War as Our Guiding Light
The word "war" holds significant importance in politics and propaganda. It is believed to have an immediate impact on public opinion, invoking shared memories and promoting unity.
Decades ago, researchers discovered that the term "war" could shape narratives. In Western democracies, using the word "war" implies a bipartisan agreement and aims to create false unity among people who are often encouraged to dislike each other. Those who disagree are labeled as outsiders, endangering the group's safety.
Practically, being "at war" allows governments to justify temporarily restricting human rights and freedoms. It also grants the state more power.
Many in history have extensively discussed this idea. Authoritarian governments often need a constant state of war to avoid collapse. They create perpetual enemies who are designed to never be defeated.
Examples include "The War on Drugs," "The War on Terror," "The War on Covid," and now, the war on climate change.
Here are several more examples of initiatives or concepts that have been described metaphorically as "wars" in the United States:
- The War on Poverty
- The War on Cancer
- The War on Illiteracy
- The War on Hunger
- The War on Crime
- The War on Inflation
- The War on Smoking
- The War on AIDS
- The War on Cybercrime
- The War on Obesity
- The War on Homelessness