept that Derrida took such a pledge, but not with Foucault whose text you lodge into such matrix. If you read his "Archaeology of knowledge" and also his "The Order of Things" (where he made some empirical analysis of the instability of "isms" and the arbitrariness of sciences and programs as "Modes of Discourse" each with its strategy of "Formation of Objects" you would see that by inference he would not be classified as such or even imply any post modernism). To confirm this, just see the second chapter of the "Archaeology of Knowledge". Perhaps the best way to put this is Foucault reply to Derrida critique of his 'History of Madness', this was imposed in his other edition as a reply to Derrida letter. It shows the difference and also that foucault doesn't practice philosophy neither sees it as a foundation neccessary for knowledge;

"What I have tried to show (but it was probably not clear to my own eyes when I was writing the History of Madness) is that philosophy is neither historically nor logically a foundation of knowledge; but that there are conditions and rules for the formation of knowledge to which philosophical discourse is subject, in any given period, in the samemanner as any other form of discourse with rational pretension." APPENDIX III Page 578. Routledge Publisher. Ed. By Jean Khalfa.

Also on your use of categories, perhaps, if you really want to make a field or a discipline of "Fearism" you would need to systematize the whole discourse, but I understand why the text is like that, with its literary structure still leaving windows here and there, because as you made clear in the beginning that other works and findings in different areas and by different people are making progress towards that "ism". That means they are under the research program of "Fearism". Well, the only addition I might say is that, it should be open to criticism and falsification of the concept any time, experience is the only thing that contradicts it's own results. This would help to keep an attitude of objectivity and awareness of bias.

3. On findings, you made (especially at your ending notes), an elaborate clinical and medical collections of observations, studies and professional reports of the conditions of life which fear is actualized either from a psychic, bodily, environmental (or "natural") and institutional source. That agreed and it is corroborated by many psychological, sociological and philosophical (beyond, Jasper, existentialist, Nietzsche and psychoanalysis schools) works I have tried to read to the best of my time.


1. Your work helps to bring to Man the unconscious (which in strict psychological epistemology is just the mental process, habits and the contemporary and historical institutions known and unknown that have a grip on our social fabric of culture and life, hence the mystical feeling of it) workings and it's varieties to the consciousness of Man. By making it clearly, showing its various historical forms and also how even in the superstructure maintained by various elites and ruling class whatever their realm (science, legality, spirituality or politics and art) the idea of fear is almost innate and might (and is used) for the betterment of society or to its detriment or exploitation. I applaud this remarkable achievement. This step I believe, in your own version is quite novel and made apparent for those who wish to know and take life serious.

2. Another progress is it's collection of wealth of facts and making notifications here and there in different fields of discourse how "fear" relates them together. Also, I would add that a progress was made (also, as far as I have seen, a novel one indeed,) is the skill of making an elaborate classification of various feilds of human experience and also animal experience (for example on your analysis of fear in organism from micro to others as they adapt, feed and react to environment, but, whatever the notion or "nature" of animal mind might be still remains a mystery.) This was done at the beginning of your book which from there you took on the life or nature of consciousness basing it not on discourse or "knowledge" or "experience" but on what I might surely go with George Santayana as "Animal Faith". An elaborate philosophical discourse of the fact of consciousness playing a minute role and only called upon in the existence of animal life for survival and purposive (problem solving sure, a sign of "fear" also I think) reason can be found elsewhere. For example, to be found in the first two chapter of Alfred North Whitehead's "The Function of Reason" and also the second section of his cosmology of "Process of Reality".

Again in the work of that forgotten sociologist and philosopher L.T. Hobhouse's first part of "Development and Purpose: An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Evolution". Where we see on "conation" as the organic reaction and action towards an impulse but through adaptation it gets purposive (hence the adventure of conscious life beginning, for consciousness even in everyday experience is aroused to respond with the power of language for 'higher animals' like us, it deals with the discourse of essence related to the aim). See William Mcdoughal's "Social Psychology" to see how this description finds its form into the matrix of the whole social fabric.

"A work like Mr Desh Subba's, is surely deserving our serious attention especially if we choose to deal with it without the tradition of verbal magic and the cult of terminologies which are a true hindrance to fruiltful intellectual progress Indeed, a work to be revered."

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Madok's Critique of Philosophy of Fearism

Dr. Isaac Madok10914409682?profile=RESIZE_180x180


To great extent, fear can be attributed to all sectors of development in human and in a civilization of humanity as large. It can be said rightly that majority of people are driven by fear in their lives. However, a section of people who matured rationally are not driven by fear rather than by knowledge, curiosity and these are philosophers and scientists. The driving factor if I can express in this way, is knowledge, to know and that the true aspect of humanity not fear.

I disagree with you (Subba) in page 21 where you mentioned that knowledge is a production of fear. Deep inside man, there is a drive of knowledge.

Kant argues, “human reason has this peculiar fate that in one species of its knowledge it is burdened by questions which, as prescribed by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to ignore, but which, as transcending all its powers, it is also not able to answer”.

It is specifically for those who are conscious of their consciousness. Very few people are conscious of their consciousness. Every human has this reason but some suppress it for they are frightened of the unknown. Those who are courageous they accept reason and continue to answer questions which are challenging them.

I agree with you in the aspect that consciousness colliding with object produce knowledge. Most of the development in this world is a result of collision of objects with man. However, there is some questions or curiosity that are invisible which take place in human mind and seeking answer to those concerns and curiosities drive man to know why are they existing. This part is not driven by fear.

Knowledge does not generate fear rather it generates confidence and satisfaction.

Again, I strongly disagree with your claim that philosophy is not possible without fear in page 23.

It is not truthful, philosophy exists and it is possible without fear. Philosophy is love of wisdom and knowledge. For sake of philosophy, philosophers do choose philosophy and that is the reason very view people do study philosophy. It is the same that very view peoples are philosophers.

I admire the work and I support most of the statements that people without fear they cannot develop and cannot discover the goodness in them. Fear is needed to free some people from themselves to discover how great they are and to giver chance to others to grow.

