When a biblically-informed culture speaks of “the dignity of the human person” and “the sanctity of human life,” it grounds those concepts in the Word of God. The American founding was shaped in equal measure by biblical and Enlightenment thought. But even the Enlightenment, as experienced here in the United States, drew its morality and anthropology from the Jewish-Christian ages that preceded it.
What that meant, at least until the last six or seven decades, was that most of us, even those in the nation’s leadership classes, genuinely believed that humans are unique in nature, unlike any other creature, with something distinct that demands elevated respect. We knew that when we crippled or diminished that dignity, we did evil. When we served it, we did good. But that was then. This is now. And we now live in a culture that speaks piously about saving the environment and rescuing birds and fish on the brink of extinction, but then doubts the very existence of a human “nature,” while celebrating the mass homicide of unborn children and the composting of human bodies for, among other things, “nutrient-rich” soil enhancement.
So how does any of this relate to The New Abnormal: The Rise of the Biomedical Security State (to be released November 1)?
For those unacquainted with the author’s CV, Aaron Kheriaty is a psychiatrist and a widely published expert in the field of medical ethics and public health. For many years, he served as professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine and director of the Medical Ethics Program at UCI Health, where he chaired the ethics committee. He also chaired the ethics committee at the California Department of State Hospitals for several years. He was fired by UCI in December 2021 for refusing to comply with the school’s Covid vaccination mandate.
Kheriaty recounts his personal battle with the University of California midway through his book’s second chapter. It makes for powerful reading. But it’s simply one course in a much larger meal. The real genius of the text is the way Kheriaty weaves his own experience into a broader analysis and critique of—in his words—“the coming technocratic dystopia.” From anyone other than a medical expert who was an early target of that dystopia, the content of The New Abnormal might sound alarmist; in the hands of Kheriaty, it’s exhaustive in factual detail and deeply persuasive.
The author argues that in many ways the Covid lockdowns were unnecessary, scientifically dubious, and counterproductive. The collusion of government institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and mass media outlets—not to mention the profiteering made possible thereby—was ethically inexcusable. The degree of social control brought to bear on the general population was both unwarranted medically and unprecedented in peacetime conditions. But it did serve as a dry run for the emerging biomedical security regime; a glimpse of future “state of emergency” actions by government agencies more or less independent of any congressional supervision. Government has its own chronic addiction—to more government—and if Covid could be cast as a public health emergency demanding exceptional state interventions, then why not the climate crisis?
the nation’s leadership classes?
What are you implying? I don’t understand.
You have heard of Marxism, I assume.
Read carefully. The author, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, is a leading psychiatrist and an expert in medical ethics and public health. For many years, he served as a professor of psychiatry at UC Irvine’s School of Medicine. He also served as Director of the Medical Ethics Progrram at UC Irvine Health. He also chaired the Ethics Committee for the California Dept. of State Hospitals for several years. And then– he got into a big, highly publicized quarrel with the University, because he opposed taking the mandated COVID vax. So– he got fired… and then, he wrote a book about it. He is a national leader in his field. And he has something he wants to say about that.
Dr. Kheriaty’s book sounds pretty good. Want to read it?
It is not available yet.
I’d say men have made the world a horrifying violent mess for thousands and thousands of years. Nothing new about this. The positives of COVID lock down or social distancing is that men were MADE to stand back, and they were MADE to obey public distancing rules. Personally, I was always bemused by men having THEIR freedom limited, and getting so angry about it; they never gave a damn about the freedom of women. So this guy is one of those dudes that I tell “grow up deal with the police state, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
I am always taken aback by your hate-filled posts here.
I assume you are not a Christian and do not want to be?
Early second wave feminist thought blamed men for wars and violence. It was believed that if women had power those things would not happen. Then came 1972 and we learned that women would kill their own children for a job or other selfish reason.
Although some will insist that certain groups of people all have the exact, same negative characteristics– I think that you really can’t label a whole group of people in a certain way– Blacks, Whites, Asians, men, women, Catholics, Jews, etc. etc. I think it is best to see people as individuals, who happen to be Black, White, Asian, men, women, Catholic, Jewish, etc. etc. Cherish good people, and avoid those who have negative qualities.
Memo to Audrey:
I think Dr. Kheriaty is Catholic.
But whether he is or he isn’t,
this is another guy who puts the Catholic hierarchy
to shame – deep shame.
He is a Catholic and was often on Catholic radio. Dr. Kheriaty is the author of The Catholic Guide to Depression: How the Saints, the
Sacraments, and Psychiatry Can Help You Break Its Grip and Find Happiness Again. He was a parishioner at St. Edward’s in Dana Point. He is now the Senior Fellow and Director of the Health and Human Flourishing Program at the Zephyr Institute in Palo Alto. So, unless he works remotely, he is now up in the Bay Area.