In a previous essay, I discussed a concept that is always on the mind of the socialist planner and that is “social utility”. To fully understand this concept one has to understand the socialist philosophy, if it can indeed be called a philosophy, in general, philosophies are analytical. In their world-view, which is basically a gnostic one, the world is occupied by two basic forms of human life those who are wise and chosen and those who make up the common rabble—the masses.
The wise, in an older gnostic view, are anointed by the divine force to lead mankind and mold his nature based on an understanding derived from arcane knowledge carefully guarded by mystics of the ancient world. This idea, that certain men are chosen to rule mankind has permeated many governments of the world since and in modern times has attained a less metaphysical tint, but which is still divided between those who cling to the ancient notions of gnosticism, such as the theosophists (Alice Bailey), and the modern view of the New World Order Movement. Of course, they intermingle quite often. We are witnessing an exploding interest in wisdom derived from the gnostic gospels, as taught by its chief disciple Elaine Pagels. Many intellectuals, high-ranking policymakers and even clergy have accepted gnostic beliefs.
When it is accepted that certain men are chosen to rule purely based on their divine anointment and that they rule not based on raw power, but by the fact that they possess a wisdom far beyond the common man, it becomes accepted that the masses (ordinary people) must “obey” –it is their duty.
In the view of the gnostic, society is chaotic, poorly planned and unjust. Therefore, through a series of carefully thought out plans, in their view, society can be molded or engineered to create a more free, just and happier society than would otherwise occur. This requires that the masses, the people, be convinced to adhere to the plan and if they are not convinced they must be tricked into accepting the plan. As Edmund Burke said, –The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion. The last resort is outright force.
The wise ones see society as a parent views their small children, they must be made to take their medicine because only the wisdom of the parents can know that in the long run it will be good for them –the idea of the paternalistic society. Likewise, they are assured that the common rabble will never have the vision and intellectual capacity to understand the plan in its entirety. We see this level of arrogance in all their writings.
Armed with this world-view, the self-appointed elite have concluded that since they must engineer the perfect society, they alone must gauge a person’s worth in terms of social utility–what does the individual or group have to offer to the New World Order. In this view, social utility is based on one’s contribution to the plan. The socialist planner only deals in terms of society as a whole or to the economy of the world in general.
One who works, pays taxes and is not a burden on the state is of higher social utility than is a retired or disabled person, who not only does not contribute skills (work) or pay taxes, but more likely is a burden on the state. In the collectivist way of thinking (seeing society as a whole and having no concern for the individual) the latter person should be removed from the society, either by positive or negative euthanasia. It is positive if one actively kills a person and negative if they just deny those persons access to life sustaining care–in both cases they are just as dead.
The American gnostic elite have chosen negative euthanasia as the system that will be most accepted by the people, the masses. The mechanism for this mode of killing is rationing of health care. It is ironic that during this debate on national socialist health care many vocal defenders deny that the administration wants to kill anyone, yet if we read the words of those who designed this plan, that is exactly what they say.
Historian Paul Johnson wrote in his book, Intellectuals, that “social engineering is the creation of millenarian intellectuals who believe that they can refashion the universe by the light of their unaided reason. It is the birthright of the totalitarian tradition”. These intellectuals are the chosen wise ones of modern times. Socialist Edward Alsworth Ross in his book Social Control, makes plain that some, the wise, must create a plan that establishes control over the society and that it is these leaders who must control the behavior and actions of the people. This book, which was highly influential among policymakers, was written in 1910. In the chapter on The Need for Social Control he explains:
“Although the social fabric is at first held together by sheer force of arms, time gradually masks naked might, and moral and spiritual influences partly replace brute force. It is in the composite society, then, where the need of control is most imperative and unremitting, that the various instruments of regulation receive their highest forms and finish. Here has been perfected the technique of almost every kind of control.”
He then goes on to say:
“The only thing that can enable a society to dispense with control is some sort of favorable selection. The way to produce a short-clawed feline is not to trim the claws of successive generations of kittens, but to pick out the shortest clawed cats and breed from them.
This, of course is a call for eugenic engineering of society to breed for desirable people and rid society of the unfit and undesirable. It is important to keep in mind that those supporting these draconian eugenic programs were not disgruntled dreamers cogitating in some New York coffee house, they were men and women of high social rank, intellectuals, presidents of major universities, policymakers, corporate heads and even presidents of the United States. These were people in positions of power and influence who could enforce these dreams of a utopian society and that made them very dangerous.
Lily Kay, in her book, The Molecular Vision of Life, a history of molecular biology, she states:
“By the time of the launching of the molecular biology program, the Rockefeller philanthropies had considerable experience with eugenics… they did support eugenics projects, such as the sterilization campaign of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene to restrict the breeding of the feeble-minded, The Rockefeller philanthropies also acted in the area of eugenics through the Bureau of Social Hygiene (BSH) and the Laura Spellman Rockefeller Memorial (LSRM).”
