Working towards peace and sustainability

Working for Real Security

The following are prepared remarks for a talk given by Mid-Missouri Peaceworks Director Mark Haim at our Hiroshima Peace Gathering, August 3, 2013, at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia, Missouri. We are posting only the first third of the talk here. To read the talk in its entirity please CLICK HERE.

So, I want to speak with you briefly tonight about Real Security and how that fits into the work we, in Peaceworks, are doing.

When we hear the word “security” in the media, it’s usually preceded by the word “national” and it most often means either military spending which, in typical Orwellian fashion, they call “defense,” or surveillance and information gathering, which they perversely call “intelligence.” And the more we spend on these, the more “secure” we supposedly are.

When we talk about “Real Security,” however, we mean something quite different, and I will get to that shortly.

First, one thing that separates those of us at this gathering from many of our fellow citizens is our willingness to consider and address issues and problems that present themselves; major big picture concerns like war and peace, systemic economic injustice, human rights and civil liberties, the threat of nuclear war or global climate change.

These are huge, thorny problems and most people would rather avoid thinking about them, feeling disempowered and in many cases just numb.

Effectively addressing these, however, is essential to our Real Security. Conversely, failing to effectively address these, as most politicians are doing, represents real and present threats to our security.

I want to call particular attention to the last two items on my list, nuclear weapons and climate change. These are unique, as they both represent existential threats. That is, they threaten our very existence. Nothing could be more central to Real Security than addressing existential threats.
To read the rest of this talk, please CLICK HERE.