Sicko


I watched Michael Moore's film Sicko last night. And it struck a few chords with me, so the whole of this blog will be in reference to that film, so if you haven't seen it, then there won't be too much point reading on.

Now obviously I don't pay for films, so I found a pirate copy uploaded to Google Video right here. I'll embed a copy of it below. However I found the Google player to be somewhat temperamental, so I just downloaded it as a Flash file (using the Firefox add-on Download Helper. One of the many reasons that Firefox is so much better than IE.) and played it using Media Player Classic, a part of the K-Lite Codec Pack.

And if all of that sounds too complicated, and you're a person whom doesn't mind actually paying for stuff, then Movie Berry is one of those sites (probably Russian), that will sell you a film for a fraction of what you will pay on the high-street. So about 1-2 dollars.

Anyway, I'll try embedding a copy here from Google video. Though I'm sure it'll get taken down before too long due to copyright infringement or something gay like that, so it may not be here forever.

So anyway, the rest of this blog will be referring to some of the points that Sicko raises. So probably not much point reading on if you haven't seen it yet.


Well the first thing to say, is don't buy into all that crap about Canada's health system being so great. Did you notice how that woman had to use a fake address in Canada to get any help? Well you try going to a hospital over here when you aren't a Canadian. You are, treated the same as everyone is treated down in the States. You can't pay? You will be turfed out onto the streets.

So I'd love to ask the question to Canada, of how come they can come over to the UK. Or over to France. Or even down to Cuba, and get free medical help. Get anything they need if they're sick. Get air-lifted to hospital from the side of a mountain if that is what the circumstances require, all free of charge. Yet I injured my knee in Canada. I needed medical help, but didn't go to the hospital due to the automatic $400 charge just for walking into the hospital unannounced. I had to wait 6 days until I had the time to see a GP, where it would cost me $75 rather than $400. 6 days of hobbling around on a knee twice the size of the other one any without any working ligaments. And after all of that, all he pretty much said, was "Oh. You need to go to the hospital." I could have told him that. But once I had his word for it, it didn't cost me $400 to walk through the door.

So I have to ask why they can justify treating foreigners like that, when if any Canadian needed the same treatment I needed in England, it wouldn't have cost them a penny. Where's the moral justification there? Because they have the free treatment here. For a Canadian citizen, it's free. So why do I then have to pay for it here, when it'd be free for a Canadian in the UK. Seems a bit rich of them if you ask me. I'm still pissed about having to go 6 days without seeing anyone, just to save some money. That just demonstrates the character of Canada that I'm beginning to see at the moment. They're all smiles a lot of the time. But as soon as you ask for anything from them, they will never help. That smile is all a mask just hiding the selfishness that is Canada!

Anyway, that's the end of my anti-Canada rant for this blog. It just goes to emphasise a point I first made in the last blog entry.

Now if you've read my blogs before, then you'll know that I'm no fan of capitalism. And I've tried, probably somewhat unsuccessfully to demonstrate why that is. Well I thought this film was a perfect example of the flaws in the capitalist system.

I will admit that capitalism is good for one thing however. Innovation and development. Developments in medicine, are so prolific, quite simply because people can profit from them. If there was not that requirement to develop the latest drugs in pursuit of profit, then medical advances would have been far less profound.

But did you notice in this film, who the real beneficiaries to this development were? Was it the American's, where much of this development takes place? Or was it the Cuban's, the French, and the British? The yanks went to Cuba and ended up paying pennies for a little inhaler that would cost over $100 in the US. So the cost of buying those in a large quantity, could be at the sacrifice of a car perhaps. Of an education maybe. Maybe those payments led to you missing a payment on your house. Maybe even getting you evicted. No, the Yanks aren't benefiting from this. They're paying a high mark-up to use these products. It's the other countries citizens who will really gain.

So I have to ask something. The real gainers from the capitalist research, are those operating in the socialist system. And with the US the biggest advocate of capitalism, I have to ask what's stopping every other country from then operating other industries in a socialist manner. Because the US is determined to continually develop and innovate industries in a capitalist system. So they will fund all of the research and development necessary to quickly develop these industries. And I've said in many occasions in the past, that the successful organism, is the organism that adapts. That adapts to it's surroundings. And that "organism" might be a person, it might be an animal, but it could even be a country. And the country that adapts to manipulate their surroundings, will be the country that provides the greatest quality of life for its citizens. And with so many countries in the world, most notably the US, competing with each other to innovate new products as quickly as possible, then the country that adopts a socialist ideology, will be the country that gains.

