[FoRK] Obama: communitarian, redistributionist, confused? (from NYT)

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Mon Aug 25 08:03:55 PDT 2008

Interesting and thoughtful (if brief) piece on the odd tensions in  
Obama's apparent political philosophy and biases.


In particular:

"The communitarian strain in Mr. Obama’s thinking often surprises  
liberal supporters. Roughly put, communitarianism holds that  
individual rights must be circumscribed by the communal, with all the  
cross-generational, religious and patriotic obligations that implies.  
Sweeping change must be approached slowly; when government enforces  
individual responsibilities, a moral crisis looms...  Communitarians  
also hold that government and corporations are bound by obligations to  
citizens, like a clean environment, education and health care."

So just as Bush was the perfectly imperfect "conservative" ---  
embracing the culture war and the propaganda war, needlessly hawkish,  
fear-mongering, etc. while simultaneously rejecting the important bits  
like fiscal responsibility, individual rights, and so on --- so I  
submit that Obama is the perfectly imperfect "liberal" --- embracing  
the wrong parts of that while rejecting the correct parts.

And so the pendulum swings.



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