Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
— C.S. Lewis
There are those who are so sure of the righteousness of their prescriptions for others’ behavior, they will torment themselves when good things happen.
Normally, we rejoice when it rains during dry conditions, even if it slows down the wheat harvest a bit. But if good fortune for others means it’s less likely your regulatory dream regime will pass — well, which is more important?
To a frequent comment writer on the Wichita Eagle online site, the choice is this: His regulatory urge, his conviction that he is absolutely certain he knows what others should do, is more important than our collective sigh of relief: “I have become so committed, to wanting weather sensors to be required on new lawn irrigation systems, that I’m upset when it rains. Because I know it means it’s less likely to get passed by the Council.”
It’s not enough, apparently, that the city is taking very expensive measures to save very little water. I speak, of course, of rebates for low-flush toilets, which force one person to pay for someone else’s appliance.
No, for this person, others have to suffer additional expense — and brown lawns — just so he can force his regulatory wishes on the rest of us.