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  #1  
Old 14 August 2009, 05:45 PM
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Ambulance Karl Marx on socialized medicine

Comment: There seems to be a nasty rumor floating around on a few forums
and that some fearful conservatives have picked up and are quoting, that
is conflating socialized medicine with Karl Marx. The quote says this:

"Remember, Karl Marx once said, "First you socialize medicine and
everything else follows like night follows day."

I can't find ANYTHING that shows Marx said that, except at a site called
the "Christian Anti Defamation Commission," which seems to be the source
of this misinformation. Can you please knock down this rumor/falsehood
before millions of people start believing it? It appears to have popped
up within the last few days, and I know a lot of people that go to
snopes.com to debunk things like this.
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  #2  
Old 14 August 2009, 05:48 PM
Troodon Troodon is offline
 
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It's ironic that people who identify themselves as opposed to socialism would consider Karl Marx a reliable authority.
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Old 14 August 2009, 05:53 PM
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Doesn't sound much like anything Marx would have said - the Communist Manifesto starts with violent revolution and reforming society from the ground up, not with introducing socialized medicine. The whole idea would surely have been a non-starter when he was writing anyway...

And what's this "everything" anyway?
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Old 16 August 2009, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troodon View Post
It's ironic that people who identify themselves as opposed to socialism would consider Karl Marx a reliable authority.
It's this point, and not the fake Marx quotes (which strike me as rather obvious hoaxes), that I find so fascinating. Originally, I was perplexed by this but now my guess is that the reason these fake Marx quotes have become popular among certain fringe elements in the Right is they feel they have "outed" Democrats as communists by tying a real or even a perceived-to-be-real Democratic policy to Karl Marx.
Brian
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  #5  
Old 16 August 2009, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
As Karl Marx famously said, "Socialized medicine--that's the most ridiculous idea I ever hoid. If you're sick, you should see a doc. Say, you make me sick--why don't you walk off a dock? Of course you'll get wet, but that's water off a dock's back. You know, in a certain light you remind me of a duck. Are you a Peking duck, or am I thinking of your Uncle Tom?"
Brad "that's from A Night in the Winter Palace" from Georgia
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Old 16 August 2009, 02:24 PM
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Socialised medicine seems to me to be a fairly new term, designed to suggest socialism, rather than the other way around.
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Old 17 August 2009, 02:04 AM
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Marx said a lot of things. He was a newspaperman as well as a social critic. I just wonder if medical care was such a pressing issue for workers in the mid-19th Century. It was generally poorly regarded and mistrusted. Why would Marx think it was the opening wedge for socialism instead of, lets say, nationalizing the coal mines or railroads?
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Old 17 August 2009, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troodon View Post
It's ironic that people who identify themselves as opposed to socialism would consider Karl Marx a reliable authority.
Totally with you, Troodon. As hard-line Communism slowly fades away into the mists of History and modern Social-Democracy takes more and more distance from Marxist ideology, the only ones who keep on bringing real or invented Marx quotes are the right-wing nutjobs who see "Reds" everywhere although they most probably *never* met a Socialist - let alone a Communist - in their life and above all know *zilch* about the ideology.
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  #9  
Old 19 August 2009, 07:32 AM
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I can't imagine Marx having truck with government-provided healthcare; like Richard W said, he advocated revolution, which would lead to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. I think the 'strict orthodox Marxist' perspective on the NHS or whatever would be that it only exists to patch people up so as to get them back down them labouring again.

And Tarquin's correct as well - the term 'socialised healthcare' seems to be invented pretty recently, and has a strong Nozick reek to it. I agree that the OP is designed to suggest a linkage between nationalised medicine advocates and Revolutionary communist beliefs. Dirty.
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Old 19 August 2009, 06:04 PM
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Comment: In response to the health care debate, many websites are
reprinting a quote claiming to be from V.I. Lenin, "Medicine is the
keystone in the arch of the socialist state." What is the source of this
quote?
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  #11  
Old 19 August 2009, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: In response to the health care debate, many websites are
reprinting a quote claiming to be from V.I. Lenin, "Medicine is the
keystone in the arch of the socialist state." What is the source of this
quote?
It's from a song he wrote after marrying Yoko Ono:

Quote:
Imagine there's no keystone,
And then the arch will fall,
The keystone is medicine
The socialist state is all....
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  #12  
Old 20 August 2009, 01:27 AM
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"V. I. Lenin"? I know he was Vladimir Ilyich, or whatever, but I've never seen him referred to as "V. I." before...

