This page will provide access to pages and web sites which reveal the way different groups are acting and thinking in response to what has and is happening in that country.
At the moment it simply gives some thoughts
about this and access to pages already on the site.
Bewildered in heaven:- Citizens and the professions in the affluent USA are intensely disturbed about what has been happening. There is widespread revolt but no unity of purpose in regard to what to do about the problems.
The myths, the history and the world view of the country are centred on the democratic rights of individuals. Capitalism with its emphasis on free enterprise and the rights of each individual to sell or buy on a level playing field is seen as an integral part of that democracy. Corporations are the backbone of the capitalist marketplace.
These are the great value systems on which the country is built. They have emerged triumphant from the cold war but in their new all embracing universality lie the seeds of their own destruction.
What has happened in health care profoundly challenges the universality of fundamental beliefs. Real criticism is therefore uncomfortable. Looking for frames of understanding, criticism borrows from the socialist left and so reeks of subversion. There are few alternate paradigms from which to argue and promote something different. In this regard Australia, and much of the world is only marginally different.
It is not surprising that in this sitution there is little consensus about a way foreword. There are those, like the doctors who have abandoned managed care and who see a return to free enterprise doctor/patient relationships as the solution. Others look at the Canadian system and press for a similar single payer system in the USA. Many fragmented groups confront the wealth and certainly of a powerful establishment deeply committed to the current path. The consequence of all this is that fundamental problems are not confronted and the changes which are made do no more than patch the gaping holes which have appeared in the system. The USA has a long and difficult path to tread before it will be ready to grasp the nettle.
Finding a road ahead:- As I have indicated elsewhere "modern" 20th century thinking of all shades is based on grand ideas - perhaps the legacy of the great religions of the past, and the secular beliefs which motivated the great wars. Theory is wedded to the universal - the universal applicability of ideas. Uncertain humans in a disturbed world have clung to all emracing ideas - ideas which could stabilise an unstable universe. They have rejected ideas which challenged the beliefs which did this.
Emerging "postmodernism" in contrast commences not from the large and universal but from the small and individual - the actual experience and understanding of situations by individuals. It is not the universality of theory which is important but its applicability and its limits. Does it apply to a particular individual in a particular situation and what are the limits of its applicability? How can it be used in this situation and what do alternate theories indicate the consequences will be.
We can if we choose challenge the beliefs of the past. We can step through and beyond the ideological conflicts of the modern era, the debris of the 20th century. We can see theories as a selection of tools to be used to illuminate individual situations. We can recognise when available tools are inadequate for the task and design new ones. It is not the important values on which modern society is built which I am questioning but the indiscriminate application of theories which claim to be based on them.
While establishment generations wedded to belief systems drive modern society into tighter and tighter all embracing corporate solutions, citizens living in real individual situations become increasingly disenchated.
Nowhere is the individuality of our situation
and the intimate nature of understanding more important to us than
when we are ill. While the medical establishment increasingly
regiments, routinises, and even dehumanises care, new patterns of
ideas are emerging in society. Young intellectuals are finding the
words needed to give them form and substance. They are pointing the
way to a new future. These ideas are likely to be very important in
health care and we should all be listening. There may be a new road
we can follow.
A Call to action:- In 1997 an attempt was made to bring all those opposed to what was happening in health care together and to define certain fundamental principles which might form a basis for change. A petition was circulated signed and published.
CLICK HERE -- to go to that petition and the principles