CRITIQUE OF INDIVIDUALISM 159
WE HURT COMMUNITY WHEN WE FOCUS ON INDIVIDUALISM
COMMUNITY IS BUILT WHEN PEOPLE DEPEND ON AND NEED EACH OTHER NOT WHEN THEY ARE ATOMIZED INDIVIDUALS
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
We may need to be reminded that any community draws much of its sustenance from the pervasive facts of interdependence and reciprocity. These very practical conditions account for the voluntary and rational components of community. If people do not need each other, if little or nothing is to be gained from exchanging benefits and cooperating for common purposes, community is not likely to emerge or endure. Think how difficult it is to sustain community among affluent neighbors who can easily afford to pay for the conveniences of everyday life and therefore have no need for help, no need to incur obligations to neighbors. Think of the changes that occur, even among the affluent, when children need playmates or when serious threats to the safety of a neighborhood must be addressed.
COMMUNITY IS ESSENTIAL, AND WE MUST NOT FOCUS TOO MUCH ON PRIVATE INTERESTS
INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITARIAN POLICY STUDIES, 2000; The Communitarian Platform,http://www.communitariannetwork.org/platformtext.htm // acs-EE2001
American men, women, and children are members of many communities--families; neighborhoods; innumerable social, religious, ethnic, work place, and professional associations; and the body politic itself. Neither human existence nor individual liberty can be sustained for long outside the interdependent and overlapping communities to which all of us belong. Nor can any community long survive unless its members dedicate some of their attention, energy, and resources to shared projects. The exclusive pursuit of private interest erodes the network of social environments on which we all depend, and is destructive to our shared experiment in democratic self-government.
WE MUST UPHOLD OUR MORAL ORDER AS MUCH AS WE UPHOLD OUR OWN AUTONOMY
INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITARIAN POLICY STUDIES, 2000; Communitarian
Network - Rights & Responsibilities;http://www.gwu.edu/~icps/rights.html // acs-EE2001
"Respect and uphold societys moral order as you would have society respect and uphold your autonomy to live a full life."
--Amitai Etzioni, The New Golden Rule