The war on terror is being driven by instinct-driven people who mainly rely on superficial optics to inform their “thinking.” That is, they are endemically fearful people because “what they see is what they get” and, if they don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Which means, since appearances are deceiving, they are often mistaken and that feeds their fears.
We can’t call it paranoia because their mistaken understandings are based on a reality that’s just misperceived. I compare it to someone who’s color blind and can’t tell the difference between red and green. How does such a person navigate when he’s not aware of being color blind?
There’s a tribe in the Amazon that has no history beyond what individuals in their cohort have directly experienced. They have no memory of prior generations and they don’t use numbers beyond “one” and “many.” Presumably, they learn to survive by imitating each other’s behaviors. They are also, presumably, not fearful. This is detrimental to them because they trust strangers who arrive and exploit them. “Better safe than sorry” has a practical basis. In the long run, it is better to reject than accept, and to suspect.
“to secure” is to lock up or tie down. Thus, if we presume that the essence of liberty for mobile organisms is to traverse their natural environment, then security is the antithesis of liberty. It is not a matter of deserts. It is a matter of right. To argue that a desire for security makes one liable to be deprived of liberty is to put the onus for the deprivation on the victim.
Humans have a propensity to secure stuff; to build houses that hold stuff. Why? I suspect it’s because we have memory and locking things up makes them easier to find again as we ourselves move around. Your liberty is in conflict with what I want to own. Of course, people who don’t own stuff don’t care. Thus, the homeless, in our day and age, represent a threat to ownership.
Dubya’s “ownership society” is of a piece with the security state. Securing the boarders is consistent with the principle of the household. It’s just extending the lock-up to the whole nation.
Why have we let the scaredie cats take over the decision role for the U.S.? That’s a good question. I suspect it’s just because they offered and insisted they know best. Now that we know they are scared of their own shadows, we need to retire them; tell them to give it a rest and go play golf.