Why Do 'Progressives' Love Moving Backward?

The news that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has used real, living human beings for testing that they themselves admit is potentially lethal is being greeted with a collective (and collectivist) shrug by the main stream media. 

In fairness, it should be noted that these bipedal guinea pigs were paid $12 an hour to allow the EPA to put their lives at risk.  Perhaps the fact that the EPA, doubtless to please their Supreme Leader in the White House, paid them a bit more than Obama’s ideal minimum wage of $10.10 an hour gave them the feeling that they were entitled to gloss over the risks inherent to the lives and health of the test subjects since according to published reports, that’s exactly what happened. 

Progressives  invariably claim the mantle of being forward looking and seeking only a new Utopia (they’d never say “heaven on earth” since that would allude to religion) for all the people. But anyone with a knowledge of (non-revisionist) history can tell you that such experimentation on human beings has ugly precedents.

Dr. Josef Mengele is infamous for the experiments he performed on those Jews confined in Hitler’s monstrous Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. It should not be overlooked that Nazi ideology felt that those who were used in Mengele’s experiments, as Jews, were not to be viewed as human.  They were a lesser species of some sort that needed to be exterminated.

But let us not crown the Nazis and Dr. Mengele with undue credit for being at the forefront of such human experimentation.  Dr. Mengele began his career at Auschwitz in 1943.  But if we go back eleven earlier, the ugly head of indifference to human suffering in the name of “science” rears itself again.

In 1932, the first year of the Roosevelt administration, the Public Health Service (PHS) began what has come to be known as the Tuskegee syphilis experiment.  What follows (thanks to Wikipedia) is a thumbnail of what the Tuskegee experiment involved:

The Public Health Service started working with the Tuskegee Institute in 1932. Investigators enrolled in the study a total of 600 impoverished sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama. 399 of those men had previously contracted syphilis before the study began, and 201 did not have the disease. The men were given free medical care, meals, and free burial insurance for participating in the study. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told they were being treated for "bad blood", a local term for various illnesses that include syphilis, anemia, and fatigue.

Sounds eerily similar to what the EPA told their test subjects.  Test subjects, not people, not human beings whose lives were being put at risk.  Author James H. Jones, who wrote Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, indicated a similar attitude on the part of the “scientists” involved with the Tuskegee scandal.  He states that those he interviewed for his book expressed that "The men's status did not warrant ethical debate. They were subjects, not patients; clinical material, not sick people."

Perhaps Hitler, Eichmann, Mengele and others chose to follow the Tuskegee model of ethical medical conduct.  Of course there is always the possibility that great minds were just thinking alike.

There is no rational defense for the actions of the EPA, but they are in keeping with Progressive ideology, which can be summarized as “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” It appears that Progressives have been making human omelets since the Roosevelt administration, and while many Progressives will succumb to the vapors, the Nazis took a Progressive view of the superiority of one group over another, and have done so once again under Barack Obama. 

And all this time I thought they were supposed to be looking forward toward a new utopia. Silly me.

Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller, a two-tour Vietnam veteran and writes frequently about political idiocy, business and economic idiocy and American cultural idiocy.  Jim also blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com/, and can be contacted directly at james.v.yardley@gmail.com

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