In other words, “free,” as translated from the modern cant, means “serving the state, not the citizen, and therefore being more expensive and less efficient than it otherwise would be.”
The fact that medical care can be used as an instrument of tyranny has been demonstrated by every unsavory modern state, not least by Nazi Germany. Firm believers in state medicine, the Nazis showed how it could be used for crowd control. Like our bureaucrats today, they emphasized prevention, with proper nutrition featuring prominently in their health propaganda. Every German had a duty, according to the Nazis, to look after himself in order to prolong the state-serving part of his life.
Likewise, in today’s state medicine, the need to relieve pressures on the state’s purse can be neatly converted into nannying. Conditioned to accept the state’s dictates, Europeans don’t cringe upon hearing from yet another health official yet another admonishment on their dietary habits.
The Nazis waged an anti-smoking campaign that would be the envy of today’s EU or USA. Like today’s bureaucrats, the Nazis promoted vegetarianism (practiced by Hitler, Hess, and many others) and opposed medical experiments on animals. Since the Nazis were godless, animals to them weren’t principally different from humans and were in fact superior to some. Hitler seemed to love his German Shepherd Blondi more than any woman in his life. In today’s Britain, veterinary medicine seems to be organized considerably better than human care.
Nazi physicians were also involved in less benign pastimes such as eugenics and enforced euthanasia. It’s comforting to observe how medicine in today’s West is inching in the same direction. With its abject submission to state power, euthanasia is custom-made for the modern world. One cannot open the papers these days without reading a thinly veiled lament about the burden an aging population places on state medicine’s fragile shoulders. Euthanasia is steadily moving toward the forefront of potential remedies.
At present, the Swiss permit euthanasia as an expensive optional service, but the time may not be far away when our governments will make it compulsory. This is a paradox, for the government’s tireless propaganda of healthier “lifestyles,” coupled with advances in pharmaceuticals and hygiene, is designed to help people live longer. This creates yet another vicious circle of modernity: The state uses medicine to increase its own power but also hurts itself by engendering a multitude of wrinkly freeloaders who do nothing but sap the state’s resources.
The British, who are unhappy about the potentially deadly waiting lists at hospitals caused by a chronic shortage of hospital beds, miss the point. State medicine doesn’t need hospital beds to achieve its principal objective: power over people’s lives.
To make this point, NHS hospitals shed medical jobs while swelling their staffs with administrative personnel bearing New Age titles such as Director of Diversity. The numbers are telling: St. George’s Hospital in Tooting has sacked 500 jobs, while London’s venerable St. Bartholomew’s and St. Thomas’s cut 630 jobs between them—with a corresponding reduction of 100 hospital beds.
Unfortunately, even expert critics of the NHS refuse to acknowledge that it’s so inefficient not because it’s run in a flawed way but because it’s based on a flawed idea. Thus, medical care remains free—and extremely dear at the price.
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