This past summer, public health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared racism a threat to public health. Physicians, epidemiologists, and most Democrats, who often claim the title of part-time scientist when it serves their goals, defended mass protests for racial justice during the global pandemic. The mental gymnastics required to justify mass protests, while simultaneously preventing businesses from reopening, should qualify these individuals for the Olympics. Some of them even defended the ensuing riots and looting. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris encouraged their supporters to contribute to the bail fund responsible for freeing violent criminals, during the riots. Leaving aside the circus of absurdity that unfolded this summer, which the left-wing establishment tacitly supported, public health officials ought to recognize a far more insidious threat to public health: Marxism.
The ultimate goal of Marxism is to establish an equal outcome for all, not an equal opportunity. This ideology is founded upon utopian dreams of paternalistic government serving as a fair, impartial, and “peaceful” juggernaut. In actuality, equal outcomes for all—which have yet to be accomplished by any governing body in human history—require ceding virtually all authority to the government. Both the Nazis and Soviets attempted to enforce equal outcomes, while the majority of Europe suffered underneath the boot of socialism from 1922 until 1991. Attempts to equalize society by force have been made, and they’ve all ended the same way: in abject failure.
In actuality, equal outcomes for all—which have yet to be accomplished by any governing body in human history—require ceding virtually all authority to the government. Both the Nazis and Soviets attempted to enforce equal outcomes, while the majority of Europe suffered underneath the boot of socialism from 1922 until 1991.
Freedom and Marxism cannot coexist. Unfree societies are doomed to fail. After all, individuals who are free to make their own decisions will never be completely equal. Otherwise stated, individuals are incredibly diverse. Given their own unique predilections, individuals who possess the freedom to choose their trajectories will inevitably pursue avenues that yield different outcomes. In short, free individuals inevitably reject Marxism, because it restricts their personal freedom by definition.
Marxism is not just a thoroughly debunked ideology, but also a clear threat to public health. The Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by far, had substantial access to oil in the occupied countries of Azerbaijan and Georgia, and stole immense wealth and resources from half of Europe, throughout the Cold War period. If there was ever going to be success in establishing a Marxist utopia, the mighty Soviet Union would have accomplished it. The Soviet Union established free education, healthcare, and housing—popular policy initiatives for today’s Democrat politicians (especially for those within today’s progressive caucus, which is a group dominated by Democratic Socialists of America). Unsurprisingly, however, socialized medicine in the Soviet Union was a nightmare.
In 1991, before the Soviet Union dissolved as a political entity, American physicians reported that the Soviet healthcare system was about fifty years behind modern standards. Former advisor to the Soviet government, Dr. Maltsev, chronicled horrendous conditions and a lack of competency. Rationing medical supplies, equipment, and personnel was commonplace. The infant mortality rate was on par with Angola, Chad, and Bangladesh—making it three times greater than in the United States. Government corruption led to massive HIV outbreaks as hospitals were instructed to reuse needles in order to lower costs. Marxists often argue that their failed experiments can be blamed on a lack of resources available to implement a Marxist utopia. However, the Soviet Union was rich in resources and it was still absolutely destitute in its quality of life. Why? Milton Friedman said it best: “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand.”
I can already hear the breathless pushback to my argument: “But what about Canada?” Well, I am glad you asked. Despite arguments to the contrary, our Northern neighbor is no perfect example of socialized medicine. Canadians pay significantly higher taxes to support a significantly smaller population than the US. Moreover, after getting gouged by absurdly high taxes, Canadians wait on average twenty-one weeks to see a specialist. In the United States, wait times are far lower, but have increased since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. When Canadians finally get in to see a specialist, potentially lifesaving procedures are often delayed even further, as rationing occurs to keep costs down. This is, in part, why the US has better cancer survival rates than Canada. When dealing with metastatic cancer, and most diseases more generally, speed is of the essence. Canadians, and people residing in countries with socialized systems, are in the metaphorical slow lane. As a point of reference, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, arguably the best socialized system in the world, has experienced worsening health outcomes due to rationing. Elective procedures are often delayed months or even years due to lack of funding. Ultimately, who do we want making healthcare decisions? An exam room is far too small to fit patient, physician, and the entire U.S. government.
Ultimately, who do we want making healthcare decisions? An exam room is far too small to fit patient, physician, and the entire U.S. government.
Despite these facts, American Marxism remains on the rise, due to ignorance and extreme hubris. Marxism killed over one hundred million people in the twentieth century. Yet, today’s average American is far more likely to have learned about Marxism through the lens of American-Soviet camaraderie when defeating fascism, than through a critical lens. Such ignorance, while devastating, can be understood. Hubris is inexcusable. Today’s Democratic Socialists, and those who aid them in their goals, make the argument that they will succeed in establishing a utopia, if only given enough power. Forget about the Ukrainian famine, or the famines in the People’s Republic of China, which killed tens of millions. Forget about the countless atrocities overseen by Marxist governments. It is hubris, ultimately, that keeps Marxist dreams alive. If physicians and scientists were serious about addressing threats to public health, instead of scoring political points, they would condemn Marxism in the strongest possible terms. Unfortunately, given what has happened over the past year, it is clear that the scientific establishment has different priorities.
*The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.