The Soft Tyranny of Comfort

Tricia has written a great post! Still, I think we need to think a about a couple of things.
1. The wolf would have eaten the dog.
2. This excerpt from Tricia’s post.

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.

There was a time I would have written something similar. Now I wonder at my foolishness. What is the problem? There are two problems.
1. The Federal Government has no charter to redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor. They don’t do it anyway. The politicians give the rich loopholes.
2. Various idioms illustrate this second problem. There is that story about letting the camel’s nose under the tent. Once the camel’s nose is in the tent, how do we stop the rest of the camel from coming in and under the tent? Then that more American adage, “give them an inch, and they take a mile.”

The point is that the power that comes from distributing “free” government money is extremely enticing. Because we have let our leaders have this power, we risk seeing them wreck our economy.

Charity is not a legitimate government function. There is no moral justification for taking money from one person and giving it to another. Even when government serves as an intermediary, it is still stealing.

Look at the Declaration of Independence. We need a government to protect our rights. Without a government, no one is safe. Unfortunately, people always want government to do more. Then government becomes a threat to our rights.

Freedom Through Empowerment

“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…

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17 thoughts on “The Soft Tyranny of Comfort

  1. Loved Tricia’s post, Tom!

    For me it comes down to, what is “charity?” In the modern world it means money or donations, but in the KJV of the Bible charity means “love.” We are not commanded to give people money and stuff, we are called to love them. In many ways this is far more challenging, much more difficult. The Gov cannot love people because it is a bureaucracy and not a people, not a sentient being. So we people need to love one another, which of course, we are often epic fails at doing. Also, we’re living within a system that is just corrupt as all heck. Telling people to “just get a job” or “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” is outdated and out of touch. Ironically that bootstrap phrase was once used to mock government, Gov that was telling people who had no boots to just pull themselves up. Why did they have no boots? Because gov corruption, crony capitalism, and the swamp had stolen them.

    At the moment it sure looks like we’re crashing our economy with all the handouts, but who caused the disaster, who has had us locked down for over a year and bankrupted businesses, cost us our jobs? Who has us masked and who is telling us we can’t work without a vaccine card? The camel is in the tent and trashing the whole place.

    But be of good cheer, Tom! Seriously, God is just doing some remodeling. It is absolutely maddening to see the mess, but He works for good all things and I really believe that. There are some changes happening, but it is going to be okay.

    1. @insanitybyte22

      I don’t disagree with any of that. Redistributing the wealth doesn’t work because politicians just redistribute the wealth to buy votes. That is not charity. It is certainly not charity in the KJV’s sense of the word. Therefore, redistributing the wealth doesn’t help people.

          1. The application of “power” is not always evil, Tom. You know that. You are assigning the concept of “power” to fit your opinions. You were an officer in the military and by nature of how the military assigns power to that rank to command others there was an implicit respect expected from the rank-in-file to that simple fact. Yet you could only effectively lead with the confidence of the people under your command if they respected, and had faith in, how you personally wielded that power. Same thing with elected officials. Even “good” people with high ideals want power thinking they can do things to make life/the country better. You (Conservatives) are way too flippant on this idea that power is bad… and only you can judge who is bad.

          2. @Doug

            Look around the world. Most of the people of this world live under the thumb of authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. Prior to the rise of Western Civilization, every society accepted, condoned, and enforced the practice of slavery, even the Athenian and Roman republics. It took a bloody civil war to end the practice in this country. So, I think I can be forgiven when I point to governmental policies and practices that I believe would subvert the rule of law.

          3. @Pope Doug I

            Were I still a Catholic I supposed I would address you as Holy Father and thank you. Fortunately, that is an exceedingly weak temptation.

            Thank you

          4. Ah, well, weak temptation or not, still a temptation nonetheless apparently. Now.. if only I could direct that temptation to truly meaningful pursuits.

  2. “We need a government to protect our rights. Without a government, no one is safe. Unfortunately, people always want government to do more. Then government becomes a threat to our rights.”

    This isn’t exactly correct, Tom. Government exists to serve the people.. because the people ARE the government by nature of our vote putting the people there to do the governing. Our vote changes things… the government doesn’t dictate without our approval. If enough people vote through their representation that government should do more then it’s the will of the people… not one person or some secret deep state nonsense. If there’s a threat to our rights then it’s the people buy their majority or court challenges that will determine if any threats are valid.
    Besides all that, we have umpteen million people with trigger fingers very willing to use their “law abiding” guns, in the absence of government, to show us all how they think we should live. I feel perfectly safe with that backup plan should government go too far.. or not far enough.

    1. @Doug

      Which is more important, the rights of the people or the rights of the individual? Sounds obvious? Right? Apparently, it isn’t. There are situations where we seem to sacrifice the rights of an individual for the sake of the people. Eminent domain would be an example. If someone owns a mountain pass and the government wants to build a road, for the sake of the much greater number of individuals who will benefit from the road, our government will pay the person who owns that mountain pass for the land and build the road. What we do is weigh the rights of the various individuals against each other. We weigh the property rights of a relatively few people against the freedom of many to move about and conduct their affairs.

