One of the movies I’ve watched recently was Changeling. The scenes where the heroine, Christine Collins, is ‘Code 12’d” into the local psychiatric hospital, since she obviously was crazy for not playing the game the way her local police force wished, disturbed me greatly. How awful to think that could really happen – to be locked away in a facility run by sadists, with no way of ever getting out.
Just think how hard it would be to prove you’re sane, when it becomes a question asked by those who don’t like you and wish you’d just go away.
The very next morning, I read a blog post dealing with the Gun Control issue. Well written and speculative on what could be changed to decrease the number of mass shootings occurring nowadays, there was mention and debate in the comments section about the advisability of giving broader powers to doctors and other professionals to commit someone to a mental hospital. Which in light of recent events, does seem to make a certain sort of sense.
Yes, the synchronicity of how subjects pop up in my life astounds me daily.
I read through the comments and thought, “Wow! Our fear of mass shooters could plop us right back into 1929 and the possibility of being committed for observation without warrant, just cause and no hope of release, whenever we displease the powers that be.”
I’m not convinced we’ve completely wiped out corruption in law enforcement, judicial, political and medical fields just yet. And while I understand the sentiments of those who believe freedom for those who are a danger to themselves and others is just nutz, I’m not sure broadening committing powers is the best answer. We’ve tried it before and it didn’t work – have we really evolved so far that these powers, if given, would not be mis-used and abused?
Perhaps I’m being somewhat melodramatic, but I confess to being a wild supporter of the slippery slope thing.
My experience is that as a species, we rarely realize we are even sliding down the slope until we hit the bottom with a plop,
It is this part of my personality that tends to exasperate those around me the most.
Mankind has struggled with the question of personal freedom vs. collective good since we formed the portion of our brain that allowed such thinking. I would surmise that in the lifetimes of our ancestors, which made Survivor Man look like a city-slicker, it was probably a lot easier to decide which things were paramount to the collective good. And most folks probably didn’t have much time away from survival activities to go around dreaming up new ways to express their freedom.
But we are successful now. We have plenty of time to sit around and dream up ways to make our society better. We swing back and forth, from one extreme to another, trying to find that middle ground where we’ve covered all the bases, we’re all healthy and happy, no one ever abuses power and no one ever dies.
Doubtful this clock’s pendulum will ever come to rest.