Social Hysteria - The Freak Show
Misanthropic George Carlin
The American Dream
"The rush to invade Iraq had elements of social hysteria. After an event like 9/11, fear took hold and Saddam Hussein was inflated to a sort of witch-like mythical figure who was weeks away from launching attacks on America. The lack of questioning of the war could be seen as a sort of social hysteria."
Hysteria describes unmanageable emotional excesses. People who are "hysterical" often lose self-control due to an overwhelming fear that may be caused by multiple events in one’s past that involved some sort of severe conflict; the fear can be centered on a body part, or, most commonly, on an imagined problem with that body part.
The term also occurs in the phrase mass hysteria to describe mass public near-panic reactions. It is commonly applied to the waves of popular medical problems that "everyone gets" in response to news articles. A similar usage refers to any sort of "public wave" phenomenon, and has been used to describe the periodic widespread reappearance and public interest in UFO reports, crop circles, and similar examples. Hysteria was often associated with events like the Salem Witch Trials, or slave revolt conspiracies, where it is better understood through the related sociological term of moral panic.