Saturday, December 20, 2008

Activism

In the coming year I hope to be much more vocal in the cultural debate, and have set myself goals of writing 12 editorials, 3 LTE's and 52 comments on public media websites by the end of 2009. (The editorial goal may prove to be too ambitious, but it seems better to set my sights too high rather than too low.)

I've joined Diana Hsieh's enormously helpful and motivational OActivists email list as an essential tool toward achieving these activism goals and would urge other like-minded people to do so too.

Via that list comes this story on the Massachusetts Health Care system being proposed as a model for a national system. In response I wrote the following LTE and comment:

LTE

I was initially dismayed to see a health care system which routinely destroys individual rights, increases costs and rations supply, lauded as a “model” for the nation to follow. (Mass. Health plan has national appeal, Dec 19). But my shock quickly wore off when I remembered how for decades the press uncritically lavished praise on Lenin and Stalin’s “noble experiment”. We all remember how that turned out, don’t we?

Comment:

I was initially dismayed to see a health care system which routinely destroys individual rights, increases costs and rations supply, lauded as a “model” for the nation to follow. But my shock quickly wore off when I remembered how for decades the press uncritically lavished praise on Lenin and Stalin’s “noble experiment”. We all remember how that turned out, don’t we?

PS For a more critical look at the Mass. system, see http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2008-fall/mandatory-health-insurance.asp

2 Comments:

Blogger Burgess Laughlin said...

Amit, congratulations on setting an ambitious but achievable goal in this area of your life. Goals should meet both requirements--ambition and achievability.

I have two questions. First, under "LTE," there seem to be two paragraphs, with one being a rewrite of the other. Was this a copy and paste error? (I am unsure what "comment" in the middle means.)

Second, have you decided to specialize in one field of political or intellectual activism--e.g., fighting monopoly medicine ("single-payer healthcare")?

If so, there are definite advantages: accumulation of specialized knowledge; development of stock terms, phrases, sentences, and even whole paragraphs that can be reused in a variety of settings; and an accumulation of experience with which points are clear to intended readers and which need special attention to pre-empt objections.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

Hi Burgess,

To clarify, I left a comment on the actual article and then I sent in a formal LTE which they could publish in the opinion section if they so chose. My comment included a link to Paul Hsieh's Objective Standard article which my LTE didn't.

As to specializing, I agree it's more effective, but personally it's not as motivating to me, so while I'll confine myself to a few areas (hopefully ones which I generally understand, such as markets and regulation) I'll not be focusing on a single issue.

Indeed, my thought is to write on the subjects that I currently understand but at the same time begin learning about others which I could then address in the future. Specifically, I'd like to be able to join the immigration debate because I think it's very important and I think it's a topic where many will agree with our ultimate conclusion though probably not with the arguments we use to get there. As such it could serve as a "bridge" for people to cross into our overall context and approach.

12:11 PM  

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