The Sovietification of American Medicine
Presented at ‘Liberty Speaks II’ Oct 9th, 2022 by Irene Mavrakakis MD.
Let’s do a mini review of some economic concepts discussed by Jorge yesterday.
The great ‘Austrian Economist’ and 1974 Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek, in some of his writings like ‘The Use of Knowledge in Society’ and ‘Competition as a discovery procedure’ helped us realize that economic competition is how we discover and spread superior information throughout society. For example, a Honda engineer in Tokyo, may have invented power door locks which thanks to ‘economic competition’ motivated BMW, Ford, and other ‘competitors’ throughout the world to copy and thus spread superior information throughout the world.
This automatic mechanism of *COMPETITIVE KNOWLEDGE DISCOVERY* is “turned on” or inadvertently “emerges” from the simple concept of ‘private property’.
It is the freedom of nearly 8 billion minds in their role as consumers to ‘freely trade’ their private property for what they calculate to be best that subsequently motivates companies to innovate and copy each other’s ideas. This thus inadvertently turns the entire planet into a global supercomputer via this system of ‘competitive knowledge discovery’.
Government or public sector “orders” do not have the incentive structure to innovate or even copy existing innovations since the wealth that sustains them comes from taxes and not based on information that comes from superior ideas and other competitors.
Government regulations are coercive – competition less – monopolistic sources of information that are not subject to continuous replacement via competition so they paralyze entire industries slowing down “competitive knowledge discovery”, driving up costs (more lawyers-regulators-bureaucrats), and making criminals out of people who harm nobody but just prefer to do things differently.
As this image helps illustrate, this explains why the increasingly regulated and paralyzed healthcare sector has grown from consuming 5% of the economy in 1960 to over 20% today culminating in the recent CovidMania tyranny. In this image we can see how the same paralysis happens across all sectors not just medicine:
By comparison the Software-IT sector has few regulations, there is no American Computer Programmer’s Association monopolizing and paralyzing the knowledge relating to software like the CDC, FDA, NIAD, AMA and others do for medicine. Therefore, free competition motivates the creation and spread of innovations at high speed in these non medical sectors of society.
Once again, here is the classic nighttime image of North and South Korea. We could even visualize whilst gazing at this image that information is actually moving from mind to mind as free customers and companies are constantly making comparisons and learning from each other in the South spreading superior ideas, but not in the North.
That suffices for the brief review.
“History speaks only to those people who know how to interpret it on the grounds of correct theories.”
Once you really understand how, for the most part, mankind has little idea how the economy works and even more so, just like language, that the Economy has emerged independent of man’s design. AND once you also realize how homo sapiens are,for the most part, intuitively communist, it becomes much easier to understand man’s mistaken continuous push for disastrous central economic planning and also the emergence of the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union’s rule by a competition-immune “monopoly of experts-scientists” had disastrous consequences for scientific research as well.
We are fooled into believing that it is “scientists” that make our wonderful innovations, but it is not “scientists” per se, but competition which requires freedom of course, something the Soviet Union lacked, leading to massive competition-immune bureaucracies that evolved to fight change and warp so-called “science” and research in ideological ways.
A particularly disastrous “scientist” who rose to the top in the 1930s was Trofim Lysenko who led a campaign against the growing field of genetics.
He had many other scientists and critics persecuted and killed, and his competition-immune theories related to farming led to millions of deaths via crop failures both in Russia, and later in China. This helped lead to the Great Chinese Famine which claimed 15-55 million lives. Lysenko mistakenly or fraudulently claimed that via a technique referred to as vernalization crop yields could be vastly improved.
An article by Morgan Dunn discusses his failed thinking:
“For starters, he believed that plants and seeds could be trained to follow socialist organizational principles. His theory, which would eventually be dubbed Lysenkoism, stated that crops could be trained to conform and produce vast yields almost from out of thin air. According to what he called “the law of the life of species,” seeds wouldn’t compete with one another, but rather they would cooperate with each other in a near-sentient fashion — like humans.
Applying the Marxist principle of materialism, in which the conditions surrounding an individual dictate its behaviors and responses, Lysenko believed that plants and animals, too, could be reshaped as needed”
Author Simon Ings et al, who wrote the book ‘Stalin and the Scientists’ wrote the following on this topic of vernalization of crops that failed miserably.
