Talk:Culture of fear

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Culture of Fear-extended/merged and protect[edit]

The concept of culture of fear should be merged with the article PSYOP, Propaganda,Fear, uncertainty and doubt and demagoguery given their relational context, please discuss.

Please lock page until further instances of vandalism are tracked down.

-- (talk) 22:18, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Previous Untitled Discussions[edit]

This page should be locked - it is being vandalized. A wiki editor should remove all the referencese to "an article like this one." Example are at the beginning of the list under "constructed fear" and at the end of the paragraph under "Lack of fear."

I changed "Examples" to "Potential Examples". Not all of them are universally agreed on. -- 02:39, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

While not a scholarly reference, my first awareness of a culture of fear came from the 1972 novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. It seems to be worth mentioning. Hotsushi (talk) 18:32, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

This page has an extreme, egregious left-wing bias. One could argue that the concerns liberals have raised about civil liberties are part of a "culture of fear" designed to distract the public from the threat of terrorism, but somehow that view is not presented as an example of a "culture of fear". It is also elitist for an article to tell people what they should and shouldn't consider to be real issues and threats facing society and their own well-being.--[]

  • Perhaps your example of a "culture of fear" isn't presented because there's no logical motive for liberals to shift focus from a legitimate threat of terrorism. However, this is merely conjecture, and maybe the liberals are all just crazy people exaggerating the weight of certain laws and policies in a huge conspiracy. (Other stuff: I added a note at the beginning of the "potential examples" section and changed the defenition of WMDs from "mythical objects" to "weapons, not found as of yet")
    • A desire to get the public's attention onto other topics and issues they consider "more important," for the purpose of political gain, would be such a motive. In any event, the overall tone of this article needs to be addressed. I'm not sure that obesity, carbohydrates, and secondhand smoking have anything to do with a "culture of fear" but are reasonable topics of public concern. The fact that this article references only extreme left-wing figures like Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky hardly points to a neutral point of view. Moreover, the article contains no section like "Criticism of the Culture of Fear Concept" exhibiting another point of view. This should be remedied. []
      • Well, anybody is quite free to write up a section on how the culture of fear is considered by many to be in itself blown out of propertion by the political left in order to reduce trust in the current government. Personally, I'm pretty lousy at writing political encyclopedic entries, so I'll leave that part to whosoever wishes to do so. Although, I do agree that a "criticism" section is probably necessary to make this article NPOV proper.
        • I'm pretty lousy at writing political encyclopedic entries - May I ...? Adhib 20:21, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

You Michael Moore. Just kidding, but seriously, although mass media is flawed in its need to scare in order to generate viewers and thus revenue, don't say that news organizations purposely try to divert attention from other issues. In the extreme example, all the news organization would care about is profit, not what issues the viewer cares about. This is encyclopedia, not a blog. Plus, your logic is essential flawed and comes almost word for word from the poorly made propaganda film "Bowling for Columbine". Michael Moore is actually creating fear in his leftist audience in order to generate a profit for himself, maybe you should write an artcicle called "cinema of fear".

  • the "election" of disqualified people as experts or "renowned" specialists; What does that mean?
    • Media selecting ?crackpots? that claim themselfs as experts on the current issue -Zarutian
  • I believe that "disqualified" is likely supposed to be "underqualified" or just "unqualified". I'm not certain though, so I'll allow someone else to make the call on this edit.
  • I'm just wondering why rock music and gangsta rap not included on the list of case studies. Both musical genres have constantly been blamed for causing teenage angst and/or violence along with video games. Would anyone mind if I added those two in?--Grifter tm 06:54, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The last secion of this article fairly reeks of US-centric left/right, War monger/Liberal language. Sophistifunk 00:24, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

American Phenomenon. Although every country can be said to have an element of culture of fear, it nevertheless seems to be an American phenomenon. Perhaps this should be made explicit in the article. PJ 20:49, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

American Phenomenon? Thats right, more unfounded sweeping generalizations about something someone doesn't understand. America neither invented the system/perfected the system/or has used it to greatest affect. personally, i think the system is inately human, and just manipulative people use it. and the award goes to hitler for perfection of the system and using it to greatest affect. we don't need an explicit part of the article with title "American Phenomenon?" [unsigned]

Constructed fear. Among those tending to argue that a Culture of Fear is being deliberately manufactured might be counted linguist Noam Chomsky, sociologist Barry Glassner, politicians such as Tony Benn, political filmmakers such as Adam Curtis and Michael Moore or reporters such as Judith Miller.

This list does not make sense with the inclusion of Judith Miller. Miller does not make represenations that "a Culture of Fear is being deliberately manufactured", rather she is in fact one of those manufacturing the Culture of Fear with her sensational NYTimes reportage on WMD, and her melodramatic appearances on PBS & Frontline regarding chemical and biological weapons. The reference to Judith Miller does not belong in that list. Miller certainly deserves mention in the article though, as one of the most prominent scare mongers promoting a "Culture of Fear". (talk) 11:30, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I was just reading the article and came to the same conclusion! I see that nobody has fixed this as yet or given a good readon for including Miller in the list, so I'll fixc it now.--Tom (talk) 09:08, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

The introduction is confusing[edit]

In it's current form, the intro seems way too wordy. Can someone clarify? --P-Chan 05:41, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Heheh... take a look at the first entry for this idiom. I'm not sure the article has improved since then. (yes, I am taking my own edits into account). Root4(one) 03:07, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

First paragraph, last sentence?[edit]

"Many commentators who endorse this view are found on the political left, and some make more specific allegations about cultural manipulation by opponents on the political right."

Is this true? Are lefties the only ones who make specific allegations at their opponents? Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity aren't guilty of this as well?

I consider myself in the middle and I see fear mongering on both sides of the isle. Should this sentence be re-written to apply to the tactic as it is used by both sides? Something like...

"Media commentators who endorse these views are found on the both sides of the political isle, periodically making specific allegations about cultural manipulation by their opponents."

or delete altogether...???

Johnny Smoke

Using the antiquated left-right paradigm is implicitly US-centric with our two party system, and probably doesn't belong in this article at all. Gigs (talk) 23:29, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

This article is a mess[edit]

I think we should just delete the Case Studies section. It doesn't make any sense to me at all. It looks like the list at Moral panic except with a ton of typos in the descriptions. Onsmelly 20:37, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree, certainly a link to Global Warming sheds no light whatsoever on the role of Fear. A section specifically targeting discussion of the role of constructed fears around environmental disaster would be relevant. Indeed, I have suggested something similar in Talk: Moral Panic. Thx. BadCop666 (talk) 10:10, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Chomsky != Liberal?[edit]

Chomsky isn't quite liberal, more democratic socialist. Should that be tweaked on the page?

He's not a democratic socialist, he's an anarchist. --Kgaughan 18:00, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Anarcho-syndicalist actually.

Anti-American radical, fascist/Stalinist. - MSTCrow 14:07, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh come on! "I'm under attack by commie nazis!" - Mc Bain

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney[edit]

The article states in one sentence: "Among those tending to argue that a Culture of Fear is being deliberately manufactured might be counted linguist Noam Chomsky, sociologist Barry Glassner or political filmmakers such as Adam Curtis or politicians such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney."

I'm just curious: was it actually meant to suggest that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney allegedly recognize that a Culture of Fear is being deliberately manufactured? I'm just surprised because I was under the impression that some people view the Bush administration as being the initiators of a Culture of Fear with the whole "War on Terror".

--lmcgign 22:57, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I really must agree. That bit baffles me as well. Seems like vandalism, after looking at previous edit from 00:04, 22 May 2006 by I have reverted it to the previous wording, more or less.

--Some guy 19:31, 25 August 2006

these theses[edit]

confusing to the eye, and confusing to my brain. I don't see multiple theses in the first sentence, if there are, they should be sepperated out more clearly, and of course a word other than "theses" should be used. A very odd sentence. Another very odd sentence. fnordMemotype::T 20:08, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Illogical perceptions of fear[edit]

A discussion of (or at least links to) the advertising tactics of "fear, uncertainty & doubt" (FUD), appeal to fear and mention of the studies concluding that people who watch more that three hours of TV a day tend to believe that the world is a far more violent place than those who do not watch TV believe - could go a long way towards linking these concepts into a socialogical perspective. Another possibly fruitful path might be to find studies about the adverse effects of the commonly perceived law enforcement mentality of us(good) vs them(bad).

Internet Hate Machine[edit]

Hey i think it is pretty unfair to link the Anonymous group directly to 4chan. a lot of the alleged actions have been performed while 4chan's administrator has been cracking down and banning instigators of such actions. in fact many of the raids are started from 420chan and the ebaums world forum. why not have a seperate page for anonymous? 04:21, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, protip: Anonymous =/= 4chan. Everyone that is Anonymous goes to 4chan, but not everyone on 4chan is Anonymous. (As in the type we all know and love, protesting Scientology and all of that) With all due respect, DeadlyDilemma (talk) 01:23, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Weasel words[edit]

most share the basic claim that this is a relatively new mass media-related phenomenon with important and potentially harmful implications.

this is weasely, unless there is a reliable source to prove what 'most' people claim it isnt not verifiable. Cultivating fear is nothing new and i dont think the article reflects that. --Neon white 17:28, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Removed the "Examples" section[edit]

The "Examples" section provided zero sources, and was one big WP:OR violation and an open temptation for people to push varying POVs. It is also unencyclopedic and provides no actual WP:V/WP:RS discussion of why the examples are included and relevant. I removed the subsection. Cirt (talk) 16:39, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

"Political context and criticism" section is full of nonsense[edit]

