Blackadder’s Lair

The home of many a cunning plan

The Real Individualists

In contemporary political debates, those of us who tend to be opposed to an increased role for government in solving social problems are often accused of being radical individualists who favor an atomized society, whereas those who favor such interventions are often described as supporting communal obligations. But as DarwinCatholic argues, it ain’t necessarily so:

When we had been married a few years, things came to a crisis point with the care of my paternal grandmother. My grandfather had died several years before, and grandma was in increasingly poor health, not able to get around by herself well. My dad was her only surviving child, and he was in the middle of chemo therapy. Her niece, who had been living with her for several years to provide in-house care, had to move back to Colorado to help one of her own children. So two options lay before us: We could put grandma into a nursing home, an idea which she absolutely hated but which medicare would pay for, or MrsDarwin and I could move in with her to provide full time care — despite having a one-year-old and MrsDarwin being pregnant.

We did the latter. It was a difficult period, though in the end it was much shorter than we expected, because grandma died (in her own house, as she had always wished) not much more than a month after we moved in.

This is, I think, exactly the sort of community and mutual obligation that we all agree our culture needs more of: The older generation helping to rear the young, the young in turn taking care of the old. All too often, people are “too busy” and older relatives are left along, whether in their own homes or in “group homes”.

How does this relate to progressive versus conservative approaches to social services? Continue reading

July 12, 2008 Posted by | Charity, Government | Leave a comment