“The overarching problem was the amount of labor involved in vernalising an entire crop. Seeds had to be soaked in a shed for several days.You didn’t just dump them in a pile and water them. You had to spread them out, on the floor or in trays, and turn them over constantly. The work involved was herculean…The seeds were damp. They were swollen. They were heavy: costs of sowing were doubled because the seeder had to go over the fields twice to ensure the usual amount of grain was planted. In fact, so many things could go wrong with vernalisation, the practice itself evaded criticism. If your crop failed, what were you going to blame: the inadequacy of your equipment, the failure of your workers– or a state- sanctioned agricultural panacea with the personal blessing of Stalin?”
End of quote.
To summarize, vernalization was a disaster. It seemed like a great idea to Lysenko, but there was no competition of ideas.
Being a favorite of Stalin and also on good terms with his successor Nikita Khrushchev, it wasn’t until Khrushchev’s downfall in 1963 that Lysenko was thoroughly discredited.
In 1964, physicist Andrei Sakharov spoke out against Lysenko in the General Assembly of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR:
He is quoted as saying “He ( Lysenko ) is responsible for the shameful backwardness of Soviet biology and of genetics in particular, for the dissemination of pseudo-scientific views, for adventurism, for the degradation of learning, and for the defamation, firing, arrest, even death, of many genuine scientists.”
Let us now briefly discuss how Medicine in the USA has been following a similar path as in the former Soviet Union with the rise of Anthony Fauci as our Lysenko.
There are two ways to destroy the ‘competitive knowledge discovery’ that orders civilization. Mises identified these as the Marxian or Soviet style where private enterprise is quickly abolished and replaced by government, or the German or Nazi style where increasing government regulations and thus central planning edicts, instead of private sector ‘competitive knowledge discovery’, increasingly determine how things are done. The US medical sector has gone towards the German/Nazi pattern slowly over time.
A major leap in government regulation of medicine occurred thanks to the Rockefeller-funded Flexner report. Paul Starr writes in his book ‘The Social Transformation of American Medicine’:
“the report was the manifesto of a program that by 1936 guided $ 91 million from Rockefeller’s General Education Board (plus millions more from other foundations) to a select group of medical schools.”
Murray Rothbard elaborates:
“The result: every medical school and hospital was subjected to licensing by the state, which would turn the power to appoint licensing boards over to the state. The state was supposed to, and did, put out of business all medical schools that were proprietary and profit-making, that admitted blacks and women, and that did not specialize in orthodox, “allopathic” medicine: particularly homeopaths, who were then a substantial part of the medical profession, and a respectable alternative to orthodox allopathy.”
Government licensing just means the abolition of ‘competitive knowledge discovery’ in the field being licensed. Now, it is important to NOT see the Rockefeller foundation at the time as some sinister cabal of malicious people. The very same Rockefeller foundation that pushed for such government involvement in medicine also financed the writings of Ludwig von Mises, and has been involved in countless beneficial charitable works. As with Socialism in general, as well as Catholic oppression of centuries ago, these actions leading to coercion and eventual calamities should not be seen as simplistic conspiracies when they are in fact much more complex social growths.
Although it is widely known that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US, taken as a whole, regardless of the genuine good intentions of many doctors, American doctors in general, by ignorantly supporting the various competition-immune top-down bureaucracies like the CDC, AMA, FDA, and NIAID, they themselves are in fact the leading cause of death.
Let me reiterate, as with well-intentioned Socialist ideologues or Catholic Church inquisitors, American doctors, by inadvertently stifling freedom and superior ‘competitive knowledge discovery’ are the leading cause of death compared to the freer alternative.
Consider the following. Aggressive fasting, say eating every 48 hours for a month will reverse type 2 diabetes for some people among countless other benefits. This is well known in the increasingly popular low-carb, keto, and intermittent fasting world. Dr. Jason Fung’s book ‘The Diabetes Code’ and its fasting-to-reverse-diabetes advice is a constant best-seller in numerous categories on Amazon.com. Only something akin to a Priesthood neglecting criticism of its myths can neglect the above, and this is precisely what happens with much nutrition advice in medicine and especially one potential simple method to reverse type 2 diabetes. There is no mention about fasting to reverse type 2 diabetes in the standard recommendations from medical associations.
