Ed Driscoll

Soylent Green Liberals

“Ex-NY Times Editor Keller to Cancer Patient: ‘Going Gently’ Saves Money,” as spotted by John Nolte of Big Journalism:

The Kellers are engaging in life-shaming, which like fat-shaming, is an excuse to tell someone else what to do while couching it in a “greater good” argument. To hell with personal freedom, let’s force people to be healthy because obesity costs our beloved State money.  And now this brave woman, who is understandably desperate to see her children grow up, and who believes sharing her story will help others, is being life-shamed on the pages of the Guardian and New York Times because the Kellers are made uncomfortable by the idea of someone making the personal choice to stay alive for every possible day and minute she can.

What the Kellers appear to be doing is worse than lobbying for euthanasia, which at the very least is a personal decision. From their elite perches, the Kellers are tag-teaming a woman hospitalized with Stage IV cancer as a selfish and narcissistic financial drain over the twin sins of aggressively fighting for her life and, through her example, possibly encouraging others to do the same.

This is yet another glimpse into those I call “Soylent Green Liberals.” The left’s mask of compassion slipped late last year as they attempted to dismiss millions losing their health insurance as an overall positive.  And now the Kellers have given us another chilling example of those who are all too eager to sacrifice a few to serve some cold robotic vision of a cold robotic Utopia.

And Keller is far from the only Timesman who subscribes to a “Soylent Green”-style worldview. In August, Bethany Mandel of Commentary profiled “Charles Blow’s Brave New World,” Blow’s then-recent column, displaying similar utilitarian ethics, “received little attention and even less denouncement:”

Blow expresses concern for the future of the entitlement system, given the likelihood that the current structure is due to collapse under the top-heavy weight of an aging population. This is a serious worry for many financial planners on the city, state, and federal level and has been discussed by commentators and politicians on both the left and right. When pension contracts are written and entitlement benefits drafted, one never knows how long recipients will live. Would the more logical solution be to deny life-extending medical treatment to individuals? Or would it perhaps make more sense to re-adjust our entitlements system to compensate for a lengthening lifespan? To Blow, it seems that the more appealing solution would be to end scientific investigation and research, content that we have traveled far enough in our quest for a longer and more fulfilling life. The cessation of the advancement of science and discovery is somehow more appealing to Blow than reevaluating the generous life-long financial commitments made to millions with public money.

The Orwellian ramifications of Blow’s worries over an aging population are vast. If individuals are only worthy of membership in society if they are able bodied, where does the line get drawn? If life-extending treatments become verboten, lest society be burdened with what Blow seems to believe are useless individuals, would the physically and mentally infirm also be denied life-saving treatments? While eugenics is often seen as part of the past, one cannot forget the legacy that those who championed its use carry in our modern world. The mother of what is now Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was outspoken in her support of eugenicist policies. In her 1920 book Sanger argued that “birth control is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit [and] of preventing the birth of defectives.” Those questioning how effective Sanger’s campaign to weed out the unfit has been can look at the latest data on abortion rates for fetuses who test positive for Down Syndrome (studies place the number at over 90 percent).

The fact that Blow’s column has received little attention and even less denouncement should concern anyone interested in keeping our society morally intact. While Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is seen as a work of fiction, we may one day, if Charles Blow’s vision of society is realized, see it as prophetic instead.

And while Mark Halperin of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO isn’t responsible for the journalists at the New York Times, his admission that Sarah Palin was correct that “Death Panels” are a desired cost-savings mechanism for Obamacare brings this post full circle: