June 17, 2021

Are Lying and Cultural Division Inherent to Democracy?

In this episode we discuss the power of lying to destroy a society and ways citizenship as a concept can be revised to avoid this.

ON THIS EPISODE OF THE BEST MEDICINE PODCAST

Our Guest: Andrew the Medical Assistant

Hello everyone! Welcome to another installment of “BEST MEDICINE.”

Today I’m beginning another recurring segment. 

A few weeks back I featured a political discussion with my good friend and medical assistant Andrew.

We both enjoyed that so much that we’ve decided to do them multiple times per month. 

In these talks I hope to explore contemporary issues, politics (both real and theoretical).

My goal is not merely to complain about things I don’t like, but to identify the principles of why institutions in America have failed. Eventually we may hit the bedrock principles of how things might be improved in fundamental ways.


A World of Lies

Today we’re discussing the nature of lying in the market and the commons, and the relationship of lying to citizenship. 

I’ve recently been studying the work of Curt Doolittle, founder of Propertarianism

This has inspired me to examine the question “What are the qualifications of citizenship.”

I think the founding fathers were much closer to the idea of citizenship requirements than we are today in ONE key way - property ownership.

I certainly do not think women and non-whites should be barred from voting, citizenship or any other social good, to be clear - that would be absurd. 

Jordan Peterson has become very popular in recent years for his dictum “clean your room.” It’s meant to mean “If you cant figure your own life out, you have no business trying to tell others what to do with their lives.”

The founding fathers had the same idea (as did many civilizations in history, such as Greece and Rome). If you can not manage a home, farm or business adequately then why should your opinion about managing a city, state or nation matter?

Of course in the founding of America, non-whites were subject to immense violence and prejudice that prevented them from owning property, either in law or practicality. Today, those circumstances are thankfully different. 

With no ownership of your own life, you become a dependent of the state. Yet, your vote matters as much as someone who contributes to the state. This makes no sense.

The two fundamental problems with the way citizenship work today are:

  1. Dependents and Producers are given equal voting power, but the rising amount of dependents perpetually changes the incentives of politicians to turn our government into a lottery for certain voting blocs to gain free services, money, etc. This is done regardless of strategic, economic or moral realities.
  2. No citizen has any sense of fair obligations upon turning 18 and gaining the right to vote. This means that voting is done selfishly and outside of the idea of national identity and group cohesion.

The ultimate result of this formulation is that lying becomes a necessity for both citizenry and institutional authority figures.

A world built on lies is a world none of us seek to live in.


Lying has become a necessity for institutional authority figures. A world built on lies is a world none of us seek to live in.
It is all of our responsibility to create a more honest world

The Problems with Democracy

As I pointed out above

The two fundamental problems with the way citizenship work today are:

  1. Dependents and Producers are given equal voting power, but the rising amount of dependents perpetually changes the incentives of politicians to turn our government into a lottery for certain voting blocs to gain free services, money, etc. This is done regardless of strategic, economic or moral realities.
  2. No citizen has any sense of fair obligations upon turning 18 and gaining the right to vote. This means that voting is done selfishly and outside of the idea of national identity and group cohesion.

I believe these problems can be solved without reverting to unfairly prejudiced or bigoted modes of operating. If those solutions are ever pragmatically approachable, they should be advocated heavily for. 

Plato observed in The Republic that in a wide open democracy, it is most likely a demagogue who appealed to the subjective biases of the mob would gain power, then use that power as a Tyrant against a weak government. (In a democracy every politician is out for themselves, and the people are fickle). 

Rule by the productive class is generally known as Timocracy, which is also very fairly criticized by Plato, Aristotle and many subsequent thinkers. 

Pure timocracy turns into rule by Corporate power, and then eventually a corrupt aristocracy.

But perhaps solving the second problem listed above can supplement Timocracy as well.

Right now when you turn 18, the only qualification for registering to vote is the possibility of jury duty once or twice in your life. Well, that, and the obligation to give the taxman money for stupid shit that won’t benefit you (if you’re a producer).

In Israel, everybody must complete 2 years of military service once they turn 18.  

