Via Forbes.com, a charmingly fatuous criticism: The Lancet Tries To Get Socialism Via The Public Health Route. Click through for the whole thing plus links. Excerpt:
The Lancet, something that used to be a very good magazine for doctors about medicine seems to be transforming itself into the vanguard of the new revolution. That’s certainly what their “from public to planetary heath: a manifesto” reads as, a method of imposing socialism once again but this time using the arguments of public health. You can read the whole thing here and sign up to it if you care to. I’ll not be of course, regarding it as a very thinly veiled attempt to impose policies that we already know lead to human immiseration.
To take issue with certain parts of what is being demanded:
The discipline of public health is critical to this vision because of its values of social justice and fairness for all, and its focus on the collective actions of interdependent and empowered peoples and their communities.
That’s an interesting distortion of what public health is usually taken to mean. Which is more about the health of the public than any bleatings about social justice and fairness. For example, the victory over smallpox, the one we’ve nearly achieved over polio, these are very definitely public health measures to stamp out communicable disease through vaccination. They’re not though about social justice nor fairness, not unless we’re extending the meaning of those phrases to the absurd point of claiming that they mean we’d rather people didn’t die of something we can prevent.
Our patterns of overconsumption are unsustainable and will ultimately cause the collapse of our civilisation.
This simply isn’t true. But it is very much an accepted statement over in the miasma that covers the Green left. It just isn’t so that “overconsumption” is either unsustainable nor that it threatens our civilisation. There are most certainly particular environmental problems, entirely true, from carbon emissions through to over fishing.
But these are specific technical problems, not a reason that we must curb the entirety of our civilisation. And, as above, given that public health is about vaccinations and making sure that the drains work then what on Earth does it have to do with our being a globally capitalist society? For that is what that complaint about “overconsumption” boils down to usually.
We have created an unjust global economic system that favours a small, wealthy elite over the many who have so little.
That’s so clearly a political statement rather than a public health one that it’s almost a pity to point it out. And it’s worth noting that this global capitalism that is being complained about seems to be doing a pretty good job of producing an upturn in the lives of those with so little.
Perhaps The Lancet hasn’t noticed that the last 30 years have brought about the greatest reduction in absolute poverty in the history of our entire species? Including, for this is what reducing poverty means, allowing those no longer poor to do a bit more of that overconsuming.
I think it's safe to predict that any attempt to establish real public health on a global scale, since it entails a degree of social and economic equality, is going to get the same corporate response handed out to climate science in recent years.