I’m not sure why people are working so hard to prevent Socialized Medicine in the United States. Socialized Medicine will probably be cheaper and it is almost certainly inevitable.
On the other hand, I have no idea why other people are so passionate about ushering in the era of Socialized Medicine more quickly. I guess they don’t understand that government control of health care will absolutely lead to horrible unintended consequences.
I am not an anarchist. I’m not even a Libertarian. It’s just a simple fact of history that government dehumanizes, destroys individuals,and performs important tasks poorly.
Stanley Kubrick’s insanely great drama “Paths of Glory”is a passionate anti-government movie cleverly disguised as an anti-war movie.
The story takes place at and behind the front lines of the Western Front in 1916. The Great War is at a stalemate. But French Commander Broulard has decided that it is time to make a big move and take the Ant Hill: a heavily fortified German position. From the confines of his luxurious chateau,over cocktails, Broulard dangles a promotion in front of ambitious General Mireau if his men can take the Ant Hill.
The actual attack is left in the hands of our hero Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas). Dax and his men try their best but are forced to retreat before they even make it halfway through No Man’s Land.
Gen. Mireau is enraged by his career setback. To save face, he orders three random soldiers to be tried for cowardice and executed. Sounds crazy, but this was based on a real incident in WWI France.
Stanley Kubrick is the greatest director in cinema history, hands down. “Paths of Glory” is both his least artsy film and his most deceptively sophisticated.
Kubrick shows us that high-level government officials make important policy decisions based on ambition, vanity, and media pressure. And lower-level bureaucrats, though they are perfectly good people, follow the idiotic orders that they are told.
When Kubrick wrote the script, unelected bureaucrat J. Edgar Hoover was one of the most powerful and destructive men in America. And the CIA had recently begun its reign of election-rigging terror in weaker countries around the world.
At the military tribunal, Colonel Dax tries in vain to defend the three accused soldiers. Kubrick argues forcefully that most court cases are pre-determined show trials where government officials destroy the lives of powerless men. And they do so with a self-righteous smirk on their faces because they actually believe they are administering justice.
The bittersweet ending of “Paths of Glory” is powerful and memorable. The remaining soldiers of Dax’s battalion are treated to a show by a beautiful German woman who has been captured.
At first, the excited soldiers leer and hoot and humiliate the young woman. But then she starts singing. She sings the German version of “Johnny Comes Marching Home.” The French soldiers are won over by her earnestness and the emotion of the song. They begin to hum along, with tears in their eyes.
Kubrick’s startling point is that the enemy of these doomed French soldiers is not Germany. It is France. Their own leaders will happily kill them to keep themselves in power. Or for no reason at all.
Again, I am no revolutionary. By historical standards, our government is pretty darn good. But that does not mean that I want to give Washington more power and responsibility.
And to those who are eager to begin the era of Socialized Medicine: you do know that bureaucrats are going to make our healthcare system worse, right? It is completely inevitable. Government performs important tasks poorly.