      Without the use of eminent domain, it would be very difficult to build roads, and everyone’s liberty would suffer. During the Middle Ages, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the robber barons charged inordinate tolls. So, when they could, people travelled by sea, but that did not work well, either. Muslim pirates. That’s one reason why the early Middle Ages are often referred to as the Dark Ages.

      Redistributing the wealth doesn’t involve the protection of rights. It is simply the majority stealing from the minority. It is simply people raiding the public treasury for their own gain. It is in fact what it looks like. When we pay people to not work, it is decadent.

      Why do we have a republic instead of a democracy? The framers of the Constitution feared an unfettered majority — a mob — would do something like raiding the public treasury. Therefore, they tried to put all kinds of checks and balances and explicit limits on the government. However, without a moral people, none of that works. Unprincipled men and women will just say the Constitution permits them to do whatever they want to do.

      1. Congress shall past no laws curtailing our individual rights, but the Preamble says nothing about individuality as government serves all the people… the Fifth pertaining to the public good but includes compensation to the individual.

        This constant bemoaning of somehow huge swaths of Americans are living cushy lives sucking the hind t*t of government handouts has been going on for decades and decades without any hard any fast statistics. Absolutely common sense suggests there will always be a number of people taking advantage of the system. But is there so many that it requires a shutdown of all the bennies? I hardly think not. Just taking into consideration human nature, most don’t actively seek out a free ride because most do have a sense of personal social morality. You honestly think those people forced out of work and getting all this extra unemployment are hanging in there rather than go back to work? Some.. sure. Vast numbers? Hardly. The best noise about all this has been regarding immigrants.. the alleged “hordes” entering the country, legally and illegally, just to siphon off the welfare. Last numbers I saw from the government is that this was not a severe problem at all.

        I nearly spit up a drink on your last sentence there….
        “Unprincipled men and women will just say the Constitution permits them to do whatever they want to do.”
        We just had four years of some guy who fit that description…. and he expects a comeback!

        1. @Doug

          The Constitution is a charter. It says the what the Federal Government can do, and it provides an organizational structure. The preamble,….well, read the damn thing.

          We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

          If I say I am concerned about so and so’s welfare, do I have to give them money? Yes? Then I am dropping that word from my vocabulary. It does not mean what the dictionary says it means.

          You want to know how much politicians twist the meaning of words? Check out

          What was the purpose of the Preamble? To authorize our leaders to do whatever they wish? The Tenth Amendment says otherwise.

          Amendment X
          The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

          We are sinners. That is why we need a government, to protect ourselves FROM EACH OTHER.

          You don’t believe in human depravity? Then show me where the Constitution authorizes our leaders to redistribute the wealth. You can’t, of course.

          Redistributing the wealth is stealing, and it is stealing that violates our laws, but our glorious leaders, even though they are now paying people not to work and their spending threatens us with bankruptcy, are just looking the other way.

          Meanwhile, all you can do is attack Trump, as if he were responsible, but you can never say exactly what it was Trump supposedly did. On the hand, we can point to the first term of the Biden Administration, and we have no trouble making a long list of dumb and corrupt things that man and people is doing.

          1. The preamble was expressing the SPIRIT intended for the following document. I was pointing out that the SPIRIT intended the document to represent elements beyond just the individual because government does not serve just one person. The document PRESERVES individual rights (not protect (unless you prefer to assign “preservation” as some level of “protection”). It’s up to all of us to “protect & defend the Constitution”.

            “We are sinners. That is why we need a government, to protect ourselves FROM EACH OTHER.”
            I can’t argue if you want to assign some “Onward Christian Soldiers’ thing to the concept that man needs protection from each other through the application of government. Man exists and man responds to inherent instincts, and because man can reason he is imperfect, and covets… keeping in mind that not all coveting is necessarily evil.

            “You don’t believe in human depravity? Then show me where the Constitution authorizes our leaders to redistribute the wealth.”
            A “re-distribution of wealth”, as you want to call it, represents a human depravity?? If anything I would think that would be an example of Christian charity. Across the board re-distribution of wealth is centered around economic concepts. That’s simply a convenient Conservative term to to de-legitimize the concept of welfare assistance.

            “Redistributing the wealth is stealing…”
            I seem to recall Congress has control of the purse. Perhaps we, the people, are stealing from ourselves?

            “… their spending threatens us with bankruptcy”
            Are you any sort of financial guru? I am certainly not. The federal government is not like a business. Again… Congress is suppose to consider these things, and if you have apprehensions based on the reporting in the media “enlightening” you, or personal conflicts knowing how it is to balance your own checkbook, you can chat with your representatives in Congress.

            Trump is history, he just doesn’t know it yet.

          2. @Doug

            When we build a philosophy designed to help decide the difference between good and evil, we must begin with sound assumptions.

            When you, I , or anyone else earned money, who does that money or property rightfully belong. When our government taxes us, what give it the right? Remember. Our government is nothing more than a bunch of ordinary people we have elected. Does the fact that they earned more votes give them superrighteousness?

          3. @Doug

            What did Trump do to abuse anyone’s rights? Especially when compared with Obama and now Biden? All you can do is make unspecified accusations. That is bearing false witness.

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