The almost universal acclaim for the Cuban healthcare system, its praise in Michael Moore’s Sicko and so on, obscures its function as a totalitarian instrument of state control. Operating an economic system that obliges individuals to perform mind-numbing and pointless tasks in order to earn a living, Castro’s government was horrified that many people appeared to be using the excuse of poor health as a means of subverting their slave state and its production targets. The idea that the system itself might be making people sick fell within the ambit of counter-revolutionary thought, and was therefore systematically ignored.

To address the problem of falling production, the authorities forced the doctors to become state enforcers in order to get the apparently sick back to performing their designated production tasks. In performing examinations on patients, they were used to produce documents that gave details of the precise production tasks for which the citizen was suitable, which would then be provided to the authorities. This was, as any person living in a free society will acknowledge, an administrative panopticon under which the individual’s health was not for the benefit of the individual, but for the benefit of state production targets. The body was the property of the state.

Hang on, did I say Castro’s Cuba? Very sorry. I meant Brown’s Britain.


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February 2008
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