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‘After fear comes anger’ – Austrian psychologist warns of lockdown consequences

The Viennese psychologist Anna Werksnies described the mechanisms and the consequences of the pandemic.

Published: October 14, 2021, 2:45 pm

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    Vienna

    “After fear comes anger and with it the loss of solidarity, integrity and loyalty,” Werksnies said about social developments in connection with the Corona crisis. “Insecurities, aggression and mistrust are quietly and secretly becoming constant companions of our everyday life. Society breaks up into subgroups that fight each other.”

    On the website keinstatus.at, she described fundamental developments using fear as a strategy. “The best strategy to make someone docile, obedient, or conformist is simply to scare them. The more fearful a person becomes, the more willing they are to do anything to get rid of the powerful emotion of fear.”

    A lot of money was also being spent on image consultants, communication experts, chaos architects and lobbyists and because of them, the Sars-Cov-2 virus has been “massively polarized”.

    When fear arises, there is a great urge to bond with someone who promises a remedy, Werksnies  said, pointing to human survival strategies based on evolutionary biology. It is not so much the quality of the liberator that plays a role, “but the presence, the power and the dominance”. People persist for a while “in this tendency to bond with the liberator and the masses behave calmly and adjusted”.

    The explanations and arguments used are “not necessarily logical or sound,” since they are only designed to  “just reach many people easily and quickly”. Among other things, the online platform Twitter is very well suited for this. But it becomes very dangerous if the anxiety that is generated lasts too long, she added.

    Then a valve is sought to be able to let out the pent-up anger arising out of fear: “In that case, a scapegoat has to be found.” The directed anger is “often not logically rational”. For the “liberator” it is important to then provide a “scapegoat”, according to the psychologist in order not to become a target.

    Werksnies underlined that politicians often like to play the role of the “liberator” and use this simple strategy to gain power.

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