WHEN “OTHER PEOPLE” BECOME OUR TOYS

54mm (1:32 scale) toy soldiers by Imperial Productions of New Zealand. (from here)

If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain. (from here (quoteinvestigator.com))

Contemplate those toy soldiers. Imagine ordering millions of real men and women into bloody combat. Many of the same people, pacifists who abhor war, have no qualms about social engineering. Why? Social engineering, using the government to make society better, seems like the most laudable of goals. “We” are going to care for the aged, cure the sick, feed the hungry, stop racial discrimination, make sure everyone has a job, educate the ignorant, and so forth. Unfortunately, there are problems.

  • We cannot trust our leaders with the kind of power required for efficient social engineering. We elect people to protect our rights. If we give our leaders the power to shape us like clay and mold us into supposedly perfect human beings, how can we trust them protect our rights? Our leaders, like us, are only human. Like us they too are subject to temptation. Isn’t history our guide? Don’t we know that in time we will become their toys?
  • The end does not justify the means. In fact, the means is contrary to the desired end. Each of us has the right to choose our own religious beliefs, to live in accordance with our own conscience. It is unethical for one human being or group of human beings, even the government, to force other people to adopt or practice contrary beliefs. We each have the right to become the person we want to become. If the goal is to help our fellow citizens form good consciences, does it make sense to demand that our leaders violate their own consciences? Does it make sense to demand that our fellow citizens violate their consciences?

Still, when we are young social engineering seems like a great idea. We just elect the right people, make the right laws, tax the right people (the rich), and spend that money on the right people (the poor). What could be simpler? Why doesn’t it work?

Well, some people think the problem is that we need to fix our election system so we can elect the right people. So, they propose that the government fund elections. Supposedly, we cannot elect the right people because money taints politics. Yet this proposal begins with a serious problem. We are going to let money tainted politicians set up a system where elections are funded by the government? Who do we think will benefit from that?

In truth, it is all we can do to set up a government that protects us from each other. One that will make us better people is beyond our reach. Why?

Jeremiah 17:9-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
10 “I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the [a]mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the [b]results of his deeds.

When we are young, we don’t understand ourselves. We don’t appreciate the extent that we are subject to temptation. It is far easier to perceive another person’s character flaws and condemn them than it is to catalog our own faults.

If we are blessed, we learn from life.

Proverbs 16:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

We learn about our self when we trip and stumble. We learn to appreciate those who help us stand again, and we bless them. Instead of trying to be God, we thank God, and we strive to love others as He loves us.

34 thoughts on “WHEN “OTHER PEOPLE” BECOME OUR TOYS

    1. @Nicholas

      I don’t look upon it as being jaded. As we become older, we should become wiser.

      Charity stems from love. We have a personal God, one who loves us. From Him we learn to love each other personally.

      Government is not personal. Government is an organization. Government does not love. So, government is incapable of true charity. Therefore, even if the government did not have to rob Peter to pay Paul, trying to use the government to provide charity would be a misuse of government.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. “Each of us has the right to choose our own religious beliefs, to live in accordance with our own conscience. It is unethical for one human being or group of human beings, even the government, to force other people to adopt or practice contrary beliefs. We each have the right to become the person we want to become. If the goal is to help our fellow citizens form good consciences, does it make sense to demand that our leaders violate their own consciences? Does it make sense to demand that our fellow citizens violate their consciences?”

    Though most likely unintended, what you have described in the above paragraph is either a world “order” of anarchy or a solipsistic society . . . or on the other extreme utopia. A man’s conscience must be properly formed in other for a person who has at the very least a conscience that is in agreement with natural law. I should not “tolerate” a government that sanctions genocide, cannibalism, murder, robbery, rape or might makes right . . . and yet there are people who find such things agreeable with their lack of a conscience formed on anything other than narcissistic desire.. Love is the answer all right but at the very least our imperfect governments should give its countrymen maximum latitude and protection within a proper moral structure. If the natural law (as a simple minimum) is not the foundation for that moral structure then we may as well not have a government at all . . . or we won’t need one because we are unanimously identical in our moral beliefs and self-police one another accordingly (utopia).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nicholas

      I agree. As seen in my essay series, law presupposes morality, so we cannot strictly divorce government from morality – indeed the protection of rights is, on one perspective, a moral question/imperative. But I agree that in general, we don’t want the government to be more inolved with our lives than absolutely necessary, because we need protections from tyranny. In the end, much of the reasoning is perhaps irrelevant, since we have little power over our governments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true, Nicholas. The vote is all we have and we have no guarantee that they will remain fair and honest or even will survive from one generation to another.

        I guess it comes down to haw we should band together as a people for. What particular group of people forms a state and then writes the moral code that almost everyone can agree upon. That is the glue of a nation and it is why immigration of other peoples like we have in “free” nations needs to be carried out very carefully. If they do not buy in to the moral standards then they should not be citizens or share in the rights of that nation. Division is what ensues and it is why things such as subsidiarity were part of the Constitution of the U.S. We had local government, state government and finally federal government. But in time, the federal government has about swallowed up the rights of the other two. It is now a government of an elite ruling oligarchy and they need to be resisted and corrected if we want keep our unity as a nation. And our divisiveness as a country has never been worse; race against race, religion against religion, rich against poor, educated against uneducated etc. The list compounds daily. We are drifting off to total anarchy or headed toward a dictatorship where we all lose our rights.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nicholas

        Funnily enough, I was thinking about your different levels of government yesterday, as I came home from the bus. Of course we have similar ones (but the nuances are a bit different and contradictory/confusing in the UK).

        I was thinking about a recent training talk that a guest-speaker gave at our firm and then I started wondering about how the common law might vary from State to State in the US and about how your state legislatures interact with that, and how your Congress does as well.

