I’ve been seeing “we’re so fucked” and “I’m shaking and cowering” posts from liberals for nearly 2 months how. What are you planning to say or do if and when this stuff you’re so scared to even think about actually happens, when it’s not just stories your friends retweeted? What do you think people do who already live in places where there’s a real chance of friends and family being shot or arrested every day?
These are questions worth spending some time with.
The most practical point I’ve seen from a political theorist lately is about what happens when your main way of thinking about the future is to talk about how afraid you are.
[T]his is why resisting the politics of fear is so important. Power like [Breitbart’s, as described here], resting in tweets, relies a lot on atmospherics. The purpose of that atmospherics is to magnify power: so that its wielder can hold that power in reserve, and thereby deploy it more efficiently, or because its wielder doesn’t have that much power in the first place, and needs to generate fear in order to make that power seem more potent than it is. Hobbes understood this all too well. So did the forces around Joe McCarthy. We need to understand it, too, and oppose it: not to cooperate with it, not to contribute to it, not to participate in it.