Subject: ON THE HAT, THE RABBIT, AND THE GREAT DECEPTION.
28 January 2012
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Scientific thought, like religious and political thought, is a human construction, which is based largely on social conventions. During any social debacle --such as the one we are presently undergoing in Europe and North America-- many conventions break down and the habits of the human mind --which, above all, include the rational faculty of acknowledging patterns of continuity, discovering cause-and-effect relationships, and recognizing past and present resemblances-- are sometimes disrupted by strong feelings of fear, despair, or disgust, which serve to obliterate other operations of the human brain, such as the retrieval of memories, the assertion of will power, access to a rich diversity of feelings, and, of course, the exercise of various forms of reasoning. [For more discussion on the function of the human brain, please see in CEIMSA Bulletin #447 a review of Antonio Damasio's book, Descartes' Error.]
These are precisely the moments when we should not look for a savior, or for a strong leader who will tell us what we want to hear. We must learn to think for ourselves, to ask difficult questions, and to listen honestly to one another speaking frankly about individual and collective needs. Rather than seeking to “speak truth to power” (to coin a cliché), we must try to enter into new relationships with the people around us, expressing whenever possible genuine feelings of empathy, solidarity, and compassion. The alternative is to become the camp Kapo --always aloof, and mechanically calculating . . . .
The environmental changes we are witnessing today cannot fail to expose the traditional charlatans and imposters for what they are, parasites living off the labor of others, prepared to protect at all costs their privileges. Given the sea change we are now experiencing, the challenge is no longer to expose our class oppressors and their lieutenants who walk among us, but rather it is to build a counter-force that will protect us and at the same time reshape society by using the sciences to benefit all of humanity. We cannot do this alone, of course; we are faced with one major obstacle: our slave mentality --the product of years of fear and timidity. For so long we have gotten by by being docile and obedient. We need the help of others to break these chains, to release our collective energies which will serve to create a better future. If we allow ourselves to me demoralized, all is lost, and there will be no resistance, no confrontation to seize power away from the owners and their local bureaucrats, to whom we have grown so accommodating.
Science in the hands of the wrong people can be destructive of public well-being. The only protection is to subvert the forces which seek to monopolize scientific thought by excluding the public from access to this knowledge. Stephen Mason’s 600-page book, A History of the Sciences (New York: Collier Books, 1956) is an excellent reminder that science is an historical practice rooted organically in social relationships, and all efforts to restrict public access to scientific methods or to subvert the development and application of liberating technologies are illegitimate and must be resisted.
Science had its historical roots in two primary sources. Firstly,the technical tradition, in which practical experiences and skills were handed on and developed from one generation to another; and secondly, the spiritual tradition, in which human aspirations and ideas were passed on and augmented. . . . on the one hand by craftsmen, and on the other by corporations of priestly scribes, though the latter had some important utilitarian techniques of their own.(p.11) . . .
From 1933 German nationalism began to weaken German science, for the most part quite inadvertently. A basic conflict existed between the national-socialist view that there was a privileged race, and privileged persons within that race who had a superior understanding given by intuition, and the ethos of modern science which has always held that the majority of men are equal and equivalent observers of nature, viewing the same things and arriving at the same conclusions, given the apparatus and adequate training. The emphasis placed upon privileged intuition, as opposed to communal observation and reason, led to a decline in the number of students reading scientific subjects in the German universities. . . . The quality of the education offered to those students also declined, as the scientists who were considered to be politically or racially unacceptable were ejected from their posts, and they were replaced by men who were often selected primarily for their national-socialist sympathies. (p.586) . . .
The dialectical materialists hold that the theories of science should be based upon the following points of view: Firstly, the conception that there is a material universe, which existed before man appeared, and which would continue to exist without man’s presence. Secondly, that all the objects and systems in the universe are interconnected by causal networks, which man can study and elucidate indefinitely by means of the scientific method, the knowledge so obtained gradually approximating more and more to the actual way that nature works without any limit. Thirdly, that the greatest insight into the systems of nature can be obtained by enquiring into their origins, the processes of their formation, and their historical evolution. Fourthly, that such processes should be found to consist of two primary elements, which oppose and interact with one another, providing the driving force of those processes. Fifthly, that each natural process is inherently self-limited and comes to an end when the inner driving conflict is annulled or resolved, but that this in itself prepares the way for the operation of another and quite different process. In other words, the quantitative movement of any process will ultimately bring about a qualitative change in the character of that process.
