Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Interesting Comments on Socialized Medicine
Friday's post on a conservative's "market-based" proposal to "reform" the medical sector has generated some good comments.
First of all, Galileo writes an excellent answer to a conservative who complained that my call for the abolition of such programs as Medicare is "unrealistic" (as if I don't know this won't fly any time soon).
This part of it sums up the whole problem very nicely: "We have had the conservative response to the welfare state for 70+ years now." This is a very good way to begin when countering the notion that arguing about fundamental principles is "impractical".
And second, Jim May points out a post by a blogger -- she calls herself "Jane Galt" of all things -- who is (or was) supposed to be for freedom in medicine, but folded like a cheap lawn chair in November. This sentence reveals a complete lack of understanding of the fundamental difference between capitalism and state controls: "What I don't hear a lot of people addressing is what sort of system it is feasible for us to get, given the interest groups and institutions we already have."
Perhaps Arnold Kling should keep this query in mind the next time he proposes Libertarian medical experiments in the name of providing superfluous (further) evidence that socialized medicine "doesn't work".
Quick! Tell him to log on to Conservapedia!
The rather threadbare Conservapedia entry on Hell looks like it would benefit from the Pope's input.
Hell is a place where sinners really do burn in an everlasting fire, and not just a religious symbol designed to galvanise the faithful, Pope Benedict XVI has said.Then they can lock that entry for good since the Pope is infallible.
On a serious note, I would have to agree with Neil Boortz that Conservapedia is doing a nice job of making conservatives look foolish. However, unlike him, I offer no advice to the conservatives: just a word of thanks to founder Andrew Schlafly for helping show everyone the logical endpoint of the movement. (And Sam Harris recently explained indirectly why we shouldn't expect the conservatives to take Boortz's advice any time soon.)
And speaking of logical endpoints, the last line of that Boortz post reads like the punch line of an inside joke to this non-Libertarian. "This all sure makes me glad to be a Libertarian." Really? That reminds me of the following passage I once read, as excerpted by Peter Schwartz from Libertarian Robert Block:
[Libertarianism] allows for an amazing diversity.... We've seen priests, monogamists, family men as the fellow-Libertarians of the gays, the sado-masochists, the leather-freaks, and those into what they call "rational bestiality".... Only Libertarians could gather together the homosexual motorcycle gang, the acid-dropper fascinated by the price of silver, and the Puerto Rican nationalist immersed in the Austrian school of economics.Gotta love that "acid dropper fascinated by the price of silver"! Perhaps if he'd read Peter Schwartz's Libertarianism: the Perversion of Liberty, he'd think twice before saying something like that. Or not.
What Modern Education Accomplishes
Lately, it seems that I have been constantly bringing up Ellsworth Toohey's admonition to not examine a folly too closely, but only to look at what it accomplishes.
Sadly, it seems the best way to understand much of what goes on in the world today. For instance:
[This proposal , by the mildly retarded] Ed [to nationalize the oil industry] is an exaggerated example of the stupidity we are up against in today's culture. Understanding capitalism requires an ability to think in higher abstractions and principles. With progressive education teaching people to think in the opposite manner, in isolated concretes that never integrate into principles, we're in big trouble. Stupidity and freedom do not mix. [bold added]Indeed. Progressive education is how statists have managed to bottle this stuff up and sell it, in a manner of speaking. Now, even many alleged friends of capitalism cannot provide an adequate intellectual defense of it, as we have seen already. And, as Conservapedia shows, some are even trying to gain market share for their own version of stupidity.
Today: Corrected a typo.