I am frequently surprised how easily statements are allowed into the record of Public Discourse & Conventional Wisdom. For twenty-five years now, it has been asserted as an axiom that “we cannot afford our healthcare system.” Oprah’s audience might duly applaud, but stop and take it apart.
Who’s we? And where does the money go?
“We,” of course, means “you.” Unless you are one of the conspicuously famous or powerful, you are costing us too much money. And who is “us?” it is the corporation and the people familiar with the construction of the modern corporation.
Americans became uncomfortable with Communism, and for good reason. Communism is a foreign, uniquely European perspective on economics, and has certain obvious and fatal flaws in its assumption. It is perhaps hated too much – we can forget that at one time, it had its honest advocates. However, it’s a bust.
The demon that we can’t seem to beat is Taylorism. Somehow, this cultish offshoot of 19th Century industrialism took insidious root in this country. I doubt one person in a thousand recognizes the name – and yet, nearly every one of them will recognize his concepts as though they were on the Eternal Tablets. We often call the elements of Taylorism by the wrong name – “capitalism.”
They are two very different things. Lenin was delighted by Taylorism, and used it, in all of its useful and awful ways, to advance Soviet Russia’s industrialization. Taylorism, unlike Communism, has aspects that increase production. But Taylorism is not capitalism.
Taylorism has been hounding American Medicine, seeking a way in, for nearly a century. It was driven back – but the gates are burst, and the enemy is among us. Most of the reasons that “we cannot afford healthcare any more” trace back to Taylorism.
[to be continued]