The majority of it is statements about various U.S. politicians that are both uncited and seem to regard making any kind of negative statement as creating a "culture of fear". What, to take one small example, do the vilifications of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan have to do with anything? It should be either deleted entirely or massively truncated. Korny O'Near (talk) 12:55, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I think you should have asked for references rather than just delete whole sections. You have deleted references to the use of language to create subliminal fears...the examples being were the labelling of publicly funded or delivered medicine as "socialized medicine" to taint it with socialism, and another being vilification of the word "liberal" in the conservative media with the aim of dis-associating it from its original meaning which previously had rather positive associations. I agree that there were no references to these statements, but I doubt that any serious minded person could doubt that this goes on. The actions of people that use language in this way are clearly intended to associate the words with fears and dissuade people from regarding these things as positive. If one entrenches a word with so much emotion, much of which is negative, it is tantamount to creating a manufactured fear by sheer association. Culture of fear is the result of those fears being embedded in the national group. Can you please justify the removal of these examples from the article? They seem quite relevant to me, abeit that they lacked references. I am sure they can be found. --Tom (talk) 22:04, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that the massive gutting of the article amounts to censorship. If you really see serious problems with the article, then react in a different way, simply removing material you are opposed to isn't the answer. If we all removed from the many articles in Wikipedia that we didn't like, not much of Wikipedia would remain. Culture of fear will always attract people who are opposed to the whole idea, but that doesn't mean there is no truth at all to the idea. The examples mentioned are just that, examples. Please help improve this article, not demolish it. Mahjongg (talk) 00:29, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Tom - is there any negative political statement that can't be described as somehow contributing to a "culture of fear"? If so, the term somewhat loses its meaning, doesn't it? I think this article should be kept to whatever is cited - otherwise it can grow into a meandering mess, just like it currently is. Mahjongg - I don't think you know what censorship means. Korny O'Near (talk) 11:47, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Inserted response to Korny O'Near Yes of course there are political statements that don't create a culture of fear. But there are certain things that deliberately tainted by constant repetition and association with anger or hatred that are ARE intended to create a culture of fear in a population or population sub-group. One can argue about whether the fear is justified or not but the intention is to engender a responsive reaction to a word or idea to (typically) prevent furtherance of that idea. We have extreme and abvious exaamples. The Nazis were very good at it. Jews and homosexuals became constant threats to society. Stalin (albeit supported by a series of political assinations and exilements) was good at it too. McCarthyism was a form of it in the US. Then we get to the more contentious examples. I have heard it argued that the anthrax scares in the US and the attacks of 9/11 (or certainly the responses to them) were designed to create a culture of fear in the U.S. to make it easier for those pushing The New American Century agenda to enable the population to accept the use of American military power to achieve certain geopolitical objectives. I am not arguing that this actually happened. But the issue is that it has been argued by others, and the generic term for the process is the engendering of a Culture of fear. This is why the term derves an entry in Wikipedia and why the examples deserve mention in the entry. I personally do not believe in transubstantiation but that doesn't change the fact that some people do believe in it and that it should be described in Wikipedia. I do agree that the list of fears that had been added to the article did get out of hand, however. I am not sure what can be done about that. --Tom (talk) 07:27, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Inserted response to response: your example of transubstantiation is a good one. Looking at that article, I don't see any uncited theories listed, though I'm sure many such theories exist in the minds of various readers. Every theory or example cited has a reference, whether it's from the bible or some scholarly work. I don't see why the same rigorous standard shouldn't be applied here. Korny O'Near (talk) 15:35, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
"I 'don't see why the same rigourous standard shouldn't be applied here...." , well perhaps because exactly this subject will not be mentioned in the media much, because of self-sensor-ship, therefore it will be extremely difficult to find references for it. This is contrary for finding references for the mentioning (not the actual existence) of transubstantiation. You see, Hauskalainen used his example to show that something that might not be true can still have a lot of references that -mention- it, as -mentioning- it isn't considered to be controversial, only believing it to be true might be controversial. Because per design it is difficult to find references that some of these statements were made, you might consider it prudent not to enforce the same standards, as those applied to subjects were it is easy to find references for. But If an unacceptable period has passed, we might discuss removing the offending passages, as its of course entirely possible that the original poster just invented some story. So if a reader of these passages is sure he remembers these statements being made, and therefore thinks that (one of) the passages should stay, I would urge him to try to find some "proof" (in the form of any publication that can be used as a reference), and mention that proof here. Mahjongg (talk) 21:18, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I see, the culture of fear prevents any notable commentators from repeating what you (and, I guess, they) know to be true. Well, that's too bad for you, then - the rules of Wikipedia say that facts that can't be cited should be deleted, and that goes even for information that's truly censored, like, say, events in North Korea. I guess you'll just have to wait until the "culture of fear" is removed, or maybe just start a blog in the meantime explaining your theories (anonymously, of course, so you don't end up in jail like everyone else who has ever criticized the government). Korny O'Near (talk) 22:48, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
You seem to think I have some "special interest" in this subject, I have not I am reasonably impartial to the subject, I just picked u your deletion by incident, and found such a deletion, without previous discussion, objectionable. What are you talking about "being removed"? Oh, and may I remind you that I am not American... Mahjongg (talk) 00:20, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I mean, until the supposed "culture of fear" is gone from the United States, and people can feel free to talk about how bad things are. Ah, so you're not American - lucky you, I guess you can say whatever you want without being arrested, unlike Americans. Korny O'Near (talk) 20:44, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, and ignoring your obvious sarcasm, I think there is only a limited truth to the article, and because this articles contents is American-centric, I have only a limited interest in the political references in it, that is why I said I'm not American. And of course people are not simply put in prison for what they say, neither in the USA, nor in Europe. Still there is something to say for being observant for the effects described in this Article. Mahjongg (talk) 09:43, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
I think there must be plenty of on line references to the belief that the culture of fear is a manufactured one. I have read this many times. I just don't have the time right now to get the references. But perhaps someone else can. If I recall rightly, the Tony Benn video clip I added to the article mentions this. Maybe someone can check it out and if I am right add it in as a quoted reference. --Tom (talk) 09:24, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Censorship "The use of state or group power to control freedom of expression, such as passing laws to prevent media from being published or propagated". For example if a person thinks he has the "group power" to come and remove material from an article of which he does not like the contents, then that may be considered Censorship. It also contributes to "a culture of fear", fear that induces self-censorship because you might "get into trouble" over your personal opinion. If you have valid concerns about this article, then please improve it, for example by adding references. Mahjongg (talk) 13:31, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I see - so by deleting paragraphs that I don't think belong not only am I a censor, I'm also contributing to the culture of fear. Wow, I didn't realize how easy that was. To answer your non-paranoid point, I don't think these statements can be referenced, because no references exist for them, and furthermore that's the case because they just aren't true - not every negative political statement contributes to a "culture of fear". Therefore, the only logical thing to do with these statements is to delete them. Korny O'Near (talk) 14:26, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
If it wasn't this easy to repress unpopular beliefs, it wouldn't happen so often. True its very difficult to find references for some of the things that were removed, but that doesn't mean they were not being said, or done. You are right in saying that "not every negative political statement contributes to a "culture of fear" ", but some are. I don't share your conclusion that "the logical thing to do is remove them", the logical thing to do would be to ponder over them, and if they are rubbish, then they are rubbish, but that doesn't mean you should be the one to determine that others should not ponder over these matters. Mahjongg (talk) 17:22, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, apparently I'm not the only one who wants to remove them. Korny O'Near (talk) 19:26, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, group power at work, I fear I cant fight that, so I won't even try. Just wanted to make my point clear. Mahjongg (talk) 19:30, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Your point is meaningless - on a wiki, unlike in real life, there can only be one version of things at a time, so if we were to go with the version you want, it would be "censoring" the version I want - "censorship" is meaningless in this context. Korny O'Near (talk) 19:50, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Ah, that would be true in a perfect world, but unfortunately there is the dictatorship of the majority, that overrules such sentiments. So although theoretically you are right, in practice its the majority rule that is censoring the minority idea, even though the majority might have it wrong! As has happened so many times in history!
There can be many ways to look at "the truth", and in fact there is almost never such a thing as an universal truth, there are only points of view, and that is all-right, as long as a minority point of view isn't made to become invisible because the majority doesn't want it in existance.
But, Yes, if you follow the rules and regulations of wikipedia to the letter, you are right, and we should get a uniform result. Actually I happen to think the rules and regulations in wikipedia are necessary, so in general terms I agree that a statement or claim that has been un-referenced for a long time should be challenged, and ultimately removed, but in this case, because of the nature of the claims, and the difficulty of finding references for them, there should be a better solution than to just remove these memes from view altogether. There might be someone who has a reference for one of them. And remember, even if the claims in itself are not true, that does not mean they shouldn't be mentioned in the article, verifiability of the claim having been made, not the truth of the claim is the criterion for include-ability of the claim in wikipedia. But the solution to the dilemma of keeping or repressing the removed information is actually quite simple, and should be acceptable for all parties involved. its what the talk page is for, its a tool to be used to improve the article, we can simply ask for references of the removed text -here-, so here goes:

All this discussion of created fear and no mention of Global Warming, Gun Control, or Medical Care? -- Craig Goodrich (talk) 22:12, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Removed passage needs references[edit]

The following long passage(s) were removed from the article, because the refer-ability of it was challenged. If you know references for these passages, please restore the passage you have a found a reference for, and add the reference you have found..

In a broader domestic political context, many believe that conservative politicians and moral leaders make people afraid about things such as terrorism, crime or illegal drugs both to influence public opinion and personal behavior. Language is a powerful and often subliminal tool to condition the development, internalization and habituation of fear in humans. For example that which is simply known as "public health care" in most countries is often labeled as socialized medicine in the US to give the concept an air of socialism. Similarly, the adjective liberal, which was a word with positive associations to the political philosophy of maintaining freedoms and liberties has, in recent years, been turned into a word of abuse in the US, especially by the conservative media. The association or words and ideas with negative sentiments is an effective means of promoting a culture of fear. It echoes the Nazi use of language to infiltrate the minds of a population, which the writer Victor Klemperer described in his 1947 book LTI - Lingua Tertii Imperii: The language of the Third Reich: A Philologist's notebook.. This upturning of language as a means of mind control seeped further into public consciousness when George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was published, with its version known as Newspeak. Conservative talk show hosts have accused many liberal groups of creating irrational fears to manipulate people for their purpose or being solely motivated by fears. Rush Limbaugh often spoke of this on his radio show. While certain liberal points may be valid, conservatives accuse liberals of demonizing certain people and entities. To these conservative speakers, liberal speakers talk of "Big Oil" or "Big Tobacco", giving large complex entities such human, selfish, and amoral qualities that something, "anything", must be done. [citation needed] Right-leaning politicians in power have often been vilified by the left, say conservatives, and the resulting fears and doubts are not generated by the politicians themselves, but of the naysayers speaking dishonestly and frightfully about their opponents. Some have claimed that this led to the ousting of Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House.[citation needed] But conservatives have conducted tactics similar to that which they have accused the left. Bill Clinton received quite a bit of vilification from the right. [citation needed] The term "Big Government" was often used pejoratively in discussions relating to nationalizing health care [citation needed], though not to an increased military. Before the 90s, Ronald Reagan was often vilified. The history of vilification of presidents in the United States goes back towards the beginning of the 19th century. [citation needed] The idea of a society-wide "culture of fear" might be perceived by liberals and other opponents of conservatives as a shorthand for cultural manipulation for conservative political purposes. Conversely, liberals have also been accused of their fair share of scaremongering to suit their own political agendas, especially on issues of environmental protection, global warming, biotechnology and gun safety.

