In her book, "Eichmann In Jerusalem," Hannah Arendt uses that phrase to describe Eichmann's peculiar and detached attitude toward the monstrous evil that he perpetrated on the Jewish people. Her thesis is a bit more complex than that, but the phrase applies so well to the clerks and administrators and judges whose slavish attention to the process and the rules and the reinforcement of their own power made sure that Alfie Evans died.
It is nothing more than a firm and unshakable belief that government knows best; that the individual is secondary and subordinate to to the wishes and goals of the central planners and the career bureaucrats whose contempt for Everyman is palpable.
What saddens me almost as much as the death of an innocent child is the obtuseness of the political and medical establishment, who have become so inured to the concept of government as the ultimate arbiter of...everything...that they have lost sight of the basic human right of self determination. As Alfie Evans dies, calls grow for better ways to support grieving parents There are a bunch of awful quotations from the article, but here is one that encapsulates it, from a physician no less...
Looking forward, there is a real need to try to resolve disagreements between parents and doctors. Entrenched disagreement can reach a point where it's very difficult to step back from...
It wasn't a disagreement. The parents of this child were trying everything in their power to save his life, and the government, in the form of the judiciary and the medical establishment was trying to kill him.
Why? because those are the rules, and rules must be obeyed slavishly, or society will soon be filled with individuals who do what they want with their own lives.
The first thing Hitler did when he gained power was to change the law, to make his desire for the destruction of the Jewish people a legally acceptable result.
Alfie Evans' death does not rise to the level of genocide, but it is on the continuum.
You think the issue of the baby in England is just another story of individuals dealing with a personal tragedy? You're wrong. The story involves all of us. It involves all of us in a very serious manner. It is part of the thus far nonviolent civil war we fight here in America – a war, again, like the first Civil War, for the soul of our country. It is the war between Western, liberal Judeo-Christian values and the values of leftism. It's a war between the individual as the focus of our lives and culture and the big state as the focus.
Just look at the stark realities that have played out in England. Its health care system is now completely absorbed by the state. (Ours is well on the way.) The focus was the state, faceless, unaccountable, a massive bureaucracy armed with tremendous power shared with the politicians up in their distant offices, the unelected judges with their lifetime appointments, and the government employee doctors all on one side, and the individuals – Mom, Dad, and the baby – on the other. Who do you suppose won this give-and-take, this health care transaction? Talk about inequality.
Those on the left are livid if the guy next door has a BMW and themselves only a Toyota, but they don't blink an eye at the truly massive inequality inherent in state versus individual power. The state in England crushed Mom. The state eliminated Dad. And the state has told the baby his life is up, and he's ready to die. But of course, keep in mind that all the state actors wrap their actions in words of kindness, compassion, and what is best for all concerned, serving the will of the people, and acting for the common good – all their usual regressive Marxist claptrap.
Now, if this is the soul of America one is fighting for, I say a plague on your house. But this, indeed, is the soul the American left is battling for – the glorious state as the center of American life. This is what the Democratic Party, our N.Y. Times op-ed writers, our mainstream media and tech elites, our university professors, leftist clergy, and Hollywood stars are all lined up rallying for: government – big, controlling, iron-fisted power centered in Washington. They fight for this because no matter how smart, no matter the Yale or Princeton degree, no matter how sweet and well intentioned, American men and women of the left are now almost completely unmoored from the wisdom and liberalism of our great Western American Judeo-Christian values. They have bought into what all humans tend to be attracted to, the child in us all, the world of "take care of me forever, Mommy and Daddy." And government is, for them, that forever Mommy and Daddy of their fantasies.
Those of us who have retained control of that child within, channel instead the free adult inside, and have learned from our great Bible, from Western traditions and the American Founders – we fight this poison. It is because we know that though the state can bring some good to life, when it becomes the center of life, the dominant force in a society, when it overwhelms what should be the center – namely, the individual – great evil comes of that. That evil has come hard to England, and now it has moved on to America through our civil war between Americanism and leftism.
What comes of losing to the left is a child kidnapped by state actors for "his own good." What comes of losing to the left is the government standing in every examining room in America, every operating room, every emergency bay, unseen but present and powerful and demanding. It is an entity that knows nothing of you, that knows nothing of your life and family and desires and needs, but is there nonetheless saying loud and clear, "You will see the doctor I demand, have the test I think best, undergo the procedure I assess proper, accept the payment I think socially just, swallow the pill I approve, deal with your family member in the manner I prescribe, and if you disagree or push back, or do not comply, the fury and massive power we hold will be unleashed to confront you."
So, men and women of the left, cheer on your Obamacare, single-payer, Medicare for All, and Medicaid. Cheer on the child inside you. Cheer on socialism and all the degradation of life that comes with it. But if at the end of this civil war in America and you the left wins, keep in mind there is much to pay for this utter foolishness. Mom and Dad in the guise of the state are a demanding and controlling thing. Brace yourselves to live the degrading lives of children, as subjects of this raw and oppressive power. Keep in mind that it never, ever turns out well. Ask the parents in England, or their child. Ask the thousands who will die this year in England waiting to get the care they need. Ask the millions in socialist Cuba about not having an aspirin available in their hospitals.
Leftism poisons everything it touches, from our health care to our economy, our schools, universities, arts, sports, religious institutions, and even the Boy Scouts.
The child in Great Britain has no chance of ever even becoming a scout of any sort. The state in England is done with him and his parents. That's what Hope and Change are all about.