Jon Stewart, someone I agree with very infrequently, noted that a version of that could be applied in America. I actually quite like this idea! Instead of mandatory military service, it should be some form of public service (which could include military). Peace Corps, community service, charity work for a church, more frequent jury duty, or becoming a grade school teacher’s assistant would all make for fine options. 

The common issue of only allowing the wealthy/property owners to vote is that eventually rich people live in a world where laws do not apply to them equally. 

By forcing ALL 18 year olds to engage in 2 years of public service, I believe that might shift that balance. 

Ultimately, citizenship and the right to have a say over other people’s lives should only be allotted to those who

  1. Have their own life paid for and managed effectively
  2. Understand something about the commons through service and experience

By not doing this we’ve turned the civic space into a web of lies.


My goal is not  to complain, but to identify the principles of why institutions in America have failed. Eventually we may hit the bedrock principles of how things might be improved in fundamental ways.
Politics must be about creating common good, not an endless rage-fueled battle

The Consequences of Lying

As I noted above, if unknowledgeable, dependent people are allowed to have a say over the functions of the state, then over time the state will begin to throw economics, ethics and geo-political strategy out the window to maintain it’s power by appeasing this mob with free stuff.

Some of the “free stuff” this mob wants is reasonable. For example, healthcare. 

As a doctor, I believe anyone should be able to see a doctor affordably. 

In fact, I think the insurance companies, medical schools, pharmaceutical companies and politicians have corrupted my industry nearly beyond repair. The end result of this is an unimaginable financial burden on normal people. 

This should be fixed. This is why I’ve created Wellspring. I believe you should be able to seek medical guidance from me for $50, get what you need, and be on your way. Why do giant corporations need to be involved in this relationship? 

Unfortunately, the drive to give healthcare away for free is something many in the government wish to claim for themselves. Republicans claim private health insurance corporations are the only way for normal people to receive care (these companies, by the way, have bought and controlled politicians for decades, and functionally are government entities). Democrats are only slightly more brazen, claiming that the government should cut the companies out (or absorb them), and supply the service themselves.

In reality, entrepreneurs and doctors can create cash-only solutions for many individual aspects of healthcare and market them through social media and search engines to people who need them. 

This is one example of how the mob and government are complicit in the destruction of incentives to actually solve a problem. 

The worst part of this, to me, is that politicians surely KNOW this. They are merely doing what they do best, lying (or, as some say “just doing their jobs”). 

I believe lying, through the media, marketing, government or even interpersonally should be much more harshly penalized. 

We already have some laws against lying. You may not falsely advertise, yell “fire” in a crowded room that’s perfectly safe, perjure yourself in court, or make things up on your taxes. 

However, the ultimate enforcement against lying will come interpersonally. There was once a time where if someone lied to you, betrayed you, or scammed you, you were within every right to settle the matter physically. 

I obviously do not endorse violence of any sort. I do believe that harsher consequences should be levied against liars and bullshit artists - particularly those in charge of our state and federal governments.

A vision of functional citizenship is one where citizens are self-sufficient and united in experience of helping the commons as a qualification to vote. Once they gain the right to vote, they must also uphold the continuing duty to ensure dishonesty is not injected into the system by institutional or individual bullshit artists.


IN CLOSING

Thank you for tuning in to this new segment.

I'm very interested in politics - but not for the reason you might think.

I have seen time and again how political and economic realities have literally altered the physical and mental health of my patients. 

The most obvious example being that many can not afford care. (Enter: Wellspring)

But there are much more insidious forms of abuse that most people put up with. 

Poor environmental regulations against corporations poison people. Raised taxes stress and burden homeowners and breadwinners. The lack of an honorable and honest American culture has mentally inundated everybody. The COVID-19 shutdowns caused many to turn to drugs, alcohol, or suicide.

Politics matters to me as a form of caring for my patients. And I believe that understanding philosophy is the bedrock for creating a good political system. This is what the founding fathers believed, and I feel the same way. If we can reach higher understanding in regards to the philosophical principles that will govern a just society, then I believe the end result will be a world where we are all healthier and happier.

