BY FOCUSING ON THE RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL THE PLAN WORKS AGAINST COMMUNITARIANISM
COMMUNITARIANISM CALLS FOR ADHERENCE TO BASIC MORAL TENETS WITHOUT GOING TOO FAR IN THE DIRECTION OF INDIVIDUALISM, CARING, OR SOCIAL JUSTICE
INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITARIAN POLICY STUDIES, 2000; The Communitarian Platform,http://www.communitariannetwork.org/platformtext.htm // acs-EE2001
For a community to be truly responsive--not only to an elite group, a minority or even the majority, but to all its members and all their basic human needs--it will have to develop moral values which meet the following criteria: they must be nondiscriminatory and applied equally to all members; they must be generalizable, justified in terms that are accessible and understandable: e.g., instead of claims based upon individual or group desires, citizens would draw on a common definition of justice; and, they must incorporate the full range of legitimate needs and values rather than focusing on any one category, be it individualism, autonomy, interpersonal caring, or social justice.
COMMUNITARIANISM CALLS FOR LESS PRIVACY AND AN EMPHASIS ON THE COMMUNITY INSTEAD OF OUR FIXATION ON INDIVIDUALISM
Kirkus Reviews, FEBRUARY 15, 1999 AUTHOR: Etzioni, Amitai TITLE: THE LIMITS OF PRIVACY // acs-VT2001
Communitarianism holds that a good society must maintain a balance between individual rights and the common good. Since the 1960s or so, concern for the common good has given way in the US to ''excessive deference to privacy.'' Etzioni believes it s time to correct the balance. Certainly aware of the importance of privacy, Etzioni lays out specific criteria to be met and stringent processes to be followed when rights are to be curtailed. There must be a real, not hypothetical, danger to the common good. The danger must first be dealt with, without restricting privacy rights if possible. When rights are curtailed the action should be minimally intrusive, and undesired side effects must be guarded against, e.g., if widespread HIV testing is found necessary, efforts must be made to enhance the confidentiality of medical records. Taking this framework, Etzioni examines five areas of public policy, among them mandatory HIV testing of infants, the public listing of sex offenders (''Megan's Laws''), and medical- records privacy. Predictably, in all but the last, where he argues that there should be more protection, he finds a minimal diminution in individual rights justifiable. Sex offenders, for instance, do have their rights curtailed when their presence in a community is made public, but the benefit to the community is worth it
THE REAL PROBLEM BEHIND PRIVACY INITIATIVES IS AN OVER-RELIANCE ON PERSONAL AUTONOMY AND INDIVIDUALISM
RANDOLPH COURT; technology policy analyst, Progressive Policy Institute, The New Democrat, February, 1999 / March, 1999; Pg. 30 TITLE: PUBLIC INTEREST IN PRIVATE MATTERS; The Search for Balance Between Privacy and the Common Good in the Cyber Age // acs-VT2001
But when Etzioni looks out over the landscape, he focuses not on erosions of privacy, but on what he correctly sees as "a new emphasis on personal autonomy and individualism" gradually overwhelming other social considerations. He notes a shift in the last 30 or 40 years. "During the 1960s the United States experienced various social movements that emphasized many previously neglected rights, particularly in the areas of race and gender," Etzioni writes. "[But] what started as an individualistic correction of excessive communalism led to excessive individualism, wanton manufacturing of presumed rights (such as a right to a credit card or a right to use the men's room if there is even a small line in front of the women's room), neglect of social responsibility, and the waning of commitments to the common good."
It will be a hard argument for some to hear. But it's worth listening to nonetheless.
THERE IS AN INHERENT CONTRADICTION TO THE INDIVIDUALIST APPROACH TO PRIVACY -- WE VALUE OUR PRIVACY BUTW ANT DATA FROM OTHERS WHEN IT WOULD BENEFIT US
Richard A. Epstein National Review, September 27, 1999, TITLE: Privacy, Please; Thinking about a troublesome concept. // acs-VT2001
Worried about privacy? You have good reason. But at the same time, you may find it difficult to decide whether a strong privacy right is friend or foe. Your privacy is fine, even sacrosanct. But the privacy of the other fellow could easily cut you off from information you need for self-protection. The tension between our dual role as information-hoarder and information-seeker is inescapable.
COMMUNITARIANS REJECT THE PRIMACY OF THE INDIVIDUAL
Helena Gail Rubinstein, Director of Policy Analysis and Program Development, Group Insurance Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; "If I Am Only for Myself, What Am I? A Communitarian Look at the Privacy Stalemate," American Journal of Law & Medicine, 1999, 25 Am. J. L. and Med. 203, EE2001-JGM, p.223
Communitarians reject the primacy of the individual, and invite members of the community to move beyond self-interest in favor of a vision of society defined by community ties and a search for the communal good. The individual lives as a member of a community; indeed, "It is impossible to think of human beings except as part of ongoing communities, defined by reciprocal bonds of obligation, common traditions, and institutions." n182 For communitarians, the community is the end, not, as in the liberalist vision of society, an end, "one contender among others within the framework defined by justice." n183 A sense of community can involve "some divergence of interest ... between individual and community." n184 It is the very act of sacrifice, the willingness to sacrifice individual interests in favor of the common good, that defines community membership. Indeed, one "cannot think about a meaningful sense of community without thinking of some sense of sacrifice." n185 Through sacrifices for the communal good, the community may enjoy a result greater than the sum of each individual's sacrifice. Medical and health policy progress requires sacrifice from every individual who hopes to benefit from that progress.
THE POINT OF COMMUNITARIANISM IS THAT TOO MANY PEOPLE NOW WANT TO TAKE, AND NOT ENOUGH TO GIVE
Robert O'Harrow Jr. The Washington Post, May 24, 1999, SECTION: STYLE; Pg. C02; BOOK WORLD TITLE: How Much Privacy Is Good for You? // acs-EE2001
Sociologist Amitai Etzioni has long been a leading voice in the communitarian movement, and in books, essays and lectures he has prodded Americans to think anew about the need for individuals to take greater responsibility for improving society. "The major American problem is everyone wants to take," the George Washington University professor and former aide to President Carter has said. "Nobody wants to give."