Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

17 October 2009

The French, Socialism, and Suicide

In the past, I have written that depression and excessive drunkenness tend to be common in despotic and specifically communist and highly socialist societies.  I wrote about the increase in drinking and health problems in socialist Great Britain.  There I also referred to the heavy drinking in Russia.  I believe heavy drinking, depression, drug use, and suicide tend to increase when people feel little empowered to control their own lives.  Since socialism is the shift of self-control to government control, there is likely to be a tendency for depression, drinking, drug use, and suicide to increase as a nation becomes more socialist.  This tendency is particularly strong for men, who seem to have a greater need for self-control than do women.  This is evidenced in the higher percentage of men who are Republican compared to women in the United States.  The social conservatives are more evenly split between men and women, but the fiscal and defense Republicans are more predominantly men.

The French are coddled.  They are provided health care, long holidays, protected jobs, free college educations, and welfare galore.  There are problems, however:
  • There are few permanent jobs for the young, since job-protection rules keep employers from hiring and young people are only brought onto projects as contract workers.
  • Permanent workers cannot be let go, so they are often given meaningless work, sometimes in the hopes that they will leave the company.
  • Competitive pressures are increasing , due to foreign competition and the privatization of some French government operations.
  • Only 32% of French employers have confidence in their workers, while German employers have a 47% confidence level and Americans a 54% confidence level.
Perhaps this kind of society is just too eviscerating for men.  Perhaps they need a challenge and they even need the insecurities of life that make the personal achievement of security rewarding and makes life more interesting.  Boredom is more depressing than challenge any day.

According to an Editorial in the Economist of 10 - 16 October, the French suicide rate is 14.6 per 100,000 people, with men having a rate of 22.8 vs. a rate of 7.5 for women.  Only the suicide rates of Finland and Belgium exceed those of France in Western Europe.  In Eastern Europe, the Russians had a suicide rate of 32.2 per 100,000 people in 2005.  The suicide rates in Lithuania and Ukraine are also very high.  The French suicide rate is twice that of Great Britian and 40% higher than in Germany and the U.S.

Two out of five French people have a case of serious depression at some period in their lives.  The French use more anti-depressant pills than the British or the Germans, with public health insurance paying for anti-depressant drugs for one in ten of the French people.

This is the direction Obama is taking the United States in.  We can anticipate higher rates of depression and more suicides, especially among men.  We can also anticipate smaller cars and increased rates of highway deaths and injuries due to his demands for ever lighter cars to meet higher and higher gas mileage requirements.  He will also lead us to rationed health care and the added deaths that come with fewer future medical innovations and less aggressive treatments due to health care rationing.  We need to keep track of the death toll in each of these categories as we travel the deadly road to ever more intrusive socialism.


Anonymous said...

Kind of a late response but do you know what objective means?

Also do you really have a Ph.D. or are you a Dr like Dr Pepper is a Dr?

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

The French have decided to dive even more deeply into the socialist abyss in the last week, so it is good to bring attention back to this post.

This anonymous comment is very typical of a broad class of comment that I usually get from leftists. One cannot actually tell that this comment is leftist due to its lack of content relevant to my observations and evaluations. It is, however, clearly from someone not happy with my comments and given the nature of those comments, it is most likely to be from a leftist.

Their comments are most often anonymous, probably due to a lack of confidence that they could stand up in a rational discussion. Such a lack of confidence also explains the lack of even a single counterargument. Instead, an attack upon my credentials is very common.

The leftist has a very high respect for academic credentials and is appalled to think that someone might have such a credential and yet have a worldview at odds with his own. Academia is supposed to be in lockstep solidarity with the socialists, so it is an affront if someone actually studied and did research well enough to earn a Ph.D. in some field (physics) and yet did not fall into the lockstep ranks of comrades. Such a person must be expelled from the pool of experts and authorities, so one must assume he is an imposter.

Never mind the fact that the argument from authority is a well-known logical and rhetorical fallacy. The left has a high reverence for authority, so long as the authority is a socialist. This is one of the main reasons why academia as it became so dominantly socialist also has come to be so devoid of creative and rigorously analytical thinking. It is why the universities are losing their value as a training ground for objective and independent-minded thinkers. The left has come to shrink from meaningful confrontation with its enemies because it cannot make its own case.

I give the commenter some credit for humor though. I laughed at his Dr. Pepper analogy, though I have some suspicion this also is a standard format that I just have not experienced before. It is perhaps not an original joke, but I enjoyed that as twist on the tiresome questioning of my credentials.

Yet, those credentials do nothing to make or break any of the numbers I quoted on suicide or drinking and drug use. The argument is king, even should I be Dr. Pepper. They also do not change the nature of man and the deleterious effects of socialism upon mankind.