Thursday, July 10, 2014

Is Death The Answer?

John Maynard Keynes famously quipped that, "In the long run we are all dead.”

Could death really be the answer to the human dilemma?
Certainly the Nazi’s thought so with their Final Solution.  The Jacobin’s felt that the beheading aristocrats would improve life in France.  Communist governments throughout the twentieth century thought that killing 100 million or so dissenters would make the world a better place.  Eugenicists and racial cleansers the world over agree that someone must go.  They just can’t agree who.
Jihadists want infidels to eat dirt.  Uncle Sam thinks that he can remake the world in his image if only he kills enough “bad guys”.  Progressive pie slicers always opt for less pie eaters as opposed to bigger pies. 
Why, you ask, am I going down this rabbit hole?  Here’s why.
This Saturday I will be at a gathering of libertarian friends. I know that I will be asked to sign a petition supporting New Jersey’s “Death With Dignity Act”.  I will refuse.
Believe me, I am 100% sincere when I say that the Violence Monopoly (a.k.a. The State) has no business intervening between physician and patient.  Nor can the VM regulate suicide.  People will exit life if they really want to go.  Two of my favorite writers, Ernest Hemmingway and Hunter Thompson, took their own lives as did Kurt Cobain, one of my favorite musicians.
“So it goes” as Kurt Vonnegut would say.
However, I am opposed to having positive laws on the books which open the door for a death economy. 
The death economy is that protocol that treats death as the most cost effective treatment option.  In Mark Levin’s book, Liberty and Tryanny, he recounts the story of Barbara Wagner, an Oregonian suffering from recurring lung cancer.  Her doctor recommended a drug that was not on the formulary of Oregon’s state run health care system.  The state insurance refused her drug request because of high cost.  Yet it generously offered to kill her.  They could afford that.  Of course, killing people is what the VM does best.
During the Obamacare debates we heard plenty about “death panels”.  Well, here we have one.  It is quite reasonable to assume that if assisted suicide is offered to one, it must be offered to all, whether they can afford or not.  If they cannot, suicide will surely be paid for with my tax dollars.  I object to paying for killing.

I also question the whole “voluntary” notion of assisted suicide.  It sounds high minded and libertarian indeed.  But, oftentimes, social coercion goes a long way into pushing people into unwanted decisions.
Allow me to shift gears for a moment to another area of life and death choice, abortion.  Often it is not as “voluntary” as it may seem.  I offer two anecdotes to illustrate how supposedly “free” choices are forced or at least unduly influenced.
The first story is that of a lady I know who was married with four children.  She became pregnant with a fifth and her husband would not stand for it.  He told her to have an abortion or the marriage was over.  Stunned, she meekly submitted.  He dropped her off for the procedure and picked her up later in the day.  The trauma of that experience destroyed her marriage and propelled her into years of emotional and behavioral problems before she finally found healing and peace.  The abortion was never her choice.
An old college roommate works in an inner city pediatric clinic.  Every day they see children, 14, 15, 16 years old, pregnant with other children.  The protocol is to bum rush them to the abortionist because that is the low cost treatment option.  Is this really “choice”?
Getting back to assisted suicide, how many people would rather see their elderly dependents dead
rather than putting in thankless hours taking care of them?  How many younger folks would rather see the older folks dead rather than frittering away their inheritance in an assisted living facility?  Once again, death becomes the low cost option.
In a libertarian world, right to death legislation would be unnecessary because people would have the right to buy and consume anything that they please.  However, in a world of statist and corporatist healthcare, death becomes the low cost option and people will surely be pushed into it.
As they stand now, Death with Dignity laws only apply to physical suffering.  But isn’t mental and emotional suffering just as real, just as bad if not worse?  For many, life is not worth living following the loss of a loved one, heartbreak, career implosions or financial ruin.  Do you think that emotional sufferers will not insist on painless assisted suicide?  Is it not a right?  And will we not pay for it and be happy because it is the low cost treatment option?
Murray Rothbard held that a human being could not sell him or herself into slavery.  To do so would be to alienate free will.  If free will is what makes us human, then “voluntary” slaves will have forfeited their humanity which, he maintains, is impossible. 
Life is a higher order good than free will.  Without life there can be no free will, hence no humanity.
This bring is back to Lord Keynes.  “In the long run we are all dead”.  By opting for the death solution we opt for the low cost solution to humankind’s issues by eliminating humankind.
You may retort that my reasoning is wildly speculative and fantastic.  But I will insist that all “humanitarian” statist endeavors are cancers.  They start out small, even microscopic, and the metastasize into something deadly and out of control.

Related Posts:

The Diminished Value of Human Beings in the Dependency State
Getting F***ed By Statists (Literally)
Poking Holes in the “Anti-War” Left

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