Best

Dr Bradley Werrell


June 17, 2021

Are Lying and Cultural Division Inherent to Democracy?

In this episode we discuss the power of lying to destroy a society and ways citizenship as a concept can be revised to avoid this.

ON THIS EPISODE OF THE BEST MEDICINE PODCAST

Our Guest: Andrew the Medical Assistant

Hello everyone! Welcome to another installment of “BEST MEDICINE.”

Today I’m beginning another recurring segment. 

A few weeks back I featured a political discussion with my good friend and medical assistant Andrew.

We both enjoyed that so much that we’ve decided to do them multiple times per month. 

In these talks I hope to explore contemporary issues, politics (both real and theoretical).

My goal is not merely to complain about things I don’t like, but to identify the principles of why institutions in America have failed. Eventually we may hit the bedrock principles of how things might be improved in fundamental ways.


A World of Lies

Today we’re discussing the nature of lying in the market and the commons, and the relationship of lying to citizenship. 

I’ve recently been studying the work of Curt Doolittle, founder of Propertarianism

This has inspired me to examine the question “What are the qualifications of citizenship.”

I think the founding fathers were much closer to the idea of citizenship requirements than we are today in ONE key way - property ownership.

I certainly do not think women and non-whites should be barred from voting, citizenship or any other social good, to be clear - that would be absurd. 

Jordan Peterson has become very popular in recent years for his dictum “clean your room.” It’s meant to mean “If you cant figure your own life out, you have no business trying to tell others what to do with their lives.”

The founding fathers had the same idea (as did many civilizations in history, such as Greece and Rome). If you can not manage a home, farm or business adequately then why should your opinion about managing a city, state or nation matter?

Of course in the founding of America, non-whites were subject to immense violence and prejudice that prevented them from owning property, either in law or practicality. Today, those circumstances are thankfully different. 

With no ownership of your own life, you become a dependent of the state. Yet, your vote matters as much as someone who contributes to the state. This makes no sense.

The two fundamental problems with the way citizenship work today are:

  1. Dependents and Producers are given equal voting power, but the rising amount of dependents perpetually changes the incentives of politicians to turn our government into a lottery for certain voting blocs to gain free services, money, etc. This is done regardless of strategic, economic or moral realities.
  2. No citizen has any sense of fair obligations upon turning 18 and gaining the right to vote. This means that voting is done selfishly and outside of the idea of national identity and group cohesion.

The ultimate result of this formulation is that lying becomes a necessity for both citizenry and institutional authority figures.

A world built on lies is a world none of us seek to live in.


Lying has become a necessity for institutional authority figures. A world built on lies is a world none of us seek to live in.
It is all of our responsibility to create a more honest world

The Problems with Democracy

As I pointed out above

The two fundamental problems with the way citizenship work today are:

  1. Dependents and Producers are given equal voting power, but the rising amount of dependents perpetually changes the incentives of politicians to turn our government into a lottery for certain voting blocs to gain free services, money, etc. This is done regardless of strategic, economic or moral realities.
  2. No citizen has any sense of fair obligations upon turning 18 and gaining the right to vote. This means that voting is done selfishly and outside of the idea of national identity and group cohesion.

I believe these problems can be solved without reverting to unfairly prejudiced or bigoted modes of operating. If those solutions are ever pragmatically approachable, they should be advocated heavily for. 

Plato observed in The Republic that in a wide open democracy, it is most likely a demagogue who appealed to the subjective biases of the mob would gain power, then use that power as a Tyrant against a weak government. (In a democracy every politician is out for themselves, and the people are fickle). 

Rule by the productive class is generally known as Timocracy, which is also very fairly criticized by Plato, Aristotle and many subsequent thinkers. 

Pure timocracy turns into rule by Corporate power, and then eventually a corrupt aristocracy.

But perhaps solving the second problem listed above can supplement Timocracy as well.

Right now when you turn 18, the only qualification for registering to vote is the possibility of jury duty once or twice in your life. Well, that, and the obligation to give the taxman money for stupid shit that won’t benefit you (if you’re a producer).

In Israel, everybody must complete 2 years of military service once they turn 18.  

