COMPETITION 57

SPECIFIC CONCEPTS AFFIRMATIVE EMBRACES ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH COMMUNITARIANISM

COMMUNITARIANISM HOLDS FREEDOM OF SPEECH SACRED, AND THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE IS CRITICISM

INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITARIAN POLICY STUDIES, 2000; The Communitarian Platform,

http://www.communitariannetwork.org/platformtext.htm // acs-EE2001

The First Amendment is as dear to communitarians as it is to libertarians and many other Americans. Suggestions that it should be curbed to bar verbal expressions of racism, sexism, and other slurs seem to us to endanger the essence of the First Amendment, which is most needed when what some people say is disconcerting to some others. However, one should not ignore the victims of such abuse. Whenever individuals or members of a group are harassed, many non-legal measures are appropriate to express disapproval of hateful expressions and to promote tolerance among the members of the polity. For example, a college campus faced with a rash of incidents indicating bigotry, may conduct a teach-in on intergroup understanding. This, and much more, can be done without compromising the First Amendment. . . .

COMMUNITARIANISM WOULD RELY ON CHANGING CIVIL SOCIETY THROUGH GOVERNMENT-PRIVATE COOPERATION

INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITARIAN POLICY STUDIES, 2000; The Communitarian Platform,

http://www.communitariannetwork.org/platformtext.htm // acs-EE2001

Many social goals . . . require partnership between public and private groups. Though government should not seek to replace local communities, it may need to empower them by strategies of support, including revenue-sharing and technical assistance. There is a great need for study and experimentation with creative use of the structures of civil society, and public-private cooperation, especially where the delivery of health, educational and social services are concerned.

COMMUNITARIANISM WOULD AVOID USE OF INSTITUTIONS LARGER THAN WHAT IS NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH APPROPRIATE GOALS

INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITARIAN POLICY STUDIES, 2000; The Communitarian Platform,

http://www.communitariannetwork.org/platformtext.htm // acs-EE2001

Generally, no social task should be assigned to an institution that is larger than necessary to do the job. What can be done by families, should not be assigned to an intermediate group--school etc. What can be done at the local level should not be passed on to the state or federal level, and so on. There are, of course, plenty of urgent tasks--environmental ones--that do require national and even international action. But to remove tasks to higher levels than is necessary weakens the constituent communities. This principle holds for duties of attending to the sick, troubled, delinquent, homeless and new immigrants; and for public safety, public health and protection of the environment--from a neighborhood crime-watch to CPR to sorting the garbage. The government should step in only to the extent that other social subsystems fail, rather than seek to replace them. . . .

COMMUNITARIANISM SEES A LIMITED BUT NECESSARY ROLE FOR THE LEGAL SYSTEM, BUT DOES NOT USE IT AS A SOLUTION

INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITARIAN POLICY STUDIES, 2000; The Communitarian Platform,

http://www.communitariannetwork.org/platformtext.htm // acs-EE2001

Although some of the responsibilities identified in this manifesto are expressed in legal terms, and the law does play a significant role not only in regulating society, but also in indicating which values it holds dear, our first and foremost purpose is to affirm the moral commitments of parents, young persons, neighbors, and citizens, to affirm the importance of the communities within which such commitments take shape and are transmitted from one generation to the next. This is not primarily a legal matter. On the contrary, when a community reaches the point at which these responsibilities are largely enforced by the powers of the state, it is in deep moral crisis. If communities are to function well, most members most of the time must discharge their responsibilities because they are committed to do so, not because they fear lawsuits, penalties, or jails. Nevertheless, the state and its agencies must take care not to harm the structures of civil society on which we all depend. Social environments, like natural environments, cannot be taken for granted.

DEMOCRATIC COMMUNITARIANISM IS A CLEAR ALTERNATIVE TO FREE MARKET CAPITALISM AND WELFARE STATE LIBERALISM

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ROBERT N. BELLAH, professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, 1995-96, A Defense of "Democratic Communitarianism" The Responsive Community, Volume 6, Issue 1, Winter 1995/96 http://www.gwu.edu/~icps/bellah.html // acs-EE2001

I want to sketch a framework that escapes the ideological blinders of current American politics and highlights what is missing in much of our debate. As opposed to free market conservatism and welfare state liberalism, I want to describe another approach to our common problems which I will call–borrowing from Jonathan Boswell in Community and the Economy: The Theory of Public Co-operation–democratic communitarianism. Democratic communitarianism does not pit itself against the two reigning ideologies as a third way. It accepts the value and inevitability of both the market and the state, but it insists that the function of the market and the state is to serve us, not to dominate us. Democratic communitarianism seeks to provide a humane context within which to think about the market and the state. Its first principle is the one already enunciated in what I have said about community: it seeks to define and further the good which is the community’s purpose.