There are several alternative views:

* Politicians and orators speak to create an environment more amicable to their intended policies and philosophy.

* Promoters of a particular cause may want many people to join them in the cause. However, because people generally don't become emotional about something complex and hard to understand, promoters may tend to oversimplify matters to emphasize their main points and deemphasize points of contention.

* Commercial media outlets are simply maximizing their audience, and scary information happens to be one thing that grabs people's attention. (It is sometimes argued that this serves the public interest, though more often that it distorts public understanding of issues.)

An explosion of overblown fears in the public discourse might be labeled by other commentators as "scares" or moral panic. Typical symptoms of a scare include a lack of scientific or general education among the public, intrinsic human biases in the assessment of risk, a lack of rational thinking, misinformation, and giving too much weight to rumor.

Example of vilification of the term "socialised medicine"[edit]

I think its a good example of turning a once neutral terminology (socialised medicine) in something "dirty", and I have never understood why this vilification seems to "work" so well. It seems obvious to me that the state securing healthcare to it citizens would be a -good- thing, and other countries have proven it works. But just by connecting the term with "communism" its distractors have succeeded in it suddenly becoming a "bad thing"? Seems to me that this is a good example of the power of language to construct an irrational fear. The phenomenon of the political driven vilification process of this term has had extensive media attention, and there are plenty of references to be found! It has even its own -article- here. So what is this nonsense that it doesn't have "references", and must be removed, just because nobody has bothered to copy a few references from the main article to here. It pisses me off, so I have done what nobody seems to have bothered to do, and, (after I restored the removed text which was removed under the pretence that it was "unreferenced") I simply copied a few references from the main article, so this pretence cant be used again. Mahjongg (talk) 01:02, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

"Socialized medicine"[edit]

Any evidence that anyone notable has claimed that the use of this phrase is part of a "culture of fear"? Same with the negative use of the word "liberal". Korny O'Near (talk) 01:03, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

It seems self evident to me that language was used to create an irrational fear of Socialised medicine, and this article is about artificially creating irrational fears in the publics mind (in "culture"). So this is an example of how creating one facet of a "culture of fear" can work in practice. And because it is such a well known example of creating such fears its a valid addition to this article. It seems you have a much narrower understanding what the term "culture of fear" encompasses than I do, I don't consider it just a "soundbyte" or easy to handle term to gain political benefits, I consider it a sociological phenomenon, of which the demonization of Socialised medicine is just one of many aspects. Mahjongg (talk) 01:20, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and about your claim there is no documented link between "culture of fear" and "socialised medicine", its grasping for straws! I just plugged these two terms into google, and guess what, 838 hits! here are just a few [1] [2] Mahjongg (talk) 01:35, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Wow, okay, so now there are at least three people who have made this link: you, and two random people on the internet. No offense intended, but, to get back to my original question, is there anyone notable who's made the connection? Korny O'Near (talk) 01:38, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Do I really need to post all 838 articles here, so you can look for yourself if someone "notable" has made the link? Michael Moore perhaps? What will it take to convince you that these two subjects are related? its just an example in the "Language as a conditioner for fears" section. Why are you so hell bent it shouldn't be used? because "the connection can not be referenced"?! Seems too obvious to me what the connection is to make much of it. Google proves that there are plenty others who have the same idea, and made the same mental connection. Mahjongg (talk) 02:05, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
No, you don't need to post all 838 articles here; you just have to find (at least) one that passes Wikipedia's standards of notability - see here if you're unsure what that is. And the reason I'm so against including such statements without citation is that, without such strictness, you can quickly get travesties like what this article looked like before - a long, meandering list of negative political statements made by various people, without any connection to the topic of the article. Korny O'Near (talk) 02:24, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, many many blogs and other discussion fora endlessly talk about this connection, but "blogs" are generally not considered a "reliable source", as they are technically "self publishing", so they could in theory be used to "construct proof". So I had to find someone noticeable that speaks about both topics in the same context, well Michael Moore speaks about both in his films "sicko" and "Bowling for Columbine", as a recurring theme and that is a well know fact, but it is hard to find a reliable source about such an obscure topic that happens to repeat this fact. Well it wasn't easy, but I found one "reliable source" (not a blog itself) that did it, here: [3]. Hope that makes you happy... Oh and your "standard of notability", its not a "standard of notability", its a standard of verify-ability! Mahjongg (talk) 02:57, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
It's a standard of notability within a larger standard of verifiability. And that source you cite states that Moore talked about medicine in "Sicko", and the "culture of fear" in "Bowling for Columbine" - there's no evidence that he's ever tried to connect the two. Korny O'Near (talk) 03:06, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I realise now I needlessly went along with your "is there anyone notable who's made the connection" diversion... However I now realise there is no need to prove that, as it wasn't explicitly claimed that that was the case in the relevant sentence The only thing that needs "proving", is what is claimed in the actual paragraph, the claim (sentence in the article) is NOT that the vilifying of the term socialised medicine is an example of a "campaign to create a culture of fear", or that the two terms are even intrinsically linked! It was only used as an example of "how language is used to create fear about a subject", As an example of what the actual section of the article is about, namely that "Language is a powerful and often subliminal tool to condition the development, internalisation and habituation of fear. ". So it is actually irrelevant whether any "famous person" has "directly linked" the terms "culture of fear", and "socialised medicine" together. That is just your twist to it, to "raise the bar" so to say. The given links give ample proof that the "troubles" created about the term "socialised medicine" are an example of how "language can be a powerful and often subliminal tool...". The sentence you want to remove claims nothing more, proof for what it doesn't claim is not needed. All I wanted to show (while citing a reliable source) is that the two issues were related, even though there wasn't actually any need to do that. I even managed to find such a source, that at least coupled the two subject together, even though it wasn't explicitly claimed in the sentence. If I search long enough there is bound to be a more direct example of a link, but I think no more needs to be "proven", as no more is claimed than what was already documented with links to reliable sources. Mahjongg (talk) 04:46, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, silly you for having thought that a sentence in an article has to have some connection to the subject of that article. Actually, you were right the first time - otherwise you have what's known as synthesis, the combining of various facts to create an impression that the facts don't support - in this case, that phrases like "socialized medicine" and "liberal" have something to do with the "culture of fear". Korny O'Near (talk) 06:26, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Ah there is that sarcasm again, no "synthesis" going on here, (nothing like the example given is going on here) instead we Just have a paragraph theorising a mechanism that could be used to create a "culture of fear", a mechanism for which a few real world examples are given. That the mechanism exists does not construe that therefore the conscious creation of a "culture of fear" exists. The mechanism exists, with or without being used in this context. The example therefore does not have to prove that "culture of fear exists", only that the phenomenon it describes exists. A large paragraph in the "socialised medicine" article is dedicated to the phenomenon, and is referenced. Oh, and the existence of such a mechanism is relevant to the article. Mahjongg (talk) 08:45, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
How is it relevant to the article that language can be used to create fear? That's the part that's synthesis. It's such an obvious statement that I don't know if it even makes sense to include it in the article - everyone has known it since the day someone told them not to talk to strangers, or to look both ways before crossing the street. Korny O'Near (talk) 13:34, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
of course its relevant, there are real and perceived dangers you can warn people about, that is indeed not new or noteworthy. This is however about the artificial creation of a perceived danger, a wholly different subject. And why is this "synthesis"? That is nonsensical! Is it "Synthesis" to give a real world example of a situation where language was deliberately manipulated to politicize an issue? So its not as obvious as you claim. Its not about "that language can be used to create fear", in the sense you are giving it. But even if it was as obvious as you claim, that is no reason NOT to state it in an article where its relevant. Lots of things that are even more obvious are in wikipedia articles. Mahjongg (talk) 14:15, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, so you're saying that phrases like "socialized medicine" or "liberal" (in the negative sense) are not just intended to make people afraid, but are "artificial" and somehow intended to manipulate the audience. I think that's the real heart of the issue. Well, where's the evidence that that's the case, as opposed to those phrases just representing the viewpoints of the people saying them? A loaded statement like that really needs a citation from a notable source. Korny O'Near (talk) 14:40, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
yeah, its a bit hard to prove, (because people who do it will never openly reveal they do, and because you cannot look into another persons brain so you cannot prove what their intentions are, only what their actions are) and also perhaps it happens that most persons who are so inclined do it while cognitively being unaware why they they do it, they just follow the "lead" of others. But yes, I think that the choice to use this term, instead of a term with a more neutral connotation is in its core a deliberate choice, with the explicit reason of trying to put the term in as negative light as possible. While its hard to prove they did it deliberately, in this case, (for a neutral outside observer) it's obvious enough what is happening. Why couple "state secured medical assistance" to a vilified term that is normally seen as an equivalent for "communism"? Do you really believe that it happened by coincidence? The socialized medicine article talks extensively about this issue. In my country we have a form of "state secured medical assistance", and nobody would think about calling it "socialized medicine", it would be considered manipulative to do so. So yes, I think there is evidence that this wasn't just a "unlucky choice of words that per chance became prevalent", especially not as it isn't unprecedented. Then, some words/terms also become vilified in time, just because the subject they describe is attacked and vilified all the time. They start as a neutral term, then slowly become a loaded term, as they are constantly used in a specific (negative) context. Does this happen "on purpose"? Well human nature being as it is, if it is noticeable that if such a thing "works", (accomplishes a goal) you can wait for it to happen deliberately. Claiming that this just cannot be the case isn't very convincing. IMHO. What is also obvious is that whoever is sympathetic to the cause that is promoted this way, will vehemently deny that it is done deliberately, and they might even believe that themselves, as often indeed they do it without being conscious about it. They do it because it "feels good to do it", not because they are part of a "conspiracy". Mahjongg (talk) 16:03, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, now you're getting into a political discussion that I don't want to get into. Thankfully, we don't need to, because neither of our political opinions matter at all here. All you need to do is find a notable source that agrees with you that the use of phrases like "socialized medicine" is intended to manipulate listeners. If you find one, it can go in the article; if not, it has to be removed, because that's a strong statement of opinion that needs to be backed up. Korny O'Near (talk) 16:17, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
All you need to do is find a notable source that agrees with you that the use of phrases like "socialized medicine" is intended to manipulate listeners. err... No that is just it, I don't have to do that at all! All that is needed is to provide links to reliable sites that talk about the subject as a theory, There is no need to prove the theory is right at all, only that it is being discussed. Wikipedias rules clearly state that The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. See WP:The Truth and WP:verifyability. Enough said already!
Here's a reference for Korny. And its quite good one, detailed with a lot of background material to back it up. It's written by an associate professor of history at Rutgers University and published in a journal owned by the Washinton Post. See Who's Afraid of Socialized Medicine? To people like me in Europe the very term "socialized medicine" is ridiculous and politically slanted. Do you label the public library service in your town as the "socialized library" service? I think not. --Tom (talk) 16:20, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Postscript: Now I am annoyed because I just seen that that very article is already referenced in the article. Why on Earth are we having this discussion? I think Korny is just sending certain editors on a wild goosechase.--Tom (talk) 16:27, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, a "wild goosechase" to actually cite the statements contained in the article - crazy, I know. I concede that that article says that "socialized medicine" is a contrived phrase (I still don't see anything to connect it to the "culture of fear", but I won't belabor the point). Now, how about "liberal"? Korny O'Near (talk) 17:12, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
The "rules" are quite simple, if there is talk about a subject on a reliable site, (or in a book, or any other reliable, non self-published, reference) then it can be included in a Wikipedia article. I'm sure there is a lot of talk about this subject, but I am leaving finding an example as an exercise for the reader, I have lost enough sleep "chasing wild geese". Thank you very much Mahjongg (talk) 22:39, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I see, now you have removed the reference to "liberal", interesting... Not sure if the vilification of the term liberal has a direct connotation to "Culture of fear", but it IS an example of "language as a conditioner for fears". Mahjongg (talk) 19:37, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, again, my goal here is to prevent this article from turning into a list of every negative political statement that's ever been made. There are dozens or hundreds of notable ones - you can see some examples, just from American politics, here - and I don't know where one would draw the line. That's why I think it's important that examples require a reference connecting the term to the "culture of fear", or at least stating that the term has been used to manipulate people in some way. Korny O'Near (talk) 19:58, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Its getting harder and harder not to see your edits as anything but politically driven, but what do I care... Maybe some other editors want to intervene. I lost hope of reasoning with you. Mahjongg (talk) 01:17, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I guess this thread is the place to talk about the edit I made to the Language section. Footnote 11 (at the time) which points to article about the evolution of the word liberal to having a negative connotations (in that author's opinion, of course). The sentence that was there mentioned something about the conservative media (not sure what that means anyway), but nothing in the cited reference mentions conservative media, although it does talk about how some (mainly conservative politicians) have used the term "liberal" in a derogatory sense to label their opponents. I reworded the passage to more accurately reflect the content of the cited source. This is, of course, not entering into the debate into whether or not the language section has validity or not. I'm Sweden here, choosing to remain neutral. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Smittz (talkcontribs) 21:01, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Internet archive & YouTube copies of The Power of Nightmares[edit]