Not one of these tenets by itself is unique to dialectical materialism, though the particular combination of them is. The German nature-philosophers upheld the last three, but denied the validity of the first two, for they asserted that mind or spirit was the ultimately reality, nature being an externalised manifestation of the self-movement of spirit, in which alone there was a causal network of development. The mechanical philosophers of the nineteenth century, for the most part, upheld the first three tenets, but not the last two, maintaining in general that the driving forces of natural processes consisted of linear cause-and-effect chains, not complexes of interacting elements in which the distinction between cause and effect was obscured. However, nature-philosophy was abandoned during the nineteenth century, whilst doubts have been thrown upon the tenets of the mechanical philosophy in the present century. The school of thought stemming from [Ernst] Mach suggested that the postulate of an independent material world was metaphysical superfluity, for only sensory perceptions were given directly to the scientist, and whilst these had a certain heuristic use when organized into laws and relationships, they gave no knowledge of the hypothetical material world in itself. Again, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle implied that there was a definite limit to the knowledge a scientist could obtain of the physical world: there would always be an irreducible uncertainty in the determination of the momentum and position of a subatomic particle. (pp.595-596) . . .
However, the influence of the scientific method upon the men who espouse it, for the most part, has been small. Scientists generally have adopted the values of the society to which they have belonged, even in the cases where those values have been detrimental to the advance of science, as in Germany under the Third Reich. (p.603)
In the 9 items below, CEIMSA readers will be able to see the unvarnished facts of real experiences in the United States, to compare and contrast, and to better understand their own lives in these “post-modern” times that we are now living.
Item A., from Michael Pareni, is a video discussion on god and his followers.
Item B. is an article from Addicting Information on “15 Differences Between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.”
Item C., from Professor Fred Lonidier, is the announcement for an activist art exhibit on the University of California campus at San Diego.
Item D., sent to us by The Real News Network, is a short video on the lessons from Madrid’s 99 percent.
Item E., from Truth Out, is an article by Professor Noam Chomsky, Remembering Howard Zinn.
Item F. is an article (in French) by Richard Greeman on the International Longshore Workers Union and the importance of solidarity today.
Item G., from Professor Edward Herman, is an article by Steven Kull, discussing the Military-Industrial Complex and World Public Opinion.
Item H., from Michael Parenti, is a report during his recent visit to the hospital, a personal account on the state of medical science in the USA and faith-based capitalism.
Item I. is Parenti's diangonsis of capitalists: "They are sick."
And finally, we offer CEIMSA readers a visit to Mouseland, a short video narrated by Tommy Douglas (1904-1986), Socialist Prime Minister of Saskatchewan (1944-1961) and head of the New Federal Democratic Party of Canada, who is here suggesting in 1944 that the “slave mentality” is not altogether invincible. (Or to put it in the immortal words of US President Abraham Lincoln, at the time of the Civil War: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”)
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3
From Michael Parenti :
Date: 23 December 2011
Subject: God and his followers...
Here is a debate held at Wesleyan University in 2005 between Christopher Hitchens and me. Hitchens went to his grave as a supporter of the Bush/Cheney venture. He supported Bush in 2004. His turn to the right (from weak leftish/center) won him the attention of all the mass media, especially Fox and the like, and lecture invitations at fat fees. Others of us were less enthralled about his anti-Islam warrior politics.
Feel free to share and circulate or post. This event is in the public domain.
God and his His Followers
From Reader Supported News :
Date: 10 January 2012
Subject: Populist Movements, Left and Right.
Fifteen Major Differences Between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party Protests
by Addicting Information
From Fred Lonidier :
Subject: DO NOT MISS N.A.F.T.A. #19.
"Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?"
at the Cross Cultural Center Gallery
until February 3rd.
Thursday, February 2, 4-7pm
Free and open to the public
February 2-March 31, 2012
ARTifact gallery, housed in the public spaces in and around the offices of Academic Programs at UCSD's Sixth College, showcases artwork conceptually related to the courses in the Culture, Art & Technology program.
This winter, ARTifact presents Mapping Occupations, an exhibit that explores our preoccupations with space through the practices of mapping, diagramming, modelling and speculating. Curated by Eliza Slavet, the exhibit features the work of cog*nate collective, Teddy Cruz, David Kim, Matt Hebert, Stephanie Lie, Charles Miller, The Periscope Project, Hermione Spriggs, and Patricia Stone.
