Thursday, October 21, 2010

Medicare, Death Panels and the New Elitism

Does Obamacare really cut Medicare Benefits to Senior Citizens? - Rick Ungar - The Policy Page - Forbes: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

I still remember the books I was supposed to read for discussion during Freshman Orientation Week when I was an undergraduate. Being diligent, I actually read them. One was The Invisible Man, a novel about racism, by Ralph Ellison, and the other was René Dubos' The Torch of Life.

Since I was only 17 at the time, and largely illiterate, I may have gotten it wrong but the message of The Torch of Life was scary. The idea seemed to be that we should acquiesce to mutability rather than fighting it. We should not selfishly cling to our own privilege, and to our own lives once we were no longer fit, but pass the Torch of Life onto our successors and die with dignity. It was the same message that we women got about our relationships. We should not "cling": of our men tired of us we should be good sports and let go, passing the Torch to the next girl.

This was the New Elitism. It was a repudiation of the Old Elitism of money, social status and power, in favor of the Older Elitism of youth, beauty, strength and likability. When we were no longer young, beautiful and healthy, we were supposed to die with dignity to avoid burdening those who were fit; when we were not likable or liked we were supposed to accept rejection with good grace and bless our men as they moved on to the next chick. Clinging--to relationships, or to life, was selfish.

Of course the privileged were allowed to be selfish. Guys were allowed to trade off chicks when they tired of us. And when we became old, ugly, ill and unlikeable, our relatives, or the state, were allowed to euthanize us because we were unsightly, inconvenient and expensive. The inferior were expected to sacrifice themselves, and sacrifice themselves cheerfully, for the sake of the superior--for the sake of the fit. That was Nature's Way, and being enlightened secularists, we were supposed to conform to the requirements of Nature.

So it isn't hard to see why the lower class stinking shit oppose "ObamaCare." They see it as the Torch of Life mandate. The elderly will sacrifice their Medicare to provide benefits for the young and beautiful, for the pretty children and the productive young. "You've had your innings, Granny. Time to suicide out so that we can spend the money on your betters. And if you don't go voluntarily, the Death Panel will make that decision."

I don't believe it. My mother-in-law, at 96, in a retirement home in the UK, has been offered cosmetic surgery on the NHS to correct her drooping eyelids. Still, it isn't hard to see why people are nervous.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's just Invisible Man

MikeS said...

A sound analysis. We now have a coalition Conservative/Liberal government in the UK which is criticised from the UK left for being 'uncaring', but which is farrrrrrrr to the left of anything Obama has dared to suggest for your own fair country. I have always, well, often, ascribed to the theory that it is better to be governed by the filthy rich (David Cameron) who have little to gain from politics rather than the nouveaux riches (Anthony .. may he rot in the purgatory in which he presumably believes.. Blair) who drag themselves out of mediocrity by screwing the electorate. Just my opinion.

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