Dr. Isaac Madok

Associate Professor of philosophy

South Sudan Christian University

St. Paul Major Seminary

Juba-South Sudan


WhatsApp: +211915914982

1. Immanuel Kant, "Critigue of Pure Reason", editors, PaulGuyer, & Allen W. Wood, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013}.

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Feariatry: Psychiatry in a Critical New Key

FEARIATRY, is a play from the book of "psychiatry"--as an overt word-game and conceptual connection between the two. "Feariatry" first coined by Desh Subba, the founder of philosophy of Fearism (see his 2014 classic book), knew on the one hand exactly what he was expressing with this 'call' to begin a new theory, study and practice of feariatry that would complement, if not some day replace, psychiatry as we know it. On the other hand, he did not know what feariatry would actually shape out like, and he wasn't going to lead that formation.

Subba is no psychiatrist or psychologist, and this raises the question: Who is he to be so rebelliously confident that the entire domain of psychology and psychiatry need to change?--and more so, need to transform their very identity and ways. It's a grand sweeping gesture for anyone to make. I loved it when I read it and had already intuited in my own work on fear and fearlessness that, indeed, there was something fundamentally wrong with these two fields and the BioMedical Paradigm they rely on, that is, if we ever want to truly have liberated humans and societies on this planet. Like Subba (and others), I was a quiet advocate for years to revision psychiatry and psychology--as they are accepted legitimate in the mainstream and by the State. In fact, they are 'the State' and its long-arm of intervention into how human beings 'should be' and how they should be fixed when they are no longer 'normal' (i.e., how they should be). This for me, is a very contested territory, and reaks with ideologies of "normal" and the control systems to maintain such. Yes, a politics of psychiatry and psychology cannot be ignored, in our search to better understand human behavior, etc. 

I encourage people to read the reasons for Subba (2014) making the claim for a lot of changes in concepts, fields of inquiry and disciplines because of his discovery of the core nature and role of fear in life and human life in particular. Philosophy of Fearism was his beginning articulation of that primacy of "fear" and the valuation imperative that discovering fear as such one ought to revise everything--even change our language which has gone away from acknowledging this primacy of fear (e.g., see also the fearist Samuel Gillian's (2002, 2005) work on this loss of fear from the English language as a cover-up of distortion due to mind conditioning, propaganda and ideologies). The primacy of fear is the central philosophical and theoretical driver behind Subba, and myself, and our work in fear management/education. 

BACK TO SUBBA and a fearism perspective (a fearist lens)--and, one now is reconfiguring psychiatry and psychology--based on the fear findings. It is a new awareness, a new paradigm of fear, that is being 'called' to bring about a better (hypothetically) psychiatry and psychology to the 21st century. I have totally got on board with this project too. FEARIATRY is particularly intriguing to me. You may search that term in the upper right box of the FM ning and you'll see some of my posts on feariatry over the years. 

BACK TO PSYCHOANALYSIS--AND OTTO RANK (a post-Freudian psychoanalyst and theorist)-- as I have always liked Otto Rank since my reading of his work in the early 1980s, and off and on, I am now reading his 1941 book "Beyond Psychology" (also once named, in the text "beyond individual psychology"--but he also meant beyond social psychology as well)-- the Preface and first chapter pages of this book are intriguing. I kept writing in the margins just tonight that "this sounds like a good place to start a theory of feariatry" --and so on. Indeed, I find a good deal of his thought, experience and theorizing fascinating as grounds for a fearist-revisionist accounting of what psychiatry and psychology need to change. I will do another blogpost on this soon, but just wanted to give you all a heads-up, and to get you maybe starting to think about Feariatry with some seriousness--as it is one of the least developed paths/areas/pillars under the Philosophy of Fearism and Fearology trajectory (i.e., Subba-Fisher's work)...

A small hint: Rank is very big on bringing back to center (or at least to 'balance') "irrational" [1] along with "rational"--and, he believes that is the only way to human health, sanity and a good life worth living. He is a psychoanalyst who actually undermines psychoanalysis (and psychology generally) by the time he wrote this last very honest and penetrating critique in 1941--his last book before he died. For me, I see his 'call' for "beyond psychology" as exactly a route to foreshadowing a "feariatry" (and fearanalysis), etc. But Rank saw through this problem, and named "fear" and "fearless" as key players in his revisioning--so that very much excites me. Again, I'll write out more and cite his work in another blog soon. 


 End Note

1. By "irrational" he means just the same as "the natural" (e.g., "natural self"); in my theorizing, with my partner Dr. Barbara Bickel, we often call this "arational." 




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Review of book, by R. Michael Fisher, Philosophy of Fearism: A Primer, published by Xlibris, 2022.

Nicola Tenerelli

Università degli Studi Aldo Moro, Bari

 "The problem is not the fact of dying, but the Fear of Death, that feeling that so disturbs us and prevents us from achieving inner serenity. How to fight it? Epicurus' solution is this: When there is us, there is no death. And vice versa." (Epistle to Meneceus, 124-127)

"We could say that this book is the Manifesto of Fearology." -N. Tenerelli

The philosopher of Samos took refuge in ataraxia, but his answer highlighted his awareness: the real human dilemma is the problem of Fear, which is more important than death.

We can say that if there is phobos, there is no logos; in the presence of Fear, full rationality is lost, so it is impossible to give an ultimate answer.

Answering the question what is Fear? is in itself an exhaustive operation, a philosophical question.

That is why the question what is Fear is among the first questions a human being asks - right after the fateful one: why is there Being and not rather nothingness? -.

The question what is Fear is both theoretical and practical; it represents the meeting point between utilitarian rationality and primordial sentiment. For Severino (1929-2020), philosophy stems from ancestral Fear (thauma): if we could know what Fear is, we could know Being: if we could answer - what is Fear? - philosophy would not exist.

Philosophical thought has always moved on the boundary between the known and the hidden, and it has always sought to erode this seemingly insurmountable limit. Every revealed truth (aletheia) is once again hidden, veiled twice: re-veiled, in effect!

In Heideggerian terms, the gap between what a human knows and what he can never know must be maintained so that Being is preserved: so he does not fall into nihilism - the claim to be able to discover the truth conceals the will to nullify Being -.

Firstly, the question what is Fear is a foundational question because it relates the subject to its deepest interiority.

