A Warning to the Independently Minded

You, the individual, and your neighbours around you do not have to take care of the hungry, the needy, diseased, disabled or homeless in your community because we, your elected government’s officials will plan and administer the programmes needed for those purposes from our central offices. These programmes, designed by intellectuals, directed by bureaucrats and funded by you, the willing tax payer, will resolve all these difficulties in your area. The programmes are already in progress. As we continue taking over the welfare functions that you and your neighbours used to perform by yourselves through your churches, civic organisations and neighbourhood groups, here are some cautions for you keep in mind.

First, do NOT believe critics who say that welfare programmes should originate locally in order to be effective, and that only locally run programmes can provide the incentives, rewards, monitoring or relationships needed for success. More specifically do NOT believe that you have to organise yourselves into local groups for those purposes, or coordinate your efforts using local people and local resources, or create programmes of your own tailored to the special problems of your community. None of that is necessary. With our generic plans and programmes and our dedication to your own welfare, we in government will take care of all these problems from our central and satellite offices.

Second, you need not attempt to rehabilitate persons in your community who are unable to care for themselves. We will subsidise those disabilities for an indefinite period, forever if needs be.  And speaking of that problem, do NOT believe critics who claim that our government programmes only offer to feed the hungry but fail to help them become self-reliant enough to feed themselves. We know what is best for them, for we are the government.

Third, do NOT worry that our welfare programmes will rob you of opportunities to feel good about yourselves when helping others or undermine the enhanced sense of community that you and your neighbours feel when helping others jointly. Do NOT concern yourself that your community will become less cohesive without the shared charitable activities that reaffirm bonds of social cooperation.

Above all, do NOT believe the critics when they say that we actually want to keep you, your community and the welfare class dependent upon government services as a way of maintaining our power. That allegation is grossly unfair. We never have such motives. We are your government officials, and we only wish to help you by taking care of all those problems that you cannot take care of yourself.

Avoid the trap of believing that the individual who is, ipso facto, selfish, has value other than when subsumed into the collective.

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3 responses to “A Warning to the Independently Minded

  1. “I was going through an American phase and was deeply into Faulkner, Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Miller and Steinbeck, all of whom I can today recall better than Laurence (note the absence of Hemingway who I found equally unreadable). There was something about the book that made me uneasy, I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time being still a little naive and anal intacto. Many years later, after attempting unsuccessfully to read Women in Love, and more worldly wise, I realised it was the homo erotic content that was excited me. Wow, from that day on I decided I was going to wrestle naked on a rug with Danny LaRue in front of a raging log fire.
    Sadly it never happened and rather admit I was totally gay I turned to alcohol and drugs. Thus ruining my life.

    (picks up his colostomy bag with forefinger and thumb, holding at arm’s length and gingerly depositing the vile contents in the toilet).

    Forgive me for quoting your piece on Charles blog honeybun but I found your words quite moving! Ooh Matron!

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