A Coercive Day In The Neighborhood
Dave Killion — October 9, 2012
It is difficult to imagine someone more gentle than Fred Rogers, of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. If someone had suggested to him that he should command perfect strangers to give him money, and that he should threaten to send armed men to either imprison those strangers or take their money by violence if they refused, he would surely have declined. In fact, I cannot help but believe that he would have refused to do so even if threatened with violence himself. And yet, in the video above (6:50), we find him lobbying the state for funding, all of which is obtained by just such means.
Perhaps the late Mister Rogers was oblivious to both the true nature and the ramifications of his request, or he was not but felt strongly that the good ends he hoped to accomplish justified the means used to attempt them. Either way, his impassioned plea demonstrates how many people cause suffering all while trying to accomplish, through coercion, what they think is good. This mindset presents a tremendous obstacle, and it is important that we keep working to spread the message that there is nothing kinder nor gentler than true freedom.
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