Culture of Fear

If you’re desperately searching for procrastination material, here’s some video (realplayer, sadly) of the panel I just did in New York about the Culture of Fear.

It was an interesting event. I was on the panel with two libertarians, British sociologist (and ex-Maoist) Frank Furedi and the Economist’s Megan McCardle. The implied framework of the event was that fear is bad, and fearmongering is bad and so we should reject the politics of fear. Of course, under Furedi and McCardle’s definition, the politics of fear includes everything from warrantless wiretapping, to any efforts to combat global warming, or unsafe products. Indeed, Furedi has a really interesting history, which you can read about here, here and here. Basically he started out as a radical Marxist and migrated towards this strange, technophilic, uber-libertarianism, which views the State as the fount of oppression and manipulation.

The movement’s latest incarnation is Spiked Online, whose editor Brendan O’Neill was on last week’s On The Media saying that the only genocide in history was the Nazi’s attempted extermination of the Jews.

UPDATE Frank writes in to correct the record:
But just for the record - I have never been a Maoist - always hated Maoism - If anything was a Trotskyist. Secondly, nobody who actually knows me thinks I am right wing - I am probably to the left of the Democratic party (not difficult) . How many right wing atheist, anti-imperialist, egalitarian believer in the provision of universal day care, education, health services etc. do you know?

Chris Hayes is the host of All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

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