The institutionalisation of solidarity
One of the characteristics of the liberal economy is to strive to be all-embracing. A similar pattern is to be seen with other tentacular organisations like school and health-care. Ivan Ilych has written much about this subject. As the number of available jobs diminishes, governments turn to hitherto unpaid activities related to community solidarity as a reservoir of potential employment. This mutation goes hand in hand with an ever growing tendency to professionalise and institutionalise care. Attempts to shift the onus for care for other members of the community from individual responsibility to payable, institutionalised relationships weakens even further the links between people without being able to satisfactorily replace human solidarity. The individual is dispossessed of his or her ability to partake in community solidarity and those in need are left at the mercy of institutionalised, commercialised care. At the same time, a quite different sort of solidarity has grown up on the network, in which people spontaneously help each other with ideas and information, their only "reward" being social recognition.
The other texts of The re-connected individual are:
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