Thursday, November 23, 2006

Succeed, fail or what?

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
- Dan Quayle, former US Vice President

Life is not black and white, good or bad, in or out.

Vice President Quale was vilified by the media for this apparently foolish remark. But it's not foolish.

Every living person fails at some things. Everyone succeeds at some things. But with most things we do we can't be categorized as either. We're just somewhere in the middle.

So it is with countries, a fact that the US media were happy to overlook when they skewered their VP over this comment. Most countries can't be said to succeed or to be more successful than all others at anything.

The US is unquestionably the most powerful country in the world militarily. That is if numbers of weapons (including weapons of mass detruction) are taken into account. But is it the best at war?

Need it be the best at war? Many people believe it must. Many people believe that only the threat of invasion by the world's most powerful military will prevent "renegade" countries from making trouble for the US.

Many countries of the world are not strong militarily, yet their people live happy and safe lives. They live in countries that are not "successful" (superior) by most measures.

There is a middle ground, be it for countries or for individuals. Most of us live there.

Those who call the vast majority of us failures when we do not side with them because they are the most powerful are wrong.

Somebody had to say it.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, striving to help most people feel comfortable and safe in the middle.
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