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The USA: A Culture of Fear?

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I bring up this question after my initial viewing of Bowling for Columbine, a documentary by Michael Moore. Now, I've never been a fan of his as I've always found him to be somewhat pompous kind of like Bill "Fuck-it!" O'Reilly but the movie brings up a lot of decent points. Moore definitely has his bias against guns but if you can look past that, I think he hits on some very real reasons why the US has so much crime and why a lot of us are the way we are.

Even Moore admits against his own bias that it's not that the country is armed, it's that the country is armed and in constant and various states of fear. Do you agree with this? He drew parallels to Canada, a country with millions of guns of their own but deaths that rarely creep into the high triple digits unlike the US, which is always in the tens of thousands range.

Do you think the US is a so called, "Culture of fear"? If yes or no, why?
 

JaneSmith

Registered Member
No. We have nothing to fear except fear itself.
Good thing we are all armed. Because when people start marching across our borders to kill us we better be ready.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
No. We have nothing to fear except fear itself.
Good thing we are all armed. Because when people start marching across our borders to kill us we better be ready.
Jane, didn't you just kind of contradict yourself after the first sentence?

Part of the big fear in the U.S. is that we're constantly under extreme, sometimes over-exaggerated threat...you're kind of showing that with your post.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
No. We have nothing to fear except fear itself.
Good thing we are all armed. Because when people start marching across our borders to kill us we better be ready.
When?

Who told you that Mexico/Canada is coming after us and what date did they give you? You seem to be under impression that this is a guarantee . . whatever it is you're referring to. What about the point brought up in the film? Canada is a similarly armed country due to a large tradition of hunting and the like, so why are we the country with astronomically higher rates of homicide?
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
I bring up this question after my initial viewing of Bowling for Columbine, a documentary by Michael Moore. Now, I've never been a fan of his as I've always found him to be somewhat pompous kind of like Bill "Fuck-it!" O'Reilly but the movie brings up a lot of decent points. Moore definitely has his bias against guns but if you can look past that, I think he hits on some very real reasons why the US has so much crime and why a lot of us are the way we are.

Even Moore admits against his own bias that it's not that the country is armed, it's that the country is armed and in constant and various states of fear. Do you agree with this? He drew parallels to Canada, a country with millions of guns of their own but deaths that rarely creep into the high triple digits unlike the US, which is always in the tens of thousands range.

Do you think the US is a so called, "Culture of fear"? If yes or no, why?
Its as good as any other theory as to why our homicide rates are high because what he says about the non-correlation between gun ownership and crime is true. But, I don't understand what culture of fear really means. Fear of crime, racism, authority? I really don't get where Moore is going with this. I haven't seen the movie but I would like to hear Moore's theory on it.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
It's pretty simple really.

He used Canada as the comparison country. Both the US and Canada have a high amount of gun ownership. We have similar variations in race as well (ruling out the favored "dangerous minorities" excuse the ignorant like to play). Moore's theory stems from how we are as a people and how our information is presented. He showed two broadcasts, one Canadian and one from the USA. Now of course that's a small example but it's also quite possible that we've just grown so used to how we get our news served that we don't notice it.

There's a lot of death, violence and fear thickly layered into our news and information. There's constant theories on who is out to get you now, who wants to kill you, what products are going to maim you, what sneaky corporation is trying to rape your wallet, which foreign food is going to give you a crippling heart attack, etc. That's not to say that all bad news should be ignored either. Perfect example is the coverage of the war in Iraq (or any war for that matter). We don't see the side of the war were the soldiers help people, defend people, or have lighter moments. We only hear about how many of them die, how many are projected to die, see news reels from terrorist groups announcing more violence, etc. We're served a selective portion because Americans like to be told what to be afraid of.

Combine that with a fully armed citizenry and it's no surprise that we have some ludicrous gun crime rates. People grow afraid of each other or they think they have to attack or maim other people to be safe themselves or to gain respect (see: gangs). So the guns become innocent victims in this theory since they aren't the source of the problem but are an ends to that means, the means being protecting oneself from all the dangerous things out there.
 

Ilus_Unistus

Registered Member
I have not seen this movie, but I may have some insights to offer to your question.

I know I am not American, and maybe I have no right to say anything about how the US "uses" fears as a web of evil to scare its citizens in order to provide agenda related "protections".

I start with Russia, most of the US citizen remember the cold war or have read of it, but could you say what started it? From the things I have learned it was started sometime not long after WW2. The US started a media frenzy of how Russia would or could maybe invade the USA, this lead to the government passing bills supported by its people, given this invasion information, to spend millions more on military weapons, missiles etc... then lead to the USA placing missiles in places like Turkey and other neighboring countries close to the USSR. This is what lead to the great Cuban Missiles Crisis JFK so carefully tip toed around. If you ask an American, Russia was the bad guy, but in fact, the USA started it with "leaks" of paranoia through out its media.

Then Iraq, something like 90% of Americans stood behind G.W. Bush when he send troops into Iraq who harbored WMD's... The reason there was so much support is again, the facts were twisted to make it seem as the Government was providing "protection" when there was in fact nothing to fear for Americans from Iraq.

The latest, is the Islamics, to my knowledge I can not say with any certainty Islamics will come invading or destroying America, nothing I have seen supports this, except maybe some American media outlets.

I think all of this filters down to its people, who use similar tactics to put fear in certain circles, gangs, even small town lives. I think the people as a whole have become used to fear of some nature and expect it, from somewhere.

Not sure if I am following the same lines as you speak of Cons, but this is how I see it.
 
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MenInTights

not a plastic bag
It's pretty simple really.

He used Canada as the comparison country. Both the US and Canada have a high amount of gun ownership. We have similar variations in race as well (ruling out the favored "dangerous minorities" excuse the ignorant like to play). Moore's theory stems from how we are as a people and how our information is presented. He showed two broadcasts, one Canadian and one from the USA. Now of course that's a small example but it's also quite possible that we've just grown so used to how we get our news served that we don't notice it.

There's a lot of death, violence and fear thickly layered into our news and information. There's constant theories on who is out to get you now, who wants to kill you, what products are going to maim you, what sneaky corporation is trying to rape your wallet, which foreign food is going to give you a crippling heart attack, etc. That's not to say that all bad news should be ignored either. Perfect example is the coverage of the war in Iraq (or any war for that matter). We don't see the side of the war were the soldiers help people, defend people, or have lighter moments. We only hear about how many of them die, how many are projected to die, see news reels from terrorist groups announcing more violence, etc. We're served a selective portion because Americans like to be told what to be afraid of.

Combine that with a fully armed citizenry and it's no surprise that we have some ludicrous gun crime rates. People grow afraid of each other or they think they have to attack or maim other people to be safe themselves or to gain respect (see: gangs). So the guns become innocent victims in this theory since they aren't the source of the problem but are an ends to that means, the means being protecting oneself from all the dangerous things out there.
I think that's a really good theory on US crime. My first thought about this line: There's a lot of death, violence and fear thickly layered into our news and information. was the influence of some rap music and glorification of gang culture. Not that that's anything more than a small piece of the problem. I also don't know what society's role in quelling these influences in a free society is.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Well fear is like a drug.

How many people do you know that just love horror movies? Not exactly the same concept but the same core idea. When people are constantly being told what to be afraid of, they grow used to it and constantly want more.
 
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