Sunday, September 16, 2007

The biggest social problem

Gian Turci of Forces International - Italy

Gian Turci
FORCES International

The biggest social problem today is not smoking, obesity or drinking. The fundamental problem is what almost everyone seems to overlook: institutional incompetence and corruption. So widespread is the problem, in fact, that most people take it as sort of “normal”, because any ethical and moral standard to measure it against has been utterly obliterated. In the case of smoking the problem is even more obvious: scientifically unsound propaganda is used to systematically “educate” people with what amounts to plain and simple false information. That falsehood is used to forward an ideology and to create a mentality that justifies horrors and social frauds such as smoking being denied employment or medical care, as in the case I am linked to. It is quite obvious that we are talking about a breach of a social contract that, when it was established, did not include at all behaviour control as a condition to receive public care. What is even more upsetting is that the victims of this sour deal are not exonerated from the taxation imposed for delivering the services they do not receive. Would you pay tax to City Hall for garbage removal if the garbage man would remove the trash of your neighbour but not yours? The corruption and incompetence of national and international public health institutions has become so endemic that it has turned to both a policy and an ideology, whilst an immense construction of assumptions and scientifically unsubstantiated hypotheses is constantly passed as solid science to further those policies and ideology. Let’s quickly go to the foundations of that construction. If those foundations do not exist (never mind being on shaky grounds), the rest of the building can stand only with the help of external crutches: your public money. In spite of the big claims, we all know that not even one death can be scientifically demonstrated to be caused uniquely by smoking. Furthermore, it is scientifically impossible to quantify the contribution – if any – of smoking to that death or disease. Finally, there is no disease that is unique to smoking. There are only questionnaire-based interviews on the basis of which statisticians attribute causality to masses of individuals -- but without ever being able to establish the actual cause. We are talking about epidemiology – which, in fact and by definition, cannot establish causality. As people actually die of diseases (but, except for accidents, disease is always the cause of death), the causality of those diseases lies in the interaction of hundreds of un-measurable factors, of which one may be smoking. It follows that the number of “tobacco-related” deaths claimed anywhere in the world is incommensurable – differently than what happens, for example, for polio, malaria or TB. Then it follows that the “cost to society” of smokers is also incommensurable, since you cannot count the “tobacco-related” deaths or diseases in the first place. But then it follows that the “prevention” campaigns are trying to prevent something that is incommensurable at a very high and commensurable cost to the public. It also follows that cigarettes are taxed at high and commensurable levels to “prevent” incommensurable damages. The conclusion is that what is presented as “science” by media and health authorities (but it cannot be science because it can’t establish causality) wants to measure un-measurable costs and deaths while the cost of the politics due to the adoption of that junk science is totally measurable – in millions or billions. But there is an even more horrific conclusion which , for most people, seems to be psychologically unbearable: the institutions are lying to us – deliberately. But a deliberate lie is a crime – especially when it bears costs for society and when it is spoken and implemented by public institutions. Laws against false or misleading advertisement, fraud and misrepresentation exist in every country of the world. Private institutions that practice deception are punished, but clearly, public institutions are not. Politicians caught perpetrating those crimes are finished in all democratic countries, but politicians who practice systematic fraud and say that it is “for your health” are heroes. It follows that fraud is legitimate if the claim is that it’s good for you – although a "fraud that is good for you" is a moral and logical non sequitur. It follows that it is “fair” that children are told lies in schools and that people are taxed to death on the grounds of junk science – and also blamed for the non-deliverance of social contracts because the state says it is their fault. It follows that it is OK that people die and suffer because they are denied operations in hospitals. It follows that criminals who make it to the chairs of “public health” have the licence to offend because they say that what they do is good and that they are “helping” you. If you find something morally wrong in this logic, reflect on that instead of thinking that it is flawless and inescapable. Especially, do something substantial against it. Just a hint: writing petitions and crying from websites or newspaper columns just will not cut it – for crime has never been a democracy and could not care less about your opinion.