Removing a link to a copy of a BBC documentary on the internet archive on the ground of "copyright protection" is outrageous. The internet archive is a well know source of documentaries of this kind, many of which are made by the BBC, or by American institutions. The Internet Archive has the official status of a Library, and complies to all official pleas to remove material if the source of the material does not want to have it in the archive. To act like it is some kind of piracy site that should not be linked to is disingenuous. Wikipedia (obviously) has an article about the internet archive, that even lists the movie in question (The Power of Nightmares) as one of the more famous available movies that is made available at the internet archive, and there, in that article, is a link to the movie in the internet archive too.

The power of nightmares can also be seen on YouTube [4]

Mahjongg (talk) 23:53, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

The fact that it is mentioned specifically on Internet Archive is neither here nor there. The page states that the Archive, "maintains extensive collections of digital media that are either public domain or licensed under a license that allows redistribution." The Power of Nightmares is not public domain, and when the issue was discussed on Talk: The Power of Nightmares, the conclusion was reached that there was no evidence that IA's hoasting was licensed by the BBC. You will note that on [5] there is some discussion of the copyright status, and that there is no claim of proper licensing. Nick Cooper (talk) 12:03, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I am well aware there are people who wished this documentary did not exist, or that at least it received as few "eyeballs" as possible. So I still remain convinced that removing a direct link to it because of "copyright protection" is disingenuous. I read the whole thread at Talk: The Power of Nightmares, it just a rehash of the same disingenuous arguments to me. I see nothing improper in linking directly to these sources. It exactly the same as the link to the Internet archive in the articles reefer madness, duck and cover, or as an even better example, another BBC documentary made by Adam Curtis, The Century of the Self. All these articles, and many more, have links to the Internet Archive! Perhaps a neutral editor can decide the proper action for all these articles then. Mahjongg (talk) 15:43, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to disappoint your baseless prejudices, but I am in fact a great admirer of Adam Curtis's work - and was long before so many people "first noticed" him via The Power of Nightmares - and dearly wish it was more widely seen, but yet I remain objective enough to recognise that unlicensed and unsanctioned internet hostings of it are still just that. If anyone is being disingenuous, it is you, making spurious comparisons such as the widespread availability of Reefer Madness. That film emphatically is in the public domain in the United States; The Power of Nightmares is not (neither is Century of the Self, for that matter). It is abundantly clear that IA is hosting material that it shouldn't "under the radar," and we should not add legitimacy to such practices by linking to them indiscriminately. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:18, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia very obviously does NOT have a policy that linking to material on the Internet Archive is not permit-able, that is just an excuse you make up, and your latest excuse "its not a DVD" to once again remove THE WHOLE MENTIONING of "The Power of Nightmares", (not simply only the contended link) is even more laughable. I had never seen the movie, so I had no specific opinion on its content one way or the other, or on Adam Curtis work, but considering the length of effort you seems to want to go to sensor its occurrence in this article I became curious enough to download the .ISO and burn it to a DVD as per instructions, and it resulted in a perfectly working DVD, of which I have now seen the first episode. So it is in fact a DVD you can download at the internet archive. Thanks by the way for helping me find this fascinating movie. You know what, I'm sick of this game, and will remove the direct link, so you won't have any excuses anymore to remove the whole mentioning of this movie. If another editor thinks the link should be in place, feel free to add it back, I still think it should be allowable, I just don't want to start an edit war on my own. Mahjongg (talk) 00:30, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Please read what I said, i.e. "linking to them indiscriminately" (added emphasis). Editors should use basic commonsense in determining if material is hosted legitimately, and only link if it is. Adopting a "it's there, so we'll link" attitude is not acceptable. I would also utterly reject you accusion of "censorship". As noted above, I have admired Curtis's work for many years - self-evidently a lot longer than your interest - but there is a difference between wishing it was more widely available and facilitating illicit distribution. The BBC is in the process of making much of its archive available online; when The Power of Nightmare is included, it can of course be linked. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:05, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry your actions speak louder than your words, but note that "you have won", so take it to the bank... Mahjongg (talk) 17:00, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I see after a short "cooling off period", you are back to your old tricks, even the mentioning that the movie is available without even naming the sources seems to be too much for you to bear... Well, I again reverted your censorship. Mahjongg (talk) 17:25, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah keep trying...Mahjongg (talk) 11:50, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure you will, but then so do people erroneously claiming "public domain" status while selling bootleg DVDs on eBay. Nick Cooper (talk) 12:23, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Can you guys stop with the pettiness? It is not "Censorship" when someone challenges the veracity or the accuracy of a portion of your work. If your edits/work/sources cannot pass muster within the accepted norms of grammar, puncutation, source-citation, and the requirements of Wiki itself, then you need to "try harder". To call an edit "Censorship" when it has been done to correct the work or mesh with the guidelines is petty. I understand you have your politics and your views, but at least "try harder" to make this article less of that. Leave the silly political bickering for your blogs. Smittz (talk) 17:11, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Its not pettiness, I started out with the old credo of assuming good will, but I quickly realized its not about "cannot pass muster within the accepted norms of wikipedia", that is just a pretext. I have tried to resolve this by issue, by removing links, and several times I tried rewording text so as not to "facilitating illicit distribution" but even the most neutral wording trigger nicks wrath. It has become abundantly clear that this pretext is simply used to remove any mentioning of the fact that this movie is still available for viewing. That is all Nick wants to accomplish, he does not like the idea that people will try to see this movie. That is all. Oh, and I have no "blog" about it, or any special interest in this subject. In fact I hope someone else starts to care about nicks attempts so I can forget about him. Mahjongg (talk) 12:51, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, whatever you wish to call it, it is poor form. Accusing someone of censorship, when it clearly is not, to me is pettiness at best, antagonistic at worst. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume it's a frustrated reaction to possibly frivolous edits of our co-authors. More often than not, I've seen the 'censorship' grenade tossed out by beginning journalists who were either too lazy (or busy, distracted, whatever) to make edits recommended by their editor. Heck, I've seen it sometimes with seasoned journalists. It's mostly a knee-jerk reaction when they perceive someone has criticized their work, whether justifiably or not. The sad thing is that it oftentimes works. I realize that this isn't the magazine business, and accusations of censorship don't have the same gravity here on the internet, but tossing it out without basis could be just as frivolous as the edits that instigated the charge. The key here is civil debate on the issue, making your point, and coming to a consensus on passages. I'm saying this because I take umbrage with this kind of tactic, not because I agree or disagree with anyone's specific argument in this specific case. I confess I haven't looked closely into either of your arguments, but I will shortly in order to add my input to this. The only way I will call something censorship is if the owners of Wiki somehow disregard their own guidelines and delete something without comment or justification. Smittz (talk) 16:35, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay, after looking at both of your lengthy interchanges, I agree that it should be the way it stands at the moment -- a footnote that mentions where the source was obtained, without a direct link to any possibly infringing material. People who wish to verify the source can do so without much trouble or expense. Much of the other sourced material is also copyrighted as well, but generally available to those who wish to verify. It's not uncommon to see bibliographies that include sources from magazines that are only available from subscription-only databases. If you've ever read any research in the medical field, psychology, etc., you'll realize that verifying all the sources manually could cost major $$ unless your company or school has a subscription to such a database. I don't agree that the un-linked footnote itself should be eliminated unless the material in the article to which the movie is cited as reference has nothing to do with the movie whatsoever. I haven't seen the movie myself, so I can't attest to whether or not material in the movie is germaine to the content of the passage. Smittz (talk) 16:35, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, at the moment Nick has again removed all references of the Power of Nightmares, which by the way IMHO is the most relevant movie there is about this subject. I should advise anybody interested in this subject to watch it. Mahjongg (talk) 16:53, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
That is simply not true. My edited removed the links to non-licensed hostings of the documentaries; two references to the series remained on the page. The transcripts are similarly unofficial (the BBC hosts its own transcripts of many documentaries, but not TPoN), and - I would suggest - are nothing more than an attempt by you to introduce links to unlicensed video by stealth. Nick Cooper (talk) 08:40, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry Nick, I shouldn't have called what you removed "references", as there is a clear understanding here what references are and what you removed were not references. But then you did not remove a "link to an unlicensed hosting", as you claim, what you did remove (the "references" I was talking about) was the simple text fragment "but can still be viewed online.", you removed that text fragment in this edit. [6]. All I wanted to do, as a reaction to the multiple attempts to remove even this innocent remark was to add -something- so that the reader could quickly gain some insight of what was the movie was all about, but maybe the transcripts are not ideal, I had no idea that there was a link in the transcript to a movie, it wasn't my intent at all to "introduce links to unlicensed video by stealth". I just copied these links from the main page. But I see you removed them already, even though by now it would be a very big stretch to claim the link was against Wikipedia policy, Wikipedia has strict policies against INCLUDING copyrighted material in Wikipedia, but I don't see a policy that says we shouldn't even mention that the material is available online, Only that when linking to copyright offending material the link cannot be used as a reference. All I am attempting to do is to give readers a hint that it IS possible to see this movie, or at least an impression of what the movie is all about, and all you seem to want to do is to remove such hints, so the users get the impression its impossible to see this movie. The user comments on the IMdb are indeed telling "This documentary will probably never be shown in the United States..." Well, you can view it in the US, although some people want to keep that fact a secret. Ill compromise again, and will use the perfectly legal BBC pages as references. Mahjongg (talk) 14:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I copied some references, the IMdb profile, and a couple of transcripts, from the main article. So the reader can at least have some idea of what the movie is about. Mahjongg (talk) 17:13, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Looks good to me, although I can't speak to the legality of the link, it might have the same problem as the You-tube link. Not my area of expertise, but I'd be curious to learn whether it's valid here or not. I would like to see it combined somehow into one link instead of three separate pages, just a product of my sense of symmetry, I guess. There aren't any links to the other sections within the first page, so it's just poor website design at the linked side. There might be a way to condense them into one link, but I don't know how. Smittz (talk) 00:09, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Nick. Re Power of Nightmares. The BBC has signed an agreement with Youtube over content and youtube will scrupulously remove content that the BBC is not happy about which is on youtube. E.g. episodes of Torchwood and Doctor Who are always removed if uploaded because thses shows are shown in foreign markets and subject to regional exclusivity. I think we can rest assured that if there is BBC is content available on youtube it is there with the tacit blessing of the BBC or at least covered by the copyright arrangements between the BBC and youtube. As the BBC pays for certain content to be on the youtube servers I we can be sure that youtube will not want to jeopardize the arrangement. And besides, we would not be breaking the law if we direct people to sites that do, so even the Internet Archive issue should not be our concern. I am fairly sure that we are not re-publishing material if we provide a link to people who do. --Hauskalainen 18:37, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Oh really? And where exactly can one see the terms of this supposed "agreement"? More to the point, where is the one that covers Internet Archive, as well? The plain fact is that the YouTube hostings are unlicensed, and it is neither here nor there that the BBC has not got round to addressing them yet. Condoning such hosting is akin to say that theft of an item is OK until the owner realises that it has been stolen. Nick Cooper (talk) 00:56, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I disagree with the idea that we can "rest (the linked copy) has tacit blessing of the BBC". I'm not disagreeing with the content of the movie (since I haven't seen it), nor am I making an evaluation over the legality of the linked material. Rather it is a comment on the conventions of source-citing and taking the safe position without removing the reference. We have done our due diligence by citing a source, without giving the copyrighted material away or doing anything that could be construed as questionable. Anyone who wants to verify the source may do so. Anyone who wants to research the topic further (which is the primary purpose of this reference) may do so. Smittz (talk) 16:52, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