Or as Arch Garfunkel once sang,

Quote:
Making laws in the afternoon,
With Obama up in my stateroom.
I get up to steal your cash,
When I get back to the desk, someone's taken the rest.

Obama, you're breaking my heart,
I don't want to pay for the treatment.
Obama, I'm down on my knees,
I hope the ambulance will reach me...
And so forth.
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  #13  
Old 20 August 2009, 01:37 AM
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"Medicine is the
keystone in the arch of the socialist state."

Given the underhanded, implicationary nature of the strategy from the O.P, is someone trying to wire in a bit of Freemasonry here?
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  #14  
Old 20 August 2009, 02:24 AM
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While I don't think the Marx (or Lenin) quote is likely accurate, government funded health coverage did become a political issue in Germany at the end of Marx's life, with a health insurance bill passed in the year of his death, 1883:

Quote:
The program was established to provide health care for the largest segment of the German workers. The health service was established on a local basis, with the cost divided between employers and the employed. The employers contributed 1/3rd, while the workers contributed 2/3rds . The minimum payments for medical treatment and Sick Pay for up to 13 weeks were legally fixed. The individual local health bureaus were administered by a committee elected by the members of each bureau, and this move had the unintended effect of establishing a majority representation for the workers on account of their large financial contribution. This worked to the advantage of the Social Democrats who through heavy Worker membership achieved their first small foothold in public administration.
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Old 20 August 2009, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
"V. I. Lenin"? I know he was Vladimir Ilyich, or whatever, but I've never seen him referred to as "V. I." before...
Just a wee search in google: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&a...i=&safe=images
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Old 21 August 2009, 12:57 AM
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Most far-right wing nuts don't see "Reds" hiding behind every corner like they used to. Nowadays it's fear of a "new world order." That is to say, a one-world government that right-wingers tend to fear. For example, Pat Robertson's 1991 book, THE NEW WORLD ORDER, preaches all the conspiracy theories as fact. But like most fundamentalists Christians, he places them in the context of Bible prophecy with the "new world order" being headed by the "Antichrist."

Barb Rainey
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  #17  
Old 15 September 2009, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: In response to the health care debate, many websites are
reprinting a quote claiming to be from V.I. Lenin, "Medicine is the
keystone in the arch of the socialist state." What is the source of this
quote?
I can't find this quote. While it doesn't prove that Lenin didn't say something similar, it is not very likely either.

The reason is that Tsarist Russia actually did have a form of socialized medicine. According to the reform of 1864, individual zemstvo (земство), that collected local taxes, also got responsibilities for establishing subsidized service at least for catastrophic events. It wasn't completely free and was paid for by a combination of local taxes and direct fees; however, it was public and non-for-profit, existing in parallel with mostly urban for-profit system. A good detailed article in Russian can be found here: http://www.wikiznanie.ru/ru-wz/index...на

The socialized medicine actually became one of the places for political activism and charity. A lot of rather wealthy and educated individuals went into the practice to help the small guy; a lot of political activists became doctors, and building or supporting a local hospital entrenched as one of the staple charitable acts.

Bolsheviks largely took over the system and modified it. A lot of the elements remain quite specific to Russian medical organization: territorial allocation of the hospitals, longer hospital stays, home visits and more emphasis on the therapeutical, non-intrusive treatment. The downsides is that specialized medicine was less popular, quite often, medicine was frowned upon and distrusted, extra premium was put on the cost of services historically not provided by the local hospitals (most notably - gynecology and dentistry).