Secondly, just as importantly, the incommensurability of the question - what is Fear - relaunches philosophy, both because it shows that philosophical thought is indispensable and because it gives meaning to the limited existence of human beings and their desire to improve.

  1. Michael Fisher is a thinker who has devoted all his studies expressly to the subject of Fear, author of the essay Philosophy of Fearism. A primer, published by Xlibris; this volume is intended to introduce even non-specialists in the discipline to this field of philosophy that arose - a further merit of Fisher's - outside institutional and academic circles.

The essay is a presentation of the Philosophy of Fearism and its disseminators; R. Michael Fisher, a Canadian, is the most authoritative representative of this philosophical current; other philosophers of Fearism, the Nepalese Desh Subba and the New Yorker Samuel Nathan Gillian Jr. (1939-2016), all of whom were fellow travellers encountered by chance during their decades of study, are mentioned in the essay.We could say that this book is the Manifesto of Fearology. Evidence of this is the subtitle, Primer, which also implies the first coat of paint that is applied to the canvas to prepare it for painting - let us not forget that Fisher is an artist.

 "Glossaries in fearist books are unsystematic, although useful — but, for research purposes there is not yet enough conformity to know exactly what is what in the whole domain of terms and concepts and theories under the umbrella of a philosophy of Fearism. With this caveat in mind, the reader is advised to not become overly concerned about all the technical terms right away and also not to try to change them, without spending a good amount of time studying the philosophy of Fearism. It may take years to really get the feel for what this philosophy is all about." (p. 50)

 We are obviously dealing with a philosophical text, so no one expects an easy read, but Fisher has propped up his essay with a series of twenty-one Frequently Asked Questions to answer what Fearism is and help the reader who wants to approach this study.

Fisher wants to make it clear, above all, that the Philosophy of Fear is not a utilitarian theory and does not intend to offer a recipe that will free people from such a strenuous feeling/research.

Furthermore, the proposed (Fearism) Philosophy of Fear is not a substitute for abstract existentialism because, on the contrary, it originates as a real need of the philosopher.

In the text, some of the necessary prerequisites for approaching the Philosophy of Fear are suggested:

- need to be humble when it is appropriate to learn something 'new' from everyone;

-  need to study current theories in order to understand that this is a social philosophy that requires disciplined enquiry and research-based focus,

- need a maturity beyond one's own selfish needs, and, subsequently, an engagement with the community of other fearists;

- need to know methods/techniques derived from theories that enfold themselves with this philosophy;

- need to take risks and be honest intellectually.

The 'risk' that Fisher speaks of is the one that all intellectuals incur: studying a lot and always feeling dissatisfied; not being considered by a social system that favours telegenic faces and monetisable ideas.

The reader, however, can be assured that the study of Fear can lead every human beyond his/her inner boundaries.

 "Fear is a mystery. It is as vast as the universe... It constitutes an impact on human tendency, action, and activities. Human activities done knowingly and unknowingly are heading towards it... The fearist perspective is a new dimension to look at life and the world... The purpose behind fearism [and fearists’ work] is to conduct continuous research, investigation, and invention in order to make life more comfortable." (quoting Desh Subba in Fisher's Introduction, p. 1)  


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Short Lecture on My Approach to Fear Study


You may want to check out my latest lecture:

where I talk about "Positiva" and "Negativa" approaches to study Fear and how that leads to the perspective that Fearology can bring, as well as a philosophy of fearlessness and a philosophy of fear. This lecture is in celebration of my new book "Philosophy of Fearism: A Primer" (Xlibris, 2022). There is more in this talk on the fearism notion and I read from the book as well. 


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NEW BOOK by R. Michael Fisher (2022); the exact kind of easy to read short book (100 pp) on the philosophy of Fearism--a guide, a primer, an intriguing story! 

Order from Xlibris Publishers (Australia) and/or online booksellers e.g.,


A book review video is available on the context and history behind this book and my views on "Fear Inquiry" --and, I read a few sections from the book as well; go to

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Here is a brief look at the Table of Contents for my new book coming out in the next few months, published by Xlibris. Thanks to support from Desh Subba. My goal with this project was to create a 100 pp. book as a basic introduction to most of the important aspects of the philosophy of Fearism as it has evolved to today. I look forward to sharing more of this book in little bits and creating discussion around it in the months ahead. Glad to share this sneak preview with you here: 




       INTRODUCTION: What’s in a Name?, Why Focus on Fear(ism)?

            Time For a Primer on Philosophy of Fearism

            The Search for Fear-Plus

            Fearism Complicates Fear

            Risking to Care Deeply for Fear


  1. HISTORY and PEOPLE Behind the Philosophy of Fearism

             Fearism: A Mixed History

                        Fisherian Fearism

                        Subbaian Fearism

                        Subbaian-Fisherian Fearism


  1. An INTELLECTUAL MOVEMENT in Philosophy and Beyond

             Founders: From Dyad to The Triad

  1. Michael Fisher

                        Desh Subba

                        Samuel Nathan Gillian Jr.

            Vignettes of the Three Philosophers: Discovering Fearism



             What Philosophers Would Think of Fearism?

                        A Few Fearists’ Imperatives

                        A Few Theories Within Fearism

            Some Philosophical Assumptions and Principles

            Some Critics of Fearism



 Basic References

 Brief Glossary


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The spiritual teacher, political activist and cultural (r)evolutionary [1] Marianne Williamson recently interviews human rights lawyer Steven Donziger, who has been for over 20 yrs fighting the battle for the Ecuadorian farmers and tribal peoples of the Amazonian Basin in S. America. I highly recommend this interview not only to show two outstanding citizens in dialogue, without hatred, but with firm analysis and righteous indignation as they point out in some detail how the guts of the American judiciary branch of justice is being systematically undermined by the courts and corporatist (money/powers) of the oil industry (i.e., Texaco now bought by Chevron). The corporations, with their huge lawyer teams, belive they can out-smart and finesse their way out of their own debts to the Ecuadorian people and ecosystems, which are in law they are to pay for the damages they did back several decades ago in malpractice of their oil drilling operations. 

