"The people who run these corporations know exactly what they're doing.
Courtesy of Dees Illustration
" . . . when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed."
Understanding Just Why It Was
Never Possible For Orthodox
Medicine to Heal More People
Than It Maimed, Poisoned & Killed
To Grasp Modern History is to Realize That
Ours in the 'Great Age of Iatrogenesis'
In every modern country I have visited the simple "light bulb" is alternatively a metaphor for "new idea," or inventive thought or that next great discovery. The very axiom --- "light going off" -- incorporates this concept. Therefore, I can't help but find it ironic that this same archetype of modern technology should have served as the basis for my own illumination about what modern medicine was and is really about.
To wit . . .
Some time in the mid-80's, I happened to read an article in the Reader's Digest about a fire hall in Livermore, California where a light bulb had been in continuous use since 1901 -- for practically the entire existence of the fire station itself. That hand-blown carbon-filament light bulb, made by Shelby Electric Company, still illuminates that Northern California fire station to this day. [ 3 ]
Apparently, the ability to manufacture a very cheap light bulb that will last for more than a century isn't much of a technical challenge. They mastered that back in the 1800's -- well before Thorstein Veblen coined the term "obsolescence" in 1899 [ 4 ] and the Great Seers of Modern Business Practice determined that it was insane to manufacture products that lasted. Any fool could see that it was far more profitable to make things that broke down, or otherwise needed to be replaced with something "newer," "better," "more fashionable," etc. on a very regular basis. By turning modern society onto the concept of "disposability" and making words like "thift" and "economy" pejoratives, everyone benefited --- supply lines were evened out, economies of scale were improved, the illusion of unending technological advance as a substitute for the virtue of permanence could more readily be embedded, consumers could rest comfortably -- knowing that this constant supply of replacement goods was benevolently preventing them from "falling behind the times" -- turning consumerism into a brilliant form of financial servitude . . . but most importantly, manufacturers would move more goods and make more money. Not to mention the fact that a new industry could be created that would, in time, become one of the largest and most profitable industries of all time : waste disposal -- the landfilling of planet Earth, mostly with toxic garbage.
This ubiquitous new component of modernity did not leave health care untransformed. New diseases came into play that either had never existed before, or were transformed into epidemiological giants, compared to their former selves. The greatest of these was "cancer" -- a collective term for approximately 200 different cellular neoplastic developments. And consistent with our civilization's new business model, the term "treatment" was strongly encouraged over the more objectionable, less profitable term "cure." Those forms of treatment that weren't good for business -- the medical equivalents of Shelby's 100+ year light bulb -- would have to be done away with.
And what could be done with pesky individuals who stumbled upon effective "cures" and didn't play along with the new business model? Well . . . that's easy. There would always be prisons, penitentiaries, torture centers, the convenient practice of "suiciding," kidnapping from far off places like . . . (thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking . . . ) Guayaquil, Ecuador! . . . or just outright elimination . . . (After all, the economy must come first! The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many . . . or the wildlife . . . or the life-support mechanisms of Earth herself! )
None of these thoughts is original. Few people are not aware that "obsolescence" is a major hard-wired component of daily life -- though most people may not know that it is so ingrained in the business community that it is virtually a separate discipline within Marketing . . . with separate divisions carefully categorized: "technological, psychological, progressive, dynamic" . . . all subsets of "'planned' obsolescence," [ 5 ] which is itself a subset of the most enduring principle of our age, that acquiring money and power is the ultimate end to all means and the most worthy of all pursuits.
How this "prime directive" of modern life translates into modern health care, the dominant species of the ecosystem being allopathic (orthodox), conventional medicine, can be seen everywhere. And yet . . . average people are oblivious to it -- like the hordes of professional wrestling fans who just can't get their celebral matter around the fact that the matches are rigged and none of the wrestlers are really competing athletes . . . They're ACTORS.
Likewise, you have to PRETEND that modern health care is about 'helping' the patient to not be bowled over by the obvious. And it isn't as if there aren't enough breakaway doctors -- who have, somehow, regained their conscience and moral footing -- to help lead the way. (I bring several prominent figures to the forefront in Chapters 1, 2 and 4 of Meditopia®.)
Modern medicine is about Empire. And the business of modern medicine is all about "medical obsolescence" -- except that what's designed to wear out and break down prematurely isn't the product itself.
What's good for business is to create more problems that need to be fixed . . . We see this everywhere . . . in politics (problem / reaction / solution); in the military; and in every facet of product consumerism. Show me someone who will argue that the field of medicine is immune to this horrific cancer that has already infected every other aspect of our culture, and I'll show you a full-fledged medical propagandist. (These "vomit brokers" of the orthodox medical community have a tough sell for those who have their eyes open -- namely, that the medical community is an oasis immune to a scourge that infests every other aspect of our culture, contrary not just to common sense, but to all available evidence indicting orthodox medicine for what can readily be called "The Great Medical Holocaust" -- in play since the mid-1800's right up to the present day -- as I make clear in Meditopia®.)
Conversely, what is NOT good for business is your continued health and well-being. Who in the hell can make any money if you aren't getting sick? What kind of business plan is that!
People who think this is just the mental musings of a cynic or a conspiracy theorist haven't seen what I've seen. They haven't witnessed one effective therapy after another become the target of the FDA and the other enforcers of modern medicine -- not because they weren't safe and effective, but because they threatened pharmaceutical industry profits. If you want more proof, just read Chapter 4 of Meditopia® . . . or my earlier essay, Impossible Dream (2002). (Now that I think of it, why else would the FDA support counterfeiters of our products, some of whom we have confirmed are producers of adulterated / mislabelled versions?)
Yes -- at its core, Modern Medicine is imperial. It's about taking what isn't yours -- be it the livelihood of an indigenous people . . . or the life of a patient whose misplaced trust in a corrupt health care system will cost him or her their life. [ 6 ] Were Will and Ariel Durant alive today, they might well choose to name the twelfth volume to their ambitious Story of Civilization (also, see Wiki article), "The Great Age of Iatrogenesis." (Though I doubt they'd earn another Pulitzer for the effort).
Until people can connect the dots . . . and realize that the long fingers of "planned obsolescence" are reaching further and further into the sacred spaces of their personal lives . . . until people begin to understand that a culture that holds so little regard for the planet -- which supports us all -- will have even less regard for THEM, there can be no reform.
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