My following article below was originally published by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET):
“Everybody’s private motto: It’s better to be popular than right…” I’ve grown increasingly unfavorable toward the term Big Pharma. Despite our best of efforts among the progressive and revolutionary left in recognizing Big Pharma as a by-product of capital bureaucracy among the healthcare industry, the term has become completely diluted with leftist conspiracy theorism.
You cannot go into a single demonstration today, shout out against Big Pharma, without gathering a large crowd of pseudo-scientists who adhere to the “appeal to nature” logical fallacy as a result.
Big Pharma has become a popular term among those who adhere to lifestyle politics. They adhere to pseudo-scientific ideals of remaining “pure with nature” through means of alternative “medicine”. When the term is culminated, per se, among leftist demonstrations, subsequent screams can be heard against vaccines and claims of adamancy that the cure for cancer is being withheld from the general public through some large scientist-doctor joint conspiracy – not to mention the occasional holding of hands in collective meditation to counter against bad corporate juju.
The pseudo-science of the left is increasingly becoming aware. Where many notice anti-science among the right, whether it be against evolution, climate change, the denial of one’s sexual orientation, abortions, or stem cell research, the left is equally flooded in anti-science, whether it be against vaccinations, nuclear energy,GMOs, the adherence to alternative “medicines”, the promotion of shady “science” in opposition to animal testing for medical purposes, etc. etc. Both political spheres adhere to pseudo-science, or the complete denial of science altogether.
Whether it be Big Pharma, Big Brother, Big Ag, or the faint – albeit growing – whisper of Big Data, the anti-science movement is a dangerous one. And our denial of their existence is just as, if not more, harmful. Our reliance on such simplistic terminology – i.e. Big Pharma – leaves us vulnerable to infiltration. And I’m not talking about the infiltration of Federal agents either. But rather the infiltration of Luddism. I don’t know what suitable term could serve as an alternative to Big Pharma, but one is needed I believe.
I will not tell you to not listen to your nurses and doctors. I will not tell you to skip your vaccinations in fear of some loony conspiracy theory. And I will certainly not tell you that you’re likely to live longer with greater reliance on alternative “medicines” – homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, chelation therapy, etc. etc. etc. etc.! – rather than actual, conventional, evidence-based medicine. No. Instead, my wish is in organizing people to fight against bureaucratic policies by private insurance companies, in the pursuit of acquiring the best medical care possible. My wish is in achieving the long-term goal of winning a single-payer healthcare system, but only through means of advancing current medical coverage to everyone, not scaring them away in the pursuit of negligible, pseudo-scientific “therapies”.
If that makes me an agent of Big Pharma, then so be it.