WASHINGTON, June 9, 2013 — Many Americans claim they now live in fear, thanks to the actions of the Obama Administration.
Gone are the days when Presidents George Bush, Sr. and George “W” Bush dominated the world with a mighty roar and the teeth to back it up.
Today, with the Obama Administration seizing records previously considered private via raiding public communication companies and violating the second amendment by attacking the Associated Press (AP), New York Governor Mario Cuomo seizing people’s medical records and the IRS targeted citizens based on their political ideology, American’s feel under attack.
The new roar is internal and seemingly directed towards US citizens.
The Baby Boomers who grew up in the Cold War years fearing attack from the Soviet Union and practicing ‘duck and cover’ drills as children in school are once again facing similar fear not only from forces external to the United States but the government of the United States itself.
According to an article by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, China has encircled the United States by striking economic, political and military deals with Mexico and Canada potentially affecting our borders. Iran is gaining a nuclear foothold, North Korea has identified the United States as their military state enemy, and Russia seems to be stepping back to adversarial ways.
Combine all this and the fact many other countries would not mind if the USA disappeared from the map and fear becomes prevalent.
Fear is amplified for United States citizens because for the first time in modern history, they cannot locate ammunition for their personal weapons which creates personal safety concerns.
George Orwell based his book 1984 on his experiences living within an oppressive society. He coined the popularity of the term “Big Brother” to describe state surveillance, disinformation, and misinformation, denial of truth and destruction of the welfare of a free society. Some folks insist our society is rapidly becoming Orwellian.
What happens to our collective psychology when fear becomes a daily emotion? Prolonged emotions become entrenched feelings, so if we feel fear, what’s it about?
Dr. Karl Albrecht, author of more than 20 books, claims there are only five basic fears which include sub-categories for all human fears which he describes as an anxious feeling caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience. However, it could easily be argued fear is the realization of an impending event or series of events with a foreseeable, fearful conclusion based on history and experiences. The fears listed (in no special order) by Albrecht are:
- Fear of ceasing to exist via annihilation, aka fear of death.
- Fear of mutilation such as losing our body parts or becoming incapacitated.
- Fear of separation which includes abandonment, rejection, unwanted and disrespected. Albrecht also uses the term a “non-person”, essentially an Orwellian adjective.
- Fear of shame, humiliation, and loss of self- integrity, lovability and feeling worthless.
- Fear of loss of autonomy, where one feels restricted, paralyzed or feels controlled by circumstances.
Communal fear of extinction via annihilation stems from external sources such as the countries that have determined the USA as adversarial, unstable foreign governments with nuclear capabilities and terrorist activity which may lead to our deaths, the death of loved ones and pernicious to society. These potential catastrophic occurrences may cover fear of mutilation as well.
Fear of loss of autonomy is, by some measures, underway with the above described government activities and may get worse if it continues unabated and unchallenged. Fears of separation and loss of dignity are part and parcel of the aforementioned activities.
While these fears may or may not be legitimate, it is not hard to see what and why people fear today’s external, internal and societal forces. Comparatively, many Boomers believe some of today’s actions by our elected officials make impeached President Richard Nixon’s behaviors seem diminished to historically ineffectual folly.
Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based writer and a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.
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