Noam Chomsky: US Scandalous Healthcare symptomatic of populations’ failure to defend Democracy | Choice of disenfranchised masses to have blind faith in ruling elite

As the title suggests, in this interview and article by C.J. Polychroniou, Noam Chomsky unveils his expansive view of the United States.

truthout

truthout

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/39064-noam-chomsky-the-us-health-system-is-an-international-scandal-and-aca-repeal-will-make-it-worse?tsk=adminpreview#disqus_thread

Chomsky claims that the rejection of healthcare and lack of a real labor presence is symbolic of the much larger issue in the United States > that people do not participate or defend democracy, but are willing puppets of a political realm ruled by a wealthy few, to whom the population simply does not oppose, but subjugate their passions and dreams to agree to the system dictated by a ruling class – who the population could overpower with their force, if they simply wished to stand up for their rights to represent and govern themselves.

I’ve basically excerpted the article, juggling it around a bit to put the most poignant parts from the conclusion – at the beginning – for those who have no time to read. Hence it’s a sort of ‘cliff notes’ version of the article.

And as I posted on Facebook regarding this Truthout article, thank you so much Noam Chomsky for being the expansive and insightful person whom you are!

Noam Chomsky-information website

Noam Chomsky-information website

“The US health care system has long been an international scandal, with about twice the per capita expenses of other wealthy (OECD) countries and relatively poor outcomes. The ACA did, however, bring improvements, including insurance for tens of millions of people who lacked it, banning of refusal of insurance for people with prior disabilities, and other gains — and also, it appears to have led to a reduction in the increase of health care costs, though that is hard to determine precisely.

Returning to your question, it raises a crucial question about American democracy: why isn’t the population “demanding” what it strongly prefers? Why is it allowing concentrated private capital to undermine necessities of life in the interests of profit and power?

….The question directs our attention to a profound democratic deficit in an atomized society, lacking the kind of popular associations and organizations that enable the public to participate in a meaningful way in determining the course of political, social and economic affairs. These would crucially include a strong and participatory labor movement and actual political parties growing from public deliberation and participation instead of the elite-run candidate-producing groups that pass for political parties. What remains is a depoliticized society in which a majority of voters (barely half the population even in the super-hyped presidential elections, much less in others) are literally disenfranchised, in that their representatives disregard their preferences while effective decision-making lies largely in the hands of tiny concentrations of wealth and corporate power…

Turning finally to your question again, a rather general answer, which applies in its specific way to contemporary western democracies, was provided by David Hume over 250 years ago, in his classic study of the First Principles of Government. Hume found “nothing more surprising than to see the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and to observe the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is brought about, we shall find, that as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. `Tis therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.”

Implicit submission is not imposed by laws of nature or political theory. It is a choice, at least in societies such as ours, which enjoys the legacy provided by the struggles of those who came before us. Here power is indeed “on the side of the governed,” if they organize and act to gain and exercise it. That holds for health care and for much else.”

The House of Representatives, dominated by Republicans (with a minority of voters), has voted over 50 times in the past six years to repeal or weaken Obamacare, but they have yet to come up with anything like a coherent alternative.

Comparison of the attitude toward elementary rights of labor and extraordinary rights of private power tells us a good deal about the nature of American society.

The expulsion or mass killing of Indigenous nations cleared the ground for the invading settlers, who had enormous resources and ample fertile lands at their disposal, and extraordinary security for reasons of geography and power. That led to the rise of a society of individual farmers, and also, thanks to slavery, substantial control of the product that fueled the industrial revolution: cotton, the foundation of manufacturing, banking, commerce, retail for both the US and Britain, and less directly, other European societies. Also relevant is the fact that the country has actually been at war for 500 years with little respite, a history that has created “the richest, most powerful¸ and ultimately most militarized nation in world history,” as scholar Walter Hixson has documented.

Administrative costs are far greater in the private component of the health care system than in Medicare, which itself suffers by having to work through the private system.

Comparisons with other countries reveal much more bureaucracy and higher administrative costs in the US privatized system than elsewhere. One study of the US and Canada a decade ago, by medical researcher Steffie Woolhandler and associates, found enormous disparities, and concluded that “Reducing U.S. administrative costs to Canadian levels would save at least $209 billion annually, enough to fund universal coverage.

Another anomalous feature of the US system is the law banning the government from negotiating drug prices, which leads to highly inflated prices in the US as compared with other countries. That effect is magnified considerably by the extreme patent rights accorded to the pharmaceutical industry in “trade agreements,” enabling monopoly profits. In a profit-driven system, there are also incentives for expensive treatments rather than preventive care, as strikingly in Cuba, with remarkably efficient and effective health care.”

