On Fear - by April Pierce

Over the last ten odd years, the United States shocked itself twice: first by voting for hope, then by electing fear. The new leader of the free world dreaded a holy host of imminent dangers: terrorists, Mexicans, women, immigrants. Ink is frequently spilled in the popular press over the power of happiness and optimism, but less is said of fear. They say fear is the oldest and strongest emotion — a political tool favoured by dictators and tyrants. But what is its purpose? Where does it feed? How does it grow?

Let’s begin with a hypothesis: fear often grows in the absence of an immediate threat.

Dr. April Pierce works as an Upper School teacher at The American School in England. She holds an MA from New York University and a DPhil from the University of Oxford.