In recent times we have witnessed anescalation of multiformed political violence. Hubs of fear are crisscrossingour globe. Certain places are constructed, in imaginative geographies, as synonymouswith fear and violence and also privitisme, religious, fanaticism, nationalism,to name but a few. (Occasionally they might even be called shithole nations). We witness what Glassman calls “thecalculated mobilization of popular geographical prejudices for a publicaudience in order to (re)direct public policy and ultimately to remake theworld through military violence.
There are many responses to contemporaryversions of fear. We work with different theories, analyze different materialsand write in different voices. What these analysis- be it biopolitics,noopolitics, neuropolitics or good old fashioned post-marxist theory- appear tohave in common, is that they draw heavily on foucauldian concepts.In a more recent instance, BrianMassumi, paying homage to Lefebvre, analyzed in very similar terms thecolour-coded terror alert system introduced by the Homeland Security Office in USA.”The alert system was introduced to calibrate the public’s anxiety. .
It asdesignated to modulate that fear”The ability for this epidemic of mass panic toalter the world of phenomena in particular ways, and ultimately affect reality,illustrates the power of the collective alarm call/toksin. Entire populationsmay be mobilized, but the critical question is: through which vectors, in what direction? In his 2005work devoted to fear Massumi argues that the ability for populations to besimultaneously activated on a pre-conscious, somatic level drastically altersthe role of fear in everyday life. He points to the importance of television asa mass medium used for what he calls affective modulation the heightening or lowering of affectiveintensity, or “the modulation of feeling, bodies reacting in unison without necessarilyacting alike.”56 His argument about “continuous alerts, in the form of vagueindicators of increased threat, have raised affective anxieties to such a pointthat fear can now operate as the nonphenomenal background of existence.” focuseson neuropolitics and the creation of what he calls “atmospheres of fear”