Enthusiasm for social engineering and eliminating the “unfit” reached beyond our shores with links being made to the German eugenics movement, a favorite topic of Hitler and the National Socialist. Edwin Black in his history of the eugenic movement, War on the Weak, says:
“The third International Congress of Eugenics was held in New York City in August of 1932, once again at the American Museum of Natural History. Although organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation were donating vast sums to German eugenics for research and travel, the grants were frequently limited to specific activities within Germany or neighboring countries.”
The reason for quoting this material is to show how even in a country such as ours the brightest and most educated class can sometimes be obsessed with dangerous ideas that can harm individuals. These individual planners become especially dangerous when they control the reins of education, dissemination of news and government policy-making. As the title of Richard Weaver’s book says, Ideas Have Consequences.
The Modern Social Engineers
Unknown to many, once again a group of our most politically-connected intellectuals are pursuing an idea that can harm a great many people in our society. Much of the funding for these ideas once again flows from the major foundations in our country, especially the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and affiliates and the Carnegie Foundation. These major foundations are networked with hundreds of other foundations and research study groups, giving them enormous influence in society and among politicians who can carry out these ideas by specific legislation.
I have chosen the Hastings Center for my source of writings on the new understandings on health care as being promoted by this administration. I say this administration, but I am certain this bill was not drafted in any congressional office, but rather had been prepared long ago by one of the foundation think tanks. I base this on my knowledge of the foundations’ obsession with health care planning and socialized medicine as well as the complexity of this bill.
The Hastings Center, as some will remember, was involved in much controversy many years ago as the group promoting the idea of negative euthanasia to establish more equity in health care distribution. They were not as openly radical as the Hemlock Society, which felt it their duty to eliminate those considered unfit for life and for promoting the idea of having panels of experts decide who shall live and who shall die in nursing homes.
One of the fellows of the Hastings Center is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, President Obama’s health care czar and a source of constant input on health care “reform”. His scholarly paper is included in a package of articles expressing the Hastings Centers position on health care reform and life in general.
On this website they make the following statement:
“Death may not have changed, but dying is quite different from what it used to be, thanks to medical technologies that have extended life and made dying frequently a lingering process rather than a sudden event. People with failing kidneys can survive on dialysis for 20 or more years. People with incurable cancer can live for months or years with chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Victims of car accidents who would once have died of head trauma can now be kept alive by ventilators and feeding tubes. Meantime, life-saving therapies for what were once sudden killers, like heart attack, means that increasing numbers of us end up with chronic complications or decline into dementia.”
In other words, because of advances in medicine we can now give people longer lives, even though they have presently incurable diseases and in their view this is wrong. Why, because it just means they may end up with something worse years later, such as dementia. That is much like saying it would be a waste to fix the fence because eventually it will wear out anyway.
A paper from this Hastings Center collection is one by a senior consultant for the Center, Bruce Jennings, titled Liberty: Free and Equal. In essence, it is a discussion of how liberty is to be redefined in light of the new thinking. Socialists have redefined most words dealing with their assaults on free societies. For example, Lenin defined a moral act as one that further the socialist revolution. Thus, killing millions in gulags is moral because it promoted the communist revolution.
On the first page he resorts to the mercantilist idea that a country has a fixed amount of wealth and that it is the job of the social planner to make sure there is a “just” distribution of this wealth. We can think of the economy as a pie of a fixed size in this view. He says:
“Such a conflict is thought to arise, for example, when allowing all individuals the freedom to accumulate as much as they can undermines the capacity of the entire society to ensure that each individual receives a fair share.”
In other words, the economic pie is only so large and if some take a larger slice, others get a smaller slice. Adam Smith, in the Wealth of Nations and many economists since that time, have shown that this is not true—the size of the pie is ever-growing in a free market society and is determined by the creativity and genius of those operating in a free society in which private property is protected. These socialist planners do not understand this because they are socialist and socialism can never create anything in terms of economic growth, it can only redistribute by force what the free market has produced.
We also find that socialists often redefine certain words that they use to deceive the public. For example, as stated above, Lenin taught that an act was moral if it promoted the revolution. This justified the mass killing of tens of millions of Russians because it furthered the communist revolution. In his essay Liberty: Free and Equal, Bruce Jennings, a senior consultant for the Hastings Center says:
“The health reform conversation has to be re-framed at the grass roots level so that a new way of seeing what liberty is and what it requires will grow out of that conversation. One tenet of this movement should be that equity in access to health care, reduction of group disparities in health status, and greater attention to the social determinants of the health of populations and individuals are all polity goals through which liberty will be enhanced, not diminished.”
