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A Political Contradictionary from A to Z

ERO SUM GAME -- assumes that when two players compete, only one can win and the other, by definition, must lose. Since 9/11, the players in the game as defined by the United States Department of Homeland security have been 'privacy' and 'security' -- the more you have of one, the less you will have of the other. Bruce Schneirer points out the contradictions in this flawed thinking, and rightly describes the players as 'liberty' and 'control'.

"If you set up the false dichotomy, of course people will choose security over privacy -- especially if you scare them first. But it's still a false dichotomy. There is no security without privacy. And liberty requires both security and privacy. The famous quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin reads: 'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.' It's also true that those who would give up privacy for security are likely to end up with neither."

ZIPPO SQUAD: a term coined by American soldiers in Vietnam, referring to the soldiers' use of cigarette lighters to burn thatch-roofed homes in an effort to 'pacify' villages that might otherwise give aid and comfort to the guerrilla Viet Cong forces. The contradictory notion of destroying a village in order to save it fits well with the zero sum game mindset, which assumes war's outcome can only be victory for one side, defeat for the other.