The importance of what Donziger, now under "house arrest" in what is likely an illegal (certainly unjust) set of circumstances in New York courts, backed by Chevron's legal team, cannot be underestimated. I particularly am impressed overall how Williamson with her use of her large following of fans and supporters, is keeping the battle going even if she is not a "politician" per se. She is showing everyone how to be a political leader in and out of the mess and corruption of so much of politics and the law these days. Of course, corruption is nothing new. This case is exemplar as to what the justice systems, law itself, has to confront with the newest maneuverings of gross injustices by legal firms and corporations ('big oil' in this case). The latter are bent on intimidating, if not destroying, human rights lawyers in general--and could just as well be investigative journalists, etc. who are out to expose the truths of the worst crimes against humanity and the earth's ecosystems at-large. Williamson has found her broadcast medium through her podcasts [2] and her independent type of journalistic-work. It is not something to be dismissed of what she is capable of, and of which I would argue makes her one of the most important adult educators and (r)evolutionary leaders of the Fearlessness Movement today. 

Williamson offers several direct actions for solutions to the Donziger case, and makes it clear that even if things go in the worst way with his charges and trial on May 10th, 2021, that he will not be forgotten in his heroic efforts to bring to justice these corporate-legal entities that believe they can operate and profit from destroying the lives of lawyers as the 'weak link' when they have been shown to be guilty already in the Ecuadorian Court going back to the 2011 judgement, which Williamson speaks about with Donziger in this recent interview. Consider helping out in anyway you can. And, finally it is worth noting that although the two of them have never met, other than online, after Williamson initiated the first talk with him (this being the 2nd one)--Donziger makes his clear endorsement of Williamson that is worth writing down and reading. He says at the end, unsolicited: 

"Thank you Marianne for your leadership in our society. Your positive vision, you're an awesome person. I've watched you from afar [including during her 2020 election bid for leadership of the Democratic Party]... I just salute you for having the visiion that you do to better our society." 

In my mind, a toxic fearism, as I call it, has been the underbelly of all kinds of terrorism. Now that fearism is working its way into law big time, with corporatism and its worst sides giving us all a picture of how it will intimidate and destroy human rights lawyers, ignore the charges against it, and use money-power-law-politics to be the weapons for its own survival, meanwhile willing to destroy peoples and the ecological systems of this planet in their own selfishness. It is their deep fear/terror that they will lose control of their domination (Oil Empire)--and indeed, that battle still remains. We do have to recognize that "fighting" such sickness as we see in this case of Chevron and their law teams and the judges involved, that it is fear-based. That means it is wound-based. The way to fight them all has to be done with a good critical analysis of fearism not merely claims of injustice and crime etc. That latter concepts will not be sufficient [3] in the long run if we truly want to 'set everyone free,' even the oppressors, the criminals, those who exploit others. Everyone deserves to 'pay the price' when they are responsible for damages proven in courts. And, everyone deserves to be restored and supported to heal and transform.  




1. I have outlined in great detail her role in Fisher, R. M. (2021). The Marianne Williamson Phenomenon: Cultural (R)Evolution for a Dangerous Time. Peter Lang. 

2. Go to: 

3. The holistic-integral arguments within the framework of a philosophy of fearism (as distinct from fearist-t in its toxic form), have been given in the book: Fisher, R. M., Subba, D. & Kumar, B. M. (2018). Fear, Law and Criminology: Critical Issues in Applying the Philosophy of Fearism. Xlibris. 

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The spectre of 'The Communist Manifesto'

 8012580857?profile=RESIZE_180x180 -Desh Subba
Fear of a spectre is the beginning of whole communism. 1st sentence, in 'The Communist Manifesto' Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels have written, "A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of communism (p.3)."
As a philosopher always comes
'Y' did they use the spectre word as a symbol? What is the genesis of the spectre ? They never and nowhere have given answer of genesis of the spectre.
Answer of question is fear and genesis of the spectre is given in genesis of meaning article.
What and whose fear was there in industrial revolution time?
There was fear of exploitation, oppression, torture and domination of bourgeois to proletariat. (It was hypothetical concept of authors)
To exorcise from the spectre, they encouraged to make many spectres (association, organization, union, London assembled) among them "Workingmen of all countries, unite! (p.30)" is the universal spectre.
Why did they begin manifesto from the spectre symbol. Why did not use other symbols? It is a reason, fear was with them because the spectre is the best synonym of the fear. It is always happening to the life of philosophy and philosopher. They first pick up a word or sentece then elaborate as much as they can. So, it is the first step of whole communism.
But they (Marx n Engels) charged all Europe, "All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre (p.3) pope and tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radiclas and German police-spies." in contrast, they entered themselves in many alliances.
The bourgeoisie itself, therefore, supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education, in other words, it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie (p.11)
"Wage labor rests exclusively on competition between the labors." (p.13)
"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle." ( p.3)
We can see above three struggles. There is no class struggle but struggle in same profession.
Competition and fighting are a synonym of struggle. The struggle is always happening in the same profession (professor have struggle with professor), rarely happens to other professions. It is the reason, I say, "the History of all hitherto existing society is the History of fear struggle."
Marxism says, "before men do anything else, they must first produce the means of their subsistence. Everything else follows from the necessity to produce material means of our subsistence."
So, I (Philosophy of Fearism) say/s, "Existence of fear precedes essence." History of materialism has begun from the material of subsistence. Why subsistence was primary, was because they had a fear of death.
Note; It can be more described. I am trying to write in coming book 2021. It is some noted point from The Communist Manifesto.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto, 1848
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The philosophy of fearism (a la Subba et al.) is a great foundation, and still needs a lot of work (thanks to all of you working on that). However, if the idea of having fear and its role recognized as central in mediating human affairs throughout history, then legitimized in actual contemporary research studies (e.g., in social sciences) and then into actual policy formation (e.g., politics, urban planning)--well, there are some great opportunities. Recently the two research articles below from the international scene of publishing indicate, for the first time in a big way, that I have seen, where "fearism" is used as a key "force" field actor-agent of analysis and interventions. I've selected excerpts from the two papers so you can get a sense of how "fearism" [1] is being used and why. It is exactly this direction that fearism studies and knowledge need to go to actualize into world affairs with some impact. I ask all of you to help spread this message and encourage research in these directions of applications. Very important. 







