“The wolf is starving, thin as a rail, when he meets a well-fed, strong dog. When the dog learns the wolf is barely surviving, he invites him to come and live with him on the farm. “You’ll get plenty of food and treats of all kinds,” the dog says. “And all you have to do is bark at strangers and make a fuss over the farm’s owners and children. It’s an easy life.”
The wolf is salivating at this prospect when he notices the dog’s collar. “What’s that around your neck?”
“Oh, that,” the dog replies. “It’s nothing. It’s just used when they chain me up.”
“You have to wear a chain? You aren’t free to do what you want or go where you please?”
“Not all the time,” the dog says. “But who cares?”
“Thank you very much,” the wolf says, “but I’ll keep my freedom!”
And with that, he turns and runs off into the forest.”
This classic Aesop fable comes from an interesting Epoch Time’s article called Saving Liberty One Child at a Time, that shows the tall tale to be a metaphor for the viciousness of today’s politics. From the article:
“Some Americans want to preserve their traditional liberties and to live as much as possible without government interference in their affairs. Others, like Aesop’s dog, are willing to wear a collar if their masters care for them. This difference in values is at the core of today’s political battles.”
Well that about sum things up, doesn’t it? Of course real life is not so black and white, as many people fall somewhere in the middle of these two points. I myself am on Team Less Government, but I do believe in some sort of a safety net to help those in need. It’s when the net becomes a hammock however that things get problematic and we’ve been at that tipping point for some time now. President Biden’s latest stimulus package punts us right over the edge.
It’s the second largest welfare expansion in our country’s history and is awash in new cash grants and benefits. More crucially the bill eliminates work requirements, which is just fantastic if you’re looking too keep people trapped in a cycle of poverty and dependency.
Just like the dog with the collar, a person reliant on the government for basic needs will never truly be free. Unfortunately there are many public policy types who equate poor people to domestic pets, unable to care for themselves without the benevolence of their anointed betters in government who create massive spending programs in the name of compassion.
Of course this always ends up making life more difficult and expensive, as taxes go up to pay for them and inflation kicks in. New rules also get layered on top of growing regulations intertwined with ceaseless mandates. As government seeps in to every aspect of our lives, our own self agency diminishes and our spirits deflate, which only feeds the vicious cycle of dependency.
This concept is expounded on in another fascinating Epoch Times article musing on French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville’s observations of tyranny in democratic societies. According to him, our desires for entertainment and safety work in synergy with government’s own natural inclination to control and become more powerful.
The article goes on to say:
“Tocqueville describes this power (the government) as a sort of reverse-patriarchy. Fathers, after all, seek to “prepare men for manhood.” But this government “seeks only to keep them [the citizens] in perpetual childhood.”
You see, this is a society of amusement. Its spiritual core is gone. “It prefers its citizens to enjoy themselves provided they have only enjoyment in mind,” Tocqueville declares. But there’s a catch: “It works readily for their happiness, but wishes to be the only provider and judge of it.” This government provides and even anticipates their needs, secures their pleasures, and directs their industry. In spine-tingling words, Tocqueville said it ultimately aims to “remove from them entirely the bother of thinking and the troubles of life.”
In a nutshell, a populace that is distracted, dumb and needy is ripe for exploitation by its leaders, who push the illusion of comfort and safety through policies that eventually lead to despotism. That government at all levels is loaded with people of such bad character is no surprise, but they are freely elected in to office and to an extent merely reflect the brokenness of society.
The article closes with these chilling words from Tocqueville”
“The vices of those who govern, and the ineptitude of those governed, would soon bring it to ruin, and the people, tired of its representatives and of itself, would create free institutions or would soon revert to its abasement to one single master.”
Let’s take heed and reform ourselves and our corrupt institutions before it’s too late.
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