All are invited to the opening reception on February 2, 2012, 4-7pm, featuring the work of students from High Tech High Media Arts: "Complexcity" will be projected onto the walls inside and outside the exhibit on the 2nd floor of Pepper Canyon Hall on the campus of University of California, San Diego.
**Make it a double feature!: Tactical Bio-artist, Gail Wright, speaks at CalIT2 Auditorium, 7-9pm, as part of the Visual Arts Lecture Series and gallery@calit2 series.**
* * * * *
Associate Director of Art & Technology
Culture, Art & Technology Program
Sixth College - Academic Programs
250 Pepper Canyon Hall
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, #0054
La Jolla, CA 92093-0054
office: (858) 534-1207
text: (718) 473-6389
From The Real News :
Date: 24 January 2012
Subject: The 99% speak out.
Spain's "Indignados" and the Globalization of Dissent
From Truth Out :
Date: 27 January 2012
Subject: Chomsky on Zinn.
Chomsky writes: "Howard's remarkable life and work are summarised best in his own words. His primary concern, he explained, was 'the countless small actions of unknown people' that lie at the roots of 'those great moments' that enter the historical record - a record that will be profoundly misleading, and seriously disempowering, if it is torn from these roots as it passes through the filters of doctrine and dogma."
Remembering Howard Zinn
by Noam Chomsky
From Richard Greeman :
Date: 16 January 2012
Subject: An Injury to One is an Injury to All.
Chers amis et camarades:
Un blackout mediatique fait que les derniers developpement de la lutte de classes sur la cote ouest
des USA restent presque inconnus en France et ailleurs. Vous lirez les details dans le tract (de notre groupe Insurgent Notes) ci-dessous.
NE PAS QUITTER LONGVIEW DES YEUX : UNE ATTAQUE CONTRE UN EST UNE ATTAQUE CONTRE TOUS
(Voir en anglais au lien au desus)
Nous vous écrivons pour vous informer du sérieux affrontement de classe qui se déroule sur la côte nord-ouest des USA à Longview (Etat de Washington) (1) Dans cette petite ville, une compagnie céréalière internationale EGT , possédée conjointement par trois firmes ( Bunge North America (américaine),Itochu (japonaise) et
STX Pan Ocean (Coréenne), a investi 200 millions de dollars (160 millions d’euros) dans la construction d’un nouveau terminal céréalier dernier cri. Alors que débutaient les travaux, ECT avait annoncé qu’il emploierait les 225 adhérents du syndicat local « ILWU local 21 » de Longview, conservant ainsi les liens avec la solide implantation du syndicat ILWU (International Longshore Workers Union) depuis les années 1930 dans les ports de la côte ouest des USA . Mais, quand la construction du terminal fut achevée, EGT s’adressa à un syndicat «
jaune » -General Construction and Operating Engineers local 701 , avec l’intention de contraindre les dockers d’ILWU à accepter un « bon » contrat qui, d’après les estimations réduirait les coûts annuels du travail sur le terminal d’un million de dollars par an (800 000 euros).
Cette rupture avec le local 21 de l’ILWU , sans aucun doute , serait le prélude d’une offensive contre ce syndicat sur toute la côté ouest, en particulier avec une perspective d’une extension de l’automatisation. Clairement aussi, les patrons et l’Etat veulent dresser les travailleurs d’ILWU contre les militants du mouvement « Occupy » pour isoler et affaiblir les uns et les autres. Ils reconnaissent et craignent l’existence du pouvoir d’une jonction Occupy/ ILWU dont la démonstration a déjà été faite. Malgré cette menace, la centrale syndicale ILWU International ne cherche qu’à limiter le conflit à EGT et à Longview et à éviter toute extension aux autres ports de la côte ouest.. Ils ont ordonné aux dockers de ces autres ports de traverser les piquets de grève animés par Occupy sauf à Longview. Le 6 janvier, les hommes de main d’ILWU ont attaqué un meeting d’Occupy Seattle qui devait organiser des actions de solidarité avec Longview.
