This is an oldie but a goodie.  It’s a little parable on the inherent dangers of dependence on government largesse which in itself is a contradiction since governments really have no money to dispense, throw away, or use to buy votes.  All funds that governments possess come from the people they govern or mis-govern: Let's Party, Pigs!                 HOW TO CATCH WILD PIGSYou catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming.

When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate on the last side.

The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again.

You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught.

Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

I was wearing a T-shirt one day that read in part, “Freedom Isn’t Free” and my 10 year old grandaughter sassily said, “That doesn’t make any sense!”

I tried to explain that, indeed, it did make a great deal of sense, that all people are not free, that freedom may be a God-given right but is denied to many millions on this Earth, that in order to secure and maintain that God-given right we must be vigilant and continuously struggle against those forces which would deny our freedom.

My granddaughter had a quizzical expression but didn’t pursue the matter further.

Neither freedom nor corn is free.  They come at a price, sometimes a very steep price.  Our Founding Fathers knew this and pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in support for their independence, for their freedom from oppression.

That freedom they secured from Great Britain hundreds of years ago is now endangered by another oppressive entity, our own government, which maintains its power not by force of arms but by dispensing “free corn” in the form of welfare, of grants, of bailouts, of benefits, all derived from the confiscatory taxes it takes from the citizenry.

We greedily clamor for that corn, stuff ourselves with it, oblivious of the fence being erected around us, that fence which, when it completely encircles us, will seal our fate.

A dying, corrupt Roman Empire employed a comparable scheme to placate the masses, furnishing not corn but bread and distracting them with entertainment, circuses, panem et circem in Latin.

The sinister forces of socialism are now inexorably encircling us poor little pigs, making us more and more dependent, making us more and more subservient, sapping our energies, depriving us of the capacity to think for ourselves, making us forget that any government capable of giving us everything is also capable of taking everything away.

It’s a vicious cycle and the longer it continues the more difficult it will be to extricate ourselves from it.  When that gate is slammed shut, we will be figurative captives in our own land.

Some wisdom worth pondering:

“The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” — Thomas Paine 

“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.” — General Douglas MacArthur 

“Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn’t deserve to be.”L. Neil Smith 

 “Government is not compassion . . . Government is nothing more than structured, widespread coercion.”Glen Allport 

“Man is not free unless government is limited.” — Ronald Reagan

“A society that puts equality  . . . ahead of freedom will end up with neither.” — Milton Friedman

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”Edmund Burke