Who Then?

by Dave Schuler on August 11, 2014

E. J. Dionne mourns the loss of neighborliness:

Individual choice certainly has big advantages over a rigid collectivism. But solidarity sure beats impulsiveness, self-involvement and fragmentation. Right now, we’re much better at choice than we are at solidarity. We could use a neighborly national discussion about how to restore the balance.

I just took a gander at Mr. Dionne’s house. I wonder when he last shoveled the snow from his neighbor’s driveway or swept the street in front of his house? I’m guessing never.

A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and robbers fell upon him… Who, then, was his neighbor?

I don’t know that I know the answer to that question in today’s terms but I’m pretty sure that when Party A wants Party B to pay Party C to do something for Party D, A isn’t being a neighbor to anyone except, maybe, Party C. Whether Party C realizes it or not is another question.

That gets to something that’s always griped me. It might well take a village to raise a child but the DCFS sure isn’t a village.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Janis Gore August 11, 2014 at 8:40 am
Janis Gore August 11, 2014 at 8:48 am
TastyBits August 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

This is the world that E. J. Dionne yearned for, and now that he has it, he does not like it. Too bad. He had better buckle up because it is about to get a lot worse.

... August 11, 2014 at 9:56 am

There is no social compact, so why should there be neighborliness?

Incidentally, I’ve mowed the yard and swept up for my jackass neighbors. Didn’t do me any Damned good at all, except to get me & my daughter almost eaten by their fucking pit bulls. And my car did het eaten, to the tune of $1000 in damages.

But I also cleaned up over there recently when I thought they were gone, just to get the place looking better. I’ve done the same at the bank owned house on the other side of me. Didn’t achieve anything save to make me slightly happier about my daughter’s living environment. That last isn’t a small thing, but it sure didn’t make the place any friendlier either.

The idiot neighbors finally got kicked our last week. Hoping the new neighbors Wil be betteret, but they’ve got a mountain of work ahead of them. Stepped into the house, by invitation, last week for the first time since the 1970s. My god it was awful. I wouldn’t keep animals in there much less children, and they had three of each. The agent told me the house had been like that four years ago, and they bought it planning to fix it up. My god, how some people live….

... August 11, 2014 at 9:58 am

And as TB hints, Dionne can suck it. This is the country he wanted and worked so hard to create. Too bad that piece of shit won’t likely reap the ‘benefits’.

jan August 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

The thing about a government-created collective society is that there will always be those who reap the benefits of collectivism by being the beneficiary of other people’s efforts. This is where entitlement attitudes are birthed, become acceptable and prosper, in the midst of what is oftentimes experienced as resentment and bewilderment by those forced to be their providers.

It’s different, though, when neighborliness and outreach is self-generated. This is where you have people voluntarily organizing themselves, keeping their streets clean by crossing over property lines. Neighborhood watch programs, growing out of these groups, effectively safeguard people by attracting multiple eyes to the streets and homes around an area. New residents are also more likely to be welcomed into what has become a self-formed/informed and regulated environment, fostering a membership of mutually interested residents, with tendencies to not only watch over each other but also celebrate together via great block parties.

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