The Wolf You Feed
by Karen Kwiatkowski
Legend has it that one evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”
As guidance for individual lives, it works. In philosophy or religion, this story has a sure place. But when it is applied to government, there may be a completely different lesson to be learned. And Americans are going to learn it soon, ready or not.
Defense Secretary Gates rightly understands that the national debt is the biggest single risk to the enterprise to which he has devoted his entire adult life, the military industrial complex. Well, his actual words were, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.” He went on to explain that the debt “limits” the government’s ability to “resource” the military.
The “resourcing” Mullen is worried about includes all the junk in our collective military trunk, all the people currently in uniform, in civil service and contractor suits and khakis, and the millions of retirees (of which I am one), all of the facilities in 177 countries around the world, the spy/eavesdropping/technical surveillance infrastructure and people, and the costs of war/occupation/endless training and puppet–prop-uppery in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Pakistan, Colombia, South Korea, etc. All of this equals, to Mullen, “national security.”
But of course, the overblown national security enterprise is less about real American security than the security of the ruling classes, and international and central banks interested in fiat currency “stability” and global commodity “predictability.” At a basic American citizen and community level, it is also, sadly, about income security.
The Washingtonsblog.com elaborates on Mullen’s concern, and explains (quoting the great Robert Higgs among others) how the government spending has impacted productivity, jobs, recession and recovery in the 20th century. One of the charts is especially eloquent, and reveals much about Mullen’s very real concern that someone soon may stop feeding him.