Engulfed Apathy: A Systemic Crisis
The xenophobic discourses and practices post 9/11 have led to the proliferation of other-making through fear at the local, national and international levels. The role of emotions cannot be underestimated in the current western cultural politics. Where fear spreads in the political and social landscape, it reaches into the individual body, in a complex interaction, danger, anxiety and love of one’s nation (patriotism) lead into engulfed apathy, which is part of a tripartite of alienation in Thomas Scheff’s articulation. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the aim of this paper is to explore how this phase of modernity is saturated by certain primary emotions such as fear, anger and hatred that testify to systemic crisis whether economic, political or cultural within the system which breaths apathy, triggering violence. This paper not only relies on Eric Fromm’s concept of alienation as developed in his text, The Sane Society, Zigmunt Bauman’s Liquid Love, and Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition, but also looks into the effect of the value-neutrality methodology and the expansion of alienation in the realm of knowledge making. Perhaps Hans Gadamer’s Truth and Method is a text which sheds light into the myth of value neutrality that can be interpreted as a form of concurrent systemic alienation within the modern world of knowledge-making. This paper is an interpretive and genealogical cultural analysis which relies on a post-modern qualitative critical examination.