About the Great Power logo

We ❤️ Civil Defense

The Great Power logo is an homage to the classic insignias of the US Civil Defense Corps. With the world wars of the 20th century came the concept of civil defense — the idea that communities and individuals played a critical role in national preparedness and defense, and that structuring, organizing, and training civilian cadres in different specialties helped build resilience and readiness from the ground up. Air raid wardens, auxiliary police/firemen, rescue squads, a medical corps, drivers, messengers, emergency food and housing, and more — civil defense volunteers understood that if a crisis came, it fell to them, and they were ready. Essentially, it was the kind of architecture that would be really useful during, say, a global pandemic that locks down a country. The movement toward opaque, national-level structures of emergency management and homeland security have eroded the concept of civil defense in America — to our detriment, I would argue. Because if the new tools of warfare can target each of us, then we had better understand what the hell to do about it. So our Great Power logo is based on those historic civil defense designs. The lightning bolt references the old messenger corps symbol — a tribute to idea that Great Power contributors believe we have important stories to tell. The whiskey glass references the lead author’s belief that the lowest-level fabric of resilience — the kind that is built over a shared cup, for example — is where we will renew our understanding of great power. Join us!

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