End Note

1. You will notice that Desh Subba's notion of "fearism" per se is not being cited directly by these researchers but my own version that pre-dates Subba's meaning of fearism. In Fisher (2017), as you see the citation of my work in these two papers, does include a discussion briefly of Subbaian fearism as well. So far, the researchers in Global Migration Studies tend to (but not always) use my old definition from a paper I published in 2006 (although, my first naming and definition of fearism goes back to 1997). My definition of fearism originally focused on the cultural-ideological angle of fear-based "structures" (discourses) that control and manipulate societies. Fearism in that sense was the subtle underbelly of terrorism. Later in Fisher & Subba (2016) I came to distinguish my original version as fearism-t (toxic). Unfortunately, despite all the enthusiasm in the social sciences with my "fearism" concept and that is great, unfortunately, I have also seen it not used very accurately, or is just oversimplified, of which my 2017 paper was intended to correct those errors but that's not yet happening even in these two new 2020 articles. See Fisher, R. M. (2017).'Fearism': A critical analysis of uses and discourses in Global Migration Studies. Technical Paper No. 64. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute. See Fisher, R. M., & Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Xlibris. 


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Political Fearism                                                                                                                                                                 -                                                                        

 4284028392?profile=RESIZE_710x"Father of political science Thomas Hobbes and fear were born twins, they lived together and died together." 

"A man is by birth rational and fearful animal, life is process of fearless."

 After reading a quote of Hobbes, I started to think his philosophy in fearism perspective. I have given its name Fearolotical (Fear+Political=Fearolotical). Simple logic behind it is; fear precedes politic.

Character of the state of nature is Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, short, no preservation, war, threatening, warning, danger, death, killing, violence, insecure=fear 

Character of the state of sovereignty is government, institution, power, court, law, justice, prison, punishment, command, authority, order, preservation, force=fearless 

.A man, government, or institution starts when switch on (fear on). Appearance of fear is a silent in Hobbes's entire philosophy, not visible but active like under eraser of Derrida. He says, "Liberty is in silence of law ". (Hobbes146) I say, "Law wakes up; when fear rings bell.-" Fear is gravity and motion, fear (>) is greater than (<) other emotions. It can be scientific and mathematically explained because Hobbes preferred scientific presentation. So, our motions (life) move towards fearless. In below  images, fear and fearless activities are motion of fear-gravity. The state of nature was between two fears as sandwich (before coinage and after avoiding).

Political philosophy (Fear+Political=Fearolotical) philosophy can be understood exclusively (Hobbes) of Thomas Hobbes was born because of fear (state of nature and civil war of England). According to him, the nature of man was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short (Hobbes 83-84). His famous quotation was he was born twins with fear. He was not only born twins with fear; he was lived with fear and died with fear. He had preferred absolute monarchy; it was his best system to preserve live. Core part of whole philosophy is in the heart of preservation. Again, preservation can be defined as binary of fear. It means he had feared all the time. No preservation, war, threatening, warning, danger, death, killing, violence, and insecure were to fear. In the state of nature man had special character that was rational. Using his distinct attribute, he avoided the state of nature. 

Preservation, protection and secure was his priority. We can read it starting to the end of The Leviathan. It looks common for all the people; as a Fearism author, I look everything; life to cosmos in Fearism perspective.

It is obvious that since the beginning of his life, fear had great role. Prior to the civil war of England, he guessed that the situation was worsening. It was the Fear of unknown happening, thus he left England and lived in Paris. Though in Paris; fear was chasing him all the way of his life. It couldn't detach from body, it was the shadow of life. He was looking external solution, but it was dwelled within him. 

He exiled himself in 1640 and wrote the Leviathan when he was in Paris. He thought, the accident of Socrates might repeat to him. Same phenomena were happened to Aristotle 323 B. C. such chaotic and fearful situation played major role in his thinking. Hobbes applied fearful life, and environmental fact in fearolotical philosophy to draw people's attention. He wanted to make scientific laws like law of gravity and motion. Law of gravity is the law of fear. How much magnetic power fear had; nothing had in comparison to fear. Every compass of life was attracted by fear (magnetic fear). Omitting the fear from the state; state would be paralyzed. It proves that state of gravity was the fear. Fear had the powerful magnetic and hypnotized power. One needle of fear was towards him and he wanted to turn out that needle to the political direction. His political direction was the political science. This political science is what I called 'Fearoloticalogy'. 

A man used his reason to avoid the state of nature. He explored and found the law of divine and law of man. He mixed up both and developed political science. In the round figure, political theory of Hobbes is a theory of fear and fearless. It is an image of his state and he writes about state as: 4284497718?profile=RESIZE_710x

  1. The old poet said that the gods were at first created by human fear :( Hobbes 72)

 -"The gods were at first created by human fear. "The old poet is very true. In philosophy of  Fearism (2014) I have written god is a fear. In the state of nature, there was nothing except fears of starvation, animals, and natural powers. These calamities were risk of life. So, they started to worship them as a god. After many years, people began to fear with them, which they established.                                                                                                           

 A man, who looks too far before him, in the care of future time, hath his heart all day long, gnawed on by fear of death, poverty, or other calamity; and has no repose, nor pause of his anxiety, but in sleep.(ibid 72)

 -Fear of death, evil, poverty, or other calamity is the bottom line of a man. For being that there be caused of all things that have arrived hitherto or shall arrive hereafter; are cause of fears.

 Hereby it is manifested, that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, and they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man against every man. (ibid 83-84)

 -"They were in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man against every man." It is famous dictum of Hobbes in 17th century; it is very practical hitherto now. It was that time men lived without a common power to keep them all in awe. In normal condition, we seek friends, relatives, when abnormal situation appears, all goes to deem and self – preservation comes forward. It happens when food becomes shortage like shortage of mask and sanitizer nowadays. In the state of nature, nobody had food store. It was the reason; war was  against of every man. In the fearism it is written, man has stronger war than dog that fights for the bone. Man's fear struggle is more danger than animal because man can use rational, nepotism, bribes, conspiracy, flatter and force. 