They may be viewed as leeches. But a country could let the US incur all of the costs of innovation. And simply adopt all of their innovations, in a socialist manner. Meaning that quality of life is high for all. Not just the people who can afford to buy, and the people who will profit, from these innovations. The honour of being a country that helps the world develop, may have value to some people. But I'd rather live in a society of affluence than a society of honour. Honour will not bring people in off the streets. So if the US is so determined to inflict capitalism on the world, then the country that manipulates and steals from that, will be the country that gains. No?

Because in capitalism, there are a few winners, and many, many, losers. Because in capitalism, only a few will get rich. And as I've demonstrated in the past, wealth is a relative commodity. You are only rich or poor, in comparison to those around you. So as those few get richer and richer, the many, get poorer and poorer.

And I found Tony Benn's comments on this to be fascinating. Any level of an intelligent community is impossible to govern. Because intelligent people would not stand for this level of discrimination. But keep the people dumb, and they will accept what you tell them. Which is exactly why the US is the most prominent capitalist country in the world. They've kept the people really, really, dumb. And it's the same thing in Canada. At all hours of the day in the cities here, you walk past people sleeping on the streets. They're as regular as bus-stops. Whilst others in this country live in affluence. And it's only because the people have been kept so dumb, that they let the rich few get away with it. The same deal in the UK, although not to such a great extent.

And you know it pains me to say anything positive about French people, but of those countries depicted in this film, it is the French who are closest to a perfect society. Their government is scared of the people. So they act in the interest of the people. That, is democracy. That, is democracy that works. Democracy that doesn't work, is what I normally refer to over here. Or in the US. Or in the UK. And that, is every 4 years, getting a choice of two, and putting an [x] in a box. In the states, you can choose democratic, or republican. And that is your say. You have no other voice. The same in the UK. You can choose labour or conservative. We, the people, didn't want a war in Iraq. But we got one anyway. We, the people, don't want ID cards. But we're getting them anyway. And why is the government able to get away with this? Because the people don't stand up for themselves. This is a perfect demonstration of the failings of democracy. When the will of the people is regularly ignored by government, then that is a perfect demonstration of a failing democracy.

It pains me to say, that France has the best working society. Now I still don't agree with democracy. I don't think that I ever will. However, if we are going to insist on adopting a democracy, then it has to be one that works. Which means that government cannot continually act against the will of the people. That just goes to demonstrate that democracy in the UK, and in the US, is failing.

And what I also have to ask, is why, if capitalism is so great, do we not use a capitalist system for out most important services? Why not have a capitalist police service? 3 different services, you subscribe with the best one. Or why not a capitalist fire department? 3 departments, you subscribe with the best one? Why not capitalist hospitals? Oh wait... they tried that in the US. Because what seems clear to me right now, is that despite governments insistance that capitalism and the market is the best thing since sliced bread, they refuse to use this system for any important services.

This film demonstrates that socialist medical systems of the UK, France and Cuba, are many times better than the capitalist medical system in the US. The people in these countries live longer (though that's probably as much as anything due to the amount of American's being morbidly obese than anything else). Yet in the US, the people of the police service, are hailed as heroes. And the people of the fire service, they're hailed as heroes as well. They are what's great about America. But they operate, in a socialist system. The capitalist medical system on the other hand, is surrounded by controversy and failure. So I have to ask, why this big push for capitalism?

Is it because politicians can be bought off? Because as much as there's a reluctance to accept it, the only people who gain from capitalism, are the rich few. The masses lose out. That is the realities of capitalism. And I've never held our esteemed politicians in the highest regard. Afterall, those whom are too intelligent to get involved in politics are sentenced to a lifetime being governed by those less intelligent than they are. They are not clever people to put it bluntly. A world where George Bush can become the leader should go to demonstrate that. So are they too dumb to see the failings of capitlism? Or are they being bought out? And are the people too dumb to see it as well? Spending the Winter in the cold after the energy companies have bumped up prices, whilst at the same time announcing multi-billion pound profits. And the people just stand by and let it happen.

