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thread Fear as a regalizing influence in the world - John Dale - 2003-04-29
last reply Fear as a regalizing influence in the world - A. Fog - 2003-04-30
Fear as a regalizing influence in the world
Author:  Date: 2003-04-29 04:03
Dear Mr. Fog and Friends,

I am sorry there is not more activity on this list, since the topic of the regalization of the United States and of its relations to the United Nations and the world community has figured very prominently in recent months.

I am particularly interested in the implications, Mr. Fog, of your theory vis a vis the United Nations Organization and the basic legal and political organs of the International Community.

Far from regalizing the United Nations Organization and giving it more legal and financial resources to solve the problems of the world, many conservatives in this country (the US) are coming out strongly against the United Nations. They simply want to withdraw the US from theUN, so that the US will be freer to do what it wants to do, that is, what its controlling capitalist corporate interests want it to do. The UN seems to stand in the way of the US and its promotion of international human rights and international law. The UN does not serve the regalizing tendency that is currently strong in the US nationalistic culture as a result of the way that the Republican administration has chosen to interpret 9/11. Fundamentalism and apocalyptic scenarios of history are also on the rise, also as a result of 9/11, reintroducing the regalizing influence of a pyramidally conceived God.

I recall from Psych 101 that in the face of a threat, there is a "fight or flight" reaction, depending on whether the organism evaluates one or the other as the superior tactic. But often in today's world neither one is possible or desirable. But just what the best response is seems obscure. As a result, fears multiply, rather than diminishing.

Would you agree that fear, augmented by the increasing coverage given to crime and disasters in the media, seems to drive a lot of what is happening in the US today, as Michael Moore points out in his movie, Bowling for Columbine? Is fear the primary regalizing factor, and love or lackof fear the primary kalypticizing factor?

We face so many separate but interconnected threats today. Is it realistic to think of a reduction ofthese fears any time soon?

On a meta-level, the biggest thing we have to fear is fear itself, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt said. But how do we fight fear through kalypoticizing rather than regalizing means?

Rationality seems the only escape, but fear seems to paralyze the rational faculties so that the organism often does not take rational measures on its environmental inputs to reduce the level of fear and to thus become able to rationally evaluate and solve the problem.

Rationally, our problems are quie solvable, and for example, rationally it is quite easy to envision scenarios where the United Nations, with the full backing of the United States, is transformed into a more effective forum of international legislation which could deal effectively with these problems. But fear of "surrendering sovereignty" paralyzes legislators from taking the global constitutional steps that would be required. Meanwhile the problems keep getting worse, making us more fearful. It seems this positive feedback loop of fear could lead to a catastrophic collapse of systems on the Earth. Any comments?

What hopes do you see for rational democratic internationalism in the near-term future?

What strategies should internationalists employ to help get the world from where it is to a better, more democratic world order system during this regalizing phase?

How do we get beyond the fear of "surrendering sovereignty"?


John Dale, Board Member, Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office

Fear as a regalizing influence in the world
Author: A. Fog Date: 2003-04-30 09:03
Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

Few Americans realize how frustrated the rest of the World is with American foreign policy and disrespect for international order, especially after 9/11. I think the American mass media have much of the responsibility for simplifying international conflicts and failing to make American citizens understand the complex causes of conflicts. The fear-mongering of the mass media certainly contributes to regality.

I am currently writing an article about how economic competition influences mass media which in turn influence society in unpredicted ways.