4284522799?profile=RESIZE_710xTHE RIGHT OF NATURE, which writers commonly call just naturale, is the liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature; that is to say, of his own life, and consequently, of doing anything, which in his own judgment, and reason, he shall conceive to be the aptest means thereunto. (ibid 86)

 -For the preservation the right of nature of a man; that is to say, of his own life; and consequence.

 A LAW OF NATURE, (lex naturalis) is a percept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do, that, which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the same; and to omit, that, by which he thinketh it may be best preserved. (ibid 86)

 -A law of nature, which is forbidden to do, that, which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the same, so he wanted to avoid it because he didn't see any preservation there. Omit, that, by which he thought it may be best preserved. It was the thinking of Hobbes.

 The mutual transferring of right is that which men call CONTRACT. ((ibid 89)


 -At last the nature of state reached to the position of  CONTRACT. It was the mutual transferring of right to save the life. According to Hobbes, the best solution and option to exit from the solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short was contract.

 Good and evil, are names that signify our appetites, and aversions. (ibid 105)

 -Appetites, and aversions is also famous dictum of Hobbes. Appetite was the prime reason of war. Limited food couldn't fulfill the appetite, to find more; needed to invade others. No one could sit silent; their appetite didn't let a man sit in rest and peace because if it didn't fulfill, chances would be to lose the life. Increasing appetite was the caused to make enemies. A man was always sandwich between fear of being hungry and fear of enemy. How to do the best to preserve life? It was the final cause. Aversion was secondary action. If a man didn't like or fear, he had a way of aversion. In some case, a fear chases a man.

 If they think good, to a monarch, as absolutely, as to any other representative. (ibid 123)

 -In concept of Hobbes; he mentioned absolute monarch is the best political system. Absolute monarch can secure life better way than assemble.

 And thus I have brought to end my Discourse of Civil and Ecclesiastical Government, occasioned by the disorders of the present time, without partiality, without application, and without order design than to set before man's eyes the mutual relation between protection and obedience; of which the condition of human nature, and the law of divine, (both natural and positive) require an inviolable observation. (ibid475)4284544948?profile=RESIZE_710x

 -At the end Hobbes in his Fearolotical philosophy; Discourse of Civil and Ecclesiastical Government, he focused in the mutual relation between protection and obedience. Base of his state was the protection; it was in first priority. Outstanding were supportive to the protection.


It shows that man abandoned the state of nature because of many problems and fears. He made social contract, in the contract; it is doctrine that; sovereignty may be assembly, absolute monarchy and institution. To sovereignty, through the contract, he gave all his natural right except self – preservation. In the state of nature, self-preservation was in danger; so, he left it. If preservation was danger in state, he could revolt against the government because this right was not handed over to the state. At any cost and at any means preservation was the most important. If no life everything would be useless. To avoid the fear of the state of nature; he created artificial social contract and handed over to absolutely power (monarchy, government and commonwealth).Entire political philosophy of Hobbes wandered around the hide and seek of fear and fearless. Not only his theory; theory of John Locke, J.J. Rousseau, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Karl Marx is also in the periphery of fear, but it is veil. A man is by birth rational and fearful animal. For  any kinds of contract there was a hidden fear. The state of nature was the state of fear for a man because a man was by birth rational and fearful. He had a great war against his fears rather than his enemy. A man lived with external and internal fears; he had war against his fears all the time. It was known as fear struggle in the history of fearism.

 What was the incident Hobbes wanted to avoid the state of nature, pin point was fear. Cruel civil war he faced and it stroke him. He has taken the state of nature as its backbone. His state of nature is hard liner, Locke softer and the Rousseau the softest. After reading him and sharing experience, we can say, a man by birth is fearful animal and life is the process of fearless. Political Fearism is a faculty of Philosophy of Fearism.

He has long reference about Bible and explanation in the last chapters. His advocating was the absolute monarchy. He had good relationship with royal families. Hobbes was against power division. He argued share power means share punishment, reward and law. It developed powerless sovereignty. As consequence; it could beget unhealthy society. He followed the absolute power system of God. God never shared his power that was the reason; everyone followed him because everyone got terrified with him. One point was mismatching; in the kingdom of a man, people can revolt the government if danger comes for the preservation but it was impossible in the kingdom of the God.

 It is an example article of Rephilosophy. In Philosophy of Fearism (2014), I have used Dephilosophy; now using Rephilosophy. Dephilosophy needs to deconstruct first but in rephilosophy, it doesn't require. It can be directly rephilosophy means rethink or reanalyze.

 (I have taken reference from book of Thomas Hobbes the Leviathan. In the article I have shown the fearism effect on his political theory and invisible fear was the important to invent political science.)4284650814?profile=RESIZE_710x

This article is edited by David Nwaobi, Osinakachi Akuma Kalu, Bhawani Shankar Adhikary and Rachelle Roberthon Favaloro.


  1. Thomas Hobbes Leviathan Oxford World's Classics Edited with an introduction and noted by J.C.A.Gaskin1996 (Mostly I have taken reference from it.)
  2. DeshSubba, Philosophy of Fearism (2014)  Xlibris
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"Fearism" Coined in 1990: New Discovery

Figure 1  "Fearism" First Coined (in excerpt from an Unpublished book ms by R. Michael Fisher, Sept. 10, 1990)


The newest discovery of the first use of the term "fearism" came the other day while I was searching an old book ms. never completed or published. The date, Sept. 10, 1990, it was entitled Journey Into Fearlessness: Towards a Meta-Service Healing Model" and was part of my first year of writing and publishing on fear and fearlessness post-In Search of Fearlessness Project (1989 - ). The excerpt (Figure 1) makes an interesting claim and choice of words: "Egoism is fearism" (p. 4). I have included here the entire Preface Fisher Meta-Service Healing Model 1990.pdf from which this excerpt comes from, showing my deep connection at the time to understanding the nature and role of fear in the field of human services, of which I and my partner at the time (and co-founder of ISOF Project) were working in the field and researching as young scholars wanting to improve things. This was my third career, after my first in ecological and environmental biology, and second in education. 

