Real national security

Before the Internet and it was easy to find quotes, I was doing some work for a client that was a strong supporter of a local food bank and found a quote from Mark Twain: “principles have no real force except when one is well fed.”

Throughout history, food security has led to riots, wars and revolutions. Being hungry is a powerful motivator. People who have a hard time putting food on their plates aren’t thinking about who to vote for, or contributing money to presidential campaigns. They are also not busy scheming ways to change the vote. They are too busy being in survival mode.

The key to security is that you should always be able to reach across a moat and shake hands. Of course, having to build a moat should be your first clue that there is a problem.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have people with more money than they know what to do with. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t out creating jobs, they are making a bonanza buying up real estate for pennies on the dollar, speculating on a stock market that has no connection to reality and buying political preferential treatment with huge donations to political campaigns.

We’re living in a society becoming even more polarized than ever. And while we’re quick to judge other societies as corrupt or morally bankrupt, we’re unwilling to look at ourselves and say: we’ve screwed up. Sure, China is polluting itself and creating the same conditions that we had at the turn of the last century in their factory towns. Watch as they go through the strains that we went through when the workers will finally unionize and follow in out same footsteps. History does repeat itself.

As to the Muslim world behaving badly and killing our ambassador, this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. The ruse of blaming a bogus amateur film disparaging Muhammad, isn’t the issue, it’s just another example of a gap being exploited- between the educated and the ignorant.

In a world where access to all the worlds wisdom is just a click away for you and me, the fact that we have a global digital divide should be one of our primary goals to maintain peace on the planet- after we make sure everyone is fed and literate. Instead, we continue to invest trillions on “national security” that is only bringing one kind of security- financial security to the members of our military industrial complex. Everything else of late has been a distraction.

The real issues in our country aren’t even up for discussion by candidates in the next election. We need to refocus, we need to admit we’re failing at home more than abroad- we need to look at the foreclosure crisis, unemployment and underemployment and the cost of education in this country and realize that if we don’t change things now, we’re not going to like the future much no matter whom we elect. Twain said “principles have no real force except when one is well fed” – but it’s more than than just food anymore- it’s as primal as Maslow told us- food, shelter, health are the foundations of a basic survival- only once we make sure those are taken care of can we move to higher level needs and desires like, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.


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