So, we see that the definition of liberty is now turned on its head and we are told to view this assault on liberty as enhancing liberty. He means that when looking at the larger picture and when wearing the special goggles of socialism, forceful redistribution of your earnings will appear as greater liberty. This is because in the socialist view, engineering of humanity will make health care more just.
Again, that depends on one’s understanding of economics. If you accept the mercantilist view of a nation’s wealth, that there is a pie to be divided, yes it is true justice demands that access be redistributed, but in a truly free society where wealth creation arises from individuals and groups of free individuals participating in free market operations, it is not true. In a free society we are not dividing up a fix amount of resources, we are allowing people to decide what is the best way for them, using their own money, to individually satisfy their health care needs and desires.
When the socialists say that they are dividing “scarce resources” one needs to ask–What are the resources in question? In a free market, resource availability depends on demand and creativity of the entrepreneur. In fact, in many of their publications they complain that consumer demand is driving the development of more technology and advances in medicine. They cannot have it both ways.
One must understand that socialism is about compulsion. The socialists believes that their view of society is the only correct one, since they are the chosen wise of gnosticism, and therefore people must be made to follow their plans. As I stated in my previous paper on National Health Insurance: The Socialist Nightmare, when the legislator encounters resistance to the plan they become more frantic and dictatorial.
“Liberty rethought can then be one of the touchstones for a democratic, grass roots movement for health reform that will demand health justice in a nation of free and equal persons.”
In the paper he rejects the wisdom of many of the philosophers of freedom that one cannot have absolute enforced equality and personal liberty. Using a perverse logic he somehow twist the principle of using compulsion by the government, that is, to take from some (deny access mainly to the elderly, the chronically ill and the presently incurable) and give to the ones anointed by those in power.
Equality under the law as a principle in a free country means that the government will not make laws that denies access to the benefits of freedom, especially laws which are directed at a select group or individual. For example, both segregation laws and racial quotas specifically target certain groups to be denied certain freedoms or as being anointed. What is being discussed by the socialist is that access should be guaranteed to the poor, a rather broad term, and selectively denied to those with the highest health care cost (the elderly and the chronically ill), which is mostly through no fault of their own.
Another paper of the series of Hastings Center publications is by Paul T. Menzel, a professor of philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University titled Justice and Fairness: Mandating Universal Participation. I found this paper to be especially enlightening. He opens by stating that it is unjust that one person is cured of their illness and left unscathed by the cost and another dies or is left financially ruined. This health care plan, as with all such socialist health care plans, reverses the situation and says, in essence, it is they, the elite, who should choose who lives and who dies, usually meaning that the elderly, the chronically ill and the presently incurable are in the latter category.
To attain” justice”, he says, mandatory health care must be legislated. Any time something is mandated, someone must be denied their liberties. For instance, mandated vaccines means you will be forcibly vaccinated, as in the case of the thousand children and teenagers in Maryland who were forcibly vaccinated in the courtroom by the judge’s order. To mandate universal health care, under their definition, means everyone will be forced into the system even against their will. This is the antithesis of freedom, despite their attempt to redefine freedom.
“We have already collectively decided to prevent hospitals from turning away the uninsured. In such a context, allowing insurance to remain voluntary is unfair to many of the uninsured. The obvious way to alleviate this unfairness is to mandate insurance.”
Like the ACORN intimidation of banks, forcing them to give loans to people who were bad financial risk, forcing hospitals to take non-pay patients in mass numbers, especially illegal aliens, has led to bankruptcy of many smaller hospitals and serious financial strain on many others. It also means, because of cost shifting, the insured and self-pay patient will pay more than just for their services. But then, that pushes more to accept the idea of socialized medicine.
One of the most controversial issues is the new system of analysis called Quality Adjusted Life Years, which divides cost with how long one would expect the person to live. For example, fixing an 85 year-old person’s cataracts just so they could see well, only to have them die a year later, seem unjust and foolish to a social planner. To the person and their loved ones, it is humane and rational.
If you treat people like a statistic, as do social planners, many inhumane things can be justified. We also see that a policy that won approval when the above example is used, soon expands to reclassify a person age 55 as “too old” for a health care service, as happens in both the UK and Canada.
Efficiency, Quality Care and Money
In general, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is true. If you have bare-bones health care, you get marginal care and if you pay more, you can get the best medical science has to offer. Most of the planners for national health care plans intended for the public to get bare bones care, but they sold them on accepting the care by telling them it would offer unlimited service and quality.
