I don’t normally come to the defense of Jim Carrey. But, earlier this week he labeled California’s Gov. Jerry Brown a “Fascist” for signing SB 277 eliminating parental options to lawfully opt-out of the state’s vaccine requirements for public school children.
In response, Dr. Aurthur Caplan (founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics in NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health) lambasted Carrey as an “ignorant” “ant-vaxxer” and “a fool when it comes to using terms like fascism.”
Well, Dr. Caplan, like many so-called “intellectual” leaders in America, has a not-so-suprising grasp on what “fascism” actually means. In fact, Dr. Caplan claims that because the people of California are only subject to this new law after the state legislature debated and voted – it is “democracy” in action, not “fascism.” But even the simplest “Google” definition points out that “fascism” can mean “intolerant views or practice.” Clearly the law at issue is intolerant, and Dr. Caplan makes no effort to hide his intolerance, calling anyone who is against mandatory state-required vaccines “ignorant” and parents who would opt-out of such a program “lousy” and dangerous.
But, even more to the point, Fascism is a form of tyranny where the government “having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.” (See Blamires, Cyprian, World Fascism: a Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1 (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2006) p. 140-141, 670). And, as far as Dr. Caplan is concerned, it is relevant to point out that Fascism is an ideology where the “state” maintains a “mixed economy” overseen by a “strong leader” at the head of a dominant “one party” state in order to “forge … unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Id. Further, Fascism relies upon “state polices” of “social indoctrination through propaganda in education and the media” and views “democracy” as a feigned tool of legitimacy and supposed aspirations. (See e.g. Anthony Arblaster. “Democracy”,Concepts in social thought.Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA: University of Minnesota Press, 1994. p. 48.) In simpler terms it is an “authoritarian democracy” where voting gives legitimacy to the one dominant party.
Sound like California to anyone else?
What Dr. Caplan, and others like him, coyly avoid is that systems like “fascism” embrace “corporatist representation of state-sanctioned groups” – like the medical industrial complex. Id. And, the key defense of such systems is that it supposedly unites people “into interest groups to address the state that would act in the interest of the general will of the state.” Id. And, in direct defense of Jim Carrey, Gov. Brown’s official statement reads like a manual for fascism in this regard. Like all collectivists (fascists, socialists, communists, statists, etc.) Brown imp;lies that the loss of liberty is appropriate because his authoritarian democracy is capable of representing the different interests of society that advise the state and the state acts in the interest of the so-called greater good. (See e.g. Dylan J. Riley. The civic foundations of fascism in Europe: Italy, Spain, and Romania, 1870–1945. p. 4.)
When the state takes away parental discretion, and defends the loss of liberty by expressly offering to let a doctor (a state licensed and regulated citizen – usually paid by large state regulated corporations) make the decision to exempt certain children from the law – the state is plainly preferring a “special” interest citizen who has a duty to his licensing entity over the free citizen – because it is supposedly “better” for everyone. Or, to put it in simplest terms – its not that the state opposes vaccines – its that the state opposes free citizenry exercising its discretion. That, Dr. Caplan, is tyranny – and given the complicity of the essential corporate interests in the medical field operating directly at the behest of the state – Mr. Carrey was pretty accurate to call this an example of “Fascism.”
All this is to say nothing – yet – on the topic of vaccines and parental discretion, generally. That will have to wait for another day.