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Along with this obsessive and perennialdiscussion ofso-called ‘national security issues’, the state spends trulyvastsums on security measures whichhave virtually no impact on the actual risk of dying fromthese threats, and then engages in massive displays of‘security theatre’ designed to show just how seriously the state takes these threats – such as the x-ray machines and security measures in everypublic building, surveillance cameras everywhere, missile launchers in urban areas, drones in Afghanistan, armed police in airports, and athousand other things. This display is meant to convince you that these threats are really, really serious. Andwhileall this is going on, the rulersof society are hoping that you won’t noticethatincreasing social andeconomic inequality in society leads to increased ill health for a growing underclass;that suicide and crimealways rise when unemployment rises; that workplaces remain highly dangerous and kill and maim hundreds of people per year; that thereare preventable diseases which plague the poorer sections of society;that domestic violence kills and injuresthousands of women and children annually; and that globally, poverty and preventable disease killstens of millionsof peopleneedlessly every year. In other words, they are hoping that you won’t notice how much structuralviolence there is in the world.More than this, they are hoping that you won’t notice that while literallytrillionsof dollars are spent on military weapons, foreign wars and security theatre(which also arguably do nothingto make any us any safer, and may even make us marginally less safe), that domesticviolence programmes struggle toprovide even minimal supportfor women and children at risk of serious harm from their partners; that underfunded mental healthprogrammes mean long waiting lists to receive basic care for at-risk individuals; that drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes lack the
funding to match the demand for help; thatwelfare measuresaimed at reducing inequality have been inadequate fordecades; thathealthand safety measuresat many workplaces remain insufficientlyresourced; and that measures to tackleglobal warming and developing alternative energy remain hopelessly inadequate. Of course, none of this is surprising. Politicians are a part ofthe system; they don’t want to change it. For them, all the insecurity, death and ill-health caused by capitalist inequality are a price worth payingto keep the basic social structures as they are. A more egalitarian society based on equality, solidarity, and other non-materialist values wouldnot suit their interests, or the special interests of the lobby groups they are indebted to. It is also true that dealing with economic and socialinequality, improving public health, changing international structures of inequality, restructuring the military-industrial complex, and making the