The BBC has an official channel on YouTube, and shows many documentaries there, but not "the power of nightmares". They also have a FAQ that answers some questions about their policies. Mahjongg (talk) 17:50, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Nick. You say "the plain fact is that the YouTube hostings are unlicenced". Where is your evidence for this? YouTube is owned by a major corporation and as I and Mahjongg are saying, the BBC has an official channel there. I therefore think the presumption should be that the BBC does not regard the carrying of these videos as being an infringement or that it is comfortable for them to be there. With a quick Google I found this quote from a BBC official who did the deal with YouTube
"Ashley Highfield, the BBC’s director of future media and technology, said the BBC would not hunt down all BBC-copyrighted clips already uploaded by YouTube members, but would reserve the right to swap poor-quality clips with the real thing, or to have content removed that had been edited or altered in a way that would damage the BBC’s brand.
“We don’t want to be overzealous,” he said. “A lot of the material on YouTube is good promotional content for us.”"
see I think it bears out entirely what I am saying. Some of the stuff may not have been licensed but the BBC can be assumed to be comfortable with what is there. As I say, when it is uncomfortable about material having been uploaded (as with high demand programmes sold to overseas broadcasters, it jealously protects its copyright and gets the material removed (or else YouTube does this). --Hauskalainen 17:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
There is, of course a world of difference between "clips" and entire programmes, but it is still spurious to claim that the BBC must be OK with it, because it's still there. By that logic, editors could continually cat-and-mouse link to successive illicit hostings of new films on the grounds that each one is "OK" until it gets removed. Clearly that sort of activity would do immense harm to Wikipedia's reputation, and so this represents the thin end of a very dangerous wedge. More to the point, linking here is anomalous given that it has been long-established on The Power of Nightmares that we should not link to unlicensed hostings of the series. It also gives undue weight to the series when the page does not link to - and I'm sure there are plenty - unlicensed hostings of Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 or Outfoxed. Nick Cooper (talk) 15:08, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree somewhat with the cat-and-mouse argument as it would apply to most web sites, but I don't think it can possibly apply in the case of YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google, the most successful internet company in the world. If the broadcasters wanted to sue YouTube for breach of copyright there is every chance that a case win would result in a financial win. Therefore it has a financial interest in keeping broadcasters happy because the potential of the broadcasters to sue them for breach of copyright is so great. I cannot see how you can presume to know that the YouTube content is NOT licenced in some way to YouTube. I think, given the prestige and financial standing of YouTube/Google, we should be allowed to presume that the broadcaster is content for the programme to be svsilable there. I have not been party to the discussions at The Power of Nightmares but I'd be happy to join in. (Having paid my TV Licence for over 30 years I don't feel aggrieved that some people can see this programme for free, and I doubt that most people in the UK would either.) --Hauskalainen 06:35, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Of course the YouTube links are unlicensed. It's been established on The Power of Nightmares that one of the reasons that the series has not been released on DVD by the BBC itself is that the rights to various acrhive clips and music used would be probibitively expensive to clear. Do you honestly believe that a self-evidently private YouTube user "SageProphet" has done so? It's not rocket science. Nick Cooper (talk) 15:51, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
It's been established on... Oh come on, the only person there holding that argument is exactly you... And the only other person involved in the discussion is User:Wolfkeeper who isn't exactly agreeing with you, and the argument ended more in a standoff than in you "winning" it. Talk:The_Power_of_Nightmares#Google_video_linkage_safe You are doing there the same you are dong here, trying to bury the existence of this movie on the internet. You are also the only one using your particular argument, driving it to the extreme, to ban even mentioning the fact that the movie, "illegally" or not, is available on the internet, as if it was an official Wikipedia policy that you cannot even mention this fact! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mahjongg (talkcontribs) 23:29, 24 January 2009
Lots of things are "available on the internet," but because they are not there legitimately, Wikipedia does not link to them. It is clear that your own edits are hopelessly biased, as you see it as your "mission" to "publicise" unlicensed hostings of the series. Although you choose to disbelieve it, I have already stated my admiration for Adam Curtis's work, which pre-dates The Power of Nightmares by a decade, but my enthusiasm stops short of sanctioning the wholesale theft of copyright that the unlicensed hostings represent. As stated previously, linking to unlicensed hostings of TPoN alone out of all the productions mentioned on this page is not appropriate, so I am removing the links yet again. Nick Cooper (talk) 14:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
You constantly misrepresent my "purpose" as "placing links to illegal material", and sound like a broken record player while you do it. I really could not care less whether there is direct link on Wikipedia to "illegal media" or not (although I do agree with Hauskalainen that there probably is no reason to assume it is "illegal material" in the first place). All I want to do is just inform the reader of this article there IS a possibility to see this show, but you are constantly removing even the most carefully worded text to that regard, and using this lame excuse for removing text NOT links. This shows your real purpose, and it does have nothing to do with "following Wikipedia rules". I have no "mission" except making sure a FACT is presented to the US public, and no, that fact is not the content of the movie ( I cannot know the movie is factually correct, In fact I think much of it is bullocks, but I DO think it important that people think about this stuff ) the fact I am talking about is that the movie can be viewed contrary to what the general public assumes! Then, armed with this knowledge, the user may decide himself if he thinks he is "breaking the law" by viewing it, YOU shouldn't be the one deciding that for them by censoring the FACT that it is available! Mahjongg (talk) 00:04, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay, here is the deal, I re-read Wikipedia:COPYLINK, and what it says about "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work.". Well this time I won't even use the argument that I don't "know" that YouTubes copy, or the Internet archive's copy is illegal (WP:COPYLINK itself says "The copyright status of Internet archives in the United States is unclear"), for arguments sake Ill assume they are illegal. But It doesn't say I cannot even mention that (possibly) illegal copies are available on the internet, without linking to it, or even mentioning which sites carry the "illegal" material. So I re-wrote the text so its now completely in conformance with this wikipedia policy, even if you regard these copies as "illegal". Mahjongg (talk) 01:12, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I think you are being deliberately disingenuous. In this page Curtis himself addresses the problems of releasing the series - and his others - on DVD (as well as clearly stating that online transcripts other than any that might appear on the BBC site are "unofficial"). In that context it takes a lot of wishful thinking to even suggest that it could somehow not be released on DVD, but still be hosted on the likes of YouTube of Google Video "officially". The copies there are unlicensed, unofficial, end-of.
As to your suggestion that you should be able to say that unlicensed copies are available on online, I would noted that the same applies to new episodes of Lost, yet there do not appear to be any attempts to publicise the fact on its Wikipedia page in the manner that you want to with The Power of Nightmares. More to the point, this page mentions various books and documentaries, none of which include release or availability details. Going out of your way to flag up how people might get to see TPoN gives the impression that it is an exceptional case, and is therefore inherently biased. Nick Cooper (talk) 17:49, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
The link you are providing yourself is in itself more or less proof of the incredible interest in this movie, and that it IS "an exceptional case". This movie, unlike episodes of "Lost", (which you can buy on DVD on practically every street corner) cannot be viewed other than through "unofficial" channels. But still there is a large body of people who try to break the "deadlock" this movie is in, and even go as far as writing up complete transcripts of the movie, and self publishing "unofficial" home taped versions of it (as expressed by Curtis, in the link you provided). This is an interesting phenomenon all in itself, and therefore worth of mentioning in the article. For episodes of Lost, there is no valid reason to mention that illegal copies exist, let alone link to them, (although it seems only the latter is expressly forbidden in Wikipedia) it is simply not interesting to state that fact outside of an article about DVD pirating. For this movie, about which one person wrote in frustration on the IMdb, PoN forum "it will never be shown in the USA", it IS an interesting fact that there is a movement that fights this deadlock. For these people it has nothing to do with, "not wanting to spend a few dollars on a DVD", it has to do with the fact that the movie has enormous interest even to people who don't live in the UK, and therefore never had a chance to see this series when it was broadcasted on public broadcast TV. That is the message I'm trying to put in the article, this isn't just a movie that was shown on TV in the UK once many years ago and then forgotten, there is still serious interest in this film! But you cannot just go out and buy a DVD with it. My frustration about your actions stem from you removing any kind of mentioning that such an widespread interest exists, You claim I just want to link to "illegal material", but I have long ago given up the wish to show directly that this movie is "out there unofficially", because I can see there is at least some merit to your claim, (although it is still debatable whether the internet archive is hosting the movie "illegally"). I think the article needs mentioning that such widespread interest in this movie exists, and why it has not been released officially in the US, in fact the link you provided is exact the kind of article I was looking for to address this subject. Lets see If I can write something along that line that satisfies your wish not to link to unofficial material, (ill even explicitly warn there are no official versions available) and my wish to say something about the widespread interest in this movie, then hopefully we can bury the hatchet. Mahjongg (talk) 23:40, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Nonsense. The place to discuss the availability or otherwise of The Power of Nightmares is the page devoted to the series directly. Going out of your way to draw attention to such matters here is unnecessary. There are plenty of TV programmes (all of Curtis's other work, for example) and films that are not officially available, but we don't have to digress to discussing the fact on every page that they are mentioned. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:53, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

