A national security state is when a country had set up organizations or groups to lead/create investigations into people/groups who are deemed a threat. An example that can be related to the reading of Roberts Deans article, the cold war era. There were tensioned caused be the threat of communism spreading. During this time, if anyone was too secretive of their political views they would be blacklisted, or people would “keep an eye out” for them. Because society was so worried about communism spreading, it created drive and, in a way, gave “societal permission” to the government that allow them build up these so-called cultures of secrecy. These cultures were essentially allowed to bend or ignore rights of citizens (such as monitoring phone lines) if it meant that were protecting their nation state. In the second assigned reading by Sarah Fox, “Home on the Range”, we see the national security state in rural Nevada/Utah through laboratories and testing sites. The government had set up shop in a relatively deserted (by people) area to test smaller nuclear weapons. The issue that came from this was that there had been two farmers who raise sheep. They began to notice scabbing on the sheeps noses and ears after the testing started. They had concluded that the sheep were being affected by the testing. A few people had even begun to develop cancer. The locals from the area, including the farming tried suing the government, but the government continued to place the blame on the locals, saying the testing had nothing to do with it. This Nation Security State was doing what they wanted in order to progress towards the “greater good”. I would say the national security state does exist to a certain extent (meaning it may not seem as urgent as it had back then (to me anyways)). We do continue to create stronger weapons to use during war time, they keep evolving.
I think Deans article showcased how we are willing to bend rules/expectations when we feel desperate. We want to feel safe, but does that mean we ourselves should be investigated? I think sometimes it is best to give up some liberties for the greater good. Dean’s article also mentioned how being blacklisted become a big thing during the cold war. How celebrities or politicians’ careers could be ended if they said the wrong thing. It was cancel culture for sure. Another thing I found outta pocket was how in Fox’s article, she brought up the lawsuit the farmers had brought up against the government. I wonder how the lawyers and scientists that were backing up the government felt during that. Like, I am convinced that it (the scabs and cancer) was due to the testing that had been going on. But they lied, or worked their way around it to place the blame back on the victims. I think it definitely would have been interesting to be alive during this, and watch how other changed and acted.