In general, to the best of my knowledge, universal healthcare wasn't one of the rallying points of Bolshevicks. It wasn't perfect, but there was already a sort of public option in place, which was constantly evolving and, over the long run, improving.
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Old 21 September 2009, 12:58 PM
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OK, here's another deal of how it actually happened: in 1917, the Bolsheviks inherited two parallel systems of medicine: purely social Zemstvo medicine, mostly in rural areas, and the insurance system based in cities that centered around factories and middle class families. Therefore, for a while, in USSR there were two different Departments of Medicine: "Worker's medicine" (insurance) and "Folk's medicine", which was based on the Zemstvo system. The latter was headed by Semashkno. In parallel, there has been created a department of public health.

In 1920 the two systems and public health were merged into what became "Soviet medicine", with Semashko heading both. Zemstvo doctors opposed the decision, since it cut substantially into their authonomy.

As far as the quote itself goes, it is highly unlikely that it actually belongs to Lenin, since "a keystone in an arch" is not a Russian metaphor. Lenin talked a lot about cornerstones in a foundations, but not about keystones and arches (in Russian, there is more or less stable expression for the cornerstones, but no such one for keystones). The only quote that I have been able to find has Lenin naming three biggest enemies of Soviet states: war, hunger and epidemics. A lot of what was going on in the early years was about containing outbreaks of infectious diseases.
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Old 21 September 2009, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eisenberg View Post
While I don't think the Marx (or Lenin) quote is likely accurate, government funded health coverage did become a political issue in Germany at the end of Marx's life, with a health insurance bill passed in the year of his death, 1883:
It's funny to bring that example up - the architect of the whole social welfare system in late 19th century Germany was Bismarck, one of the most important conservative thinkers and politicians of the 19th century. IIRC, he hoped to use social programs to cut the legs out from under the Social Democrat party on a national level (successfully, too). That Social Democrats entered municipal administration under the system was hardly a desired consequence.
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  #20  
Old 01 October 2009, 01:09 AM
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OK, I had some free time today, so I actually downloaded a complete 55-volume corpus of Lenin (it can be found here: http://depositfiles.com/en/files/6138936 ). As expected, the phrase is not there. But here's what he writes, as it is rather interesting.

OK, most surprising is that in 45 out of 55 volumes don't mention the word. It was simply not on the radar for Lenin. He seem to have more mentions of comedy, than those of medicine.

He mentions it in passing in a few more volumes: vol 3 (use of agricultural machinery leads to increased injuries, capitalism bad), vol 7 (there are workplace injuries, in part - due to exposure to chemicals, capitalism bad), vol 9 (workers went on strike demanding medical coverage, workers good), vol 23 (capitalism constrains access to contraception and abortions, capitalism bad), and, finally, vol 53, where he writes to Bryukhanov that bad doctors send too many people to medical resorts and the number should be more in line with what the state can afford. Lenin also mentions the trade of drugs with Americans a couple of times, but it has nothing to do with medicine per ce.

The more funny part comes from the program of Russian Social-Democratic Party, to which Lenin used to belong, and the program of which he wrote. In both cases, the party insists that employers provide medical coverage to factory workers. In both cases, he specifically includes factory workers only, and makes the whole paragraph sound very workplace-injury related. This happens in volumes 2 a 32.

What's next, in volume 6 Lenin complains that a new bill may water down the abilities of local government to provide public option - Zemstvo medicine. In volumes 16 and 17, he argues with Maslov, who states that Russian local governments spend 22.7% of the budget on Zemstvo medicine and thus their budgets need to be increased, along the lines that this doesn't mean that local governments are more socialist than federal government.

Finally, he puts a nail in a coffin once he actually gets to power. Firstly, he drafts the medics and cries about them not wanting to go. Secondly, he starts whining that medics compare infavourably Soviet medicine against Zemstvo medicine. Finally, in a post-war address to medics in volume 40, he says that "long gone are days where medics were the antagonists of proletariat" and "now that we inherited millions of sick and wounded from two wars, our main goal is to fight epidemics".

I think the likelihood of Lenin saying something similar about socialized medicine is a logical equivalent of Reagan giving a speech about how capitalism is bad for the environment.
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