Thursday, March 20, 2003

Rich In Security

"There is no security at the top of the world." -- Garet Garret (courtesy Justin Raimondo) That's what it comes down to I think. We want security. But we have been mislead into believing that the path to security is to stand on top of the world and stomp on anyone who thinks to challenge us. Thus the world of foreign policy is reduced to a schoolyard game of king of the hill. I am reminded of something I have said for a long time about the nature of wealth: you are only as rich as your ability to obtain what you want. If you have millions in the bank, but are never satisfied with all the possessions you can buy, then you are poor. But if you have five dollars in your pocket and all you want is a Big Mac, then you are rich. It's as much a matter of wants as it is a matter of means. This is not an argument for asceticism. I am not going to encourage anyone to wear only a loincloth and eat nothing but rice (unless that's what you want to do of course). It is an argument for asking what it is you really want out of life and honestly assessing your ability to achieve it. We can never be truly safe. But we can be safe enough that we can lead our lives without being in constant fear for our safety. Crushing those who might one day hurt us may appear to be the path to safety. But it is only an illusion of security that is quickly dispelled once the old fears overcome the thrill of victory. For the more you defeat the forces of darkness through sheer force, the more you try to dominate the world through strength, the more the world will focus its attention upon you. There is no security at the top of the world. Just remember that the next time you hear Bush talking about how he is doing this in order to secure the peace. And then ask yourself how secure you feel.

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