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The dirty needle that is government dependency

By Robert Rohlfing
web posted April 23, 2012

In Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1935 State of the Union Address he even warned of too much government dependency and how it becomes like a drug for some in the population. Today this is exactly what we have created with all of our government welfare dependency.

This is what FDR said:

"More than two billions of dollars have also been expended in direct relief to the destitute. Local agencies, of necessity, determined the recipients of this form of relief. With inevitable exceptions, the funds were spent by them with reasonable efficiency, and as a result actual want of food and clothing in the great majority of cases has been overcome.

But the stark fact before us is that great numbers still remain unemployed.

A large proportion of these unemployed and their dependents have been forced on the relief rolls. The burden on the Federal Government has grown with great rapidity. We have here a human as well as an economic problem. When humane considerations are concerned, Americans give them precedence. The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole our relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of a sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America. Work must be found for able-bodied but destitute workers.

The Federal Government must and shall quit this business of relief.

I am not willing that the vitality of our people be further sapped by the giving of cash, of market baskets, of a few hours of weekly work cutting grass, raking leaves, or picking up papers in the public parks. We must preserve not only the bodies of the unemployed from destitution but also their self-respect, their self-reliance, and courage and determination."

Psychologist Martin Seligman referred to the culture of dependency that was brought on by Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" programs that we today look at as entitlements in this fashion, first of all he termed it "Learned helplessness" since fundamentally we as a species are self determined to survival and will do what is necessary as individuals to facilitate our own personal survival by what means are necessary to do so.

Just like animals, humans have to be conditioned to become dependent upon others. They have to become conditioned to become passive and reliant in a helpless fashion. Today so many are told that they cannot rise above the current station that they are in life, they have been conditioned by the government and the advocates of government dependency that without the reliance upon said government that their survival or their perceived happiness is always out of reach due to others. In essence this conditioning has created the sense of not only entitlement, but also the culture of victimhood.

Seligman said:

"But the same concept can be borrowed to describe the sense of futility that can engendered by the dependency culture. The Assumption of Incompetence which pervades the welfare culture leads ineluctably to the Learned Helplessness of Dependency.

When a victim is responsible for nothing, then nothing he or she can do will appreciably change or improve their lives. That is up to someone else, someone else who pays for their housing, food, and transportation, and to whom they look to solve their problems and plan for their future. The tragedy of the cycle of poverty is that it passes this helplessness of dependency from generation to generation.

In the face of adversity, a person accustomed to the lack of responsibility or independence is unlikely to respond either by taking control of the situation or by taking the initiative to extricate himself or others from it. More likely, he will wait on others to act."

Dependency is a means of control. They tell minorities and the poor that they can't make it on their own. Get them hooked on government handouts and they will be able to do less and less for themselves. They give the poor a few more scraps off other people's table to keep them comfortable enough in poverty so they won't try to better themselves.

President Johnson understood this concept and went about it two fold. While he is remembered as the president who enacted civil rights legislation, he is also the president that enacted the greatest rise and implementation of social welfare programs that today has not only bankrupt our country fiscally but also morally. He understood that with his so called "Great Society" programs that he would create the culture of government dependency and thus the culture of control. Prior to his presidency African Americans voted in a majority with the Republican Party, as it was the Republican Party that enacted the vast amount of civil rights legislation dating back to the inception of the party when Abolitionists and former Whig Party members formed the new political party we know today as the Republican Party.

Johnson knew that if he could get the large numbers of minorities and poor dependent on the government that they would in the future vote along the lines of those who promised the most handouts. Johnson speaking to two governors while on a flight on Air Force One was recorded saying, "I'll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years." he understood the fact that once he increased the amount of minorities and poor dependent on the government to provide housing, food, and other basic staples of life. That this voting bloc would increasingly over time become conditioned to the belief that they are not only entitled to these handouts, but also over time that it would create the sense of victimhood and envy for those that are not dependent in the same manner that they are. 

Forty plus years of government dependency programs enacted under Johnsons "Great Society" we have not only witnessed the decay in our culture that promoted self determination and independence, but we have created a society that has morphed into a society that looks in the direction of our neighbors in a manner of angst.  We have a president that on a daily basis promotes class warfare through his spoken word and the legislation that he and his allies in the congress attempt to advance. Though his allies in congress and he may not be card carrying members of the Communist Party, they all promote the same principles and ideals of the root basis that the father's of the ideology advocated so long ago.

Today they have blanketed themselves behind the terms of  "Progressivism" and "Liberalism" out of necessity of the fact that they cannot be open and upfront with the public and declare that it is actually Socialism at the least that they want to achieve. Under the guise of terminology such as "Social Justice" and "Fairness" they hope to achieve the same goals of dependency and control  of the individual that Communism created in the former Soviet Union and in countries such as Cuba and China. In these countries it is not the individual that determines personal destiny, it is the state that determines how far and individual may rise or fall in society. The false precept that a society of "fairness" can be determined by a small body of individuals that are still driven by personal greed and preservation will somehow overcome those basic human characteristics to bring about societal equality is a farce of enormous magnitude.

When you examine the fact that dependency upon the government not only enables the government to control your freedoms and individualism, you have to recognize that basic fact that in doing so, you enable the drivers behind such to condition people to the destructive act of perpetual division.  You see this today with the mentality of "us verse them" and  "take it, by whatever means necessary"  attitude that the Occupy Wall Street movement calls for today. Never mind the fact that years of programs and movement in the direction that they advocate have left our country in a death spiral financially that generations to come may never be able to recover from. But also the fact that throughout the world where governments that promised all of the same handouts are in a state of decay to the point that the citizenry have become so addicted that they cannot accept, or be honest enough with themselves that they have become the dealers that have enabled their own self destruction one dirty needle at a time. ESR

© 2012 Robert Rohlfing


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