Let Them Eat Socialism

By | November 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

A recent editorial in a leading British medical journal states, “Some patients in hospitals run by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) do not receive adequate pain relief, are not helped to go to the toilet, and are not given enough to eat or drink.” Yes, but the pain medicine they don’t receive, the care they don’t get, and the food they aren’t served are free.
So the editors, who are leftists, declare that there is no reason to privatize hospitals, because that would endanger equity of care. So long as everyone gets equally lousy care, all is well. That is socialism in one sentence.
Marie Antoinette supposedly said, “Let them eat cake,” when she was told that the people were starving because they had no bread. But if she said it, she was queen of France, and was the daughter of the emperor of Austria. She had lived in palaces all her life, so she might not have been able to understand what it is to starve.
But what is the editors’ excuse? They are physicians, who surely understand what it is to be denied pain medication, to be denied help to go to the toilet, or to be denied food and water. They have spent their lives working in hospitals run by the British National Health Service. So they can understand what it is to be confined to a run-down, under-equipped, depressing hospital − and be totally dependent on a demoralized, unmotivated, poorly supervised, depleted staff.
In any case, Marie Antoinette paid for her reported insensitivity by being guillotined. But the editors’ insensitivity will go unpunished. They will remain in their position as heads of a leading medical journal. They will retain the respect of their medical colleagues, and they will probably gain more respect from fellow leftists.
Leftism is a religion. Like members of other extremist sects, leftists gain prestige by demonstrating the strength of their faith. The best way to do so is to retain that faith in the face of indisputable evidence that leftism is a failure − an economic failure, a political failure, and worst of all a moral failure. Of course, that faith must be expressed publicly, while condemning opponents as sinners who want to pollute the planet with “dirty air and water,” cause women to “die on the floor,” and make children “go to bed hungry.”
The fact that these accusations are untrue is irrelevant. To leftists, truth is not a major value. False, overblown accusations against political opponents are justified − at least in the minds of the accusers − because such accusations weaken the opponents of leftism. In the end, truth becomes an encumbrance to be discarded whenever convenient.
When Sarah Palin talked about “death panels,” she was ridiculed as an ignorant fear-monger. But President Obama himself declared that elderly or disabled people will get treatment only if “experts” tell doctors that it will “save money.” Of course, prolonging the lives of the elderly or the disabled would cost money. To “save money,” remote, faceless bureaucrats will cause them to die as soon as possible.
For all I care, call them “death panels,” or “experts telling doctors how to save money,” or “the recycle bin,” or “The Three Stooges Play Doctor.” It’s not fear-mongering if there is something to fear, regardless of what name it is called.
But who, in reality, are causing the most vulnerable people to lack water, to die on the floor, or to go hungry? European socialists are − the very people American leftists want us to emulate.
● Do patients in British hospitals lack needed pain relief, assistance with basic needs, and even food and water?
● Does the British National Health Service produce cancer survival rates that are the worst in Europe, and much worse than the rates in America − which are the best in the world?
● Did repeated calls for “reform” of the NHS over six decades produce nothing − except more calls for “reform”?
● Do Europe’s economic problems mean that funding for socialized health care will be cut even further?
● Do craven officials allow female Muslim nurses and doctors to wear “modest” clothing and not roll up their sleeves to scrub off dangerous bacteria?
● Do craven officials allow Sikh nurses to wear bangles on their arms, but forbid Christian nurses to wear crosses around their necks?
True, patients may lack pain medication, lack help to go to the toilet, and lack adequate food and water. They may risk infections spread by personnel who do not scrub properly. They may languish in under-staffed, under-equipped facilities. But on the bright side, they won’t be “offended” by crosses around their nurses’ necks. What a relief!
None of these facts affects the views of the editors. As committed leftists, they adhere to their beliefs with pseudo-religious zeal. Indeed, considering the feeble faith of many so-called religious people today, we must admit that leftists often demonstrate greater faith.
Worst of all, these people are not editors of a political magazine. They are editors of one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world. They purport to be physicians and scientists. They cloak themselves in the robes of healers and seekers of truth.
But sometimes the robes slip, revealing what lies beneath − a total lack of empathy for patients, and an utter disregard for the traditions of medicine. What is revealed is reverence not for the humane teachings of Hippocrates, but for the discredited notions of Marx.
Their American colleagues are also hard at work. These people want to harvest organs for transplantation from patients who are not dead. They brazenly declare, “Under this regime, the state owns the rights to body parts of people who are dead or in certain hopeless conditions, and it can remove their organs without asking anyone’s permission.” This notion is proposed as a legitimate option.
Unlike Cass Sunstein, co-author of this charming idea, I never graduated from Harvard Law School. I never was a professor of constitutional law there. My knowledge of the Constitution is limited to what I learned in my high-school civics class, and my reading of the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers. I studied what the Constitution actually says, not what liberal “legal scholars” fantasize it should say. I read the Declaration of Independence and learned that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Unlike Sunstein, I was never taught that some people are created superior, and that they should have the power to control the lives and take away the liberty of the inferior.
You see, I graduated from UCSF School of Medicine, then trained for seven years at UCSF and USC, and then spent 25 years practicing, teaching, and doing research in medical oncology in public hospitals. How could I possibly comprehend the deep thoughts of these “experts”? How could I possibly understand their brilliant theories regarding fields they never studied, much less worked in? No, they are the “elite,” while I am just an ignorant, incompetent peasant who needs to be ruled by my betters − for my own good, of course.
Sunstein is now President Obama’s “regulatory czar.” He has no more interest in organ transplantation than he has in moon rocks. He and his colleagues are interested in control. They already control what light bulbs and toilets we can buy. They want to control our organs after we die, or even before. Through ObamaCare, they aim to make life-and-death decisions for all 312 million Americans. They didn’t go to law school to practice law; they went to law school to exercise power.
What could be clearer evidence that their objective is not to increase our health but to decrease our freedom? What could be clearer evidence that their objective is totalitarianism? No, not a Nazi or Soviet totalitarianism − a softer, greener, health-care totalitarianism. As John O’Sullivan observed, “In Europe, the fascists goose-stepped; in America, they jog.”
Lack of empathy for patients, adherence to discredited notions, and budding totalitarianism are not desirable characteristics for those who seek to control our health care. But if we don’t do something now, they will control it. And then, if we are unlucky enough to be hospitalized, and we receive inadequate medication, inadequate care, and inadequate food, we can eat socialism.
Bon appétit!
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

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