Monday, April 23, 2007

Comfort + Security = Sleep

I thought this thought from David Brooks a few weeks ago was helpful in categorizing all the narratives swirling around us.

"Today the big threats to people's future prospects come from complex, decentralized phenomena: Islamic extremism, failed states, global competition, global warming, nuclear proliferation, a skills-based economy, economic and social segmentation. Normal, nonideological people are less concerned about the threat to their freedom from an overweening state than from the threats posed by these amorphous yet pervasive phenomena. The ''liberty vs. power'' paradigm is less germane. It's been replaced in the public consciousness with a ''security leads to freedom'' paradigm. People with a secure base are more free to take risks and explore the possibilities of their world." Emphasis added.

I appreciate the categories of "decentralized phenomena," but, I would argue with the highlighted sentence. Somehow it seems to me that the more secure people are the LESS interested they are in exploring the possibilities of their world. The more secure they are the more they seem to want to protect their comfort and position or authority/power/privilege. I think Brooks has this backwards. It is a hopeful idea, it should be true, security leading to exploration, but, it seems bass-akwards. I think shaking things up is the only thing that leads people to explore and question their reality. Comfort and security lead to...a nice nap.

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