Premise: Country-X is in a War on Terror (not a War on Terrorism).
Country-X incarcerates greatest % of its population compared to all others.

Imagine taking a dog and putting him in a small concrete cage with no windows, a tiny LED light inside, and a feeder to keep him alive. Leave him there alone for as long as he lives. Imagine doing that to another human. Imagine if that human was you. That is something you are extremely fearful of. That is terror. The dictionary indicates that terror is extreme fear.

So, is Country-X at war with itself? If so, is Country-X engaged in civil war?

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These are all important topics but I'm not sure that they're hanging together in a coherent manner; not am I sure that this, as a question, belongs to logic though of course it involves the use of reason: philosophically logic and reason are two different things; it appears to be a question that belongs to rhetoric (classically speaking) and by the nature of its subject also to political philosophy.

Warfare, at least classically, takes between state-actors; there are concepts such as asymmetrical warfare which accounts for a state against non-state actors which would include guerrilla warfare and policing; and in a sense, the war on terror is more akin to policing than it is to warfare.

Civil warfare generally describes the implosion of a polity through actual sustained violence (and not occasional acts), which is different from the feuding of various factions in a balance of power; such as the civil war that tore Rwanda apart, or the American Civil War.

Polities have institutions - disciplinary institutions in Foucauldian terms; this is not the same as warfare in general terms.

The word 'Terror' like the word 'Free' means many different things; and you're comparing, I think two unlike, but associated meanings of the same word; which is a subtle tactic of rhetoric (under which comes things like advertising, public relations and propaganda); the question is whether it is being adopted towards a political end that can be justified.

However, when one considers the following:

For example, incarceration rates in America for the black demographic make:

40% of the total prison population...and exceed the average in twenty states.

But also

Whilst the States houses 4.4% of the worlds population, it houses 22% of its prisoners.

This whilst not classical civil warfare is certainly not social cohesion; and I find disturbing.

One might ask what is the proper concept to describe this.

  • I was thinking of this question while travelling and thought, could it be boiled down to: War is a kind of Terror. Which obviously means that War on Terror means a War on War, among other things. Which means that grace now rules. Ha! As if... – Ron Royston Jun 22 '15 at 2:00

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