Planning, reform and the need for live, human sacrifices

Hegemony and homogeny as symbols of progress
Dec 2012
David Zigmond

I have spent most of my four decades in the NHS as a singlehanded GP and part-time psychiatrist. I was always interested in the subtle shifts and balances required between opposites, to make our better understandings and interventions. Central to these is the general truth of the species (‘science’) v the particular variation of the individual (‘art’). As electronic technology makes mass management of communications and information more efficient, I fear the loss of creative diversity to increasingly standardised, anonymised procedures, professionals and premises. I fear the loss of art in medicine and heart in practice.


Zealous or rigid attempts to get others to standardise or ‘modernise’ are often shrugged off as a kind of zombie-curse of large organisations. But what are the hidden psychological and social currents that so burden and reduce us? How does it start? Who is responsible?

First Paragraph

Inescapably, the world becomes more populous, and our lives longer and more complex. Governments’ responses tend to increase goals and targets, directives and legislation. Official policy turns easily to officious practice. There, any holistic considerations are disregarded in favour of visible submission to itemised edicts.