What the Communitarians Stand For

What the Communitarians Stand For

Compiled by Niki Raapana


March 4, 2005

Communitarianism (Idea and Movement in politics) – “With the demise of true socialism as a viable intellectual force, communitarianism is now the most active philosophical opposition to libertarianism. Communitarianism is usually presented in a vague terms, but it is probably best understood as a mild form of collectivism or “democratic socialism.” From the The Ism Book

“The theory is based on a two-dimensional political grid that rejects the one-dimensional, liberal-conservative spectrum. It’s explained in detail on a Web site Janda created, http://www.idealog.org, which also offers a self-test to determine where you fall on the grid. Janda has found that the average American voter is a communitarian, yet it’s the only category that doesn’t have its own political party. He also saw many similarities between communitarian views and the Third Way.”

‘New Democrats’ offer moderates their version of ‘compassionate conservatism’ by Matthew DeFour, Northwestern University (also home to ABCD).

In Their Own Words – The Communitarian Network

“The Communitarian Network is a coalition of individuals and organizations who have come together to shore up the moral, social, and political environment. We are a nonsectarian, nonpartisan, transnational association…. The Communitarian Network investigates issues and policies such as the balance between rights and responsibilities in society, community justice, multiculturalism, the community’s moral voice, and developing global society.”

“Communitarian thinking is not an American import. Its roots sprout from ancient Greece and the Old and New Testaments. (I was trained by Martin Buber in Jerusalem.) While each society must evolve its own communitarian answers, the challenges are similar. Man and woman do not live by bread alone; it is unwise to believe that all we need is economic rehabilitation. We require our daily acts to be placed into a context of transcendent meaning and their moral import made clear.”

262. “Nation in need of community values” by Amitai Etzioni in The London Times (February 20, 1995), posted at the Communitarian Network.

“We establish for the moment a new world order. 11 September 2001 everything changed.”

Amitai Etzioni [the founder of American Communitarianism] on July 26, 2003 in an interview with Afgan Mania in Germany.

Dr. Amitai Etzioni is quoted in the article, “Needed: Catchword For Bush Ideology; ‘Communitarianism’ Finds Favor”:

Officials said they see the program as an ambitious successor to the “thousand points of light,” the private efforts to solve public problems that Bush’s father saluted in his 1988 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. In office, Bush’s father conferred a Daily Point of Light Award. Strategists in the new Bush administration recommend that “rather than officially designating Communities of Character, use heroes to tell the story.”

Bush aides are researching such options as encouraging public service announcements that salute the community work of movie stars and opinion leaders, and working with news organizations to develop “profiles in character” about worthy citizens.

The project is built on the communitarian philosophy, which aims to bolster the foundations of civil society — including families, schools and neighborhoods — and foster a commitment to the welfare of the community.

Amitai Etzioni, a George Washington University sociologist who founded the communitarian movement in 1990 and has been consulted by the Bush administration, said the plans reflect “the better Bush.” But Etzioni said the White House would have to be subtle in its approach for the plans to be successful.

“We are all exposed to a wide variety of moral voices — the media, Hustler, corporations,” Etzioni said. “It is part of the job of the president to add his voice, as long as it is exhortation, not legislation. It’s one thing to tell what you think. It’s another thing to shove it down their throat. That’s what they do in Iran.” (Dana Milbank (The Washington Post, February 1, 2001)

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(Partisan Ranger Note: Understanding these people is  important. Most modern so-called conservatives are nothing more than communitarians. Santorum, Huntsman, Gingrich, Perry, Romney..they all advocate these philosophies. As note above, communitarianism is the leading opponent to libertarianism. Know your enemy.)


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2 Responses to What the Communitarians Stand For

  1. freedom2fascism says:

    This is a significant headwind to bringing the country away from big government control and the path toward deeper totalitarianism. This change in the DNA of the mob makes it more likely that it will take catastrophic collapse, or civil war, to veer from the path of democratic socialism. Let’s hope that the growing Ron Paul support base snowballs as a popular movement. However, either way – I’m ready.

    • Basically, I see communitarianism as being nothing more than the “right wing” of the leftist social planning and control philosophy. They are very dangerous because they drape themselves in traditionalism (particularly social tradition), something that confuses most honest folks to their true agenda which is social organization and control. Social conservatives need to understand that it is only through individual liberty and thus individual responsibility that moral standards are established. Basically, freedom requires goodness to function–those who aren’t good are either swept aside or organically change to meet those demands. You can’t assume political power and use that power to mold people to your will…that is what Robespierre attempted in Revolutionary France and it was a bloody disaster.

      Like you, I see the nation standing at the fork in a crossroad. One road leads further down the path of totalitarian statist control, the other path leads down the road of individualism and freedom. The desires of the people to take the road of freedom are growing stronger every day. I take heart of that fact and feel honored to have participated in some little way in helping to spread this message. Every day we pick up followers and our philosophy grows stronger in numbers…..But, the other crowd still controls the steering wheel of the vehicle we call America. We may well swim in a river of blood before this matter is settled–but we are going to win. An idea whose time has come ’round can not be stopped.

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