2015 — The Year of Fear?

Trudeau welcomes refugeesExcerpts from a piece in The Guardian on December 20 by Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings, which won this year’s Man Booker prize

Fear almost won this year, didn’t it? And that was before terrorists attacked Paris for the second time, taking 130 lives and devastating far more. This was capital T terrorism, set to do exactly as the word implies.

And it did, because an atrocity is not a singular act, but the first of many tumbling dominoes. Terror tumbles on top of freedom. Freedom tumbles on top of trust, trust tumbles on top of diversity, all of which spark an acute hatred of the other, and, by that point, any other will do. Even if it’s a kid building a clock as a project, or a bunch of Sikh bros kept out of an American football stadium just for wanting to keep their hair to themselves. Fear of terror does that – it erases the line between the scary and the ridiculous, so that it seems as if we’re all living in a slapstick. And that was before Donald Trump and his comb-over….

Which is why, despite the terrible example set by scores of politicians this year, the best example might also be a few politicians who chose to do something else. Justin Trudeau in Canada and Angela Merkel. Trudeau in particular, because his government’s gesture to welcome refugees was post-Paris. It’s too early to say if he will be a great prime minister, but one thing he has demonstrated is that the idea that love must always defeat fear, especially at the end of this most turbulent of years, is one whose time has come.


One response to “2015 — The Year of Fear?

  1. Do not the existential modes of ‘love’ and ‘fear’ timelessly unfold together? How can those who are in ‘love’ not also be experiencing some shade of the dreadful sensation of ‘fear’? Isn’t ‘love’ just one form of ‘fear’? Such as that of losing ‘it’, that is the object of one’s ‘love’ or of those who are ‘loved’? What kind of an incipient ‘love_fear’ calculus can possibly enter into politicians’ endorsement of ‘the idea that love must always defeat fear’?