Using a very broad concept, true socialism – implemented always by a controlling, nonhuman bureaucracy – is the manufacture of pre-determined goals and their imposition on the state’s citizens, its human property – its non-consenting population.  Benign socialism involves the use of money or rewards – not a salary – for rewarding individuals’ “good” behavior and punishing individuals’ “bad” behavior.  The values of what is admirable, and what is despicable, are determined by the state.  They are not open to discussion.

When such a state becomes more random in its investigation of its individuals, and punishes them arbitrarily and unreasonably, it slides into totalitarianism; not a very far slide.

This excludes a simple employment relationship, where a person does a task for salary. But it does include things like earned-income credit for daycare, or for speedier amortization of natural gas wells, and several things.

Socialism is therefore present to a small degree in many societies.  It should be differentiated from laws and crimes.  Socialism is not the forbidding of certain specific conduct under punishment of law.  It is a more gentle ‘nudging’ in the direction of approved behavior by the authorities.

The matter, of course, lies with the question, who are these authorities?  How do we know that their effects are beneficial?

Their peril is that such arrogant bureaucrats may have little understanding of the matter they seek to own, but have no insight into how much their arrogance blinds their insight into their own ignorance.  The “housing crisis” of 2007 was simply a manifestation of the certainty that “Home ownership is to be encouraged, because it builds wealth for the owner.”  How it builds wealth, was not scrutinized.  The arrogant self-petting  that goes around Washington sufficed enough to soothe the ignorant.  When it turned out to be a bubble, with house-flipping and other such dreck – so many were shocked and surprised.  Buy, hold and sell – the profit was guaranteed, during the bubble.  What SUSTAINED the bubble was not interesting, just like back in ’29.

Medicine has become enthralled with the idea that Best Practices exist, which are overriding and stereotypical responses to an identified problem that are more desirably than any other responses at any other time.  Any competent physician, as opposed to ANY physician using Best Practices, will get inferior results.  A bad physician using Best Practices will get superior results.

Note the dense network of assumpations – what is a “better” or “worse” physician?  Is it something that exists in reality?  If so, is it something that can be identified and ranked?

Assuming , unquestioningly, the axioms of an argument is not Best Practices in thinking.  Why don’t physicians follow Best Practices on their own initiative?  What is wrong with that physician who doesn’t?

Best Practices is the rewarding of mediocrity, at the price of the outliers, no matter whether the outliers produce good or bad results.  Rather than saving the life of THIS patient, it is more important to have a standard batting average.