Fear is primal. Fear is insidious, and all-pervading.
Fear has been shown to be one of the most powerful human motivators. Unfortunately, because of its effectiveness, fear is often exploited.
Marketers exploit it to sell you products, from anti-bacterial wipes to insurance.
Religions exploit it to sell you ‘faith’, the ‘answers to life’s questions’, and a blissful ‘afterlife’ – the catch is living in fear of a vengeful god.
Politicians exploit it to further their ambitions. In modern Australia the examples of this tactic range from asylum seekers to drugs, terrorism, and the ‘gays’.
Perhaps the most insidious exploitations of fear occurs when politics and religion intertwine. Traditionally, the biggest targets of the fear-mongering intersection of politics and religion are the LGBTI community, and women, particularly reproductive rights, including abortion.
But, to be able to exploit fear, fear often needs to be ‘manufactured’ first. Although fear can be masterfully structured around a twisted kernel of truth, fear tends to lack foundation in facts and is usually utterly irrational.
The only known antidotes for fear are education and the truth, which consist of knowledge and understanding based on unbiased information and facts, absorbed by an open and curious mind.