Des oppositionnels du local 10 d’ILWU, regroupant des dockers de base et d’anciens permanents, ont déclaré qu’ils allaient tenter de bloquer le port d’Oakland si un navire dérouté tente d’y accoster. En fait, les hommes de main ont attaqué le meeting d’Occupy à Seattle juste au moment où les dockers retraités d’Oakland et le leader de l’opposition du local 10, Jack Heyman, expliquaient aux présents que les dockers de base de l’ILWU d’Oakland, Portland et Seattle avaient refusé de traverser les piquets d’Occupy et fait ainsi fermer ces ports le 12 décembre et qu’ils feraient de même si les navires céréaliers se présentaient à Longview. Que cela arrive ou pas, en dépit de la pression énorme de l’Etat et des patrons, avec le complicité de la centrale ILWU International et de quelques bureaucrates locaux, reste à voir. Après être restée à l’écart pendant des mois, le 7 septembre 2010 la police escorta un train vers le terminal EGT et arrêta 19 de ceux qui s’opposaient à son passage. Le 8 septembre au matin, des centaines de dockers envahirent le terminal et détruisirent la cargaison du train.
Plus tard dans la même journée, les dockers de cinq ports voisins, y compris Seattle (Washington) et Portland (Oregon) déclenchèrent une grève sauvage desolidarité avec Longview. Depuis ces affrontements du début septembre 2010, 220 sur 225 membres du local 21 ont été arrêtés. Le président du local a été arrêté à six reprises et les flics lui ont fracturé le bras. Les hommes de mains privés et la police entretiennent à Longview une atmosphère qui rappelle celle des la guerre sociale dans les sites miniers dans les années 20. Les hommes de main attaquent les dockers dans les rues et les flics sortent les dockers de leur maison au milieu de la nuit.
Un nouveau navire est supposé arriver à Longview pour décharger une cargaison de grain à un moment quelconque dans les deux prochaines semaines. Il sera escorté par deux navires de la garde côtière américaine et par des élicoptères, encore plus de flics publics et privés pratiquement militariseront la ville. En vertu de la nouvelle loi sur la sécurité nationale signée par Obama la veille du Nouvel an, le National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), quiconque commettant un « acte d’agressivité » contre les Etats-Unis peut être emprisonné indéfiniment sans aucune autre charge ou procès sur ordre du président. Les ports américains sont déjà sous un régime semi militaire sous l’autorité du « Homeland Security », les dockers étant contraints de montrer pas moins que trois cartes d’identité électroniques pour atteindre chaque jour leur lieu de travail et sont de plus l’objet de contrôle de sécurité.
Avec un peu d’imagination, il est très facile d’envisager la possibilité de lier un travail militant quelconque à une action « terroriste ». Il est essentiel que ces attaques sur les travailleurs de la côte ouest des Etats-Unis reçoivent le maximum d’intérêt internationalement et une solidarité active. Alors que la date d’arrivée du navire est encore tenue secrète, Occupy de la baie de San Francisco, Portland et Seattle organisent des caravanes qui convergeront sur Longview quand la date sera connue. Ailleurs aux Etats-Unis, Occupy projette d’organiser des manifestations devant les bureaux de la Coast Guard et devant les bureaux des compagnies qui possèdent EGT. Un soutien international , à commencer avec les dockers d’Europe, d’Asie, d’Afrique et d’Amérique du Sud, est aussi essentiel. En 2001 cinq dockers noirs de harleston (Caroline du Sud) encouraient des années de prison après avoir été inculpés sur de fausses allégations des flics qui avaient attaqué le piquet de grève. Après que les dockers d’Europe eurent menacé de refuser de charger ou décharger les navires allant ou venant de Charleston, toutes le poursuites contre les « cinq de Charleston » avaient été abandonnées. Quelque chose se similaire, même à une plus grande échelle, s’imposerait aujourd’hui. Insurgent Notes appelle quiconque recevant cet appel à rejoindre la lutte, soit en se préparant à rejoindre la convergence projetée sur Longview, soit en participant à des actions plus proches de leur lieu de vie contre les Coast Guard américains ou les firmes Bunge, Itochu et STX Pan Ocean.
La confrontation de Longview sera le plus recent test, et le plus dur, démontrant la capacité des forces qui ont bloqué les ports de la côte ouest les 2 novembre et 12 décembre à pouvoir mobiliser un soutien de masse. La clé d’un succès serait une large alliance de classe de la base des dockers, du nombre imposant des amionneurs inorganisés des ports et de la masse des précaires qui forme l’aile radicale d’Occupy. Transformons maintenant cette action défensive en une action offensive.
