Ebola, the “heart of darkness” and the epidemic of fear

The Crimes Of Premeditated Genocides

Source: http://www.salon.com/2014/10/04/ebola_the_heart_of_darkness_and_the_epidemic_of_fear/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

It’s a dangerous virus and Africa is suffering. But the American media-political panic is ugly and narcissistic

SATURDAY, OCT 4, 2014


Nowa Paye, 9, is taken to an ambulance after showing signs of the Ebola infection in the village of Freeman Reserve, Liberia, Sept. 30, 2014. (Credit: AP/Jerome Delay)
Ebola, at least from the American perspective, is something like the great white shark. It’s dangerous, all right, but the odds that it’s going to get you are vanishingly small. Fear of large predators and fear of the plague are deeply encoded in human experience and handed down from our ancestors. Maybe an instinctive response is invoked that we can’t resist. But in both cases, the self-refueling cycle of media panic is an epidemic that’s almost certainly more destructive than the original phenomenon itself — and the fear is not really about what we claim it’s about…

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