The economically ignorant public believes that regulations in medicine are needed to prevent malicious quackery, but the most truly sinister and malicious snake-oil-salesmen in the private sector could never have locked down the planet and coerced millions into mask-wearing and injecting themselves with bullshit as has just happened.
I’d like to reiterate one of the themes of our event. Where there is complexity there is mythology. It would be a monumental error to say that Catholic oppression of the 1400s, or Communist oppression, were the result of malicious conspiracies, they arose thanks to the complexity of various fields and man’s general ignorance of how freedom leads to prosperity.
Next consider the following, one study of scientific misconduct estimates that about 2% *”of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once –a serious form of misconduct by any standard– and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices…Considering that these surveys ask sensitive questions and have other limitations, it appears likely that this is a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of scientific misconduct.”.
There are about 1 million doctors in the USA and 7 million scientists and engineers for a total of 8 million. 2% is a whopping 160,000 scientists and docs who are out there maliciously looking to exaggerate, lie, etc. to get government grants-influence-fame and so on, and another whopping 2.7 million (33.7% of 8 million) who are aware of blatant corruption. So year after year 160,000 potential charlatans and-or exaggerators are out there recognizing and affiliating with other fraudsters to various degrees, statistically guaranteeing that eventually somebody is going to hit it big and potentially mislead a large portion of the scientific community.
Just one example of someone who got caught is Yoshitaka Fujii from Japan, an anesthesiologist, who “was found to have fabricated data in at least 183 scientific papers, setting what is believed to be a record for the number of papers by a single author requiring retractions. A committee reviewing 212 papers published by Fujii over a span of 20 years found that 126 were entirely fabricated, with no scientific work done. Only 3 were found to be valid. He was also found to have forged the signatures of scientists he listed as co-authors without their knowledge”. Diederik Stapel, professor of Social Psychology at Tilburg University and the University of Groningen, after getting busted wrote about his numerous data forgeries:
“In the privacy of my office or my study at home, I did some things that were terrible, maybe even disgusting. I faked research data and invented studies that had never happened. I worked alone, knowing exactly what I was doing, and my solitary drive to achieve led to my becoming ever more detached from myself and my emotions. I didn’t feel anything: no disgust, no shame, no regrets.”
We now get to Fauci. What about Fauci? Fauci is just a fellow homo sapiens, a product of the prevailing central-planning myths of our times. Once we understand the socioeconomic forces creating civilization, the emergence of these catastrophic central planners becomes trivial. Jorge already brought up these great Hayek quotes but their wisdom needs to be reiterated. Hayek writes:
“It is necessary to realize that the sources of many of the most harmful agents in this world are often not evil men but high-minded idealists, and that in particular the foundations of totalitarian barbarism have been laid by honourable and well-meaning scholars who never recognized the offspring they produced.”
“Most people are still unwilling to face the most alarming lesson of modern history: that the greatest crimes of our time have been committed by governments that had the enthusiastic support of millions of people who were guided by moral impulses. It is simply not true that Hitler or Mussolini, Lenin or Stalin, appealed only to the worst instincts of their people: they also appealed to some of the feelings which also dominate contemporary democracies.” (Hayek F. A., 1976, p. 134)
How much of the tyranny and suffering Fauci has caused is due to genuine intellectual error, various degrees of negligence, or heaven-forbid clearly malicious self-serving malice is obviously hard to know.
However, none of these government-created calamities would have occurred had people understood real free-market economics. Thus I’ll conclude with this wonderful quote from Mises’ student George Reisman:
“The solution to the present problem of massive, overwhelming poverty is nothing other than the science of economics. As should be increasingly clear, economics is a science which can make possible the construction of a social and political system in which human success is a feature of normal, everyday life everywhere. It is truly the humanitarian science, and only those who have studied it well and who are prepared to implement its teachings deserve to be called friends of mankind. The most important charity which true friends of mankind can pursue is to disseminate knowledge of this vital subject as widely and as deeply as they know how.” – George Reisman
Woops… I lied, there is always time for more quotes:
“Economics deals with society’s fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen.”—Ludwig von Mises
“Economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics.”—Ludwig von Mises
“forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”