Healthcare’s assault on American independence

Posted on March 22, 2010. Filed under: American culture, healthcare | Tags: , , , , , , |

Many Americans argue that healthcare reform goes against our country’s founding principles and will destroy American freedom. How will it do that? By forcing us, against our will, to take care of our fellow citizens. Americans take their independence very seriously.

According to Geert Hofsted, (whose 5 dimensions of culture are foundational to intercultural theory) America scores the highest of all countries in the dimension of Individuality.  We value the self first,  the concept of the individual second, and believe in personal independence and personal responsibility. If Americans have the highest score of all nations in the dimension of individuality, that means we are extremists in this area. And extremism, unless we’re talking shoes or chocolate, rarely leads to much good.

For most Americans, having a communal or group focus is antithetical to their cultural beliefs. Why should I put the benefit of the group above the benefit of the individual??? I’m not responsible for you. Take care of yourself.

Most industrialized  countries already have a national commitment to the health of their citizens.  I’m glad we’re heading in that direction.

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3 Responses to “Healthcare’s assault on American independence”

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Conservatives tend to emphasize the importance of individual responsibility and rights; Progressives tend to preference the responsibility of the collective. Conservatives also emphasize internal qualities like motivation, morality, self-determination as the primary factors shaping our humanity whereas Progressives tend to point to external factors like social, economic, environmental and political forces.

BOTH have important pieces of the truth and must be honored in a way that is dynamic, inclusive, discerning and integrative – a huge and complex task!

Further, the Conservative and Progressive worldviews are both part of a vital DEVELOPMENTAL continuum. It is incredibly important for Progressives to realize that Conservatism is an inescapable STAGE of individual/collective evolutionary development that needs to be nurtured (not rejected or dismissed) to health and harmony in order to grow and develop beyond its obvious constraints and limiting beliefs.

We see this dynamic tension between these forces of Traditionalism, Modernism and pluralistic Postmodernism EVERYWHERE and in every critical issue facing humanity – terrorism, climate change, abortion, energy future, globalism, fundamentalism, etc). An important step toward resolving these conflicts is to see all stakeholders, from the most powerful to the most disenfranchised, as players along and evolutionary stream of development and regard each stage with care compassion and recognition of the magnificent contributions of each as well as their unique pitfalls and pathologies.

Peace

This country was built under the Rule of Law to prevent the tyranny that the colonies suffered under British Parliamentary sovereignty from happening again.
The Rule of Law was formulated with the US Constitution as the highest law in the land with no body above the law. The US Constitution defined and limited the powers of the US Congress expressly to prevent Parliamentary sovereignty.
Throughout history, the US Congress has been stretching the limits of the Interstate Commerce and General Welfare clauses, culminating with the passage of Health Care where the last Constitutional restraint on Congress’ power has been shaken off. Without Constitutional restraint, there is no law to limit the power of Congress, making this country subject to Parliamentary sovereignty – exactly what the founders attempted to prevent! We have become what we’ve rebelled against!
John Locke in The Second Treatise of Civil Government states: “Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins”, and when the highest law, it is the highest tyranny.
Whereas the US Supreme Court has abdicated it’s responsibility to defend the US Constitution, it falls on each State to defend their rights, and join together in restoring the US Constitution.

U.S. focus on individual freedom is a kind of myth. Patronize it as we will, “we’re all in this together,” and there always have been and always will be limitations to “individual freedom” anytime one person’s choice conflicts w/ another person’s. It’s time for a new, global community w/ a new “human” constitution. I suggest replacing the whole “nation” concept w/ simply “cultures” coexisting on one planet.


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