Now we are hearing a different story from the planners. Suddenly, we are hearing major players in health care suggest that we should “turn back the clock” on health technology and top dollar care. In other words, people should settle for care at a 1960 level rather than a 2009 level care. Professor Callahan states it this way:
“Serious progress would mean turning back the clock; learning to take care of ourselves, to tolerate some degree of discomfort, to accept the reality of aging and death.”
Further he says:
“One could make a good case that improvements in education and job creation could be a better use of limited funds than better medical care. Social and economic progress would have double and even triple benefits beyond improved health.”
Thomas Murray, the president of the Hastings center agrees. He says that, At times the best investment for health may be in education, job creation, or environmental protections, not in health care.
Daniel Callahan notes that the carrot and stick approach may have to be used to guide people to accept changes in health care. As for the sticks he says:
“The stick will be the message that you should take care of yourself and not expect medicine to save you when your time runs out–that is no longer an option.”
Already, government funded medical care provides less medical care than privately insured patients, especially those with expensive plans. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama’s health czar, wrote an article for the Hastings Center in 1996 in which he said;
“Medicare beneficiaries receive fewer services with some discretionary services covered and some services that intuitively seem basic covered; Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured persons receive far fewer services.”
Dr. Emanuel goes on to suggest that:
“Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia. A less obvious example is guaranteeing neuropsychological services to ensure children with learning disabilities can read and learn to reason.”
Does Doctor Emanuel suggest that the Alzheimer patients should receive no care? What about the early Alzheimer patients, should they be seen for a bladder infection, a degenerative hip or diarrhea? Or should we just let the family deal with it so we can use that money for other social engineering projects, perhaps a new projector to show sex-education propaganda to grade-school children. It is obvious that under such a system, we must measure a person’s “social utility” to determine if they are worth the expenditure.
Who Are the Elderly?
From a series of statements by Doctor Emanuel it is apparent that he, and many others in positions of power, conclude that the elderly have lived their lives and it is time for them to move on, especially if they are costing the state money. This is not a new theme among the elitists of society, as we went through this with Social Security as well.
One must then ask-Who are the elderly and why do they deserve to live? This question poised by the socialists, assumes that one must give a justification to the federal government for existing in this society. This is the social utility argument. If you serve no useful purpose in the society, as far as some social usefulness, then you have no social utility and are no longer welcome. This is not really that far away from the German National Socialist Party’s thinking, which referred to those with no social utility as “useless eaters” and the disabled, chronically ill and incurables as “life unworthy of life”.
I remember when I was a boy my dad introducing me to this very old fellow. We got to talking and I learned that the old gentleman had fought in the Spanish American War. He told me things that I could never learn from a history book and it stuck with me all my life. My dad later told me that there were older people all over who had interesting stories to tell, people who had done amazing things and accomplished much in life. They were a storehouse of history, wisdom and interesting stories of life during America’s greatest moments.
I have gotten to know many who survived the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam. I even met a fellow once who saw the Hindenburg burn. My mom used to tell me stories of listening to FDR on the radio and my Aunt Ann was working as a telephone operator when it was announced that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. These things are invaluable.
To have the older generation around as long as possible is a great value to us all. There was a time when we honored our parents and grandparents as sources of great wisdom, yet in modern times we just see them as old fogies that have no idea how to send emails or program a DVD. We are now being taught by our “elite leaders” and intellectuals that we would all be better off if the elderly would just accept death and that denying them health care can speed the process.
There is a polarization between the young and old, which can only be worsened by the present debate on the elderly’s “social utility”. With so many divorcees, a growing number of youth often feel little real attachment, appreciation or abiding love for their parents or grandparents. One can make a strong case for the present destruction of families and marriages being the result of a series of earlier social engineering plans and schemes.
We also need to appreciate that because of the great number of children born out of wedlock, Grandmothers are often raising these children for their daughters, so many have “social utility” not recognized by the elite planners and social engineers. Yet, even beyond this, we should appreciate that the elderly have lived good lives, worked hard, paid their taxes, obeyed the laws and many have made significant contributions during their lives that have made life better for others.
A great number have served nobly during America’s wars—lost limbs and suffered from the stress of war. Are we to dishonor them now for their sacrifice by telling them they are a liability? Others gave their sons and daughters during wars and lived with the anguish of the loss. Is this how we honor that sacrifice, to tell them that they are of no use? When I read the stories of the young men and women who have sacrificed their lives in battle in today’s wars I wonder, will they be dishonored in such a way when they get old or sick?
We can honestly say that it was the labor of our seniors that built this great country, so how can be betray them now? Even worse is that we are telling them that we don’t even care that they are suffering during their last days and that they are aware that relief of their suffering exist, but they cannot have it, the money, they are told, would be better spent on educational programs, studies of global climate change and a plethora of other socialist dreams.
If we let this happen, we should hold our heads in shame.