Jon Stewart, someone I agree with very infrequently, noted that a version of that could be applied in America. I actually quite like this idea! Instead of mandatory military service, it should be some form of public service (which could include military). Peace Corps, community service, charity work for a church, more frequent jury duty, or becoming a grade school teacher’s assistant would all make for fine options. 

The common issue of only allowing the wealthy/property owners to vote is that eventually rich people live in a world where laws do not apply to them equally. 

By forcing ALL 18 year olds to engage in 2 years of public service, I believe that might shift that balance. 

Ultimately, citizenship and the right to have a say over other people’s lives should only be allotted to those who

  1. Have their own life paid for and managed effectively
  2. Understand something about the commons through service and experience

By not doing this we’ve turned the civic space into a web of lies.


My goal is not  to complain, but to identify the principles of why institutions in America have failed. Eventually we may hit the bedrock principles of how things might be improved in fundamental ways.
Politics must be about creating common good, not an endless rage-fueled battle

The Consequences of Lying

As I noted above, if unknowledgeable, dependent people are allowed to have a say over the functions of the state, then over time the state will begin to throw economics, ethics and geo-political strategy out the window to maintain it’s power by appeasing this mob with free stuff.

Some of the “free stuff” this mob wants is reasonable. For example, healthcare. 

As a doctor, I believe anyone should be able to see a doctor affordably. 

In fact, I think the insurance companies, medical schools, pharmaceutical companies and politicians have corrupted my industry nearly beyond repair. The end result of this is an unimaginable financial burden on normal people. 

This should be fixed. This is why I’ve created Wellspring. I believe you should be able to seek medical guidance from me for $50, get what you need, and be on your way. Why do giant corporations need to be involved in this relationship? 

Unfortunately, the drive to give healthcare away for free is something many in the government wish to claim for themselves. Republicans claim private health insurance corporations are the only way for normal people to receive care (these companies, by the way, have bought and controlled politicians for decades, and functionally are government entities). Democrats are only slightly more brazen, claiming that the government should cut the companies out (or absorb them), and supply the service themselves.

In reality, entrepreneurs and doctors can create cash-only solutions for many individual aspects of healthcare and market them through social media and search engines to people who need them. 

This is one example of how the mob and government are complicit in the destruction of incentives to actually solve a problem. 

The worst part of this, to me, is that politicians surely KNOW this. They are merely doing what they do best, lying (or, as some say “just doing their jobs”). 

I believe lying, through the media, marketing, government or even interpersonally should be much more harshly penalized. 

We already have some laws against lying. You may not falsely advertise, yell “fire” in a crowded room that’s perfectly safe, perjure yourself in court, or make things up on your taxes. 

However, the ultimate enforcement against lying will come interpersonally. There was once a time where if someone lied to you, betrayed you, or scammed you, you were within every right to settle the matter physically. 

I obviously do not endorse violence of any sort. I do believe that harsher consequences should be levied against liars and bullshit artists - particularly those in charge of our state and federal governments.

A vision of functional citizenship is one where citizens are self-sufficient and united in experience of helping the commons as a qualification to vote. Once they gain the right to vote, they must also uphold the continuing duty to ensure dishonesty is not injected into the system by institutional or individual bullshit artists.


IN CLOSING

Thank you for tuning in to this new segment.

I'm very interested in politics - but not for the reason you might think.

I have seen time and again how political and economic realities have literally altered the physical and mental health of my patients. 

The most obvious example being that many can not afford care. (Enter: Wellspring)

But there are much more insidious forms of abuse that most people put up with. 

Poor environmental regulations against corporations poison people. Raised taxes stress and burden homeowners and breadwinners. The lack of an honorable and honest American culture has mentally inundated everybody. The COVID-19 shutdowns caused many to turn to drugs, alcohol, or suicide.

Politics matters to me as a form of caring for my patients. And I believe that understanding philosophy is the bedrock for creating a good political system. This is what the founding fathers believed, and I feel the same way. If we can reach higher understanding in regards to the philosophical principles that will govern a just society, then I believe the end result will be a world where we are all healthier and happier.

Best

Dr Bradley Werrell