The High Cost Of Fear – 1975 – Past Daily Reference Room

The reality of a fearful society is that occasionally the fear is real.

The reality of a fearful society is that occasionally the fear is real.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – NPR – Options: Security – 1975 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

It’s safe to say we, in America live in a fear-based society. Everything we see and hear has some element of the fearful unknown attached to it. We are warned of impending death from any one of a number of causes; real or imagined. We are told of persistent threats from unknown evil forces, conspiring to kills us, maim us, torture us. We are told via almost every commercial or testimonial we see or hear that disaster or the unseen malignant force is “out there”, and we need to act accordingly.

We need to be safe – but we can never be safe – we will never be safe.

Unless we are vigilant.

And as far back as any memory will serve, we’ve been under the impending threat of “something” dire and something dangerous. And no less a threat of imminent danger now than we were 40 years ago, when National Public Radio ran this segment from their Options series entitled “Security”.

We’re given statistics of skyrocketing crimes, burglaries, break-ins, murders – all at epidemic levels.

Strange, that in the aftermath of Watergate and the Great American Betrayal which resulted, our fear of the malignant unknown was more pronounced than before. Those steps we were taking to ensure our safety, our way of life, our peace of mind, were more dramatic now (in 1975) than they were in previous years.

Or maybe that was our imagination. Maybe it’s always been that way – that bad – that dangerous to be a full-time member of the Human race. Maybe fear is just part of our genetic makeup.

Whatever the symptom or the cause, in 1975 it was an epidemic. Or at least the media thought so.

So, here is that segment of the NPR program Options, entitled Security and all the state-of-the-art ways of combatting it in 1975. Maybe it’s changed – become more dangerous now than before. Certainly in 1975 there was no such thing as Homeland Security and we weren’t in constant fear of Terrorist threats. Maybe it really is worse now than ever before.

But we also said that in 1975 – and we’ll most likely say it in 2020. Fear just seems to be a part of us.

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