Governments Kill

Governments kill on our behalf. This arrangement is a form of social contract, which means that governments are basically contract killers. Some states, like Nazi Germany, use the tremendous power of arms and bureaucracy to transform their territories into slaughterhouses. Regimes that are merely authoritarian can be equally brutal but display a greater selectivity in their tyranny. In our more decorous democracies, meanwhile, we perfume our conversations with words like “justice” and “national security” to mask the odor of death.

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Going from Hawk to Dove

The United States is more hawk than dove and heading toward vulture status, according to the recently launched Global Peace Index (GPI) ranking of 121 countries. Finishing up far back in the pack at No. 96, the United States was deemed less peaceful than Yemen, Cambodia, and Serbia. In particular, America won demerits for the number of prison inmates, size of military, and overseas troop deployments.

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