One particular narrative currently being circulated supporting vaccine mandates is that unvaccinated people will cause an undue strain on the healthcare program because they are more likely to contract covid-19 and take up hospital mattresses that could be used for other people.
Most probably, by “ other people” they mean those who had taken the vaccine like these were told to do.
This sentiment seems to be at the rear of statements like the one in the recent Washington Article opinion content that “ [t]he unvaccinated are usually killing people in ways they will probably never imagined . ” It also seems to be behind the decision of about seventy-five doctors in Florida to phase a “ symbolic walkout” to “ protest a surge in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients . ”
The glance through any social networking platform will likely turn up more of this narrative that unvaccinated people will cripple the US healthcare system.
This narrative is ultimately being used by followers of vaccine mandates to paint anyone who declines in order to fall in line with their desires regarding vaccination as not only dangerous, but immoral.
The Implied Assumption That Healthcare Is a Public Resource
Those who oppose mandates appear to possess a strong argument that, if the vaccines work, the vaccinated should have no need to force others to be vaccinated as well. The burdens of being unvaccinated will certainly fall on the shoulders of the unvaccinated, so no reason exists to require them to do differently.
In response, many of those seeking to impose vaccine mandates have taken up the argument that the unvaccinated will certainly still harm society merely by putting undue strain within the healthcare system when they undoubtedly fall ill in droves. This particular group claims that failing to be vaccinated represents the needless exhaustion of scarce healthcare resources and is therefore an unethical choice.
Even if true, and there are reasons to be suspicious of it, this is merely a utilitarian argument, but somehow they have managed to transform into a ethical one in many people’s eyes. How has this occurred?
We typically do not view someone purchasing a service as injuring others just because he leaves a little less of it behind for everyone otherwise, as all human exercise would be unethical by that standard. Most people would just view this as dishonest if it involved consuming resources belonging to someone else . For this reason, in order to cast the act of being unvaccinated because unethical, healthcare resources should be viewed as a communal great, i. electronic. , as resources that will belong to society collectively rather than to the individuals who produce or buy them. Individuals who get ill do not merely buy medicine, they use up medicine that belongs in order to everyone else.
Which our political elites already hold something like this collective mindset toward healthcare is no secret, the US president lately scolding that “ our patience is wearing slim ” with the unvaccinated and their personal medical choices.
Communal Attitudes to Healthcare Create False Moral Claims about Its Use
If the average person can be habituated to adopt this communal mindset toward healthcare resources, it could then be wielded being a moral bludgeon against anyone dissenting from the mandates of the community’s leaders. This intended collective ownership of health care resources implies the right associated with society to control how individuals use those resources. Those found wasting the community’s sources are to be disdained as its opponents.
The regarding emotion around the subject associated with healthcare during a pandemic can only push this tendency more. Panicked members of modern society can be more easily convinced that others are morally obligated to preserve those communal healthcare resources at the expense of all various other considerations.
Thus members of society visit vilify an individual’s simple function of considering alternatives and weighing the costs and advantages to himself. It is not appropriate that a person use his own judgment to determine what intervention will be in his own curiosity; he is required to concede to the collective judgment plus adopt whatever medical interventions society deems best— not what society deems great for his personal health, yet what it deems best for culture as a collective whole.
The primary problem with this characterization is that it just isn’t genuine that healthcare is a “ communal resource” in this sense. Healthcare resources are simply these medical materials and solutions individuals are willing to provide to purchasers who are willing to pay money for them (artificial state applications like Medicare notwithstanding).
Thousands of individuals make healthcare decisions and purchase medical services for themselves such as this every day. But the average person will not see each individual doing these items for himself. He sees only the net a result of those thousands of actions taking place day after day, resulting in the “ healthcare system” as we know it. It is something akin to a mass delusion that this assortment of interconnected individual actions is conflated in the minds of several as a collective entity.
Ludwig von Mises dealt with the idea of collective social systems adroitly in Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis . Mises addressed the lengthy history of intellectual thought in which it was assumed some external purpose imbued society along with something like a personhood from the own. But early thinkers were naï ve that the existence of interconnected societies is only made possible once individuals start to engage in a division associated with labor. It is this action by individuals, explainable entirely by way of a desires to serve their own individual ends, that is responsible for the particular advancement of societies. Mises says that “ the primitive thinker always sees things as having been structured from outside, never as having grown themselves, organically” (p. 296).
Instead, Mises teaches that society is the result of many people acting independently and under your own accord for their own interests. Cooperation is therefore required, not really by force, but because this cooperation is the means by which man may cause another to complete something voluntarily that benefits him. “ Society is available only where willing turns into a co-willing and action co-action. To strive jointly toward aims which alone individuals could not reach at all, delete word with equal effectiveness— that is society. ” (p. 297)
The collective view stands opposed to this understanding of society:
The collectivist motion of the present day derives its strength not from an inner want on the part of modern scientific thought but in the political will of an epoch which yearns after Romanticism and Mysticism. Spiritual movements are revolts of believed against inertia, of the couple of against the many; of those that because they are strong in soul are strongest alone towards those who can express themselves only in the mass and the mob, and who are significant just because they are numerous. Collectivism could be the opposite of all this, often the weapon of those who wish to kill mind and thought. (p. 64)
Almost one hundred years after this writing, the collectivist elements in our societies seem even more eager to crush mind and thought than before. Today, the threat of moral condemnation for anyone daring to question their directives on vaccination is just one more instrument they have adapted for this purpose.