CHANGE OF PARADIGMS ARE MOTIVATED BY CATASTROPHE, NOT LOCAL LOGICS; THE EXAMPLE OF THE INSTAURATION OF MAJOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS IN EUROPE, AND WHY THE USA IS STUCK:
Paul Krugman deplores in his blog (Dec 19, 2007, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com): …” if national health reform is going to happen, it will be as the result of a no-holds-barred fight …The president’s role will have to be far more confrontational, involve far more twisting of arms and rallying of the public against the special interests…My worries about Obama are that he doesn’t seem to understand this — that he thinks that in 2009, as president, he can broker a national health care reform the same way that as a state legislator, in 2003, he brokered a deal that mollified the insurance industry. That’s a recipe for getting nowhere.”
Well, the problem is not just with Obama. It’s unfair to pick him out. The US population may simply being not stressed out enough to free itself from the idea that the life of US citizens should be a source of profits for a few fortunate individuals. Such is the American way.
PASSION IS WHAT GETS THE MIND TO MOVE, AND NEW LOGICS TO BUILD UP. The word “emotion” (ex-movere) means to “move out”. One moves out of one’s old mind, that is, and this requires a lot of energy. The motivation (i.e., movement) comes from strong pain and reward. Sheep had less ability to enjoy passion, relative to wolves. Wolves have to be more intelligent, so they can catch sheep, so wolves’ minds have to be able to change faster and more appropriately, which is done by experiencing more mind melting emotion. that is why we feel closer to wolves than to sheep, and we have canines as pets, rather than sheep.
The universal health care systems found in major European countries were built after the Second World War devastated the societies in question. Many aspects of society were reworked from scratch with dictatorial methodology. Health care was one of them. There was neither time, nor money to waste. Enormous forces decided what was right in health care, and implemented it. There was no conversation with would be profiteers such as insurers. The goal was to provide the best health care possible to all, not to create another center of profits in society.
The German national health care system, still arguably one of the very best in the world, a single payer system, had been created before WW I, by fiat under the fascist Second German Reich, once again proving the point: massive change can only come from massive force.
In the present day USA, health care is often withheld while the private, money making insurers are consulted. If, to its sorrow, a private US insurer allows some health act to proceed, the insurer duly consigns this act as a “loss”. A health care act is viewed as a “loss”, not something society gained from. There is something deeply wrong emotionally here. Such “losses” are contained in the present system: a little while back an individual at the head of a failing US Health Maintenance Organization got a yearly compensation of more than 1.5 billion dollars, more than the GDP of many a country. If some guy in France got $1.5 billion for supposedly organizing health care and maintaining it, the National Assembly would meet the next day to pass a law to confiscate immediately his ill earned treasure.
To make life and death of the many a matter of profit and luxury for the few is what the US society achieved. One has to go back to imperial Rome to find such depravation. Turning ill health into profits at the cost of life is depraved. In imperial Rome there was an industry of private torturing, and slave recovery. To improve society, should one have conversed with them, and reach a compromise?
Getting together with the so called insurance “industry” to decide what health care should be, is as smart as sheep getting together with wolves to decide what sheep care should be. The sheep are talking about their health, and the wolves agree to the healthy lunch coming their way.
As Voltaire insisted, one should crush infamy. There is no need for conversation with, and tolerance of, infamy. Infamy should be crushed, that’s all. There is no point conversing with vampires draining human life to support their wealth. The fact is, the US insurance and HMO industries kill people, statistically speaking (US health care is #37 and sinking). It may not be as obvious as what happened in concentration camps, but it’s the same general idea. The Nazis put people in concentration camps for a variety of reasons, they claimed, but, in most cases, the real reason was to rip them off, and redistribute their riches to fellow Nazis, and their supporters.
A buzz word with negative connotations was created by those who live well from their compatriots’ failing health; “single-payer system”. That’s supposed to be terrible, socialist, a failure. But the German system is “single-payer”, and it has worked well for a century.
The French system covers 100% of BASIC CARE with governmental insurance; private insurance covers what’s not basic, or more comfortable ways to do the basics (ultra fast care, private clinics, etc.). The French government negotiates the price, and legitimacy, of drugs with private industry. thus, differently from what happens in the USA, private industry does not have marketing costs (which are enormous in the USA), and it can redirect that money to research. The end result is an efficient health care system which is superior to that in the US in all dimensions (cheap, fast, ultra modern, etc.). To prevent drug abuse, French citizens have a “carte vitale”, a computerized card which keep a check on treatments (it helps with reimbursements, but is not necessary: foreigners get free health care in France, including free ambulance helicopter… as long as it is not obviously premeditated… even then, the french system is so much cheaper, and state of the art, foreigners opt to come and pay procedures from their own pocket). The health care system is completely free in all ways for seniors (all treatments, all drugs). Multi millionaire health professionals are rarer in France than in the USA (but they do exist).
Far from being collectivist, universal health care systems are individualistic, since they free the individual from the collective of the sort of oligarchy which profits from the failing health of others in the USA.
As long as US citizens do not see their system massively failing, it’s unlikely they will have the nerve to change it: that would mean quitting the True Man Show, where everything nice and true is whatever the rich gave America, and that world is best. US citizens have been persuaded they live in the best of all possible worlds, contributing to their make belief happiness. Why would they change anything to this paradise?
So the real crux of the matter is this: how to change sheep into wolves, when they want to believe only in what they known?