Although fear is learned, the capacity to fear is part of human nature. All people have an instinctual response to potential danger, which is important to the survival of all species - 'fight or flight'.
Unfortunately, the fear response is an emotion that can be induced by a perceived threat and in a constantly-unpredictable environment that we can't control the most common psychological problems including forms of permanent fear response such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
These last few weeks i've been reading Art Spiegeman's Pulitzer Prize winning 'MAUS'. From it i've seen and learned many things. Not the least of which is that fear numbs us, weakens us, forces us to hide behind false hope as our defense against uncontrollable terror. When we live in constant fear we are far more easily controlled by the 'authorities'.
Though we're not at anything like the same stage of racist infused mass murder those facing the Nazis were just over 1/2 century ago we do face a fascist foe who's forces surround us everywhere. We do face a powerful elite, we do have little control over our situation. Little wonder that everywhere we and our cousins are showing the classic responses to fear. There's no escape from the global spy network, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide and resistance seems futile. With no flight possible and no fight winnable, the consumers shop in response to the stress of living in a constantly-unpredictable environment and attempt to momentarily vanquish their fears, but...
But it never works, it can't. Not in our lives and apparently not in our descendant's lives. What we need is a new myth, a new hero to show us each a road out of the fear that encircles and enslaves us. FDR once famously said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." to help ignite and empower people of that time to take personal responsibility as their road out.
In 2014 'The Plague' is us and our fear numbing mindless consumption at least as much as the extractive capitalism that feeds those demands and the totalitarian forces that coddle extraction. We need a hero like Diego in 'State of Siege'. In it Camus' young hero overcomes his fear and defies the authority that enslaves him and all of Andalusia by sacrificing his life. Diego's personal courage having been demonstrated to be the only means of combating the devastating effects of totalitarianism his fellow citizens then rally together to easily throw out 'The Plague' they once feared.