Can’t Duck the Health Care Issue


duckRather than try to “duck” the current debate over health care, I’d just like to point out that the whole issue is a red herring.  A zoo.  A horse of a different color, you might say.  Rather than make a monkey out of myself for trying to resolve the issue single-handedly, I thought I would offer you another Scape-goat, namely memes.

Memes are mind viruses that exist for the sole purpose to replicate themselves.  Just as the purpose of a dominant gene is to pass on a particular genetic trait,  such as dark hair or brown eyes, the purpose of a dominant meme is to perpetrate its own idea as THE idea that everyone  (i.e., human carriers) mindlessly thinks are theirs.  These ideas, however, come in the form of information packets that spread through a crowd or group of people like a virus or odor.

Unlike a virus or odor, however, memes attach themselves so insidiously to the person, the carrier actually thinks THEY are the originator of the meme, and not merely the carrier.  Using a form of logic based on “group-think,” each carrier human truly believes he or she “knows the truth” about the issue, and that this truth is unwavering.

The ego loves this stuff.  We become like super heroes, fighting for “our family,” “the cause,” “the Truth,” “our children,”  “the poor,” or “God and country.”  This is why and how memes are able to spread so quickly and powerfully.  We think WE are the ones doing it when, in fact,  the memes are doing US – and are often manipulated by those who understand this process to take advantage of the infection! Like an evolutionary superhero, the meme continues to  replicate undetected until another – equally powerful meme – challenges and defeats it.

History is replete with powerful memes that lost: multiple gods (to One God), paganism (to Christianity), Welsch language (to English), slavery, fascism and Nazism. And there are many more.

Just as there is a “gene pool” that creates stronger genes by mixing, the “meme pool” also shows an ability to grow stronger over time, and even mutate.  Witness the so-called “death” of communism in the Soviet Union and even China, while a similar form is rooting and growing in Europe and even in the bastion of capitalism itself – the United States!  Vacuum tubes became transistors that became micro-chips.  Fax machines didn’t die – they just mutated as online communication!

Memes evolve faster in an ego-friendly environment. It seems the stronger our ego, the more firmly-entrenched memes can become.  Since the ego is really a human invention (albeit an ancient one), the growth of memes can perpetually blind us to reality.

The actual truth is that – as John Donne poetically pointed out – “no man (or woman) is an island.”  Like it or not, we are all connected, either by sympathy or antipathy.  Memes utilize this connection (and ego blind spot) to spread their poison.  Getting back to health-care . . .

With the current health-care debate, most of us believe one of two things:

  1. Obama’s health care system is a tactic used by an out-of-control government to rob the few productive citizens of their hard-earned rights and revenue in order to supply the many ne’er-do-wells whose main goal is to vote themselves more and more entitlements, or
  2. You believe that the poor – through no fault of their own – are caught in a web of poverty, sickness, and disease; and it is the obligation and duty of those who have more to provide for these unfortunates.  You also believe that government is the only force capable of enforcing this equitable situation, and that controlled socialism is the lesser of evils to runaway capitalism.

Memes control both beliefs. Both are based on partial truths, therefore they become like “trojan horses” to the mind, infiltrating and poisoning our happiness and peace of mind.  This battle of the “points of view” (POV) will continue until one meme “wins” over the other.

There can never be any winning, however, since no truth – even a partial one – can be stamped out forever.  It will resurface in mutated form at another time, another place.

The only win-win solution, in my humble opinion, is to “detox the mind” as follows:

  • See and understand Memes for what they are
  • Release the NEED to replicate a particular meme, and
  • Establish as personal and cultural priorities things like relationship, happiness and peace of mind.

DuckThese days even DUCKS have better sense than we do!


  1. Steve Wright says:

    Excellent article; and your web site looks great!

    I’ve made some vaguely similar observations,
    about mental viruses – as well as the health care debate;
    but your solution is unique, as usual.

    Keep up the good work,

  2. […] always demands a crisis, and those who understand how to use memes (politicians and their handlers) to control crises news reporting will always be in charge of the […]

  3. […] “Memes” or mind viruses – are like this, but the meme is primarily a conscious factor that can be traced back to some statement or construct. For example, You may have heard some catchy jingle, a particularly political point of view, or an ad about “the starving children” that triggers your emotions.  These are all advertising gimmicks that harness the power of the emotions to make you act. […]