(Undent), Okay, now you really show your true colors, now you no longer can use your old excuse to remove my edits you simply invent another excuse, Wow you are transparent! You do not decide here what is "important", or what is "unnecessary" we all do that here together, and removing text just because YOU think its "unnecessary" is really NOT DONE! Not that I believe you for one moment when you use this new poor excuse (if it can even be considered an excuse). Again you prove you simply do not want to get this documentary too much attention. When I add some/any explanation about it its because it deserves more text than other movies, which are less central to the theme this article is about. Mahjongg (talk) 21:04, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

P.S. Again, regardless of what I think, I took your "criticism" seriously, and tried hard to heed it. Again, I tried to be constructive instead of destructive. Mahjongg (talk) 21:25, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Political bias and balance in Language section[edit]

In reading the section about Language, I have to agree with those that say it presents a somewhat liberal bias. I think in this section, we need to either Template:Try harder to come up with examples that are not politically one-sided, or at least present bias from both sides of the issue. As it reads, one gets a sense that only persons of liberal political leanings are victims of political fear-mongering. Personally, I think we need to leave out this section altogether, or rework it from a more psychological approach.

If we had had Wikipedia in the 1930s this kind of argument (leave out this section on grounds of balance) would have meant that the name calling by Nazis of Jews and all things Jewish (with connotations of all sorts of things that Germans had been led to believe were bad) would have to be omittted. The only valid argument for balance here is if you could find an equally convincing argument that this process had NOT happened. It either has happened or it has not. Balance is only appropriate if the so called facts are contestable. I undid your edit that implied that the change had happeded over 50 years. The article explicitly refers to the change beginning during the Regan era. It is true that the article does not refer to name calling by the media but I am sure you don't need me to find a reference that this goes on. Youtube is full of examples from TV such as FoxNews. The religious right is also bound up in it, so it seems to me as an outsider looking in. It kind of confirms what is said in that BBC film.--Hauskalainen 02:34, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying to leave out this section at all. You miss the point. I'm saying that, as it reads, there is a definite appearance of political "one-sidedness". That is why I said we need to try harder as editors to come up with some real life examples. I also urge you to reread the article. In this case, the source is taken out of context and is only peripherally related to the information in the passage, as it mentions nothing of the use of the word 'liberal' in the "conservative media". It also says that the changes began with the era of McCarthyism. And yes, the cited passage does say that the process of the twisting of the word 'liberal' began earlier than the "Reagan Era", therefore, the edits should remain.
"By 1960 President Dwight D. Eisenhower would declare that he was a "conservative." A tectonic shift in the development of American thinking, and of politics, had begun."
It is clear that the author of this passage did not intend to make a case against the "Reagan Era" solely, but rather to show the gradual degradation of the word (which as above, is explicit in when it started) and how it gained the connotations it has today. I am not attempting to censor, as you boldly accuse. I'm only striving to ensure that the passages contained within this article remain true to the context of the sources given. I changed the passage back, mainly to reflect the current context of the source. If you wish to continue this pettiness, we can, however I will toss it out there to the other editors to judge whether the passage containing the phrase "conservative media" is contextually better than the edited version that leaves out references to it. Smittz (talk) 17:02, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
There are two points that need to be corrected in order to be in line with the article cited. The article does not mention that liberal is a term of 'abuse'. Using the word 'abuse' smacks of author-intrusion and ironically is almost the exact negative use of language that is described in the passage itself. Changed it back to a more neutral "negative light". I'm open to other suggestions of phrasing if you have them. I chose 'negative light' because it more closely reflects the tone of the passage cited. The author of the article doesn't state that people who use the term 'liberal' do so with abuse, but rather he states that the connotations of the term have been accepted as having a negative connotation, which he finds deplorable. I realize this edit might be viewed as somewhat nit-picky, but it adds to the readability and eliminates (mostly) questions of whether the authors of this Wiki article are using the very fear tactics being described. The second point that I'm going to have to disagree about is that the author of this passage says the change began in the Reagan era. This also smacks of author-intrusion, although I can see how a quick reading of the source may give you the impression that the author thinks that. However, there is more to the article than the one section on politics in the Reagan era. The article is overall about the decline of the word (and the concept) of liberal over time. The time-frame reflected by the Reagan era would start at about 1980, but the author specifies that the decline has its roots in the time-frame beginning as early as 1960 with the Eisenhower campaign. Also the article mentions nothing of the media, but refers to the usage of liberal in culture (and politics). I'm not saying that the media doesn't use it, but that it is not mentioned in the source. I'm simply saying that if we want to say that the media is involved in the decline of the word, we need to have a source that says that, otherwise we're not *using* sources but *being* sources. Changes reverted in this case. Smittz (talk) 17:19, 15 January 2009 (UTC)


I've got to say that, after comparing the original version of this page, that it has come a long way from the wildly disorganized ramble that it once was. It still needs some work, but it's a tribute to the way Wiki works, and the individual contributors that it got to this point. Smittz (talk) 17:41, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Political balance in sources[edit]

I've been perusing over the sources in the article (at the bottom in the "See Also" section) and think that we need to add some examples that are conspicuously missing. There are many more examples of fear being used to manipulate the public. Most of the sources given here fall in line politically to one-side, (i.e. Michael Moore, Robert Greenwald, and so on). There are a few that might be construed as being on another philosophical side, but it is sparse. I'm not trying to accuse anyone in particular with bias, but saying that there is an appearance of such bias.

