|Crowding out choice|
One of the great things about living in a wealthy country is the privacy.
Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy a nice big house on a large enough
block of well-fenced land so that you don't have your neighbors living in your
But the collectivists are fond of describing man as a social animal. Many of
them define the worth of a human being as merely the collective opinions of
other people. Apparently it's not what you know, it's not even
who you know - it's who knows you.
Some of us choose a life of social gatherings, Tupperware parties, rotary
groups or kinky group-sex parties. And good on them. But others make a
very different choice - a quiet and secluded life, enjoying their solitary
hobbies, and having relatively little to do with the outside world. And good on
So it should come as no surprise that some people die without other people
knowing it. Recently, Sydney woman Vira Lascotte was found in her home some
some six weeks after she died. And this is not the first case. She was the
seventh elderly person found dead in similar circumstances this year.
Outrage! Steve Price is appalled 'this is becoming a self obsessive
society' and others lament 'that is a sad indictment on society' and 'what ever happened to community
NSW Housing Minister Cherie Burton seized the political opportunity today by
launching a Good Neighbor Campaign - where people in public housing are
encouraged to monitor their their neighbors habits and movements. There are
already cries to launch a similar campaigns for the rest of society.
But there is no evidence that these people wanted others to check on them, to
interfere in their lives, or that they really cared about lying around rotting
for a few months after they were dead.
Quite seriously - who cares? If these people were found one day after their
death by some good Samaritan (instead of six months), would the people be
any less dead? Would they be any happier? Is there any suggestion that
monitoring would have saved (or even prolonged) their lives? Old people die.
They have a right to die in and solitude if they so choose to.
By any objective measure these undiscovered deaths are a testament to our
affluence and freedom. People have the choice of withdrawing from society and
going their own way. In the end we all die alone, but some of us choose to live
alone too - even when we are close to death. Et viva la difference.