Silliest theory in history
This feature in New Superstitionist
runs through a new 'theory' that links public health to democracy.
[According to Randy Thornhill,] ... the nature of the political system that holds sway in a particular country - whether it is a repressive dictatorship or a liberal democracy - may be determined in large part by a single factor: the prevalence of infectious disease.
NS, to its credit, kicks down three dozen absurdities in this notion, but still misses the most basic problems.
First, Thornhill totally ignores race and ethnicity. When you open your eyes to the fact that PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT, you don't need this theory at all. Racial tendencies explain both the competence of government and the prevalence of disease. (I thought the whole point
of Sociobiology was to pay attention to biological differences, but apparently that has gone away.)
Second, Thornhill assumes that voting is a good measure of 'democracy', and assumes that 'democracy' is a desirable condition. There is no evidence for either assumption. Every society has some form of election. Tribal elders meet to choose the new chief. Modern quantitative democracy is a tool to eliminate popular consent. When you have a 'mandate' generated by publicity, trickery and cheating, and reinforced by a totally uniform 'free press', you don't need to listen to the real voice of the people. When your power depends solely on remaining unshot by bullets or unpierced by arrows, you're more likely to listen.
Third, modern 'democracy' eliminates the firmness and courage needed to maintain public health. We could have controlled AIDS much faster, using time-tested public health techniques, if our 'democracy' hadn't surrendered to the rich and powerful homosexual lobby. Several old diseases (plague, TB, polio) are coming back because politicians want maximum immigration from primitive countries in order to gain new voters. Other old diseases are returning because our 'democracy' listens to the Vaccines Cause Autism pressure group. Malaria is returning because our 'democracy' respects the rich and powerful Gaian fanatics more than it respects life.
Here's the basic fact: A well-organized and well-disciplined country that has some regard for its own people will eradicate parasites and diseases, and will also increase its prosperity. After a country reaches a certain degree of comfort and prosperity, it often turns toward 'democracy', which destroys its discipline and prosperity and brings it back to the default Haitian level. 'Democracy' is neither a cause nor an effect of good public health, 'democracy' is a disease that eliminates public health.