Just when I thought that the news could not give us any more evidence of how horrible human beings can treat each other, I turned on the TV last week and heard how the Miami police had to shoot a man that was so high on a LSD-type drug that he was actually eating the face off of another man. Disgusting. And then I wondered- was there really a drug out there that could so change the brain as to make a human being act in such a way? Are there such animal tendencies within us that could be triggered where we would want to actually feast on the life of someone else?
Unfortunately, for some of us, the answer is yes. Of course, I don’t believe it would be in such a literal way as the Miami cannibal (although I do wonder sometimes if our politicians are on LSD when they make some of their decisions), but the evidence is there. You need look no further than our current gluttonous tax code and government grant structure. I know that it may seem a bit weird to compare these two things to cannibalistic behavior, but hear me out. We are learning to feast on each other’s life sustenance and we don’t even realize it.
The current tax code and government grant structure is set up in such a way that politicians decide who or what gets the taxpayer money when it comes in. Some get more, which results in others getting less. For a local example we can look to our own penny sales tax, in which the people of our town get a greater percentage back in tax revenue (to only use as the government deems) for our city and school than what we put in. While this might be nice for us, it also means that those in other towns receive less. So, as a town we are taking more from our neighbors’ pockets than what we give in return. Are we all really ok with that?
If some of you say yes, then that is a sad commentary on what some of us are becoming. Some of us are acting like financial cannibals, competing to eat out each other’s income so we can continue to gorge ourselves on those shiny things that we want, caring not for what others have to sacrifice in order for us to have them. Even something as benign as a government grant can facilitate this. Think about it; they use our money, make us compete with each other to get it back in the form of grants that they design, and then they choose who will win the “pot”. Like trained animals begging for a treat, we are forced to play the game, jumping through hoops, afraid not to take part, all to learn the behaviors the government wants before we are allowed our money back.
Are we not giving in to our basic animal instincts when we celebrate getting more of someone else’s sustenance (income) for ourselves? Are we not debasing ourselves when we allow the government to take our sustenance (income) and then decide how, when and if we will get it back? I think that our slovenly obese government encourages the cannibalization of humanity by making us fight to keep what was originally ours in the first place. Instead of building community by having more of our own money to wisely choose who and what to support, we have an economy of division, where the most favored, most influential, or best government beggar gets the taxpayer bounty. So, as I see it, not only are some of us content to be the cannibals of other people’s income, but are okay with our elected officials pimping it out as well.
Like addicts, we have learned to debase ourselves and our future, becoming theoretical cannibals who feast on the life sustenance of others. Big government is changing us, and not for the better. The bonds of community are being broken and only we can stop this cycle of addiction. There can be no freedom if we continue to play the game.
Peeta: Yeah… I just… don’t want them [the Capitol] to change me.
Katniss: How would they change you?
Peeta: I don’t know. Turn me into something I’m not. I just don’t want to be another piece in their games, you know?
Katniss: You mean you won’t kill anyone?
Peeta: No… I mean, I’m sure I would just like anyone else when the time came but I just keep wishing I could think of a way to show them, that they don’t own me. If I’m gonna die, I wanna still be me. Does that make any sense?
~ from the book, The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins