Chapter 11: Titmuss: Welfare as Good Conduct
The subject of this chapter is the duty to care. It is an essay in social economics in the tautological sense that resources must be allocated and choices have to be made. Yet it is also an essay in ethical values, in functioning communities and the right relationships upon which they depend. Richard Titmuss was an interventionist who wanted the State to provide a dense and comprehensive network of welfare services available to all on the basis of a citizenship shared. He was also a believer in normative holism who wanted the State not just to correct a market failure but also to actualise a consensual striving. To Titmuss the welfare State was another name for good conduct, for neighbourliness and the freedom to share. His philosophy of fraternalism, neither the private vice of cupidity nor the arrogant bossiness of all-knowing Webbs who know best, is a middle ground with a mission. It cannot be captured by the stark Hayekian polarities of liberty versus collectivism. The chapter is divided into three sections. Section 11.1, ‘The evolution of the vision’, traces Titmuss’s development as a political sociologist of democracy beyond exchange from the inadequate birth rates of the stunted 1930s to the solidarity through service of the Second World War, to the demand for taxes and the gift of blood that typified generous Britain at its post-Attlee summit. Section 11.2, ‘The intellectual system’, guessing at the completed puzzle that Titmuss himself never fully assembled, argues that Titmuss on welfare is the...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.