In an enlightening interview with the Fearist philosopher, Desh Subba, conducted by Hanson Wen of Harrow International School Hong Kong for the Philosophy Crossroad podcast, Subba delves into the core concepts of Fearism and Fearmorphosis. Exploring the profound influence of fear on human thought, societal structures, and the development of his philosophy, Subba challenges established traditions and offers a unique interpretive framework. The interview uncovers the essence of Fearmorphosis, the role of fear in shaping ideas and theories, and its impact on social structures and phenomena. Join us in this intellectual journey as Subba shares his insights on fear as a fundamental force shaping human existence.
Hanson Wen: What is Fearmorphosis, could you give us a general overview?
SUBBA: Fearmorphosis is a process and activity. We fear that we may die because of various reasons. To save a life, our body transforms differently according to time and space. Hunting society metamorphosizes to agriculture and agriculture changes to industry. Culture, language, society, politics, economics, education, healthcare, all metamorphosis. If they don’t do that, they can be extinct. The life of a frog and that of a butterflies is the same. The cause of Metamorphosis is fear. The existing metamorphosis word cannot give a clear definition. Fearmorphosis is the appropriate word for it.
Hanson Wen: How does fear play a role in shaping ideas and theories? Can you give some examples?
SUBBA: Fear plays a major role in shaping ideas and theories similar to the role of the Amygdala of the brain. Can human consciousness function without the Amygdala? It is impossible. The scientists have experimentally proven it. If we take out fear from political theories, can they be sustained? A developed form of the social contract is the constitution. Without a constitution and laws, can the state sustain itself? Most of all ideas and theories are shaped by fear. It plays metaphysically.
Hanson Wen. How does fear play a role in shaping social structures phenomena? Can you give some examples?
SUBBA: Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Friedrich Nietzsche, and some other philosophers believe that power structures society. Their primary is power. Question to them, Fear Precedes Power, or Power Precedes Fear? Their side is Power Precedes Fear. My side is Fear Precedes Power. Neither power is emotion nor at first, people think about power. Were the stones invented because of power? If they were powerful, why should they need a weapon? Even today, Taiwan buys weapons. If Taiwan is powerful, why should it need to spend on weapons? When a man walks in a dark, lonely place, does he have power? He fears and accumulates power. Power never structures individuals, society, or the nation. Fear is the foundation, but thinkers do not think on it. I give a good example. In the ancient times, nomads were either individuals or small groups. They had fear. So, they started to unite. Unification is a power, the reason is fear. Even today, when we are walking alone, we fear. Thus, we need help to manage fear. It is applicable to the state, economy, society, community, race, etc. That’s why I say Fear Precedes Essence (power).
Hanson Wen: What originally inspired you to develop a “Philosophy of Fearism”? How did you come to see fear as such a central force shaping human thought and society?
SUBBA: I was not inspired by anything. The concept of Philosophy of Fearism was coined in 1999. I had a manuscript of the novel. Unknowingly, I have written Fearism (Bhayabad in Nepali). At the beginning, I did not notice it. I gave it to some of my friends for feedback. When poet Saran Subba returned to me, he had underlined the Fearism word with red ink. It clicked (enlightened) and it drew my attention. I thought it could be something. At that time, I was not familiar with philosophies, modernism, and postmodernism. I am from business school and graduated in commerce. I didn’t read classic, medieval, and other philosophies. After coinage, I started to deeply think and be passionate about it.
Hanson Wen: Your work challenges a lot of established philosophical traditions and orthodoxies. What led you to believe we needed this new interpretive framework?
SUBBA: I was not satisfied with traditions and orthodoxies. The foundation of their theories is unacceptable to me. For example, Marxism says the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle. Do you agree with it? In the beginning, there was no class, then how come class struggle? In early civilization, people had fear. So, I define, the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of fear struggle. Fear struggle and class struggle, which one is reliable, readers can judge. The basis of communism is fear of ‘spectre’. The first sentence of Communist Manifesto is ‘a spectre is haunting Europe -the spectre of communism.’ No one was attracted to it. I argue the foundation of the Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital, and communism is fear (i.e., spectre/ghost).
Hanson Wen: How do you think your philosophical approach can help diagnose and address structural problems in society related to things like economics, politics, and social inequity?
SUBBA: Yes, I apply myself. It has a formula; life-consciousness- knowledge-fear. I have always been a low-income employee. I applied for a government house. At the time of seeing the flat, the government informed us about the flat. Honestly, the staff informed me that there was a fire accident at that flat. In that accident, someone was burnt by fire. If my family knew about it, they would have afraid to live. I didn’t let them know for ten years. Without knowledge of the accident, they weren’t afraid of it. We lived for a long time. After a long time, I talked about that. Now it has become normal for them. Because of this philosophy, my family has been living peacefully. Otherwise, I would have to suffer from the financial crisis.
Hanson Wen: You use a lot of storytelling and literary metaphors in explicating your philosophy. Why did you find this important for conveying your ideas?
SUBBA: In the recently published book Fearmorphosis, I used the Myth of Sisyphus, The Allegory of Panopticon, The Fable of Scapegoat, Story of Das Kapital, and Legend of Bhageerath. These metaphors explicate to present my theories like Philosophy of Fearism, Trans Philosophism, and Fearmorphosis. I hope you feel comfortable understanding my ideas through it.
Hanson Wen: What future directions do you envision for the development of Fearism philosophy? What other disciplines or areas of inquiry could it be fruitfully applied to?
SUBBA: The Fearists all over the world are writing books, articles, and journals about these ideas. Some of them give lectures in universities. Every day, we can see new references taken by scholars. It takes time to reach mass readers. However, progress is satisfactory. Scholars are applying it in economics, ecology, healthcare, politics, literature, criticism, psychology, philosophy, and language. It depends on how scholars understand it. I am confident it can be applied to most of the disciplines.
Thank you, dear Hanson Wen for taking interviewing me. I have tried to simplify the answers.
In a thought-provoking exploration of Fearism and Fearmorphosis, Desh Subba, a Fearist philosopher, shares his profound insights with Hanson Wen in an interview for the Philosophy Crossroad podcast. From the transformative concept of Fearmorphosis to the fundamental role of fear in shaping ideas and social structures, Subba challenges traditional philosophies, offering a fresh interpretive framework for understanding the complexities of human existence. As Fearism continues to gain traction across disciplines, Subba envisions a future where the philosophy’s application extends to economics, ecology, healthcare, politics, literature, criticism, psychology, philosophy, and language. This interview offers readers a glimpse into the philosophical realm of Fearism and its potential impact on diverse facets of our lives.