Fear And Terror : The Prince By Foucault 's Panopticon And Surveillance Society

1613 Words Dec 17th, 2014 null Page
Many people consider fear and terror synonymous, often interchangeable. In fact, in most situations they are. However, in terms of political science, a distinction must clearly be made. While fear and terror may correlate, they are not the synonymous, and definitely not interchangeable. Machiavelli considers fear a tool for maintaining political power. Terror, on the other hand, is not a means to achieving a goal; terror is the political environment. Totalitarianism is the system through which it is implemented. The reach of totalitarianism is only extended by Foucault’s Panopticon and surveillance society. The extended reach promotes the molding of citizens to subjects. The Lives of Others demonstrates many of these effects of living in a totalitarian state. In modern political society, fear and terror are complementary but not identical; fear becomes a tool in creating an environment of terror.
In The Prince, Machiavelli focuses on how fear should be used in order to maintain power. He believes that “fear restrains men because they are afraid of punishment, and this fear never leaves them. Still, a ruler should make himself feared in such a way that, if he does not inspire love, at least he does not promote hatred. For it is perfectly possible to be feared and not hated” (Machiavelli, 36). Machiavelli’s system depends entirely on fear of punishment; if a citizen breaks a law, punish them severely so that others around them will fear punishment. This way, the populous…

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