Wanting And Not Getting

     (No, this won’t be about sex.)

     It’s easy to talk fliply about “predilections” and “mindsets” and what they impel their holders to do. I’ve done it many times. Yet it often provides plausible explanations for the behavior common to certain categories of persons. While there are always exceptions and there always will be, there is a reality to the notion that won’t go away.

     One of the mixed blessings of a prosperous society is the latitude it allows people to pursue their preferences through their choice of occupation. This morning, I have in mind the “helping professions:” the occupations whose practitioners earn their livings by treating diseases and other unwanted conditions of the body, mind, or soul. If Smith has an innate inclination toward helping others, those trades will seem attractive to him. If he has the necessary abilities and is willing to make the necessary effort, he’s likely to enter one of them. As our occupations are the central element in our adult lives, that will tend to color Smith’s relations with everyone he encounters.

     The “mix” in the blessing is this: there are a great many people who don’t want Smith’s help, regardless of his opinion of them.

     As a general but not unbreakable rule, Americans want to do what their trades enable them to do. In particular, “helpers” want to “help;” it’s integral to their self-concept. The reverse of the coin is that when we’re not at work, we have to be mindful that we’re not at work. If Jones doesn’t want Smith’s help, Smith must respect that preference and “keep his hands off.”

     However, some “helpers” refuse to hear the word “no.”


     If we move now to the “rulers” – that is, those persons with a drive for power over others – we confront another predilection of significance. Strange as it may seem to those of us who lack this mindset, the “ruler” feels unsatisfied – unfulfilled might be an even better word – unless he’s bossing people around. He might not think of himself as a “ruler.” He might never ask himself “Am I really qualified to do this?” The predilection will operate in him nevertheless. He’ll need frequent, forceful rebuffs to keep him from imposing himself on everyone around him.

     Combine the “helper” mindset with that of the “ruler” and you’ve got real trouble. And so we arrive at the infinitely troubling case of the celebrated Dr. Anthony Fauci.

     Apparently the good (?) doctor is a bit miffed that so many people have been ignoring his excellent “advice:”

     Fauci might have been happier in the Soviet Union. There, the “helpers” could exercise genuine coercive power over the others. The physicians and psychiatrists employed by the KGB “helped” uncounted thousands of Soviet subjects to see the error of their ways…though it seldom did them much good in the long run. (True, the USSR is no more, but similar positions are available in Cuba and North Korea.) But we Americans are a bit more ornery than Fauci likes.

     It’s fortunate for us that Fauci doesn’t command a genuine coercive force. It’s rather unfortunate that he’s had the ear of people who do.


     The point is this: The “helper” wants to help, and the “ruler” wants to rule. The combination of the mindsets in one person produces a tyrant who seeks total control over others. He won’t be satisfied until he’s got a gaggle of dependents: persons who will make no move without first securing his wisdom…and however many he may have, he’ll always want more. If he’s allowed actual coercive power, he becomes one of the deadliest forces known to Man.

     You can sometimes detect the “coercive helper” mindset in someone you know. (I have a brother-in-law who qualifies.) Such persons will sometimes have a circle of dependents around them: persons who’ve become accustomed to taking their direction. They’re often viewed as “gurus” of some sort. But their orbits are not for those of us who prefer to make our own decisions. They must never be allowed near the levers of power, as we have done to our ruin.

     Until the Twentieth Century, not many ardent “helpers” have been attracted by government service. The dangers have never been more apparent, as governments everywhere have striven to take control over medicine and the other “helping” occupations. It’s vital to the health of the Republic, in both senses, that we remove from their perches any “helpers” that have managed to worm their ways into positions of influence, and abolish the positions they occupy, before the federal conquest of medicine and the allied professions can be completed. One Fauci per century is more than enough.

1 comment

    • tkdkerry on August 5, 2022 at 12:47 PM

    All too true.  This definitely brings to mind C. S. Lewis’ quote re omnipotent moral busybodies.

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