In the imagination of our ruling class, the rationalization of the national health care system into a single one-size-fits-all single-payer plan is far overdue.
And we know why. James C. Scott told us in “Seeing Like a State.” Government is like God. It likes to look out on its creation and see all that is good. There are so many ugly makeshifts in the current crazy quilt of health care plans that a sensitive and aesthetic mind can hardly bear it.
But the reality of any big government system is not the aesthetically-coherent, heavenly city envisioned in the minds of world-class experts and planners. The reality is more like “Brazil,” Terry Gilliam’s retro-futurist 1985 dystopia movie. Our modern liberal world is all there, complete in every respect, from the mindless bureaucrats, timid and rigid in equal measure, to the armored TAC squads that might crash into your apartment, bristling with ordnance, at any moment.
How did Terry Gilliam know how Obamacare would turn out?
As always, the concept is glorious and awe-inspiring, but the execution involves a tangle of band-aids, or rather flexible ducts, that barely work. Not much different than collective agriculture in the Soviet Union and model villages in Tanzania.
People go to a swank restaurant, complete with oily French-accented waiter. But they must order by number from the menu and the food, when it comes, is baby food supplemented by a winning picture of magazine food.
There are terrorists – tea-party terrorists perhaps – blowing things up but the government has everything in hand.
Gilliam’s TAC squads are everything we have learned to expect from government since Janet Reno sent the lads into the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Remember when “It’s the Law”-Janet sent the BORTAC unit into a house in Miami to fetch out Elián Gonzáles? In the definitive photo of the BORTAC squadder confronting young Elián, what is different from the government thugs descending into Archibald Buttle’s apartment in Brazil?
And the computers — already in 1985 the teletype machine was laughably a thing of the past, and there was no need to magnify the image of a tiny CRT with a Fresnel magnifier lens. This was also a year before the Challenger disaster taught us that the space-shuttle system, the alleged pride of the nation, was just an ugly bureaucratic kludge that barely worked, run by risk-averse government lifers. Kathleen Sibelius and her crew of crack coders couldn’t have done it better.
How can liberals not see how cruel and unjust and plain thuggish their regime has become? Perhaps it is the purpose of NPR is to hide from the liberal rank-and-file exactly that.
It is telling that Terry Gilliam expresses himself as surprised that “Brazil is apparently a favourite film of the far Right in America.” Golly, Terry, me old pal me old beauty. Now why would that be?
You think that maybe it is time for liberals to take a look at the society they have forced on us – before it’s too late?