I can think of a few areas where fear has been "manufactured" and writers/filmmakers who have attempted to illustrate it which aren't included in this listing. Using fear to manipulate is not a solely "conservative" tactic. Such as the people who are up in arms about the politics of global warming (in the text, I already included one example of a person who mentioned the fear-based language in the arena). I can think of several documentaries that are also along the same lines as Moore or Greenwald, but are on different extreme politically. I realize the topic itself lends itself to polarities of politics, but let's try to be fair in reporting the tactics of extremists on all sides. Notice I didn't say we should agree with any particular philosopy or political group -- who cares about what we, the authors, think. In journalism (and Wiki) the idea is to make a strenuous attempt to be objective, and here we should strive to be. We can blog our hearts out with our single- or multiple-sided politics, but let's keep this article as apolitical as we possibly can. I don't have time right now, but I'll try to find some other sources, documentaries, books, that deal with this issue but that reside on a different political plane. Or some that indirectly deal with the issue as it were since some of the given sources seem to be very peripheral in their relevance to a culture of fear. I'm not going to get into the relevance at this point, since I don't have the knowledge (or haven't had time) to evaluate many of the sources. Smittz (talk) 17:51, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree. The article appears biased. Fear is used by all stripes of political bent. More laws are, perhaps, passed by those not on the 'right' by using fear & safety. Nantucketnoon (talk) 07:30, 11 September 2015 (UTC)


Many parents experience a "culture of fear" and risk aversion which affects the liberty they offer to their children. I think this topic deserves a section in this page, although I recognise it is not the main theme of political manipulation. See Slow parenting, Tom Hodgkinson, Frank Furedi, Talk:Parenting styles. This is kind of a note-to-self. Rixs (talk) 13:46, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Awesome sentence[edit]

"The phrase "moral panic" has been used to describe a widespread, irrational scare brought about by a lack of scientific or general education among the public, intrinsic human biases in the assessment of risk, a lack of rational thinking, misinformation, and giving too much weight to rumor." Wow. That is one of the best sentences I've seen on wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

removing content from lede[edit]

as requested i am detailing why i am removing some content from the lede.

the first part:

"Culture of fear is a term used by certain scholars, journalists and politicians who believe that some people in public life incite fear in the general public to achieve political and other ends. Examples of terms that engender such fears are becoming common but have existed before. Islamic terrorism, socialized medicine, and yellow peril are examples of phrases used in the media and by politicians which, it is claimed are or were intended to frighten people. Some claim that the 2001 Anthrax attacks, which were never fully resolved as to cause, created a climate of fear in the U.S. and elsewhere which politicians exploited to make it easier to sway public opinion in favor of the invasion of Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq"

the ref used to support this content is an op-ed, besides the fact that it only discusses the "anthrax" information. it doesn't support the broad assertion that "Culture of fear is a term used by certain scholars, journalists and politicians..." which politicians, journalists and scholars? such assertions must be independently supported by refs, otherwise this constitutes WP:OR.
the second part:

"Some allege that people and groups spread fear for profit."

this assertion is not directly supported by the ref. if its inclusion is desired, may i suggest an attribution to who is making such allegations be specified and supported by a ref.
restoring the previous lede. WookieInHeat (talk) 14:58, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I am astounded at your brazen attitude. You have seemingly systematically been deleting content from the article from writers, journalists, and academics and then you delete the summary saying.."What journalists, writers and academics". I have been through all of your changes and most of them were unacceptable and those that were unacceptable I have reverted. You may not like what has been written but that is no good reason for doing what you did. As I read that op ed it was a person describing his opinion and as I read the text the text stated it was his opinion. That means that an Op Ed can be reasonably attributed to that person and that op ed reference is an excellent reference for a statement about what the opinions of the writer were at the time he wrote the piece. We are not citing "facts" but "opinions" and as such, especially in an article such as this, there will be opinions on both sides. We should be quite happy for you to add the opinions of writers, journalists and academics who have criticized the "Culture of Fear" hypothesis, but to systematically delete the views of the "Culture of Fear" viewpoint is doing a disservice to the reader.

As to what you replaced it with ...i.e. this

Culture of fear is a term used by some among public discourse to accuse public figures of inciting fear to achieve a political end, in an attempt to alarm the audience into acceding to this accusation.

the sentence is without merit IMHO. Culture of Fear is the cultural end point of impressions pushed upon us by the media and by certain is not "term used to accuse" as you so ineptly put it. The sentence you deleted was a summary of the article as it is supposed to be. The article is well referenced. If you don't like the references please have the courtesy to discuss the matter here first. There are some points in your edits that said there were unsourced statements. This is not unusual in WP and the normal course of events is to mark the sentence as unsourced so that the reader is aware and so that other editors may seek to provide he references sought. Text can be dull reading if absolutely everything is challenged and most of those sentences (probably all) did not seem to me to be unreasonable. Maybe you can discuss here first the things you are not happy about or simply ask for citations where you see a gap or if you have grounds for doubt. Block deletes of text in an article that needs improvement is very unhelpful

"I am astounded at your brazen attitude." another editor in the deletion discussion agreed that the article needed much work and suggested that someone WP:BEBOLD to rectify the situation; this is what i did.
"it is not "term used to accuse" as you so ineptly put it" i did not write the sentence, that was the existing lede before your addition. may i also take this opportunity to remind you about WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF.
"There are some points in your edits that said there were unsourced statements. This is not unusual in WP and the normal course of events is to mark the sentence as unsourced so that the reader is aware and so that other editors may seek to provide he references sought." no, sorry, references come first. if any content is unreferenced, any editor may remove said content at any time.
if you would like, we can go through the content ref by ref and work out our differences as the content is being readded, i will be around tonight, but the article in its current form is poorly referenced and full of WP:OR. cheers WookieInHeat (talk) 20:38, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
as to your changes to the lede, the aritcle is an op-ed piece and is unsuitable in the way you are using it. the specific content the ref is supporting must be attributed since it is an op-ed, not to mention the article only discusses the "anthrax" part of the content you added and doesn't support the rest of the paragraph you wrote. the last sentence must be altered if you would like it included, you are drawing a conclusion from the ref you are using, not stating fact that is directly supported by the article. WookieInHeat (talk) 20:49, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
the "constructed fear" section was referenced only by some OR drawn from the michael moore file sicko and a personal blog/podcast. more references will be needed to support this lengthy section. WookieInHeat (talk) 20:51, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
the content about "socialized medicine" you added is not directly related to this article, it is another example of OR. if this content is to be added to this article, you will need to find a reference directly supporting a link between the socialized medicine debate and a "culture of fear". WookieInHeat (talk) 21:22, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

merge to Fear mongering[edit]

i'm going through the process of removing some of the WP:OR and non-WP:RS now. if any editors can specify some content they believe should remain or possibly be merged to the fear mongering article, make your suggestions here. cheers WookieInHeat (talk) 15:42, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

i'm gone ahead and removed most of the original research and poorly sourced content, the only significant content that is left really are the "Language as a conditioner for fear", "Books", "Documentaries" and "External Links" sections; and i'm sure these can be greatly reduced as well. i tried to aptly summarize my removals in the edit history so it would be easy for editors to go back and retrieve content if they believe it shouldn't have been removed. maybe it's easier to see now why this article should probably be merged. WookieInHeat (talk) 16:12, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
for those who wish for this article not to be merged, it would probably be a good idea to use the refs from the "books" or "external links" sections to create some new content to justify this articles existence. WookieInHeat (talk) 16:29, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Strong Oppose. The two are significant different from one another. This article is the more important of the two politically and socially. --Hauskalainen (talk) 11:20, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Oppose, for the same reasons. -Welhaven (talk) 22:49, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Oppose, indeed for the same reasons. Fear mongering though related isn't as important a subject as this article, in fact fear mongering is just one instrument that can be used to create "a culture of fear". Also merging this article to "fear mongering" seems just to be a creative way to kill this article. Mahjongg (talk) 23:40, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

my suggestion to merge the article was by no means a method of killing this topic. it was more an effort to weed out the substantial amount of WP:OR and unrelated content that previously existed in this article. people adding content to this article don't seem to understand they can't just add topics which they view as being part of a "culture of fear", but rather they must find reliable sources drawing an association between their additions and this term. anyway, i have removed a lot of content that was unrelated to the topic or had no clear association, i am happy to just watch the article and keep an eye out for poorly sourced additions and original research; removing merge tag. WookieInHeat (talk) 14:09, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Okay, as feared you managed to impose your own POV, and effectively censored/killed the article. well done... Mahjongg (talk) 22:00, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
please... i haven't imposed anything. i've been here on the talk page discussing/detailing all my changes, i have yet to be engaged by anyone wishing otherwise. if you disagree with my changes, feel free to discuss/dispute them here. fuck, even edit war, i don't care. just don't accuse me of "imposing" anything while no one else has even so much as voiced an opinion on any content. WookieInHeat (talk) 22:39, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
No, I simply observe you now own this article, and I don't care. Mahjongg (talk) 17:02, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
really, i've been doing nothing but encouraging other users to participate, asking for opinions, etc. but do/think whatever you like i guess, doesn't make a difference to me. cheers WookieInHeat (talk) 20:55, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

think the topic is much more clearly defined now, far less OR and more of a concentration on factual statements. although i'm not sure why i am conversing about this here as i apparently own the article anyway, it would seem some people need to get over a different form of a "culture of fear". cheers WookieInHeat (talk) 04:48, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Oppose merge. WookieInHeat, you can't be surprised that people doubt your motives, given that you've simultaenously put the article up for merging and deletion, and have made major changes to it. It has also been the victim of suppression before. Other people: would anyone like to review WookieInHeat's changes? I had a brief look and thought they were OK. (-- Rixs (talk) 10:40, 29 November 2010 (UTC) but written 2 days earlier)

the merge tag has been gone for a while. and yes, i can blame the people who automatically assumed bad faith before even discussing my motives with me. the article was just a jumble of various unrelated ideas with no clear definition and was full of some pretty terribly sourced OR before i got here. WookieInHeat (talk) 14:02, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Tony Benn[edit]

I would like to include Mr.Benn's opinion, but citing ripped videos from YouTube that I think are copyright violations seems widely innapropriate. Are we sure that we cannot find some other source for him? Sugar-Baby-Love (talk) 17:05, 29 November 2010 (UTC) Its not a copyright violation for Wikipedia as far as I can tell. It's fair use. Moore does not agree with the copyright laws and he has gone public in saying is happy about information about ideas being shared even for free so long as its nobody else is making a profit from his own work. See :=) --Hauskalainen (talk) 12:33, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Distortion and corruption of sources[edit]

This mirrors the similar argument made six years earlier by Adam Curtis in The Power of Nightmares film, in which he states that the fear of global communism was largely a myth and has since been replaced with another, a fear of global Islamic terrorism.

This addition to the article has numerous problems.

