This blog talks about interrelations of homeopathy and holistic ways of healing with the world beyond medicine, with spirituality, science and politics. The homeopathic way of thinking and questioning about problems, crises and solutions is extended to encompass more than issues of individual health. During two hundred years of work with crises and suffering we have developed a holistic way of looking at contexts and a specific way of listening, which may prove to be very helpful in collective contexts as well. In a loose series of articles I wish to show this by different current issues. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)). You may distribute and reproduce it in accordance with the license terms.
(Not being a native speaker I apologize for any mistakes and appreciate any kind of amendment.) .
Jörg Wichmann, November 2017
The recent peg for this article is the lawsuit against a pharma lobbyist in Germany that just started (see german version in case of interest), which will not be of much interest for English speaking readers. Nevertheless there has been enough discussion about the gun lobby in the US preventing the cutting down of dangerous weapons in the public after each of the many gun rampages last year, to have made the public allert of the issue and problem of lobbying.
As therapists we have learnt to always enquire exactly, to ask about the content of every term that is used and to investigate into any seemingly self-evident proposition. Reading about the “power” of the lobbies so many times recently I therefore ask myself, what it actually is about, what kind of “power” we are talking about. We shouldn´t ask the question: Who influences whom? but: What does this influence actually consist of, where does the power of the lobby lie, who administers it, and why are we permit it to exist in the first place?
Strangely enough I have never seen or heard this question asked anywhere. Everyone is busy with trying to make the lobbies more transparent or to find out who has talked to whom for how long. But noone asks the question, what exactly this “power” of the lobby is. As if it was a kind of natural law, as if the “power” was an aspect of the lobbies like the wetness of rain and the coldness of ice. A kind of natural characteristic that doesn´t need an explanation. But we have to ask whether such an influence on politics is leitimate at all or preventing democracy, and whether such a “power” can have a legally accepted form.
Therefore for me the most intriguing and most questionable point is: What does this “power” consist of, what does it rest on? Do we have to assume that lobbyists are secretly threatening our politicians and that there are strange black cars with sunglassed men parking in front of their children´s nursery schools? Rather not (even though there are well founded hints that personalities like Kennedy, Hammerskjöld or John Paul I. have been put away purposefully). Do we have to imagine lobbyists running around with black bags full of unnumbered banknotes to deal them out to cooperative politicians? Although there are some cases where this has been proved at court, still this will probably not be common practice.
We know that political parties as institutions are corrupt or prone to be so because they are dependent on donations by the big industry. And we also know that several politicians are keeping certain companies on the backburner to get a fat and free income after their term in office by being appointed to some pseudo-function, for which they don´t have to work in serious.
We know about all these entanglements and near to corruption businesses, and still this knowledge doesn´t leave me with a content feeling of having really understood the context. From conversations with patients I know well this eye-opener-feeling of Aha! when someone tells me the right context which relates and fits to their symptoms or problems. Yet re this question why a “lobby” can have any power in politics and what this “power” really is about, what it is based on, regarding this question I didn´t have an eye opener yet. I haven´t yet heard a comprehensive and fitting answer. And it seems to me that the big media being owned by few rich persons or corporations, are more part of the problem than of the solution.
Countless conversations with out patients have taught us that the main energy of a problem and therefore often its solution as well, is lying to the sphere that is not being looked at and that is being avoided. An important part of the answer usually lies in the shadow – this is an essential principle of every holistic view. So the conclusion of our thoughts about lobbyism is a different one from even those that are offered by lobby-critical organisations. Finally the point is not, to bring about transparency into who is a lobbyist and who talks to whom. All this doesn´t go far enough.
The real point is to publicly scandalize that a group of organizations and persons can have such a powerful influence on our politicians at all, which is not only not serving the common good, but which often enough is directed against it. We shouldn´t tolerate these influences because they prevent and undermine the constitutional mandates and duties of our political parties and representatives: To serve the common welfare above anything else! We will have to restructure our political institutions and their rules in such a manner that an influence of a “lobby” is not possible anymore. The lobbies don´t serve the people. We don´t need and we don´t want any lobbies at all! It cannot be that political parties are depending more on the finances of wealthy persons and corporations, than feeling liable to their voters. Bad enough that the public opinion can be manipulated through money by owning the big media. But to have our elected representatives corrupted and susceptible to blackmail and to accept this as a kind of natural principle of democracy – that should be a no-go!
How is all this related to holistic healing? In several ways: First of all we are directly concerned as therapists, because if our democratic representatives would decide freely and uninfluenced according to the common wellfare and thus follow their legal duties, the alternative healing methods would have a much better standing. All surveys (at least in central Europe) have hitherto shown a large majority of the population to wish for more alternative and natural medical treatment. Until now politicians are not respecting the wishes of the voting majority but the interests of some influencial lobbies, who are not very fond of effective and cheap healing methods that get along with little use of technical or chemical ressources.
Secondly this kind of lobby-ridden politics makes it impossible to react appropriately to the huge problems of our time. The agricultural lobby prevents us to stop using highly poisonous pesticides that make us all sick and contaminate the biosphere. The car lobby prevents us to develop a human and environment friendly traffic and has us take thousands of deadly accidents and a poluted air with all the diseases following for granted and not see them as consequences of political decisions. And so on. No doubt our environment and ourselves would be much healthier if our political representatives would make their decisions without any lobby influence in our common interest.
It is up to us to change that. And better to do so soon.
A good international website around this subject is: Corporate Europe Observatory.
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