Manufactured fear also known as ‘Culture of Fear’,
This is the fear we have which is programmed into us by other people. It can range from a fear, otherwise known as a ‘phobia’ which is programmed into us, usually at a young age, such as a fear of spiders. This fear is usually programmed into us, when a loud noise, such as a scream or a bang, accompanies an adult’s obvious discomfort and fear of something. It is a learned fear. Sometimes this fear is useful in terms of self preservation in order for us to escape life threatening danger, but usually it is just reaction by the adult because they have this fear programmed into them or because they do not have enough knowledge about the thing which is frightening them. Phobias can also occur when we have had a bad experience alone, while being in a helpless situation as a young baby, for example. The problem we have in the latter case is that we imagine ourselves as still being helpless, even when we have become strong adults and thus the phobia we have is now just a fear and no longer a real life threatening situation.
Manufactured fear can also come from other sources such as the reporting of events in the media. One of the big fears of our time is of Terrorists killing us. The Progressive Review gave the following statistics on this subject:
You are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack
— You are 12,571 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack
— You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane
— You are 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack
–You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack
— You are 87 times more likely to drown than die in a terrorist attack
— You are 13 times more likely to die in a railway accident than from a terrorist attack
–You are 12 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than from a terrorist attack
–You are 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack
–You are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist
–You are 8 times more likely to die from accidental electrocution than from a terrorist attack
— You are 6 times more likely to die from hot weather than from a terrorist attack
This fear of events captured by the media is a very different fear from the one it used to be. Before we read about events in News papers, which were highly censored in favour of the government of our country, now we can freely read about events from all propaganda angles and they are televised graphically and uncensored on our computers. This is a product of a global technological society. This exposure can leave us feeling anxious and fearful of the future. It can prevent us from having new experiences and a fulfilling life. When ever we assess risk, we need to do so in an educated way. If we are frightened to go to our local city because there are people dressed in Hijabs or Cowboy hats there, then we are being needlessly fearful of a race, which has it’s roots in propaganda and prejudice, which has been spread by the media. We need therefore to find out the facts and statistics before we allow this kind of programming to become ingrained in us.
‘’The people don’t want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.’’ Hermann Goering
In my painting I have shown a robot girl looking into a laptop screen at footage of the Twin Tower attack and an Anansi spider (from African traditional children stories) about to descend on her. She is caught in a ‘web’ of deceit.