by Glenn Fairman 12/17/13
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the reprobate descends to the squalor of the pigsty before he comes to his senses, repents, and returns to the Father. It is in the concrete realization that one has either abysmally squandered his resources or that his poor choices will soon seal his destruction, that true life altering changes can be made.
Government, in its anti-wisdom of unreflective compassion, has effectively ordained the unintended consequence of sanctioning and subsidizing the “pigsty.” Why return to the father when one can keep his “pride” and continue eating pods alongside his piggish brethren? The government, many layers removed from the multiplicity of social pathologies and the genuine causes of impoverishment when dealing with aid recipients, oftentimes short circuits the natural internalized reflection necessary for a lasting remediation leading towards a moral/spiritual self-examination. In fact, its ham-handed blundering and ignorance of human nature exacerbates the dilemma.[pullquote]The government, many layers removed from the multiplicity of social pathologies and the genuine causes of impoverishment when dealing with aid recipients, oftentimes short circuits the natural internalized reflection necessary for a lasting remediation leading towards a moral/spiritual self-examination.[/pullquote]
Clearly, the non-judgmental and wisdom-free manifesto of the bleeding heart ensures that life within the pigsty will harden and metastasize generationally, and that the propagation of one’s young within the velvet snare is reduced to a perverse economic incentive of sorts. Meanwhile, the fruits of such ill-conceived compassion are manifold: the inculcation of stubborn pride and sloth, the folly of short term benefit over long term self-worth, the destruction of the natural family, learned helplessness, generational indolence, cultural infantilization, and the eclipse of the classical virtues. One can go on ad nauseum.
Perhaps the most devastating argument against the government assuming the communitarian burden of indigent aid is the moral one. A judgment-free redistribution of money ensures that dependency will continue and perpetuate. Going further, the individual virtue one acquires from giving aid “up-close and personal” effectively dissolves, helping to sever the reciprocal bonds of duty and obligation that comprise the healthy fabric of civil society.
Europe is a prime example of this socialist malady. The near extinction of the Christian ethic (watered down into a secular Christian-Democratic Socialism) has ensured that private charitable giving withers. Therein, one is little burdened with the moral obligation of the Good Samaritan and this perspective informs society that the plight of my brother is to be bound up in the mercies of a faceless bureaucracy. No longer then am I “my brother’s keeper” or attached to the alleviation of his want of suffering. We are then equal wards of a regime that retards the possibility of moral ascent.
Consequently, in the hands of a regime that injects Socialism into the veins of its citizenry, we lay waste to the Christian ideal of human community. The social and interpersonal bonds that undergird true compassion are consequently withering because duty and obligation have become irrelevant. As the expansive regime becomes ascendant, we are conditioned to relinquish our personal merciful duty to feed and clothe the indigent, and they, conversely, are liberated from the obligation to affect personal transformation towards a life of moderation, self-sufficiency and gratitude.[pullquote]Public welfare, which addresses the material and discounts the spiritual, will never address the ethical factors and alter the personal choices that in themselves are the seedlings for poverty.[/pullquote]
The dissipation of gratitude is perhaps the most monstrous manifestation of this entire degrading exercise in cultivating this state assisted entanglement. The gratitude and moral obligation that I would feel when assisted by a neighbor or private institution (and consequently, the imperative to make it temporary in as much as possible) devolves into an open-ended expectation of entitlement. What is left when the government injects its amoral toxin into the mix is the feeling that one is owed the proceeds of another’s labor merely because one exists.
Public welfare, which addresses the material and discounts the spiritual, will never address the ethical factors and alter the personal choices that in themselves are the seedlings for poverty. Charitable duty, when mangled and warped through the cynical lens of a distant redistributive clearinghouse, strangles in its crib a teachable moral moment. Moreover, for the Prodigal, who intuitively desires above all things to return to the House of his Father, it effectively and irrevocably landmines the road home.
Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. • (927 views)