WHAT COMMUNITARIANISM IS 50
OBLIGATION IN COMMUNITARIANISM THOSE WHO HAVE GAINED MOST HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO ASSIST THOSE WHO HAVE GAINED LESS
PHILIP SELZNICK, professor emeritus of law and sociology at the School of Law, University of California at Berkeley, 1996; Social Justice: A Communitarian Perspective, The Responsive Community, Volume 6, Issue 4, Fall 1996,http://www.gwu.edu/~icps/selznick.html // acs-EE2001
From the standpoint of social justice, benefits as well as rights incur responsibilities. People who gain most from the social and economic order, and from the benefits of community, have correspondingly greater obligations than those who get less, and especially those who get the least. This principle is rich with implications for political participation and economic policy. We expect affluent and well-educated voters to take more account of the public interest than people for whom bread-and-butter issues must be paramount. And social justice is at least friendly, and more than friendly, to the policy of progressive taxation. Although progressive taxation is redistributive, it is not a repudiation of unequal resources and rewards. Rather, it is a demand for responsible participation by those who gain most from the contributions of all.