The corporate retail medicine model in America is filled with people that don’t seem to think about or care about the “medical customer.” And the customers are naturally enraged with the soulless functionaries, the retail clerks who deliver their medical services in slow dribs and drabs. Why, such horrible people! Why don’t they care?
Having worked in State and Federal Government, I was surprised to find out that many of the people who were in the positions started out as especially caring and compassionate persons who were dedicated to the mission service.
But once the “Vietnam Syndrome” hit them – the sense that you’re out in the Jungle and nobody gives a damn whether you live or die – they become hardened and combat-rude. Whether in the jungle or the clinic, people are counted as units, and the measure is units processed per day.
Once people are units, it matters little whether they are being given medical care, processed as in Treblinka, as part of Operation Reinhard, or in equally atrocious ways.
Vassily Blokhin, Stalin’s go-to executioner, put in a heroic month’s work as a locum tenens executioner in the Ostashkov prisoner of war camp in the Katyn forest.
In only one month, he processed 7000 Polish military officers – alone! No wonder he had so many medals on his chest. When one needs a reliable operator, just go to Blokhin!
We forget that when it comes to modernism, industrialism, the machines of production, the Bolsheviks knew their stuff. Lenin hired Ford Motor Company to put in assembly lines, early on into the new Soviet Union. Communism is nothing but industrialism painted red.
Pam Wible MD shares: Please stop using the word burnout. You’re not burned out. You’ve been abused.
Let’s get the diagnosis right. We enter medicine inspired & compassionate. Soon we’re cynical & exhausted. It’s not your fault. So why blame the victims? Human rights abuses run rampant in our hospitals, clinics & med schools.
Pam’s out to cut down on the numbers of physician suicide, which strands a million US patients without care every year. It’s not just a physician’s matter, it’s a public health matter.
One of the biggest problems in the Concentration Camp SS ranks was the unavoidable mental breakdown that comes with exposure to the degree of inhuman horror that was the camps. Although the SS-Übungslager at Dachau trained the members of the SS-Totenkopfverbände to be concentration camp administrators, they could not instill enough mental distance within the soldiers’ psychology, for them to not frequently crumble under the moral immensity of the task. They were not innocent; but many of them could not be deprogrammed to be human.
Deliberate dehumanization is evil, because it attempts to rub off the moral independence of the subject. Whether in the ruse of Milgram’s Experiment, or in the mind of Yezhov, or simply matching the productivity quotas from Corporate, people are trained to be less than people.
That is not to suggest that the killers are moral equals to the killed. Many of the killers chose to continue towards evil voluntarily; it was their soul that overrode their will.
To close, it is worth disclosing some of the management shortcomings of our colleague comrade doctor, Irmfried Eberl MD, as discussed in Wikipedia:
Irmfried Eberl MD (psychiatry) was appointed Treblinka’s first commandant on 11 July 1942. He was a psychiatrist from Bernburg Euthanasia Centre and the only physician-in-chief to command an extermination camp during World War II. According to some, his poor organizational skills caused the operation of Treblinka to turn disastrous; others point out that the number of transports that were coming in reflected the Nazi high command’s wildly unrealistic expectations of Treblinka’s ability to “process” these prisoners. The early gassing machinery frequently broke down due to overuse, forcing the SS to shoot Jews assembled for suffocation. The workers did not have enough time to bury them, and the mass graves were overflowing.
According to the testimony of his colleague Unterscharführer Hans Hingst, Eberl’s ego and thirst for power exceeded his ability:
“So many transports arrived that the disembarkation and gassing of the people could no longer be handled.” On incoming Holocaust trains to Treblinka, many of the Jews locked inside correctly guessed what was going to happen to them. The odor of decaying corpses could be smelled up to 10 kilometres (6 miles) away.
Oskar Berger, a Jewish eyewitness who escaped during the 1943 uprising, told of the camp’s state when he arrived there in August 1942: When we were unloaded, we noticed a paralyzing view – all over the place there were hundreds of human bodies. Piles of packages, clothes, suitcases, everything in a mess. German and Ukrainian SS-men stood at the corners of the barracks and were shooting blindly into the crowd.
Each of us is divided, one part of the brain thinking of the horror, and the other ways to improve management at the camp – which was swiftly done upon the discharge of Dr. Eberl. To leave piles of corpses strewn about, this way and that – it’s quite un-Germanic, really. The mess, the smell, and nobody doing anything about it! That’s sloppiness is redolent of a Mediterranean, lazy brown culture, the proper SS man might say. That side of us might say – things got much better at Treblinka. The other side might say that things didn’t.
Arendt meant exactly this when writing about the banality of evil. There is a cheerful, amoral sprite that can come up with helpful tips on rejuvenating brother Eberl’s camp. Such an individual was Eichmann.
Why we do not see the connection between all dehumanization and Treblinka is beyond me.