ObamaCare as Cargo Cult

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Obama and Friend

 

Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish nails it:

Our modernity is style rather than substance. It’s Obama grinning. It’s the right font. It’s the right joke. It’s that sense that X knows what he’s doing because he presents it the right way. There’s nothing particularly modern about that. In most cultures, the illusion of competence trumps the real thing. It’s why so many countries are so badly broken because they go by appearances, rather than by results.

The idea that we should go by results, rather than by processes, by outcomes rather than by appearances, was revolutionary. For most of human history, we were trapped in a cargo cult mode. We did the “right things” not because they led to the right results, but because we had decided that they were the right things. There were many competent people, but they were hamstrung by rigid institutions that made it impossible to go from Point A to Point B in the shortest possible time.

And we’re right back there today. The entire process of ObamaCare was the opposite of going from Point A to Point B. It was the least competent and efficient solution every step of the way. There was no reason to think that its website would be any better. The process that led to it being dumped on the American people was completely devoid of any notion of testing or outcomes. It was the right thing to do because… it was the right thing to do. It was cargo cult logic all the same. So was its website.

Healthcare.gov, like ObamaCare, was going to work because it was “good”. Its goodness was by some measure other than result. It was morally good. It was progressive. And so the deity of liberal causes, perhaps Karl Marx or Progressia, the Goddess of Soup and Economic Dysfunction, would see to it that it would work. Karma would kick in and everything would work out because it had to.

This brand of magical thinking was once commonplace. It still is. And it’s why things so rarely work out in some of the more messed up parts of the world. But the sort of attitude that would once have made anthropologists shake their heads is now commonplace here. Savages in suits, barbarians with iPads are certain that things will work because they have appeased the gods of modernity with their fonts, they have made a website that looks like a functioning website. And like the cargo culters who built fake control towers expecting planes to land, they thought that their website would work.

Competence is built on the unhappy understanding that things won’t work because you want them to, they won’t work if you go through the motions, they will only work if you understand how a thing works and then make it work by building it, by testing it and by expecting failure every step of the way and wrestling with the problem until you get it right.

Go here to read the brilliant rest.  ObamaCare is the culmination of an ever growing movement on the Left of a desire to transform reality to match ideology.  “If a man wants to call himself a woman, he is a woman.”  “A fetus is not a living human being unless the mother wants it to be.”  “Marriage should mean whatever we say it means.”  “You can keep your insurance plan, even while we mandate changes in those plans that will make it prohibitively expensive for any insurance company to offer them.”  Unfortunately for fans of unicorns and pixie dust everywhere, in this Vale of Tears reality always wins in the end.  Devotees of the substitute religion known as modern liberalism will view that statement as heresy, but reality gives not a fig for their anathemas.

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. Hah I was JUST about to email this link to you. Especially as one who works as a “fixer” of stuff in a day job, this article really spoke to me. It also brought to mind say… Mark Shea’s post way back when on biometric guns. How did he respond? Why almost like a voodoo priest: chanting a mantra and excommunicating unbelievers.

    In fact not just him, but several believers (protestant and catholic alike) I’ve noticed have this belief:

    Healthcare.gov, like ObamaCare, was going to work because it was “good”. Its goodness was by some measure other than result. It was morally good. It was progressive. And so the deity of liberal causes, perhaps Karl Marx or Progressia, the Goddess of Soup and Economic Dysfunction, would see to it that it would work. Karma would kick in and everything would work out because it had to.

    The only catch is that they believe God will work it out (and we do know He’s real). How can you respond to such? How can you even have a debate? “X won’t work.” “X will work! It’s good and God will make it work!”

    As someone who’s watched far better people than me pass on way too early, I doubt them. If God won’t preserve the best of us from the trials and mortality of this life, why would He preserve our foolish plans?

  2. Don, if you’re ever around, you’ll have to let me buy you a drink. 😉

    You’re spot on of course. It’s just… one wonders how to even suggest that idea to people. Heck I’ve seen even where people might get it, they then retaliate with something like “Well we’re called to die for our Lord.”

    …REALLY? Not only has (apparently) God called us to be dumb, but now martyrs? I think He told us to die if necessary, not to seek it out.

    Actually it calls to mind that joke about the guy waiting for God’s help during a flood. (who here knows it?) Only now it seem less of a joke and more the S.O.P. of many Christians.

  3. TMLutas also has a great examination over just HOW BAD this thing is. (and as someone who has written website code in the past, I can assure you: it’s even worse than you think)

  4. obma messing everything up, when him and his wife sign up i will think about it. dont screw with our constatution, i have rights and a lawyer. we should all think about what we want, not what some guy in office for 8 years wants, i have the freedom to pick what i want and i will. after he leaves how much money will he make per year off the american people, and in 5 years how much will i pay then can obama tell us that no he can not.

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