If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to judge. And with such a people, you can do what you please.
Fear-driven self-destruction is a worldwide problem occurring in all human communities. It’s caused in part by the pursuit of plenty, pleasure and power and differs from nation to nation, tribe to tribe or sect to sect only in the details. Examples include exploiting African Americans in St. Louis, forcing the “innocent until proven guilty” to pay for ankle bracelets (plenty), pedophiles in the Roman Catholic Church (pleasure), and violence against women (power).
In the previous essay (#120) we discovered that the voter-directed judicial branch of both state and local governments were willing to throw certain citizens “under the bus” and use them as a source of revenue in lieu of taxes. Another American institution, health care, is engaging in similar behavior but instead of the poor and minorities being the victim it’s the aged and the ill.
The relationship between immorality and lying is not always so obvious. We don’t usually think of our medical doctors as a people who would tell lies nor would we classify them as “drug dealers.” As is often the case we can identify fear as a source of “bad” human behavior, fear of pain that is.
It was easy for many doctors to become willing partners with Big Pharma in “pushing” drugs. In her book Drug Dealer MD, Dr. Anna Lembke cites one reason doctors might become complicit. “Most doctors hate and fear dealing with pain, and are utterly unequipped to do so.” (1)
Next, we bring Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin into our story. In 2004, Dr. Marcia Angell, then editor of the New England Journal of Medicine wrote a book entitled The truth About Drug Companies. “Pretty much every specific behavior appears in Angell’s analysis, including the ‘jaw-dropping’ gifts doctors may receive for prescribing a company’s drugs, the subtle advertisement masquerading as education and lukewarm, often ineffective protestations by regulatory agencies.” (1)
Americans are being poisoned by generic drugs made overseas in uncontrolled and unregulated “pill factories.” Whistle-blower Dinesh Thakur tried to stop Ranbury Laboratories, the Indian generics giant from careless drug manufacture to no avail. Bright Simons, the Ghanaian creator of a drug verification program describes the problem of the pill factories. “All medications are poisonous. It’s only under the most controlled conditions that they do good.” (2)
Those Americans who are ill are being poisoned in the name of greed. What about grandma and grandpa? Rachel Pearson in her book No Apparent Distress reveals that if you’re unlucky enough to be both poor and old you may have to “scavenge on the meager scraps of volunteer health services.” (3) There is an unavoidable reality of the American health care system. “If you don’t have money, you can be sent out to die.” (3)
For those who want to further explore creating morality in America click on the link below.
Insight # 121: The people I am scared of are the people who are scared. Robert Frost
- The Ostrich in this blog and in print in The Human Community: Where We Have Been, Where We Are Now, Where We Are Going (2016), pages 113-117, by Roy Charles Henry.
- Zuger, Abigail. “Prescribed Reading.” The New York Times Book Review. December 23, 2018, page 17.
- Dobbs, David. “Poison Pill.” The New York Times Book Review. June 30, 2019, page 15.
- Ofri, Danielle. “No Money, No Care.” The New York Times Book Review. August 27, 2017, page 15.