Socialized Medicine

Medicine doesn’t show up in the classic utopias.  If you think about it for a second, it’s striking, even shocking —  Campanella, More, et al, all the way up through Edward Bellamy and V.I. Lenin, describe their paradises in detail, and they always mention that disease has been overcome, but there’s never even the hint of a mechanism.  They just somehow assume that common property and communal living make illness a thing of the past.

Medicine didn’t show up in the Progressives’ political fantasies, either, though these were specifically designed to be (and, alas, all too often were) made law.  This is not, you can be sure, because of some weird vestigial respect for personal autonomy.  The Progressives, after all, thought that the State could and should run your sex life for you.  Medicine doesn’t show up in Socialist fantasies because medicine was, for all practical purposes, completely useless.

Historians of medicine (of which I’m not one) like to joke that if you somehow get sent back in time, and you get sick, you’d better stay the hell away from the doctor if you’ve landed anytime before 1920.  It turns out that physicians have the same joke, only they pick 1950 as the annus mirabilis.  In other words, “medicine” is so recent an invention that there are probably still a few guys in nursing homes somewhere whose professional medical practice was little better than voodoo.  The three great medical accomplishments of the late 19th century — germ theory, aseptic surgery, Koch’s postulates — laid the foundations for modern medicine, but without an effective broad-spectrum antibiotic, actual treatment remained all but medieval.*

The history of medicine highlights the deepest, most dangerous irony of “Progressivism:”  They must assume that what’s now is forever.  Progressivism is, at bottom, just organized envy.  If anyone, anywhere, possesses X, then there can never be justice until everyone, everywhere, possesses X.  That X might just be an accident, a historical hiccup, a blip of static on Time’s radar screen, never occurs to them.  It can’t.  Otherwise, they’d be praising the Gilded Age’s “universal access to healthcare,” since John D. Rockefeller’s kid was just as likely to die of some horrible infection as the poorest immigrant’s.  Same for Rockefeller himself — burst appendixes are no respecters of rank.

This locks “Progressives” into their categories, such that they can’t see the runaway freight train heading right at them.  Bernie Sanders is still on the campaign trail sounding like a refugee from the Wobblies, talking about poverty.  Poverty, fer chrissakes!  As if America’s “poor” people didn’t keel over from heart disease while fiddling with their Obamaphones in front of their HD tvs.  The real driver of social change isn’t poverty, it’s idleness.

The signature pathology of the 21st century is our utter lack of purpose.  Our inner cities aren’t vibrant because the people there are poor.  It’s because they’re bored.  They don’t lack jobs; they lack the very notion that anything they could possibly do might be meaningful for its own sake.  Likewise, people don’t jump the border for “economic opportunity.”  They jump the border because they want to loaf on the public dime.  Why else would all those hardworking immigrants, working 24 hours a day doing the jobs Americans won’t, end up acting exactly like our very own native-born ghetto bangers?

If you think it’s bad now, wait until the robots start taking over for real.  The consequences are obvious — so obvious that H.G. Wells, himself a moron Socialist, saw them back in 1895.   But that’s “progress” for you….   We should all thank God that medicine didn’t really get going until after the Progressives had shot their wad.  Otherwise your Obamacare doctor would want to bleed you fortnightly to release your bilious humours.

 

*For the record, the first effective, widely-available antibiotic was Salversan.  It came to market in 1910, and treated two conditions: Syphilis and trypanosomiasis (African Sleeping Sickness).  Feminists, natch, have been having a field day with that ever since — of course The Patriarchy would develop an STD cure right off the bat!  Which just goes to show that feminists know as much about chemistry and microbiology as they do about economics and logic, but whatever, the point is, there was no broad-spectrum drug until 1928, and the word “antibiotic” didn’t even make it into the dictionary until the 1940s.
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4 thoughts on “Socialized Medicine

  1. Pickle Rick

    I thought our inner cities were vibrant because of feral negroes, but the point is taken. Shitavarious and Mo’gibsitron can devote all their time to dealing drugs and shooting each other because they’re not worried about food or shelter because good ol’ whitey provides…

  2. MBlanc46

    It does stagger the imagination that in a century and a half or so they went from being able to do nothing—and often intervening in ways that were positively harmful—to being able to do so much that we can’t possibly pay for it all. (In the same ballpark as first powered, heavier-than-air flight of a few hundred yards in 1903 to landing [white] men on the Moon in 1969.) It will ultimately puncture the Leftist balloon. They’ll find that there’s no avoiding rationing one way or another, either by ability to pay, by wait times, or by some other means (death panels, for example). It will be amusing to hear them try to convince people—and themselves—that that’s not what they’re doing.

    But the really important point of this post is, “The real driver of social change isn’t poverty, it’s idleness”. That’s the wisdom of the ages. The Devil’s workshop, etc. Our betters no longer have much need of our labor. Perhaps they need us to consume the goods that their coolies or their robots grind out. Or perhaps they’d simply prefer that we disappear (but don’t feel safe saying that in public, just yet). They’re already floating the guaranteed income lunacy. I don’t want to push this too far, but if these “mass shootings” aren’t yet related to idleness—yes, they’re mentally disturbed, yes, they’re losers who can’t get girlfriends—they will be. If you don’t give young men something productive to do, they will almost certainly find something destructive to do.

  3. RRW

    “Progressivism is, at bottom, just organized envy. “

    “As if America’s “poor” people didn’t keel over from heart disease while fiddling with their Obamaphones in front of their HD tvs.  The real driver of social change isn’t poverty, it’s idleness.”

    “Our inner cities aren’t vibrant because the people there are poor.  It’s because they’re bored.”

    I have nothing substantive to add, but the above is why I visit your site daily. Run for office. No wait, public service is an exercise in futility. Organize a revolutionary movement (hypothetically). Write a treatise?

    Wearing the hat . . .

  4. contrariandutchman

    Write a treatise, title it “What is to be done?”

    Worked perfectly the first time that was tried.

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