Compassion Comes From Private, not Public, Action

By Bradley Harrington

“Individualism upholds the supremacy of individual rights, the principle that a human being is an end in him or her self — and that the proper goal of life is self-realization.”  — Nathaniel Branden, “Capitalism, the Libertarian Vision,” 2014 —

WTE3 Column #112 Illustration -- Compassion at GunpointOnce in a while, like a reflection in a mirror, a chain of concrete events perfectly echoes and illustrates the abstract idea from which it springs. Not often — so, when it does, it serves as a vivid reminder that thoughts have consequences.

Take, for instance, the “Compassion Cheyenne” idea, and City Councilman Richard Johnson’s recent resurrection of it.

For those who might recall, “Compassion Cheyenne” ran into a few obstacles when it petitioned the Council last year for a “resolution designating Cheyenne as a Compassionate Community,” to wit:

“Mayor Marian Orr worried the Charter for Compassion, which speaks in broad terms about ‘absolute justice, equity and respect’ and ‘a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity,’ meant ignoring federal immigration laws. Councilman Dicky Shanor expressed concern about the international movement’s sustainability goals, which include reducing carbon emissions.” (“Councilman looks to revive Compassionate Cheyenne resolution,” WTE, Aug. 20.)

That was last October; then, two weeks later, “organizers led by Ed Boenisch … pulled out. They had no interest in political mudslinging.”

“Mudslinging,” gentlemen? Really? Well, it’s certainly true that the local chapter follows the lead of the parent organization, for you tell us so:

 “In June 2015 … community members gathered to broadly ask what they want for Cheyenne. Their exploration of that question led them to the International Charter for Compassion.” (“Compassionate Cheyenne forum seeks input on making city a better place,” WTE, Oct. 29, 2017.)

And it’s also certainly true that the Charter for Compassion has a huge political agenda as well, nor does it hesitate to declare what it’s after:  

“We believe that all human beings are born with the capacity for compassion, and that it must be cultivated for human beings to survive and thrive,” the organization’s home page ( trumpets. Then the kicker kicks in:

“To that end we support and work to achieve the seventeen sustainable goals of the United Nations … See how each of our sectors works to bring about transformative change.”

And, to get a flavor of where THOSE goals will be taking you, get a load of this, the lead-in to their “17 Sustainable Goals” — and it’s as political as you can get:

“Eradicating poverty … is an indispensable requirement for sustainable development … There must be promotion of sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.”

Well, that all sounds real nice — but how is it determined what “equitable” economic growth consists of, and who gets to determine it? And, just what kind of “inequalities” are we being asked to “reduce”? INCOME inequalities, obviously, as Goal 10 proves:  “While income inequality between countries may have been reduced, inequality within countries has risen.”

And, again — who gets to determine what constitutes “equitable social development,” and along what political-philosophical lines? And who is in charge of the “sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems”?

Clearly, all of this “managed equalization” will need both guns and bureaucrats — LOTS of each — and a very large pile of money, too. That source, however, is also clear enough: The individuals at the top of the “inequality” spectrum in the “developed” countries will be paying for it, through the use of force, as their wealth is coercively handed over to those who didn’t earn it … With the whole setup taking place within the framework of a highly-powerful, all-encompassing government, just exactly the kind of totalitarian state that will be required to wield those kinds of powers.

And such moral and political slavery, Dear Readers, is being preached in the name of “compassion.” Sorry, but it will never work — as compassion cannot be “cultivated” at the point of a gun.

So, instead of considering and passing such hot-air “resolutions,” Mr. Johnson, maybe you and the rest of your Council should just stick to protecting our individual rights instead — and leave each of us, as individuals, free to pursue our own peaceful goals and means as we see fit. After all, that’s how we “reduced” poverty the first time.

And the best thing for Mr. Boenisch and Compassionate Cheyenne? Drop the U.N.’s half-socialist, half-fascist “one-world” agenda and get back to the private-sector involvements that real compassion has always depended on. Do that and you’ll no longer NEED a proclamation.

Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. Email:

NOTE: This column was originally published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on August 26, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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