Although, in re-reading this Preface (above) it is clear that I was imagining this expansive conceptualization (and theory) of "fear" as "fearism" just like of "ego" as "egoism," there was no further use of the term in my ms. at that time. However, often the text and thinking in this ms. indicates I was using "toxic fear" (amongst other such expressions) and referring to fearism, more or less. Note: Desh Subba's coining of the term "fearism" in 1999 in his literary work and later philosophical work is not quite the same as my early uses. When I connected with Subba in late 2014, just after his book Philosophy of Fearism was published and transl. into English, we then corresponded and I joined my views with his views somewhat to enable the East-West emergence of a "philosophy of fearism" as one philosophy with many branches (see our book in 2016 Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue). Subba and I agreed to use fearism-t (toxic form), to distinguish from his generic coining of the term in 1999, to refer to the earlier pre-Subbaian coining of fearism and what has followed as use by many authors in scholarly work since [1]. 

The history of the coining of "fearism" now needs to be revised with this new 1990 discovery. The history as tracked out in Fisher & Subba (2016), pp. 12, 106, 120-23, 128, needs revision and has some errors. Here is the best information I have now to give the history of its coining in brief summary: 

1990 - (Sept. 10), Fisher (Canada) uses the term in one sentence, linking it with "egoism" and a "toxic fear" formation with ideological overtones in meaning but nothing more is written specifically by him using the term "fearism" again until 1997

1992 - an American political writer (T. Hiss) used it once in The New Yorker magazine article and it was later cited by a scholar (J. K. White in a book 1997, p. 74) (see Fisher & Subba, 2016, p. 12, 153)

1997- Fisher (Canada) used it once referring to it as a "social dis-ease" in his unpublished Spectrum of 'Fear' book ms. 

1999- Subba (Nepal) uses the term in a literary ms. and then develops it into a full-blown philosophy



1. For an inventory of uses of "fearism" by scholars, the latest update is Fisher, R. M. (2017). "Fearism": A critical analysis of uses and discourses in Global Migration Studies. Technical Paper No. 64. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute. 


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"Emotional civil war" ... a very interesting (?) campaign quote... and, what does she really mean by this? And what is a fearologist's perspective of her rhetoric, intention, and potential for presidential victory and/or at least influence in American culture and politics. See my new youtube video on "Ethical Leadership: Marianne Williamson"

In the INTRODUCTION of Fisher & Subba (2016), p. xxxi [1], you will read a philosophy of fearism (and fearlessness) perspective on Marianne Williamson, and you will see that I have (in particular) been following her philosophy and social media following for a long time. She is a close friend with the media star Oprah Winfrey, and many others (see picture below on this webpage of FM ning). In that Introduction, Subba and I ask : "WHY FOCUS ON FEAR, NOT LOVE?" and then we begin the chapter with a quote from Williamson:

"Crossing the bridge to a better world begins with crossing a bridge inside myself, from the addictive mental patterns of fear and separation, to enlightened perceptions of unity and love. I have been trained by the world to think fearfully, and today I choose to think with love." (from A Year of Miracles), and, many of you may or may not know that she is a 'big' promoter and teacher, supported by A Course in Miracles movement. In this spiritual movement "love" is placed as the answer to "fear" and all of our problems. The dialogue between Subba and I now moves on in the Introduction to show how unreliable, if not distorted, from a fearist perspective, this emphasis on love is the answer approach to personal and world transformation. We risked to critique, in a mild way in this chapter, a person (and ideology), who is now running for the 2020 American political presidency under the Democratic party. She is a populist leader, with no experience in politics per se, althought a few years ago she ran for a local congress position in California but never made it very far. Now she is going for the 'big' position. It will be interesting to watch, but more importantly it will be interesting to see how her work (as part of the Fearlessness Movement) will emerge on the 'big' stage of American politics in a time of crisis.

I for one, will keep analyzing her work and offering her and her supporters ideas of how to better bring about a challenge and intervention to disrupt that problem of being (in her words) "trained by the world to think fearfully"... and, challenging her movement to look at fearism and fearlessness to better inform their own philosophy and politics.


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


ADDITIONAL NOTE - M. W. is also an endorser of one of my favorite philosophers Ken Wilber, for e.g.

And, in 2007... they met:  (Marianne & Ken)


OH, interesting The Washington Post (a rather conservative major newspaper in USA)... wants to spin the story of MW's campaign in the ruts of the traditional right winger folks like Dobson's "tough love" pitch for parents, which a lot of people bought hook line and sinker back 30 years ago... and, also if you see the headlines (below) on The Washington Post interview (and the photo shoot which really is a 'joke' and 'play' on MW, not taking her really seriously)--and, then you get the headlines... which one thinks she is again being played with by this media journalist and well... you can make up your own mind... I'm so skeptical of who is behind these newspapers--owned by a handful of the very elite she criticizes :


Feb. 19/19 by Anna Peele:

[Peele talks about miracles] [a small excerpt from her text for this article, which I nearly gag on]:

Today, it’s the eve of the 66-year-old’s declaration that she will be seeking the highest office in our country, during what is arguably one of its most terrifying times. Since Williamson is sitting at the head of the table, close enough to touch my arm, it feels like an appropriate moment to ask her to act as my own spiritual adviser. Not because I believe in miracles. Because I want to believe.

“I’m afraid,” I tell Williamson. Afraid about how bleak things feel under our current president; afraid of how angry people are. “I’m afraid of what will happen to the country,” I say. “And that there’s no going back.”

[sure, I'm glad they are talking about "fear"... but Peele's approach is too much of a grand skit and makes me angry... I trust/hope MW doesn't fall for this stuff from the mainstream media... okay, one other quote, an accurate view from MW's mouth, that is, A Course in Miracles, she says to Anna at one point:]

“Where there is light, there cannot be darkness,” Williamson says. “And where there’s love, there cannot be fear.”

“We’re hallucinating. And that’s what this world is: a mass hallucination, where fear seems more real than love. Fear is an illusion. Our craziness, paranoia, anxiety and trauma are literally all imagined”? [says Williamson... her absolutist philosophy, belief, faith, religion, spirituality, ideology?]... 

[If "fear is an illusion" a common claim of many esoteric religious teachings, E. and W., then what does that say about a philosophy of fearism and its claims... hmmmm... ?]




