Medical Collectivism is Killing Medicine
And the pandemic was its worst hour.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
182,000 coronavirus deaths, a third of the nation’s death toll, have come out of nursing homes.
In Pennsylvania, 50% of the deaths happened in nursing homes. But former Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rick Levine, who ordered nursing homes to accept infected coronavirus patients, but took his own mother out, was picked by Biden as his assistant health secretary.
13,089 dead Pennsylvania grandpas and grandmas are one more statistic and, as one great socialist leader said, one death is a tragedy, and a million deaths are a statistic. The pandemic has generated many tragedies and more statistics. And medical collectivism runs on statistics.
Medicine had been steadily collectivized by the government and by corporations into a system for dispensing ideal and inexpensive outcomes for private and public insurance patients. When your doctor spends more time checking his questionnaire on a computer or tablet than interacting with you, that’s medical collectivism in action. And he has as little choice in that regard as the desk employee at a hotel chain or the checkout girl at your supermarket.
American medicine is, like everything else, another pipeline for a big data machine. Its workers are pollsters and census workers tasked with collecting statistics to feed into the machine.
We’re all numbers on someone’s machine in a system built on collective outcomes, but collectivism is especially dangerous in a medical system that strips away the traditional role of doctors, and treats the doctor-patient relationship like any other government or corporate interaction where optimizing collective outcomes means ignoring individual uniqueness.
Medicine treats individual patients based on general principles derived from larger groups, without seeing individuals and their problems as interchangeable. Medical collectivism however sees little value in treating individual patients when the true problems are socially collective.
The fallacy of collectivism is that universal compliance is more important than individual initiative. The Soviet Union demonstrated how disastrous collectivism in agriculture, industry, and science was. The early days of the computer revolution showed how corporate collectivism had crippled our own industries, only for the children of the tech revolution to turn collectivist.
The United States was born out of a revolution of individuals only for its system of government to transform into a collectivist system that is even more convinced of the wisdom of a central authority in governing the affairs of a vast empire than King George III at his maddest. And it’s the Democrats who spend the most time babbling about democracy while concentrating power over more people in the same city of the ruling class that they’re plotting to turn into a state.
The differences are moral, philosophical, and practical. A collectivist system has no ability to correct its errors in response to local failures. Its central authority keeps chasing the mirage of universal compliance, blaming problems on individual failures to achieve total compliance without having the faintest idea of what’s really going wrong with its big picture vision.
America’s pandemic failures were really no different than the Soviet harvesters chasing a 93% harvest while coming away with rotten grain. The CDC and the rest of our government medical infrastructure is as useless as any of the old Soviet institutions run by clueless hacks for the benefit of an even more clueless ruling class whose only real qualifier was party membership.
In the US and Europe, the media celebrated the spectacle of the public turning over its democratic authority to elderly bureaucratic apparatchiks like Fauci, some with administrative rather than medical degrees, who used their power to wreck the economy and terrorize the public, while showing no ability to actually deal with the real problems of the pandemic.
The experts ceaselessly lectured the public about its shortcomings in every media outlet, while having nothing to say about the disastrous policies that the system was implementing. They were there to tell you about the evils of going to the beach, but had nothing to say about the danger of putting infected patients into nursing homes filled with the most vulnerable people.
The orders clearing hospitals by forcing nursing homes to accept infected patients resulting in a third of the coronavirus death toll were the kind of horrifying farce that the Soviet leadership engaged in after Chernobyl. The forced intubation and drugging of infected patients in hospitals to protect hospital staff killed unknown numbers of people who might have been saved.
There’s been no reckoning with these horrifying crimes by the system. Instead the focus has been on the failures of compliance by individuals who committed such crimes as going to the beach or not wearing masks. The virtue signaling and the search for scapegoats are two faces of the same collectivist coin. Those who join are searching for someone to blame for the crisis.
Except for the system.
And yet it was the system that failed. To whatever extent bad individual decisions killed anyone, it was far less than the collectivist decisions that killed people in horrifying numbers. Despite its record of failures, the system is still convinced that the only way to produce an optimal result is another round of mandates forcing everyone to do what its experts have decided must be done.
This isn’t medicine. It’s medical collectivism.
Medicine treats the problem: medical collectivism treats society. Science achieved its triumphs by thinking outside the box of the familiar prejudices, cliches, and preconceptions of the elites. Medical collectivism treats the prejudices, cliches, and preconceptions as received wisdom, and instead of treating the problem becomes obsessed with forcing the public into the same old box.
Medical collectivism can be right about the problem, but it’s usually wrong about the solution. And even when it’s right about the solution, it’s almost always wrong about how to implement it.
Collectivism is a power grab. And power grabs rarely solve any problems except those of the egos and greed of the grabbers. Collectivism requires faith in two false beliefs: the ineffable wisdom of the experts and that central leadership is the best way to solve individual problems.
The pandemic was a disaster for medicine, but a boom for medical collectivism. A failure for science, but a triumph for scientism. The only real lesson was that the system once again succeeded by failing. Questions of what actually worked, and the pros and cons of an approach, were discarded for the simple political polarization of compliance and non-compliance.
Medical collectivism defeated medicine. And politics beat policy.
Where medicine seeks the best outcome for each patient, medical collectivism is still out for universal compliance. And that’s just a big name for power. Medical collectivism claims the sanction of science, but it shows a fundamental disinterest in even the most elementary science. Medicine would never have consigned infected patients to nursing homes, but medical collectivism placed no value on individual life and asked none of even the most basic questions.
To medicine, an individual death is a tragedy, but to medical collectivism, it’s a statistic.
Medical collectivism has been absolutely terrible for individual patients, but the coronavirus pandemic was its horrifying hour of disgrace for which there has been no accounting.
Much as collectivist agriculture decimated the food supply of Communist countries, medical collectivism is destroying health care. The effects have been concealed by the steady supply of new medications from the pharmaceutical industry, of which the vaccines are only the latest touted wonder drugs, and by the statistics of life expectancy rates which, like Soviet harvest statistics, paper over an underlying crisis with numbers that don’t measure what they claim to.
The Left, true to form, claims that there’s a crisis of access to health care and its solution is more medical collectivism that universalizes access while eliminating any health care to access.
In the future everyone will have access to health care by way of filling out a questionnaire and an AI generated response based on optimal outcomes across a statistical population group along with metrics to ensure compliance because the more the system fails, the more it grows obsessed with compliance. Collectivists can’t get a virus to obey, but people are another matter.