In this hour we’ll examine the post 9/11 culture of fear. How it is perpetuated, how we react to it and what in the world we should really be bracing for. FDR once told us, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” but is fear now the force that gives us meaning? Do your fears originate from color-coded threat alerts and ever-growing terrorist cells? Or are your fears the fears of car accidents, bad diagnoses, escalating crime rates in the neighborhood? How does America identify with fear? What purpose is fear serving?
- Robert Jay Lifton: Psychiatrist and author of several books including Destroying the World to Save It and Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima
- Susan Willis: Associate professor of literature, Duke University, and author of Portents of the Real: A Primer for Post-9/11 America
- Daveed Gartenstein-Ross: Conterterroism consultant and contributing expert to the Counterterroism Blog
Extra Readings on our culture of fear:
Station Charon: The Enduring Power of Fear
To live in America is to be beset by fear, anxiety and insecurity, to be surrounded by potential harm, enemies and evil intent.
Robert Jay Lifton: Giving Meaning to Survival, The Chronicle Review, September 28, 2001
The greatest danger in our present situation would be to resort to extreme measures to deny our vulnerability and reassert a sense of superpower invulnerability.