(a)It's the personal editorializing opinion of a Wikipedia editor himself, it's not cited to a source.
(b)It's a factually incorrect connection since Catalán describes the "culture of fear" as a product of statist government intervention into people's personal lives (whether by the left, the right, or the center), whereas Curtis views the "culture of fear" as something arising only from neoconservatives. Sugar-Baby-Love (talk) 01:01, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem with the article discussing the consequences of a culture of fear, though perhaps that should be in a different section. I am open to including the other view of Catalán as you will see in the section below.--Hauskalainen (talk) 12:24, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I consider this ironic since leftist politicians such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and the like were and are strongly influenced by fascism and seem to me like clones of modern neoconservatives. That is the point that Catalán makes as you can read about statism and its relationship to a "culture of fear". After all, fascism is merely another shade of socialism by definition. Sugar-Baby-Love (talk) 01:09, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Re (a). It is cited to a source, a clear reference to the Catalán piece shows that IN THAT PART he does agree with the idea that there has been an American engendered culture of fear for political purposes. He cites the fear of the Soviet Union though he gives no references for this unlike Curtis. I have not expressed any opinion.
Re (b), First of all you must recognize that in Curtis's case he is is discussing a phenomena of recent history and that has something to do with the neo-conservatives, but not exclusively. He also blames the press, including the BBC for its news coverage (and I don't think anyone is claiming that the BBC is a bastion of neocon thought).He makes a great deal of the "alarmist" reaction to westernization by groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist groups operating in North Africa (Egypt and Algeria in particular) which entirely failed to act in a reactionary way to extreme acts of violence in their own midsts. And of course he is not talking about the phenomena from a social psychological point of view as people like Furedi do... he is grounded in the political side of the phenomena and in connection between American Foreign policy. I would say the same is true of Catalán, though as you point out his CONCLUSIONS about the CONSEQUENCES of the culture of fear are different ones from those expressed by Curtis does not really say much about consequences other than to point out the fears are not really well grounded and that we have fallen into wars unnecessarily by them and created enemies in our heads which may have led to them being created in reality. What Catalán says is that there were other fears in the past (though he gives no references to justify them) and other consequences, but that is the issue I want to discuss in the next section.--Hauskalainen (talk) 11:41, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Jonathan M. Finegold Catalán[edit]

As I said earlier, the Catalán article makes the same connection between an alarmist fear of the Soviet Union that certain people in the Curtis films do. The CIA analysts make it plain that the Soviet Union was in a near state of collapse whilst at the same time the politicians were playing the "red danger card". I chose to highlight that element of Catalán's piece because it so neatly ties in to the article and shows that it is not just people like Curtis that sees this connection between engendering fears and gaining powers as a result. The other element from the Catalán piece that has been cut in to the article is the further issue of whether people have given too much power to their government. That is a very good point from a political standpoint but it is conjecture and an issue which is tangential to the issue of a culture of fear (i.e. this is about consquences of conceding powers to government, and therefore comes AFTER the issue of whether or not there IS a culture of fear, who is behind it (if anyone) if there is a culture of fear. I am not saying it is not relevant but it addresses a slightly different issue. Maybe we can incorporate both.--Hauskalainen (talk) 11:41, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

As we have not been able to agree how to insert the reference to Catalán's ideas, I thought it wise to take it out so that we can discuss here what the issues we have are. Then hopefully we can agree how to get a balanced entry we can all be happy with.

This for reference is your addition

Economics journalist Jonathan M. Finegold Catalán has argued:

The United States has a long history of exploiting fear for the purpose of legitimizing its growth. The current generations of American citizens are direct witnesses to over eight decades of such exploitation. In the Great Depression, the government used the fear of capitalism to legitimize previously unforeseen growth in the size of the federal bureaucracy... Our government's authority is based on the notion that only the state can protect the American people from the vices of greed and opposing ideologies. The state thrives off the creation of a false dichotomy between stateless ruin and state-induced prosperity. The actual relationship is quite clear, however: the state itself is actually the people's greatest threat... the culture of fear created by government must be dispelled. Man must not allow himself to fall prey to the state's exploitation of his emotions. Man must, once again, recognize the fallibility of the state and the availability of other options.[1]

I chose to quote from the first part where he talks about the same use of fear that Curtis talks about because it fitted better into the earlier narrative (he talks in the article ".....For nearly half a century, the elusive threat posed by the Soviet Union formed the basis of American foreign and domestic policy. Much of the United States' political and economic development was in fact a product of the government's exploitation of a supposed Soviet menace. Gerasimov recognized that the fall of communist Russia denied the American government the ability to exploit the fear of Marxism to its own benefit. It was as if the American government had lost its reason for being".. That is what the CIA Analysts effectively say in the Curtis film and Curtis then goes on to say that the fear of Global Terrorism is made to be the new threat. My text cited both Curtis and Catalán and gace references. I see no hint of me pushing a POV as I was accused of doing. They are the opinions of these two men, properly stated. There is no "blatant distortion" ( as far as I can tell. The quote above which has replaced it does, it is true, refer to a fear in the 1930's which he calls "a fear of capitalism" to extend the state. The problem is that Catalán does not tell us the basis for his belief that the government worked off a "fear of capitalism". My knowledge of economic history is that Roosevelt, like Hitler, following the Great Depression, decided that if private persons were not spending (because of the collapse of the free market there were no jobs) and because industry was not spending (because markets had disappeared as people lost their jobs), only government could get the wheels of the economy back in motion. Where is the "fear of Capitalism"? He says it is there but he gives no basis for it. Whereas Curtis provides the evidence for the "elusive threat posed by the Soviet Union" (CIA analysts in Team A), Catalán gives no evidence for either his statement of the Soviet threat or the capitalist threat. That is profoundly troubling because I do not read history the way that he presents it. The statement that has been added back is also troubling because it adds together sentences from different parts of the article making it more inclined to be interpreted as OR. The third objection is that it does not stop at just making statement of fact unsubstantiated by reference to sources, it also goes on to make a political point "the state itself is actually the people's greatest threat... the culture of fear created by government must be dispelled. Man must not allow himself to fall prey to the state's exploitation of his emotions. Man must, once again, recognize the fallibility of the state and the availability of other options" which to me goes way beyond that which is necessary to illustrate the concept of a culture of fear... it leads into a political statement, and Wikipedia has to clearly delineate fact from opinion. If we are going to have opinion here, it has to be balanced as per NPOV.--Hauskalainen (talk) 11:41, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Goering quote[edit]

This seems well suited to be an example in this article:

"The people don't want war, but" they "can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." - Hermann Goering, during the Nuremberg Trials.
-Welhaven (talk) 19:29, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Mbhiii (aka Welhaven), That is called synthesis. (talk) 19:57, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Do you really think it requires a source to see this is an example of "some in society incite fear in the general public to achieve political goals."? -Welhaven (talk) 19:54, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

New material on abuse of law[edit]

See Obama's War on WikiLeaks -- and Us. I don't have time to add this properly just now. It describes abuse of law by the US government, allowed by the culture of fear. Perhaps this article isn't the very best place for it, but it might be. -- Rixs (talk) 14:00, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Teaching by fear[edit]

"Teaching by fear" is a related concept where teachers think that terrifying the student is an effective teaching technique - used for example in schools in Victorian times in the UK. --Penbat (talk) 18:58, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

culture of fear as bullying and sociology[edit]

plenty on politics but little on the sociology and bullying of culture of fear--Penbat (talk) 09:43, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Constructing an American Fear Culture From Red Scares To Terrorism[edit]

Abstract of paper by Geoffrey R. Skoll: "Building on the work of social analysts who have identified the emerging culture of fear in the United States, this article argues that the current fears about terrorism derive from deliberate campaigns by the world capitalism’s elites. It traces the history of political scares since the late nineteenth century to show an evolution from Red scares to terrorism. While acknowledging the complexities of cultural constructions, the obsession with terrorism is shown as an outgrowth and offspring of earlier, anti-communist hysterias in the United States."

Suggest adding synopsis to "Analysis" section. Buboetherat (talk) 16:56, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Integrating into article Strategy of tension[edit]

I propose integrating this article into the article Strategy of tension as a new chapter "USA" regarding the situation in the USA. Reason 1: Both articles have the same topic: A government creates fear in its citizens by suggesting to them they would be under permanent threat/attack by foreign or domestic enemies. Reason 2: The article Strategy of tension describes documented historic events which present more importance. Reason 3: This article describes only the US situation whereas the Strategy of tension article relates to several countries. These two articles are also tightly interconnected with the articles McCarthyism and Red Scare. This connection should at least be stated clearly through links between the articles or mentioning in chapters. Icarus4 (talk) 10:45, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Hermann Göring quote[edit]

Is this WP:OR and WP:SYN?

Culture of fear (or climate of fear) is a term used by certain scholars, writers, journalists and politicians who believe that some in society incite fear in the general public to achieve political goals.[2] For example, Nazi leader Hermann Göring explains a case:

The people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.[3]

  1. ^ "A Culture of Fear". Mises Daily. August 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ Klaehn, Jeffery (2005). Filtering the news: essays on Herman and Chomsky's propaganda model. Black Rose Books. pp. 23–24. 
  3. ^ Gustave Gilbert (1947) Nuremberg Diary.

It doesn't look that way to me. Derntno (talk) 16:48, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes it is. (talk) 13:12, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok, no it isn't Yes it is back and forth gets nobody anywhere. The quote descrives the culture of fear, but doesn't use the phrase and shouldn't be in the lead. Consider working it into the article. SPACKlick (talk) 13:19, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

workplace perspective completely missing[edit]

absolutely nothing about culture of fear or climate of fear in the workplace. --Penbat (talk) 08:45, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Good point, I think a section could and should be added to this article relating to the workplace Penbat, possibly leading to management by fear?Mrm7171 (talk) 11:01, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Probably best placed in the opening paragraph? eg "culture of fear can also operate in the workplace"Mrm7171 (talk) 11:04, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Even just one cited sentence is a start although ideally there should ideally be about as much text for workplace as politics. It also, of course, applies at the interpersonal level, eg abuse as in domestic violence - power and control in abusive relationships. "Ambient abuse" on Google gives some interesting results.--Penbat (talk) 13:07, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

The workplace[edit]

Needs to cover culture of fear in the workplace. --Penbat (talk) 14:22, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Reference 13[edit]

Does not appear to be working (talk) 22:04, 18 August 2015 (UTC)