Sweden <--> Ohio: Student

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thinking about security.

It's what we desire. As humans, though it means different things to everyone, we all crave it and spend our whole lives trying to attain it. Some find it in education and well paid jobs, some find it in saving a portion of what they have, others find it in family, in children, and in ensuring their dreams live on in someone else's life. Some never find it no matter the money, the investments, or the energy spent on it's pursuit.

Some never find it for other reasons - mental illness, their born gender and socioeconomic status, chance and changed circumstances, early death due to war, health, or accident, or perhaps chronic health problems or economic or personal strife.

In my Swedish language class the other night someone asked the professor why he liked Sweden. He thought for a long second, admitted it wasn't the weather or the weak beer, paused again and said that he liked 'the Swedish system'.

Interesting choice as I view the security-obsessed white house republicans scrambling for votes, for assurances, for a continued stream of hate to fuel another four years in office.

Perhaps we'll buy the insecurity of war, dressed as an endless supply of oil and an eternal American way of life. Perhaps genocide will be more attractive, with the security of knowing our neighbors are all 'just like us'. The real security of civil liberties, health care, social programs, and equitable distribution of wealth will be feared for the reasons it's always been feared: the unknown 'other' (painted with the conservative brush: the faceless brown tide of illegal immigrants, Welfare Queens, the too-lazy to work minorities in the inner-city and rural small town).

Will we, as Americans, ever be able to choose to trust a government to provide for all, equally, over an individualistic 'winner takes whatever he's able to hang onto' and a system where losers are all those who aren't able to be winners?

Will we as a country ever get the hang of 'security' based on something more permanent than the transitory thrill of having the biggest gun?

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