Saturday, November 24, 2012

Addicted to a placebo during the plague

There once was a terrible disease that killed a great many people.  It was such a fact of life that, while some people did move to new lands in an attempt to escape its ravages, most didn't recognize the disease as such even as it killed them.  And, of those who tried to move beyond its reach, they invariably brought the sickness with them wherever they migrated.

A few doctors and pharmacists finally joined together, saying they would try to cure this horrible affliction.  They worked very hard under unpleasant, and even dangerous, conditions to come up with a new medicine.

When they announced their success they were hailed as heroes.

The public believed the new medicine would cure the disease, or at least control its symptoms enough that it wouldn't kill as many people.  Possibly, with the help of this new medicine, the disease could be harnessed, like a vaccine, to prevent even worse diseases.

So the new miracle drug was administered both as a cure for the disease and as a treatment to keep the disease from getting out of control- and at first it did seem to work.  There were signs from the beginning, though, that things were not quite as advertised.

Sadly, as the years went by it turned out that this apparent success was mostly a placebo effect.  It also turned out that the doctors and pharmacists hadn't really tried to cure the plague- only to rein it in.  See, some of them liked some of the side-effects of the disease.  It kept them in business, and allowed them to make a good living dealing with the symptoms.  Some of them even intentionally infected unsuspecting people so that they could then "help" them feel better.

The worst was yet to come.

In time the disease came back with a vengeance.  This time it was worse than ever.  It had become immune to even the mitigating effects of the medicine.  It was raging out of control and mutating in frightening new ways.  The medicine had failed.

Yet, strange as it may seem, some of the people had become addicted to the medicine and didn't want to give it up- even refusing to admit that it had failed.  Instead of finding an actual cure for the disease, they insisted that the medicine would have worked, if only it had been used as prescribed.  They became almost rabid in their promotion of the medicine as a treatment (or even as a cure), even as it kept failing to work as advertised, and even as the disease became a raging epidemic, threatening a pandemic of disastrous proportions which needed only the smallest, unpredictable trigger to become highly fatal.

Anyone pointing out that the medicine had failed, and that changing the dosage or forcing doctors to prescribe it wouldn't change the fact that the medicine didn't actually contain the correct ingredients to cure the disease, became the enemy.

So, here we sit.  In the midst of a plague of State that shows no signs of getting better any time soon, but instead seems guaranteed to get much worse before the inevitable collapse comes.  While those addicted to the placebo of the Constitution refuse to break their addiction and embrace the actual cure that a few ignored or reviled underground experimenters have discovered.

The disease may still kill you since those infected are very dangerous, but once you inoculate yourself against it at least you won't be spreading the disease to new patients anymore.  You will have become part of the cure rather than a contagious victim of denial.