Carol Keiter, the blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

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“The Lie We Live” | short film by Spencer Cathcart | “Le Mensonge dans lequel nous vivons” | “Die Lüge die wir leben” | “La Mentira En Que Vivimos”

The Lie We Live short film by Spencer Cathcart

The Lie We Live
short film by Spencer Cathcart

http://www.trueactivist.com/this-video-exposes-the-corrupt-world-were-living-in-but-we-can-change-it/

short film by Spencer Cathcart http://theliewelive.blogspot.com

français

Le mensonge dans lequel nous vivons

Le mensonge dans lequel nous vivons

deutsch
die lüge die wir leben

español
The Lie We Live – La Mentira Que Vivimos

Script for the film

In front of you, you have access to more information than any human in history. But you probably don’t care. That curiosity we once had in the world is gone.

Why is it the older we get, the less questions we ask? Throughout history we’ve always accepted whatever world we were born into. And if anyone tried to question our world, they were ridiculed. It’s only years later we look back and ask ourselves: how could anyone accept that world?

Today we call ourselves developed, as if we have nothing left to learn. But in a hundred years, when people look back at our generation, will they too ask themselves: how did anyone accept that world?

It’s no secret our world is full of problems. We rally, we protest, still the problems only seem to grow. And maybe, because they stem from a much larger problem we fail to see.

Why do we search the universe for new life, when we can’t even coexist with the life on our own planet? It’s as if we expect any life out there to be just like us. As if life can only be human. How is it in a world with millions of species we see ourselves as the only one that thinks, feels, or matters? It’s a reoccurring theme in our history, the belief that some life is inferior to others. We’ve always struggled to accept those unlike ourselves. To recognize because something’s different doesn’t mean it should be treated differently.

When we look at other life, we say our technology makes us more advanced. Yet all we seem to advance is the destruction of the world surrounding us. You look around and there’s little life to be seen. Most animals we know, we’ve only witnessed on screens.

It’s funny how we call them “animals” but ourselves “humans”. As if we’re two different life forms with nothing in common. We see them as beasts and ourselves as people.  Calling their actions barbaric, yet our actions tradition. But while they kill to survive, we kill even as we call ourselves civilized. And we don’t just kill; we raise life to be killed. Not because we need to. Because we like the taste, the look, the feeling. And when you see life as an object of value, it’s hard to see the value in life.

Why is it when some animals are killed it becomes a headline. But when others are murdered, we don’t blink an eye? Why are we enraged at the thought of a culture eating dogs? But laugh when another culture refuses to eat cows?

Our idea of normal may change depending where you are, but our desire to be normal has always been the same. It’s only when the norm changes that we criticize our former ways. Today we live in a nation where it’s normal to get cancer; to become obese; to develop heart disease. Clearly there’s something wrong with this way of life we call normal. But it’s all we’ve ever known.

For as long as we can remember we’ve eaten animals. Growing up we’re taught meat gives us protein and makes us strong.  Yet so do many foods we don’t need to kill for, but we’re not told that. We hardly hear about the numerous studies showing the diseases associated with meat. Or all the food and land we waste fattening the animals we eat. When you drink the breast milk of another animal your whole life it doesn’t seem odd. It just seems normal. After all, it’s what we’ve always done and we don’t question tradition. We embrace it. But if we never questioned the traditions of our past, we would never evolve.

I’m sick of this politically correct yet morally fucked world. A world where we’re afraid others will be offended by our words, but not that others will be affected by our actions. A world where everybody says they want a solution, but nobody’s willing to admit they’re the problem. The choices we make travel further than we think, but we choose to ignore the impact we have. There was a time I thought we could change. But as I get older I find myself asking, even if we could change, do we want to?

Perhaps this is simply who we are. From the beginning, we’ve been unable to coexist with other life on this planet. And no matter how far we’ve evolved, it’s a theme that lives on. If the story of our planet were a film, up to this point humans would be the villain. And like any great villain, we’ve always refused to see ourselves as the bad guy.

Each generation comes into this world thinking they can make things right, only to be remembered years later for what was wrong. Today we may have more information than any other generation. But what good are answers if we never begin to ask the right questions.

None of us chose to be born into this world. None of us chose who we would be. But all of us have the choice to change what we become.

-Written by Spencer Cathcart