Fear itself

Posted by Bruce Kahl on September 20, 2005

In Reply to: Fear itself posted by Jessie on September 20, 2005

: What does the quote, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself," by Franklin D. Roosevelt mean?

From US President Franklin Roosevelt's First Innaugural Speech:

"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

The quote was stated during a very bad economic downturn. Unemployment was extremely high and people were upset and had negative attitudes.

He was asking for an attitude adjustment--that if the United States can't shake its pessimistic economic outlook, it will be tough to turn things around.