communitarianism

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communitarianism

a viewpoint on welfare issues that stresses common interests and common values arising from communal bonds. As such, communitarianism is opposed to purely individualistic conceptions of welfare. Communitarian conceptions have enjoyed resurgence recently as a reaction against the political ascendancy of conceptions of welfare based on crude market values. Communitarianism, however, is also sometimes associated with a romanticized cultural conservatism or with otherwise controversial ideas. For example, in his influential account of communitarianism, The Spirit of Community (1993), A. Etzioni suggests that the manufacture of new rights should be banned on the grounds that an ‘inflation of rights’ devalues more grounded moral claims.
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While a variety of positions exist within the communitarian paradigm, all communitarians emphasize that individuals are constitutively bound to certain community 'ends'--a term used here to refer to commitments and attachments such as relationships, projects, convictions, loyalties, loves, ties and aims.
Communitarians shift the balance and argue that the 'I' is constituted through the 'We' in a dynamic tension.
Frida Kahlo's Self Portrait on the Border of Mexico and the United States, on the cover of the book, symbolizes this argument, depicting threats on both the cosmopolitan and the communitarian side.
The Communitarians indicated that cooperative learning should be used "often" while the Individualists said "never.
Communitarians also argue that contemporary culture was further mistaken in the ways its emphasis on individual choice intersected with morality.
His essay on the communitarian critique of liberalism is a firm defense of the liberal project, from John Locke forward.
In response to such perceived deficiencies, communitarians argue that the individual should be conceived as a thoroughly social being whose preferences are derived from a relationship to a shared or intersubjective conception of the good reflective of the community as a whole.
Selznick holds that communitarians should defend affirmative action because racial and other social divisions destroy the community.
Stalin and Hitler were communitarians as are Lee Kuan Yew [then-dictator of the city-state Singapore] and the leaders of Japan and Israel; even, it seems to me, Bill Clinton.
The political debate has centered on two theoretical points of view: (1) Liberals suggest prohibition of most religious influences on lawmaking to protect the free exercise of religion for all citizens; and (2) communitarians argue that religion is inextricable from the religious lawmakers' moral identity and from the community's moral identity as a whole.
The debate brings with it a long history of philosophical argument in the West -- that between communitarians and cosmopolitans (as labelled in an excellent new book by Andrew Linklater: The Transformation of Political Community: Ethical Foundations of the Post-Westphalian Era, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press 1998).

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