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August 22, 2010 / Candice

Is there a doctor in the house…err…country?

(Another repost that seems to fit better here.)

Since finishing Atlas (Yes, it’s been done. Shuddup) I’ve decided to reread the third part. And I’m not really reading, more like listening to the audiobook on my Droid before I go to sleep. Last night I finished “Atlantis”. If you’ve forgotten, the chapter is about when Dagny first arrives at Galt’s Gulch. The part the stuck in my mind THIS time around is when she’s talking to everyone at dinner at Midas’ house and they tell her why they left. Dr. Hendricks explanation is very timely, especially considering the passage of this monstrosity we call “health care reform”.

“I quit when medicine was placed under State control, some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks, “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill. That was what I would not place at the disposal of the men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything–except the desires of doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only ‘to serve.’ That a man who’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards–never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscious, to stifle my mind–yet what is it they expect to depend on, when the lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe it is save to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating room and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it–and still less safe if he is the sort who doesn’t.”

Sometimes its hard to look at our country and think, well, it was beautiful and free, now…it’s…this. I am not under the illusion that I am powerful enough to go on “strike” and make a difference. But there are men who are, and it would be wonderful if they would. Go on strike. Let your corporations get sucked into the abyss of socialism, see how well this country works when no one is around to provide for the looters. But, that’s just a little dream I have, I’ll just continue hold out hope for a “John Galt” or “Francisco d’Anconia” or a “Ragnar Danneskjold”, even if such men don’t exist.



Leave a Comment
  1. Houston / Aug 23 2010 3:53 am

    It sucks in America right now. Politics and business are both ruled by morons without spines. No one is willing to make the hard decisions which must be made to put America on the right track OR American business either.

    I am frustrated beyond belief.

    You nailed it square on the head with the quote about being able to spout generalities. In the telecommunications industry we are dealing with fools who do nothing bu spout buzz words and don’t listen to what the customers want.

    Pretty much the same as the politicians.

    The only exception I can think of is Chris Christie, but honestly I am afraid he is too good to be true.

  2. Candice / Aug 23 2010 8:29 am

    That is a great line. One of my favs. 🙂

    And while I love Christie, I can’t help but feel the same way you do, he’s great, but maybe too great. But if he is the real thing, we need more like him.

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