Friday, August 04, 2006

Lucky duck

So I was watching a bit of Israel-Hezbollah coverage tonight and it sorta struck me: I really have no idea what it's like to be in a situation where I felt so strongly about something that I would decide that the only possible course was to take up arms and be willing to die, or more importantly, to kill, for that something.

I try not to take for granted how incredibly fortunate I am to have been born a white male in the United States in 1968. About the worst I can say about my fortune is that the U.S. economy started to be just so-so in about 1973. The postwar boom ended that year, growth slowed, inequality increased, and the marginal gains from increased productivity have shifted to capital from labor. So as a wage-earner it's been an 8 or a 9 instead of a 10, like it was for my parents' generation. But I have never wondered where my next meal was coming from, never worried that a militia was going to ethnically cleanse my neighborhood, and, apart from a general anxiety about nuclear war, never worried that my house might be hit by a rocket or a bomb.

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