[FoRK] Outsourcing fascism

Paul Sholtz paulsholtz2004 at hotmail.com
Sat May 8 21:05:58 PDT 2004


>Communitarians typically argue that the market and the state have too much
>power over our lives. They reject hyper-capitalism and hyper-statism as
>leading to the loss of individualism and connection to community. The goal
>would be to reinvigorate what they call civil society: everything we've
>traditionally conceived of as outside the state or market, as places that
>shouldn't be organized according to the moral logic of the state or market.
>FoRK and discussion list, the Blogosphere, Open Source, voluntary
>organizations, families, communities, Little Leagues, Neighborhood watch,
>etc. these are all part of what they would call "civil society."

While I agree w/ your comments about not exporting marketplace ethics into 
broader society, etc, and about all the "noble" goals of communitarianism, I 
would question whether we need a specific, independent "political movement" 
to realize such goals. The road to hell is paved w/ good intentions.. I 
should hope that the impulse to spontaneously organize into salons, spaces 
for public deliberation, voluntary organization, etc (as you describe) are 
still a fundamental part of human nature, and have not (as yet) been 
completely extinguished by the State.

My comments linking communitarianism and fascism stem from my understanding 
of the role that Amitai Etzioni (an Israeli chap, I believe) has played in 
the founding and development of communitarianism -- esp in the U.S.. 
Etzioni's critics denounce him as a fascist.. to be perfectly honest, I 
don't know enough about the guy to make an honest comment, although he has 
spoken out in favor of national disarmament, he's closed connected with 
Fabian Socialist circles, and he endorsed the highly controversial "Project 
for a New American Century" (which, depending on your perspective, is 
basically what got us into Iraq in the first place). I've even seen Etzioni 
argue that Americans need to adopt a National Biometric ID Card, so as to 
make Israel a safer place to live (?? some rather bizarre twists of logic 
were involved in that one!)

Where there's smoke, you can usually find fire..

-- PS

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