Barry Glassner makes a similar argument in the book The Culture of Fear:
"There has never been another era in modern history, even during wartime or the Great Depression, when so many people have feared so much. Three out of four Americans say they feel more fearful today then they did twenty years ago. The Culture of Fear describes the high costs of living in a fear-ridden environment where realism has become rarer than doors without deadbolts.Why do we have so many fears these days? Are we living in exceptionally dangerous times? To watch the news, you’d certainly think so, but Glassner demonstrates that it is our perception of danger that has increased, not the actual level of risk. The Culture of Fear is an expose of the people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit from our fears: politicians who win elections by heightening concerns about crime and drug use even as rates for both are declining; advocacy groups that raise money by exaggerating the prevalence of particular diseases; TV newsmagazines that monger a new scare every week to garner ratings. Glassner spells out the prices we pay for social panics: the huge sums of money that go to waste on unnecessary programs and products as well as time and energy spent worrying about our fears."
Just as the state employs fear of enemies abroad to build its military infrastructure, it has used fear at home to build a police presence that far exceeds what is necessary to address realistic threats within our communities, and it has done so in collaboration with health providers and researchers. This fear benefits a few at the expense of many - undermining the fabric of our families and communities. The loss of life at the hands of our supposed protectors of peace around the country has led to at least one positive outcome - a national conversation around the nature of our policing, incarceration, and justice in the United States. The best way to counter the fear-based narratives being broadcast into our neighborhoods is to develop and share a fact-based narrative to offer in its place. We each have a stake in this conversation.
In a death culture that drives us toward fear, hate, and the escalation of violence, we can be bearers of a culture of life that draws others toward light, truth, and peace.