The concept of community concerns a particularly constituted set of social relationships based on something, which the participants have in common- usually a common sense of identity. The political and social theory of “communitarianism” was appropriated by a small group of mainly American social scientists, linked by a common hostility to the philosophies of liberalism and libertarianism. Liberalism is usually seen as the dominant ideology of Western democracies, with its’ roots in Enlightenment thought. Libertarianism gives priority to the liberty of the individual, with the belief in the right of the individual to be free from interference by the state or the community, unless the actions of the individual constitute harm to others. Liberal individualism has come under criticism for creating a world of “possessive individualism.” Communitarianism comes form the recognition that the human being is by nature a social animal as well as an individual with a desire for autonomy. In contrast to conventional “right” or “left” approaches to social policy, communitarians emphasize the need for a balance between individual rights and social responsibilities.
People who claim rights must be willing to balance them with responsibilities to help others- people must all sacrifice take care of their responsibilities, and do their share. Etzioni argues that “a good society requires both a moral order and a bounded autonomy”, “societies need to follow the golden rule to find a balanced middle.” A “third way” between “social conservatism” and liberal individualism. Communitarianism seeks to find a way of combining tradition and modernity. To blend elements of traditional societies (“order based on virtues”) with elements of the modern world (“well protected autonomy”).
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Thus finding a balance “between individual rights and the common good, between self and community.” In finding solutions to our social problems, communitarians seek to rely neither on government programs that are often costly or the market alone, but on the powerful “third force” of the community. By reawakening communities and empowering them to assert their moral standards, they seek to hold individuals accountable for their behavior. Communitarians believe that it is possible to build a good society on the desire of human beings to cooperate to achieve community goals that are based on positive values. Etzioni believes that members of a community require a set of social virtues that the community should support and actively affirm. A good society needs a shared framework that “keeps the pieces together” (p 211), that promotes both order and autonomy and maintains a “diverse yet united society” (p 197).
A society in which people respect differences whilst maintaining unity. Diversity is the variety and the different points of view and influence from different cultural and religious heritage’s that is created in and within a society. However this needn’t be a barrier to a community. Unity in society the “state of being one and whole” can still remain. Etzioni argues, “We don’t have to agree on everything. We just need a set of core values.
... to first take place to give people a connection with the others in their communities. Abandoning society as much as possible and starting ... come to sell their goods or labor. Political rights exist only when one is a member of an exchanging community. If a family ... . The only mutual interest of all is that they share egoistic concerns. People have in common self-interest or a desire for ...
For there to be a community, people have to know each other as people and share a set of values.” Members of the community must have this shared framework of core beliefs and values in common, that are worth sacrificing for- otherwise, they will not look beyond their own narrow interest. According to Etzioni, seven basic shared core values make up this framework: Democracy as a value. There needs to be “a normative commitment to democracy, despite it’s flaws, as it is the best system there is and one that must be continually perfected”) (p 200) Acceptance and respect for the constitution of the Bill of Rights. This is a specific reference to America, but main notion is the Bill of Rights represents core values; it is the embodiment of shared concepts of how liberties will remain ordered.
Of how to ensure rights and to maintain a civil society. Democratic majority rule has to be limited by a guarantee of individual and minority rights. The value that is attached to such rights means that when there is conflict those rights take priority over majority wishes. These rights represent various freedoms such as the freedom of speech Layered loyalties to the many communities that make up society, so as people do not see themselves belonging to one particular ethnic group or “to one “tribe” or another” (203).
The concept of layered loyalties aims to work against this by “nurturing a split loyalty, divided between commitment to one’s immediate community and to the more encompassing community.” (p 203) So people view themselves “as part of a more encompassing whole, composed of other communities” (p 204).
Neutrality Tolerance and respect for the beliefs of other subgroups or communities.
A limited practice of identity political movements. Identity politics encourages people to “view themselves mainly, if not exclusively, as black or white, men or women and so on” (p 205) and so “perpetuates the harmful notion that our nation is composed of homogeneous groups” It stresses what divides a community rather than what unites one. “We are all members of one society” (p 205).
... Only people who have the passion and joy in serving the community can make a personal commitment to the community. Personal commitment tends ... to make a commitment to the community. A real, hidden and personal commitment we make to ourselves and to the society. Therefore, ... are in need. One of the members in the company, Ed Frances said, ‘Personal commitment often produces some touching moments. ’ ...
Society- wide dialogues. A “good society” must be based on the voluntary moral commitments of its members. They must fulfill their social responsibilities and obligations because they want to, because they see it is right to do so (p 140).
Reconciliation. It is important to re-establish unity and friendship between.