Parents provide their children with security.
Have you heard the government mention that the number one function of government is to provide you with security?
If we analyse this at a fundamental level, not leaving out the obvious, we can see the direction this is going.
First, lets look at the government's meaning of "security", and where that leads.
George Lakoff, a student of Noam Chomsky at one time, has propounded theories that much of our thinking is metaphorical in nature:
But our conceptual system is not something we are normally aware of. in most of the little things we do every day, we simply think and act more or less automatically along certain lines. Just what these lines are is by no means obvious. One way to find out is by looking at language. Since communication is based on the same conceptual system that we use in thinking and acting, language is an important source of evidence for what that system is like.(The Literary Link). In recent years "security" is a word linked to a metaphorical structure attached to military matters.
Primarily on the basis of linguistic evidence, we have found that most of our ordinary conceptual system is metaphorical in nature.
This linking of authority figure parental metaphors with protection from violence originating abroad has been paramount in our discourse, eventually becoming the acid test.
This focus on security, not surprisingly, surged beyond the pale during the months and years that followed September 11, 2001.
The government went nuts, evidently trying to show us what a good parental authority figure it is by torturing those who the parent thinks is a threat to us, spying on us to make sure we do the right thing, and increasing military spending up to and beyond the ceiling, while domestic economic conditions tanked into the basement.
The government's world view is that the world is such a dangerous place to us that it had to make us suffer at home while the good parental authority figure put economic focus on the military so it could destroy the envisioned evil axis of power embodied in nations far from us.
Politics at home, of course, has been effected by this maelstrom of militancy.
Two metaphors have appeared in public political discourse, each represented by the word "government".
The picture formed by the neoCon conservative mind, upon hearing the word "government", is a vision of something Ronald Reagan wanted "small enough he could drown it in the bathtub".
His approach to military spending was like the neoCons today, which tells us that he, like our current neoCons, did not include the military in the picture formed in his mind by the word "government", but certainly the military is included when the word "security" is used.
If that were taken to its ultimate end, the only part of the "government" that would remain after Reaganites drowned it, would be the military.
Progressives, on the other hand may not include the military in the picture formed by their mind upon hearing or reading the word "government" either, but the difference is they want "government" to be big enough to do its domestic job to help provide for "the common welfare", as the constitution puts it.
This problem of not including the military in the metaphor has led to the current economic collapse.
Military spending seems to be ignored in economic planning, because it is considered to be magic in the sense it does not need to be "in the budget", or it is sacrosanct, not subject to mere mortal economics.
After all, it is the source of our "security", and we really can't "put a price" on that heavenly realm now can we?
The next post in this series is here.