Responsibility and Blame.

Many aspects of socialism take the form of “the government” assuming responsibility. Examples are the provision for benefits for the aged and health services.

Once responsibility is assumed, then any failure to provide that service begets blame.

However, when government undertakes to assume certain tasks, it is, in effect, asking society to assume that task. Not the least of these links is that society will pay for these tasks. Following on from that, society, then assumes blame.

However, “society” is constituted by individuals, and therefore if blame is to be fixed, it must be fixed on individuals.

This has the effect of changing social attitudes considerably. Every adverse event then becomes a blameful entity. Even such acts of God as volcanic eruptions or storms find their focus of blame, for example “He is to blame because we were not warned in advance.” And similar.

This is particularly pronounced in the health services, where the vicissitudes of biology will inevitably leave some individuals worse. This is demonstrated in a web discussion ( by this comment “so sad to read of all the youngsters needing (hip) surgery… Sometimes due to being born in the wrong position, manhandled so badly that tiny hips damaged then end by being arthritic by 20… Awful.” Here we have blame fixing on a healthcare provider, when the cause (congenital dysplasia of the hip) is a developmental abnormality.


About jp

Orthopaedic Surgeon
This entry was posted in Human Behaviour, Humans as social animals and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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