How is the presence of future catastrophes ‘manufactured’? Along what routes does risk acquire the predicate ‘real’ — in other words, how does it come to reign as ‘believed’ anticipation in people’s minds and in institutions and indeed often across the boundaries between nations, regions, religions, and political parties and between rich and poor? The distinction between risk as anticipated catastrophe and the actual catastrophe forces us instead to take the role of staging seriously. For only by imagining and staging world risk does the future catastrophe become present…
Ulrich Beck, World at Risk (2009)
The ‘clash of risk cultures’, the collision of culturally different ‘risk realities’ (i.e. perceptions of risk), is developing into a fundamental problem of global politics in the twenty-first century.
…risk is not an objectively measurable quantity. What does the ‘reality’ of risk mean? Risks do not have any abstract existence in themselves. They […] count as urgent, threatening, and real or as negligible and unreal only as a result of particular cultural perceptions and evaluations.
Ulrich Beck, World At Risk (2009)
It cannot be said purely and simply of the world that it is: it exists in the form of an initial asymmetry, which shows itself in a variety of ways according to the angle from which it is being apprehended. […] This inherent disparity of the world sets mythic thought in motion.
C. Levi-Strauss, The Naked Man
Two antithetical concepts make it possible to classify ideas of the origin and the originative character of myth: poetry and terror.
Hans Blumenberg, Work On Myth