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Government Security

The purpose of this research is to examine the issues concerning government security. The plan of the research will be to set forth the context in which the subject of governmentrelated security measures of various kinds has achieved importance, and then to discuss the variety of views, some of them controversial, surrounding such subsidiary topics as document control and destruction, security predicated of the government's view of one's so-called need to know, legal and ethical issues in regard to mailing and reproduction of documents, and such issues of access control as personnel identification, whether by badges or other means.

There appears to be an inherent tension between the idea of democracy and the idea of government security in the modern period, for the boundaries between what democratic values a government has to give up in order to maintain the security of democracy seem blurred. Indeed, there is evidence of a progressive blurring on one hand and a progressive preoccupation with security on the part of democratic and nondemocratic societies alike on the other. In the 1830s, de Tocqueville's observations on America included the remark that the successful conduct of foreign relations demands scarcely any qualities that democracy is noted for, but almost all that it is deficient in (de Tocqueville, 1983, p. 42).

Elements of American security in the 19th and early 20th centuries included its isolated geographic position relative to other international powers. This allowed the U.S. to avoid the internal conflicts of Europe, even as the abundance of resources in the U.S. meant that the country could absorb a great deal of world trade and grow its economy at the same time. According to Wiltse, despite what would today be called a large balance-ofpayments deficit in the early 1800s, "the potential wealth of America" overcame any reluctance of international traders to deal with the U.S. America's "prairies, her fore...

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Government Security. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:55, May 28, 2020, from