Freedom and Security

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Sometimes we need to look beyond our own immediate needs and instead look toward the good of society, which ultimately benefits all of society including us as chiropractors. It is ironic that our philosophy is directed towards benefiting the body in the long run rather than quick, temporary symptomatic relief that ultimately leaves us worse off. Yet, we seem to be focused on our profession or ourselves as individuals for the short haul (I’ll get mine and retire) rather than what is best for society in general and our country in particular, in the long run. Our country was founded upon the idea of small, limited government. As much as possible, the framers of the Constitution wanted authority vested first in the individual, second in the local government, third in the state, and lastly, as infrequently as possible, in the federal government. It worked well for 150 years but about the middle of the last century during a time of crisis we allowed the federal government to grow, to assume greater power and like a snowball rolling down a hill, it has continually gathered momentum and size. The fear that the Founding Fathers had was that more growth and power would ultimately lead to totalitarianism, creating an all-powerful central government causing individuals to lose their freedom and become enslaved. The irony is that the only way that can happen is for the people to turn that power over to the central government and the only way that happens is for the government to promise them more security or a better life in exchange for their freedom. It worked with the Russian Revolution in 1917. It worked with the National Socialist Party of Hitler in Germany in the 1930’s and it is happening in the United States today.

You are probably saying, “Well thanks for the civics and history lesson but what does this have to do with chiropractic?” Well, it has to do with us being free as a profession or ultimately enslaved by the medical/governmental establishment.

Let’s look at some of the ways our greed as a profession and our desire for security are enslaving us:

1. Years ago there were no student loans. Chiropractic education was reasonably priced. You could graduate from chiropractic college without being $100,000 or more in debt. But our schools wanted student loans, wanted the government to lend money to students, and students wanted that “gift.” The schools wanted it so we could have bigger, better, more expensive chiropractic facilities so we could be as respected as the medical profession. So we got student loans, which necessitated the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), a quasi-governmental organization to oversee the process, and make sure the tax dollars were being lent to legitimate schools. Now our school, and our students are enslaved by it. Of course, the CCE’s goal is to eventually control the profession by controlling education.

2. We wanted to take the licensing out of the hands of the state (where it belongs) so we all decided to have a national board. That gave us the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) with their overly priced Parts I through however many they can think up (7 to date, that’s right–7). Their profit goes toward politically totalitarian organizations like the CCE and the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Board (FCLB) that will further enslave us. A few organizations are finally waking up to the problem, because just like a political totalitarian government, professional ones will eventually hurt everyone (ask the Russian or Chinese). State and national organizations are finding that these centralized power-grabbing organizations only live for one thing: to get more power and money. So now they want to control the continuing education process to rake in millions and have more and more control over the profession even to the point of ultimately retesting field chiropractors for competence. Of course, the retesting will be in materia/medica.

3. Recently, the chiropractic profession agreed to be under the referral of physicians for the right to participate in care for veterans. I cannot even begin to try to understand what the rationale for that action is. Fortunately, a few leaders of organizations realized that the temperature is getting hot in the pot and tried to leap out. But with the power that the medical community and the medi-practic community have, a program not in the best interest of chiropractic will probably be instituted.

4. We should not be too surprised at the above situations. Chiropractors have been giving up their freedom for a little financial security for the past 30 years or more. Ever since we started accepting insurance reimbursement and government funds for Medicare. Medicare was a terrible program. But the so-called leaders of the profession at the time said it was a “foot in the door.” Well, they got that foot in and after all these years we still have no more than the foot in the door and the government has a secure grasp on that foot.

5. There are numerous other examples. Almost every insurance program, HMO, and PPO were supposed to be a boon to chiropractors. For some they have, in the short run, but they have enslaved us as a profession and they have made us dependent upon the medical-political establishment that cares nothing about chiropractic or the unique service it offers mankind. At best they see that service in the medical model.

Can we extricate ourselves from this servitude? If we do not, we will be part of the problems with this country rather than part of the solution to them. Some may argue, “as long as I can adjust, I am not going to get involved in the capitalism/socialism argument. I don’t care whether the government, Big Brother, or the practice member pays me as long as someone does and I can deliver my service to the public.” That kind of thinking may serve you a few more years but eventually the strangling grasp of the power grabbers that have an outside-in viewpoint of life will get you. We must begin to take back our profession. Take it back from those who would control us for their own ego, those who are part of the Big Brother government and those within the medical and medical-thinking community who would control us in order to eventually destroy us.

It has been suggested that articles like this sound paranoid. That there is some great conspiracy by a few to control the profession and take it in a direction they would like to go. Well, that is exactly the way it is! Just because a person is paranoid doesn’t mean that someone is really not out to get them! Remember the great Mel Gibson character in the movie, “Conspiracy Theory?” Some in our profession, those who had the most to lose, the straights with their strong philosophical base, realized this conspiracy years ago. The conspiracy is merely a group of chiropractors who have a desire to control the profession in order to see it go in a direction (medical) they think is best for it. They realize that the strong remnants of the Palmer philosophy would not allow them to change the profession in a democratic manner so they began a way to politically circumvent the wishes of the profession and control the educational and licensing processors. They know that the profession is not organized, 80% do not belong to any organization. Control education and licensing–it does not matter what the profession wants. They are under your control. How do you do that? Remove the educational institution’s autonomy (CCE) and the state’s autonomy (FCLB). It’s really very simple.

So how do you combat this process of increased enslavement, especially among a profession which is about as apathetic as any group of people can get? Well, I guess we can take a lesson from the efforts of the straight movement 30 years ago. The only reason their efforts failed was that not enough people supported their efforts to resist the takeover. Perhaps there are enough people now that realize the gravity of the situation and are willing to do something. I hope so.

Enslavement for us needs to be fought on two fronts, against those within our profession that would control us and against government control. Critical mass is reached when more people are benefited by big government than are benefited by the product of their own labors. At that point a society is doomed. Our society is precariously close to that point. Many, perhaps most, of those people including many in Congress contribute nothing to the productivity of society. They just create reasons for their perpetuation usually at the expense of the public’s freedom. More older people in the country depend upon the government than the fruits of a lifetime of their own labor. Partly because the government has taken inordinate amounts of money from them to “buy” the support of the previous generation and partly because they were led to believe that the government would be there for them in their retiring years, a function the social security system was not intended nor capable of fulfilling. Who today does not benefit financially in some way by the government. If we are going to preserve our way of life and our freedom, we must divest ourselves from the trough of government dependency as individuals and as a profession. Our profession can only succeed if it remains free from the bureaucratic constructs and financial dependence of government. A cash practice is not just a good idea because it saves you paperwork and creates less headaches. It is important to the function of a free society.

Any advances in the science or practice of chiropractic will not come from centralized power brokers whether in the profession or in the government. It will only come from chiropractors free to practice any way they choose as long as it does no harm and is intended to serve mankind. V19n3

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