“Sicko” Socialism Shines Through

Friday, July 13th, 2007 3:19 pm by Neal

Rich Lowry writes on the real agenda of Michael Moore’s latest propaganda hit-piece in this townhall article, “Michael Moore’s “World of We””. Like Hillary Clinton, Moore is upset that ruggedly-individualistic Americans reject collectivism. We pesky individuals hamper the adoption of his idealistic and naive Socialized health care system modeled on those found in “progressive” countries like France and Cuba.

Michael Moore set out to make a movie attacking the American insurance industry and ended up attacking the American character. By the end of his movie “SiCKO,” his plaint is less about American resistance to government-run health care than its overarching rejection of collectivism. As Moore puts it, everywhere else it’s “a world of we,” but here a “world of me.”

His voice thus joins a vast, age-old chorus of left-wing bafflement and disillusion at American exceptionalism — our national traits that have prevented the development of a statist politics along continental European lines. Moore’s explanation for this phenomenon is typically twisted: Americans are saddled with debt from college loans and health care, and that keeps us from demanding French-style pampering from our government for fear of foreclosure by The Man.

Michael Moore and Hillary Clinton want a health care system in which everyone is treated equally, even if it means we’re all equally miserable with a slovenly, bureaucratic, government-controlled system where sick people die in a morass of paper and regulations. Never mind that, while not perfect (what is, after all), Americans currently enjoy the highest quality health care in the world!

You would never know that America ranks highest in the world in patient satisfaction, or that only about half of emergency-room patients in Canada get timely treatment. This is not to say that Moore doesn’t highlight real problems in the American insurance system — which is badly distorted by the fact that most people get their insurance through their employers — but his complaint goes much deeper: Americans don’t have the “free” things of the French, who not only get lots of paid vacation, but have government nannies come to their homes to do their laundry for them after they have children.

Moore hints at — of course — a conspiracy to try to keep us from liking the French for fear that we too will develop a taste for the good life on the government’s dime. Unfortunately for Moore, it’s worse than that. America has a deep-seated individualistic value system that, coupled with the lack of European-style class conflict, inhibited the rise of social democracy here. As one historian has put it, if you were to set out to design a society hostile to collectivism, “one could not have done much better than to implement the social development that has, mostly unplanned, constituted America.”

The difference between Americans and the French (and Moore and Hillary) is that we understand that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Thank you, America. To the extent that Americans are hostile to collectivism, we are free.

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