In an early scene in The Terminator, the Cyborgian Arnold Schwarzenegger walks into an L.A. gun shop and asks to see the wares. The shopkeeper lays out Uzis, submachine guns, rocket launchers, and other sophisticated means of overkill, nervously understating, "Any one of these will suit you for home defense purposes." The situation is likewise in the growing child protection industry. In keeping with the shopkeeper's sly comment, these businesses feast on an all-pervasive culture of fear, while creating a mockery, alibi, and distraction out of what they are really about - to remake the home as a citadel through the peddling of private protective technologies that reinforce it against various forms of intrusion. These industries offer utterly inappropriate technocratic solutions for broad social problems. More important, the growth of the child protection industry is yet another response to the venomous and slippery fear-of-crime discourse that has become one of the key stocks in trade of the neoliberal state. Retrenching on its commitments to the social wage, the contemporary state has not reneged at all, of course, on its commitments to social order.
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