For the Family Prosperity Index (FPI) forum on Tuesday, Mike Stenhouse developed an interesting slide showing how the balance in our society (amplified in Rhode Island) is being thrown off as the government encroaches on the institutions of civic society — churches, private businesses, and other private organizations — even as it fosters and encourages a radical individualism that leads people to disengage from those intermediary community groups and connect directly with government for all of their needs.
I made an attempt to get Stenhouse to amplify this point with imagery, essentially a start to an unwritten parable. In his chart, the government is like a constrictor snake squeezing the life out of society from the outside, and as individuals stop turning to their communities as their first social contact and, instead, look to government to take resources away from their neighbors to pay for their benefits and services, they become more like parasites. So, basically, this:
Central planning and government action dehumanize us. We stop being self-directed individuals in relationships and transform into variables in an equation to be manipulated so that we fit the space the government has shaped for us. Through it all, our attitude toward others and sense of our own character dissipate.
Then, at some point, when there’s nothing left but the government and the individual, the snake will keep squeezing until it has claimed every drop of human blood.