January 09, 2007

Homeland Security? No, thanks! Here is an excerpt from the article I've been working on on homeland security. I'm frustrated because it is too long. I actually hadn't known the word count and did quite a bit of work on it. Oh well. The full version is here.Download anticipating_homeland_security.doc Anticipating Homeland Security At first glance, the term “homeland security” seems the product of the Bush administration’s proverbial “department that names things the opposite of what they are department.” Does not “homeland security” evoke a longing for what was lost in the attacks of September 11th, a fantasized return to the land, the forests, mountains, and prairies, to the values of the heartland, a return home, back to the safe haven of an America secure in itself? And, does not the very longing to return to a secure homeland rest uneasily against the accompanying rhetoric of America’s wake-up call, of a fat, ungainly America that has to pull itself up out of its self-absorbed complacency and confront the challenges of a new global order? One’s immediate reaction to the term “homeland security” is thus that it exemplifies perfectly the Bush administration’s infamous Orwellian doublespeak: in the name of a lost security, the administration proffers a mighty bureaucracy, an information super-center that will combine widely dispersed police and surveillance apparatuses into an invasive machinery straight out of Alphaville. Critics of the Bush administration—from those concerned with the threats to civil liberties posed by the new cabinet-level department to those too-often dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” who question...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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