Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 1, 2013

Counter-anxiety mission?

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on August 1, 2013

Rectification of names

Confucius — the Chinese philosopher and statesman — was asked what he would do if made sovereign of his own land.  He replied that he would focus on the rectification of names (Chinese characters above).  Confucius concluded that as long as we fail to correctly understand the words we use, we will never understand the concepts behind the words and confusion will reign (no matter who or what is sovereign).

A modest attempt at rectification, drawing on the etymology of the English words:

Home: abode, dwelling place, village, world

Land: meadow, heath, region

Security: without anxiety, absence of care (se- is a Latin prefix meaning without)

Homeland security is a populous area free of anxiety.

Given the role of anxiety, it is worth recognizing that anxiety is the anticipation of pain.

I am reminded of fragment from W.H. Auden:

Our thoughts have bodies; the menacing shapes of our fever

Are precise and alive. For the fears which made us respond
To the medicine ad and the brochure of winter cruises
Have become invading battalions;
And our faces, the institute-face, the chain-store, the ruin

Are projecting their greed as the firing squad and the bomb. (Spain, 1937)

Homeland security is — evidently — an anti-anxiety therapeutic.  If so, we have, I worry, been giving more attention to symptoms than underlying cause.

(I am offline most of this week.  This post was cued-up long before August 1 and I will not be around to comment.  I hope today is mostly anxiety-free in terms of breaking homeland security news.)

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4 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

August 1, 2013 @ 1:16 am

Excellent follow up to Arnold’s post of yesterday!

Comment by HGRATTAN

August 1, 2013 @ 5:56 am

Phil,

Thanks for the addition to my collection of what is HLS

anti-anxiety thereapuetic

Seems that there is a pattern here:

1. Pearl Harbor: surprise
2. Pearl Harbor commission: nation should not have been surprised
USG missed signals
Navy and Army did not coordinate
3. National Security Act 1947
DOD coordinates all military branches
CIA peacetime intelligence
NSC President’s writ al security advisors
5. NSC-68: Cold War anti-doomsday policy (mother of all anti-anxiety thereapuetics)
6. 9/11: surprise should not have happened (9/11 Commission cites Pearl Harbor)
7. Huricane Katrina: nation not prepared
8. Superstorm Sandy:
Nation better prepared but needs to be more prepared and more resilient.
See http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/33772?id=7906

Comment by Alejandro

August 5, 2013 @ 11:03 am

Hello… :)
I enjoyed reading your article and is very interesting. I want to congratulate you on the excellent content you have on your site …
Quite simple but very well explained …
Have a nice day and continue with the excellent work.

Pingback by Adapted To Anxiety » Ragged Feathers | Depression fighting

September 1, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

[…] Read more… […]

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