violence (2)

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

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

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

Addendum: 

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

Notes: 

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

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

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Gun Problem: Fear Problem

Dr. Jonathan Metzl, a psychiatrist and Director of the Center for Medicine, Health and Society (Vanderbilt University, TN)

 https://www.vanderbilt.edu/mhs/faculty/jonathan-m-metzl/

I just watched an interview with Dr. Metzl on Democracy Now on the internet, and I know his expertise is very important to the debates, as we now witness the tragedy of another mass murder shooting in a Florida highschool, another one, one of 18 such incidents in the school year so far in the USA. 

Most important in the discussion on the program was the impact on society of such events, which Metzl raised as the "broader questions" beyond all the details and symptoms of these mass murders. I heartily agree, as he says, "In terms of what I think psychiatry and mental health can do.... the question that rarely gets asked at times like this is why do we need so many guns in the first place? What kind of society do we really live in and want to live in?....in the aftermath of this people start to mistrust each other, all of a sudden, we need more guns in schools, more armed guards, more metal detectors....this mistrust becomes so pervasive," he says.

And, yes, mistrust only can register and grow like a virus damaging the social fabric (i.e., sociality and social trust) if fear is rampant and spreading like a virus. The word fear was not actually mentioned on the entire story Democracy Now covered, or in Metzl's dialogue. I think this is where feariatry (as one of the branches of fearology and the three pillars, in Desh Subba and my books) comes in... we will not get to the roots of what Metzl is concerned about without a serious study of the Fear Problem, as more important than the Gun Problem, and that whole shift would really give us a chance to ask what kind of society we live in and want to live in. Since the mid-1990s these issues have been brought up with the documenting and naming of the "culture of fear" problem in America, but fast spreading around the world... and, actually, this label goes back to the early 1980s. So, clearly, there isn't much take-up of the problem, and much really serious public discourse on fear--and, certainly, in my 29 years studying this all the school systems are loath to get into discussing it. We so lack vision in W. society.

Anyways, there will always be more opportunities, and unfortunately, more deaths... more guns... more mistrust and more fear. Feariatry has to be brought up to help inform psychiatry (and mental health) at all levels. I have written on several of the mass murders about these things for years. So far, no one really is listening too intently and rather people follow the fear trail... and look who to blame ... a point Gavin de Becker made back in the late 1990s as he studied these issues as a security expert... yes, change is very slow. Though, one cannot predict the future totally by the past--thank goodness, otherwise, I'd be motivated to say, "we're fucked!" 

 

 

 

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