I tried to post a response to another article in the Irish Times where Fintan O’Toole seems to completely miss the point again. As usual.
However, the Irish Times comment system seems to be automatically rejecting the comment. I’m not sure why.
In any case, here is my off-the-cuff response.
Oh dear. Another intellectually faulty argument from Fintan. It isn’t even good sophistry these days.
Do I really need to point out that the ideologies may both be good? Catholicism proclaims that you should love your neighbor as yourself. Free markets have shown themselves to have unparalleled power to remove people from poverty and oppression.
The undeniable fact that there are nasty b**tards in the world who seem to manage to (i) find a way to gang together and (ii) find a way to hide behind respectable cover tells us nothing about the value of the ideology they hide behind. At least neither Catholicism nor free markets were actually invented by nasty b**tards for the sole purpose of being evil, unlike Communism or Nazism or any version of authoritarianism.
I could list numerous examples of abuses perpetrated within the corridors of NHS or HSE or other state run institutions, but Fintan would just scramble for excuses. It’d be too undignified.
Meantime there’s one question I’d love to know the answer to. Why did the victims have to stay in the place where they were getting abused? Was it, perhaps, because complicated state rules meant that they or their guardians weren’t free to simply chose another care provider?
It’s difficult for a business in a free market to abuse its customers if they can simply stop being customers. Abuse happens when that’s not possible. More choice, Fintan. More freedom. You dislike it, but often it’s a better alternative than more central control.