In this post we take misopathy apart. (If you don't know what misopathy is, that's explained too.)
We will try to find out why some diseases are wronged.
Misopathy comes in many forms, but I want to tell you about three levels:
This table is a sort of summary in advance:
|level||type of misopathy||rough description||a concrete example|
|2||institutional||institutional behavior, groupthink||cock-ups|
|3||organized||coordinated, systematic, planful||corruption of science|
My point will be that the levels are closely linked.
Let's start with level 1.
Level 1: personal misopathy
Ordinary misopathy is like ordinary racism, except with
diseases. It is a form of prejudice. It sometimes involves
scapegoating, ganging up, and so on.
Example: when your doctor assumes you are morally deficient because you have a serious immune disease, and then fails to treat, that is ordinary misopathy.
As another example, the following happened to people I know, but never made the press.
A woman in Berkeley, CA warned her neighbors that her body had trouble with certain classes of chemicals. They then put snail poison under her window.
It made her sick. She was lucky enough to survive for a couple of years, but none of her acquaintances seems to know whether she is alive now.
The levels are linked
Now here is the thing: the levels of misopathy are linked.
In particular, ordinary misopathy sometimes exists because of sanction by authority. Some at this level have a sense for what is OK to attack (they "get with the program"); others go along with what they are told.
And that authority is the next level up:
Level 2: institutional misopathy
Institutional misopathy can involve things like:
- cracks in the system
- moral cowardice
- and amoral glossing-over
Example: when hospitals fail to provide a place to lie down or fail to provide sufficient painkillers, that can be institutional misopathy.
When people die because of bureaucratic policy, that can be institutional misopathy. It is a form of institutional behavior.
At this level, reptilian brains reject the right thing, because they think it is career-limiting. Their tongues flick at insects, but they do not move.
This is the level at which evil is mechanized and made banal. The greatest evils in this world are implemented via rubber stamp.
Yet there are also people who would do the right thing (and even stand up to do so), but were given the wrong facts.
Also at this level, myths (and euphemisms) reassure people that they are not causing significant harm.
Those myths are instrumental. Nobody wants to question the myths. They look the other way.
At this level, moral cowardice is considered normal. Leaders choose to follow. Status quo preservation is among the highest duties.
The levels are linked
Again, the levels of misopathy are linked. If we do not understand this, then we cannot understand misopathy.
In particular, institutional misopathy sometimes exists because incentives — and the facts that are made available — were set up or influenced that way.
That is done at the next (and final) level:
Level 3: organized misopathy
Organized misopathy is coordinated plans of action.
Sometimes the group finds itself singled out, dehumanized, or framed as a threat to society, and can't figure out why.
Examples: tobacco industry, Action T4, Camelford, lead paint, asbestos, Muslomovo, early HIV/AIDS. I've mentioned more in these pages.
It's really not that rare.
The diseases are different and the times and places change, but misopathists use the same strategies again and again.
The public forgets these events or how bad they are. They are not told about the similarities.
Sometimes editors calumniate the sufferers on cue, but bury the exoneration in the part of the newspaper nobody reads.
Sometimes exonerating the group too loudly would implicate themselves.
Organized misopathy can act directly or indirectly. It adapts its tactics to changing circumstances.
It sometimes uses propaganda, shifts resources away from science, or distorts practices in the medical industry.
It sometimes targets diverse facets of the manipulosphere simultaneously. For example, isolation of the group by concerted media attack, curtailment of its democratic and human rights, and extreme fake science, simultaneously.
Thus, it is driven and persistent. This is not indolence.
What drives organized misopathy
Organized misopathy is driven by incentives; it is a means to an end. It is not a misunderstanding. It is not a lack of facts.
It is not "disbelief", a "big boner"/"cock-up", or the fault of sufferers or advocates.
It is never due to any alleged feature of the disease (it can happen to any disease). And it is not "a thing of the past that got sorted out after Tuskegee".3
How it operates
Organized misopathy operates by setting and exploiting incentives. It also encourages base impulses, indolence, biases, etc.4
Thus, ordinary and institutional misopathy do the real work. They are the arms and legs. They implement it.
Organized misopathy doesn't have to be centrally controlled or involve direct orders.
When a population suffers because of planful violations of science and human rights, that can be organized misopathy.
It is systematic. Despite its name, it can appear disorganized at ground level, but its parts are aligned and they push relentlessly.
It gets worse until there is pushback. Unlike the other levels, nothing else can stop it, because it is driven by incentives.
But pushback does work. Even in fascism, people SPOKE OUT and it made a difference. History says that Action T4 took a hit because of public outcry.
What more reason is needed to be an activist?
- ordinary misopathy — prejudice
- institutional misopathy — institutional behavior
- organized misopathy — coordinated plans of action
If you follow mainstream news or academic papers, I think you will find examples of all three in various diseases.
Each level has a recognizable gestalt.
Sometimes people miss the higher levels
Sometimes people miss the higher levels, because the lower levels are usually present at the same time (they are the arms and legs).
The lower levels feel more tangible and personal.
However, the higher levels are vastly more consequential. A single event, such as a disease definition or a classification status, can profoundly affect millions of people for decades (example: making a large number of them progress to bedridden).
We took misopathy apart in only a coarse way, but we can answer our question now:
Some diseases are wronged because there are other levels.
People at level 1 go along with level 2, and people at level 2 use their rubber stamps for level 3. The levels of misopathy are linked.
What have you noticed? Please engage here and elsewhere, everywhere, online, offline, relentlessly. SPEAK OUT.
The population is defined by the goals of the perpetrators. Thus, the actions can target a set of diseases as one, or make politically desirable exceptions, etc.
Example: in Action T4, some disabled taking hospital beds were murdered while some disabled returning soldiers were glorified.
Of course, the goal is almost never to attack the group per se. Doing so is a means to an end.