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      3. As I say it used to work better than today. The lower courts are routinely overturned by the higher courts . . . some quite rightly and others quite unfair and unjust. But we have jettisoned our moral glue for no glue at all except for our rights to our life and property and even that is subject to the whim of the ruling class. Our other protections are being eroded or are at a crisis point where each of them are being systematically attacked and new ideas of immorality inserted and individual protections lost. We opened pandoras box and it will take a miracle for us to reel it in since precedent of there unlawful changes has made us a different country already.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Nicholas

        Agreed – the moment a law is passed (whether by judge, legislator, or executive) that openly permits abortion (whether limited or not) we are devalued in the eyes of the state and each other. Darkness inevitably spreads to all other parts of life, and we suddenly find laws everywhere – and used for oppression rather than the proper regulation of society.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Indeed and that seems to be the way the world has unfolded in our times.

        But what should we expect when we use the right of free speech to defend the hiring of teachers who are pulling at the threads of our moral fabric and getting adherents to their revolutionary beliefs. That whole cloth that we were founded upon is going to unravel if we are to continue to defend the rights of these people to spread propaganda among our population and even worse, not teaching the other side at all. We no longer teach civics to our kids or Western Civilization to get a feeling for where we came. In such a scenario I don’t know how we chart a course toward a brighter future. Where does it stop? Depending on the which group you belong to the battle will continue to tear us apart.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Nicholas

        I do not see how what we have built can actually survive short of divine intervention. In fact, it would not surprise me if some hard decisions were made by the saints at the start of the Millennium as a necessary corrective to current decadence. The OT millennial passages speak of judgment being meted out on nations that refuse to integrate into the Messianic system, evidenced by keeping festivals, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Coronavirus comes mind. This may not be a divine pandemic or plague but it sure shows us how intertwined we are as people. Likewise, an immoral segment of a society or government can spread like a cancer. We almost need a way to surgically remove cities or entire states in order to suppress a deadly revolt that will surely kill our society. Otherwise, we will definitely require divine intervention to rid us of that which we seem to have lost complete control over.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Nicholas

        And that is the problem: our own compassion is used against us to prevent us from making these decisions (as are “democratic values”), so we lose the means to protect ourselves and the whole thing unravels.

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      9. Very true Nicholas. The will scream ‘free speech rights’ and yet deny them to others . . . just as we must, at least only allow them If the other side is adequately given and that it is shown that one side corresponds to natural law and the other does not. That should be the validation process that the people must adhere to without compromise.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Nicholas

        From a contractual philosophy standpoint (as distinct from actual contract law) I think we can make a case that a lot of this problem stems from parties “not acting in good faith” (i.e. dishonestly) – and it is the dishonesty that people like you and me find particularly galling. There is no real intention to adopt the Judeo-Christian values that made our societies – lip-service is given to them, but there is no real faith to sign up to the actual covenant and abide by it.

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      11. It is simply showing the truth between what Fulton Sheen’s quote says at the masthead of this site. We have become a people that believe as we behave; which is a pretty sad commentary on our modern societies.

        Liked by 2 people

      12. Nicholas

        True. For all our impressive technological achievements, our societies are very broken. It is also very difficult to talk about this in depth because we will be accused of “racism” and “fascism”, etc. Who among pensive conservatives can really say everything that he or she has thought?

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Few, I’m afraid. But then the other side of the aisle should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror before lodging such an accusation. They themselves may find that who is staring back at them in the mirror is a Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Mengele or a Margaret Sayer.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. One group has a sense of moral law and the other has a bastardized concept of right and wrong. So expect far worse, my friend. If we let this high point of civilization completely fall apart we will be back to the tribal and feudal day of justice. Smaller and smaller factions will have as many rights as the ordinary man who simply desires a just civilization here on earth; or at least something approximating the justice of God.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. True. But how we get the fed out after we let them in is tall order. Getting prayer, patriotism, and morality back in the classroom will be fought by the feds in the courts which are mostly left leaning.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. @scoop

        Christians failed to determinely oppose the government takeover of the schools. So, successive generations have received less and less instruction in the Bible. The last couple of generations have been told lies.

        All we can do now is stand our ground, refute the lies, and preach the truth of the Bible. And we must start with our own children and grandchildren. Kind of like the 1st century Roman Empire.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. @Scoop

      The context is social engineering, not the maintenance of law and order. I will readily concede that government exists to protect our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is, we can do as we wish so long as we do not harm someone else.

      Social engineering involves using government to perfect a Utopia. That requires government constantly forcing us to do things we don’t want to do.

      Are there times government must force us to do something? Well, we do have to pay taxes, but what justifies such a tyrannical act? Without government, none of our rights are safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly law and order are inextricably intertwined in the function of carrying out social engineering. To pass laws that make the immoral and unthinkable common ‘rights’ then they have effectively socially engineered society. Moral law is the foundation that forms consciences and without it being the ‘form’ then the outcome can never be moral.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. @scoop

        True. Our laws are based upon our moral beliefs. However, social engineering is intentional. Instead of protecting the citizenry, social engineering is designed to manipulate the the unwashed masses.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Indeed so and the agenda of the libertine left has now codified abortion and same sex marriage. It has fundamentally transformed and reengineered our society to accept that which is immoral. So now anyone with a minority moral view is fighting for protections for themselves . . . satanic chapels and chaplains are on the campuses of our military academies and anyone who opposes any of these things is now shunned as a homophobe or religious zealot etc. The old traditional moral voice is routinely banned from even speaking at a university these days. Yep, we’ve been socially engineered and it will be a hell or a hell of a fight to overturn this overreach from the feds.

        Liked by 2 people

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