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India's Development: Role of Fear

Recently B. Maria Kumar, a retired police chief of India, has approached Desh Subba and myself to respond to his first draft of a book on India and its developmental problems [1]. Kumar, is author of another book with Desh and myself on fearism and law [2], and there's a sense of us being a team of concerned people in different parts of the world, trying to solve some world development problems. We think "fear" is a major (not the only) issue that has to be addressed in development, be it for an individual, a community or an entire nation (in this case India is the topic).

At one point in the new ms. Kumar is head-author, he wrote of the ongoing insidious 'gap' between the weak and the strong in his nation India, which began in ancient times and seems to be ineradicable so far (e.g., the caste system as part of that). He noted that this 'gap' can be examined from the point of view that is interesting to me:

"The survival concerns of the lower castes made them to feel fearful for life whereas the power mongering anxieties [fear] of the upper castes emboldened them to be fearsome." (Kumar)

This is a topic Desh and I will write about in this new book initiative as we three authors would like to produce a small and practical book that would help India (and perhaps other countries) to get onto a more healthy recovery and sustainable and just developmental trajectory.

I found one recent article [3] which discusses the views of various experts inside and outside of India, on the status of India, and questioning whether it is still a "developming nation" relatively on the planet and why has it in many areas "failed" to grow and mature on many dimensions from economic to social improvements (a point also made by Kumar). Here is one excerpt from this recent article:

As the world's largest democracy prepares to go to the polls, we've invited five people from India, the US and the UK who have expertise on economics, women's rights, youth movements, disability rights and urban development to answer the question: "Do you perceive India to be a developing country?"

Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

"The development project in India is nowhere near complete – indeed it has barely begun. It is still a poor country: per capita income iremains below $2,000 (£1,206) at actual exchange rates, and there is still widespread destitution. Development is supposed to involve job creation, with more workers in formal employment in large units, but that has not happened.
Manufacturing still counts for less than one-fifth of both output and employment. More than half of all workers languish in low productivity agriculture, while another quarter or so are in low grade services. About 95% of all workers are in informal employment, and roughly half are self-employed. What's more, the recognised and paid participation of women in working life has actually been declining in a period of rapid income growth.

This basic failure helps to explain several other failures of the development project so far: the persistence of widespread hunger and very poor nutrition indicators; the inadequate provision of basic needs like housing, electricity and other essential infrastructure; the poor state of health facilities for most people; and the slow expansion of education. Growing inequalities do mean that a rising middle class is emerging, but this should not blind us to the lack of fulfilment of basic social and economic rights for the bulk of people."

[my point: We ought to be asking about the development of a nation as to whether it has achieved a philosophy, policy, and practice of fearlessness to the degree necessary to get it out of the 'impoverished' (and destructive) fear-based mentality]


[1] The current book by B. Maria Kumar, R. Michael Fisher, & Desh Subba has the tentative title: India, a nation of fear and prejudice: Race of the third kind.

[2]. Fisher, R. M., Subba, D., & Kumar, B. M. (2018). Fear, law and criminology: Critical issues in applying a philosophy of fearism. Australia: Xlibris.








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Fisher's Four Paradigms: Human Condition

This Figure is my latest mapping of my own evolution of thought, philosophizing and theorizing about Love and Fear ... and, right to my latest version (Trialectic-Upgrade) which has emerged from my reading of Moreno's (1971/77) book (see my blog below). This has been 30 years of thinking critically about how to understand the "Human Condition" (and, concomitantly, how to understand "Human Nature" and "Human Potential"). I am convinced that without a good understanding of these relationships, there will be ineffective paradigms created for "managing" humankind and our future--especially, when we take into account the nature and role of Fear. Philosophy of Fearism (a la Subba) and Philosophy of Fearlessness (a la Fisher) and Philosophy of Fear (a la Eneyo etc.) ought to be very engaged with these four paradigms and/or adding more--around this deep search for understanding the primary forces of human meta-motivation. 

Of course, I am only giving you the barest skeletal diagrams here, as a small book could be written on describing the ontological details, rationale and potential applications  for each of these models and why they have evolved in my own thinking---and, I would argue they are each one an improvement upon the prior paradigm--a kind of evolutionary maturity is shown. For a general understanding of my own intellectual critique and evolution of the first 3 paradigms go to Fisher 2017 Radical Love.pdf" as it is an article published in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy. 


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I recently found this image (as Halloween, or 'Day of the Dead' or Hallomas or Samhain) on the internet. The title was provocative and speaks to the concept of which this blog is all about: that is, the proposition (if not theory) that the basic core of the human condition is fear (or fear-based) (?)

The philosophy of fearlessness (Fisher) and philosophy of fearism (Subba) [1] is arguably a combination of supportive philosophies for the above claim. Others, like Eneyo who in part takes some aspects of the Fisher-Subba philosophies in his own "philosophy of fear" prefers to make the core of the human one of love, yet he agrees fear is also core but secondary [2]. The Fisher-Subba position is not opposed to Eneyo's claim but is more a nuanced branch of a philosophy of fear that situates understanding the human by focusing on fear over and above focusing on love [3].

My point of writing this very short blog is to say that there is still not an adequate (referenced) scholarly synthesis of important writing (philosophy and theory) on the proposition in the internet poster and/or in the authors' work mentioned above. There are fragments of support references for their claims but not yet the document that is needed to give scholarly credibility (at least, not as far as I am concerned).

I am of late beginning to see some critical thinkers in the early 1970s that I will be documenting their positions and arguments, theories, and works...coming from backgrounds in philosophy/anthropology/political science/theology... it is still too early for me to make my case for their support of the Fisher-Subba position re: fear is the core of the human condition and history itself is the unfolding of that human-fear relationship--as one of, if not the most powerful relationships on this planet (i.e., fearuality, fearological reality).

I'll keep you updated as this paper (booklet) I'm writing evolves.


1. 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. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris. Another young budding philosopher of this synthesis with his own nuances is Osinakachi Akuma Kalu (with his two books on fear in the last two years; e.g., The First Stage of the Fearologist. Amazon CreateSpace).

2. Eneyo, M. (2018). The philosophy of fear: A move to overcoming negative fear. Australia: Xlibris.

3. For a brief intro. discussion of Fisher and Subba on fear and love, see Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris (2016), p. xxxi. 




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