Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Comments by TMcLeod

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  • @oldhead In psychology authoritarian may be a behavior pattern but the word authoritarianism also describes a political system. The sociologist and political scientist Juan Linz described this system in 1964 as having four primarily characteristics that distinguish it from other systems. It certainly is a political ideology. If you doubt this please read up on National Socialism’s Führerprinzip or Stalin’s cult of personality.

  • I am researching the medical industry in the US, particularly the form of government under which it operates and the political relationship between medical governing entities and the institutions created under our state and federal constitutions. The term “medical fascism” has been coming up more frequently in Google searches lately, so your article is very timely.

    In the US, the medical industry taken together, including the pharmaceuticals and insurance, has some powers of a sovereign state. For example, in 1986 Congress granted the industry a nationwide exemption from liability under state and federal product liability laws for vaccine injury. This unusual protection is akin to the “sovereign immunity” from suits that legitimate constitutional governments claim for themselves. Another form of sovereignty is the de facto ability of the medical industry to “seize” citizens for the purposes of treatment, especially children. For example, in 2015, a Connecticut teenager 4 months shy of her 18th birthday was arrested, brought to a hospital in handcuffs and forced to undergo chemo against her will and her parent’s will. The industry also has the ability to levy a form of tax through the ACA. Failure to pay medical insurance premiums to an ostensibly private industry results in the public authorities exacting a “Individual Shared Responsibility Penalty,” which is a fine by another name.

    If big medicine has political sovereignty it must have a political system. “Authoritarianism” refers to a form of governance with four qualities: 1) intolerance of political pluralism, 2) claimed legitimacy based on emotion instead of fact, 3) minimal social mobilization (aka civil society), 4) vague or unlimited executive power. It’s fairly easy to shown the 1, 3 and 4 apply to the US medical system. Regarding 2, medicine has always claimed that it is a science-based endeavor, but is it? Dr. Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of the Lancet stated in 2015 that “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal famously said that: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.” The fear-based emotional appeals and the industry that “sells sickness” is well documented. Hence we have each element of classical authoritarian political system.