Duelling Dualists

It doesn't take a lot of reading here to figure out I'm not much of a fan of dualism. Duality is fine, but once you add an -ism to things it's like pissing on a tree to mark your territory. You shift from "this is how things look, sometimes" to "this is how things ARE." So sometimes things look like they're split into two opposing halves, like good and evil, or male and female, or the fruits of civilisation and The Daily Telegraph.

But of course the minute you take a closer look, it all gets terribly complicated and categories seem to swap sides: best intentions lead to horrible outcomes; men grow boobs and women grow moustaches; and...there isn't a good example for The Daily Terrorgraph. Most of the time dualities are there for debating points.

Like Wolfgang Kasper in this piece in today's paper, titled with moderation and wit "Time to use a chainsaw on a criticall ill patient": http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/time-to-use-a-chainsaw-on-a-critically-ill-patient/2009/01/28/1232818529458.html

It's about the health system and its debts and basic hopelessness. Always pays to jump straight to the end of these opinion pieces to see where the author stems from, and in this case the author is to be published in even more expansive, drivelling detail by the Centre for Independent Studies. What's sometimes called a "right-wing think tank", but let's leave the wings out of it because they don't mean anything much these days and just say it has a four feet good, two feet bad philosophy, with the four feet being the individual, and the two feet being government and its bastard child, bureaucracy.

Just as they constantly recommend for schools, the solution to it all is to take a chainsaw to the 'bloated bureaucracy' and empower individuals with vouchers. So they can choose which hospitals are best, and those hospitals will then be better rewarded and will prosper. The fantasyland free market stuff again. The people out in Bourke will hop in the car and sign in at Royal North Shore or St Vincents Private in Sydney, for the (unquestionably) better care, after the 8 hour drive with family member bleeding to death in the back seat. Pure genius.

The poor bureaucracy cops it here, as they always do. The duality is the noble and free-choice individual up against this faceless mob of chardonnay-sipping elite plods who spend all day in meetings and other pointless planning. On another day this variety of dualism would complain about the fact that nobody is watching over the expenditure of these billions of public dollars in any sort of planned and coordinated way, but that this is what bloated bureaucrats actually do every day - well let's not let a fact get in the way here.

Isn't it all so pedantically stupid? Over and over again you have fundamentalists yanking us from one extreme to the other, noble individuals and noble institutions. It doesn't occur to people like Professor Kasper that the human race tried worshipping the individual and the local, and got so sick of the endless warfare between clans and fiefdoms and tin pot Gods under every rock that it invented collective things like monarchies and governments and monotheism so that everybody could get some sleep and wake up without their throats cut.

You know that in law they refuse to try to define 'administration'? For the simple reason that it's like its twin sister bureaucracy, a good fun punching bag that evaporates into thin air when you get within 100 feet of it. Everyone is always just doing the work that needs to be done to get things done. If that means filling out some forms to order supplies or do whatever else, let Professor Kasper and his buddies go without the supplies and see how they get on.

If Professor Kasper wants a proper target in the health system let's look at the bloated wages of doctors of any persuasion, mostly paid out of the taxpayer's pocket. The same noble folk who flog their trainees with day-and-a-half long shifts so they can spend more time improving their golf swing, and in the ski fields with their friends, the dentists. Yes they work very hard, blah blah (although that's debatable with some specialists), but who doesn't? Why are they entitled to $250K minimum of taxpayers' money each year for their hard slog, and we aren't?

Here's a tip for the Centre for Independent Studies. The biggest pinko commie union in the country is the Australian Medical Association. Go get 'em.


Popular posts from this blog

The Morality of a Speed Bump. Latour.

Reductio Ad Hitlerum, or what's wrong with Godwin's Law

Posture. The Great Big Rump.