Individualism, an idea that was created by our founding fathers. It’s original intention seems fair. The main idea was to be free from the ruling minds of England; so that we could be free, independent, and self motivated. This sounds rational, legitimate, and it makes sense. Who wants to be told what to do or how to do something just to be taxed out the wazoo to have little freedom of thought or actions? AMERICANS CERTANLY DO NOT!
But what about todays world? Where there is over population, a great amount of people living in poverty, and an economy that seems to favor the richer more profitable class of people? Is individualism really the best thing for our society?
Unfortunately, in modern day America the idea of the pursuit of happiness is determined by ones economic state. America being a western society, is ruled by capitalism. Capitalism is commonly known as individual ownership of companies without government involvement for the benefit of maximizing profit. Whereas many eastern societies have an economic set up to benefit the majority rather than individuals; this is often called socialism. This can be described as a collectivist type culture. I am not trying to say one is better than the other because both individualistic and collectivist cultures have pros and cons depending on a given situation. Although when examining the differences in healthcare, an individualistic type culture, much like what we have in America, does not seem to benefit everyone.
Eastern collectivistic type cultures typically have universal health care. This means that anyone and everyone is entitled to equal health care regardless of class and economic status. This reflects the views of socialism. The socialistic views are concerned with everyone which is very similar to holistic or homeopathic medicine. Holistic health incorporates everything in a persons life. It has strong importance on how socially involved a person is. Holistic healers often discuss how important it is for a person to be involved with their family, friends, and community. If a person lacks a connection between any of these areas then it is believed that a person will suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress related elements such as high blood pressure or even digestive issues. Instead of prescribing a medicine a holistic healer will often encourage a person to get involved with their community or family. It is believed that if a person is involved in something other than their own issues that a person will feel connected and part of something greater than themselves which results in them feeling purpose and reason in life which decreases their chance of illness.
This may be why America has one of the highest depression, obesity, and anxiety rates in the world. We do not encourage each other to be involved with family or our community. This is because we are powered by individualistic thoughts due to our capitalistic type economy. Like most things in capitalism, healthcare has become a business. The concern of people’s health is not the focus, profit is. This is why America values pharmaceuticals, it is easy to make people believe they need medication to fix their ailments. Once a person starts taking medication they become dependent on it because their chemistry within their body is changed and they are forever reliant on it. This means that they will be forever customers. Cha-Ching, a continuous money flow to the pharmaceutical companies.
A recent issue that has arisen in America is the topic of illegalizing homeopathic or holistic medicine. The FDA believes that there is no scientific evidence to prove that homeopathic medicine helps illness. Their argument is that homeopathic medicine is also unsafe and could result in greater illness or death. I find this interesting because many pharmaceuticals have infinite lists of complications or symptoms that might result from taking medication that could also be life threatening. I think it is fair to say that pharmaceutical companies just want to get rid of homeopathic medicine because it would then rid out any competition.
The individualistic culture of America cares little about the overall good of the people and more about profit gain. This seems highly unacceptable to me when eastern cultures put the needs and overall good of their people first. America needs to wake up and realize that capitalism is not beneficial to all especially when it comes to health care!