People being told that this is the best way to do things, whilst at the same time, all of our important services are run by a socialist system. If capitlism really is the best way of doing things, then why not have it for all services. I have to put it out there on the back of watching this film, that we're very effectively having the wool pulled over our eyes, so that the few can profit whilst the many suffer.

Because if our hospitals are effectively run in a socialist manner. And out police force is effectively run in the same way. And our fire service also, then I have to ask, what other services should be?

Our medical system is run this way so that no one is left without medical help, when they need it. But yet we have many, many homeless. So why isn't the housing industry run the same way? Because surely, shelter is as important as medical help? No? Probably even more important. Why isn't housing run in the manner of the NHS, in that people in need, will get help. No matter their status. And how about food? There are a lot of hungry people out there as well. Why isn't our food industry run in a manner that whomever needs food, gets food. Because you would think that food and shelter are surely more important than medicine. Yet anyone can have access to medicine. But we have hungry homeless people on the street.

And then you have to take it further. Telecoms companies make vast, vast, profits on services now deemed essential to everyday life. You cannot fill out most application forms without a phone number for example. And Internet is now necessary for everything. I use it nearly everyday. And yet people profit from this as well. So why can't these services be state run too? The Thatcher era of privatise everything, doesn't look too sweet to me now. Because if capitalism really is the best way of doing things, then I have to ask why none of the most important services are operated that way. The only place where an emergency service is opertated in a capitalist system, is medical, in the US. And if you watched this movie, then that should be a demonstration of how ineffective that it.

Because there truly are very few winners in capitalism. The few who get rich, whilst the many whom suffer. And yet it is gleefully forced upon us, for the selfish to gain. Having private jets and private yachts. Where as a socialist society would have used that money to cure people with disease and bring homeless people in off the street. Which is the better investment? Should the rich be given more? Or should we give to the people in need?

Because I'm really looking at this as the biggest cover-up in history. People in their billions, fooled into buying into capitalism, just so a few can get rich. Sound feasible?

Now I've made statements very similar to this in the past. And I'm not saying that every single industry should be state owned. But I think that every industry that is deemed necessary to live a "normal" life in today's society, should be in the control of the people. It should not be in control of people whom will manipulate it for profit. So telecoms, should be in the power of the people. Energy, should be in the power of the people. Food, should be in the power of the people. Luxury items can be traded in a capitalist world. Every person should have access to a basic cell phone in today's world for example. But there's nothing stopping Apple inventing the iPhone however. It's just that the bottom rung, should not be that you don't have a phone. The bottom rung, should be that you have a shit phone.

The same with Internet. Every person should have access to it. Then if you have the money to pay more for a better service, then you can have that option. There should never be the possibility that you should be left with no Internet though. That's the way that I'm seeing things. Use capitalism to luxurise, if that's a word. But all necessary amenities of food, shelter, medicine, telecoms etc., should be available to every person, no matter their status or wealth, in at least a basic form. That's the way I see things. And I've said that before. But this film just allowed me to reach that conclusion in a different manner.

Or do we want to be peoples, who just leave our weakest to die? We can be people who help those in need. Or we can be people who turn our back to them. That is the dilemma right now. And as we are in our capitlist society, there are many, many people living on the streets. And we allow this, why? To allow those people at the top to buy another luxury yacht?

The Tony Benn interview in this film I found absolutely fascinating. And perhaps we never see any real improvements in our schooling system, because government knows that intelligent people would never stand for this. Perhaps that is why.

This film didn't really open my eyes to anything I've never said or thought before. But it refreshed my perspective and made me get to the same conclusions in a different way. Credit to Michael Moore. Although I'm sure this film will be rejected in the States. Afterall, if anyone says anything anti-government or anti-capitlism, they won't accept it. It's why the government there can get away with so much. The people are just too dumb. And that may sound harsh, but that's the reality of the situation. The more a government can get away with, the dumber are it's people. Which doesn't rank the British people much higher than the Yanks. And it really pains me to say, that on this evidence, France is leaps and bounds ahead in the operation of it's society. That is something that I never thought that I'd say.

And you have to wonder how long this will go for. There has to be a time that the people evolve enough that there intelligence increases, and they rise up. There has to, you would think, be a point that the people say, enough is enough. Having the views of the people ignored by government clearly demonstrates a failing democracy. And you have to ask how long until there is a revoltion. Are we really so dumb that this can go on indefinitely? Perhaps naively, I hope not.


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