----- The nanny state and our obsession with creature comforts
A $7 million memorial to the victims of communism, in a budget that foresees a net debt of $1.5 trillion in 2025, is what most upsets editorialist Ryan (editorial, "Memorial for the victims of ... what?" pg 4, April 28, 2021). Go figure. Those people are, to him, victims of a past best forgotten, an inconvenient truth about a system that should no longer frighten anyone. Now, that is frightening. If people are so obsessed with creature comforts and the avoidance of pain as to welcome ever more intrusive governments that flaunt their obsession with power, their fiscal irresponsibility, and their willingness to bribe voters, we should worry. If people can’t see that the nanny-state Justin Trudeau is erecting here, and Joe Biden is trying to impose in the U.S., is watered-down fascism and/or communism, we’re in trouble.
The nanny-state is incremental socialism, as insidious as it is destructive of one’s sense of personal responsibility and moral duty: responsibility, for our not becoming a burden to others; duty, not to pursue egalitarianism, but, more practically, to tend to our loved ones, help those who are mentally or physically handicapped and incapable of fending for themselves, and support those who, through no fault of their own, are struggling. These duties and responsibilities are not ours as part of any tacit “social contract”. They are ours by virtue of our being human beings, endowed with rational minds and the capacity to empathize. They are not society’s to impose; they can, however, be taught. And the best way to do that is by example.