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Fascist reverse trolley problem

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I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about COVID and triage, and she told me how she’s pretty sure she didn’t get into the University of Michigan’s combined undergrad-medical school program back in the day, because she blew the interview (She had a super strong resume otherwise, plus this was 40 years ago, when you were automatically issued admission to elite academic programs if you were halfway cogent because Old Economy Steve etc.).

She was asked in the interview what she would do if she had a chance to save Hitler’s life, and she was like are you kidding, is this a trick question, I mean obviously no I wouldn’t save Hitler’s life. This is apparently the totally wrong answer in medical school admission interview circles, because All Lives Matter or something.

Then I woke up this morning and read this absurd rant from professional online lefty Talia Lavin about how the Biden administration is actually all into eugenics because the CDC director pointed out that fairly rare cases of fully vaccinated people dying of COVID almost invariably involve several co-morbidities:

Scorn for the unvaccinated too often is accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders at the tide of death that has swept over the chronically ill, the elderly, those afflicted with the diseases of poverty. The truth is that it is easier to be angry at other people for being dumber than you, fatter than you, poorer than you, sicker than you, to scorn them in death and in life, than to recognize that our attitudes are decades late for a shift. You cannot solve a pandemic by going for a daily jog, by getting a jab, by telling yourself your neighbors deserved to die, or that their deaths could not have been avoided. We are all in this together, the ill and the healthy, the poor and the wealthy—and every life is precious, worthy of saving. Only when we start from these fundamental principles can we begin to address the waves of death that continue to sluice over our prow, and demand better.

Yeah no.

You’re probably familiar with the philosophy of ethics chestnut about how there’s a train going down a track that’s going to kill five people but you have a chance to throw a switch that moves the train to another track where it will kill one person. In its original form, this problem was phrased as you can throw a fat man onto the track, killing him but saving the five people. A fat man Talia! (TBF Lavin does have the germ of a good point about how a lot of the discourse around how only fat people are being killed by COVID — this is totally false btw, “obesity” is a marginal to non-existent risk factor in regard regard to COVID mortality — is really about hating on fat people for being fat, in the guise of giving helpful health tips to the lower orders. Too bad that nascent good point is buried in a sea of leftier than thou hating on the Democrats who are even worse than the fascists because Neoliberalism).

Well how about this variation? The first track, the one the train is currently traveling on, has a five year old child trapped on it. On the other track, to which you can switch the train, we have Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, Javanka, Tucker Carlson, Alex Berenson, Rupert Murdoch, Ted Cruz, Stephen Miller . . . go ahead and fill in another of your favorite ten or fifty or five hundred candidates for participation in this Gedankenexperiment, jah?

Are you going to throw that switch? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do: I’m going to knock over an old lady and probably sprain an ankle in my unseemly haste to get to that switch.

Look, I’m not saying I’m going to throw that switch if, say, there’s just an especially cute puppy or maybe a rattlesnake on the first track — that’s for next week’s seminar session. But in this version, I’m throwing that switch with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

Because the idea that the lives of the specific people who are most directly responsible for destroying my country are still somehow “precious” is nothing but sentimental bullshit.

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