by: Jill Goldberg on January 3rd, 2014 | 3 Comments »
It’s not unheard of to fight against an invented enemy.
In his novel The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje cites Herodotus’ description of a nation so enraged by an evil wind – the simoon – that “they declared war on it and marched out in full battle array, only to be rapidly and completely interred.”
And, in the twentieth century, long after Emperor Hirohito surrendered on August 15th, 1945, Japanese soldiers in remote locations continued to gather intelligence and to ‘fight’ in attempt to vanquish the American enemy, unaware that the war had ended. For some of these soldiers, it took years, even decades to convince them to give up their imagined battle positions.
Though separated by millennia, these two examples speak to the power of collective delusions, and the way in which not just individuals, but entire nations may make truly frightening, or tragic sacrifices in the name of an idea, which may not be borne up by reality.
Making this very point about America’s disproportionate use of resources in the so-called war on terror is what creative agency Incitement Design hopes to do with its recently launched campaign, The War on Irrational Fear.