*Si tu veux contribuer financièrement à la marche sur Longview vas au site http://occupyoakland.org/donate/ et clique sur "Donate specifically to West Coast Port Shutdown"
*Si tu veux contribuer financièrement à la marche sur Longview vas au site http://occupyoakland.org/donate/ et clique sur "Donate specifically to West Coast Port Shutdown"
From Edward Herman :
Date : 27 January 2012.
Subject : The Military-Industrial Complex and World Public Opinion.
Does the public favor defense budget cuts?
by Steven Kull
From Michael Parenti :
Date: 27 January7 2012
Subject: Medical Science in America and Faith-Based Capitalism.
Free-Market Medicine—A Personal Account
by Michael Parenti
When I recently went to Alta Bates hospital for surgery, I discovered that legal procedures take precedence over medical ones. I had to sign intimidating statements about financial counseling, indemnity, patient responsibilities, consent to treatment, use of electronic technologies, and the like.
One of these documents committed me to the following: “The hospital pathologist is hereby authorized to use his/her discretion in disposing of any member, organ, or other tissue removed from my person during the procedure.” Any member? Any organ?
The next day I returned for the actual operation. While playing Frank Sinatra recordings, the surgeon went to work cutting open several layers of my abdomen in order to secure my intestines with a permanent mesh implant. Afterward I spent two hours in the recovery room. “I feel like I’ve been in a knife fight,” I told one nurse. “It’s called surgery,” she explained.
Then, while still pumped up with anesthetics and medications, I was rolled out into the street. The street? Yes, some few hours after surgery they send you home. In countries that have socialized medicine (there I said it), a van might be waiting with trained personnel to help you to your abode.
Not so in free-market America. Your presurgery agreement specifies in boldface that you must have “a responsible adult acquaintance” (as opposed to an irresponsible teenage stranger) take you home in a private vehicle. I kept thinking, what happens to those unfortunates who have no one to bundle them away? Do they languish endlessly in the hospital driveway until the nasty weather finishes them off?
You are not allowed to call a taxi. Were a taxi driver to cause you any harm, you could hold the hospital legally responsible. Again it’s a matter of liability and lawyers, not health and doctors.
One of the two friends who helped me up the steps to my house then went off to Walgreen’s to buy the powerful antibiotics I had to take every four hours for two days. I dislike how antibiotics destroy the “good bacteria” that our bodies produce, and how they help create dangerous strains of super-resistant bacteria. I kept thinking of a recent finding: excessive reliance on medical drugs kills more Americans than all illegal narcotics combined.
So why did I have to take antibiotics? Because, as everyone kept telling me, hospitals are seriously unsafe places overrun with Staph infections and other super bugs. It’s a matter of self-protection.
Two days after surgery I noticed a dark red discoloration on my lower abdomen indicating internal bleeding. I was supposed to get a follow-up call from a nurse who would check on how I was doing. But the call might never come because the staff was planning a walkout. “We have no contract,” one of them had told me when I was in the recovery room. So now the nurses are on strike---and I’m left on my own to divine what my internal bleeding is all about. What fun.
Fortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. A nurse did call me despite the walkout. Yes, she said, it was internal bleeding, but it was to be expected. My surgeon called later in the day to confirm this opinion. Death was not yet knocking.
A few days later, there were massive nurses strikes on both coasts. Among other things, the nurses were complaining about “being disrespected by a corporate hospital culture that demands sacrifices from patients and those who provide their care, but pays executives millions of dollars.” (New York Times, 16 December 2011). One cold-blooded management negotiator was quoted as saying, “We have the money. We just don’t have the will to give it to you” (ibid.).
As for the doctors, both my surgeon and my general practitioner (GP) are among the victims, not the perpetrators, of today’s corporate medical system. My GP explained that it is an endless fight to get insurance companies to pay for services they supposedly cover. Feeling less like a doctor and more like a bill collector, my GP found he could no longer engage in endless telephone struggles with insurance companies.
There are 1,500 medical insurance companies in America, all madly dedicated to maximizing profits by increasing premiums and withholding payments. The medical industry in toto is the nation’s largest and most profitable business, with an annual health bill of about $1 trillion.
Along with the giant insurance and giant pharmaceutical companies, the greatest profiteers are the Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), notorious for charging steep monthly payments while underpaying their staffs and requiring their doctors to spend less time with each patient, sometimes even withholding necessary treatment.
