Award-winning columnist Chris Hedges foretells of imminent fascism, fearing all is lost because the “liberal class” dropped the ball for too many years. In his Truthdig article, “Power and the Tiny Acts of Rebellion”, He cited the situation surrounding the arrest of pediatrician Dr. Margaret Flowers for attempting to give testimony of the facts before Congress members on the unaffordable behemoth that corporatized health care has become — for doctors as well as the people who can’t afford health care. Dr. Flowers is on the forefront of the fight for national health care through a single-payer system. Flowers said:
“We are at a crisis. Health care providers, particularly those in primary care, are finding it very difficult to sustain an independent practice. We are seeing greater and greater corporatization of our health care. Practices are being taken over by these large corporations. You have absolutely no voice when it comes to dealing with the insurance company. They make it incredibly difficult and complex to get reimbursed. The rules are arbitrary and change frequently. There were no Democrats willing to hold the line on single-payer. Not one. I don’t see this changing until we radically shift the balance of power by creating a larger and broader social movement.”
One poster, “garth”, replied to the article saying:
“To me it’s just human nature. No one would stand around and let someone be beaten to death in plain sight without raising a hand to their rescue, or would they?”
Unfortunately, yes they would. Thirty-eight people watched as 28 year old Kitty Genovese was attacked, beaten and stabbed to death by Winston Moseley — a necrophiliac. Harlan Ellison referred to reports from neighbors, including one man who turned his radio up so he wouldn’t have to hear Genovese’s screams as she was being bludgeoned and stabbed to death. Everyone that saw and/or heard the vicious attack said that the reason they didn’t even call the police was because they “didn’t want to get involved.”
Moseley did not know his victim. He stated that his sole motive for attacking and killing Kitty Genovese was that he simply “wanted to kill a woman.” He said that he preferred to kill women because “they were easier and didn’t fight back.”
Just as serial killers, rapists, and necrophiliacs tend to target women because women are physically smaller and weaker than men on average, and far less able to fend for themselves, society makes its most economically vulnerable members the most exploitable and disposable group. It’s no accident that poverty has a woman’s face while our society denies the power differential at play in the entire capitalist system of unearned privileges.
The same society that doesn’t care about 50 million poor and uninsured Americans lacking access to medical and dental care (most whom are women since women make up 84% of the very poor), and the same society that doesn’t care about those who have died from utility shut-offs because of poverty due to a legacy of discrimination and the barriers of classism — is the very same society that produced thirty-eight self-centered, indifferent bystanders who watched Kitty Genovese get beaten and stabbed to death outside of her Kew Gardens apartment in Queens, NY on March 13th 1964.
The unwillingness to help someone in a life or death situation because of “not wanting to get involved” has been given the palatable label known as the “Genovese Syndrome” by social psychologists. America’s cultural ethos of sociopathic macho selfishness and misogyny is really more accurate. Screw the “experts.” They can ascribe a respectable-sounding label to a self-centered society’s behavior and excuse its lack of empathy by raising a “diffusion of responsibility” defense, but it is still nonetheless sociopathic and despicable. It will never be excusable or justifiable; regardless of the fancy word salads. This same “diffusion of responsibility” defense was raised by Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg’s post-war trials. A sociopathic, misogynistic, greedy and self-centered culture is still sociopathic, misogynistic and greedy by any other name.