The monster within the USA.
Monsters come in great variety. There are many ways to be evil. One way, is simply not to care whether one’s fellow men live or die – for that way leads to very dark worlds indeed.
In a CNN Tea Party debate hosted by Wolf Blitzer, recently, the audience glimpsed the true nature of some modern Americans.
Wolf Blitzer asked Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who is a doctor, oddly enough, how society should respond if an uninsured 30 year old has an accident and goes into a coma and needs intensive care for six months. Ron Paul was blunt and rather brutal. He argued strongly that the government should not be responsible. “That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks,” Paul said. His voice was overwhelmed by the uproarious audience applause. He continued, “this whole idea that you have to prepare to take care of everybody...”.
“Are you saying that society should just let him die?”, pursued Blitzer.
At that point, the audience gave its answer. They were shouts of “Yeah!”, from those who watched, attended by, rather unbelievably, LAUGHTER.
To my mind, those shouts were horrifying. They signalled that, in some quarters, Americans harbour attitudes to life which would have blended well with the Nazi administration of World War II. They hold life in such low value, that they LAUGH at the idea it should be allowed to slip away, unopposed. Truly, they are monsters. Yet, these monsters, would just call themselves “true Americans”...and have no real knowledge of the callousness of their own position. If this is what the Tea Party is all about, then America has some serious issues to worry about. How would it be, were people who so little value life, to come to power? What kind of society would they build, founded on the celebration of death, as if it were a humorous matter?
Modern America can, at times, seem like a study in heartlessness. At some point, in its history, a wrong turning was taken, such that it is, now, in some quarters, so concerned with “me”, that no-one else matters – even if they die unnecessarily and avoidably. America has become a nation of individuals who care for nothing and no-one but the self. Unfortunately, however, a society cannot be built on universal selfishness. The kind of society that emerges when no-one cares for anyone else, is so heartless, so cruel, so aggressive, so cold and so unremittingly mean, that no-one would ever wish a life there, upon anyone. Yet, that is precisely the kind of society that America promises to come, guided by “thinkers” who believe that the state should not intervene to save a life and that it is “every man for himself”.
There is merit in the European ideal of nationalized medicine. At least, in Europe, the state would not stand by, whilst such a hypothetical 30 year old, died. European healthcare systems would intervene to preserve that life, believing it to have great value and be worthy of great efforts to save. That is a more humane outlook. In America, however, if you are uninsured – and basic insurance for an average family runs to well over a thousand US dollars a month, I am told, if independent of a company plan – then some people would prefer to let you die, than require the state to intervene and try to save you, should you fall catastrophically ill.
It is interesting to consider the different varieties of human society and see the values on which they are built. Europe is built on a regard for human life that seems quite clear – and on a wish to achieve equality of some kind. America, on the other hand, is built not on the value of human life in general, but human life in particular: one’s own life, at the expense, even, of all others. I am not sure that any society following the American model of outlook on life, is a sustainable society. Life should be cherished, wherever it is found and whatever its condition. None of us have any more valuable a possession than our own lives. What kind of world is it, therefore, where society would stand by and let a young man die, without attempting to intervene, for the want of a rather expensive insurance policy? Surely the fault here is in constructing a society which does not provide universal healthcare for all, regardless of wealth. The fault, here, in this imaginary scenario is in America itself. It is not the failing of the young man that he lacks health insurance he probably could not afford – but it is the fault of America for requiring that he be insured in the first place. Healthcare should be a universal right – not the privilege of those with the wealth to afford it. If this is not so, societies constructed on the basis of wealth, determining health care access, become very inhumane, indeed. They are not societies at all – but simply life long scrambles for supremacy over others. They are latter day jungles. Is that the kind of society modern man should choose to live in? Should not care for the lives of all, be at the root of our civilizations? If it is not, is it possible for human beings to thrive in such cold conditions? Can a happy and moral life be found in such circumstances?
The audience of the Tea Party debate placed no value on human life. Might I suggest that American readers, in turn, place no value on the Tea Party? This position would seem the rational response to a political movement informed by a denial of the value of life, at least in this example.
Let us build a world in which all human life has value. All the alternative worlds, that do not, are nothing but varieties of horror. Mankind had enough of such horror in the 20th Century. Let not Man be visited again, by such horrors, in the 21st Century – at least no more than we already have.
Posted by Valentine Cawley
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Labels: a country without a future, an unrecognized evil, disregard for human life, how to save humanity, human rights, lack of moral values, putting politics before individual lives, the decline of the USA