I am without private insurance. And my Medicare goes just so far. Like many other doctors, my GP no longer accepts Medicare. For a number of years now, Medicare payments to physicians have remained relatively unchanged while costs of running a practice (staff, office space, insurance) have steadily increased. So now my GP’s patients have to pay in full upon every visit—which is not always easy to do.
Our health system mirrors our class system. At the base of the pyramid are the very poor. Many of them suffer through long hours in emergency rooms only to be turned away with a useless or harmful prescription. No wonder “the United States has the worst record among industrialized nations in treating preventable deaths” (Healthcare-NOW! 1 December 2011).
Too often the very poor get no care at all. They simply die of whatever illness assails them because they cannot afford treatment. An acquaintance of mine told me how her mother died of AIDS because she could not afford the medications that might have kept her alive.
In Houston I once got talking with a limousine driver, a young African-American man, who remarked that both his parents had died of cancer without ever receiving any treatment. “They just died,” he said with a pain in his voice that I can still hear.
Living just above the poor in the class pyramid are the embattled middle class. They watch medical coverage disappear while paying out costly amounts to the profit-driven insurance companies. I was able to get surgery at Alta Bates only because I am old enough to have Medicare and have enough disposable income to meet the co-payment.
For my out-patient operation, the hospital charged Medicare $19,466. Of this, Medicare paid $2,527. And I was billed $644. The hospital then writes off the unpaid balance thus saving considerable sums in taxes (amounting to an indirect subsidy from the rest of us taxpayers). Had I no Medicare coverage, I would have had to pay the entire $19,466.
I was informed by the hospital that the $19,466 charge covers only hospital costs for equipment, technicians, supplies, and room. So besides the $644, I will have to pay for any pathologists, surgical assistants, and anesthesiologists who performed additional services. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.
How much does my surgeon earn? Not much at all. He gets about $400 to $500 for everything, including my pre-op and post-op visits and the surgery itself, an exacting undertaking that requires skills of the highest sort. He also has to maintain insurance, an office, an assistant, and an increasing load of paperwork.
My surgeon pointed out to me, “If you ask people how much I make on an operation like yours, they will say $4000 to $5000, and be wrong by a factor of ten.” He noted that in a recent speech President Obama criticized a surgeon for charging $30,000 to replace a knee cap. “The surgeon gets a minute fraction of that amount,” my doctor pointed out.
To make matters worse, there is talk about cutting Medicare payments to physicians by 27 percent. If this happens, it is going to be increasingly difficult to find a surgeon who will take Medicare. Still worse, the private insurance companies will join in squeezing the physicians for still more profits.
I was able to meet my payment ($644) not only because my operation was heavily subsidized by Medicare but because it was a one-day “ambulatory surgery.” I don’t know how I would fare if I had to undergo prolonged and extremely costly treatment.
So much for life in the middle class. At the very top of the class pyramid are the 1%, those who don’t have to worry about any of this, the superrich who have money enough for all kinds of state-of-the-art treatments at the very finest therapeutic centers around the world, complete with luxury suites with gourmet menus.
Among the medically privileged are members of Congress and the U.S. president. They pay nothing. They are treated at top-grade facilities. They enjoy, how shall we put it, socialized medicine. No conservative lawmakers have held fast to their free-market principles by refusing to accept this publicly funded, medical treatment.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, cheerfully announced that medical care is not a human right; it should be “market determined just like food and shelter.” Nobody has a higher opinion of John Mackey than I, and I think he is a greed-driven, union-busting bloodsucker. Nevertheless I will give him credit for candidly admitting his dedication to a dehumanized profit pathology.
The U.S. medical system costs many times more than what is spent in socialized systems, but it delivers much less in the way of quality care and cure. That’s the way it is intended to be. The goal of any free-market service---be it utilities, housing, transportation, education, or health care---is not to maximize performance but to maximize profits often at the expense of performance.
If profits are high, then the system is working just fine---for the 1%. But for us 99%, the profit lust is itself the heart of the problem.
© Michael Parenti, 2011
Michael Parenti’s recent books include: The Face of Imperialism (2011); God and His Demons ( 2010); Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007); The Assassination of Julius Caesar (2004). For further information, visit: www.MichaelParenti.org.
From Michael Parenti :
Date: 16 January 2012
Subject: Capitalists are sick people!
Below is the link to a talk I gave on Jan 6.
Here is presumably a more readily accessible one from dandelion: