Futurophobia is fear of the future causing anxiety and nervousness. It has reached a mass level, and become a sign of the times and therefore a global problem.
People have always been afraid of changes and reluctantly, even under coercion, agreed to be led by others. For the majority, the so-called stability, unwillingness to be exposed to and actively participate in serious changes, is more important. It has largely to do with the unwillingness to accept responsibility for consequences, and the fear of the unknown.
Today, futurophobia is caused by global problems and the situation of global uncertainty. It is aggravated by: the decline of traditional ways of life in many countries; cultural, civilization and value conflicts; new historical challenges; and existential trials of man. People have reached the line beyond which there is either destruction or serious changes in human life. People are afraid of both of these things.
In the individual aspect, futurophobia is the fear and non-acceptance of problems, difficulties, prospects of change, conscious or subconscious avoidance of participating in them and active or passive resistance to innovations and progress.
Futurophobia is sometimes treated as human non-acceptance of a qualitatively new future, which diverges from the present a person is used to, and decision-making difficulties.
In terms of large groups of people, futurophobia is collective infantilism and conformism. Largely it is the result of skillful manipulation of large masses of people by individuals and groups interested in keeping the status quo. In the collective subconscious futurophobia manifests itself through imitation of participation, instead of real and interested participation, as well as social and cultural (countercultural) escapism.
Futurophobia has become a widespread phenomenon now. Its harm is that the people who succumb to it suffer from low psychosomatic tone and motivation, nervous psychological depression, low self-esteem, they are unsure of their future, and have heightened anxiety and pessimism. They get tired faster and fall ill more often, and are prone to depression. A futurophobia-stricken person is a member of a group at risk of personality disturbance pathologies, mental disorders and various phobias and manias. At the level of society, futurophobia can become an obstacle to the realisation of the modern ideas that are necessary for solving global problems, eliminating environmental and economic crises, preventing a military or technogenic catastrophe, and human self-destruction.
The objective basis of futurophobia is: the instability of the global world and its socio-economic and political processes; real situations of environmental and financial-economic crises, local armed conflicts and war, and humanitarian catastrophes; and the acute phase of global problems and their growth.
The following issues cause futurophobia:
- Negative influence of the media focusing primarily on negative facts;
- Extremist ideologies, radical religious and political movements cultivating the values of war and violence to further their goals;
- Fashion for superstitions, primitive occultism and conspirology, and belief in paranormal phenomena and their power over people’s lives;
- Lack of information about various solutions to global problems and activities carried out in this direction;
- Low levels of general knowledge and literacy;
- High levels of stress and the chronic fatigue syndrome;
- The conflict of expectation and reality in a person’s psychic.
The social harm produced by futurophobia is that affected people do not believe in solving global problems, saving the planet, re-establishing social justice, harmonious life and the consistent managed development of civilization.
What feeds the spread of futurophobia is the absence of common and moreover – uniting - goals and objectives. To live a full life, people need purpose; this is their nature. Purpose is always based on values and made concrete in goals.
Thus, solving the global problem of futurophobia depends on values and goal-setting: they can be formulated in terms of the Planetary Project as saving the biosphere, maintaining and improving the health of the natural environment for present and future generations, global human integration and building a noospheric civilization capable of implementing the principles of justice, humanism and harmonious development.